It’s not rocket science, or is it?

I’m in the middle of a bureaucratic goose chase with a government department. It’s hair pulling out stuff. I have supplied said department with the exact same information through five different channels and still, somehow, the situation has not been resolved to the bureaucracy’s satisfaction. It’s a hungry machine, devoid of empathy. It’s a Tower of Babel!

I’m not surprised that people vote for politicians who tout less regulation and smaller governments – private enterprise and the free market are the solution for a smoother ride – NOT!

I say this because I also find myself on an insane merry-go-round ride with my telecommunications/energy provider. Ironically, a government website helped me to find this particular provider! We’ve all heard how you have to shop around to get the best deal.

Saying that, have you shopped around to find a better bank deal? I mean you’d have to be a fool to be paying the fees you are currently paying. Get on the phone and barter with your bank. And if they don’t come to the party, just change your bank. Easy peasy, get online, get on the phone and change everything.

Currently, I’m trying to get out of my community bank, yes one that’s not even for profit. I have one share and two accounts with this credit union. Their online banking service often goes down. Once, I had to download a whole new web browser to access my accounts. My regular browser was no longer compatible! And now, as I try to escape, I have to contact all these government departments and private enterprises, including my telecommunications/energy provider who has a ‘bundle’ of my services, and also my numerous employers [if you can call the businesses who hand out gigs through apps on mobiles, employers], including one which doesn’t respond to emails and doesn’t even have a phone number. Yeah, change your bank, it’s easy – NOT!

The other day on the phone after listening to menu after menu of options that didn’t fit my situation, I finally pressed # and spoke to an operator. Feeling like I had made some serious progress, I felt I had no choice but to accept their request, “Can you please hold?” Then, while listening to an endless thirty second loop of infuriating muzak, I realised that the navigation of hostile worlds requires a team of experts. I emailed NASA and asked, “Now that you have successfully landed Perseverance on Mars, do you have some spare time to assist me with some wicked problems I have encountered here on Earth?”

19 thoughts on “It’s not rocket science, or is it?

  1. We can so relate on all fronts. Andrew recently had a stoush with AGL re our solar. No information for 9 months, bills wrong., phone call to me saying we owed then $200 and to pay it immediately or else. They owed us. After going to the ombusdman, a head office honcho finally fixed everything within half an hour and admitted their systems were shit. Good luck with it all!

  2. Reblogged this on AuntyUta and commented:
    If you, dear Sean, come up with so many problems. does it surprise you, that I, a newly widowed 86 year old. just cannot cope with everything that is coming my way? I often wonder, is it just old age, that makes me feel like I don’t want to talk to anyone on the phone anymore. There is just too much that is confusing for me. But reading what you, a much younger person are experiencing, I wonder now, is it just my deteriorating mental alertness that makes incapable to exist calmly in this super modern society, or is society as a whole getting ‘too smart’ for a lot of us?
    I think, I would just like to reblog your thought provoking post to see, what my followers, and especially my family, have to say to this!
    Rocket Science? What for? Couldn’t life be a bit simpler, please!


      Sean, maybe you’d like to have a look at these quotes by Carl Sagan.

      “Sagan explains how only when a society is dedicated to science and skepticism can it stave off the grasp of authoritarian leadership. ”

      I very much like your email to MARS: “Now that you have successfully landed Perseverance on Mars, do you have some spare time to assist me with some wicked problems I have encountered here on Earth?”

      I say, they are ‘wicked problems’ indeed!

    • Uta,
      It is not you. I am very fortunate to have had IT in my work and home life since the very beginning and thus it is not foreign or new to me at all. Yet, I still come unstuck. It is not so much the technology that is the problem rather than the way it is sometimes deployed. There are certain tasks that will always be better done by humans rather than machines. It annoys me that the implementation of technology in many cases is simply to increase profits. Service ain’t what it used to be!

  3. reading this reminded me of my hassles with the insurance company over a car seat issue: it’s rather hilarious: if you’d like some light reading just go to my website and type in ‘Do I Have To Call the Police?’ in the Search tab 🙂

  4. I know what you are experiencing. I dread having to make a phone call to some places. And then most of the time, even if I actually reach a human, they don’t listen to what I’m saying!

    • Yes, I know what you mean. The people in call centres often have no idea about the products/services that are they are supposed to be dealing with. I always, though, try to not take my frustration out on them. I imagine their pay and working conditions.

  5. I have a suggestion for you. You can throw it out of the virtual window if you want. I won’t be offended. Here it is: Call the government department you’re battling with and make an appointment to be face to face. This may be a little difficult because of the COVID but do make your best attempt at this. Dealing with the government is usually easier when you can face your opponent. If you can get the appointment set up, be sure to bring EVERYTHING with you that pertains to the issue. At the appointment, tell that person what you have done so far to resolve the problem handing that person the appropriate paper(s) as you speak. Don’t show anger. If the person is an idiot, ask to speak to his/her supervisor. Don’t show anger when you do this.

    Why do it this way? I used to work for the state government. Although I could easily speak on the phone about problems, I must admit the urgency to get it resolved satisfactorily was greater when I spoke to the person face to face. Government employees are often overworked, which means if something can be put on hold just for a little bit, it will probably be done that way.

  6. These places are often staffed with idiots. Although the needless red tape could be an indication they simply couldn’t bear it if you moved your money away from them and so it’s a covert way to try and get you to keep banking with them? 😉

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