I am sure many English speakers have heard or said "you just can't get the service these days" in response to shoddy workmanship, process or service failures. Is it me or has human interaction become more fraught with impatience, stresses and aggravation lately.
The world has seen a pandemic, bringing along with it, new mental health pressures from lock downs, inhibited social freedoms and restriction to movement. Could this be the reason that I am sensing more hostility, more impatience, more 'micro' aggression, as it's banally, called?
Recent point in case, my interaction with an obnoxious Manager, yes Manager! Due to a problem partly of my own making, Customer Service had noted in writing, that I be given priority in the queue. As I made my way to the Manager to explain the situation, I was bamboozled by this man, name unknown but in uniform of some sort. Raising his voice, talking over me, gesturing equally rudely, without making eye contact he shouted what, I don't know but I got the gist from his demeanor. Not easily intimidated, I maintained my position as he invaded my personal space. Finally, unwilling to be screamed at without defending myself, I raised my voice " I am talking to you".
Not What I Bargained For
Having secured his confirmation I would be placed in front of the queue, I returned some 15 minutes later to secure my place. Irritatingly he removed the barrier and then deliberately placed me in the longest counter queue. Though it wasn't the call up queue. So, naturally, I started making my way to the shortest. In a flash he blocked me, hemming me in and preventing me from moving, while shouting something about "your fault and the person that dealt you isn't here". He clearly got out of bed the wrong way......... so much for for the customer always being right - Ryanair!!
Least Equals Most
To be honest poor service is not new. Its something I've experienced all too often, by corporations quick to take my money but slow to give it back. The worst are those that provide a 24 hour 'service'. God help you if you can't resolve your problem in 1 call, because thereafter what you'll get are multiple contradictory responses, from frontline staff in multiple time zones across the world. A strong culture of an unwillingness transfer the call to a supervisor, at best. At worst, calls terminated, rude and clearly ill trained or simply incompetent staff. All this makes for multiple cycles of stressed, frustrating dialogue. My experiences here include Booking.com Airbnb and Expedia. One does finally get a solution and sometimes compensation/ refund but God knows, its a pound of flesh type scenario to get it. Banks and government institutions tend to do better.
A Deliberate Policy To Annoy
Often stress levels rise before a voice at the end of the line. Pressing the keypad several times to 'route' (ostensibly to provide the best help!!) but which, in reality is just cold, cut throat cost saving efficiency that leaves me, effectively doing their job. That is after offering every conceivable method like website or text, by automated message, to not respond verbally.
If You Must Talk, We're Not Listening
With move from pressing keypads to a robotic AI 'voice' now asking me state the problem it seems corporations are determined to do within their power to not provide me service at all. They should take my money, provide shoddy service, then I should shut - up but if we really must talk, talk to a machine, which they tell me is 'learning' or something. This latest bit of 21st century technological advancement, is cold and devaluing. Feeling like a fool uttering mono - syllabic "Yes, No" or some such from multiple choice questions, when its actually none of the above. Who cares, what choice do I have? I can take it, or leave it and go elsewhere for the same.
With COVID, work at home, social distancing and subconscious fear of contamination widespread, I wonder where this world is going and what 'advancement' is doing to the psyche. Smart phones, texting and messaging have long overtaken spoken conversations, and reduced social contact drastically. In officialdom, calling colleagues, has given way to emails. So maybe that ill mannered, rude Manager at Ryanair, is merely a sign of the times. Soon metal and computer chips will be running our homes, flying our planes and driving our cars. Its best I get use to it. A rude Manager or Robot, I think I prefer 'Mannerless As Standard' How sad that's my only choice now.