Customer service is becoming more Kafkaesque by the day

Editorial note: Although written in 2014, having re-read it this morning, it still seems relevant. Neil

Angry woman on the phone

Oscar Rickett writes .....

Anyone who’s seen The Onion’s video “Prague’s Kafka International Named Most Alienating Airport”, in which an airline official played by a Slavoj Žižek soundalike tells confused travellers, “If there is a problem, fill out a complaint form, and place it in an envelope addressed to the name of the hospital in which you were born”, will recognise a kernel of truth about customer service buried in the absurdist humour.

Customer service, in its myriad forms, becomes more Kafkaesque by the day. Rounds of Muzak, the endless repeating of your name, address, birth date and maybe some other personal details (a childhood pet, the name of the street you grew up on) leave you, at best, feeling like a grumpy Jack Dee character and, at worst, like you are lost in a labyrinth patrolled by armed guards whose sole function is to shut a series of reinforced steel doors in your face. Anger, frustration, and confusion: these are the emotions that come to mind when I think of .....

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