Dark Ages and Professionalism

by Jinryu

The move to the new apartment is mostly done. It’s been a bit strange not having internet (it’s still in the process of being hooked up).

[CM] and I are no strangers to moving– I’ve moved more than a dozen times at this point, and she’s getting close to the two dozen mark. Since we arrived in Australia, we’ve moved almost once a year.

Every time we do it, it’s exhausting. We’re getting better and faster at it, but a lot of that has to do with not giving a shit anymore about doing it ourselves and just hiring professionals.


“Customer service” is an interesting idea. If you look at the last 10 years of the business editorials, one of the relatively “new” concepts is big-data– the way we look at the data about the data and harness all the meta icing and added value.

What this has done is provide us with more efficiency with product demographic targetting (the marketing side)– it’s also given us more efficiency in the product itself. I’m no expert on economics or marketing, but I think that while big companies are making more money thanks to metadata analytics, the conclusion that they’ve reached in many areas is that investing in quality person-to-person interaction is too expensive to be worthwhile.

I just called up our real estate agent to ask about something. When I called the main line, someone asnwered: “Hello?”

I replied: “Hello?”

He replied: “Yes?”

And I was thinking to myself– don’t you know how to answer the phone at a commercial business? How about identifying your company or something? Saying good morning?

CM’s cousin is staying with us for a few days on a buiness trip. He’s a software engineer who occasionally travels to do large scale software implementations, and he’s got a number of people working under him at all times, and often has to train new employees.

He recounts how he had to sit down one of the employees for writing emails to clients using l33tspeak. Sigh.

Where are people getting these idea from?

Don’t get me started on all the time I waste on the phone with my gas company, my electric company, and my insurance company, which are all basically circular conversations. I’ve even had problems with my immigration lawyer.

Where has the customer service gone in an age of enlightenment?

Surprisingly, the best customer service I’ve received lately was from the two Mongolian removoalists (the Aussie word for “movers”) we hired. They accidentally dropped one of our IKEA drawers and a panel popped out– not only did he apologise profusely, but he actually took the drawer with him, repaired it, and brought it back another day. And did I mention that the removalists themselves were super efficient and quick?

I miss giving my money to people who care.