May 4, 2020

2 min read

What is estranging you from much of yours and other people’s humanity?

Too much time sitting on hold

Most people will do everything in our power to stay away from the agony of endless robotic customer service experiences.

We have simply spent too much time sitting on hold, sitting in line, hearing words that sounded as if they had been arranged to convey the minimum of meaning.

Why engage in another emotionless transaction? Better to just eat the money and move on with our lives.

Marchex conducted a shocking study that estimated we spend hundreds of millions of hours per year on hold, adding up to more than forty days in our lifetime.

Forty days. This is a tragedy of modern customer service.

But it’s also an opportunity. Because although these soulless interactions will affect the majority of multimillion dollar companies in no way whatsoever, it’s still an invitation to be more human. If only to remind ourselves that we are alive and connected.

Linklater, in his award winning animated film about the meanings and purposes of the universe, makes this observation about customer service.

We go through life with our antennas bouncing off one another, continuously on autopilot, with nothing really human required of us. Stop, go, walk here, drive there, all our action basically for survival. All our communication simply to keep this ant colony buzzing along in an efficient, polite manner. Here’s your change, paper or plastic, credit or debit, you want ketchup with that? But we don’t want a straw, we want real human moments. We want to see you, we want you to see us, and we don’t want to give that up. We don’t want to be ants.

It’s a profound crisis for humanity that we need to be jarred into noticing.

My weapon in this fight is a nametag. Wondering what yours might be.

What is estranging you from much of yours and other people’s humanity?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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