A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

What they mean by ‘failure’s no option’

Written February 16th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

This combination of questions and response was a fitting ending, it seemed to me, to a long day of failing to get a cable problem solved online and over the phone.

You could apply the same principle to lots of situations, especially when you’re hoping for agreement or praise.

“How’s your day been going?” someone wants to know. You shake your head: “Lousy. It’s been a terrible day.” And someone replies, “I’m sorry, but I do not recognize that response. So again, how’s your day.”

After a fancy  restaurant meal the server comes over: “I trust your dinner was satisfactory.” “Well, actually, not really. The chicken was kind of tough.” “Ah, Sir, I’m afraid I cannot accept that as a response. So let me ask you again: How was the food?”

“How do you like the election returns? Pretty awesome, eh?” “For you maybe. For me, it was pretty bad.” “What? I must have misheard you because I do not recognize that response. What do you really think?”

“Want to come over now or Tuesday?” “Now would be good.” “Sorry, I don’t recognize that. Actually, make it Wednesday.”

The cable company has another rhetorical winner somewhere in its questions online. It goes something like: “Is this the address where you want service. Answer Y for yes.”

And if the answer is “N” instead? I couldn’t find a spot for that. (hh)


Posted in: Commentary

11 responses to “What they mean by ‘failure’s no option’”

  1. William Ayers says:

    They appreciate your patience.

  2. M. Richner says:

    Another of those issues where one doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  3. Richard Vannice says:

    Remember, you are talking to a computer which has an intelligence equal only to the information entered in it. Direct communication with an actual person often produces the same result as what you are or have had with the robot. We, the users, have few options when it comes to the internet.

  4. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Same quizzical Q/A when I call DH about a delivery issue. :-)

    • Steven Reynolds says:

      Yep, instead of letting HH mentor and train his successor, they just decided to make wholesale changes… and now they have to deal with the consequences. It’s very difficult to survive when a community has a choice and isn’t forced to support you financially.

  5. Jeff Senders says:

    Their system is called an “idiot knob.” An idiot knob is a knob you push but the knob isn’t connected to anything. It just makes you feel better!

  6. bhigby says:

    Try cancelling the Statesman-Journal, the robot won’t do it and nobody answers the phone.

  7. hj.anony1 says:

    Really an interesting post HH. …in a strange way…

    ‘ “How do you like the election returns? Pretty awesome, eh?” “For you maybe. For me, it was pretty bad.” “What? I must have misheard you because I do not recognize that response. What do you really think?” ‘

    Not so happy about elections HH? No matter. You could be in Albany, TX freezing with no power, heat, water AND Internet / TV. I hear from Faux News the windmills froze so everything from the OIL & GAS state went down. LOL

    What are we to do when so many fools lap up the lies on TV and RW-hate radio?
    Riddance Limbaugh….

  8. Rusty Southwick says:

    Artificial Intelligence can’t be all that far behind now. We must be on the veritable cusp, like right around the next corner, or perhaps the one after that, eh? Surely one of the upcoming corners or cusps…

  9. Albany YIMBY says:

    Lack of oversight and the excuse of the pandemic has made these companies reduce their customer support to a minimum. Most of the representatives work from home now so I don’t know what’s the problem.

    The other day I had to contact Alaska Airlines and the waiting time on the phone was 6h!! I could have gone to PDX and back in that time.

    What can we do? I think we could contact our representatives to make sure these corporations have real human customer support on the phone or live chat. A robot can be useful to choose among the first options, but relying on a bot for complex tasks becomes disrespectful for the consumer.

  10. Richard Vannice says:

    Albany YIMBY try sending an e-mail to either of your senators or congressman in Washington and see if you get an answer. If you do it will not address your question other than, ” Thank you for expressing your interest.”
    It’s a waste of time and energy to try to get an answer from them other than the one generated automatically by another computer or an aide who gives the same mumbo jumbo political response to a simple question.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany Carousel Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Oregon passenger rail Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering