Friday, February 15, 2008

Get human

This could be the first genuinely helpful post I've ever done here.

And it's a doozy!

Don't you hate calling companies and navigating their byzantine, often circular answering systems? It's really technology at its worst. You spend ten minutes listening to a recording of menu options, pressing buttons like a monkey, just trying to get to a real person. And if you hit the wrong button it's a total do over.

So now there's Get Human, a very old-school looking Web site that does something beautiful: It lists a whole shit load of companies and tells you how to circumvent their systems to quickly get a real person on the line.

Did you go there? Great, right? Because when you have a problem, you don't want to deal with technology--you want a person.

On the other hand, there are times when technology is preferable over human contact. Like a brilliant site called Open Table, which not only offers a searchable database of area restaurants (including menus and reviews), but also awesomely lets you make a reservation without having to talk to some snooty restaurant host.

So you can avoid that uncomfortable American Psycho moment when Patrick Bateman calls for a reservation at Dorsia and is greeted only by sneering, incredulous laughter. No wonder he went on a killing spree. Imagine if he had to navigate an answering system.

Thursday, February 07, 2008