‘Cowherds’ Pop-Up Cafe
I’m not saying new technology is out of control – OK, well, I will say it. Some very clever people are capable of some very stupid things, like imagining that Voice Recognition would be a boon and a benefit to people phoning government departments.
This afternoon I really needed to speak to someone at National Insurance. I telephoned the number and a very nice computer voice asked me to tell her what I wanted. It’s about the changes to Class 2 Contributions I told her. She said she’d put me through.
It took 20 minutes, which was the first hurdle. But then, when a man eventually deigned to answer, he admitted that he was in PAYE, which is not only the wrong department, it’s even in a completely different city! I said I’d like to complain and he agreed that he’d like to know how to do that too.
The second time I phoned I got the same woman, computerised, and repeated the stuff about Class 2. This time it took 30 minutes to send me to the wrong department. This time I was in Juvenile and Unregistered Numbers. I told the man my problem, and he said, Well, I used to work in Class 2, so maybe I can help. When I told him my problem, he seemed to have trouble believing me, so insisted on looking up the web pages on his own computer. I heard what he said, to himself. He said, ‘Good Grief’. He seemed to disbelieve what he was seeing too. Still, I told him there was more: try the next page, I said, and he gasped again. Then he tried filling in the form and got as far as I did.
Having failed to solve my problem, he sent me to the Online Help Desk, which I really didn’t want. Still, they had the answer. Tick the ‘No’ box, they said. But the answer is ‘Yes’, I told them. We know that, they agreed, but you have to say No if you want the proper form. It will arrive in 3 to 7 days. That’s feels just about as long a time as I’ve been hanging on this phone, I told them. We have our doubts about the Voice Recognition. It doesn’t work, I told them. Lots of people have said that, they said. We’d like to know how to complain too.
Look out, Salford, there’s a new kid on the block.
And, look, I’m going to have to be fast, before that block gets demolished to make way for the trendy apartments of New Salford (or perhaps the HS2 train set, every kid’s dream, soon coming to a siding near you).
An invitation to participate in a life changing opportunity. What does it take to build Salford as the eco-city of the future? Join us and help design a future where an open economy is based on gift, sharing, and fair exchange. Hear the challenges and opportunities from experts, discuss with friends and colleagues, then try your hand at designing the future. Based on events in 2013 held in Vancouver, Canada, Living the New Economy is a collaboration to encourage thriving, sharing and re-envisioning in order to create a more resilient and prosperous region. It combines commmunity currencies, dynamic governance and permaculture design with an aim to re-localise and re-energise the local economy. Check out the programme by following the link to the website. There are three sessions on each of the two days. You can choose to attend either one session, or the whole weekend, by purchasing the appropriate ticket. You can even choose to pay by gift! PLUS! To gain admission you must have a valid ticket. However we will exchange the net £’s you paid for a ticket for local currency. You can then choose to spend this currency during the event, including exchanging back for cash at the end!! –
Why, I can’t think of a better way to spend the first weekend in June, (or even the second weekend, which this is). Paying? Not paying? It’s all the same in the New Economy. Who needs money –