Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In Which I See A Trend

I've noticed an annoying trend recently. It seems to me that there are a lot of people out there who put forward the least amount of effort required for a given task. If there is a shortcut available, or if they can get by with not doing all that they should be doing, they'll take it and they'll do it (or not do it, as it were). Perhaps I notice this more than the next guy because of the line of work that I'm in, but I can't be the only one who gets annoyed by this.

The kind of people I'm referring to are the ones who only offer their first name when a customer service agent over the phone asks what your name is. As if we're supposed to magically know what your last name is. Unless you are a celebrity or one of those assholes on Jersey Shore, if someone in a customer service position asks for your name, odds are they need to hear both your first and last name. Same goes with the address. In my experience calling customer service for various needs, never has just the number and street name been sufficient.

After taking a dozen calls this week where the people I spoke to acted put out by my asking what their last name was and for their complete address, I started to get a bit steamed. Then I asked myself this: If these people think half-assing their way through basic questions is acceptable, what would their reaction be to people in other professions who do their jobs half-assed?

We would be appalled if we heard of a surgeon who used clothespins and a prayer to close up an incision. We'd send back our food and want to verbally berate the chef if we got raw food served that only looked cooked on the outside. We'd sue an airline for every penny they have if one of their pilots thought they were "close enough" to the runway and started their descent too soon. 

If this is becoming more and more acceptable, I'm going to start doing it, too. One day I'll stop putting deodorant under both arms, or start relying on breath mints instead of brushing my teeth. I'll start applying the brakes at the last moment. I'll leave my fly unzipped because I'm just too busy to be bothered to remember to zip it up. Fair is fair, right?

I don't know. Perhaps I'm being a bit cynical. I'm allowed to rant every once and a while, I suppose.

What's pissing you off this week? Feel free to get it off your chest.


Aaron said...

I get that a lot at the bank too. I'm not sure if I should chalk it up to stupidity or laziness. The big one that bothers me is when a guy drives up to the window, has two checks to deposit, passes in his deposit ticket and says, "Do you mind totaling that up?" Really? It's two freakin' numbers! It's good to know there are people out there behind the wheel of a car that lack the math skills of a first grader.

Cecelia Winesap said...

This post goes hand in hand with my beef with how they're teaching math in my state. Kids don't have to get the right answer. As long as they're close to the right answer, they get the problem correct.

That's right. "Close enough is good enough."

I'm not even close to kidding.

Banana Oil said...

The expression "Good enough for government work" pisses me off. Whatever we do, we should do well; and give an honest day's work. Maybe that's bedrock corny North Dakotan values, or maybe I'm just gung-ho.

THat's another: you're getting a twofer. Why in the hell should being gung-ho a bad thing?

Duckbutt said...

I'm tired of the nastiness and unkindness that passes for politics and humor so often nowadays. I've about given up on late-night t.v.

The Bear Monk said...

I'm tired of thinking of me as a "computer person". I do write code for a living, but that DOES NOT mean I can fix your computer when its acting slow and I definitely don't know what the hell is wrong with your email. Yes when my OS screws up I call the help desk too.

Jennifer said...

I know exactly what you mean. I mean, I'm completely guilty of it, but only with certain things...

When it comes to something I've proclaimed I'm passionate about, or something I'm getting paid for, I don't waste my time or anyone else's by slacking off or not doing all that I can...

yellowsnapper said...

Our roof has developed a leak, 5 visits and no one can figure out why.

Our Central Air broke yesterday, today it is 96 degrees.

I have been trying for almost 2 years to get pregnant, sorry TMI.

So that is the short list of the angries. But this weekend I plan to visit a very pregnant friend who moved 3 states away when she got married. So I think everything is going to be alright. I can't wait to see her!

Didactic Pirate said...

These people you're talking about? These half-assers?

They're filling my classrooms this Fall.

Screaming Banshee said...

i've been surrounded by half-assers for most of my career. now i'm involved w a group of people who take what they do WAAAAY to seriously.
[it's a banner ad, that chances are no one will see let alone "click -thru" - nice in theory, but it's an ad - they're just throwing $$ at it cuz they're s'posed to. you're not picasso, get over yourself.]

Writer Ninja said...

Yet again (with the hooligan drivers in my area), I’ve had people honk behind me…when I am stopped at a red light.

If they happened to do that in some areas of the country where people “pack um,” their cars would have more holes in it than Swiss cheese.

JoAnn's Daughter said...

Well that...and my employee saying, I was just about to do that when I follow up on something I asked him to do a while ago. Um, no you weren't - WHY lie about that???

tony said...

the thing that pisses me off is people at work who are too busy watching what everyone else is doing and not concentrating on what their own job.

Chuck said...

People at work who seem to require a "War and Peace tome" of direction when they have done the job before and two sentences are all that are really required.

"Take the hardest task, find the laziest person, they will show you the easiest way to do it"

kristina said...

"Oh, nobody needs to test that before it goes to production - the change should be seemless..."

Yeah, right. Has a change that went in without testing ever been seemless?

Alizabeth said...

Uhm...could you just start asking for peoples first and last name? It's stupid to have to do that but it might make things easier. I used to work at a restaurant where I had to ask people if they wanted this or that. It would drive me insane when they would reply with, "yes". Nono. It a either OR question. I started putting a stronger emphasis on the or, and it helped. Sadly some people are just gonna be idiots. That's why I don't work with customers anymore. You maim a couple and people don't want to hire you anymore.

camerabanger said...

People are running very close to the boiling point everywhere (clue: read the 14 comments before mine!) We are not going to "simmer down" any time soon. We are not going back to the "good ol' days" when never was heard a discouraging word (or an a**hole behind you honking while the light is still red). The only things close to under our control is ourselves. So, smile. Everyone really loves you, they just don't have time to tell you right now!

Badass Geek said...

Aaron: Frightening, isn't it?

Cecelia Winesap: Holy crap, that's scary.

Banana Oil: In a world where instant isn't fast enough, I guess some people just don't want to put forth the effort.

Duckbutt: I'm with you on that one.

The Bear Monk: Gah. People are always asking me for computer help because I'm "good with computers".

Jennifer: Sure, we're all guilty of that from time to time. It's the people who make it a way of life that I'm frustrated by.

Yellowsnapper: Hope it rubs off on you.

Didactic Pirate: I'm sorry, dude.

Screaming Banshee: Gotta love it.

Writer Ninja: I dislike impatient drivers. We're all going to get there at some point or another.

JoAnn's Daughter: I was guilty of that as a kid, but that doesn't fly as an adult. Or at least it shouldn't.

Tony: Seriously.

Chuck: Good point.

Alizabeth: My point is that I shouldn't have to be that specific.

Camerabanger: Oh, I know it's not going to change. One can hope, though.

Anonymous said...

biggest half-ass here

I should be working but here I am reading your blog.



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