The new black

There’s a TV ad that’s bubbled from the heady heights of ITV down to the cess-pits of “Men and Motors” for the new e-bank: “first direct”. “new” because it’s been around for years and years. “e” because they realised the business advantage of ditching all of the expensive high-street staff in favour of a load of desperate call-centre monkeys long before the Internet was widespread enough to be a serious option. OK, that sounds harsh but there are some caveats:

  • The people who work in the call-centres are not necessarily stupid, in fact I would think that nowadays they are way up above the average IQ andprobably the cream of the market. The problem is their location and situation: you live in Newcastle, Plymouth or Belfast these days then you don’t have many choices. Consequently, you are competing against an increasingly educated workforce for the few shitty jobs that global companies are still forced to provide (computers still can’t cope with voice recognition – you’ll know when they can because the caring capitalists will cause a wave of mass global unemployment). Pity that there are areas of the world more poor than you because otherwise you may have some job security. Kiss goodbye to your jobs because India is currently where it’s at. At the moment anyway. Those uppity Indians will soon be as unreasonable as all of us and demand business-unfriendly, “inflexible” wages! Never mind, we haven’t even started on China properly yet. And you wait until North Korea starts to take the bait!
  • Being sandwiched between ads for wank-lines, low-quality ring-tones and tits doesn’t mean first-direct are desperate! It’s just good business!
  • Yeah – I was watching! But in my defence it’s because Jack Reagan and George Carter are my heroes….ok..I lose that one…
  • If you work in a call centre you are having a hard enough time with the day-to-day stuff so you really don’t need wankers like me calling you monkeys! So get angry! But not with me and all the other millions of people, including you probably, who hate talking to call centres, get angry with the fact that there’s enough money in the world for everyone to live in comfort. Not just survive, but live in comfort! So why do people starve ? Tricky one that…

Anyway, back to the ad: this gormless couple of McDonalds-dependent turds explain how they feel like being an fd customer is like being in a select club. Well, yes, very select I would say. Shot in black-and-white (we probably wouldn’t want to see them in colour) their words are displayed on the screen as they are spoken, probably to make the average Men and Motors viewer feel that he can read. But then you start to look at their surroundings. OK, a minimalistic room with bare floorboards: very cool. On the other hand there’s fuck all else there! Nothing but a radiator! They are sitting in a big empty room! Has it been repossessed by their “select club” ? Damn! The bastards even took the carpet!


Apologies for not writing to you. I don’t deserve any friends I know…but I’ve been in a bit of a fug of worky scaredness recently. Love!


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