Three things I’m always banging on about that I feel are now empirically correct:

  1. Trackback is a stupid idea and will backfire resulting in more spam for everyone
  2. TV is better now than ever before
  3. Since “streamlining”, the British postal service is now more shit than ever before and makes the US service look efficient and well designed

Item 1 above is self explanatory. Item 2 will totally bemuse the pretentious-middle-classes; they don’t watch TV so will never have seen BBC FOUR. But they lose: I’d love to be the sort of person who can say they honestly prefer the output of Radio 4 and BBC ‘FOUR’ to everything else…and amazingly, I genuinely do! Really! They’re superb! OK, they may well have dumbed down, and I wouldn’t know, but I really don’t think so.
Item 3, whilst being obvious to any current British citizen, may need expanding upon for overseas readers.
Ten years ago, Michele came to England and was shocked by how poor our expectations were with respect to public services. Understandable when you consider how service-centered US culture can be. However, one thing she couldn’t knock, because it was so impressive, was the postal service. At that time, the GPO was the best in the world. Super-cheap, super-efficient and super accurate. Nowadays, since the makeover, you are lucky if you receive 50% of your mail. It’s so sad to see. Today my dad received the second half of his birthday present: a DVD. It was supposed to arrive yesterday but the ‘110’ on the package, printed by a computer, in a very clear font, meant that the contractor-postie felt it really belonged to number 100…Luckily the people at 100 didn’t like 1950s French comedies and dropped it off to him.
The older I become, the more of an anarchist I become. The only way a service will not only become but remain efficient is if the people involved do it out of a sense of pride rather than a sense of duty. That won’t happen while you’ve got some useless tosser of a “team leader” breathing down your neck, because his/her manager is breathing down her neck, because…you get the idea.
Loyalty goes out of the window when your bosses start to treat you like shit. Therefore capitalism is doomed….but what will follow scares me. That too will fail, but not until a lot of blood is spilt. I don’t want that either.

Another thing that worries me is that in the past week I have encountered two, seperate, voice-recognition systems at the end of a phone-number. I always said that we would know for sure when a VR algorithm started working because the call centres would all close down. It seems that day is nearing. Bye Newcastle, Wales, Belfast, Bangalore. You’re about to be shafted. Not just yet – these systems are still way crap. But another five years and we may be there.

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