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Author, prepper, father
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have to deal with ATT today. After 5 different people I still haven't resolved the issue with my bill. I am reminded of the old Destroyer series of books when a martial arts master of Sinaju tells a contestant in a martial arms contest to just push the other guys left shoulder and it ends up with the other guy in a broken heap even though he was the superior technician as far as martial arts. The more complex something is the easier it is to stop-up the drain (as Scottie once said) The push on the shoulder worked because the other contestant was so involved in technique that he forgot protection. Having to talk to 5 different people to get something fixed (I have had to call twice before and each time I was assured it was fixed) shows an extreme level of over division of tasks.

In database design this would be Boyce-Codd 5th normal form, essentially a great design tool, but little practical application. Imagine in this complex arrangement of groups, sub-groups, departments, etc what would happen if the communications suddenly stopped and the computers didn't communicate anymore or even work? What if mother-nature (or man) pushed on ATTs shoulder? It would collapse into a quivering mass. Most of our urban infrastructure is like this.

In the effort to avoid taking responsibility and thus blame, the multitude of companies and government entities are rendering themself incapable of action. All it will take is one small trigger event and it will all unravel.

Sorry for the rant...been on hold now and passed from one myrmidon to another for over 45 minutes now...
 

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Author, prepper, father
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After an hour, they tell me to check back on Monday and it might be fixed...:mad:
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I have yet to go a month without having to contact one utility or another about a mistake. It wasn't as bad before everything went computerized.

I've always believed in rugged simplicity. It's a proven concept.
 

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I've had problems with them also. My last name sounds Latin but it is not. I'm Irish and French but I have received bills from written completely in Spanish. I called them and told them this was America and English was the language used here in case they weren't familiar with that. They told me to just go ahead and pay the bill and it would be in English next month--that didn't go over well with me. I refused to pay them anything until I got a bill I could read. They weren't happy with me but I did eventually receive a bill in English!
 

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I have yet to go a month without having to contact one utility or another about a mistake. It wasn't as bad before everything went computerized.

I've always believed in rugged simplicity. It's a proven concept.
I have to agree with you. We used have these beautifully simple systems at work. It didn't matter if the GUI went down, we still had this lovely DOS system that worked just fine. The problem was that when the GUI went down the users were too stupid to pull anything up in the DOS system. All they really had to do was ask for information and enter it, but apparently that was too much to ask. Now, whenever the GUI goes down we have no recourse and our customers have to wait for whatever it is they need. Too bad people don't know how to think outside the box any more.
 

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Renaissance Man
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7,503 Posts
I have to agree with you. We used have these beautifully simple systems at work. It didn't matter if the GUI went down, we still had this lovely DOS system that worked just fine. The problem was that when the GUI went down the users were too stupid to pull anything up in the DOS system. All they really had to do was ask for information and enter it, but apparently that was too much to ask. Now, whenever the GUI goes down we have no recourse and our customers have to wait for whatever it is they need. Too bad people don't know how to think outside the box any more.
I used to manage a retail store. Everything was computerized with a POS (point of sale, or piece of @%$# when it's not working) The power went out and a customer wanted to buy something. One of the hourly employees told him he couldn't buy it because the computer was out. I heard this and informed the employee that we could still make the sale. Just write it all down manually, and we could put it in the computer when the power came back up. The employee was clearly confused. "But how will I know how much it costs, or how much the tax is?"

Absolutely useless when everything isn't laid out for them in a predictable and safe format.

I went over and got the shelf tag with the price, and showed him how to use the battery powered calculator to calculate the tax based on our local tax rate, which he also didn't know. I could have done it by hand, but I was afraid I would blow his mind.

More recently, I was in a store as a customer and the employee ringing me up couldn't get my credit card to work by swiping the strip. She told me I needed another way to pay. I told her I had none, and she replied that I couldn't buy it. I asked if she could enter the numbers by hand, and she said "No, you have to swipe the card". I told her how to do it (all you have to do is use the keypad to enter the numbers on the card, and then follow the onscreen menu) but she refused. I called a manager and she came over and rang it up.

My wife came across a young girl in a mall parking lot last year standing by her car crying into her phone. She was concerned, and as a mother, wanted to help. She asked what was wrong and the girl said her car was locked and wouldn't open. She showed my wife her keyless remote and demonstrated how pressing the unlock button didn't do anything. My wife asked if the key hanging from the remote fit the car, and the girl said "yes, but it's for starting it". My wife showed her how to open the door with the key. She said the girl acted like she had just pulled a rabbit out of her ear, but was very thankful.

These people will not last long in any bad situation unless the exits are clearly marked and there is someone with a sash or a badge telling them which way to go when confronted with a choice.

Az
 
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