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Best of Blogs Round-Up: March 1, 2006

Non-disclaimer: We're liberal to the core, but we include in this daily blog review the political, the social, the cultural and the undefinable from the left, the right, the in-between from all over the globe. And we're suckers for good writing regardless of ideology. Clicking the link will take you to the original post.


Featured Blog I: Slave Sector
Customer Service Casualty

You know, I used to think of myself as a pretty tolerant sort of guy. Multicultural, multi-denominational, and pretty accepting of most people in my personal and working lives. When I started out as a fresh customer service type person, exactly three years ago last friday, I had respect. Not just for myself, but for the people I was required to serve, my colleagues, and my bosses. It wasn't really the most ideal 'straight-out-of-school' job - but it paid ridiculously well, was doing something I liked, and that didn't involve a lot of use of the old mental capacity. Since I started work in that industry, I've seen the good, the bad, and the downright ugly faces that make up the general public - personified. Because of this exposure my perceptions and attitudes have changed, and it's not all positive.

Lately I've found that I'm becoming increasingly 'short' with people who piss me off. I have no patience for the slow, no initiative to help those who look confused and a generally sub-par work ethic arising from a general feeling of being 'fed up' with other peoples' shit. I just can't be fucked anymore. Even the smallest incursions into my space or acts of stupidity and neglect set me off, and if you come to be dealt with by me, don't expect to leave without a lecture about what you did wrong. In no minced words, I've become a prick.

I used to swear that i'd never stereotype, demean or insult anyone, regardless of their intelligence. The ideal that I would aspire to was to treat everyone with respect, understanding and compassion regardless of how stupid they might be. It was a naiive thing to think at 17 - because over the last three years what hope I had for humanity not being totally useless to each other has gone down the toilet. It's hard to reconcile such compassionate ideals about humanity, when there are demonstrations of this stupidity and complacency on a daily basis.

But what is it that really gets me irked up to be a cunt in the first place? The simplest thing is when people tap on the service counter to get my attention. It's a stainless steel one - and I'm not always at it because of the nature of my job. I have to wonder if we've become so impersonal that we must resort to tapping at each other to get attention? Whatever happened to a simple "Excuse me" or "Hello? Is anyone there!"? The tapping is bad when I'm not immediately to hand - but it's even worse when I'm under the counter, or behind it facing away from the customer. I mean, for fucks'. I'm right there, you can see that I'm busy, and you still need to tap? Arse. I used to turn, acknowledge, inform them that I'd be "with them in a moment" and finish what I was doing - now I'm just straight up and abrupt.

Of course, many of the tap-routine 'customers' I find myself serving are pram-pushing, welfare-living teenage mums and their intoxicated, tattooed, Wu-Tang wearing De-Factos (it's the western suburbs for those playing along at home) so I know not to expect prim and proper conduct from them. However, it's surprising to note that the impolite tap is a universal attention-getter and not confined to the social underclass or a specific demographic. Every tap that reverberates through the shop as I do work in the other room is like a lucky dip - will it be a pissed bogan or a suit-clad business type with a power complex this time? Should I tell them off or brood quietly as I serve them? It's almost a typical example of that old cliche, the "me" society - I want service now so I will bang repeatedly at this counter because Idon't want to call you using my voice or using polite manners. For once, I agree with our PM - there is a distinct lack of manners and respect in our society. Back in my day, you treated adults with a modicum of respect at the very least, and carried yourself in a certain way that was polite no matter who you were dealing with, be they friend or foe. As for conduct towards your fellow humans, it was similarly polite in all circumstances. I'm probably quite guilty of not following these conventions of late; but then again, so are many of my customers.

The other thread in my daily routine is the fact that I work for a company that suffers frequent bouts of abuse in the media. We normally cop a bashing in the letters page of the Mx, and many people can't seem to separate out the fact that while I might be employed by that company, and wear its logo on my uniform - I'm not personally responsible for every time they've been let down or every problem they have with our product. Yet, they often make it personal, because that little logo represents everything that they hate. When my personal safety is threatened over something so minor, I have yet more motivation to be contemptuous of the people I serve.

Being frustrated with stupid people is a curse, especially when you work in customer service. I know I should be more of a professional, I know I shouldn't take it as personally as I have been - but lately for some reason, it's just been getting under my skin. I know that my conduct flowing from such an assertion is a problem. It's a totally irrational way to behave, and I don't know what has caused it. I suspect simply being bombarded with stupidity and contempt, day in and day out has finally gotten to me. I can't rise above it to be a 'professional' anymore because I've stopped caring in the same way that I used to. I'm sick of explaining the same things over and over again. I'm sick of dealing with people who will come up to me and feign a lack of English skill, only to walk off and speak it fluently. Or the countless people who try to scam my employer in the countless ways that they are familiar with.

I'd like to change scenery and work somewhere else for the company, maybe even take a short break to ponder just how much of my personality I've sacrificed for my job - and just how much of a cunt I've become.


Featured Blogger II: Eleventh Circle of Hell
About Those Comment Sections on Blogs

[The English, the self-consciously choppy spelling, the syntax are all evocative of an X-Games typist on a snowboard, but the post has purpose and originality, exposing the increasingly meandering imbecility of comment sections on blogs.]

CHENNAI, India--As with all good things, there are quite a few evils lurking in this blogosphere. Ofcourse my dearest word verification tops the list! I am no blog analyst, but recently, I have been noticing this trend in blogs of different types. Needless to say, it is only appearing in high-popularity blogs, so has nothing to do with mine, but still its kinda unnerving to find the sort of "craze". It really doesnt mean anything if u r the first to comment or the tenth. Comment is meant to be more of a viewpoint, but its turning out to be a rat race for "signing attendance". Maybe Blog as a school of thot is being misinterpreted! And in the near future, maybe we can see proxies operating in this area! Quality of posts might roughly remain the same, but the frequency of posts have reduced, while the comments have increased. Bloggers have been stereotyped, and they feel indebted to their readers to follow the treaded path. Blogs are also tending to follow the law of averages, any stupid comment will attract roughly the same number of comments as the most brilliant post, as the readers are themselves indebted to "sign in" to anything the blogger says.

Another case of indebtation comes when there is a comment from the unknown person. Two events are triggered. The blogger must thank the new visitor, and invariably visits and leaves a comment to the same effect on the visitor's blog. Comments like the title and anonymous hate comments have become more frequent in blogs. Also, a lot of bloggers tend to moan about not finding anything to blog about. If you dont think of writing anything, dont! They feel forced by readers, decreasing blog hits, their inertia of momentum or whatever crap to keep writing.. and writing.. and writing more... and writing less about themselves, less about their feelings, less about the things that bother them, less about what they care about...

Truths and feelings are spiced up to add more entertainment value. "Not me" I hear u screaming. Do you post and forget about it or do you read through/ edit your post before or after submitting? Do you write what comes to your mind or do u think "This is worth blogging", "I shud blog this tonight"?. Will you dare to disable the comments for ur blog for a month and still continue to blog with the same frequency? You can argue about a symbiotic relationship, but has the "core" of what a blog is missed along the way? If u read the first ten posts of a blog and the last ten, you would know what Im whining about. Blog courtesy, blog etiquette, blog values, what next? Maybe Im not following blog ethics in the content of this post! And my dear spammers have also reduced their indulgence, decreasing the entertainment value associated with a blog! Somehow I find the "fun" element of blogs decreasing and ""compulsive" factor increasing. One blogger stated that the page hits continued over 50 a day when he had not posted for over a month. Another said he blogs for improving his english skills. Another said he loves to make people laugh while another said its to improve the networking opportunities. Another said Im not able to keep people interested, so im quitting. I know there might be a lot of defences for these, and are usually portrayed as advantages of blogs, but is it a good thing or a bad thing?

And I feel everyone of u shud do something to make me more satisfied.

Im sure u r thinkin "there is nothing wrong with my blog", "whats wrong with my blog", "how to make it more interesting for this guy"... Indebtation it is....

Blogs are supposed to be ur thots expressed in ur way. Lets just keep it at that!

Quoting the god of services, "Do no evil"! Will you? Wont you? Its upto you!

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