The Worst Thing Ever: Automated Assistants

Technology is great, isn’t it? We are of the luckiest people to have ever existed simply by living in this era. Thanks to technology life expectancies are longer than ever, being in contact with loved ones has never been easier and we are almost always within arms’ reach of any entertainment that tickles our fancy? Want to check your credit score while watching foot-fetish porn? Done. Want to find out what pyramid scheme that girl you took a few classes with in college is involved with now without leaving the house? Done. Need to find out how to make a pipebomb or a zucchini casserole? Done.

What I am trying to say here is that I think technology is great and has enriched the human experience in many meaningful ways. Although it is indisputable that ethical, social and physical consequences exist from technology, for the most part, I see technology use as a positive tool for humanity. I’m not some kind of pearl-clutching fear-mongered Boomer who thinks that Instagram tits will be the literal downfall of humanity. Human beings have always been ornery, selfish, horny, feral, depraved and psychopathic, the only difference is it is far more visible now than it has ever been in history due to the very same technology.

The price that we pay for the amenities that we have include the hiccups that developers undergo creating them. One of these hiccups that push me to the brink of psychopathy is such a First Word problem that even a Chainsmokers fan would shake their head at me but it makes me see red regardless – and that hiccup is automated assistants on telephone lines.

Picture this – your car breaks down in the middle of a high traffic area of a city. Your anxiety is through the roof, seemingly hundreds of people are flipping you off every second and you are the focal and sole reason for a massive traffic jam. You need to get the Hell out of there like yesterday. You pull out your phone and call AAA (or CAA if you are a Canuck, like me) to get a hold of a tow truck to pull you out of there. Instead of contacting an operator you are put on the phone of an automated dickhead that speaks and mishears you as if you have all of the time in the world. In order to talk to a person, you have to painstakingly jump through the hoops of reciting your birthdate, account information, and usually a 16 digit number. It takes forever.

But, hey, maybe that’s all worth it if the operator for AAA, Apple, the bank, etc. has all of that information and can get straight to helping you out. That’s a cute thought but of course, they ask you for the same fucking information anyway, so what’s the point? It’s another way that corporations make the average person jump through hoops and a huge drain on the one existence that we call life. Automated assistants are the worst thing ever.

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A schemer and a dreamer. I'm a #Métis author located in Saskatchewan who writes short stories, poetry, book reviews, and jokes.

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