MACMULL'S MUSINGS

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ranting, Raving & More Wraslin'

(Would this not be an awesome cake?)



Tonight, I begin with a rant and rave ...

While I don't think I'm an old man by any means, I'm old enough to remember a time that when large institutions were telephoned a caller was greeted with a live operator.
Of course, this kind of customer service is now resigned to the halcyon days of my youth, as automated phone services outfitted with bullet proof "zero out" defenses are standard throughout most service-based industries.

In short, few things are as aggravating as having to navigate these systems and provide the litany of information that is required. Social Security Numbers (Social Insurance Numbers, for my Canadian friends), account numbers, dates of birth and occasionally other details, such as telephone passwords, are now most often requested for even the most rudimentary of inquiries. My new favorite feature which is increasingly utilized by large corporations with sophisticated call centres is the "you may be on hold for a while, but feel free to leave us a message and we'll call you back!" This one I don't really understand at all. After all, I'm calling you right now because I want help or answers now, not later.

I suppose what I find so troublesome about these developments is that as North America moves ever increasingly away from a manufacturing-based economy, the very essence of "service" (at least as I understand the term) has given way to mechanization, which is something very different, and at in my opinion, far removed from the customer service orientation that has always been the traditional hallmark of service based industries. Am I alone in feeling this way?

In other news, and so obviously related to my last post regarding wrastlin', it seems that B level Superstar Diamond Dallas Page ("DDP") is suing Jay-Z and his Roc-A-Wear clothing line over the latter's use of a diamond shaped hand gesture. Details here. The whole thing is actually a very interesting trademark matter, and addresses at its core the use of non-traditional marks and the enforcement of one's rights thereto. Though without reading the Complaint, I'm inclined to agree with the analysis offered here (albeit for slightly different reasons than those put forth by the author), it is entertaining , and therefore, is my "Recommended Wrastlin' Reading for the Day"(TM).

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