Planned obsolescence

There was a break-in recently at a Dutch Art Museum. Thieves got away with US$125 million in art. There are, apparently, no leads. Where was security? The museum doesn’t have security guards; they rely on ‘electronic’ methods.

When asked, the museum’s director said – and I quote  – “We have state-of-the-art security”.


So a couple of blokes turn up. They gain unfettered access to a museum containing paintings by Picasso, Monet and Matisse; spend 35 minutes browsing for the best pieces – steal them – and wandered off into the night. Yep, state-of-the-art all right.

It raises an intriguing point. Is the time approaching when humans become obsolete? Anyone who has ever tried to telephone and talk to a human being at a Bank will tell you; it’s virtually impossible.

“To stay on hold for 2 hours, then get cut off: press 1”.

“To hear other options, none of which are what you want: press 2”.

“To talk to a representative, just hang up now. Seriously, he’s never coming to the phone”.

And if I hear one more time, while on an eternal hold loop, the recorded message: “Your call is important to us” I will puke.

So what do you think happened to all these people who use to work at the Bank/Utility/Phone companies? The population of the Earth keeps getting bigger, but corporations use fewer and fewer staff… Maybe there’s an island somewhere, full of surplus phone answerers.

I am all for making life easier, but clearly, in the drive to reduce outgoings to zero, corporations and governments seem to have forgotten that humans actually like other humans to interact with. Sure, talking to a machine has its advantages, anyone who has had to endure their boss demanding the laws of physics be cast aside: “it has to be done yesterday!” Might instead, quite like to have a more reasonable conversation with the coffee machine. But on the whole, it’s much more pleasant to talk to a person.

Now excuse me, I have to go and hang some paintings…

About Tim

I'm an expat dad, living in Hong Kong. Being a parent, especially a dad, is simply fraught with danger. Mums seem to have this built-in radar for trouble and danger - I do not. - all about my life, being dad. http://achipofftheoldblog - all about the funny and strange things I see. View all posts by Tim

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