The Daily Dump

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Wednesday, August 16

Today’s Awkward Moment, Sponsored by HP

I don’t know who came up with the concept of online customer service chats, but I’d like to shake his hand. Really hard. And then make him punch himself in his face repeatedly with his own hand while saying, “Why are you punching yourself? Stop punching yourself. Why would you do that? It makes no sense to punch yourself.”

After waiting for 10 minutes on hold with HP this morning, I decided to try their “chatting” service. Immediately upon the little messenger window opening, two things didn’t make sense:

1. If this person is available to instant message with me, why can’t they pick up the phone and talk to me? They are over there, in their office, sitting in front of a computer typing to me, and I’m sitting here in my office, in front of my computer, typing to them. I am looking at my phone. They are looking at theirs. Yet we sit here and type. It absolutely defeats the purpose of instant messaging which is to either talk to a friend at work when you can’t use the phone, or get a girl to do something nasty, because while she may not say it, she’ll definitely type it; and

2. “Chatting” with a service technician about your computer is about as comfortable as going on webcam with your mother. I honestly can’t explain why, but you just can’t sound normal while doing this. I mean, at least in an email, sounding formal just comes off as professional. But when “chatting,” professional comes off more like douchbag. At the same time though, you’re not going to be all casual and sarcastic and like, “haha, lmfao at system BIOS error L” with some guy you don’t even know. So what you end up with is some sort of in between language where you don’t use contractions but still try to be cool by saying “hey” instead of “hello” and not capitalizing proper nouns, and the end result is you sounding like a tool. Not a jerk or a asshole – just a toolish person who says things like, “That was a terrific play!” when watching baseball games.

Still though, by the end of our ten minute “chat,” I really feel like Santino and I had worked up a good rapport with one another, to the point where when it came time to end our chat I was half expecting him to say, “add me to ur buddy list, k?” But he didn’t. Instead we simply exchanged our sad, lonesome, kind-of-casual goodbyes.

26 Comments:

FYI...some of us girls say nasty things too. Just thought you should know.

By Blogger Trix, at 3:41 PM  

Even your sign-off was awkward and kinda sad. Couldn't you have streamed some "We can never be together but I'll always think of you fondly" music to leave him with?

By Anonymous dave, at 3:47 PM  

What makes that exchange even more awkward is the fact that he called you by your first name, and "Santino" is probably his last (or at least I hope).

Oh, and I.M. sex can be HOT (there I said it).

By Blogger Cherry Ride, at 3:48 PM  

Santino can totally be a first name. He clearly wanted you so I'd guess its his first name. I wonder if its too late for you to sign back into the chat and see if you can find him. Just keep signing in and out until he answers your call.

By Blogger Carrie Broadshoulders, at 4:05 PM  

First of all, what type of sex can't be HOT? Of course, this question does excludes certain demographic sex (ie old people sex), although I'm sure within those demographics said sex could be hot. I think cherry ride just wants us to be jealous of his i.m. sex experience.

Second, the saddest part of your goodbye has to be Santino's eager "Have a nice time!" With the exclamation mark. It makes me sad for the both of you, to lose each other so early in the relationship.

By Blogger Rebecca, at 4:06 PM  

Breaking my own rule of making two comments from a single post, I must say to Rebecca and everyone else: There is not a single thing in my life to be jealous of, especially in the sex department.

By Blogger Cherry Ride, at 4:18 PM  

What's with the elipses? Was he really wishing he could call you "sweetie" or something, but he had to call you by your real name, and was just hoping that the allusive nature of the elipses would express his true emotion for you at the end of your chat?

And the whole "Daniel" and "Santino" thing was giving me flashbacks to last season's Project Runway. Well done, man.

(Wait...is that how you spell "elipses?" Shit, people will know what I mean either way, right? When did I take to having inner dialogues with myself within the comments section of another person's blog? This is definitely new and not welcomed...)

By Blogger Faith, at 4:38 PM  

Oh I'm totally with you on IM customer service. It's such a weird dynamic. The best is when they start using emoticons. It's the same feeling I get when a partner at my firm is sending me a ":-)".

By Blogger TCho, at 4:45 PM  

I think most of them are fake. I have tested a couple, i.e. Comcast cable. It is a program that spits out predetermined responses to the most common questions. It is pretty good, but it breaks down when you push it. Just barely better than 1966's ELIZA. I asked the 'person' if they were a human, and they responded "yeah, of course." So I said, "Prove it. Say Fark." They responded, "I'm sorry I wasn't able to assist. Is there anything else I can do for you?"

Lies, I tells ya! Try it.

By Blogger kyle, at 5:24 PM  

Good to see Santino from Project Runway found a steady job.

By Blogger Big Daddy, at 6:08 PM  

I agree with Kyle... almost all of them use computer generated responses- I have a friend who works at Microsoft and told me of a program he was debugging that was specifically for these "chats."

By Anonymous Kay, at 6:22 PM  

Doh, Big Daddy - you stole my comment! :) Bye...

By Blogger Shawn, at 8:01 PM  

I think these IM helpers should give customers a quick round of IM sex before you start chatting about computers. I'm usually much calmer after getting off. Cherry, what do you think? I'm trying to get you to post your 3rd comment . . .

By Blogger Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, at 10:23 PM  

Aw, poor Santino, he didn't win last season so he has to chat for HP for money these days. That's just sad.

I'm with faith on the what's with the ellipsis thing. "Bye...(hot-sounding man I hate to say goodbye to, oh please read into this ellipsis that i really want you and at least give me your phone number) Daniel."

By Blogger sadielady, at 11:22 PM  

"And then make him punch himself in his face repeatedly with his own hand while saying, “Why are you punching yourself? Stop punching yourself. Why would you do that? It makes no sense to punch yourself.”


My older brother did this to me for years when we growing up. Needless to say, I disagree with his theory that "That sh1t gets funnier every time".

By Blogger HomeImprovementNinja, at 9:03 AM  

That "hit-yourself-in-the-face" thing does in fact get funnier every time... unless it's happening to you, in which case it's probably not so funny. Kinda like getting beaned in the balls.

Santino had a 'tude, man. Who the in world refers to his mother -- on a tv show -- as "the shit"?

By Blogger Dennis!, at 10:24 AM  

yOU KNOW WHAT ! I THOUGHT I WAS ALONE ON THESE THOUGHTS.. I HAVE A SIMILAR PROBLEM WITH MY UNIVERSITY. I REALLY HATE IT BUT ITS THE CHEAPEST EDUCATION IN TOWN ...ANYWAYS YOU CAN NEVERRRR EVVVERR GET AN APPOINTMENT WITH AN ADVISOR TO YOUR MAJOR - SO THEY CREATED A LAZY WAY TO MEET WIT STUDENTS. INSTEAD OF SEEING THEM ONE BY ONE, THEY CHAT WITH YOU ONE BY ONE. AND ITS REALLY THE ONLY WAY TO EVEN GET TO TALK TO ONE. WHEN I CALL TO ASK TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT . THEY REFER ME TO THE WEBSITE AND TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT - BUT ONLY RRRRIIIIGGHHHTTT AFTER MIDNIGHT. BECAUSE IF YOU TRY TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT ANY OTHER TIME DURING THE DAY THERE WONT BE ANY SLOTS. OH BY THE WAY, THERE ARE NEVER ANY APPOINTMENTS AFTER MIDNIGHT EITHER. WHICH LEAVES US TO THE LAST RESORT WHICH I MIGHT ADD I PAY THOUSANDS TO SEE PROPER PEOPLE. INSTEAD I GET A NAME "CARMEN". THIS "CARMEN" ASKS ME WHT I WANT AND WHAT I NEED, AND I TELL HER. THEN "SHE" TAKES 10 MINS TO RESPOND TO EACH QUESTION..AND THEN ANSWERS THEM....I WOULDNT BE SURPISED THAT MALAYSIAN PEOPLE ARE ANSWERING ME BACK FOR MY UNIVERSITY INFORMATION...AINT THAAAAT SOME SHIT..... OH WELL...ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELLL....KIKIMIA

By Blogger SAILOR MOON, at 11:04 AM  

Take the caps off, kiki. People will still read your stuff.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:45 AM  

That would be a useless feature for me, since I'd be like "the thing that I type on isn't working. And the screeny-dealie looks funny." At least a human can help talk me through my lack of computer knowledge and general ineptitude.

I, too, loved the ellipses-- "Bye... lovemonkey." "Bye... snugglebear." I'm sorry he didn't want to be buddies, but I think it's better off this way...

By Blogger mysterygirl!, at 12:44 PM  

Good call! That sounds so awkward. Though, the only benefit I see to the chat is that you have what they said in writing. Not necessarily that you would need to prove in a court of law that Santino really did tell you to reformat your hard drive. But more because most of the customer service people in the tech industry have super-thick Indian accents and I can't understand what the heck they're saying. And I'd much rather type a few smiley faces to someone across the globe than have to say, "What? Huh? You want me to club a baby hamster?"... which clearly has nothing to do with fixing my computer and everything to do with language barriers.

By Blogger undercover celebrity, at 12:49 PM  

"have a nice time"? Did you tell him where you were going on vacation or something? Did you invite him along? You didn't, did you? Tsk tsk tsk. Poor Santino. That's probably why he used the ellipses. He's sad. He's probably staring out into the internet looking for your name to pop back up in the IM window...and you to come back into his life.

By Blogger mance01, at 12:54 PM  

hahahah i had an experience of customer services through IMing and it was strangely wonderful because i had everything in writing i saved it for future use!

By Blogger in2deep, at 2:29 PM  

that sounds totally terrible...plus it is so much easier and faster just to say your problem than to have to describe it by typing it out...oh well.

By Blogger Jessica, at 4:10 PM  

[...]resource[...]

By Blogger laptop battery, at 3:54 AM  

I think that the idea of online customer service chats is so good because we can get the most perfect support, I think it could be changed a little bit with hot chats too, ok well not only with hot chats but also with other alternatives.

By Anonymous pharmacy, at 4:50 PM  

There are some companies or if not all of them who uses customer service agents from central America, people that dont speak or understand well English, it can be very annoying trying to explain something to a person who doesn't understand you.

By Anonymous xlpharmacy, at 6:02 PM  

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