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.