You receive a “Support” email from a major company where they end with “don’t reply to this email, it’s not monitored and you won’t get a reply”. Followed by “Please go back to the website support area, where you will be led through multiple hoops to try and fend off any possible chance of human contact with you. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority. We treat you like toxic waste. ISO9000 Certified.”

You find the magic link which offers you a web form to “send mail” in not more than your own words. You realise the chance of obtaining a support email address of an actual human are zero, so you fall upon this oasis of hope like a released prisoner with an all-day pass to the Moist Lips & Loamy Thighs Cathouse.

You carefully write down your issue. You are sent an automatic response which points you back to the “frequently asked but maddeningly inadequately answered” section of the website. You are advised that responses to this email are not monitored. You start having strangely empathic thoughts regarding your hamster on it’s wheel. You try the form again. It offers you the come-on to try their support hotline. You actually dial.

You enjoy some popular classical hits
You delight in some inoffensive Jazz
You ponder your lifetime toilet paper expenditure
You start to doodle
You have doodled a picture of the solar-system, or at least, a solar system
You rotate the paper
You mentally calculate the orbital period of the doodles minor moons

From the void Denise announces her presence

Denise asks if she can help you today. You resist pointing out that she is cutting it quite fine, as although you dialled in the morning, tomorrow is now encroaching rapidly. You describe your problem. She restates a problem that contains some of the very same nouns. You wonder if there is intelligent life elsewhere, and if so, do they have support centres. You ponder inter-galactic dialing costs, versus the opportunity-cost of your life-force ebbing away. You thank Denise.

She signs off with “Please contact me again if I can be of any more assistance“.

You sit. You watch your hamster. You wonder.


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