Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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    Help With Help

    By on February 12, 2014 in See It Here, The Way I See It, Writing

    As a phone call with my health insurance provider was coming to an end and they had told me I was not covered for a a medical device I needed, I was asked the following question:

    “Is there anything else I can assist you with today?”

    This comes from the Department of Not Listening To What has Just Happened (also called DNLWJH). The clowns who make a living as “Customer Service Technicians” think the customer wants to come away with a happy feeling after dealing with their company, you know, like suddenly wanting to skip while walking down Michigan Avenue in Chicago or walking into the Carnegie Deli in New York City.

    I always feel sorry for these people who have to ask that half-ass question but then, I start to wonder if they have any idea about (1) the question being asked and (2) why anyone who has just been told “no” would want to keep this verbal shutout going?

    My answer is always the same: “No thank you, I do appreciate your assistance in helping me with this request and I look forward to our next conversation.” There is a brief pause and then I’m told “We’re always here to make your life better.”

    Jesus Christ.

    A few minutes later, I get an email asking me to take a survey “about your experience” which I am always glad to complete with “0” as my rating for each of 137 questions that are asked after that 5-minte phone call.

    We have all of this incredible technology for communication in front of us but we keep forgetting how to listen. The toys are fun but that’s not enough for a conversation.

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