Monday, April 12, 2010

Your Call Is Important To Us by Laura Penny

It's funny, but when I was a kid I always had this notion that there was something about the world that just didn't, oh I don't know, smell right. My friends and I felt like we were being fed lines about stuff that grownups would explain away with a casual, You'll Understand When You're Older.

Well, thanks, but no.

I have four decades behind me now and I am more confused than ever. Either my BS meter has blown a fuse or there is just too much BS out there to keep up. Sure, I've been able to navigate my small, busy, modern existence but I am left more and more feeling like a deer caught in the headlights when it comes to all the bullshit that passes for everyday information and service. Huh? What's that you say? My call is important to you? And all I have to do is just pick from the following twelve options? Um, okay. When these robotic phone-menus first came on the scene, what, twenty-five years ago? I couldn't believe my ears. I thought for sure they, and the businesses that used them, would never last. Boy, was I wrong. Nowadays, a call to, say, my cable company, is neither fast nor convenient. Even if I have just a quick question I am given a long and confusing 'list of options to choose from', none of which is exactly what I'm looking for. So, remind me again just how important my call is to your business?

But, forgive me, for I rant. And, really, I am not nearly as informed as author Laura Penny is when she has it out with all that and more in Your Call Is Important To Us - The Truth About Bullshit where she covers everything from advertising, to education, to insurance, to media, to politics, to . . . well it just never ends.

"Bafflegab is not written to explain. It is written to impress and confound, and it is by no means confined to the business world, although that is where it thrives. The government also cranks out documents that impress and confound with their sheer bulk and impenetrability. Curl up with your tax code, or the North American Free Trade Agreement. Marvel at its dogged reader-resistance, the clauses of legalese and the confusing constructions. Whether you read them or not, these bricks of bafflegab determine the quality of your life. The boring is where they keep the consequences." pg 11

Oh man. You'll laugh. You'll cringe. You'll cry. It's all just so painfully true.

2 comments:

Beth said...

I’ve certainly read enough legalese these past few years – “bafflegab” is the perfect word to describe it! Perhaps reading this book would help… ;)

trish said...

It's a good one isn't it?! I loved "dogged reader-resistance." How many times have I tried to read an insurance policy or owners manual that's left me feeling like I'm four years old. Huhwhu . . . ? *blink blink*

This book will make you feel like cheering. Finally someone gets it and isn't afraid to call the BS-ers on their BS.