well there’s your problem—you didn’t instert the panle into the mainboday

It shouldn’t surprise anyone in this day that the entire world is connected.  That’s depressing as shit when you really think about it.  Whether we like it or not we’re all connected, and more so than ever before thanks to the internet, instant news, social media, all that.  Now we’re all connected. 

Its gotten more extreme with the explosion of Facebook and Twitter, but they didn’t start it.  As communication around the globe became easier and faster everyone’s problems became yours, no matter where they were.

see, everybody's on there..

It’s all butterfly effect now, what with the tweeting and the Facebook.  Just think of the Earth as Ashton Kutcher, and the third world is Amy Smart when she was all knifed up and whorey looking.

You remember those Christian Children’s Funds, now Child Fund International, commercials that used to ruin your cartoons or popped up when you were surfing for soft core porn at four in the morning?  What, you never did that? 

Nevermind, I’m sure you’ve seen them.  If not, think of those Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercials.  Almost as depressing, but instead of Miss Arms of an Angel I’m Gonna Ruin Your Whole Fuckin Day, you have that fat guy rambling about starving kids.

That’s like giving a fat homeless guy money for food.  You’re fat.  Don’t kill my buzz with some barely coherent story about needing a sandwich, clearly it isn’t much of an issue.  Besides, I’m drunk—I would love a sandwich too, and if comes down to me or you, I’m getting the sandwich.  Or more beer.

But now little Agapito in his shanty condo with the classy tattered tarp roof having to portion out bits of rice for himself is your problem.  You watch that commercial enough and it’s probably your fault.  Why are you just sitting there?  For just pennies a day you could feed little Agapito.  Pennies.  For the cost of a newspaper you could provide him with—wait, a newspaper?  Nobody buys newspapers anymore.

Plus, nobody cares about Agapito.

The good news is cheap labor.  That’s always been true of the third world, but back in the day it was just called colonialism.  Exploiting is exploiting, whether it’s the British controlling the opium trade, knockoff Nikes made in Indonesia, or Kathie Lee’s garment empire in Honduras—which she reportedly rules with song and an iron fist—that’s what the third world is there for.

But the role of taking advantage of the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to plug their noses because it’s a well known fact that everyone in the third world smells like either shit or tumeric, has to evolve eventually.  And so it has.  

The third world I’m loosely defining here as anywhere not the US and maybe the UK since they probably all smell like Guinness and Jameson and therefore don’t fit the criteria mentioned above.

And so we have outsourcing. 

The bane of modern existence.   Few activities remain that don’t involve calling Sanjay or Bayani.

Outsourcing: if they’re not making our shoes, they’re answering our phones.

Outsourcing is the reason no one wants to call a 1-800 number, because after fifteen minutes in the maze of automated menus you finally stumble upon a real live person.  I say stumble because you’ve just started shrieking incomprehensibly and button mashing like you’re drunkenly playing Mortal Kombat, and there is no way you could navigate that menu a second time. 

There will be a second time, don’t misunderstand me, because ten seconds after you hear that human’s voice you’ll be disconnected. 

And then spend the next three hours trying to find you way back through the automated maze, a task that will prove impossible because those damn little Muppets flipped over the stone tiles on the floor you marked with arrows in lipstick for you to find your way out of the labyrinth once you’ve saved your little brother from Jareth the Goblin King.

a typical day at the office in the Phillipines

But getting a super real live person is pretty pointless since they just learned English yesterday from watching a handful of infomercials and bootleg DVDs of Richard Simmons’ Sweatin to the Oldies. 

Their training program couldn’t afford the real deal, which as terrifying as it is, I assure you do exist, since this call center was relocated from Jersey to the friggin Phillipines and the difference in price between the bootleg (that they bought in Times Square after haggling that homeless dude down to $3) meant feeding the entire country for ten years. 

Of course, this ten year supply of food was actually four boxes of Grape-Nuts.

But it doesn’t matter how they learned English since they have to mumble while holding the phone a minimum of two feet from their face.

It isn’t just customer support centers that have slowly been relocated into less and less reputable areas of the globe.  Our cardboard construction trade has all but left its longtime home in Ohio, known since just after the Civil War as the architectural cardboard capital of the world.

You know all those cardboard displays you see in stores?  Over the years they’ve gotten more and more complicated; they’re no longer simple boxes and stands. 

Now there are flaps and shelves and reinforced thingies and metal rods I affectionately refer to as my beatin’ sticks.

These things used to be easy to put together.  It used to be pretty intuitive.  Slot A, hole B, attache header.  Simple, right?

What complicated them are the instructions.  It’s best just to look at the pictures and ignore the written instructions completely. 

Trying to decipher the instructions, while possible, can sometimes just make things worse.  On the other hand, its kind of like knowing a second language.  Kind of like reading A Clockwork Orange, after a chapter or two you understand Nadsat. 

By the end of the book you even start to think in Nadsat.  Yeah, by the end you govoreet real horrorshow, don’t you my droogie?

Actually, it’s best to close your eyes use your sense of smell to assemble it. 

I was less surprised with the spelling of panel than I was with their artistic use of ‘instert,’ but my favorite part came in Step 8:

Put the mainboday into the base

I know these are instructions for a cardboard display, but… these are just instructions for a cardboard display.  If they can’t get these right, then what do assembly instructions for more complicated machinery look like?   

Maybe outsourcing …isn’t such a good idea.

About mattS

Couch potato, burrito aficionado, whiskey sour drinker, handyman, writer of interesting things.

Posted on September 23, 2011, in Rant, Things I Come Up With While I'm At Work and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Shaunna Tretheway

    nice work, love your layout, suits the blog well 🙂


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