Follow this by Email if'n you like

Apr 8, 2015

Kafka, Move Over: The Decent of Business

Another victim from "Modern times" (1936)
For weeks now I have been suffering what's certainly become a common modern phenomenon: imprisonment in the mechanical underbelly of a faceless corporate "customer service" division. This particular devil is CenturyLink, but I fear this monster's no uglier than most. Months ago I canceled my service with them through 4 different venues and then called to be sure the message was received. Finally they sent a confirmation. But this did not prevent them from pulling more money out of my account for two more months. Cynic that I am, I had the foresight to take screenshot evidence of each step of the process.

I'll spare the gory details but for weeks I tried to get a person to deal with what I was sure was a simple computer error. But they would not engage me. The only real person I reached dismissed my demand for a refund but assured me that, a) they would issue a cancellation (!) and b) they could not find my account(!!) Trying to keep my steam in check, I tried to reason with the person, but was  politely transferred to another department: the dial tone. Thereafter every few days I would write or call or Tweet, only eliciting occasional Dada responses like, "We're glad your issue is resolved", or "Please send me your information, I'm happy to help!  ^Ashley". Are there any humans left in the company? We may never know. Here three months later,  now with the help of a state consumer affairs officer in full combat gear, Centrylink was forced to issue a partial refund, but they still made money on the deal.

Natural selection dictates that if a company can make money through a defensible error this (illegal) tactic will form part of their income stream and grow until it reaches resistance (judicial fines). This is happening in any sector where the personal relationships that used to regulate community business are removed by global e-commerce. Our beloved free market system is dissolving before our eyes into organized criminality. At this point it still pretends to "service" but increasingly, as limits fall away and the two will become indistinguishable and we little people will be scrambling for our lives.
Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Tim Holmes Studio

My photo

I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.