Life is so arbitrary and exact, so painful and joyous, so loving and fleeting. As I LookAroundMe this is what I see and share through my words...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Are You Real?????

I just finished a conversation with the phone operator at Nordstroms. Yes, I said the phone operator. Like the thousands before me the first words I asked her were "are you a real person?" I did not try to hide my glee. She laughed and answered "yes".

She told me she gets asked that question several hundred times a day. She continued to tell me the comments and stories of gratitude expressed to her by callers who have braced themselves for the automated prompts that often require a manual and an hour out of one's day. How often do we complete that process only to be put on hold and then inadvertently disconnected. And we must try again and again because "they" have what we need on the other end wherever that is.

A real person to talk to at a department store. Like the old days but today one of life's rare treasures. And we are so grateful. And that is so sad.

The technological advances are stunning and exciting but they have dehumanized us and starved us for human contact and connection.

To feel you struck gold because you are speaking to a live operator has an ironic twist to the so-called technological progress we live with in all aspects of our daily operations.

The world moves toward wonderful options such as my reaching you through this computer and this blog. However, in our daily lives, the isolation from the human on the other end is a price that may be costly beyond our imagination.