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...

Monday, March 27, 2006


Citibank has come up with one of the greatest innovations that modern day business can implement. The advertisement goes something like this: WITH THE CITIBANK SIMPLICITY CARD JUST DIAL "O" TO TALK TO AN OPERATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No phone menus. No taped messages. No speaking to an automated human-like voice.
The first thing you do is dial "O" and get a real live person immediately.
Can you imagine such a concept being conceived in the past? Who could ever have thought of a customer speaking directly to an operator?

Well, dear Citibank, that is how this 60-year-old woman and everyone she knows lived it for decades. Your card is indeed worded correctly. The Simplicity Card is a metaphor for a time not so long ago when we lived more expediently, with less frustration and more human connection. I lived my entire childhood and part of my adulthood dialing "O" for operator.

What does this new old simplicity concept mean? Are we going to start bringing back more of past procedures and methods? Will we have gas attendants again so we do not have to leave our cars? I am hanging on for dear life to the only station in Chicago that still has an option of not being self help.

Will supermarkets do away with self-checkout? Will we once again have public restrooms with toilets that do not automatically flush every fifteen seconds whether you are still on them or not? Will airlines find a way again to feed Coach passengers so they do not have to BYO?

I have been lonely for that operator’s voice. Seeing Citibank’s advertisement for the Simplicity Card gave me hope that in other industries we may also soon go back to the future.