Saturday, 21 March 2015

What would Captain Mainwaring say?

This morning I stepped into my local branch of Barclays bank to get some cash, and I am still aghast at what I found there. This branch has three indoor 'hole in the wall' machines, each with a different function, as was hitherto apparent at a glance. Now, however, the notice above each machine carries not an indication of what it does but a name. The machines are now 'Sally', 'Jake' and 'Mike'. Under each notice is a further notice, beginning 'Hello, I'm Sally/Jake/Mike, and here's what I can do for you...' Oddly, these notices didn't even line up with the names above, so that Jake had ended up under Sally, which I'm sure was very nice for him - but, not for the first time, I find myself asking Has the world gone mad? (Yes, I know the answer). More specifically, has the infantilised population really reached such a depth of imbecility that it can only relate to a bank machine if it's given a name and introduces itself? Or is it only the hotshot consultants brought in to make the bank more 'accessible' and 'friendly' who think we're that stupid? I hope so.

7 comments:

  1. Have I got this right? We've replaced modest-wage bank tellers with highly-paid 'marketing experts' who attempt to humanize robotic banking machines by giving them names and 'personalities'. Each day I'm more convinced that free will is an illusion, and that we are all players in some cosmic comedy written by a demented deity of some sort.

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  2. I think that the bank is not only making a great move for gender equality, but either Jake and Sally are either "questioning" or trans-sexual. It's the very model of a modern Teller General. I especially like the way we get no Jacob, Michael, or Sarah but their matey sobriquets.

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  3. It at least now gives us the welcome opportunity, when the bank official calls us by our first name, to reply "I'm a person, not a machine".

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  4. I would never agree to be on a first name basis with a bank machine before we had been properly introduced.

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