Why did anybody ever think computers would be more reliable than flesh and blood employees???

Working With Broken Computer

Alright, you guys who have been reading me for some time will not all be surprised by what I’m posting on a travel day.  Obviously I’m going to post about things that happened to me while at the airport that make me go “hmmm”.  I simply must.  It is our tradition.  So here goes:  who on God’s great planet really believed deep down in their soul that computers would make better employees than flesh and blood ones???

I get that air travel is a luxury, and that not everybody has access to travel.  When I was in Haiti I was stunned to see the lines snaking around city blocks with Haitian citizens applying for travel visas, to simply be allowed to LEAVE their country to go on holiday.  To see the world, or whatever it is they wanted them for.  Regardless if you reside in one of the poorest countries on earth of not, I believe that travel is a luxury any way you slice it.  I didn’t get my ass on a plane for the first time until I was almost twenty.

Even with this in mind I have to say that with every year that passes I’m stunned at how air travel is steadily, and seemingly without apology becoming the new (Grey Hound) bus travel.  Like air travel is getting soooooo low grade that I can’t even believe that they, the airlines have the audacity to charge the prices that they charge for tickets.  It’s a sin and a crime.  When you buy a bus ticket you accept a certain “non-level” of customer service.  It just comes with the low cost of the ticket, and it comes with the extra time that it takes you to get from point A-point B.  But when, in many cases people save up to be able to afford the going rate of an airline ticket, you would think it might be accompanied with better service.  Sadly, it does not.  And sadly it begins from the moment a traveler arrives at the airline check in counters, and doesn’t end until you arrive at your hotel or AirBNB.

Today we checked in quickly, a benefit of all our accumulated air miles that allow us to be able to fly in business class.  Then we got priority security thanks to being both business class travelers and me being a Nexus card holder.  We breezed through security.  We were set to be 1.5 hours ahead of our boarding time, and I was stoked.  Super excited to be able to put my feet up and get my blog hammered out while using the airport wifi.  Sadly that did not happen my friends, because in Trump’s America nothing is working as it should, and that includes it’s kiosks and immigration officers at Pearson International airport.  I did my part for humanity today, I let two families and one single man in front of us in the immigration line who had flights leaving in thirty minutes to my ninety, and aided a new mom to a six month old baby (who security took away her sterile water so she could mix formula for her son, whom she can’t breastfeed since she’s already pregnant again) get sterile/boiled water from another mother further back in the line so she could mix up some food for her son who was 1000% done with the more than one hour line in immigration.

It was a hot mess friends.  All because the automatic kiosks were down.  The computers crashed and the immigration line came to a virtual standstill.  And let me tell you, people who aren’t helpful folks do not like people like me letting those in need in front of you, and subsequently them as well.  But you know what grumpy man, and the handful of bitchy women who gave me death glares for a solid hour in line, I could give less than no fucks about what you think.  Because I happen to know that the two families and single man that I offered to go in front of me, all made their flights, and so I will sleep super fabulously tonight, even if I am sleeping alone without my super-hot sexy husband beside me.

But, I will say this before I sign off to enjoy a holiday with all three of my girls in New York City…air travel/immigration need to get their shit together.  Computers cannot do everything, as we all learned today.  When they go down the entire process comes to a screeching, painful, brutal snowball delayed HALT.  That’s why we still need human beings processing other human beings.  For such a time as what we experienced today.  Computers crash all the damn time; so why don’t we hire more real life immigration officers and have less unreliable, hack-able computers giving us entry from one country to another?

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm???

3 Comments

  1. One word…MONEY! Everyone thinks that computerization without manual backup is the way to go because it’s faster and more efficient! Well yeah, if it freaking works all the time. which it doesn’t! Computers are machines just like cars, air conditioners, generators, etc, They all break down all the time. The problem is no one thought to also train people to do the same job manually, because it costs m-o-n-e-y. When I first started working in IT, computers were just becoming the “thing” to replace paper. The reality is we have electronic media AND paper to back it up. Because we all know that a computer can just up and die, or get dumped in a hot tub (remember that?), which will ultimately cause the loss of all the important files stored on it, which renders you SCREWED! SO you’d have to wonder, WHY AREN’T PEOPLE TRAINED TO DO THINGS MANUALLY AS WELL AS ELECTRONICALLY? Why? Because people cost money on a consistent basis and computers, well just the initial outlay is all that’s seen. As long as greed is the driving force, we will never have a common sense approach to doing business and that’s what’s so frustrating.

  2. Being the daughter of a union officer, this is a huge pet peeve of mine! I come at it from the angle of those humans who lost their jobs, first.
    I’ve worked in a computerized restaurant when the computers went down. Even the bartenders couldn’t make a cocktail!
    I’ve also been in a long line, on a busy Saturday, at the grocery store. Regsters we’re down for an hour and a half!
    And don’t get me started on self-driving, hackable, cars!

  3. I understand only too well the crap you experience as you went through the process of simply trying to get to a nice holiday weekend with your girls. We have traveled quite a bit over the last 10-12 years and something has happened to Customer Service in the Airline industry.. Airports included.
    And it isn’t just the airline and airport people, Something has happened to people watching out for each other. Of course you would let people go ahead with flights leaving sooner. It is the Right thing to do. I don’t know if it is the computers or social media (blogs not included of course), but people are just not taking care of each other like they should, I appalud your taking the high road (as the more I read your blogs I find that you always do) We all need to pay it forward and be good citizens and neighbors. But I get off track, The airline industry needs to send all of their employees to intensive Customer Service training, but we can help by not letting them bring us down to their level of non-caring. Thank you for your post as always

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