cartels

Your Call Is Important To Us

Off the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

your-call-is-important-to-us
Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation  May 19, 2014

 

Funny how, in the current national rapture of techno-narcissism, it is harder than ever to do something that for generations used to be as simple as pie: to get somebody on the telephone. It’s especially funny in a time when phones have become a prosthetic extension of every human hand and pretty much the be-all and end-all of human culture. I hold a phone, therefore I am!

It’s not so funny that the places where it is most difficult to connect to a live human being are among the most critical activities, most particularly every branch of health care. Hospitals now operate under the entirely false and obviously dishonest premise that a robotic phone routing system is the best way to handle communications. Notice that, in the logic of this system, no distinction is made between mundane business and medical emergencies. Everybody who calls get’s the same perky robot —always a woman, by the way, in a dishonest attempt to provide false reassurance that a “caring” presence (Big Sister) is at the other end of the line. Whether you call about a billing error or having just shredded your foot in a rototiller, the message at the other end will always be democratically the same: “Your call is important to us.” (Not.)

I dwell on these matters because I spent an inordinate amount of time last week calling around to several hospitals and doctors offices to get some of my medical records for a lawsuit I am prosecuting against the manufacturer of a defective hip implant that gave me cobalt / chromium poisoning. Note also that we have contrived to make it nearly impossible to obtain our own medical records.

Now I am, going to reveal to you why it is so difficult to get a live human being on the telephone at these important places: because the more of a racketeering matrix medicine becomes, the more it seeks to evade responsibility for the consequences. That is, the more medicine becomes a criminal enterprise, the less it wants to hear from its client/victims. The same ethos is at work in just about every other realm of corporate enterprise in the USA. Our problem in the USA is not “capitalism,” it’s racketeering. Why we fail to comprehend it is one of the abiding mysteries of contemporary life.

The biggest offender after medicine, of course, is banking. They don’t want to hear from you either. They enjoy the privilege of swindling you by both tiny-and-large increments on transaction payments and near-zero interest rates and mortgage contracts where no title record of collateral can be located, and that all works very nicely for them. But they’re too busy creaming off profits to talk to their customers. In both medicine and banking, even the few remaining human secretaries to whose answering machines calls are torturously routed will not return those phone calls. “Your call is important to us.” (Not.)

Now all of this raises a couple of questions. How did we get to this sorry place? And why are citizens not violently angry about it?

To some degree, this situation represents the sheer diminishing returns and unintended consequences of technology. In a nation infatuated with technology, these entropic effects are always ignored. We just don’t want to hear about it, and our related infatuation with feel-good public relations bullshit spews a fog of concealment over it. We apparently like being deceived and don’t mind being tortured.

Robot phone answering systems also allowed corporations to off-load the cost of doing business onto their customers, mostly in the form of wasting vast amounts of their customers’ time. Included in the off-load was the cost of paying receptionists (as telephone answerers used to be quaintly called) and all their medical and retirement benefits — just another manifestation of the vanishing middle class, by the way, since a lot of women used to be employed that way (let’s skip the gender equality side-bar for now). After a while, the added privilege of companies being able to evade responsibility for their actions hugely outweighed the cost-saving advantage of firing some lower level employees.

It ought to be self-evident that this could only happen in a profoundly corrupt, dishonest, and degenerate society, because it took the form of a social compact that accepted this sort of behavior as okay. Doctors especially don’t want to be accessible to their customers. It enhances their aura of supernatural authority to be as unreachable as possible — and most of them these days are safely embedded in the protective corporate matrix one way or another as well. I suppose you can always pray to them and hope for a reply, since that is obviously the system they are trying to emulate. And, after all, this is an especially pious society. But try asking a plain question like, “how come you charged me $34,000 for four hours of anesthesia?” and you will be hung out to dry until the end of time.

As for outrage, I am frankly amazed that the various armed lunatics at large in America are so busy shooting up schools when many more people are actually being harmed, indeed ruined, by the health care “industry” and the banks.

If you have a theory about all this, please offer it up in the Comments department.

 

***

James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

 [amazon text=www.amazon.com&template=carousel&asin=B00HWGLW9I, B00A323CPU, B0015KGXR8, B0097DHRMK, B001JEPKY2, B00J39MTF8, B00413QAPQ, B004ZGZBCW, B0085MG89W, B00D0O7AZ6]

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner

Search the Diner

Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D

Archives

Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

This week's Darwin Award Winners!  Tourists who visit Active Volcanoes!  RE[embed=960,540]

Quote from: BuddyJ on December 08, 2019, 09:01:42 PMQuote from: RE on December 08, 2019, 08:12:13 PMQuote from: BuddyJ on December 08, 2019, 08:01:50 PMCertainly Venezuela can just pay t...

Quote from: RE on December 08, 2019, 08:12:13 PMQuote from: BuddyJ on December 08, 2019, 08:01:50 PMCertainly Venezuela can just pay themselves tons of bolivars to build their own drilling and oil production ...

Quote from: RE on December 08, 2019, 08:12:13 PMQuote from: BuddyJ on December 08, 2019, 08:01:50 PMCertainly Venezuela can just pay themselves tons of bolivars to build their own drilling and oil production ...

Quote from: BuddyJ on December 08, 2019, 08:01:50 PMCertainly Venezuela can just pay themselves tons of bolivars to build their own drilling and oil production equipment, as the US does, and begin more oil production with their no...

Recent Facebook Posts

No recent Facebook posts to show

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

With four days until the U.K. goes to the polls in [...]

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Arms sales rose by nearly five p [...]

Directive is likely to be a blow to US multination [...]

Diner Newz Feeds

  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Doomstead Diner Daily December 8The Diner Daily is [...]

Doomstead Diner Daily December 7The Diner Daily is [...]

[img width=600]https://scontent.forf1-2.fna.fbcdn. [...]

Quote from: azozeo on December 05, 2019, 12:18:35 [...]

Quote from: UnhingedBecauseLucid on March 18, 2019 [...]

CleanTechnicaSupport CleanTechnica’s work via dona [...]

QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

With four days until the U.K. goes to the polls in [...]

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Arms sales rose by nearly five p [...]

Directive is likely to be a blow to US multination [...]

Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

Wisconsin Bill Would Remove Barrier to Using Gold, [...]

Under extreme conditions, gold rearranges its atom [...]

The cost of gold futures on the Comex exchange inc [...]

OK, I gave it to myself.    Guaranteed FREE Shippi [...]

The remission is OVAH!  The Cancer is BACK!  I got [...]

1 week, even 2 here in Alaska is total BULLSHIT! Y [...]

Now UP on GEI!  REposted on 01 December 2019A Worl [...]

Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

Missing In Action By Cognitive Dissonance     As a very young pup, whenever I was overdue and not ho [...]

Politicians’ Privilege By Cognitive Dissonance     Imagine for a moment you work for a small or medi [...]

Shaking the August Stick By Cognitive Dissonance     Sometime towards the end of the third or fourth [...]

Empire in Decline - Propaganda and the American Myth By Cognitive Dissonance     “Oh, what a tangled [...]

Meanderings By Cognitive Dissonance     Tis the Season Silly season is upon us. And I, for one, welc [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-06http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-05http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-04http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-03http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-02http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

First cut of the Madrid climate summit"“Buying an offset to fly here is absurd. It takes decades for a tree to grow enough to recoup [...]

"The drift towards near-term human extinction must be averted at all costs."I confess. I a [...]

"Since 2005, winters in Mexico have been my Hemingway Machine."  As winter descends upon m [...]

Waterboarding Flounder"Serious oxygen loss between 100 and 600-meter depths is expected to cover 59–80% of the ocean [...]

Of Warnings and their Ripple Effects"We need wooden ships, char-crete buildings, bamboo bicycles, moringa furniture, and hemp cloth [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

The success of Apollo 11 flipped the American public from skeptics to fans. The climate movement nee [...]

Today's movement to abolish fossil fuels can learn from two different paths that the British an [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

Haven't read it all yet but the section on interest rates is particularly interesting. Past rec [...]

My new post is pretty much done, but I wanted to wait until the end of the weekend to put it up. [...]

I wonder whether this has been fully thought through. If something goes wrong, clearly the whole thi [...]

One of the big questions is, "Do you count all of these things with virtually no value as part [...]

There was no Iranian missile attack. That claim is pure Israeli propaganda, designed to further thei [...]

No by industrialism I meant the broader energy picture. The surplus value labour produces requires c [...]

That was a good piece - not sure that was exactly what Steve was saying about Marx and industrializa [...]

Steve wrote a couple of articles last year, Marx & Debtonomics: https://www.economic-undertow.co [...]

Wait - when did Steve say that about Marx? I must have missed an interesting discussion along the wa [...]

@Ellen, I concur with Steve that Marx understood the problems with capitalism but failed to place th [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

Deterministic–stochastic empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is used to obtain low-frequency (n [...]

At the sub-national level, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) proposes [...]

The recent droughts in the American Southwest have led to increasing risks of wildfires, which pose [...]