A Different Form Of Understanding

, , , , | Learning | July 25, 2018

(My brother works for a call centre in our home town in Scotland. He has a lot of stories about things like a mobile phone sales campaign where the workers were never, despite repeated requests, given the phone specs, so they had to “improvise.” One of my favourites is when they are dealing with applications for student loans. This is all done on paper forms, with lots of to-and-fro via post. He gets a call…)

Caller: “Hello. I haven’t heard back about my student loan application, and it’s close to term start.”

Brother: “Thank you for calling. May I take your details, please?”

(My brother checks and finds no record of him in the system, even after his usual check for hideously misspelled names and street names, etc.)

Brother: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can find no record of you in the system. It looks like we haven’t received your application”

Caller: *shouting and angry* “What?! You haven’t received it? HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT WHEN I’M HOLDING THE APPLICATION FORM IN MY HAND?!”

Brother: “Well, I take it you’re not studying physics, sir, or you’d know an object cannot exist in two places at the same time.”

(Eventually, he got the guy to calm down and helped him, but he still wondered how the guy managed to qualify for university or even deal with daily life when he didn’t grasp that just filling in a paper form didn’t magically make things happen.)

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