Communicating these days is like yelling into a big barrel that amplifies your voice. But it's frustrating, because while your voice is really loud, no one is listening. Because everyone else is doing it, all the time.
I tried over the last few days to give a car away to charity. I entered a web form, it seemed very competent, so by the time I hit the final Submit, I felt good about the gift. But immediately after I got an email with all the things they wanted me to do to complete the transaction, some raised huge flags, and some directly contradicted the advice of various websites, including Consumer Reports, which I totally trust.
I asked them to call me. They didn't. I did finally get a call this morning, two days later, saying they went to pick the car up and couldn't do it because I wasn't there. Okay, that was one of the reasons I wanted to communicate with them. But it was just one.
And remember, I was trying to give them a car. For free. If you can't get someone's attention then, when can you?
This is just the way it works these days. It's normal. I have a dozen experiences like that every day. I write a one line email and the response comes back that indicates the person didn't read that one line. How much more concise can one be?
How can we do business this way? How can we live this way?
I just re-watched the great Connections series with James Burke. If you want to know how civilization was built, you should watch it. It's not as simple as you imagine. Anyway in the last episode, which was recorded in 1979, he talks about how fast life is, and how it's only going to get worse. How are we going to adapt, he wants to know. He's a very smart man. He asked the right question. We never came up with an answer.