Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Please take a number, be seated and stay there forever

It was almost like the big shots running the banks all got together and decided, hey, we're the only banks around so we can slash the number of branches while simultaneously cutting the number of staff and our customers will just have to queue up and wait for service because there's nothing they do about. Ha Ha! Add a few more zeros on the end of year profitability figures. It's the same at Coles and Woolworths: 10 checkouts but only three of them open. Go ahead chumps, go shop at the corner store and get better service but pay much higher prices -- you'll do it a couple of times and then you'll be back here queued up where you should be.

Things were considerably better at most government customer service outlets, however. Sure the ladies behind the counter at the Licensing Centre were always grumpy but they were efficient and the line always moved quickly. In and out in a matter of minutes. Medicare was a real dump and had been there for years but the service was always quick and friendly. The local coucil offices are the best of all -- walk straight up to the counter, get served and you're out of there.

Then progress hit. The Licensing Centre now occupies a snazzy new suite in a new building. You walk in and take a number and sit, with a big wall-mounted TV for your viewing pleasure. Little did I know that I would get to watch Spartacus from begining to end before my number came up.

Medicare has also moved to a new, futuristic building where there's this robot number dispenser at the entrance -- there is no TV but it is quite entertaining to watch unattended kiddies repeatedly punch R2D2's button while he dutifully spits out ticket after ticket. Damn, does that thing hold a lot of paper, or what? (Chairs in a government service centre is always a bad sign.)

I therefore figure the governments amalgamation of Centrelink and Medicare to, you know, streamline service, is going to be a nightmare -- better take a sleeping bag and drink bottle just in case.

Sorry to be so negative about this; I have this thing about queues.


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