Sunday, 10 January 2016
The sincerity of computers
Oxfordshire County Council" (sic).
Can a county council really be sincere, I wonder, writing to me about my old blue badge, telling me to cut it up and post it back to them? I suspect not. When I was first eligible for a blue badge, I received a letter from a polite young, I imagine, lady, whose name I still recall. She could be and, I'm sure, was sincere. However, there's no longer any name anywhere in sight on the letter. So what am I to conclude?
My conclusion, as a former RSA Basic Clerical Skills moderator, is this: that the polite and literate Ms Cundy has been replaced by semi-literate automated computer software. Clearly the letter is generated from a database (possibly programmed by the said Ms Cundy before her removal). And some oaf has created a standard letter format with inconsistencies of punctuation (decide whether you will use commas or not in the address and signing-zoff lines) and the most inappropriate of signing-off phrases.
So now, I receive a letter from a machine which tells me it is sincere. Harrumph! In the words of Victor Meldrew, I don't believe it. What next? xxx at the bottom? A series of emoticons? Leave out the pretence at sincerity, please. That would be at least honest. Or how about employing another young person who needs a job?