Saturday, February 8, 2003

Armchair anthropology

Matt Webb took a close look at his food and called the customer service lines to ask some questions - the results ranged from suspicion (I imagine the call centre staff having recently attended a workshop on social engineering) and confusion, to general consumer helpfulness. My favourites (and Matt's):

Polos. Very friendly. Bloke who answered customer care line based in a portacabin on the factory floor, near the Polo making machine. Asked to describe it, he said it was a like a six barrel machine gun, shooting mints. Loud.

Tate & Lyle. I ask how sugar is made. Customer care put me through to a sugar factory. I ask how sugar is made. Factory put me through to the technical department. I ask how sugar is made. Technical department put me through to a sugar engineer. I ask how sugar is made. Sugar engineer asks me how much time I've got. I ask for the overview. Lovely sugar engineer spends nearly quarter of an hour talking me through the growing, shipping, refinement and chemical processes. My favourite.

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