Sunday, May 8, 2016

What happened to the human? A missive to Act Blue

May 8, 2016

Apparently it's our fate to talk to machines. It feels really lonely. Ok, so if they work, we can move on. What if your organization is not getting what it wants because the machine is fucking up?

I wanted to increase my donation to Bernie. The machine does not offer any convenient way to do this.(I thought I would make a donation and select a button that says "add to your existing donation".) I am unwilling to add another line to my bank statement. I want to increase my donation, let's keep it simple.

So I follow the link to "contact us", fill in the fields, and select the topic "modify or cancel your donation" (my paraphrase). When I do, the machine gives me a page where I am expected to look up a donation because I do not remember it. This is not what I want to do. How much work am I supposed to do to give you extra money?

It occurs to me I will need to look up my donation to modify it. Has the machine given me any clue that that is its intent? When I encounter this kind of junk programming I think maybe I should just become a homeless person, get leprosy and die. When is the programming world going to get some empathy and think about its users? 

At least there is a "subject" called "other". I wonder if a human is going to read this. I would feel gratitude for this concession to humanity, except I suspect the only value of this letter is to let me express the pain I feel as the gears of the machine rake over my body.