Monday, November 22, 2010

Be Demanding

I started getting daily emails from eBay.  eBay Daily Deals they called it.  Why on earth I would want this is beyond me.  I go to eBay when I'm looking for something in particular, or when I want to sell something.  I have no interest in simply browsing eBay to see what I can pick up.  (But Martha, we really needed this combination apple corer and Blu-ray player.)

Anyway, I decided to make the supreme sacrifice of unsubscribing from eBay Daily Deals.  So I clicked the requisite link.  Yes, I really want to unsubscribe.  I was informed that the change might take up to 10 days to take effect.

10 days?  TEN DAYS?!?!?  A lifetime!

I pictured some underpaid clerk, with garters on his shirtsleeves and a sweat-stained green visor, sitting at a tall oak desk with a stack of unsubscription requests to plow though.  I'm sure eBay has a special building just for these clerks ... one with gas lamps and a coal stove.

Hmmm.  I'm having trouble making the segue I want, so let me just jump the rails for a minute.  If things suck, it's because we tolerate it.  We tolerate paying ATM fees so the bank can employ fewer tellers.  We put up with being groped at airports because we're already used to being handled like baggage.  We wait hours for a 10 minute doctor's appointment ... longer if the medical center charges for parking.  We eagerly buy software that destroys our data, and we immunize the makers by agreeing to incredibly lopsided end-user license agreement.  And, of course, we keep all the makers of junk food and soda and cigarettes alive by buying their toxic wares.

Somebody once said "You get the society you deserve," or something like that.  (I don't know.  It's not on the first page of Google.)  In any case, it's profoundly true.  After 15,000 years or so of civilization, we can pretty much conclude that people can be exploitative in the extreme, and corporations are even worse.

So, what does eBay's spam have to do with the rest of this misanthropic rant?  Nothing.  I'm just gearing up for the holidays.


No comments: