Phone Woes And Losing Our Ability To Think

I own one of those fourth generation touchscreen smartphones. Anyway this article is not really about my phone, but do bear with me as I walk you through my phone woes.

One fine day my supposedly invincible phone started giving me all kinds of technical troubles: flickering screens, hanging software and sudden shut downs. A visit to my service provider, the happy news that I was still under warranty, and a replaced handset later I was back home trying to sync all my data.

And as luck would have it, whatever virus got my first handset found its way into my second handset too.

A day later, another trip to the service provider, another new handset (number 3) and voila, a sync with my data gave me the same problem again. This time the same friendly staff saw me in the queue, waiting for a ticket number, and promptly went to get me another new handset. By now I had had enough of getting new handsets and wanted to get to the bottom of the issue.

To cut a long story short, this tech-unsavvy writer had to figure out a more permanent solution herself, which meant resetting the phone, deleting old data and deleting the sync application from her laptop (losing all the phone data in the process). Still, this permanent solution saved me innumerable trips and the service provider innumerable handsets (at least till I was on their warranty). All this technical warfare was enacted in front of a baffled customer service executive.

This little incident got me thinking, are we Gen Y’ers so used to the quick fix solutions that we make that our only option?

Not once did the customer service executives apply their minds for a long term solution to my problem, it was easier to give me a new handset as long as I was entitled to it.

As Gen Y, we have been credited with changing the dynamics at a workplace. Simply put (and this is a quote I picked from somewhere) “For Generation Y the old adage has become their credo: ‘we don’t live to work – we work to live’”. We have been called confident, entrepreneurial and goal oriented. But we have also been defined as impatient, weak on interpersonal skills and our problem solving abilities have been questioned.

You could turn it around and tell me that are our work place designs are the ones making us too process oriented and risk averse.

Often organisations have process maps to be followed to ensure critical steps are not forgotten. In the process of ticking off on various steps we do lose our ability to think ahead and ideation then gets encouraged only in research divisions. Maybe the customer service executive had to strictly follow the book and therefore was not allowed to think out of the box?

But is it a chicken and egg story? Because of our inability to come up with a solution we have processes to follow, or because we follow processes we have forgotten how to ideate?

Guess we may have similar cribs when Generation Z knocks on the work door. Till then I have extended my warranty coverage, figured even smartphones are after all not that smart and though I may come up with a solution, technology might just pose a problem that stumps me!

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