I’ve recently been online buying things–or needing things–like airline tickets, furniture, health insurance coverage–and have noticed the addition of a “virtual assitant” at the top left of many screens. I guess it’s the new way of attending to people like me, the cyber-clients, the people that nobody is really attending to as we sit in our homes in our pajamas and click “sofas” or “statements” or “seattle, round trip”–
but it caught me by surprise this week as I clicked around and saw at the top right-hand of my screen a little face–not a real person, but a computer-drawn face–and her name was, of all names, Ann. As I looked at her name, spelled just like mine (no E on the end either) I read this underneath it.
Please make sure to visit Ann, our Virtual Assistant. She can guide you to the information and tools you're looking for on your secure member website, Insurance Navigator. Ann is here to help you, any time, day or night, 365 days a year.
How my namesake was available any time, day and night, 365 days a year was beyond me–except of course that she wasn’t likely Ann at all–or at least not one woman named Ann. I assume she’s a thousand different people–or at least a dozen, who take her name and role of helping someone figure out what is next in their effort to book a flight, find a doctor or pick a piece of furniture– once the automated responses are used up. I’m just guessing of course because I didn’t research it–I was just staring at this little face who had my name..
..and then I found her again, on the furniture site. And again, same name–although this time it was Anna–at another website–and I began to wonder–what’s up with the name Ann? I mean, clearly there are not resumes flying around in cyberspace with the number one customer service qualification being the name ANN–and with no E. (I envision those old signs in Boston circa 1910, saying “Irish Need Not Apply” but these say “Anns with Es Need Not Apply.”)
I guess the name Ann must stir up something kind, or common, or at the very least helpful–a bright-eyed girl jazzed on coffee and Redbull who won’t eat, sleep or celebrate a holiday unless you are completely satisfied with your purchase. Clearly these people who named this VirtualAnnie have not met me. Yes I can be kind and sometimes I am helpful. Common? Well, like beauty that’s in the eye of the beholder. But up all day and night, 365 days a year, non-stop, to guide you? I think not. Heck I may be writing this blog now but it’s been weeks since I put finger to keyboard and all I can tell you is I’ve been busy. Staying alive is hard work–between infusions, tumor markers, trips to Europe and picking up dog poop–oh, and the laundry–I have had zero time to help anybody. And this month ain’t looking so hot, either. I just bought a house, so I’ll be a-moving–and you know what that means…
boxes, boxes, boxes and hey! more boxes.
So, if you get on a website and see the virtual assistant Ann ready to help you, any time, day or night, 365 days a year, give her a wave for me. But don’t under any circumstances expect this Ann with no E to be anything like that Ann with no E. I can give you about 10 minutes of my time in about a week and a half–if you bring me a latte and pick up a box. And if you catch me at infusion I can sit with you for an hour. But other than that–I’m outta here–
…which may mean I start spelling my name with an E.
|Posted May 10th, 2012 by|