DAILY DIRT: Spain may have the perfect plan for pairing frustrated callers with a real, live human being 


Daily Dirt for Friday, June 3

You may just want to skip to No. 3 and the “sphincter” comment … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 301 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Earlier this week I wasted probably 15 to 30 minutes of my life that I will never get back.

I was trying to work my through a maze of prompts and recorded messages in an effort to contact the proper personnel at a utility company. To say the least, I was extremely frustrated. All I wanted was a to speak to a human voice.

Well, apparently I am not alone in this kind of frustration, and at least one country is trying to do something about this annoying trend. More and more customers are reaching a dead end, not only with utility companies, but banks and other businesses as well. Spain’s government wants to end those one-sided conversations with a computerized answering service by making it mandatory for companies to offer a real, flesh-and-blood customer service worker when so requested by a caller.

The proposal will need the approval of Spain’s Parliament before it can become law.

“Customer service is a critical part of our relations with consumers, which unfortunately and far too often causes endless headaches for Spanish families because far too many companies create bureaucratic labyrinths to stop you from exercising your right to service,” said a government spokesman. “These are difficulties which unfortunately waste an enormous among of energy, time and money.”

The bill would also seek to do away with long wait times by forcing companies to answer calls within three minutes.If the bill passes, providers of basic services, such as utilities, phone and internet, will have to offer customer service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All other companies will have to be provide customer service during working hours and all customer complaints will have to be responded to within 15 days.If passed, fines for breaking the law would range from the equivalent of $160 to $106,000 in U.S. money. Let’s all hope this measure finds its way to Washington, D.C.

2. One man’s opinion on the most likely MLB managers to be fired:

1. Joe Girardi, Philadelphia Phillies: Called this shot as Joe was sent packing today.

2. Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners: If the Phillies are the most disappointing team in the majors, Seattle is a close second.

3. Joe Maddon, Los Angeles Angels: The Angeles are showing signs of another of their June swoons. The Maddon and Los Angeles experiment simply has not worked.

4. Bud Black, Colorado Rockies: I was mildly shocked Black was back this season. He won’t be in 2023.

5. Mike Matheny, Kansas City Royals: Kansas City seems completely directionless, and someone has to be held accountable. And in baseball, we all know shoulders the blame.

3. How about another disgusting dish from our ongoing menu from hell?

In Namibia, warthog anus is considered a delicacy (their word, not outs). The anal sphincter of the warthog is cut and, along with the ring of muscles, is removed with about 30 centimeters of the intestines. The juicy contents are squeezed out, and the sphincter is place on top of hot coals. If you would like it to be “very well done.” you won’t have much luck. This item is usually served medium rare — gently heated, but not enough to scorch the surface or expel the juices.

Wow. Simply wow.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — To his knowledge, Steve has never had a main course of anything with the word “sphincter” attached to the name.

Steve Eighinger writes for Muddy River News. Don’t read him while eating.

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