A friend of mine was trying to get hold of her bank. The problem was that you cannot speak to a person, all you get is menus. You now have to email them. They promise they will answer the email after three days, but a week later she was still waiting.
She wanted to tell them somebody had died and obviously the account needed dealing with. Finally after searching the website for the umpteenth time, she found a note about bereavement and there was actually a phone number. The person she talked to was good, helpful and hopefully the matter is sorted.
Once upon a time, if you didn’t want to hand out information to somebody you had to hide it. To quote the late, great, Douglas Adams;-
“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”
But now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you merely have to stick it on the organisation’s website and it’s gone for ever. Obviously you have to be technologically competent. The last thing you want is for people to find it by accident using google.
So make sure it can only be accessed from a drop down menu, which itself drops down from close to the bottom of another drop down menu. If it’s at the bottom of the menus, it ensures that people looking on something with a small screen will struggle to find it. Not only that, but even with large screens the menus will disappear if the mouse moves a twitch in the wrong direction.
Oh yes and put it in with other stuff which is only vaguely related. Obviously you cannot legitimately hide it in with something totally unrelated. But let’s assume that you’ve got stuff you want to hide about Harrogate. Perhaps one of the staff in your branch there has been found guilty of miss-selling stuff. So obviously that’s a personnel issue and surely nobody can object if you file the Harrogate stuff in the personnel section. And because of GDPR you can make it password protected as well.
Even when organisations aren’t trying to hide stuff, some of them ought to realise that merely putting it on the website isn’t enough. I was once trying to find out something about Animal Health regulations and contacted our State Veterinary organisation. (Which keeps changing its name, which makes internet searching such fun).
The lady at the other end asked, “Have you looked at our website?”
Proudly I replied, “Of course not. Life’s too short.”
There was a brief period of silence and she said, “You’re right, it is isn’t it.”
If ever I get to the stage where I’m browsing that sort of website in my leisure hours, it’s probably time to up the medication!
Oh, but given that you’ve found this website, I thought I’d do the decent thing and suggest that you read a good book instead.
Personally I’d recommend
Yours for a mere ninety-nine pence!
More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Not only have we got Gentlemen behaving badly, we see Port Naain by starlight and meet ladies of wit and discernment. There are Philosophical societies, amateur dramatics, the modern woman, revenge, and the advantages of a good education. All human life is here, or at least such of it as Tallis will admit to.