Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Reality Check II: We just got email...

Dawg gone! This is my week to deal with those at the back of the herd.

Earlier in the week it was explained to me that "eCommerce is a fax." Then today I had another reality check conversation.

My mother recently moved into an assisted living facility. We met with her stock broker in September to make sure everything was in order and to give me power of attorney to help manage her affairs. Her stockbroker works for a national firm.

So today my mother called me to ask a question. I didn't know, so I needed to contact her broker. His business card did not have an email address on it, so I had to call, but of course he wasn't in so I talked with his assistance. As the conversation wrapped up...

Me: By the way, can you give me his email address. It's much easier for me to communicate that way because I do it are odd hours. (Many of you who know me receive 2:30 am emails regularly)

Her: Well, go to our company's website, and you can fill in the form to contact him.

Me: No, I'm looking for an email address.

Her: Well you can contact him through the website.

Me: I'd like to get an email address so I can put it in my contact manager. I have a phone number, but we'll end up playing phone tag most of the time if we try to communicate that way.

Her: Well we just got email, but I'm not sure how it works. I think I have his address. (She fumbles around). Well I can't find it, but I think it is (she gives me what she thinks his address is). Well now wait a minute, I think there's a dot in there somewhere. (she tells me where she thinks the dot is). Try that and see if that works. Why don't I just have him call you this afternoon.

Me: (Hanging my head on the other end of the phone after just explaining about phone tag.) OK, why don't you.

Now I understand that everyone in the world doesn't know what a wiki or del.icio.us is, or even a blog. And I understand that my mother in an assisted living facility may never surf the web. But does it scare anyone else that someone working for a national brokerage firm doesn't know, much less use, their email address?

I feel like I'm in The Twilight Zone this week.

PS - When I met with him in his office, he asked what I did. In explaining I asked him to pull up SwampFox.ws in a browser on the PC on his desk. He tried, but his system wouldn't let him access the site because it was restricted.

No wait a minute. This is a stock broker. He's supposed to be knowledgeable about what's going on in the world so he can give good advice. An he can't get to the Internet? Are they concerned that he's going to be looking at porn or something? Maybe that's a good investment.

(Before you comment on that, I'm just getting frustrated this week.)

1 comment:

kamran said...

We were both in the Twillight zone last week- I have a client who is a graphic designer who handles some of the creative work for some very large and progressive accounts. He looked at me as if I had three heads when I told him about my (admittedly humble) blog. 'I have never seen one of those things, why would anyone want to do that?' he asked, incredulously.