Friday, August 09, 2013

Sometimes it's best not to have the human touch

We were delayed by a few hours in turning up at Calais for our booked journey on Le Shuttle.

We didn't call ahead. We just thought we'd see what happened. I pulled up at the unmanned ticket office. A camera read my number plate and the following message appeared on the screen. "You can depart on the next available train, Mr Hepworth. This is in forty minutes. There will be no extra charge."

So we did. That's the beauty of a completely automated system. It doesn't want to punish you. It just wants to get you out of its hair as soon as possible.


  1. The same is true of booking restaurants online. On the phone, one can sense the maitre d' assessing your accent, your name and your request to decide whether you merit a table, whereas online it's just a case of computer says yes or no.

    Usually no...

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