Now Enter Word Verification in Box Below Guestbook
I give up. It’s just too hard. Sometimes, no matter how determined you may be to share an idea or express an opinion, organizations just don’t want to know. So when yet another pop-up window repeatedly appeared on the hotel screen saying, “Now enter word verification in box below guestbook” it was all too much.
Why do so many firms make it so hard to communicate? I can only guess they haven’t got a clue what it’s like dealing with them. Most likely, they expect everyone thinks they’re wonderful. After all, people believing in their own publicity is the lifeblood of advertising revenues. It’s the kind of stuff that says, “Aren’t we great? You are soooo lucky we even bother to serve you.” Which might explain the mindset behind the “Enter word verification in box below guestbook” demand.
At risk of annoying longsuffering web designers, there’s a rampant plague of unfriendly Internet interfaces out there that seem bent on blocking, frustrating, and confusing users to the point of surrender. Terms like: “Enter word verification in box below guestbook”, “Retype the previous information without additions”, and “Complete details before initializing sequence for request to begin” all make my blood drain. What are they thinking?
So when we were invited to provide feedback on the website of the hotel we had stayed in, I tried. But then, the system blocked me every step of the way. I wanted to tell the management how friendly the staff was, how good the bed felt, and how fresh and clean the room was kept. But instead, I kept getting “Enter word verification in box below guestbook”, even though there was no verification space in the first place. Gradually, my happy thoughts started eroding and I began to think unsavory things about the management. The disconnect was just too much for me to be bothered with trying to cross the divide to find someone who cared and say something sincere.
As life gets increasingly complex, we risk seeing our sincerity being wiped out by inane details, and spurious demands. It’s harder to be warm with people who don’t relate, refuse to make the effort, or say good things but contradict them with indifference. It takes mindful choice to say, “What is reasonable here? Should I go further to say what I feel in a constructive way? Or do I scale my opinions with compromise?” Next time you hit the equivalent of, “Enter word verification in box below guestbook” weigh up the options. Rather than letting yourself become frustrated, consider this. We live in an information world. So it stands to reason there will be lots of approximation, and misinformation. For the sake of self-preservation you’ve got to accept that it’s okay to keep your thoughts to yourself, now and then, and let imperfections go. Being able to keep and then release your opinion without statement might seem strange. But as a practical skill it can be intensely liberating. Sometimes it’s right to be quiet.