Let me tell you something about TPS reports …
A few years ago the contact center I then worked at slashed their workforce by about 25%, it was the start of the Great Recession. This proved almost instantly to be a disastrous move. Call waiting times were already pushing 15 mins or more and even the fastest ticket turn-around times were measured in hours. But after that lay-off, literally overnight, the hold time went to hours and the ticket-time went to days. The hold time soon grew so great the system couldn’t hold that many open lines in queue, it began crashing periodically and hanging up on people, often after they’d been on hold for an hour or more. If you think they were in a good mood when they finally got through, think again. The crash in the phone system was nothing compared to the crash in customer satisfactions scores that soon followed.
It was a full-blown debacle, something had to be done, so senior management came up with a brilliant solution: hang up on 90% of the calls after they got through. Just dump them out of the system! Customers didn’t even get a recorded message inviting them to visit the website at first, not at first, for some bizarre reason that took another few weeks to get set up. So, just BAM, it would hang up on you. Not only was no one fired, as I recall a round of promotions and title upgrades swept through senior management, confirming the whole episode from start to finish had in all likelihood been orchestrated at the highest levels.
This is the reality in the private sector, they penny-pinch and cost-cut to the absolute bone, often with significant, dire consequences for service and support. After 2008, it got much, much worse. Those departments found themselves among the most popular to gut, outsource, or simply eliminate. They were easy targets. In part because customer service and tech support are generally staffed by the worst paid, least influential, short-term and part-time employees in an entire company.
But the crew on Morning Joe isn’t having any of this. What’s really funny is some of the same people who voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare, then did their best to defund and hobble the law at every level, up to and including shutting down the government, are now whining the website wasn’t properly funded and the WH should fly out to Silicon Valley and hire billionaire developers to speed it up.
What’s funny about seeing the website under attack is how much better those efforts would have worked had Ted Cruz and his buddies not provided so much cover. But even if it had been front and center starting at the first of the month, I’m not sure it would matter to many people outside of the usual suspects, the clowns who get a woody every time they think they have a new scheme to with which to attack Obama.
The premise of these attacks, that your average non-partisan American has never encountered a slow website, and/or will therefore feel outrage over same even though they will probably never use this one, sounds almost comical. Hell, the credit card only vending machine in my apartment complex just glitched out on me longer than it took Healthcare.gov to load right before I hammered this post out. And for what it’s worth, I remember when Amazon started, I remember when iPads and iPhones came out, it wasn’t that long ago after all folks, and they crashed and sputtered and had all kinds of issues like everything else.
But on Morning Joe, all those sites and systems and devices worked flawlessly. On Morning Joe, a slow government website, and only a slow government website, is on par with the slow government response to Hurricane Katrina.
There was a time when I would follow this up with the obligatory warning that the wingnut Wurlitzer can make a mountain out of any molehill. But watching Scar try to inject his talking points into this discussion, I think even that once admirable spin machinery has been weakened over the past few years.