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Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground

Your smartphone fails. You engage in an endless round of emails, per the provider’s instructions. Yet, the problem remains. You cry out in what you hope is your final email, “Please call me—I need a real-time conversation!” And when they finally indulge you that call, it works. Problem solved. It might even take just a few minutes.

Sound familiar? We are all entitled to be treated as customers with dignity and respect. But in our digital age, access to customer service is forced on us through the internet. The email may not be fully understood by the person at the receiving end, and the frustration mounts with each successive non-answer. (As an aside, I’d like to praise Amazon for responding to these stresses by making it easier to talk to customer service.)

The big push behind our movement to Be Positively Prehistoric® is to raise consciousness among we seniors and others that our dinosaur values are worth preserving. Values like the social contract to treat and be treated as a person, and with the niceties that we boomers had drilled into us by our parents and teachers. Insist on talking to a human if you're caught in the prison of electronic exchanges. And when you need a higher level of expertise, ask for a supervisor. Be a recording secretary. You know how to write, because you're a dinosaur.

Dinosaur values demand that mutual courtesy and kind consideration are the best way to solve problems, even if we start out with a robotized menu or under-trained staff. It’s also individually empowering. It means that you don’t succumb to a dehumanizing system of corporate cost-cutting. Dinosaurs demand their dignity.

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