Musings on Computers and Control

I could have sworn that the slogan over at Lifehacker used to be “Computers make us more productive. Yeah right” or something to that effect. I can’t seem to find it there anymore, but if that’s not their slogan anymore, it’s their loss.

Today I went to the doctor’s office. I hadn’t been in a while, so they had some housekeeping to do with me. I gave my name and mentioned my appointment time. I didn’t expect, “What state were you born in?” to be the next question. “Uhh, Massachusetts?” I responded, pretty confusedly. She then explained that the computer made them ask some new questions, so she had to fill them in.

“Is English your primary language?”

It’s worth mentioning that this was in Bedford, which is even more “WASPy” than surrounding areas, or so it seems. (Wikipedia claims 97.4% white, which seems low to me.) While it was tempting to put on a thick accent and explain that Swedish was my native language, I decided to tell the truth and say yes.

“What is your ethnicity?”

She kind of laughed while asking that one, fully aware that the questions were pretty absurd and pointless. “Do you even have an ethnicity?”

“Uhh, is American an ethinicity? White?”

“No, that’s race. That’s the next question. I’ll just put–hmm… Decline to answer?”

After having me sign multiple forms, she told me I was done, before saying, “Oh, wait… It’s not letting me save this… Can I see your [health insurance] card?”

I could have sworn she told me that she needed to input information on my PCP (Primary Care Physician), which is weird since… I was at their office. It wouldn’t let her save without it.

So I ask–who’s in charge these days: computers or people?

One thought on “Musings on Computers and Control

  1. Auditors are in charge. We’re in charge. We make computers more in charge because we don’t trust you people… you people make mistakes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *