By Sharan Saikumar

sharan saikumar cartoonA wise old man once told me that if I got my job, spouse and apartment right I’d have a shot at being happy. Right off the cuff I can think of at least 3 people who are condemned to unhappiness for eternity. First being the Flatus Odor Judge – they smell people’s farts for a living. How happy can they be? Second, a Whale Feces Researcher. Self-explanatory.

But my award goes to the guy at HSBC whose job designation probably reads Head Customer Service but the job description is this: get that damn thing called the Internet to stop screwing us.

HSBC in an outstanding ode to transparency and customer service has created this website – hsbcreviews.com – that generously collects every stray comment on the internet that features the word HSBC and helpfully puts it on a website that not only displays these comments in bold in case you’ve missed them on Twitter and other forums but also aggregates them into a pass/fail score on the internet open for the world and their aunt to see.

What they have also created is one desperately unhappy employee who comes in every morning and sits at his desk cursing the internet and monitoring the site for the next abuse to come hurling in. His job is impossible – to see that all 189099922 of HSBC customers worldwide do not go puking venom all over the internet. He is so stressed that he can’t even take a peaceful crap because the next minute a guy sitting in Zimbabwe will log in and freeze his guts.

Do so many people really hate the world’s local bank? Or do they just post the ugly stuff leaving out the nice coz everyone knows goodness don’t make for a gripping read? Seriously, when was the last time you went out of your way and complimented a brand on your status update – without getting paid for it!

So knowing this, why would a company go all the way out and create this masochistic platform that allows frustrated people to call them mo-fo’s for reasons ranging from not liking a late fee (even when they’ve delayed payment) to maybe because they’re just having a bad hair day? Are they saying – hey, look at us – we’re so cool? Or are they attempting to enter the Guinness Book for creating a world that is, without exception, happy with HSBC?

If they achieve that they’ll also enter the Guinness Book having an employee who hasn’t taken a crap in years and shoots out flatulence of such noxious quality that he was single handedly responsible for the death of the Flatus Odor Judge!

Shit.