There was a time when Google was the messiah of the World Wide Web. Their search-engine simplicity defined the pinnacle of efficiency. All others would be held to this standard. Alas, Google has shown itself to be the wild-haired madman shouting to a crowd through a megaphone while standing on a wooden crate. Take Google Apps. I’m paying for two business email accounts that cost $20 a month. I have, in effect, enslaved myself to Google’s galaxy. This wouldn’t be such a trainwreck if I didn’t have to spend an hour on the phone with people who barely speak English and can’t answer the simplest question without having to screen share.
Example. How to create an alias email in Google Apps: First you have to search for their Support page, then find the Pin#, then jump through a few hoops to speak with someone live, then after an hour, you’re transferred to someone else and maybe, just maybe, you might find an answer.
Excerpt from a real conversation:
TheBong: Hi, can you help—
Cust. Service: What is your telephone number?
TheBong: Why would I wanna give you my telephone number?
Cust. Service: In case we get disconnected.
TheBong: Hm, smart. 212-555-1234.
Cust. Service: Thank you, sir. May I now have your pin?
TheBong: What’s that?
Cust. Service: The number that will authorize me to speak with you.
TheBong: Where do I find it?
Cust. Service: In your Google Apps.
TheBong: Yeah, I kinda’ got that. But where in my Google Apps?
Cust. Service: In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see nine dots in a 3-by-3 layout.
TheBong: You mean the “keypad”?
Cust. Service: If that is what you wish to call it.
TheBong: I’ll call it whatever you want me to call it, but referring to it as a “3-by-3 layout” tells me you guys didn’t quite think this through before launching your product.
Cust.Service: Thank you for informing us of our shortcomings. I can only imagine how judgmental you must be of yourself.
TheBong: What the hell is that supposed to mean? Listen, Freud, your only job is to help me create an alias email.
Cust. Service: I’d be delighted, sir. Would you please sign in to Google Hangouts?
TheBong: What the — why would I wanna hang out with you?
Cust. Service: You wouldn’t. But Google Hangouts will allow me to screen share.
TheBong: You mean to tell me you can’t help me create an alias email — an email service I’m paying for monthly — without having to screen share? Who designed your product, a baboon?… (long, long silence) Hello? You there? Did you hang up on me?… (duh)… You motherless turd!
I swear this was nearly identical to the conversation I had with a Google Service Rep, except the person I spoke with had an accent thicker than the earth’s crust.
To recap, firstname.lastname@example.org is only the general email. If you wanted to create a email@example.com, you’d most likely have to spend an hour with an undertrained person before you got anywhere. What does all this amount to? A bunch of Google monkeys trying to screw in a lightbulb with a wrench.
If Google Apps is a trainwreck, then Google+ would have to be an asteroid destroying a major city. After weeks of growing in my hair, my window jumping out of me, watching sunrises in the West, I accidentally figured out that, despite asking for a forward-slash URL (google.com/blogbellion), Google had stuck me with their version: www.google.com/+blogbellion.
But of course, the “+” symbol. How could I have failed to figure out Google’s branding? After all, if I so much as sneeze, I get 30 emails offering different types of tissues. But ask Google to make life easier for a paid service, I have to jump through more hoops than a poodle in a one-ring circus.
Then again, I could always delete Google+. It’s not like I’d be losing anything. And that’s exactly what I did. I deleted my original Google+ account because it conflicted with my “business” Google+ account, despite both accounts having been registered under one email account. All the content on the first account got cremated.
I predict in a couple of years, Google+ will be dinosaured. They just don’t get it: Keep it simple, stupid.
Why can’t life be more like pizza? You throw a slice in the oven, wait a minute, and — voila — you eat. Or maybe I spoke too soon. After all, not all pizzas taste the same. Truth be told, most pizzas suck.
But why? Pizzas universally seem to use the same basic ingredients: Flour, salt, sugar, oregano, canned tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. About as simple as simple can get, right?
The only one worth mentioning, the only one I’d spend real money on, is Fresco Pizza & Pasta in The Bronx. They have a secret to their delicioso. In the next post, you’ll know all about it. For now, whet your appetite with a free large pie from Fresco and tell me if it’s not in the top 5 of the best pizzas you’ve ever eaten. Brooklynites, cry your heart out.
If only everything else in life could be so divine.
1 LARGE PIZZA PIE
The comment with the most upvotes in 24 hours receives a free large pizza pie from Fresco Pizza & Pasta. Winner must bring a minimum of two friends and the pizza must be eaten on premises.