How the hell does the US work these days?

Just tried to find out some stuff. How do I get translation rights to some media stuff. But it’s an odd request, not standard at all.

And no one at all ever answers a phone anywhere. You must know the name of the person you want or you’re not going to get anywhere. General numbers simply don’t get answered at all. And sure, standard requests are well handled by ‘bots. Tell us the name of the piece you want, what you’re going to do with it, the website will send you a quote. But obviously that cannot handle anything non-standard.

Given that you can’t ever get hold of a human who does know how to handle non-standard, how does non-standard ever get done?

10 comments on “How the hell does the US work these days?

  1. I remember when I was in Nigeria looking to secure various services from contractors. Sometimes I’d find myself looking up names online, or even in Yellow Pages, and ringing up companies and asking to be put through to the head of sales. It was a lot more difficult than you would expect, and I wondered how these companies stay in business. There I was, phoning with a genuine enquiry (contracts actually got placed) from a major oil company and I was being sent around the houses.

  2. Well, a lot of that is specifically to keep people from cold-calling. Which we get a lot of.

    I’d apply for one of those ‘standard’ quotes just to get my foot in the door – once they process it you’ll likely be contacted by a real person and can try to proceed from there.

  3. You sound just like a Yank complaining about service from British companies forty years ago.

  4. Didn’t you realise? A chap has to know a chap, and he’ll put you in touch with a chap. None of this public-facing access nonsense.

  5. What Agammamon says. Just pop your request into the generic mailbox / webform / whatever, and see which company is the most proactive in getting back to you.

  6. Use LinkedIn to find somebody in the company and ring them, it doesn’t matter what it is they actually do, they will give you a name and transfer you.

  7. @BobRocket, June 21, 2017 at 4:24 pm
    “Use LinkedIn to find somebody in the company and ring them, it doesn’t matter what it is they actually do, they will give you a name and transfer you.”

    Good tip. Thanks.

  8. @Pcar, BobRocket,

    Also, if you knew the firm had DDI, but switchboard didn’t get answered, randomly change the last 3 digits of the main switchboard number, then when some blert answers, “Oh, I seem to have been put through to you by mistake, could you transfer me to… etc etc”.

    Used to work, anyway.

  9. I think the big trade events – fairs, conferences and the like – are the key. You meet people there, get their card, and can contact them directly. Works for my team (albeit we then need someone to put us in contact with their lawyers to explain why we are not going to sign up to whatever random federal shit they need to add to their agreements…).

    Obviously a mechanism from the nineteenth century is a good way to run a twenty-first century economy…

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