Southern Ontario’s curse

Kerry Knudsen
Kerry Knudsen

The latest television ad from Rogers (southern Ontario’s curse) features another bumbling male acting as a failed mentor to a boy needing direction.

The new and oh-so-brilliant, oh-so-vivant slogan for the oh-so-new ad? “Out with the old and slow.”

In this ad, Rogers is trying to talk about the internet, but the company hits a recurring theme in popular culture. Simply put, unless you are a 22-year-old hardbody, you cannot know anything. On the other hand, if you are a 22-year-old hardbody, Rogers makes you say such memorable lines as, “Now I don’t know which is smarter — me or my phone.”

Are the Rogers ad-scribes fools? To be truthful, yup. But then, they can afford to be. They are big. We are not. And their audience is not critical. Basically, we will watch anything.

I tend to look backward in history more than at Rogers’ ads. You may not believe this, but every culture except ours through all the ages has the same general iconic figure symbolizing wisdom, and it’s not a 22-year-old hardbody. It’s an old man or an old woman. I will even go one step further and predict it will never be the internet.

I apologize for citing commercials you may not have seen, but I hope you get the drift without having the experience.

The fact is, I am irked at Rogers and have been. I am irked worse than I am at Air Canada. Rogers is a national expert at telecommunications. It is so advanced, it has a technology that pulls up your account information on the system before one of their two humans even answers the phone, just by asking you to enter the 10-digit telephone number of one of the devices on your account. The process is further expedited by the first order the human gives: “Please tell me the 10-digit telephone number of one of the devices on your account.” I love it when humans are polite.

Actually, I am being sarcastic. The humans are not polite; they are browbeaten. Do you know that recording you hear while you are entering your 10-digit telephone number? It says the call may be recorded for quality purposes. “Quality,” in this case, means “legal department.” There is nothing more friendly than that.

I pay a lot for my cell phone. Granted, I use it for work, and I have to make calls to and from the U.S. and elsewhere, so I can’t really cut the plan. Besides, I’m stuck, because I have a phone to use the plan with. If I didn’t have a phone, the plan would be cheaper. Go figure.

You have heard of the internet call services. I use Skype. I don’t recommend Skype; I just use it. In Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the U.K., and even in the good-old U.S.A. and Malta, you can get a Skype Online Number. This means you get a 10-digit telephone number that people can actually call both from and to a telephone. That means your voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) plan works for incoming calls on your telephone, not just a computer. On Skype, I have a plan with no phone.

For about $13 a month, I can call any landline on earth and talk for 48 hours straight if I choose. The downside is I can’t receive incoming calls on a phone. Online numbers are not available in Canada. I can’t get a straight reason why, although I have asked. I have a sense it’s because of people with names like Rogers or Bell, or that end in MP.

These people are too big for me to tackle alone (although I do). They are altogether too big. However, as British essayist Alexander Pope was fond of saying, “The higher you climb, the more you show your ass.” Note: 22-year-olds, please don’t try this. Pope was being impolite for effect.

Get on the internet and jot a note to your MP. They love hearing from us.

The WMS in Toronto is just around the corner. If the past three years have taught us anything, it is that we have to work smarter if we can’t work harder. Canadian trade shows are the way to find out what options are available. The entire Wood Industry staff will be working the show. Stop by at booth 526 and let us know your views on the world, the industry, the media and your company.

Also, many of you will be receiving in the next day or two a few survey questions. As a magazine that makes much of working for the reader, your opinions matter. This time, as will be obvious, we are thinking about expanding. However, the ball is in your court. Please give the survey two minutes of your time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here