Kansas City may not enjoy the majesty of mountains or the allure of oceans, but when it comes to massive sea storms, it’s kinda nice being an inlander. That said, the combination of globalization, staff layoffs and outsourcing has driven the epic international tragedy in the Philippines to the doorstep of 18th and Grand and the Kansas City Star.
Since last week the newspaper’s customer service has been out of commish.
“Our customer service in the Philippines was hit by a typhoon Thursday,” says a source. “So if you call for customer service, you don’t get anything. Like if you didn’t get your paper, that’s what you get.”
Net result: news staffers have been fielding unexpected calls from grumpy readers upset about whatever it is they’re upset about, compounded by not being able to reach a warm body to vent their displeasure upon.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is the voicemail portion of the Star’s system is partially back, except for the actual, live staffers in the Philippines, who may be out of commish for who-knows-how-long.
“Thank you for calling the Kansas City Star,” the message now begins. “Please note that our customer service system is unavailable today for subscription and billing inquiries…We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.”
People’s lives are hanging in the balance as a result of what some say is the biggest storm to strike the earth in recorded history. And all we get is some lame recording obfuscating a human tragedy wreaking havoc with newspaper staffers far away?
That and a front page story about the event itself with no mention whatsoever about the newspaper’s personal brush with the tragedy.