Tuesday, 1 May 2018

The bulls**t job phenomenon - HelpHound takes up the gauntlet



The premise of David Graeber's essay (a viral phenomenon which has been read by more than a million people and has now been expanded into a book) is that in the post-industrial workplace, so many jobs are pointless.

So - we took a look at our job, review management, and applied some of the Times' tests to our role...

"Can you picture your mother succinctly describing your job to one of her friends? Anecdotally speaking, the more important your job, the easier time she'll have of it. You're a nurse? That's easy. You're a teacher? Again, a piece of cake. You're a crane driver or a scientist or a binman? Congratulations, your mum can talk about you with ease."

What about a 'review manager'? Mmmm. But that's not how we describe ourselves to our mums - or how our mums describe us to their friends. It actually goes something like this...


"You know reviews on the web? Well my Jimmy/Janet makes sure they are useful."

That description tends to hit the spot - and we often get responses like...
  • "you mean Jimmy stops fake reviews?"
  • "does he help consumers get a more accurate picture of the business we are thinking of using?"
  • "so he helps business that are great in the real world look great online?"
If they are still interested - and the ones who own or manage a business mostly still are - our 'Jimmys' get supplementaries like...
  • "Can anyone write a review on these sites - even competitors or ex-staff or customers that have just plain got the wrong end of the stick?" - sometimes followed by "is that allowed?" and/or "can I get them taken down?"...and then...
  • "I thought [insert name of reviews site] did that - wow!"?
To which the - current - answers are...
  • "Yes" and...
  • "No - they simply provide a vehicle for consumers to write reviews - they take no position on whether or not those reviews are honestly held opinion or, worse for both business and consumer, factually accurate."

"So that's where Jimmy comes in - he make sure they are useful?"

Isn't that what mum said five minutes ago?

Next...

"What would happen if your job disappeared overnight? Would the planet continue to turn?"

Jimmy and Janet's mum's answer:

"Their clients would lose the only mechanism currently available - worldwide - that ensures that their business is accurately reflected in its reviews."

and...

"Their clients' customers would lose the most accurate way of establishing that any given business is good at what they say they do."

and...

"Google would lose a hugely valuable source of accurate reviews."

Enough? We think so. Much more importantly, so do our clients and their customers.

No comments:

Post a comment

HelpHound is all about feedback, so please feel free to comment here...