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Business is business - I can’t get no satisfaction !

Extract from the book Business is business, published by Malpaso and Diabolocom

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There is no value or interest inidentifying the satisfaction of a yes or a no.

Ah, the number of people who want us to be happy right now! Every day, we receive more and more emails, texts and calls asking us if we’re satisfied. From whom, from what? Well, from everyone and everything. From our “consumer experience” on website X and our “customer journey” in department store Y to the after-sales service at garage Z. Yesterday, they wanted to know if I was satisfied with my new printer cartridges. The question hadn’t even occurred to me! I replied that I was crazy with joy, and a little ashamed that I hadn’t given it much thought, whereas someone, somewhere, was thinking only of my pleasure…

Something has changed in the world of consumer surveys. Initially, five years ago - an eternity - we were just expected to give our opinion: agree or disagree. Except that, once they began to ask us our opinion on everything, we ended up having none at all: what do I think of the opening of the Sibelle perfumery in Mézières-sur-Seine on Sundays? Well, I think I don’t care. Then we were asked to grade things (as my friend Olivia de Lamberterie would say, students are pretty much the only ones who aren’t graded anymore in this country). These days, they go straight to the heart: it’s all about our happiness! With all these objects and services, it must be within our grasp, we can’t go wrong… It’s enough to make your head spin. If there’s one area of our lives that is intimate, intangible, impossible to put into words, this is it. If pleasure becomes compulsory, will they start asking our husbands: “Would you recommend your wife to a friend?” Can you imagine, one night, a little voice piping up in the dark, “As part of our marital satisfaction survey, your sexual performance tonight may be recorded”: pleasure is like happiness - it’s complex - and wanting to make them compulsory is absurd. We need to assert our right to be satisfied not to be satisfied. Or not to be satisfied to be satisfied…

Alix Girod De L’Ain, ELLE, Febuary 2016

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 Extract from the book Business is business, published by Malpaso and Diabolocom, in April 2019. Author Manuel Jacquinet. http://www.malpaso.org/publications/