What happened was that Jay's name, for some still unexplained reason, wrongly landed on a death list of sorts produced by the
You'd think in a high-speed, information systems-managed society such errors wouldn't happen. Or at least they'd be fixed in a nano-second.
No and no.
In today's computer-centric business world, humans heavily rely on machines and algorithms to do such menial, tedious administrative work, and for a lot less money. That's fine until it costs someone -- this time Jay, next time maybe you -- time, money and aggravation.
In Jay's case, even after he convinced
So, although the mistake was undone,
"Because I'm dead," Jay said, half bemused, half exasperated.
Fortunately, it is a correctable issue. Jay has restored his standing among the living with
"And my life insurance company, too," he said. "They were really happy to hear I was still alive."
However, he still gets the occasional note from a financial entity stating that some benefit or business relationship is being terminated owing to his un-death. And then, the burden of proof remains on Jay to demonstrate to that financial institution that he walks this earth with the rest of us.
"Every time I get one of these I think, Wow, what's going to be next?" he said.
It's a question lots of other people are probably asking. The research firm TDWI calculates poor and incorrect data costs
All of which points to a flaw: Databases and systems speed the course of business, but still commit mistakes, do not appear to have the capacity to check out information and can be impenetrable to a correction.
"The thing that bothers me is nobody checked this out," he said. "No one called to see if it was correct."
Largely, because humans don't talk to each other. And when we do, it's with a well-meaning but somewhat disconnected call center operator somewhere between
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