Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Customer Service Sucks

Today I was trying to correct an error my bank made. I called one number, waited 30 minutes for this answer "Oh, this is the wrong phone number for that. Please call this other number." I called the other number and got "Oh, well, you have to go into your branch for that." It was at that point that I lost it.

It reminded me of that commercial for DHL where they tout their customer service by showing extreme, yet frighteningly realistic, versions of bad customer service. Of course, this is the same company whose driver threw boxes up to the second floor of our apartment complex from the atrium instead of walking them up. And it took him three tries to get it up there. Chef called and complained, but their customer service department didn't seem to care.

I've worked shitty retail jobs. I've been yelled out because of Beanie Babies and asked what present seemed appropriate for an imprisoned gay lover. I know it sucks. But when a non-idiot customer asks you where the rice cakes are, don't just point to an area. Actually show me that they've been moved to sit RIGHT NEXT TO THE DONUTS in a cruel home version of Temptation Island.

Oh and Nick and Jessica broke up. SHOCKER. I don't care if you've got millions of dollars the first couple years of marriage will ALWAYS be hard. Why make it harder by subjecting yourself to even more scrutiny and selling your marriage to the highest bidder? Also, releasing the information the night before Thanksgiving didn't really make it less newsworthy or make it so that you could have a stressfree meal.

It only means one thing: No Nick & Jessica Christmas Special this year. Now that's truly a genuine One Size Fits All present.

Monday, November 28, 2005

What Can Brown Do For You?

Chef and I were watching The Soup again the other day and came upon some clips from Being Bobby Brown. I never watched the reality show with Bobby and Whitney. Mostly because I didn't want to see Whitney be all crazy and feel like it was Bobby's fault bring her down, but knowing that she was probably really crazy to start with.

Anyway, one of the several clips shown feature Bobby talking to Whitney while she was doing her make-up. She looked like she was sitting at some sort of vanity, while he looked like he was sitting on the toilet. Anyway, he starts going into some story about how he used "these two fingers" (insert video of Bobby holding up his two index fingers) to get a turd out of Whitney's butt.

That's right. He scooped a turd from Whitney's butt.

Um, I love Chef, but I'll be damned if I would use my hands to crunch up his turds for him. I'd rather bleed than ask him into the bathroom for that.

On another, less fecal note, the management company has decided to let go of the maintenance and management crew that was running our complex. What does this mean? It means DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD. If not dead, at least fired or reassigned. Whatever it is, Shelly is no longer at our complex.

In the two short weeks (which included last week over Thanksgiving) since the change, the crappy ass plaster job that was done was ridicule and fixed by the new crew. They also actually came back--they were a day late, but get this, THEY CALLED TO TELL US THEY WERE COMING A DAY LATER--and painted the area. When they didn't have the paint that matched our bathroom and used a darker color, they offered to paint the entire bathroom to match the new color. Things might not be perfect, but I'm already liking the change.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Perhaps if She Played the Violin with a More Popular Part of her Body

1 a : happily excited : merry b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits
2 a : bright, lively b : brilliant in color
3: given to social pleasures;
4 a : homosexual b : of, relating to, or used by homosexuals

From the gossip pages:
Paris (Hilton) is a "classically trained violinist," says Blender (via the New York Post), although it looks like she has no plans to show off her string skills on her much-ballyhooed forthcoming CD.

"I'm not going to be onstage playing the violin," she explains to the mag. "That would be gay."


Which one of those means stupid? None of them. That's not even the most bothersome thing about this quote. It's just the first thing that I can think of to contradict. Actually, it was the first thing that She-Ra brought to my attention.

I have several other problems with this bit of gossip. First of all, I am technically a classically trained pianist, yet I haven't played piano for over 10 years. Does this qualify me to put down a recording of it? No.

Second of all, since I hadn't heard much about the Paris Hilton album since she was dating Nick Carter (which was like 2 engagements and 5 boyfriends ago), I was kinda hoping it was die--like her acting career after 'House of Wax'.

Or maybe it will be like a 45 minute-long all Paris version of "But Can They Sing?." The show itself might not be worth sitting down to listen to, but check out The Soup on Fridays for the highlights---and if nothing else, check out Bai Ling's performances. I have no idea who this girl is or what she does, but all the racket she's making makes me think she's an Asian Paris Hilton minus the money. What does she do, people?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bill Gates Killed Santa Claus

I'll admit it. I drove about an hour and a half round trip last night trying to find an Xbox 360. Chef wanted nothing else for Christmas and we'd both contributed appropriate funds in preparation for this day. However, it really took only one phone call to realize we were screwed.

Chef called the Wal-Mart, which he had called on several prior occasions to check on Xbox 360 procedures. They assured it was first come, first served, but that we'd "better get here quick." So we hopped in the car and headed out there only to find that they had given out numbers a mere minutes before we arrived. All gone.

Frantic in our search, we started calling all Wal-Marts, Circuit Citys and Best Buys we could. Even in surrounding towns they were sold out before the Xbox 360 went on sale. Our only hope at that point was a Wal-Mart in a small town 45 minutes away. They said they'd put out chairs corresponding to the amount of stock they had and there were three empty seats. Half-way there, I had Chef call again: two empty seats left. Of course, we get there, they're full and I feel crappy because I didn't have any other Christmas ideas for him.

Come to find out that Microsoft is being a bitch. Stores presold more consoles than Microsoft shipped. That's there fault. But is it?

Despite all the claims, we all know that Microsoft is doing this on purpose. They overpublicized the product (hello...been to msn lately?) they knew they weren't going to have enough of. Why would they do that? Because lines and people camping out for your product looks good, especially since the last time your company got hyped it was for a monopoly trial or for Windows XP that was a big disappointment.

Besides, the good publicity does more than help immediate sales. Even Microsoft admits that the last Xbox had a great launch and then sales dwindled more over time than expected. So to solve that this time around they've created the sarcity scare. Consumer will line up this time and if they miss out, they'll pre-order the next time...and the time after that....and the time after that. Not only is the Xbox 360 the hottest thing to get, it's the hardest thing to get. Scarcity and status in one fowl swoop.

Okay, don't believe me. Xbox has sold about 32 million Xboxes since its launch in about 2000. So Xbox consoles sell at about 6 million consoles per year. Say only a third of that is US sales: that's about 2 million consoles. One would guess that more than one million of those consoles are sold at Christmas time. And that's without much hype.

So, why did the US only get an estimated 400,000-700,000 consoles for the NEW Xbox 360 this Christmas season. Poor planning? I don't think so.

So, screw you, Bill Gates, I'm going home...and without an Xbox 360. So suck it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I hate you FOX!

But mostly I just hate the American audience. They have cancelled Arrested Development and it's all your fault. Actually, they haven't even done the right thing and officially cancelled it. Just not ordered the "back end" 9 episodes that would make up the second half of the season. That's like not breaking up with a girl, but also not sleeping with her so that when you do break it off you can assuage your guilt.

I'm not saying that all of America had to watch 'Arrested Development'. That would be unreasonable. However, here is a list of un-funny, unoriginal or just plain crappy shows that America has watched enough to keep on the air:

  • According to Jim
  • My Wife and Kids
  • That 70s Show
  • America's Funniest Home Videos
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Freddie
  • Hope & Faith
  • Rodney
  • George Lopez
  • Hot Properties
  • Crossing Jordan
  • Medium
  • The West Wing
  • E-ring
  • Criminal Minds
  • Ghost Whisperer
  • King of Queens
  • NCIS
  • Still Standing
  • Yes, Dear
  • Two and a half men
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • Bones

And that's just with the four major networks. That doesn't include WB or UPN. So why can these shows survive only to have good, Emmy-winning shows taken off the air? From now on, I will only watch Fox for Family Guy and the last of Arrested Development. Until 24 comes back on and then it's only Family Guy and 24. But that's it.

On another note, I went to Comcast today to pick up some needed lengths of Coax cable. The customer service rep on the phone said they would provide some free of charge. So I went down there and didn't have a line and was told that I could only receive one of the 6 lengths that I needed for free and that the other lengths would cost 20 cents per foot. Not bad so I decided, FINE, I'll go ahead and pay the $3.60 for the rest. She told me I had to order it and then she said she'd see if they had it in the back. Excuse, aren't you a CABLE company? Would it be too much to ask that you have cable?

She brought it out and I handed her my credit card. She gave me a blank look as I stood at the window next to a giant sign announcing that they took Visa and Mastercard. "we only take cash for cable, " she said.

"Fine," I said. "I'll go find and ATM and be right back."

Twenty minutes later and out a $2 ATM fee, I returned with cash to find a very full lobby and had to wait 10 minutes in line to get up to a different customer service rep. I told the rep that the other lady had the cable and she said "Well, she put it back because she didn't think you were really coming back." So the new lady went and got me my cable and with cash in hand, she looked at me and said "Don't worry about it. We usually just give it to customers for free."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Our Meeting Needed Tampax and a Bottle of Vodka

I had a meeting today with a group of women. I'm much like many women in that I become prejudice against women when I'm dealing with a grouping over four at a time and that don't include my friends.

The first part of the meeting was spent telling our organization what was wrong with it and the second part was spent telling each other who they knew. None of this was exceptionally helpful and none of this was listed as an action item on the agenda. In fact, the meeting was held over a lunch period and didn't get over until nearly 45 minutes after the intended ending period. Besides I was really cranky at the end because I was presenting and therefore didn't get to enjoy my box lunch until after everyone else left.

Why do we have meetings and why as children do we have these grandiose image of meetings being helpful, constructive, almost biblical events? The only thing biblical about this meeting was that I wanted to stone any woman on her period.

Has anyone seen the NBA dress code? Players are bitching because they have to wear a suit or business casual attire when doing league business. Am I the only one that doesn't have a problem with this? Come on, professional athletes. You make enough to afford some nice shit, and introducing the business casual attire will let you show off a whole new level of bling.

Again, this goes back to my "professional athletes do shit that wouldn't fly in the real world" rant. Can someone tell me a profession that doesn't have some sort of dress code? Even strippers have to abide by the county ordinances as to how much they can take off. Can't an NBA player take the headphones off for a second, strap on a pair of Kenneth Coles, take off their sunglasses and act like they care?

Friday, November 11, 2005

We're Not That Stupid

Nicole Richie was on the Today show this morning looking like an Ethiopian child in need of 25 cents per day. All she was missing were the flies around her eyes and a Coca-Cola sweatshirt.

However, the purpose of her visit was to bring attention to her new book "The Truth About Diamonds." Am I missing the great lie about diamonds that the title alludes to? One of the characters in this book is Chloe, a daughter of a famous musician. The other character in the book is Sophie or Sophia or something like that, a rich heiress who also starred with Chloe on a reality TV show. Next time just name her "Moscow" or "London" because we aren't that stupid.

Richie insisted to Katie Couric that the character was NOT Paris Hilton but a composite character of several people she knows...that starred with her on a reality show. Again, we're not that stupid. However, I applaud Richie for out-Parising Paris by using Hilton to sell her book. Nice move.

What I don't applaud is the stupid-ass editor that gave this book a greenlight. At least get a ghost-writer for the poor girl. Insist if you have to because no one is fooled into thinking Richie can string 100-pages of coherent sentences together. Even the crappy-ass Nanny Diaries took two people to write it.

The 'Today' show web site had an excerpt from the first chapter. My favorite gem is as follows:

"Chloe had been going to the hottest clubs in Hollywood since she was this many, wearing L.A. Gear sneakers everywhere she went."

I'm guessing "this many" is the amount of fingers that a child would hold up to say his or her age. Interactive literature. True genius.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I was in Cracker Barrel on Monday for a rare appearance at the breakfast table and was met with a little religion. I always like to get my religion with a side of sourdough toast and some penny candy anyway, so this was a delightful treat.

I was in the bathroom when I found a religious comic strip. Perhaps you've picked one up when someone has forced it in your face at the airport or other venue with large groups of people. I was familiar because this things were left all over a store that I was working at in college. Perhaps someone sensed my need to be saved or got confused when he or she smelled the abundance of incense.

Anyway, this company called Chick publications prints this things out and has people hand them out nationally to help spread the love and warmth of all fanatics. I say fanatics because I've lived in the South for long enough to know a lot of people who are Christian--even a lot of people that are really Christian, but none of them has expressed to me the sentiments laid out in this comic.

The book was called "Squatters" and I thought with the illustration and title that were on the front it would be about people in the Middle East. Little did I know that people in their own backyard piss off Jack Chick even more. Although there are many favorites, I've shown my current favorite panel below:

Why is it that all the things that are hated are always given a female pronoun? Especially when it comes to the Catholic Church because females aren't in control or perhaps they wouldn't have had that little problem. Posted by Picasa

I'm not eligible to make this choice because I don't have a penis. Perhaps a man will make it for me.

There are more that just repeat the themes of women are evil and can't be trusted and the Roman Catholic Church is controlling everything but is being controlled itself by the devil. There's a panel with a devil, the pope and a marionette that's interesting.

So the next time you're in a Cracker Barrel and are looking for something a little edgier than Coca-Cola memorabilia or Yankee Candles, check out the bathroom. Lots of shit in there.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

10 Frivolous Questions For All to Speculate On

Some thoughts that are completely vapid, yet still in need of answers and opinion:
  1. Who is the person that is going to die on 'Lost'?
  2. Is it just me or is it pretty tasteless to have Jerry Orbach on a 'Did They or Didn't They Have Plastic Surgery List'?
  3. How much should a good haircut cost?
  4. If you could play any game on Price is Right, what would you play? I'd play Plinko. I'm a game show whore for cash--screw prizes.
  5. Do Shera and Swampette still love me? (That's just a blatantly pathetic attempt to get them to comment--I'm sure they won't comment as to not reward my behavior).
  6. How many months can something be incredibly broke in an apartment and not fixed before you're allowed to go nuts on some ass? I think 5 weeks is sufficient.
  7. Chef sent me an article about how hormonal women are more attractive, but that we hide it with make-up and that evens the playing field. So I'm wondering if I need the make-up to catch up or if I'm more hormonal and thereby more attractive without it. What percentage of women do you think are more hormonal?
  8. Why is it that no matter cable, internet or cell phone company you have, it always sucks? How can every media provider suck that much?
  9. Why do I have to read European newspapers to see what's going on in my country?
  10. How did Ann Coulter get away with making a flippant remark like "Well, it just means that the Republican party is getting rid of a man named Scooter"? Do you stop being Republican when you're indicted?

Okay, I'm done with the questions. At least for today.


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