Monday, October 31, 2005

BBC America...

...makes the cable bill bearable.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why'd he stop dammit?

I hate telephonic customer service. Well the human part of it usually is fine. The reps are almost invariably polite and helpful. Their service may suck, but they’ll sure be polite about screwing you over. However, getting to them is an ordeal by itself. For that you need to run the gauntlet of the Interactive Voice Response System (made and distributed by the agents of Hell).

There used to be a time when these systems used to be helpful. They would say “Press one to talk to Sales”, “Press two for customer service”, “Press three to talk to Sexy Single Women In Your Area Who Want To Have A Good Time”(Option three might have just been for numbers that I dialed, but I could be wrong. It is quite possible that no matter what the number is that you call; option three will always connect you Sexy Single Women In Your Area Who Want To Have A Good Time. Stranger things have been known to happen).

But someone couldn’t let well enough alone and they decided to make the experience more interactive. Perhaps the powers that be labor under the fond delusion that their customers will believe that a real live human being is talking to them. Let me disabuse them of that notion. NO WE DO NOT. And now we have systems that need you to talk to them. They claim to be more intuitive and able to handle simple responses like “yes” or “no” or “antidisestablishmentarianism”. I wouldn’t mind these systems if only they worked. But they do not. Actually they do work…as instruments of fine torture.

Interactive Voice Response System (hitherto known as The Spawn of Hell): Welcome to We Will Happily Screw You Over Ltd. How may I be of assistance today? Please state the service that you need and I will direct you to the concerned department.

Me (I’m my normal cheerful self at this time, a song on my face and a smile in my heart.): Customer Service.

The Spawn of Hell: Sorry, I did not under stand that. Please repeat what you said.

Me: Customer Service.

The Spawn of Hell: Sorry, I did not under stand that. Please repeat what you said.

Me: Customer Service!

The Spawn of Hell: Okay, I think you said you want to listen to our Long And Torturous Spiel Trying To Sell You Useless Yet Ridiculously Services That Nobody Will Ever Need? Say yes to confirm or no to um…unconfirm.

Me: No!

The Spawn of Hell: Thank you for confirming that.

Me: Oh Fuck me!

The Devils: Sure, bend over.

Me: What?

The Spawn of Hell: I said one moment please.

Me: No you did not! You asked me to bend over! In a nasty perverted voice!

The Spawn of Hell: I said one moment please. The spiel will now begin. Disconnecting during the spiel will require you to listen to it thrice when you call up again. Twice in English and once in Latin.

Thirty minutes later, I have listened to every possible service that they have, their enthusiastic bubbling at having a functional website and their pride in serving the community. All the while with the most irritating possible muzak in the background. And I’ve made the mistake of calling them up on my cell phone. During peak hours. Goodbye minutes.

And finally I get through to customer service.

Me: Hi! (edge of desperation in my voice)

Bored Voice At The Other End: Heylo.

Me: Um…I’m trying to track down a package.

Bored Voice At The Other End: Tracking number please.

Me: 1Z 38E W19 03 6569 372 0

Bored Voice At The Other End: Was that a Z 38E or βΏΘΨ?

Me: (With admirable restraint) Z 38E!

Bored Voice At The Other End: Ah yes. I see it here in the system.

Me: Excellent. What’s up with it? I’ve been waiting all day for it and it’s kinda important.

Bored Voice At The Other End: Hrmppph. Ah yes. We did not feel like delivering it.

Me: Huh?

Bored Voice At The Other End: Yeah, we know we’re UPS, the United Parcel bloddy service, but not so much. We may get around to it tomorrow.

Me: Huh?

Bored Voice At The Other End: Have a nice day and all that shit.

Me: Get back here dammit!

The Spawn of Hell:: Welcome back presciousssssssss!

Me: (Muffled Sobbing)

However, they did deliver the package the next day and I am happy since this is now sitting on a shelf next to my desk.

Friday, October 14, 2005

One, two, three...

So I now have my own apartment, and that is a good thing.

(When I say now, I mean since the evening of the nineteenth of September.)

However I have to set up the apartment and go buy those little luxuries which make life worth living.

Like furniture.

The apartment is currently Spartan. Austere. Barren. Like the surface of the moon; after a particularly boisterous (and apparently directionally challenged) windstorm has scoured all traces of life from it. Heck, the storm has fucking scoured all traces of rock from it.

Well, you get the point. My currently consists of three rolls of toilet paper, a toaster and a vast expanse of carpet. Carpet as far as the eye can bloody well see. Carpet, carpet everywhere and not a drop to drink; except for the orange juice in the fridge.

(That sentence contains the second semicolon that I have used in this post. I really have no clue where a semi colon goes. I used those to stop the ugly green squiggly lines from appearing in Word. My screen informs me that I had counted my punctuation marks before they had hatched. The green line has reappeared. I am currently flipping it the bird. It does not respond. I consider it subdued by my superior intellect. And while I’m at it, I’m changing tense from narrated past to present fucking active something.)

But today the even surface of my carpet was broken, and broken pleasantly I might add, with the appearance of a cable modem, a set-top box (for HBO which I wont ever have time to watch) and a rather wet cable guy. Fucking Comcast was finally here! But again I had counted my punctuation marks before they had hatched. The cable guy proceeded to rip the carpet up from its mooring with distressing alacrity (To run the wires to the cable outlet I had told him I would be using). And once the wires were laid out he re-laid the carpet…by professionally stamping on it firmly and tapping it in.

I looked on bemused silence (Bemused because I was in fact bemused and silence because I’m a strong, silent kind of chap. Much like Bertie Wooster) as the dude went ahead and busily connected wires and disconnected others, and then disconnected ones that were just connected. And then he turned the television on…and there were pictures. Moving ones! And Sounds! It was a miracle. I now had cable. All I needed now was the Internet part of the package and I could head off to work a moderately satisfied person. (And did I mention that I had asked my boss permission to come in late because the Comcast guy was finally installing the shit?).

Cable guy marched over to the wall, and yanked at the outlet. And then he said, and I kid you not, he said, “Oops!”

A chorus of little imps went, “Your FUCKED!” in my head.

“Oops?” I queried.

Well, to cut a long story short, and to stave of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that I feel in my left hand, the cable guy’s supervisor now needs to come in and dismantle part of the outer wall and replace the outlet. I envision this happening sometime in late November. Late November 2525. When Pigs fucking fly and we have Jet cars and all that fancy crap.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I'm hoping there's a pattern here.

A LARGER executive jet, a SMALLER limousine and dinner at a NICER restaurant. Once again, I have been assured that this is a very atypical day.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tired as hell...

Too tired to rant.

I like jelly donuts.