03 November 2009

Even MORE Pants Letters

Dear Gigantic Electronics Retailer:

Good afternoon. How's every little thing since I left your Overland Park location? I'll bet things were humming along just fine after my visit this morning. Well, as fine as any gigantic retail cavern can hum while the employees are aspirating corporate puke, that is. What a fine time I had earlier with Jeff and your other helpful employee, my ex-boyfriend, whom I normally refer to as Satan's retarded little brother, but we'll call "Pickled," for our time together today.

You know, I debated myself this morning. Your OP location is close enough that I could, basically, put my car in gear and drift there (except for two traffic lights, you are directly across the street and down a slight "grade," which, in Kansas, qualifies as a "hill.") But Pickled works there, doing the sort of OCD-driven tasks that make him your MVP just about every month. Yes, he truly is able to excel in a position with your company that speaks to just about every fucked up and sociopathic neuron in his skull. You've hit pay-dirt there -- Pickled walks in and gives free reign to his bi-polarity and control issues. It's a marvelous trade off: He gets a decently-sized pile of money with which to buy pint bottles of Hobo Vodka, and you get the technical brilliance of Heinrich Himmler.

So, I debated whether or not to drive less than a quarter of a mile or bite the bullet and take a good twenty minutes out of my day to go to your Olathe location. In the end, my sloth, lethargy and cheapness won out, so in a way, I suppose I asked for it, made my own bed and burned a blister on my own ass. I accept that. But seriously, Alliterative Electronics Giant, I've got to know: what the fuck is with your hiring standards? You had me by the proverbial balls, I'll give you that. But I get the feeling you enjoyed it... a little too much. At least, Pickled did; of that, I am certain. And I guess I do sort of owe you a bit of an apology for my nasty language earlier; I still think it was my due, though.

Last night, as I was sitting here, minding my own business and looking at email porn, I suddenly smelled something that was, at the very least, "not cool." It smelled kind of ozone-y and crisp, if you get what I'm saying. When I first moved here to the Mighty Midwest, I lived in a different, brand-spanking new apartment complex, in a freshly constructed apartment. One night, while watching a Friends rerun with my daughter, I smelled a similar scent. It turned out that my furnace was on fire; the sort of fire that made me wonder if Steve McQueen was crouched behind the water heater. I grabbed for the fire extinguisher and blasted away. I can assure you that experience falls so firmly under the heading of "Totally Not Awesome," that remembering it brings a tear to my eye and I can recall the odor perfectly.

So you might understand why I almost had an apoplectic fit last night when I smelled it, again. Of course, I ran to my furnace (which is no longer in a room, but is, in this complex, imbedded in the wall, and, ergo, harder to get at. ) I can't decide if I was more horrified or delighted when I realized it was not my furnace and two things simultaneously happened: My son yelled, "What the fuck is going on with the internet?" from behind his closed door, and my daughter screamed like someone had yanked her hair out by the roots.

Thinking quickly, I decided my daughter was probably either the source of the smell or damned near to it, so I ran in her direction. When I reached her, standing in the center of my bedroom, she was pale and pointing at my LynkSys router, which was sparking and hissing -- yes, "hissing." You know how, in the Road Runner cartoons, the fuse on the dynamite gets louder the shorter it gets? Same thing. So I ran for a fire extinguisher again...

Except the cat saw me coming, and she's convinced that any time I enter the kitchen area, it's time for her to eat, so she darted off of the couch and directly between my feet.

Which meant I went sailing head-long into the bookcase. Then the dog, assuming the cat had finally set in motion her evil, Bolshevik-like plan, came to my rescue, which is quite sweet and makes me proud, except his timing sucked and just as I was righting myself, he tripped me and I ended up sprawled across the kitchen table with no real memory of what the hell I was supposed to be doing.

Thankfully, my daughter's strangled cry of, "MOM!" refreshed my memory and I was able to grab the fire extinguisher.

After forcibly yanking the router from every connection that moored it in place (all the while making bargains with Jesus,) I blasted the damned thing. Trust me when I tell you our former LynkSys is cooked. It's a melted, puddly pool of what used to be wireless connectivity and goodness. The little green lights that I found so comforting when they blinked at me with a shyly spastic familiarity are history.

And we are not the sort of people who are able to live in the primitive conditions of our anscestors who used telephones and the US Mail to keep in contact with the outside world. This situation would need to be addressed ASAP, but it was post-closing time of any electronics retailer, so I knew "ASAP" meant "AM." After getting some affairs in order, I settled in, thinking I'd get to sleep early. But the smell of dead LynkSys was thick in my nostrils and I worried about whether or not inhaling it might cause cancer. I smoked a good five cigarettes while I tried to figure that out. Finally, I decided that I'd sleep in the living room, which isn't a bad proposition. As I like to say, "There's a lot of sleep stored in my couch." And, normally, there is, if war has not broken out between a now contrite (or at least "scared of starvation") cat and an overprotective Yorkshire Terrier who's grape-sized brain is running on 500 ml of hatred and aggression. It was the animal kingdom's equivalent to the Bosnian situation a few years back.

This explains why I was so cranky when I initially walked into your establishment this morning. I had a total of maybe two hours sleep, all of it broken, and I seriously do not think I managed to brush all of the cat hair out of my teeth. I don't know what sort of mood you, Gigantic Electronics Retailer, would be in if you awakened repeatedly, to either a cat on your head or a dog on your face, trying to remove that cat. I would be interested to know, if you felt like sharing.

Surly, too; I was quite surly. Since you initially sold me the LynkSys, I sort of blame you for all of this, tangentially. But I was willing to let bygones be bygones and just replace the damned thing. And then, I was confronted with Jeff.

Jeff was ruthlessly and relentlessly happy this morning, in a way that makes me think handfuls of amphetamines and a few swigs off of E. Bruno's Hobo Flask are involved in some way. Jeff kept telling me to "Cheer up!" and insisting that I'd be "good to go" in no time at all. I was willing to overlook the blathering of this obvious idiot until he said a phrase that struck fear and terror in my heart. I'll tell you what -- I couldn't have been any more afraid at that moment if he'd said, "Let's go in the back and you can watch me have unlawful carnal relations with your dead mother and a baby I stole from the mall!"

Jeff said, "Hey! Aren't you Pickled's girlfriend? Let me get him over here."

You might want to have Jeff's hearing and comprehension skills checked immediately because I could not make him understand that no, I most certainly did not want Pickled to come over and assist in my purchase. But Jeff, a weird surfer-boy transplant to Kansas, insisted it was no problem, even shouting me down at one point which is impressive, because I screamed "DO NOT DO THAT!" at the the decibel level my daughter taught me last night. But Jeff didn't care.

So in the five minutes that it took Pickled, the gimping fucktard, to ooze his way from appliances to Computer Accessories, Jeff and I had a staring contest. In a way, I feel kind of bad, because Jeff was all fresh-faced and pleased with himself, kind of like a puppy that pees on your rug because he doesn't know any better. I, on the other hand, was imagining opening Jeff's head with a ball peen hammer and then eating his brains and bits of crushed skull like yogurt & granola.

I told you I was cranky.

And yes -- I could have left right then, but I was there, you know? I was where I needed to be and the things I needed to buy were right there, too. The idea of picking up and leaving and maybe encountering a whole new Jeff made me almost weep and stayed my feet. The next Jeff might have breasts or something, and "Perky" + "Breasts" = "Pants in a Black-out Rage." The Devil I know is better than the one I don't, so I stood there, wishing an STD on Jeff and waiting to see someone I'd hoped was dead in a ditch.

Pickled showed up and told me I was looking well. Jeff looked confused. I snarled. Oh, we were one big group of Happy Dys-Fun-ction, there in Computer Accessories. Pickled wanted to know what happened to the old router. I repeated to him my assertion that he fucks his mother. Jeff looked afraid. Pickled put a forced smile on his face and told me how truly sorry he is. I once again, redundantly told him he fucks his mother, tossing in "You limp-dicked son of a whore," just to spice it up a bit. Jeff started to edge away, with a look on his face that clearly said, "I don't know if this is the prelude to a murder or a sex game, but I should probably go get some help."

Pickled gestured for Jeff to come back. Jeff looked confused and wary. Again, like a dog, he edged his way back toward us. When I reminded him I just wanted to buy a "fucking router," he looked confused, like we'd been playing fetch and I'd fake-thrown the stick. He grabbed a router and mindlessly started yammering about ports and gigs and something that sounded like "anus," to me and that's when I realized I needed Pickled there, at least for this part. Pickled set up the initial network while I made cream puffs. I remember that afternoon very well; the normally well-received yumminess of pastry + pudding was largely ignored because FaceBook could be accessed any where in the apartment. Oh, happy teenaged day!

Because I am an opportunistic, cold and calculating bitch, I allowed Pickled to select my router and I even graciously availed myself of his generous employee discount. I probably shouldn't have quite loudly tossed the comment, "Thanks a fucking lot, you abusive fucking fuck and I hope they find your remains in multiple dumpters, Asshole," over my shoulder at your mentally unstable management shithead, but we have a history.

So, I guess I am kind of sorry for airing my dirty laundry in public. But honestly, Gigantic Electronics Retailer, you should really check some people out before you hire them.

COntritely Yours,

Joy M. Cranky-Pants, Still surly But At Least Satisfied

CC: Time-Warner Cable

BCC: Gather-At-Large


Dear Time-Warner Cable:

Attached, please find a letter that will fill in some backstory for you about how I came into yet more contact with your "delightful" and "friendly" customer service representatives, even though I vowed that I would never, ever, ever put myself in that position, again.

Today's Viet-Cong-like enforcer was named, "Abdeel," but we're going to continue along that Soviet-theme Fyodor started a few months back and call him "Rasputin." Humor me, okay? Read the other letter. It's been a bad day.

Hooking up a wireless router should be pretty damned easy, when you think about it. You'd probably just read the directions and proceed accordingly. Except that, as the attached letter confirms, I had no choice but to rip my former router forcibly from the wall when it recently became an electronic deathtrap. In doing so, I recognize that I am at fault in tearing a portion of the cable and some hardware inherent to same from the wall. I get that -- but put yourself in my shoes for a second. Something is smoking and threatening impending explosion and/or conflagration and what do you do? Gingerly unplug everything? Gently loosen the connections? I think not. Knowing you people, as I do, I suspect you'd get the employees together for a month-end weenie roast as a congratulatory reception for hitting their quota of customers that will never call and "bother" you on the 800 number again. I think it's a strange way to view the responsibilites of servicing customers, but this ain't my first rodeo. I'm pretty hip to your score.

When I called Rasputin and told him I needed to schedule a prompt service call, I think his chuckling was a tad bit unprofessional. I overlooked that, though. My mom used to tell me all the time that thing about catching more flies with "honey" and not "vinegar." I've never seen a real, true need for a large amount of flies at any one given time, but I get the message. So, I politely repeated my request.

Rasputin, well... I don't want to say Rasputin guffawed, but it was pretty damned close. And if you'll refer back to that attached letter, you'll see I didn't have a lot of sleep last night. What little patience I have tends to evaporate quickly in instances when I am sleep deprived -- and faced with a smarmy moron who has less of a command of the English language than your average housecat. I now officially take back my congratulations and previous warm wishes at your refusal to outsource.

You know, I don't mean to be insensitive here because I truly do not typify or class my fellow man, but Rasputin sounded so curiously like the character, Apu, from The Simpsons, that I almost said (twice,) "Okay, Hank Azaria! Quit fucking with me!" But I couldn't, because TWC isn't going to punk me on the phone. No, you save that sort of behavior for your billing which is based, I suspect, on planetary positions and drunk monkey-races. It is the only logical explanation to me as to why my "Pay This Amount" varies so wildly.

But, back to Rasputin. He informed me (I think,) that the soonest I could get an actual flesh and blood service technician into my home was on May... 23. To which I quite incredulously responded, "Get the fuck out of here!" I couldn't have been more surprised if Rasputin had told me he was wearing poor Fyodor's skin like a cape. I immediately apologized for my potty-mouth, and I reiterate that apology here, but really -- the 23rd of May?!

Rasputin, who I will give credit to for being extremely good-humored in the face of other peoples' problems, then giggled. As each of my calls into your customer service center has a theme of sorts, this one is best described as, "The Pants are Condescended To and Laughed At." That's a pretty interesting gimmick you've got going, and I'll bet training sessions are a blast, but from a customer standpoint, it kind of, um... SUCKS, and I can't rightly tell you if I prefer talking to someone who is so profoundly mentally retarded that I am stunned into silence, or someone who finds himself so vastly superior to those he is allegedly helping as to be clinically narcissitic.

Rasputin informed me that because I was a non-emergency service call, I wasn't a priority. I wanted to know what. exactly, is the definition of a "cable emergency." I know that you people have added some interesting features, like Caller ID on my TV screen, but you haven't managed to splice into anybody's respirator or anything, have you? For the first time, Rasputin failed to find the funny and he actually told me, in quite the stern, big-boy, lilting voice, that "Cable is a serious business."

Amazed as I was, I almost apologized. And since I was developing a headache that would merely laugh at and steal Advil's lunch money, I decided to cut my losses, agree to the ridiculously long wait for service and go eat one of my "root canal" pills that I only take on special occassions, like when I'm convinced I have a tumor or I just need to be unconscious and unaware of my life for a bit. They provide me with a six hour, near-coma like slice of peace that beer can only aspire to attain.

But I had to walk the dog first. I'm pretty sure that the sight of a woman, walking a dog and muttering to herself is pretty disturbing. That's my normal routine. The vision of a woman, walking a dog and actually audibly arguing with herself about former boyfriends and asshole cable company employees, however, probably looks damned crazy with a special dash of dangerous, which is how I got the attention of my favorite maintenance guy, Duane. Duane, in his slightly Lenny from Of Mice and Men way, immediately came to my apartment and fixed the cable connection. Then, in an orgasmic moment of "Where the fuck did this come from?!" Surprise, he proceeded to hook up my new router and get all three laptops online. He dusted his hands off with a deserved pride and spun around in my office chair, looking very much pleased with himself.

I am not ashamed to say that I was so happy and relieved, I almost promptly fell to my knees and gave hm a blowjob. I didn't, but I thought about it. Duane told me that he worked for you guys back in the day, but that his supervisor and the higher ups were real douchebags, so he quit. Now, he gets a break on his rent and this maintenance gig is a lot less of a hassle. He even gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him if I ever had cable problems again. I offered him the $35 bucks I would have paid your technician for a service call, but he waved it away. He said it just felt good, sticking it to TWC and helping me, all at once.

Duane even hung around as I called your wonderfully helpful 800 number back and spoke with "Kaleel." I cancelled my service call. Guess who's laughing now, motherfuckers?! That's right -- me and Duane.

Gleefully Yours,

Joy M. Cranky-Pants, Current Customer and Former Ass-Puppet.


Dear Manager of the Apartment Complex Where I Reside:

I am dropping you this short note today to compliment you and your employee, Duane in Maintenance, on being such a wonderfully helpful and fabulous presence in our community. Enclosed please find a belt which I would like for Duane to have as a token of my appreciation and gratitude for helping me with a non-Complex related issue early today.

As I spent a good a five minutes with Duane crouched under my desk, I am certain this gift will benefit him (and my fellow residents,) immensely.


Joy M. Cranky-Pants, Happy Resident

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