Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pissed Off

I'll get to what I'm pissed off about in a bit. First, what I'm not pissed off about: anonymous comments. Let's run down the list, shall we?

1. The guy said I was "longwinded." That's not exactly a harsh insult: it's not like he insulted my mother. Plus, it's true.
2. My "Shorter" post was mostly a joke. I was happy to have some mild criticism to respond to and riff on.
3. This is the Internet. It's a slight disappointment to me that I haven't attracted any really harsh criticism. No one's called me a slut or told me that I was going to hell or any good stuff like that. If you want to see what true nastiness looks like online, go to (Note: don't go there if you value your sanity. Someone told me to go there as a joke about four years ago, and I still haven't forgiven him. And especially don't go there in a way that shows that you went there from here.) and check out what the wingnuts have to say about Senator Clinton.
4. Criticism is no less (or more) valid because it comes from an anonymous source. Most of us are anonymous to some degree or other online, anyway. People have good reasons for being anonymous: it isn't necessarily a form of cowardice or nastiness. The only thing I don't like about anonymous posters is that I can't email them. But that's true for a lot of people who post with a name. I often want to email someone to discuss something from his comment but can't because there's no email address attached to the comment or available through his blogger profile. C'est la vie.
5. I'm not going to stop being long winded, at least in writing. It's an essential element of the way I write. I like my verboseness, and I probably couldn't change it even if I wanted to, which, again, I do not.
6. While I'm discussing what I really am pissed off about, I thought these pictures of men engaged in water sports would be appropriate.

I'm afraid that I'm going to rant yet again about customer service difficulties. You have been warned.

The last time I was in Jiffy Lube (I love the name, but they always seem to be out of AstroGlide and Wet.), the helpful service technician told me that I was past due for a fuel filter change. He also recommended their fuel system cleaning. My gas mileage had been somewhat lower than I thought it should be, so this seemed like a good idea, but I didn't have time that day. So I figured I'd go back.

On Thursday, it snowed here. Not all that much really, but a couple of inches, which is often enough to make the DC area moan that we're entering the end times. I decided to leave work at a reasonable hour (5 pm) because I knew traffic would be horrid. It seemed like a good time to stop by the JL for the fuel service, but when I had fought my way through the traffic, I arrived an hour before closing time, only to find that they were closed. Due to snow, I suppose, though there was no sign, and why you can't change oil in snow is beyond me. BEYOND ME.

Anyway, yesterday, I decided to try again. I called Jiffy Lube to make sure they were still open and to verify that they really did fuel filter replacement. The JL website says that not all JLs do it. They were open, and they did. Hoo fucking ray. Traffic wasn't so bad, and I arrived just before 5:30. They asked what service I wanted, told me to go inside and have some coffee and read a magazine, came back to check and make sure I wanted the fuel filter replacement and fuel system cleaning, then put the car in the bay and opened the hood. I read a very interesting article about steroid use in adolescent athletes in Sports Illustrated and did my best to get interested in their NFL coverage. It wasn't crowded there, so I figured it shouldn't take too long. It was a little after six, and I was starting to wonder what was going on. Then the guy at the counter came back in and said, "Actually, sir, it looks like we don't have your fuel filter in stock, but we can still do the fuel system maintenance if you like." I thanked him and told him no. I considered asking him why they hadn't checked whether they had the filter in stock half an hour earlier, but what was the point? They still had my hood open, and I didn't want to make them as angry as they made me. Pissed off mechanics are dangerous.

My anger was, sadly, not ameliorated by the call I then received from EFU. While at college, half of the screen on EFU's laptop had stopped functioning, so, the day after Christmas, she had taken it back to Circuit City (where her mother had purchased it) and asked them to service it or have it serviced. They had said they would have to ship it off to HP and that it should be back in two weeks. Since more than three weeks had passed and since EFU needs to be back in Vermont by Monday, she was concerned, and when she called Circuit City to ask them what was up, she learned that they had neglected to send the laptop off. Ooopsie.

EFU's boss had stepped in, called Circuit City back, and told them that they needed to make matters right, so they agreed to allow her to exchange her laptop for a new one of equal value and to transfer the data from the old one to the new one. This all had to be done Saturday (today), so I told EFU that I would take her in this morning to get the ball rolling. I had no faith at all that Circuit City would make all of this an easy, or even a possible, process. They're not known for quality service.

I did regain my composure later in the evening, but mostly because I knew I had to pick up EFU in Silver Spring at 1am, so after b&c had retired, I hopped on, and Torless IMd me. He was home alone and wanted me to come over. So I did, and it was amazing. We had more time than usual, and we finished up just in time for me to get to Silver Spring in time to pick EFU up. I'd go into more detail, but the particulars of that shag would be thematically inappropriate to all this whinging, so I'm afraid you'll have to wait. Yes! Leave angry comments calling me a whore and a cock tease! I live for your disapproval!

Anyway, this morning I drove EFU over to Circuit City, and everything was going smoothly, albeit slowly, until about 45 minutes in, the computer sales associate, EFU, and I had the following conversation:

EFU: So you'll transfer all the files over, right?
CSA: Right. Let's just fill out the work order. It normally takes about twenty-four hours.
TED: No, no, no, no, no. In less than twenty-four hours, we're going to be on our way to Vermont. It has to be done today. We've been through this with Jeremy.
CSA: Um, hang on and let me check. [Walks away to confer with Jeremy.]
TED: See?
EFU: Will you relax? Jeremy said they could do it.
CSA: [Returning five minutes later.] Ok, so the tech guy's coming in at eleven, and he should have it done by 8 or 9 tonight.
EFU: How late are you open?
CSA: Ten.
TED: You understand that we really need this today, right?
CSA: Yes.
TED: Do you also understand that if this isn't ready this evening, there will be hell to pay?
CSA: Um, right. I know that you guys haven't been treated all that well, and I appreciate you staying with us.
TED: HELL. TO. PAY. Am I making myself clear?
CSA: Um, yes sir.
TED: Nine tonight is over ten hours away. You'll be gone by then, and Jeremy will be gone by then, and we really need to have this back then, and if it isn't ready there's going to be
EFU: Hell to pay. He gets it, Dad. You're scaring him.
TED: Am I scaring you?
CSA: A little.
TED: Then maybe I'm not trying hard enough. I want to impress upon you just how important this is.
CSA: It'll be ready. I'm going to throw in our optimization service, as well. It makes the computer run up to thirty percent faster. And we won't charge you for the data transfer, of course.
TED: Thank you. Have a good day.

So hopefully, that'll work out. Not only does EFU need the computer for her classwork, it has all of the tunes from her old iPod on it. No computer = no syncing = no iPod = no tunes all the way up to Vermont. That's a long way to rely on the whims of FM deejays.


D-Man said...

I don't have high hopes for the outcome. Good luck.

Maybe we should just automatically expect the worst customer service possible, and then be pleasantly surprised on the rare occasion we get otherwise.

John said...

Slut! Cock tease! Man-whore! Have a nice eternity, burning in endless hellfire with the rest of the godless sodomites! (Are you buying ANY of this? Because it's pretty much all I've got. Apart from that, I'm just having a hard time believing you of all people are having trouble finding guys to service you.)

Jason_M said...

So, nu? What happened?

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Oh john, you are such a sweet talker.