John Sciacca Writes...
Random Thoughts (Blog)
Random Thoughts (Blog)
Random Thoughts (Blog)
|Posted on October 13, 2010 at 2:21 PM|
We received a catalog in the mail yesterday from DSI Systems. On the back cover, Doug Robison, President of this “Full Service Distributor,” – looking awfully like an alternate universe I-didn’t-get-all-bloated-and-puffy Greg Brady – makes a bold pledge: “If you are not 100% satisfied please let me know! I will take care of you personally.”
OK, Doug. There are actually several things I’m not 100% satisfied with. In fact, since you have pretty much blanketly offered 100% satisfaction, I’d like you to address my following list of 10 grievances if you wouldn't mind. Personally, of course.
Blue Cross Insurance – Pissed-Off Wanting to Explode You level 100%
Doug, this is one that I would really appreciate you stepping in and running interference on. These guys are legal, frickin’ crooks. I’ve paid them well over $40,000 in premiums and yet they somehow manage to find a way to small-print me out of EVERY bit of coverage and claim. Honestly, I’m not sure WHAT I’m covered for. Though I know that any kind of chiropractic, or preventive check-ups, or sweet-cortisone-shoulder-juice is not on the approved list. Every time I get a bill from a doctor saying, “Your claim has been denied by your provider” I want to move to France and enjoy 12 weeks of vacation and the benefits of stroll-into-any-clinic-you-like! Healthcare. You’ve done this to me, Blue Cross. You!
Time Warner Cable – Confusion over world’s bizarre perception of you level 90%
Doug, I’m tired of people always calling me and saying my stuff is broken when, in fact, it is almost always the cable box’s problem. (Yes, I'm sure; almost ALWAYS!) When EVERY other component in the system works EXCEPT the cable box, I’m not sure why people can’t jump on board with the idea that, yes, it IS the cable box. Also, why do people simultaneously HATE the cable company while revering them as the Great and Wise Industry Knowledge Buddha? The cable company IS the very definition of “they are the Cable Company.” Have you seen – or smelled – a cable guy lately? I’m sure they’re wonderful people and all, but I’m not saying these are exactly Wharton graduates...
Dropped by Phone Mail Systems – Phone smashing into counter level 83%
Phone mail is clearly the spawn of Satan himself. I’m sure at some point it actually was meant to be helpful and friendly, but it has just evolved into a twisted, horrible monster. First, I live in America. Do NOT make me press ANYTHING for English. This starts us off on the wrong zapato right off the bat. Next, don’t make me listen through 10 different options before you give me the random, not “just press 0” buttom combo choice of getting hold of an actual human. And then, oh LORDY! And THEN, when I finally do get to a person and that person says they are going to transfer me but then somehow “accidentally” terminates my call making me wade back up river to start all over again. Urge to kill rising!!!
Getting 14 Day Library Books – Chances of Being Fined level 75%
I really like the library. It is quiet and peaceful and is now the first place I think of for browsing gay music. But what gets me almost every time is the 14 day check-out time of NEW books when simultaneously getting 28 day OLD books. Chance of forgetting and then getting nicked $.25 a day for two weeks? High. Then when I make a joke like, “Well, at least my late fee money will go to something fun like helping to pay for a staff party!” what I really want from you is just a laugh and smile. Not an ice-cold “No, sir. Your late fee money is most definitely not used for that.”
New Season of Survivor – Mark Burnett Casting level 70%
Don’t get me wrong, Doug, I WILL tune in and watch every second of this season. And I will have an open mind and try to get to love these playful scamps, but so far, no one is really grabbing me. Well, one person is grabbing me; NaOnka, aka “this year’s militant black chick.” She is grabbing me in a way that instantly flips the Ass Switch to WIDE OPEN and that the second the camera pans to her fills me with bile-churning rage barely quenched by a tumbler of ice filled Crown Black. I hate her. H-A-T-E, hate. I am kind of digging Tyrone, who is trying – but not totally succeeding – to be this season’s James (oh, James! That you knew how to play a better mental game, you carved from chiseled obsidian, black Adonis! In a totally hetero way! Totally!). Also, respect to one-legged Kelly, who my friend Jon pointed out would have had her fake leg chucked into the fire by Russell on like Day 2.
Placating by Customer Service Agents – Just shut up and help me! level 65%
Look, I don’t want to be on the phone talking to YOU any more than you want to be on the phone talking to ME, however through fate and some horrible set of circumstances beyond either of our control – me, somehow suckered into using your product, you, inexplicably choosing a job at call center – we are here, in this moment, together. Note, I will already be moderately agitated. I will also be ready to jump in at step 15 of your 20 step troubleshooting program. What I don’t need is for you to repeatedly say, “Sir. I am sorry. To hear. About the problems. You are experiencing. This problems. Must be very. Frustrating to you. I understand. How important. The Internet is. To you and your business.” Save it. During the time you read that prepared speech, we could have been advancing towards the part where you are actually fixing my problem and letting us both move on to the parts of our day that don’t involve each other.
Misspelling my last name – Memories of High School shame level 60%
I was willing to let this slide when I went to the Russound event and the limo driver was holding a sign outside saying “Sicacca.” OK, sure it brought back some of the torments of high school (with none of the random Becky Frodsham runnings-into) but I figured, “Oh, well. It’s a tough name to spell. No biggie.” Then yesterday I got a letter in the mail. From New Bay Media LLC, the parent company of Residential Systems. A company that I have been writing for – and collecting correctly spelled name-on-checks from – since like February. To make matters even more WTF?! inside was my correctly-spelled-name-on-a-Residential-Systems-business-card stapled to a form they wanted me to fill out. I don’t know how he did it, but somehow I smell the unmistakable stink and handiwork of Darryl W here! He’s already warned me to be on the watch for when my driver’s license comes up for renewal...
Gold Level Upgrades to First Class – Success Ratio level exactly 50%
Yes, I’m Gold. And yes, it is awesome and was totally worth it. However, I expected a level of Gold-ness that I’ve not quite seen come to fruition yet. So far I’ve had four flights on my Golden Wings; MYR to CLT, CLT to PHX, then reversed legs. Upgrade percentage so far is exactly 50% of flight legs but more like 16% in actual flying time. Sure, its nice to be first class on the 37 minute flight to CLT, but way, WAY nicer to be on it for the 3 hour 50 minute flight to PHX. Still though, I got love for you, US Air. Gold love.
PR People that Don’t Respond – Wanting to Give You Coverage level 17%
For the most part, PR people are responsive. I mean, it pretty much IS their entire job. And let’s be honest, the “P” might technically be for “Public” but the biggest amount of their “Relations” is with the “P” for “Press.” And when you get used to the process of working with a good PR team and slip into the comfy-old-blanket well-oiled rhythm of I send you message, I wait for a few minutes and then you respond to message, any deviation from that norm becomes confusing and scary and then frustrating and hostile. This is an e-mail I fired off to a company PR person not too long ago: “At the risk of coming across like a jerk, I'm getting pretty frustrated. I've been reaching out to [your company] for some help for over a month with absolutely zero results. It has been two weeks since you told me that you were getting me an answer. It's been over a week since we talked on the phone and you said the info would be coming. Now I am past deadline and getting a lot of pressure from the editor, and have to either start over and find someone else, or *hope* that you'll be able to help me. I left you a phone message yesterday with no call back. If you aren't interested in having [your company] participate in this -- which would be the first time in my 12 years of journalism that a PR person has NOT wanted to get some free and easy publicity -- then just let me know.” Why did we need to get to this point, and do you really want to rile me into a state of frothy pissyness RIGHT BEFORE I start writing about your company or product?
Low Blog Visitor Count – Sad in Pants level 55%
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I’m obsessed with my site’s analytics. When I see that someone from Houston, TX has found me by Google searching “Sonic boom from 50 caliber rips mans face off” or that someone from Hoogeveen, The Netherlands stopped by by searching “sumo ulysses eindversterker” or the SAME person from St. Louis, MO coming back not once but TWICE after searching “robes on hotel beds” I am simultaneously amused, confused and pleased. (OK, mostly pleased.) So, when I click in to see that only 10-15 people have visited me on a day, it makes me sad. Producing a combination of silent, sustained scream and big, fat Robot Tears. And that is NOT a good combination. So, Doug, if you could funnel some traffic my way, that would be the soothing balm on a lot of these other wounds. Oh, also, get my people to comment more. You know, that way I feel like I’m not just shouting into the cold recesses of Cyberspace where no one can hear me scream.
If you have any grievances, feel free to post them here or call Doug Robinson directly yourself at 214-340-5457. I’m sure he’s standing by waiting to help.