John Sciacca Writes...
Random Thoughts (Blog)
Random Thoughts (Blog)
Random Thoughts (Blog)
|Posted on June 3, 2011 at 4:14 PM|
You know how they say that the full moon brings out the crazies? That our bodies are made up of a majority of water and that the full moon’s extra-strong tidal pull does a mindfreak on some people; causing some to turn into were-things, others to go streaking nude through the park and others to just walk around jibber-jabbering to themselves? Well, apparently the first hot-humids of the onslaught of South Carolina summer causes some people to have a damn case of the “I NEED SERVICE CAUSE I’M IMPORTANT!” fits.
It’s Friday. Which, if you learned nothing from Rebecca Black, means that yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. Today is Friday, Friday. Tomorrow is Saturday. And Sunday comes after...wards. So it’s Friday, Friday and everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend. And one of the things we so excited about is our TVs working over the weekend. Believe me, I have multiple clients that *probably* couldn’t make it through the weekend without TV or whose lives are hanging in such a tenuous, fragile, precarious balance that even a single bad battery in a remote control could be enough to trigger an apoplectic meltdown.
So first up I get a call from – cue ominous music; bum-bum-BAAAAAAH! – Mr. Brain! God dang, this guy is like an unholy, undead zombie! But instead of brain eating, he wants to continually harass me and hurl stress and contempt through the phone. Seriously I am doing everything I can think of short of a close-range Mossberg-to-cranial assault to extricate myself from him!
When we last left off on the twisted and disturbing Mr. Brain saga, I had just written him a Dear Brain kiss-off letter saying that, “OK, your system is fixed. Now we’re through. Don’t call us ANY more. Find someone else to abuse and Brain Tumor-freak out on!” And my partner and I had talked about it and decided that if Brain took that last invoice and shredded it, pulverized it and snorted it as some homeopathic post-tumor treatment remedy, it would be the best invoice write-off we’d ever had. Hell, I’d have paid the bill myself and considered it one of the best checks I'd ever written! I'd probably have wiped out the Mont Blanc and everything.
But apparently despite the fact that I am utterly incompetent at what I do – he was thoughtful enough to remind me of it again today on the phone – and that he previously said he was finally through with dealing with me and my horribly pompous and arrogant staff, despite ALL of that – oh, and my letter saying, “It’s not me, it’s definitely TOTALLY YOU! We’re through! Don’t call no more!” – he isn’t getting the hint. Now he is threatening to go to his homeowner’s board in some meeting next week. Why, I’m not sure. I guess to spread the gospel of my horribleness so no one else has to be subjected to me. I'm sure that he totally isn't treated like some kind of lunatic pariah at those meetings, where people turn away and avoid eye contact and make their kids all stare down at the floor like the most interesting thing in the world is happening anywhere where Brain isn't. Totally... In fact, I'm SO horrible, perhaps I should start a sing-along-blog. (I’m hugging you right now if you got that! Glitter shower!) He doesn’t know what kind of company we’re running, or how in God’s name we’ve managed to stay in business for so long where apparently we license and encourage to tell all of our employees to treat their customers so horribly. We have a horrible reputation and apparently everyone knows it. And just how much money do I make? (Seriously. He asked me. I KNOW, RIGHT?!) And then he went on to tell me that it isn’t like it takes any intelligence to do what I do. It’s not like it takes a degree. Hell, Brain could do it himself, he said. (While I’m just sitting here staring off into space waiting for the silence of Brain taking a breath to work in a disinterested Mmmm-hmmm.) Finally after an especially long pause where I guess I missed my proof-of-life, and he asked if I was still there, I just said, “Brain, I’m just done talking to you. I don’t have any more to say.” So now he wants my partner, Al, to call him back. And if he doesn’t hear from Al, then he’s going to have to “get ugly.” I’m not sure how much more ugliness he has in him, but, well, it’s summer in Myrtle so I’m sure it is some hot and sticky ugliness to be sure.
So then we get another phone call. This lady has purchased a new TV and she’s all distraught because she has a house filled with like 15 visiting girls and if they can’t watch the French Open this weekend there’s gonna be a crisis. I have to come – NOW! – to reprogram her remote to work the new TV. “You know, you can use the remote that came with the TV. It’s not like you can’t use it because it isn’t programmed into the remote...”
“Oh, no! That would be way too complicated. You just need to come down here.”
“Well, it’s Friday afternoon so I’m not sure I can get someone down there today.”
“Well, we’re here tomorrow.”
“I’m sorry, but we don’t do service calls on Saturday. And I don’t see in my records...did you purchase this new TV from us?”
“No. Would that have made a difference?”
“Well, we do try and give priority service to people that buy things from us.”
“So you’re saying if I bought the TV from you, you’d come and fix this problem.”
“What I’m saying is that if you bought the TV from us and we installed it, there wouldn’t have BEEN a problem.”
“Well. We didn’t. So you’re saying that you’ll definitely have someone here today?”
“No. I’m definitely not saying that at all. I’m saying that if something opens up in our schedule, I’ll see if I can send someone to help you.”
“Well, we’re going to be out at the beach.”
“Do you have a cell phone number I can have?”
“Why do you need that?”
“Well, because I’m going to call you last minute if something opens in our schedule, and if you don’t answer the phone, I am NOT going to send my technician all the way out to your house. That’s why.”
Reluctantly she gives me the number. (Look, lady, I double-dog swear that I will NEVER just call you up out of the blue to chit-chat! Pinky-swear!) And then it turns out that we CAN make the appointment. So I call the number. So I’m just about to hang up with the guy when I ask the all-important Harmony remote programming question. “OK, just to confirm, you DO have Internet access at the house, right?”
“Internet access. We need to be able to get onto the Internet to program the remote.”
“No. Time Warner says the modem won’t be installed until next week.”
“Then, sir, I’m sorry, but I can’t reprogram your remote.”
“You have to.”
“Well, I understand that it’s important, but you have to understand that...”
“No. What you have to understand is that we are important clients! We’ve spent a lot of money with you and have sent you a lot of business. So you need to have someone come fix this.”
Since I’m looking at my computer and the 10 years of accounting that it tracks – and the AMAZING irony; this client is LITERALLY the name directly before Mr. Brain. I kid you not. -- I can see that they’ve spent a sum total of $234.00 with our store. No, there isn’t a misplaced comma or decimal point.
“Well, I hear what you’re saying, but what YOU have to understand is that I cannot – CANNOT – program this remote control without Internet access. Not that I don’t want to, or that I’m not trying to help you, but that I just CAN’T do it.”
“I don’t understand.”
“The remote...programs...via the Internet. The programming...is stored...on a remote server...accessed only...via the Internet. Without an Internet connection...I can’t...update...it.”
“Well, you’ll have to just come down here and tell my wife that. She’s going to be upset.”
“You want me to send someone down to your house to tell you we can’t program your remote?”
“Yes. It should just take you a minute.”
“You want me to set up a $60 service call to have someone drive down to your home just to tell you we can’t fix the problem...?”
“You’re going to charge me for that?”
“Sir, I’m dispatching a technician in a work van to come fix your problem. That I already know I can’t fix. Because you don’t have Internet access. So, yes, I’m going to charge you.”
“Forget it then. So, do you sell routers?”
“Routers? Like for a Network?”
“Yes, but without a working modem, the router won’t do you any good.”
“Time Warner said we’d need a router. So maybe you can come and install that.”
“Sir, again, if the modem isn’t there, I can’t install a router.”
“We’ll call you back.”
Ugh! Friday, Friday. Tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes after...wards and I can’t wait for this day to end!