Customer Service – Part 2

(Part 1)

In my previous post I bitched about all the negative aspects of dealing with customer service. Actually, that’s not true, I barely scratched the surface of dealing with customer service. There’s a whole Titanic-sinking iceberg worth of stuff to talk about, of why 1-800 numbers give me seething, blinding headaches. It’s kind of like PTSD. I’ve had such traumatic experiences in the past that I practically get heart palpitations when I have to call now.

Dealing with customer service is a war, each phone call a battle. Yelling at the poor souls sitting in their off-white cubicled call centers is like blaming the infantry for the war. They are, in fact, just following orders. It’s the middle management, like the generals fighting in the war room,  who are responsible for my miser, my pain, my anguish. But I take it out on the operators, most of whom (excluding the two who made me cry and the one who repeatedly insulted my moral character) don’t deserve it.  They work hard. Sometimes they get callers with easily to fix problems and sometimes they don’t and it’s frustrating for all. I would like to, therefore, say some nice things about these people.

The customer care at Eye-Fi is some of the best I have encountered.

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Customer Service – Part 1

August 10th, 2011, On the phone with United Airlines Customer Service:

Me: Hi I’m calling to check if there’s internet on some flights?
Customer Service lady: I don’t know what you mean by internet.
Me: The internet? Um, it’s a series of tubes that connects people all over the world.
Customer Service lady: Oh okay let me check that for you.

Airlines, phone providers, cable companies, medical supply warehouses and beyond…I’ve called them all and I hate it. I hate talking to customer service because talking is rarely what happens. Generally I spend anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes (that’s on average, on more than one occasion I wasted over an hour) listening to horrible Musak before being directed one representative after another. I yell, I curse, I plead and have at least twice been reduced to tears (and then hung up on because he couldn’t deal with my crying). Nothing makes my blood pressure rise more than calling customer service. I’d rather throw whatever device it is out the window until I am reduced to cave person status because they never had to deal with this shit.

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Adult Content

This month marks two years since I graduated college. I feel myself pushing back against my impending adulthood and it’s only getting stronger while I am weakening. 

I’m struggling between the girl who used to cut class, mouth off, party, not shower, and generally behave like a slacker and a miscreant and the woman who gets up early to go to the gym and owns a number of business casual outfits.

The biggest manifest of this is my reluctance to open an IRA. When I did my taxes (in February!) this year I checked off that I would be opening one. I’ve been working for less than two years and already I’m planning for my retirement. It’s daunting, to say the least. I think it follows in the natural path that my, and most middle-to-upper-middle class American children’s lives have taken. Kindergarten taught us the basics to prepare us for middle school, which prepared us for college which prepared us for the real world and adulthood and this stage of my life is preparing me for retirement which I guess will prepare me for death.

That’s pretty fucking depressing. It’s like the extracurricular you take in 9th grade because it will look good on your college application three years later. But way bigger than that. So even though I pass about 3 different Chase banks every day, I haven’t done it. In three months I haven’t done it. 

I have the kind of personality and conscience that I know I will. Eventually, maybe even this afternoon, I’ll walk into the bank and sit down in one of the nice cubicles and speak with a representative. I’ll pull out my debit card and my drivers license, he’ll pull up my account and in fifteen minutes it’ll be done. And then I never have to think about it again. Which is almost the worst part about my whole reluctance to go. It’s easy, so simple and then it’s done until I’m 70 and need to use it. It’ll just grow and take care of itself. It’s less work than a Tamagotchi. 

But once I do it I’ll know I’m a grown up. Not that I haven’t realized that for a while, and not that I don’t have a lot more growing to do but, when my children ask me when I finally felt like an adult, I think this will be the sealing moment. Not only will I be a grown up, but a corporate grown up. As if business cards and blazers weren’t enough, I’ll have a retirement fund. Every minute that I don’t do it I get to hold on to the weird girl I used to be. The one with so many options, opportunities and crazy ideas. 

But I’m still young. I’m still strange. I still have plenty of shit left to screw up. I have plenty of more adventures to have.  This IRA will just be a safety net. And once I believe that statement, I’ll be able to go do it.