Thursday, December 8, 2011

"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair."*

           Sometimes I’m afraid that I’m turning into one of those angry bitches that make everyone uncomfortable at the bank or supermarket by yelling and demanding in an unreasonably loud tone of voice.
            I know I’ve mentioned before my hatred of Wells Fargo, but yesterday was an onslaught of customer service garbage handling the like of which I haven’t experienced in a while.
            I awoke to a text from my roommate telling me the Internet was down and AT&T wouldn’t help him fix it because he didn’t have all the proper “security information.” (Yes, I’m sure AT&T protects our account information like they’re the goddamn Secret Service.)
            So I called and was transferred THREE TIMES, repeating the same information and the same codes to four different people before some woman told me, exasperatedly (she’s exasperated? At least her Internet works), that she couldn’t give me any information without the three-digit code at the end of my account number.
            “Well, all that information is online. I don’t receive paper bills because AT&T told me I should go paperless! And now I’m all green and saving the planet and you want a code that is only available online. I’d like you to tell me how I’m supposed to get that code for you when MY INTERNET IS DOWN. I can give you my social security number, I can give you my driver’s license number, my numerology number, my phone number or my bra size, but other than that, I can’t do anything because I DON’T HAVE THE GODDAMN INTERNET.”
            Two additional phone calls, a frantic search through my filing cabinet and several sessions of methodical head banging followed by quick tears of frustration later, I was informed that they would certainly reactivate my Internet service—in two to four hours. Thanks, AT&T! Until then, we’ll just do some shadow puppetry and bang out a game or two of charades before work.
            Then I went to the pharmacy where they informed me that only one of my three prescriptions was ready, even though I dropped them off yesterday. I tried to just buy the one that was ready but they kept telling me that if I could “just wait ten minutes” the other two would be ready. “I DON’T HAVE TEN MINUTES! NOBODY CALLED ME TO SAY THERE WAS A PROBLEM! THE WHOLE REASON I DROPPED THEM OFF YESTERDAY WAS SO I WOULDN’T HAVE TO KILL TIME HANGING OUT AT ALBERTSON’S!!”
            There was a time in my life, not too long ago, when I would have meekly agreed to just about anything a customer service representative said to me and then gone home and cried and passive aggressively suffered the inconvenience and discourtesy shown to me. But now I bang fists and wave arms and shout and embarrass people to the point where they want to call their managers just so they don’t have to talk to me. And then I go home and cry. (Yeah, yeah, I cry when I’m frustrated. Sue me. If you dare.)
            I’m not sure it’s an improvement.
             I will say that I’m getting what I want more often.
            So I had my two prescriptions and my Internet service and I was feeling all inflated from having made several people (who were just doing their terrible, thankless jobs) feel sufficiently cowed and horrible and I headed to work.
            That’s when I saw a man with only one arm jogging up the hill for all he was worth.
            And I felt like shit. Here I am crying and yelling because the pharmacist won’t give me my ACNE medication (that’s right. It wasn’t even a prescription I desperately needed like insulin or Prozac. It was for my damn skin.), and this guy’s out for a jog with ONE ARM. I just ruined a bunch of people's days while Mr. One Arm decided that he was going to go for a jog and having just one arm wasn't going to get him down.
            The lesson in all this is that I am aware that I am a bit of an asshole and I’m working on it.
            “And that was the greatest lesson of all.”**
*Quote from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. One of the best children’s books ever written. 
**The second quote I may have heard somewhere in a Christmas movie or completely made up. If you know the source, fill me in. (Yay! I just ended two sentences in a row with prepositions! Woohoo! At least I have two arms!)
***On a completely unrelated topic, today is the anniversary of the death of John Lennon. A moment of silence.

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