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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Unfortunately sir......

Unfortunately sir...... hot.

and with those two words, a red film of rage begins to cloud my vision.  My pulse quickens, my blood begins to boil, and the very synapses deep in the recesses of my twisted mind begin to rapidly fire.  Basically, I turn into The Hulk.  An overweight, out-of-shape, paying too much for car insurance Hulk.

  These words are used by faceless employees in large corporation to politely say "I couldn't give a flying fu$* about your problem sir, Jersey Shore starts in an hour and in my mind......I'm already fist pumping!!!!"

So why the anger you might ask?  What event happened to incur the written wrath of such a fine upstanding young gentlemen?  Well dear reader, allow me to elaborate.

In the spirit of the holidays, I will do my best to refrain from knocking the Company and the character of the employees that work there, and instead focus more on the use of the word 'Unfortunately'.  However, for posterity's sake, let's just say that the company in question rhymed with the word "DODGERS"
This may or may not be the company I am referring to. Perhaps it's just coincidence that their name rhymes.

 and I'm sure the people I was talking to over the phone looked a little like this.

Now one handsome looking dude.

Regardless of that fact, the story goes as follows.  This company in question screwed up my bill.  They charged me $100 more than they should have and then expected me to pay the balance.  I threatened to cancel my service and escalated.  They renewed my contract with all the bells and whistles I had come to expect (which I verbally agreed to on a recorded call) and then they assured me that although I would have to pay the exorbitantly overpriced bill this month, they would credit me the next month.

Imagine my surprise when I receive my bill today only to find out that not only have they not applied the credits they owe me, but they now charged my $105 more than the actual bill.  In addition to this, they also told me that the contract I VERBALLY AGREED TO OVER THE PHONE 'CAUSE IT WAS LIKE.....PROMISED TO ME AND STUFF.....didn't actually exist.  They admitted fault but effectively told me I could go pound sand if I wasn't happy with their response.

Today, I wasted a total of 3 hours of my life on the phone with this company.  45 minutes of that was during my lunch break....and I likes to eat......and the remainder was done at dinner as I picked over my cold chicken fingers and hash browns.  And I love me some hash browns.  Needless to say I was not pleased.

After speaking with Agents that were the intellectual equivalent of toast, I was finally transferred to the 'Client Relations' department.  Client Relations?  Makes it sound like your trying to ass-bang me in the boardroom.  Why not call it for what it really is?  The "I must have done something really fu$%ed up in a previous life to deserve to listen to some jerk-wad complain about a $1.43 charge on his bill in this life" department.

After multiple escalations and more than a few nasty notes being added to my file, I finally got through to a "Manager".  At least that what this poor schlub was called.  For those of us that work in the industry, we know that this "Manager" just happens to be the unlucky bastard who drew the short straw on the night shift.  He has as much authority as my nutsack and...while commanding as it is.....there are limits to what it can do.

SO!!!  The real purpose of my rant was to talk about the term UNFORTUNATELY.  Throughout my 3 hour ordeal; which I should clarify eventually was resolved, the one common bond that drew this rag-tag team of misfits together, was their relentless use of the word Unfortunately.  They wielded that bastard like a shield each opportunity they got. 

"Can you solve this issue for me?
"Unfortunately sir....."   WHAM!!!  Shut down.

"Can we get this thing sorted out?!"
"Unfortunately sir....." 

"Can you PLEASE just do something to fix this?"
"Unfortunately sir........."
This is the band Wham for those of you born before 1990.

Everywhere I asked the answer was always prefaced by that miserable word.  To me, it ranks up there with the following:
  • perhaps
  • possibly
  • maybe
  • might
  • sorry
  • I can't
  • We don't
  • You shouldn't
  • We're unable to
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc
All words I despise as it takes the ownership out of resolving the problem.

Yes I am getting curmudgeonly in my old age.  Yes I like to pick fights with random strangers over the phone (since I'm not allowed to do it like they did in Fight Club anymore)

but I do it for HONOUR and VALOUR and to save myself $25.00 a month on my cable/internet and phone bill.  Don't judge.

Look, I get that these minimum wage an hour employees get just as screwed as the next guy when it comes to getting dicks like me calling in to complain.  But I can assure you that I go out of my way to be courteous to these folks and assure them that I understand that it's not their fault......until it is.  Use the term with me, you have just made me your enemy sir or ma'am.  I bite my thumb at thee and slap you across thy cheek with the finger of my white cotton glove.

In short, companies need to prep their people to be able have smart business conversations.  Not just throw up the policy shield everytime they don't know the answer to something.  You're not SPARTANS for CHRIST SAKE!  Nor are you Captain America or.....uhhhhhhh......uuummmmmm......some other dude that uses a shield!  Yah!

Happy Holidays everyone!