How do I hate thee, let me count the ways.
No, not you, gentle reader, I mean all the goddam @#$%^&* institutions against whose impervious brick walls (both real and virtual) I pound my head every week to get lumps, bumps, concussions and migraines; everything but results. In alphabetical order, my list includes but is not restricted to:
- Appliance repair firms
- Brokerage firms
- Credit card providers
- Governments – federal, state and local
- Health care providers
- Insurance companies
- Magazine subscription services
- The telephone company (wireless and wired)
Here are some samples of head-beating agony:
- This is our policy; it can’t be changed.
- If your policy happened to result in me getting no bill at all, don’t you think your company could change that?
- Let me transfer you to someone who can help you.
- Unless the transfer goes directly to God, no help is forthcoming.
- We’re sorry for the error in your bill; we will make an adjustment in your next month’s bill.
- The next month’s bill contains the old error plus interest on the old error plus a new error. None of it in my favor.
- If you sign up this month for our [insert stupid sounding name here] card, we will reduce the interest rate on any outstanding balance from astronomical to merely heart-stopping.
- Press one for customer support; Press two for claims and billings; Press three for new inquiries; Press four for no apparent reason …
- Thank you and welcome to our automated telephone response system (translation – no human contact). Please describe in a few words the nature of your call so that we may assist you. I didn’t understand that: Did you say “… and the horse you rode in on?”
- All our agents are busy being unresponsive to other customers. Your call is very important to us. Please wait for the next available agent or the return of Haley’s comet.
- This is your 23rd and final reminder that your subscription to Sadistic Cooking is about to expire. We really mean it. If you don’t renew your subscription now, we will continue to send you reminders daily until you can’t stand it and you shoot your postman. Don’t shoot your postman; renew now!
- One of our servicemen will arrive to fix your problem between the hours of 6 am and 11 pm. An adult must be home to receive the service call. If no one answers the door within 4.3 milliseconds, we will be forced to reschedule the call for sometime in the next decade.