Sunday, June 22, 2008

Venting 101

I need to get this off my chest. I’m really tired of not being able to get a live operator when I call customer service, and this is just the beginning. I’ve tried three things to get to a live person in the United State, not India.

1. Keep hitting zero on the telephone keypad no matter what the canned voice has to say.
2. Call the Presidents office and speak to a third in line junior secretary and work yourself up to a number two administrative assistant.
3. Hit number 2 for speaking Spanish, and keep shouting over the phone ‘No habla Englishe” over and over until an operator comes on. She may only speak Spanish, but at least she will be a real human being. I find this works best.

This is just the beginning. I am only getting warmed up.

I hate it when I am about to miss a bus by about one foot or two seconds, and the bus driver is studiously looking as hard as he can away from you at the traffic in the other lane because he wants to make the light.

This takes guts, but if you’re mad enough it is worth it. Jump out in front of the bus in the middle of the street, take out a pen and piece of paper, and very slowly start to write down the numbers on the bus. Be sure to take long enough for the bus driver to miss the light, and then bang on the door. This time he will open up. Refuse to get on at first. Tell the bus driver you just want his operators number so that you can file a complaint with the Mayor.

I love this one. You will get the bus driver so screwed up he will probably miss the next light trying to convince you to get on. Life can be beautiful.

If you are too old to jump in front of the bus, whack it with you cane on the side as loudly as you can. If you don’t have a cane yet you are probably middle-aged. Just be thankful you got this far and take the next bus. Throwing rocks is forbidden.

How am I doing?

If the check out girl at the local supermarket has just packed your hot barbequed chicken in the same shopping bag with your cold vanilla ice cream stay calm. Quietly ask her if she has a second bag. Remove the hot chicken and repack in the new bag. Then tell her you don’t want the ice cream because it is melting from the hot chicken. The clerk will have to call over the store manager to approve the return. Tell the manager what happened and that if he doesn’t give you the ice cream for free you will return his chicken too because to tell he truth it is not so hot either. This will probably work. If it doesn’t insist on returning both items and repurchasing new items and going to a different clerk. At this point the manager will probably give you both items for free to get rid of you.

This is only the beginning. I am just blowing off steam. I have to vent. If you have suggestions please leave them on the comment section of my blog.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Father’s Day – How Am I Doing?

I have been at this Father’s Day thing for a long time, but I still get a kick out of my now grown children calling and visiting and even taking my wife and I out to dinner – when it fits into their schedule of course.

I wonder how happy they would have been if I paid attention to them and their needs and wants based on how it fitted into my schedule. I imagine they would not be too happy with me.

This is not about them of course. It is about me. I realize I have taken a long time to get around to asking myself this question, but how am I doing?

I wonder if I measure up as a father in my children’s eyes. The reason I ask this now that it is too late to do anything about it is not that I’m questioning my parenting skills, it is just that I would like to know that I did something right when it came to raising my children.

Funny, the older I get the more important my child raising days become. I don’t know how my wife feels about this since she did most of the child rearing. We don’t talk about anything except the weather any more. That conversation can be stormy enough without getting into personal events.

From prior conversations I’ve had with my kids they think a lot of the decisions my wife and I made about their future were really stupid, although now that they all have children we seem to suddenly have gotten smarter.

I tell them the reason I spoil my grandchildren by buying them too much candy is that I don’t want to make the same mistakes that I made with them. God forbid that my grandchildren grow up thinking that grandpa was a really stingy bastard.

Anyway I seem to have strayed from the subject. I do that more often now that I have gotten older. What was the subject again?

Oh yes, how am I doing? The best I can come up with because my kids won’t give me a straight answer – afraid of insulting the old man I guess – is that I must be doing all right.

I come to this conclusion because my children are all doing well and happily married and have their own children who one day they may have to answer the question to – how am I doing?