Saturday, February 26, 2011

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 English” 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 Wouldn't you like to feel young again?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Charge IntoYour Future

Charge into the future as you relive those crazy wild days of your youth. Read the novel Johnny Oops and take a virtual reality trip to futures/past.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

How To Be Young Again

Remember what it was like to be fourteen and invincible? Relive the experience with Johnny.

Do you remember your first kiss, your first love, your first conquest? You can take a virtual trip with Johnny Oops and be young again.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Open letter to the Public Advocate of NYC

Hi, I hope I end up with something more than the boilerplate response I got from the MTA. Just was waiting with eighteen other people for the local bus - on 71st and second Ave. Two limited service buses passed empty. I now know why the Mayor loves this new express service program. In one fell swoop he can claim his buses get downtown quicker, so what if they are empty half of the time and especially on Weekends. So what if they leave little local service. Love to know how much these consultants at the MTA and in the Mayor's office get paid to come up with these strokes of genius. I guess they are trying to get older people who can't walk far to leave the city so they won't have to bother dealing with irate customers. Then they can raise the fares again to fewer and fewer users. At least those of us who tough it out will be able to get a seat.

Because, of the construction for the new Second Ave. subway, the buses no longer stop at 72nd street and Second Avenue at all going West and going East you have to go half way down the East side of Second Avenue - might as well walk. They of course have eliminated the bus shelters to expedite construction of the subway. Never be available for use in my lifetime if ever so we can't sit down. And on the East side of the Second Ave. stop you have to run into the middle of the street to flag down a bus, which can't see the temporary sign, which is too short and partially hidden by snow right now. By the way no shoveled path to the street. I don't jump so good any more, but on the bright side if I break my leg I can sue the City - I know, good luck. While we're at it the York and 72nd uptown 31 bus stop shelter is still there and you could sit down and wait for the bus, but it is snowed in - 3 feet. Guess the Mayor only wants us going downtown. What is going

on downtown?

Why can’t they get rid of the ice in front of the 72nd and York 31 bus stop? Year after year no one clears it. This is right in front of a nursing home and diagonally across from a hospital.

While I'm at it, I would like to know what brain trust came up with these outside bus receipt stations for mandatory use to get on a limited, which are now snowed in and mostly out of paper for the receipts any way. No alert in the machine like I'm running low on paper, but they’re pretty good at eating monthly bus passes. Really speeds things up—not. That would be too sensible, too twenty first century.

If this ever gets anywhere, please tell the Major that a bunch of my friends and I who used to have some respect for the way he was running the City would love to see him avoid term limits again so I could vote for any one running against him.

I think I'll wait a few days for your response, which I probably won't get, and then I'll post this email on line as an open letter to the Public Advocate. I'm a writer, or can't whoever or whatever is reading this tell? Am I dealing with a machine? Am I going to get an automated response?

Thanks in advance for your kind attention, I hope,

Arthur Levine