Thursday, April 21, 2011

customer service

I never thought I'd say this, but I am sick of American customer service. I long for the days of German customer service which consisted of a very frank and clear, "you are not worth my time. I am hanging up on you now, and if you call back I will continue to berate you in German, mocking your lack of understanding while simultaneously refusing to do anything that might even remotely be helpful!" At least they were honest. The fact that I didn't speak German fluently was instant cause for them to refuse to help me in any way, but they were honest about, and I appreciate that.

Recently, I have had two customer services experiences that were so underhandedly rude that I just wanted someone to tell me to my face to "fuck off." Is that asking too much?

We are trying to get a loan to buy a house. We have diligently sent in every scrap of information that was requested. We were assigned a loan officer three weeks ago. I called said loan officer 4 times before she bothered to get back me to let me know that they needed yet another piece of information. I immediately provided that information...and waited...and waited....

I called loan officer again. No response. Again. No response. Again. No response. Almost a week later, I called one last time (very politely) threatening to look elsewhere. No response. My messages were never rude. All I wanted was information. I finally did look elsewhere, and guess who finally called me back?

My second customer service debacle was in all honesty, completely my fault, but its the TONE that pisses me off. I decided to donate blood and used the online form to request an appointment. I accidentally requested the appointment for 4/20 instead of 4/30, and received an email kindly requesting me to clarify the time I wanted as "today is 4/21 and we have nothing available for 4/20..." Fine, I can appreciate how difficult it might be a write an email to someone who is requesting an appointment for a day that has already passed, but COME ON! I'm not stupid. I know that you obviously don't have anything available for YESTERDAY!!!. I responded with my "clarification" and asked for an appointment on 4/30. This was the response:

"Ms. Eivy,
Thank you, unfortunately the Central Seattle Blood Center is only open Monday-Friday. Would you like to try another day and time?"

Now, I have a tendency to read too much into emails, but is this not the most passive aggressive, "you're completely idiotic!" email ever?

I'm sure they were just trying to be nice when faced with such a "stupid" person, but the whole thing makes me never want to donate blood again!

I'm sure at this point, you are all thinking that I have completely lost my mind, and you are probably right, but this is my blog, and I am allowed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Growing Roots

Maybe it was in response to nearly a year of traveling. Maybe it was the thought of leaving the support that we've become accustomed to. Maybe it was the people, but whatever the reason, Adam and I (rather rashly) decided to make an offer on the house that we are currently renting. I say, "rather rashly" because its actually pretty unlikely that we will have the money to back up this offer. We are facing TWO huge hurtles to our purchasing of this house: 1) we are independent contractors, which, if you work in a bank or know anything at all about bankers, means "ha ha ha HELL NO!" and 2) the house we want to buy has a huge defect in the foundation, which again roughly translates to, "ha ha ha HELL NO!". We're trying, but as more and more doors close in my face, I'm beginning to feel more and more depressed.

To add to this meloncally mood, I attended a business meeting today and nearly burst into tears right in the middle of the discussion. This should come as no surprise to those of you that know me well. I cry when I burn dinner much less at an important business meeting, but none the less, the atmosphere at the meeting was so tense and negative that I just wanted to run from the room and cry. The confusing part was that when I did run from the room, I ended up (almost) crying on the shoulder of best friend who lives in the community two doors down. So, not only is this community the source of my discontentment, it is the source of my comfort. What the hell do I do with that?

I feel so hopeless about the way things are done here, but so grateful to have these wonderful people in my life. It just makes everything so confusing. After the meeting, I hosted dinner. Half the people who said they were going to show up didn't so I basically ended up $40 in the hole and spent 4 hours cooking and cleaning, but just when I was starting to despair, one of my other community member friends showed up with two partial bottles of wine (which I happily finished for him). Do you see what I mean about being conflicted? The things that I love and hate most are all the same!

This is a depressing post. It needs a pictures. Here is one.

Ilya is dressing herself. She's awesome at it. Clearly.

Here are some more: I just finished directing a (very) short show involving puppets. I was so stressed out. I kept thinking, "my show is going to suck," "I am going to suck," "what business do I have trying to go back to theatre after all these years?" but it was awesome. My show rocked. My actors rocked. I take very little credit, but I am thrilled with the way it turned out, and, you know the only people who showed up to watch it, were people from my community. AGGG!
I just looked at my title. This was supposed to be a post about my garden. Oh well. For another time. I planted a garden. Its awesome. I'll share more later. In the meantime, I'm going to bed and hoping the world makes more sense tomorrow.