Thursday, July 12, 2007

Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow, I go off, and I bow and scrape

First off, thanks to all o' y'all for your book recommendations! I'll be haunting my local library with a printout of your comments and a dolly to take them to my car.

I sequestered myself in the bedroom last night and sorted through the piles of books that have been demanding my attention for a while. Poor things, they were dusty and sad, unappreciated and virginally un-dog-earred. I made piles based on type...funny books, hipster books, informational books, classic books, and books I knew wouldn't be 'recovery reading' at all, and which I dusted off and re-shelved. I'll be adding your recommended titles to the piles, and as long as the pain meds don't make me too dizzy, and there's no nuclear disaster that leaves me in a pile of rubble with tons of books and broken glasses, I'll be in book-maven heaven!

M'kay. The Poetry Friday WORD. While it's true that lately I have been either late or absent to the party myself for contributions, things have happened this week that have spoken the WORD loud and clear. Plus, hell, it's a chance for everyone to primal scream and let out all the angst that's been crawling up yer back.

The Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow is...RANT. You may either use this word in a post, or simply rant. About whatever. Rant, cry, shake your fist, condemn and praise, rally and rouse.

Like this.

So, Tuesday night, I'm going through my bills, and realize that the local phone bill I received in the mail from AT&T last Friday (July 6) was due THAT day (July 10). So, like a good consumer, I called their customer service line to make immediate payment by credit card. This exercise in futility was much like the root canals I underwent several years ago, albeit without medication or Kenny G playing in the Muzak overhead.

I lost hours out of my life.

The CS number on my bill led to a phone tree that told me, "Sorry, CS is closed (it was 10 p.m.). You can use our automated system." Which I did. And got to yet another phone tree with a condescending male voice telling me to SPEAK my instructions into the phone. Like, "I'm calling to pay my bill." Trouble was, this guy was from Mars and didn't understand me unless I was shouting like I do during college football season. "I! Want! To! Pay! My! Bill! RAH! RAH! RAH!" I went round and round with the system, getting to deadends and bad neighborhoods, until the guy finally said, "We're all done. Goodbye."

That's when I started swearing.

I decided to use the power of Teh Internets to pay for it online. I logged on, registered, attempted to call up my bill, and was led to the OTHER AT&T bill I get, for regular residential service and long distance. Yes. AT&T sends me TWO bills for phone service...residential every month, and local toll whenever their billing system feels like it (every four months, three months, two months). All I wanted to do was pay the lousy local toll call bill for $6.03.

Six Dollars. Three Cents.
Due that day.
After CS hours.

Their website had nothing regarding my local toll bill. I checked every tab, every link, everywhere to get to nowhere. I logged off in disgust.

Then I called the number on my regular monthly phone bill...and got the condescending man telling me to yell into the phone.


I spent nearly an hour trying to get to someone, somewhere, to pay the gdamn $6.03. And got nowhere.

Next morning, I called the CS line again, when they were due to open. I spoke with "Eddie" (finally, a person), at one of those non-helpful CS pits, who said he couldn't help with my local toll bill, BUT he could put me through to the person who could help me.

Thank the jeebus.

He patched me in, and I was connected with...CONDESCENDING MAN and his damn phone tree.


I punched buttons on the phone like it was condescending man's face. Somehow, through some miracle, I was put through to "Julie" in Illinois, who could tell I had local toll...BUT who also couldn't help me because AT&T is in the process of combining my two bills into one. Combining. To avoid hassle. In the meantime, making their entire company unable to see my local toll bill.

Julie's only recommendation...mail the payment in, and the grace period would make it look like it was on time.

All this.

For $6.03.

AT&T, you are officially on my Shit-List. Along with that local ice scream store staffed by college students who routinely ignored me when I was pregnant, hot, and hungry.

Bite me, Phone Boy.


At 8:06 AM, Blogger Sanjay said...

Sounds like phone tree hell. :-/
Hope you find the books you like.
I can see why rant is the Friday word.

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Orange said...

I hate having to shout at the automated voice. I much prefer pressing 1 for yes and 2 for no over enunciating "YESSS!" Did you investigate what results you'd get from saying "You can fuck yourself" to Disembodied Phone Man?

Dammit, I shot my rant wad on Tuesday with not one but two posts. (Me! With multiple posts! I know! What are the odds, right?)

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Maggie said...

Excellent word. Oddly enough on a week I'm in an awesome mood - I mean how often does that happen? LMAO

But I'm pretty sure I could come up with something.

I really despise phone companies - they are the worst, THE WORST, for customer service.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Faith said...

Oh, maggie...clearly you've never had to deal with certain cable companies that shall remain nameless. (Mostly because I can't remember it...) I used to live in Carlsbad, CA back in 1998, and I actually cancelled my cable after attempting to deal with their intermittent service for about 4 months (it would go out for DAYS at a explanation, no credit to my bill). Their customer service rep (who sounded like he was working out of someone's garage, no kidding) asked me what choice did I have besides them when I called to cancel. I said, "See, that's the thing. I'd rather not have cable at ALL instead of dealing with you morons anymore! BYE!" My sister recorded shows for me from her house, and I would get the tapes from her once a week and catch up on stuff.

Monopolies suck.

I like this poetry Friday word!

At 3:30 PM, Blogger patches said...

Customer service is usually a misnomer. I have no expectations of being served, and I'm usually not disappointed.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger meno said...

Gee, i already ranted once this week. Think i could come up with another one? HA HA HA HA HA.

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

Meno you're a crack up.

Faith, you know we quit cable and therefore TV all together last October for many reasons, this being just one of them and I think I've been in non-cable heaven so long I forgot about that.

At 11:50 PM, Blogger amusing said...

Rants are excellent, especially the kind where you get riled up, but there isn't the hyperventilating. (I had the hyperventilating kind once at a mom who's kid was jumping on my kid's head in the ball pit at McDonald's. Mine was crying and stuck and the kid kept divebombing him. I had visions of a neck snapping and a wheelchair. Coaxing son and asking wrestler boy to stop, which he wouldn't, I finally told him he was being a bad boy, at which point his mother stopped gabbing on the bench and started screaming at me about who was I to be calling him "bad"? There were lots of words. Lots. And hyperventilating. It was my first Mother Lion experience. Took me a week to calm down.


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