Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Are You Flippin Kidding Me?

Things that make you go HHHHMMMM...

This world is crazy, isn't it?

Every day, we see and hear things that make us shake our heads with dismay, or confusion, or just plain shock. We watch the news and surf the web, we listen to the radio, and sometimes get hooked on a ridiculous "reality" show.

But there are the little things, too, that happen every day in our own little lives, in our own little houses, with our own little jobs, that make us who we are, and determines what is okay...and what is not okay.

Like this ad, for example. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a joke:


I've received some disappointing gifts in my life. Like the sixty bags of "jaxs" that I would get year after year in the "yankee swap" elementary school Christmas parties. Not to sound ungrateful, but if I woke up on Christmas morning, after two months of planning and gift buying, stressing over the financial burden of being Santa, freaking out when hearing my daughter pray for the "talking doll house" the night before and actually getting online at midnight to see if Santa could actually get one before 6am...to a gift of a scheduled PAP SMEAR under my carefully decorated tree?

I think not.

I get the intent, but come on.

Now, what about these telemarketing calls that put YOU on hold when you pick up?

Have you had this happen?


"Please hold for an important message about your..."


I am so surprised by this, I freeze up, and actually wait to hear what the hell the message is! From a company that is so busy to put ME on hold...

The other day, I waited to the tune of "Celebrate Good Times, Come On..."
Until a gentleman came on the other end...

"Thank You for Calling 'abc company,' Can I help you?"

"You called me. Can you help me?" Now I am pissed.

"Oh. Let me pull up your account so I can see why we called."

"Really? I thought there was an important message."

"Well Ma'am..."

Oh, man. Poor guy.

"You know what? This is poor service and a huge nuisance! It is dinner time, I've got three screaming kids. YOU CALLED ME! And then put ME on hold? If there is an important message, you should have the information ready the second I answer the call!"


"I know this isn't your fault, son. I know you probably hate these calls as much as I do, but I have HAD IT!"


"Is there a problem with my account?"

"No. Ma'am?"

"Then put a letter in the mail. The mail doesn't ring or ding or put me on hold without asking permission. I will read the letter in peace and quiet when I am not too busy."


I flew off the handle. I know this. But being in the customer service field for most of my "career" life, I expect to be treated with the same sort of service that I provide.

My disdain for rotten service stems from years ago while working in retail.

I remember vividly one day in the mall, I was going to get muffins for the store staff, as we had a new manager starting.

I called down to the "French-bread place" at the other end of the mall. I ordered a dozen bagels.

"Anything specific?" The bread maker asked.

"Anything BUT onion. Please NO ONION."

So I hiked the 1/2 mile through the mall in my massively high heeled shoes, picked up the bag, the jams and butters, the juices and coffees, and hiked back to the other end of the mall.

Michelle Gagne, this one's for you:

"OOOH! Thanks!

I opened the bag to the potent odor of....onion.

"You have got to be kidding. ALL onion?"

I dialed the French-Bread Place.

"Hi. Yes, I just picked up my order, and it's full of onion bagels."

Now, I would have expected the bread guy to assure me that he would hurry down to my store with another bag full of non-onion bagels. Right?


I had to truck it back. Again. In those stupid shoes. To get my onion-less treasures.

Here is the deal breaker:

There was no apology. But there WAS a reprimand from the bread guy.

"You really should check your order before you leave."


The can of whoopass that was opened up will live forever in infamy, and remains one of those funny go-to memories that have bonded Michelle and I for years. It was also a reminder to me that the customer is always right, no matter how really wrong they are.

Which brings me to my next little "OMG this could only happen to me" moment:

I have worked for a publishing company for a few years now. I have been in advertising sales for the better part of a decade, and let me tell you, its not always easy. Advertising is tough, all businesses need it, but none want to pay for it...it is intangible. It is expensive. So taking care of customers, and doing what is necessary for their ads to be successful is very important. And sometimes exhausting. Sometimes clients are rude and demanding. Some are just plain strange. For the most part, I love it, but there are days when I ask myself, "is this really okay?"

I had traveled WWWWAAAAY out of the way to visit this little deli/vegetable stand/cafe.

They were having trouble getting their business off the ground and I was going out to take some pictures and do a story on them.

The owner was a "character," to say the least. He was a large guy, probably 6'5, but to me, anyone over 5 feet is tall...so standing beside him I maybe cleared his ummmm, belly.

He and his staff were excited to see me. I think they were excited to see ANYONE. It was a cold snowy/rainy morning, and I had not had enough coffee yet...

I gathered enough information for a story and then pulled out my camera to snap some pictures.

"OH! I have a great idea for a picture!" He exclaimed, as he skipped out of sight...(heehee)

I waited for a few minutes as I heard doors opening and closing, and hushed whispers. What the heck were they up to?

I walked around the corner...

HE was laying on the floor and his staff was piling fruits and vegetables all over his body and head, so that only his face was peeking out of the mountain of produce.

What the...?

"Now, Kirstee(no one ever says my name right), I want you to STRADDLE me and take the pictures from above..."

"Are you flippin kidding me?"

Was he serious? Not only was the pile of natures bounty too high for me to "straddle," but I was wearing a skirt!!

"I.I.I really don't think..."

"Oh, come on. I did this for the "rival newspaper" and people loved it!" He said, pulling a carrot out of the pile and crunching on it.

Now I had to find a way to get the shot.

So I got a step stool and carefully placed myself over this person, who was clearly not thinking that this was even a little strange.

Thankfully, my skirt was long enough so there was nothing to fear...

I got the pictures.

I guess they came out pretty good.

It was just one of those situations you can't possible prepare for. And until it unfolds, you never know how you will react.

I do know this:

I do not want a pap smear for Christmas.
I will always check my orders.
I have a pretty good idea what is okay and what is not okay with me.

And I still do not like onion bagels.

Thanks For Reading.




  1. Whoop ass sista! And when life gets too crazy to handle, have yourself a little cheese sandwich and move on. Hugs and kisses and best of luck on this new venture.

    As for me, I will be starting a new little business venture of my own. It will be call something like, "Ummm, yes Maam" ... and will be a support group for X-customer service representatives. Wish me luck!


  2. OMG to freakin hillarious You should have a bagel called whoop ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!