I am working from home nowadays. But today I am not really working as my dermatologist took a chunk of my face off yesterday. The price of living in Arizona and growing up before there was such a thing as sunscreen when tan was King.
The day took matters into its own hands and reserved itself to poke fun at me – various annoyances, some almost interesting, some hilariously funny, but mostly just silly things designed to optimize the well-being of our masters. Keeping the bandage in place askew around my nose for the first 48 hours, as I have been duly directed is the easy part. It was fun surprising Dad on a video-chat looking like a first draft of Frankenstein. It is amusing as I people-watch people averting their gaze immediately after staring –- it’s a variation of the flight or fight reflex I’m sure.
The challenging part is dealing with an economy that is stalling, I mean it has to be right? Seriously it is startling if you pay attention. We are burdened by inefficiency and incompetence and contempt for us, the customers, in alarming abundance. Let me give you the list, just from this morning. Just my list, and I’m sure the anesthesia is a part of my snarkiness.
The telephone rings to begin the day and the appointment to measure our home for a new awning is canceled because of a company meeting. They want to reschedule for the week after next. Due to a company meeting?
My internet company is going on 100 days without responding or following up on their dropping the ball and getting us on the calendar for a service call. We had an agreement back in May after the phone diagnostics confirmed our service was defective. They scheduled an appointment in June which was then cancelled at the last minute by them. For whatever reason we let it slip our mind until last week when our wi-fi belched again. Then it hits us, our trust in them to re-schedule was misplaced. So while I am on hold, calling them yet again, I continue to scribble in frustration. 100 days I tell you?
During the call my wife calls on my cell with news that her tire pressure indicator light came on while driving to work. We just had work done two days ago so I immediately suspect the service and suggest she take time out of her day to take it back for a second check. Sure enough, one of the tires, one of the new $99 tires to be precise is 10 lbs low. And we are headed out of town this scorching weekend on a hot Arizona highway!
The day continues with a call from my credit union, of which I have been a member since 1983, informing me that my line of credit has been increased. We did not request this – God only knows why they are so generous. All that is required is for me to come in before the end of the day to fill out a few forms. There is still light in the west as I leave the Credit Union, trying to keep the bandage balanced on my nose of course, with my new line of credit. The simple appointment scheduled at the loan agent’s suggestion began with my arrival precisely during her regularly scheduled afternoon break! 30 minutes later she takes my driver’s license for a copy and I sign the few forms. As she enters them in the system, she announces that she has used the wrong procedure because the system won’t take them. After another 45 minutes on the phone with headquarters we discover finally that I first need to pay off the one-cent balance in my current loan account. And of course we need to fill out a new set of forms. She first takes the time to shred the first batch. Finally we finish, I think. But now she finds that she has shredded my driver’s license copy along with the first batch of papers. So we repeat that process, again. I know, that’s redundant and repetitive.
Now I am home, my nose throbbing. I am starting to feel that today is my day. I can do anything. So I decide to do one more thing and check my credit union account to verify that the new account is indeed all set up. That’s when I discover that my automatic overdraft has been canceled, apparently due to my new line of credit canceling the previous one. Tomorrow I’ll take care of that.
Mouth breathers thrive in today’s minimum wage service economy. They don’t make any money but they are paid more than they are worth. It’s not their fault though. They are just doing the bidding of their overlords, none of whom exist in the real world. The rest of us just have to suck it up I guess. That would be you and me the customers. We are invisible as long as we pay our rents. So much for the new right-sized, lean, big data, micro-marketing, always-on , service-first, customer-centric, interconnected, virtual, e-economy? Are these challenges or flaws? It doesn’t make any difference I guess. Scary world today, eh? Maybe it’s just my scary looking nose that caused all the troubles.
“The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” Goethe