Archive for category Rant
There are many dos and don’ts associated with behavior, and to learn them you just have to exist in a society. There is no book, no hard and fast rules to tell you what is and what isn’t acceptable on every occasion in every situation, a lot of times, it’s just a “use common sense and hope for the best” type of situation out there. However, there are occasions when there are clearly defined social norms that must be observed, indeed ignoring or not paying attention to them leads to blogs about you written by strangers who wish they had your full name so they could put your name out there for the world to know what a world class butt munch you are.
So I often ask myself, whatever happened to customer service…and recently I got a very, very clear answer to that question I send out into the cosmos…CHEAP ASSHOLES HAPPENED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE. That is where customer service went. It went away because some people out there despite getting AMAZING customer service or service of any kind feel that under tipping or tipping via In-N-Out chocolate milkshakes is okay. Here is the story of the cheap asshole I recently dealt with, judge for your self.
After a hideous children crying, little girl with light up shoes and an airplane bathroom fetish, and sitting near the toilets and getting to smell things no one wants to smell flight I ended I finally landed in San Francisco from London. On my flight I sat next to a guy named Mustafa (Balla/VIP), and yes, I wanted to quote the Lion King the entire flight because his names was WAY too close to Mufasa (Simba’s dad’s name) for me not to want to say:
Banzai: Oh, Scar, it’s just you.
Shenzi: We were afraid it was somebody important.
Banzai: Yeah, you know, like Mufasa.
Scar: I see.
Banzai: Now that’s power.
Shenzi: Tell me about it. I just hear that name and I shudder.
Shenzi: Ooooh! Do it again!
Banzai: Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa!
Shenzi: Ooooh! [breaks into laughter]
Shenzi: And it tingles me!
Scar: I’m *surrounded* by idiots.
Anyway, some how I contained myself and got to hear about this guy his trip to London to meet a girlie who his parents wanted him to marry, but he wasn’t interested in. I guess the first thing that clued me into his idiocy was that looks in a potential life partner is the most important attribute to him. But, hey at least the guy was honest…I couldn’t blame him. But then it was all a case of a rap song gone bad, he was talking about the crazy bar tabs him and his “boys” run up at the clubs in Vegas, how they “roll VIP”, all the chicks they hook up with. I mean it was like a Jersey Shore meets Canada meets Show Off all in one person.
Somehow, and let’s please not get into the inadvisability of my course of action, I am an idiot too, I ended up going to In-N-Out in a cab with this guy once our flight landed in San Francisco. So for those of you who don’t know In-N-Out it is a west coast, mostly California fast food place, it kinda has a cult following. The lines at In-N-Out are always long, and I mean super long. The In-N-Out closest to me had to recently redesign its entrance because the lines to get into drive-thru used to cause a traffic jam on one of the major surface streets at lunch and dinner times. So after pulling up to an In-N-Out with this “balla” in a taxi cab whose meter was already at $22+ for the ride there and taking a gander at the HORRENDOUS line the “balla” decides to run in to the store instead of doing drive-thru. Five minutes later he runs out and asks the Taxi driver if he can turn off the meter. The taxi driver of course does not want to do this but the “balla” pleads, and the Taxi driver agrees after saying “you know this is a BIG favor, right?” The “balla” agrees it is a huge favor comes back out hands the guy a chocolate milkshake runs back in emerge some 10 minutes later with his food and off we go to the airport, another $15 ride.
So pulling up to the terminal, in a Prius taxi that smelled like French fries, with two people that probably smelled gross as a result of 10+ hours of flying in a plane sitting next to the bathrooms, the “balla” hands over his credit card to pay for the ride back to the airport as well as the tip. The taxi driver asks the VIP “so how much do you want to leave for a tip?” The response…”oh it wasn’t included in what you just told me?” Taxi driver, “no, how much do you want to leave, bro?” “Balla”, “$2”. Taxi driver “come on buddy, how much do you want to leave?”. “Balla”, “yeah I think $2 is fine.
Okay…stop… right there…you see that $2 that I typed…that is where your customer service has gone. People like that have stolen it. They have left horrible $2 tips for people like this taxi driver who do them favors like turning off the meter on their cab for 15 minutes while they were in In-N-Out getting a burger and in return for this kindness left the man a $2 tip. Here I was sitting next to Mr. Balla/me an my boys roll VIP in Vegas and his cheap ass is giving this man a $2 tip?! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! I have never been so embarrassed at someone else’s cheapness like I was at that moment. Every single one of my embarrassment sensors if such things exist lit up like a Christmas light. Refusing to shaft another apparently kind human being so completely I opened up my own wallet and handed the taxi driver some money even though VIP next to me was supposed to have paid for the entire ride.
After we got out of the cab he made mention of his horrible tip saying “I bought him a milkshake and gave him $2, that should be enough”. I was tired, I smelled like recycled airplane air, the makeup I put on in Italy 14 hours before was gone, and my tact was at its wicks end. “NO IT WAS NOT ENOUGH”. I said emphatically, and in an irritated voice “YOU SHAFTED THAT MAN, A CHOCOLCATE MILKSHAKE AND $2 IS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR HAVING TURNED OFF THE METER FOR 15 MINUTES”. He gave me a bit of surprised look, but continued to munch on his burger. I swear I have never wanted to slap the cow outta someone’s hands like I did at that moment. He was talking about taking his food through the security line and eating it once inside. Without missing a beat I told him “I would like to see that given your ethnic background, it should be entertaining what happens when you cause a scene at security trying to take in a soda, fries, and a burger.”
Shortly after my smart-ass remarks and his cheapassedness we parted company, but the cheapness of this man still lingers in my consciousness. I can’t stop thinking about that damn $2 tip. I can’t stop thinking about the disbelief and almost dejectedness on the taxi driver’s face and in his voice when $2 was said. If there was ever a moment when I realized “where customer service went” it was at that moment. Why do something nice or above and beyond for someone, when they can’t even show proper gratitude for your kindness? His brand of cheap assholedness is like a disease, it spreads like wildfire, what are the chances that taxi driver will do something kind like that for the next rider who might actually give a decent tip at the end of it…not good. Cheapassedness…don’t be a carrier.
Someone needs to explain to me the whole “No Soliciting Rule”, because it seems like every store I go into has at least one solicitor out front with an American flag, a card table, a poster board sign asking for donations to one worthy charity or another. The head scratcher here isn’t that there are solicitors, but that there are solicitors on private property, standing next to signs that read something along the lines of “Target/Wal*Mart/Stater Bros./Vons/Albertson’s does not support solicitors and we do our best to provide you with distraction free shopping”. So at this point I am really confused, if these stores are really committed to providing me with a distraction free shopping experience, and obviously the stores are built on private property…why are there ALWAYS solicitors outside these stores?! I would really like to have a distraction free shopping experience…or at least a distraction free store entry and store exit experience. But the distraction free experience isn’t even the biggest part of my concern, the bigger concern for me, and what I think should be the bigger concern for stores is that my shopping experience in these stores, thanks to Solicitors, is rarely guilt free anymore.
Today as I exited Vons after picking up my delicious “build your own” sandwich I just knew the friendly solicitor who saw me walk in and said a bright “hello” was going to hit me up for a donation on my way out of the store. Five minutes later, sandwich in hand, I prepared for the “would you care to donate to …” (I later learned he was collecting for community anti-drug programs for teens), but I was surprised, this guy changed it up. His spiel was “can you help save a life?” Okay, now, I understand why he asked that question, because who wants to be the bitch who responds to the “can you help save a life” question with “nope, can’t help ya out on that one buddy” after they just bought an overpriced sandwich?! No one…no one wants to say no to that! But at the same time, I don’t think anyone wants to be asked, “can you help save a life?”, “Can you help our basketball team go to a meet”, “can you help our homeless shelter”, “can you help keep kids off drugs”, “can you help keep teens out of gangs”, “can you help keep Girl Scouts raise money, buy cookies”, “can you help defeat measure 9xx”, “can you help…” every time they walk in and out of a store. But just saying “no I can’t help save puppies being put to death in local underfunded animal shelters” doesn’t mean it’s the end of the guilt trip…like any good infomercial…WAIT THERE’S MORE.
After successfully dodging the initial plea for support there is the catch all phrase that drums home the selfishness of your refusal, three little words, to tighten the guilt screw “God Bless You!” I don’t know what it says about me that this “God Bless You!” is the final straw…in some ways it’s almost like that friend that always draws God into an argument as the argument ender. God is the “big” gun in any argument, the God argument is the nuclear arsenal, and there is no arguing with it. I mean good luck walking away from a request to donate when you have just said “no, I don’t want to help protect unwed mothers from abusive partners” and this person calls after you as you scurry away hoping to make it out of earshot with your fancy three-ply tissue boxes or Charmin Ultra before you have to hear, “God Bless You”…this all just starts to make you feel like a real heel.
Of course it is good to give, and I am not saying that I give or don’t give every single time I am asked, but where is the line drawn at solicitation? Sometimes after a long day or when you are running in and out of a store at lunch I really, really wish corporate America would man up on something other than cutting prices and maybe if not get rid of the solicitors completely corral them in certain areas or get them to be around less, or prevent them from wandering the dark parking lots asking you if you want to buy discount cards for local eateries scaring the hell out of you at 8:00 in the evening. All of this and more is the reason why the UPS guy dropped off a 48 pack of Charmin on my doorstep the other day.
There are days when you wake up, get ready, get in your car, drive to work in seclusion and hearing noises only you want to hear pour out of your radio and then you get to work, anticipating yet another boring, but bearable day…and then BOMB’S AWAY. Someone starts talking to you and you want to start screaming…SHUT UP…SHUP UP…SHUT UP!!!! That was my today at work. There was a complaint lodged that I don’t remove the pull tabs off my soda cans at work before I add them to the recycling. So now, I plan NOT to drink my half can of soda at work anymore, I refuse to pull the tabs off the stupid cans. If they want them off…they can pull them off…I AM NOT FUCKING DOING IT.