Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To Be On Hold For The Next 5 Hours, Press 2

Automated voice prompts are the latest thorn in my side. I loathe them with a burning passion only rivaled by my hate for leopard print spandex. And it's not that I don't appreciate the phone company's/cable company's/drug store's attempt at convenience, but after five minutes of not breathing for fear that the prompter may misunderstand me and think I was asking to be put through to the bills payable/we don't speak English department, my head is about to explode and I feel dizzy from lack of oxygen. And the voice, oh the voice. I mean, I don't need to be asked for my credit card number by a robotic phone sex operator. I would be happy to give it to Joe Schmow, just as long as he doesn't sound like he's touching himself while asking me for it.

And EVERYONE has one these days. Department stores, phone companies, the city, even the local deli. It's pure laziness, and what these places don't realize is that people don't want to talk to a recording. A recording can't understand what you're saying. It says that it can, but it's lying to you. Most say they can understand over 250 responses, but what they don't tell you is that "Live person" and "This is bullshit" aren't included in those.

I was on the phone with T-Mobile the other day trying to pay my bill, and I had to listen to the automated bitch drone on for 10 minutes before she let me say anything. I don't need to hear "We appreciate your call" and "Thank you for choosing T-Mobile". I know they don't appreciate my call, or they wouldn't be making me wait. I do not have time to carry on a one sided conversation with a recording, I'm not a bored housewife with no one to talk to. I have places to go and things to do. And God forbid I call from a crowded coffee shop or the office and some one's talking in the background or I'm trying to type while on hold. If a strong wind blows through, the auto-whore thinks I told her that I wanted to go back to the main menu and then I have to start the whole process all over again. And they never give you the option upfront to talk to a live person, that's the last resort. The damn thing will hang up on you before it'll put you through to a "customer care representative." Then I get on the phone with a real person, and by that point I'm so angry that I'm screaming at them like they're deaf and swearing them black and blue for asking me the same fucking questions for the tenth time. Yes, I am aware that I can access my account online. I'm not retarded, I wasn't trying to access the Internet by calling you, obviously I wanted to talk to a live person. No, I do not want to go over my bill, I just want to pay it. Why the hell did I have to press a million keys to navigate my way to you if all you're going to do is ask me the same shit over and over and over again?

Then they have no answers for you and suggest you go online to the FAQ's section of your profile. And my question is, why the hell are they paying these people? What are they here for, to tell you that they can't help you? To give you attitude because you're interrupting their hundredth game of solitaire? C'mon Buddy, I don't like a lot of our clients either, but I don't act as though they're inconveniencing me when I have to actually do my job and help them with what they need. But the best is when they ask you to calm down, as if you're going to jump through the phone and harm them. Believe me, if it was possible, everyone in the cable industry would be in serious trouble. I know people who have broken their remotes waiting to talk to someone. I know people who have broken their TVs waiting to talk to someone.

And then there are the freaks who enjoy talking to the auto-voice. I guess those are the ones too cheap to pay for phone sex.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Spoonful Of Sugar

It's come to my attention that some people who read my blog may be offended by the content, or may read it and think I'm a bitch. Fair enough. I didn't start this blog expecting that everyone who reads it is going to love it, agree with it, or find it all that funny. It's not always meant to be funny. It's also not meant to cater to any one's taste or sense of humor. In fact, when I started writing this blog, I set myself to the task of being unPC, and for a reason: People's opinions are not censored. They are what they are. Opinions can be hurtful, they can be offensive, they can be insulting, and they can be a revelation. Our worlds are censored enough without having to worry that what we truly think of it is inappropriate because it may not be what people like to hear.

The only names I've used in my blog are those of people in the public eye. I have never used the names of anyone that I know personally, or that someone has told me about. There's a reason for this also, and that reason is that I don't think it's necessary to call anyone out. Yes, I have a boss. So does everyone else I know. I have a family, so does everyone else I know. I have ex boyfriends, and friends, and so does everyone else I know. The people I write about come from a lot of different sources. They come from bosses, families, and friends that I know, and they come from bosses, families, and friends that people around me know and have. If you read something in this blog that you think is about you, consider why that is before you ask me about it, because all I'm going to say to you is "Your name isn't on it." Everyone out there has something about themselves that's embarrassing, or that they would rather not have pointed out to them in the form of an accusatory rampage, and that includes me, but we don't live in a world where everyone likes us all the time and has only nice things to say about us. And there's only two ways to handle that. You can either choose to laugh off or ignore what you don't like or know isn't true, or you can give in to the curiosity and keep going back for more.

I don't want anyone who reads this to think that they can't throw criticism my way. I welcome it, and any writer who doesn't is doing themselves a disservice. But, criticism and hypocrisy are two different things. Before you suggest that someone lightens up on the cynicism, look in your own backyard. While I may write about people, and what bothers me about them, I would NEVER dream of saying those things to them directly or to one of their friends unless the situation called for it and I knew they would take it in good stride as I would if someone were to say the same to me. But, I know people who would not only dream of doing it, but think nothing of the consequences it has on the people around them, including their spouse. If you find someone annoying, or think they're a pill popping maniac, or believe them to be below you for whatever reason, that's fine. But do not, unless you want to alienate everyone around you, say it to them or to one of their friends thinking that it's acceptable behavior. Toddlers know better. And it does get back to the person it was being said about. That's how you lose clients, that's how you lose friends, that's how you run your reputation into the ground.

My blog is not going to change. And I make no apologies for what's in it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Do You Need a Loofa?

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, gave an interview with Mike Wallace, he spoke on a variety of topics, including the war, Iraq, our President, and his leisure activities. One topic that I found interesting, as I'm sure many people did, was the Holocaust. It was not the main topic, and really he didn't say much about it by way of length, but what he did say didn't really require explanation. You see, he believes the Holocaust to be an "over-blown fairytale."

This doesn't insult me just because I'm Jewish. Yes, that is one of the reasons, but it is not the only reason. It's insulting to me as a person, and as someone who doesn't choose to discount the suffering of others as means of validating my own ends. He mentioned that one of his favorite activities is reading books. A few suggestions:

The Internet for Dummies (Paperback) by John R. Levine (Author), Carol Baroudi (Author), Margaret Levine Young (Author)

Photographing the Holocaust: Interpretations of the Evidence By Janina Struk

In Pursuit of Justice: Examining the Evidence of the Holocaust By United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control By Kathleen Taylor

A short excerpt from the interview:

"Well, don't be hasty sir," the president said. "I'm going to get to that. I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government."

"Fabricated" following the Holocaust, which he's said may also have been fabricated. Last December. Ahmadinejad said the Europeans had created a myth of the Holocaust. "What I did say was, if this is a reality, if this is real, where did it take place?" Ahmadinejad replied.

"In Germany," Wallace said.

"Who — who caused this in Europe?" Ahmadinejad asked.

"In Europe. If I may … so …what you're suggesting — one moment — what you're suggesting then, that Israel should be over in Germany because that's where the holocaust took place?" Wallace asked.

"I'm not saying that, mind you," the president replied. But he has said Israel could be moved to Europe, or even to the United States but it shouldn't be in Palestine.

Hmmm...OK, so Israel should now be in Germany because 70 years ago Hitler and his band of lemmings decided that Jews were polluting the "purity" of their race? Never mind that after World War I , the League of Nations approved the British Mandate for Palestine with the intent of creating a "national home for the Jewish people", or that Jews, along with Christians and Muslims, regard that area as their Holy Land(for some as far back as 3 thousand years), or that Israel as a nation has declared it's independence and fought(like every other nation in the history of the world) for the right to be where they are. No, absolutely not. Israel should be in Germany, since that's where the worst genocide, that Mahmoud claims never happened, took place. Then he takes a turn. He actually gives no reasoning for believing that Israel should be anywhere but in Palestine, it "just should be". Perhaps it was because he realized what he was saying made no sense: That Israel should be in Germany because that's where the Holocaust that never happened took place.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think someone who has that hard a time getting their shit straight should be in charge of a house plant, let alone an entire nation.

But, since Mr. Ahmadinejad seems to be having such a hard time with the extensive research, photos, first hand accounts, diaries, records, etc. that prove the Holocaust happened, I have an idea:

Mahmoud, I would be happy to personally escort you to one of the many concentration camps still standing, and demonstrate for you not only the fascinating precision of German engineering, but the true experience of what you claim never happened. Here's how it'll go down: We're going to test the gas chambers. You go in, and I'll turn it on. You know those monstrosities still work, they were made by the same people who make Mercedes and BMW's for God's sake, and if there's anyone who appreciates a piece of fine machinery, I know it's you. If, after it turns itself off, you walk out the other side, I'll consider seeing things your way.