Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bad Moon Rising*

Or waning, as may actually be the case. October seems determined to be one of those months you have to grit your teeth and, perhaps, pound your head in the wall a few times, in order to both survive what it throws at you and to keep from damaging people in the so-called "service" industries. I don't know what they're teaching them in orientation training but it ain't customer-based service.

(several yarn photos will appear to help ease the frustration in this post. I'm practicing my yarn photography. Please feel free to tell me which you like best. This is number 1 in the colors of fall wools.)

True, the above seems to have nothing to do with knitting. On the face of it, that is. In actuality, it does because when you're frustrated and angry, your tension changes (pun intended). You find yourself sitting and staring at those pointy implements in your hands, while your husband and dog decide it's best not to sit in the same room with an angry, frustrated and half-crazed-by-having-to-deal-with-customer-service-representatives woman. You make little to no progress on your projects because you're on the freaking phone for hours, listening to anything from Mozart to bluegrass (I found this to be profoundly disturbing-bluegrass should not be used for "on hold" music. That's tantamount to heresy in these parts.) I really disliked the mechanical female voice apologizing every 10 seconds for the "heavy volume of calls at present". It makes you worry deeply about the fact that you've just signed an 18 month service contract with these people and everyone seems to be calling them with a problem.

(so, what do you think? My fall colors involve greens, browns, and red and white for the Red Sox. Yay for the Division champs!)

Especially when they didn't even show up at the appointed time to set up your tv service. Try that on for profoundly disturbing. The original appointment was set up by a bubbly girl rep 2 weeks ago for today, between 8am and 5 pm. The world around me knows I hate early rising. But I agreed because I had other things to do in the afternoon. Nice, fun things. Like getting together with my friends at the LYS and hanging out knitting and bad-mouthing Presidential candidates and then weaving class. (We'll forget for the moment that weaving is torturing me right now. After all, I've got the warp on right now so I had the fun of just weaving for tonight.)

(Mustn't forget to add in the required merlot color of Virginia Tech for the fall, eh? Playing a bit with light and shadows here.)

So on Tuesday, I get a chirpy call from another female rep asking if they can come between noon and 5 pm. No, I say, I have a life and I can't do that. She pauses and sighes and I relent (because I'm sucker and a Southern one at that, taught to be polite and accomodating and I DO try til I'm crossed.) Alright, I can wait til 3 pm, how about that. Oh, perfect! was the response but she added that he would try to get here in the scheduled time period if he could.

Hmm. Now that left me not quite knowing exactly when he would get here. Anywhere from 8am to 3pm. Quite a gap. So I dragged myself out of bed (this is not funny. I do not care that most of the world functions as day people and some of them are even "morning" people. There was a reason I chose 3rd shift when I worked like other people and it had to do with this early morning allergy. I hates dragging out of bed.) Noon came and passed. Did I get anything accomplished with all those early lighted up hours referred to as "morning"? Some dusting. Well, a lot of dusting. Gee, that light does rather show the dust more. Yet another reason to avoid it. 3pm came and went. 4 pm. At 4:45pm, I gave up the teeth gnashing for the first service rep call. After the obligatory waiting period on hold (I think they just do this to weed out as many complaints as possible. Or possibly cause strokes from the fact this is just increasing your anger level and blood pressure. This is when the bluegrass was playing.) I got another chirpy-voiced woman who listened to my explaining that it was past time for the installation guy and where was he since he was supposed to have been here by 3pm. She asked what time was it? I said 4:45, now thinking about that Tuesday call and wondering exactly what time zone that service twit had been in that did the original re-scheduling. She put me on hold (Mozart, very soothing tune, don't know which one) and then said she'd called and the guy had gotten held up on a job and would be here by 6pm. I did tell her that as a new customer this was NOT the way to do business and it worried me about doing business with them and I wouldn't be so mad if they'd had the common courtesy to have called me earlier and said there was a delay. After all, I DO have a life, too, yes? Why, yes, she agreed, apologizing yet again. (Anything to get you off the phone, right?)

5pm. 6pm. 7pm. What do you know. It's fall now and guess what? It gets dark by 7:15. I did manage to wait til 8pm to place the 2nd outraged call but only because I'd been outraged by another company in another manner in the meantime but we'll get to that in a moment.

Mechanical voice this time, high volume of calls yet again. (Bad, bad feeling here.) This service rep is not only chirpy, she's bubbly, too. But I'm past polite. When she asks how she can help me tonight, I tell her I'm calling to report a missing installation guy and perhaps they should consider notifying the proper authorities since he sure ain't where he's supposed to be and hasn't been spotted in this location all day. I tell her how disappointed I am in her company, their lack of service, their inconsideration for their customers and pre-customers (yep, tendency to make up words when I'm angry. Family trait. Ask Techie Gal.) And she chirps "sorry" repeatedly all through it. Finally she says, well, I can re-schedule you for Tuesday if you'd like.

Tuesday. She repeated this a bit more hesitantly after she noticed I was pausing for a bit longer than she felt comfortable about. I replied it wasn't like I had a big choice in the matter, if I was going to get the tv service installed, I'd have to have someone come install it, right? I did make very sure we were scheduling this for the correct time zone, too. For all I know, some person on the West Coast got my tv service installed right on time at 3 pm PST.

(A shot of the back yard but I couldn't capture the gorgeous depth of the blue fall sky. But there isn't a cloud in it and that's important in the next chapter of this on-going tragi-comedy here.)

In the midst of all of this, my friend, the NC gal, arrived home to find bits and pieces of the looms we'd ordered dumped in her yard by a freighting company. The packages were mangled, holes involved, and who knows how many vital pieces, such as nuts, bolts, and screws, lying about. (And who knows where else they've been left lying whilst in transit?) A note was taped to the largest box explaining that the delivery person was sorry, whoever-the-heck she or he was couldn't carry it any farther.

Well, how polite to at least leave a note. This is the only time to be thankful for the drought we're having. I'm just amazed it didn't choose this moment to ease it by raining like a monsoon while those boxes were just lying about, mangled, torn, and available to anybody who drove by and was able to lift them. She had a worse fit than I did--of course, she was seeing the damage first-hand, I couldn't go over to investigate or help her since I was tied to my house, waiting for the MIA installation guy. She did take numerous photos before her husband arrived home and helped her get the boxes out of the yard and under shelter but we don't dare open them until the freight company's appointed claims investigator shows up and then we're going to take pictures of each and every phase of the opening of each box. We did take out proper value insurance but I have serious fears about what we're going to have to go through in order to get all those important bits and pieces (you know, nuts and bolts and screws hardly seem significant until your loom won't stand upright because it doesn't have any to hold it's frame in place, eh?) replaced that are missing, since the impression we got when seeing the condition our looms were delivered in does not exactly inspire confidence in the company's services. In fact, it gives you the same feeling I got from the tv service company and the service I was supposed to have received there. The non-existent service, that is.
But it got even better. Because when NC gal called to scream at these people (and she was screaming, ho, yes, boy, I can vouch for this), they said, oh, so the 4th box is okay then?

4th box? 4th box? What 4th box? We DID NOT get a 4th box. It's apparently off somewhere on a nice tour of the fall foliage.
All I can say is, I'm really very glad I'm not one of NC gal's students tomorrow. Not that she'd take this out on them but it would be very bad timing to ask for, say, an extension on an assignment.
So I'm not even going to attempt to explain the feelings or cursing elicited by this last tidbit of info. I'm sure you have enough imagination to fill that in for yourselves. I did manage the tiniest bit of knitting progress on Rogue. I have a sleeve cast on and 18 rows, not counting the hem, done. I spun a bit on the was-missing-but-now-is-found roving and managed to transfer my tension into it's twist. (hmm. Was missing but now is found. Talk about a hymnal association. Could lead me right into the strange doctor's waiting room conversation I had Tuesday but I'll save that one for my entry tomorrow.)
Let's leave with a nice photo of the Guardian of the Wool:

Sylvester. He's as old as the hills and misses Tech Gal something fierce. She always smuggled him into her bedroom. He pretty much just lies around in the available sunshine nowadays and sleeps but perks up when comes to visit. He's no fool. He knows she's still good for begging from, even now that she's got a family.
*"Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Green River album (1969)

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