09 October 2010

Customer service at its finest

So, I just received a disconnect notice from AT&T, because there's been (in my head) some confusion with my internet bill. Before you get gossipy, I owed a whopping $77, so calm yourself. Anyway, I realize once I get the notice that I really need to settle down and get this figured out -- I got a bill saying I owed this bill, but it was shortly after I'd paid another bill, which I thought was for my current address.

I realize now it was for my former address, which was just across the street; I'm at 5505 now, before I was at 5516. Since I pay all my bills online, I'm not in the habit of remembering all my account numbers, and I'm doing a much better job of trashing bills after I pay them so that I no longer lie to myself by saying I'll be good and shred them (as opposed to being horribly irresponsible and dumping them in a community trash bin).

Last month, I did what thousands of people each day do -- in preparing for a move, I called AT&T to disconnect service from Place A and connect new service at Place B. Easy breezy, unless you're speaking to any moron who works for AT&T.

This is how today's conversation went:

CSR: "AT&T, this is Myra, how can I make your experience wonderful today?

Me: "Hi, Myra -- I need to pay an overdue bill, but I'd first like to get a little clarification on that account. I recently moved and disconnected service at one apartment, then reconnected at my new one, and it seems like I paid several bills all at once. I need to pay this, but I want to first make sure it's for my current apartment, not my old one."

CSR: "Excuse me?"

Me: *confused silence* "Umm... did my phone cut out? How much did you hear?"

CSR: "You wanna pay a bill?"

Me: *sigh* Yes, fine. I need to pay my DSL bill.

Myra connects me to collections and billing

CSR: "This is Pepper, can I get your phone number, please?"

I offer my cell number, which is the only one I have

CSR: "Is this account connected to a home number?"

Me: "Yes, that is my home number. It's my cell phone, but the number I use."

CSR: "Ma'am, is this account connected to a home?"

Me: "I don't... ummm... yes, my home, yes."

In the ensuing silence, I realize what she's actually asking.

Me: "Oh! No, I'm sorry; I don't have home phone service through AT&T, no."

CSR: "Connecting to wireless."

Me: "No, no, I am calling about internet!"


As often as I vow to never, ever, EVER deal with AT&T again, their stupid monopoly prevents that from happening. Well, their monopoly and my insistence on living in 'quaint' apartments and whatnots, which generally translates into old -- which means smaller, more nimble, less dickwad companies generally don't extend service to them. Grrrr.

In a totally unrelated story, I found out while on the East Coast that a person can purchase a train ticket on the Amtrak and/or MARC, which is the commuter line between DC and Maryland. I visited Baltimore for a few hours one day and at the kiosk, the ticket was a very affordable $7. But if I'd boarded the train sans ticket and purchased it from a conductor -- who actually wears that little hat and vest, like the movies -- it would've been $3 more. Get that? They charge you more to actually interact with a person.

Is Amtrak owned by AT&T? That makes about as much sense as hiring a deaf CSR to take my call.

08 October 2010

If at first you don't succeed... fill a sack full of rocks and knock that fool out.

So, driving home this evening I was happy: great weather, relaxed weekend on tap, ready to get home and be sappy with Mr. Brown. I'd been spinning a playlist on my iTunes for the previous few hours, which Genius launched based on a Jennifer Hudson track from Dreamgirls. It's one of those tunes I can very literally rewind for an hour and not get sick of it. That song spawned tracks by Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, Ike & Tina, and Mary J. Blige. All are quite yay-worthy.

As I'm singing along, I clue in to the lyrics to Try Again, one of Aliyah's final recordings before she bought it in a plane crash. Sad that, since she was just 22 -- I guess R. Kelly mourned her loss by trying his hand (as it were) at water sports. But, I digress.

So, the lyrics make a great club jam, but I paused more than once:

What would you say
To have your way
Would you give up
Or try again

If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself and try again...

If you dont wanna throw it all away
Might be shy on the first date
What about the next date...

Am I the only one who thinks Aliyah wanted a fool to stalk her? Maybe R. Kelly wasn't giving her what she needed -- she wanted a little more chase, a little less, errr... psuedo-sexual stage play? This song came out around the same time she was rumored to have been his wifey, but from all I recall, she was ride or die in her own right. Maybe she wanted a dude to hold her stash, instead of vice versa? I don't know; I'm all about a guy giving his all, but if I'm shy on the first date, there's generally a reason. I've dated enough of the wrong men to know when it's right, and I think it's a pretty good bet that, when a woman doesn't speak to you, look at you or stand within 25 feet of you, she very likely does not want to be with you.

So to all those dudes emboldened by Aliyah's words, do yourself a favor and stop trying. You're really going to hate life when you wind up in county lock-up.

Back to Black

What's got two thumbs, an addiction to Golden Girls and the urge to blog? This girl right here! I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been a bit, shall we say, absent. But if you're wondering why, see my previous post, to wit: pimp, re: hard out there.

Since 2010 dawned (chill with that internal dialogue, I know it's mostly over), I've had a few changes in my life. Let's enumerate, shall we?
  • Most obviously, sappy, inconvenient, messy love has found me, and his name - for social media purposes - is Leroy Brown. He is, in fact, the baddest man in the whole damned town... until he's drunk. Then, he's all soft and lovey dovey. Well, sometimes.
  • A new two bedroom apartment, which is supposed to give us a little more room whilst living together on the daily and professing our love. What it's thus far succeeded in doing, however, is putting us both on the edge of hoarder status. You do not want to see that second bedroom; one hopes, with all the stuff, we could find a few winning lotto tickets and perhaps a stray migrant farm worker, but I'm willing to bet we won't.
  • Dealing with an Alzheimer's diagnosis for my grandmother; there's nothing funny in the least about this, except maybe the fact that she'll eventually forget how much she hates short hair, so I can cut it again without her getting c-r-azy and shaking her grandmotherly fist in the air. She and Leroy are in cahoots, as he loves the long hair, too. I'm not sure why neither of them can see it looks like a dirty mop.
  • Bigger boobs -- like, for reals. I have officially moved into astounded, especially given that I just thought I was gaining weight. But nooooo.... I go for a proper measurement, like any boobalicious gal should, and found the band size was exactly the same, but the cup size had inched up. While I'm certainly not one to generally lament what is fair and what isn't, I'm not even sure how that's possible. I'm nearly 33, for poop's sake -- why is that even cool? I'm already dealing handily enough with rotating the same six outfits, given my disdain for shopping and full realization that I am exactly like my cheap ass father (only 30 years younger and with more debt, so it really makes sense not to make more of it). So why would Jebus (his real name; the Old Testament surely got it wrong) continue to bless me in the boobage department? I secretly wonder if I'll have to pay to check this luggage on my next flight.
In a conversation last night, I told Leroy that it's not good enough to say you're going to do it -- you either do it or you don't. While we were discussing the gym, I need to begin reapplying the same logic to my life again. Somewhere along the line, I got a bit off track, so instead of yammering about how I'm about to get back into the swing, I'm just going to shut my f'ing mouth and do it. The world is watching -- at least, my world is.  I can't say what my future posts will be about - my 'single woman dating douchebag' stories are long since over - but I won't worry about that now. Without struggle there is no progress, right?

Commence struggling.

08 January 2010

Happy New Year -- really?

So I've had some people tell me I need to update this more than once a quarter. I was on a pretty good clip, you see, and I even had a good idea for my niche (that Craig's List snark thing was good, I tell you!). But then, as so often happens, I got lazy. And given that I write all day, every day, for a living, blogging actually became a chore.

You've heard the saying 'it's hard out there for a pimp?' Well imagine if that pimp were literate, employed legitimately and writing about the environment all day. That pimp hand might not be so strong. But since it's still early enough in 2010 to make resolutions without sounding obscenely ludicrous, I'll say this: this is my year, y'all. Im going to blog with regularity... I'll have so many crazy blogs, it'll feel like Myspace circa 2005. For reals!

But right now, I'm going to sit very still, concentrate very hard and attempt to sleep with my eyes wide open.

06 November 2009

Well woopity do!

For quite a while now over the course of my professional career, I've heard the word 'intern' thrown around quite a bit. Never before had I had the opportunity to have any, though -- until now. I was crazy nervous, and held off as long as I could, but my exec. director continued to encourage it and essentially made it 'must do' rather than a 'like to do.'

I've always been in the position of working entirely too hard for entirely too little money. The problem, however, has always been that I've never quite known just how much I'm worth. Once I did realize that, I switched jobs, moving from energy to non-profits.

Cue talk about loving  your job, blah, blah, blah.

Where I currently work, everyone does a lot of everything, which is what I'm used to -- and really, it's how I thrive. But Director wants me to move into big picture thinking -- she says I'm all sorts of fantastic and sees me being able to lead a whole group of fresh-faced kiddos.

What's it say that I almost immediately thought of a legion of stone-faced zombies when she first said that? But I digress.

The long and short of it is this: I went through the process and secured some interns. One broad who was all up in my shit to get her started ended up no-showing me... and after I'd dragged in at 8a no less. Not ok. And *then* she went on vacation for 10 days. For serious.

But the two others have started and are fantabulous. And I'm moving into... well, I'm not sure just yet. I'm not used to having a job whose results are intangible; I don't know how easy an adjustment that will be. I'm a writer -- I write something and at the end of the day, have something to hand over. As the interns get comfortable, I'll give them more responsibility, and soon enough I'll be focused on strategery and 3-5 year plans and blah, blah, blah.

Is that what they call management? I have 'manager' in my title, so I suppose it makes sense.

I guess I'm all growed up. Or at least getting there. Weird.

22 October 2009

Holy Starbucks, Batman.

Little Wayne has pled guilty to possessing an illegal gun -- I'm not especially surprised. What does throw me off, however, is how he looked walking out of court. A cashmere scarf and black rimmed glasses really can make anyone look smartly dressed. Who knew?

18 October 2009

Please prove to me you aren't a tool

Craig's List + snark = a match made in heaven. The more I think about it, the more I realize that Craig's List was custom made for a person like me, and a blog like this. Granted, it occasionally offers up someone that is not a giant douchebag -- see Contest #542 about the Kiwi -- but on the whole, CL is overrun with men who are more likely used to find their women via the grapevine known as the bar bathroom wall and women who are on an elusive search for a green card.

That group, however, isn't where the snark lies; as far as I'm concerned, the humor is in the men who look to CL as something more than just a toss of the dice, who actually attempt to lay out their perfect mate within the confines of a free web site whose look is reminiscent of a mid-sized city's newspaper classified section. Those are the guys you want to grab, shake and ask, "really, guy? Did you think you'd find perfection here?" And if that's not bad enough, the guy offering up this laundry list is always an unquestioning tool.

Like, always.

Take, for example, Mr. PLEASE PROVE TO ME SHE ACTUALLY EXISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Given the headline, you know damned well I only clicked on this for comic value. I could scarcely bring myself to do it, given the exclamation assault. I mean, really -- is it that necessary? Are you that excited about asking this question? This has been an ongoing debate within my circle, and I will forever and always be adamantly opposed to excessive punctuation. Couple that with the screaming all caps and really, what you've got is a tool of absolute epic proportions, one whom has undoubtedly spent more than his fair share of time in AOL chat rooms without ever stumbling across anyone who would share with him the understood rules of chatting.

But enough of that -- let's meet Mr. Eager, shall we?
Well, there we go. He's actually not a bad looking kid, provided he shuts his proverbial piehole and stops screaming at me over the Interwebs. If he'd just included this one photo, I might have actually reconsidered my decision to label him a tool, but, again, in what can only be described as a blackout of bad decision making, he decided to include photos of random bullshit no one cares about -- his vehicles and his friends. What, I ask you, can be gleaned from a photo of a guy's car? Answer: not a thing that any actual woman wants to know. The broad who's attracted to a guy because of what he drives isn't actually a woman you want to be with.  It's such an perversely twisted way of thinking, in that this guy is probably first in line to complain about all women being materialistic. If that's the case, broham, perhaps you ought not upload shit like this:

These photos do not make you look cool, guy. They make you look like a giant douche with a very small penis and massive issues related to your gender and level of self-esteem.

For the record, I know some pretty awesome chicks, and I'm pretty positive not a one of them would be into a guy who (a) had a blue sports car, and (b) posted images of it. And what're you doing over there on the left, guy, wanking your tool jewel on the seat of the motorcycle there? If this is actually an attempt to show women that you're into bikes or fix bikes or race bikes or what the fuck ever, then maybe you should consider actually including a photo that shows you doing something other than standing next to it. You look like you're at some wack ass car show and have been restricted to the kiddie section. And worse yet, is that a sport bike? You're not even man enough to be into something classic?

Not sexy, broham. Not sexy in the least.

After you work through the hot Abercrombie mess that are the photos, it's time to pick your way through the minefield that is the post itself. This is how he begins:

Is there such a girl out there that is:

well educated
non smoker
non married/divorced
no kids 

First off, WTF is up with dudes and bulleted lists? Are we in a marketing meeting watching a fucking powerpoint? If you can't form a paragraph, I don't want to know you. And if you actually believe you can make a connection with anyone based on a random assortment of adjectives, then again sir, you're a tool. Formatting aside, however, the beginning of the list is actually fairly standard. Single guy wants single girl to be a cute, single, non-smoker with no baby daddy drama and a modicum of a thought process she calls her own.

And let's not forget spontaneous... not unlike writing this blog, come to think about it.  Hmm, maybe he is the man for me.  

Moving along:
smart enough to find better things to do in life besides drink at bars every chance they get 

I'm obviously not drinking every chance I get, or I wouldn't be stumbling across this bullshit ad you've posted, broham. I'm always intrigued when guys jump on their moral highorse and begin to espouse how uncool it is to be a woman who drinks at bars. Ignoring the big picture for a moment, would it be better if I was drinking at home alone? Or would you prefer I not drink at all, but spend four hours a day on my ass with an XBOX? Oooo, wait. Maybe I need to be trolloping around taking photos of my super awesome sports car. That's it.

no dirtied up with tattoos 

We won't even open this Pandora's Box of nonsense, because I could blog about this jugdment-laden phrase for a month. I'm pretty positive tattoos could be overlooked, but something like the herp is forever. That's not on your list, though, so can I suppose that you'll be quite content the first time it burns when you pee?

great since of humor 
But a great sense of spelling is obviously optional.

not easily offended  
I'm sure she'd be cool with your implication that she was a dirty, tattooed whore.

As usual with these types of things, Tool saved the best for last.  

looks great in pigtails
Errrr, excuse me? What the fuck did you just say? Of all the things a woman could be, you need her to look great in pigtails? Could this glaring inability to properly prioritize be the reason you're single, broham? Maybe your match is a non-existent orphan with an affinity for cleaning and singing.

Maybe, good sir -- juuuust maybe.

It should be noted that the bullet just before that one was 'Christian.' Nice. Nothing says 'live as Christ did' like hitting a hottie with tight ponies.

Ooooooooo yeah.