Archive for December, 2013



Customer Disservice

I’ve always resented the term “consumer”. I know that in economic terms it is a fundamental concept which simply means one who spends money in exchange for goods or services. But, for me, it conjures up imagery of sheep or livestock grazing in blissful ignorance at how short and unhappy their lives are going to be. Which, incidentally, is how economists and businesspeople view the rest of us.

And how little they think of us is reflected in how they deal with us. Sometimes I think the term “customer service” was invented as a joke by a bunch of drunk business owners. Then, when they sobered up, they realized it was still a joke but since they didn’t really care about normal people anyway they just kind of ran with it. It’s not unlike the way I came up with terms like “Concerned Citizen Reporting For Jury Duty” or “Attentive Traffic Court Attendee”.

“Americans are not very happy consumers. We’re frustrated and angry—and for good reason. More people than ever are dissatisfied with the products and services they buy, according to a new report from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. And when there is a problem, we’re less happy with the customer service we receive.

The number of households experiencing “customer rage” — they were very or extremely upset about the company response when they complained — jumped to 68% from 60% in the last survey, in 2011.

More of us are expressing that rage by yelling and cursing at customer-service representatives than two years ago. Yelling rose to 36% from 25% of the time, while cursing jumped to 13% from 7%…

…Other key findings from the 2013 Customer Rage Survey:• The percentage of people with customer service problems rose to 50% from 45%.
• Most of those who complained (56%) said they got absolutely nothing as a result, up 9 percentage points.
• The product most often responsible for enraging us is cable or satellite TV.
• Though many people associate the government with customer-service issues, 98% of the most serious problems stemmed from private companies.” – USA TODAY

Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time on the phone with a corporate entity knows how utterly pointless and aggravating the whole process is. And there’s a good reason it’s that way. The job of customer service is not to serve you at all. The moron you’re talking to on the phone is there to provide a buffer between you and the people you’ve foolishly given your money to. It’s frustrating because, in the end, it’s their job to waste your time, confuse and even lie to you in the hopes that you will just give up and go away. Or better yet start screaming and swearing so they can simply hang up on you.

Your call is not being “recorded for quality assurance”. It’s being recorded to help corporations and the army of psychologists they employ find new ways to get what they want from you. They don’t give a fuck if you’re happy or not, which is why this survey is kind of meaningless in the end. American capitalism long ago became less about making a good product or offering a reliable service and more about how to get away with simply taking your money. The goods or services offered are more of an afterthought if they’re even thought about at all. But I guess that’s only fair because, quite often, paying my bill is kind of an afterthought. So, you know, touche’ motherfuckers.



The Ass Man

I haven’t written about Syrian President Bashar Assad in a while. And part of the reason is that there is nothing new I can really say about this retard. I’ll admit to being quietly pleased that we managed to remove his chemical weapons capability without starting another goddamn war in the fucking Middle East. But, I’ll also admit to being quietly disappointed that we didn’t just kill him anyway. I mean what the hell is Syria going to do about it? Invade us? Their navy has like three boats and their air force is from the same technological era as Colecovision. But, whatever.

Assad and his regime still give me the occasional reason to want to blog about them. Which is kind of impressive. I mean, once you’ve slaughtered 100,000 of your own people and given the finger to the rest of the world it would seem like you’ve pretty much done it all, right? Wrong.

“The UN’s human rights chief has said an inquiry has produced evidence that war crimes were authorised in Syria at the “highest level”, including by President Bashar al-Assad.

It is the first time the UN’s human rights office has so directly implicated Mr Assad. Commissioner Navi Pillay said her office held a list of others implicated by the inquiry. The UN estimates more than 100,000 people have died in the conflict…

…Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad was dismissive of Ms Pillay’s remarks.

“She has been talking nonsense for a long time and we don’t listen to her,” he told AP.” – BBC NEWS

To be fair I know exactly how Assad and his people feel. The IRS and my boss at work have been talking nonsense for years. And I don’t listen to them either. But you know what? I’m still going to be in a shitload of trouble when I don’t declare all of my income or show up late wearing no pants. Likewise, you can shrug your shoulders and exclaim “What chemical weapons? What atrocities? You are a very silly person. This is nonsense!” all you want. You’re still a gutless piece of shit who should have been dragged through the streets and hung from a gas station roof years ago.

Of course killing Assad becomes less attractive an option when you consider that the only alternative is the Syrian resistance. This is a group primarily comprised of half-baked jihadists with AK47’s and a problem with women who can read. Let them take over the country and in another five years we’ll have to go right back there and kill someone else. Then again the reality most Americans don’t like to confront is that we’re not as powerful as we want everyone to think we are. I think Iraq demonstrated that quite vividly and embarrassingly. And as much as your crazy Vietnam vet uncle or lonely religious nut aunt might want us to, we can’t just go around the world killing everyone we don’t like. But, hey, when your entire worldview is based on The Bible and Chuck Norris movies, well, that’s really the best you can be expected to come up with.