2/26/2009

Pay as you go I get, BUT DAMN ....

A friend recently had an issue with his cell but thought, no biggie! I'll zip into this little strip mall and use a payphone. A quick trip around the perimeter, resulted in exactly zero payphones located. Surprised just a touch, my buddy figured that the payphones must have been relocated into one of the stores. "Probably for security and safety" he said. So into the first of a series of stores he did wander.

"There's one over near the Gas Station" he was told.

So over to the station he toddled. "Where the hell's the payphone?" he muttered. It was eventually found, just behind the pile of snow pushed back there, by the plows doing the mall parking lot. Thankfully, there was a small foot path just barely visible, leading behind the mound of snow and into the booth. "Success!" my pal proclaimed.

With that he simply dropped his quarter into the phone and would dial the required number, as soon as he had a dial tone of course. He waited, and waited, and waited... no dial tone!

Then he heard a voice, "You have a credit of $0.25 on this phone. For an additional $0.25, a local call may be placed. How do you wish to proceed?"

Me = *blink - - - blink*

I remember as cell phones were becoming smaller in size and WAY more portable, thinking to myself, "no ones ever going to use a pay phone again, now that they jacked the price up from $0.10 to a Quarter!" It just never made sense to me at that time, and it really doesn't now. Why the hell put the price up 100%, when you can't get anyone to use your service anymore anyway? What successful business model is this copying?

Anywho.... apparently it was my turn next.

The Deathmobile™ has developed a slow leak in the front right tire over the last couple of months. Not bad enough to drive me crazy and make it a MUST repair, but enough to get me to make a stop at an air pump say, once a month or so. Yesterday was "air" day for me. So I pulled into the same Gas Station that I have used for this purpose and many, many of my hundreds of fill ups, throughout my 7 years of commuting back and forth to hell. I grab the nozzle and head around to the tire in need of some fresh O. Off comes the valve stem cap and with the proper pressure applied between nozzle and valve stem........... nothing!

Now I know the folks at this station pretty intimately. I see most of them at least three times a week. So I'm going to be the good guy here and let them know their pump done gone and broke. That's just how I roll. So off I stroll to the Self Serve cashier and I say, "Mike. You might want to let someone know that there's something wrong with you air pump right now."

He looks at me with that all too familiar Self Service Gas Station Cashier 'Dear in the Headlights' look and says, "That can't be right! They just did all that work on it yesterday. Damn! Someones gonna' get their butt kicked!"

"Hey Boss! Mike shouts out towards the back office. "Someone busted your new pump already!

As I accompanied the "Boss" back out to the pump, I noticed his muttering and mumbling consisted mostly of four letter adjectives, apparently designed solely for the purpose of descriptive narratives on air pump assembly, and some service technicians family members.

As we arrived at the pump he glanced my way and mumbled, "so what's it doing?"

That was an easy one.... "nothing" I uttered.

After a good thorough looking at and YES, performing the Male equivalent of the Female shaking something broken, a good solid smack of a closed fist down onto the top of the unit, he at first seemed satisfied that I was in fact telling it like it was.

"The damn things brand new and busted already!" he let out with a sigh.

Then he reached down into his pocket and took something out. Far too small to be a tool of any value it seemed to me, but with a couple of flicks of his wrist out in front of that pump, whatever tool he used had brought the pump back to life!

It was at that very moment that I felt "the look" coming in my direction, from the "Boss."

"You're shitting me right?" he said, as I felt his eyes trying to burn deep within my soul.

"What?" I asked.

"Are you fucking serious here? C'mon!" he said, with his back slightly turned to me.

"What the hell are you trying to say exactly my friend? Not the greatest in customer service etiquette lessons you're demonstrating right at this moment Sir." I vented in his general direction.
(Riggs - think kid asking for a smoke!)

"Did you or did you not, put the fifty-cents in the fucking machine?" he growled at me.

ME = *blink- - - blink*

I paused to take in what he'd asked for about ten seconds or so, but it was at that exact moment of realization, that the roles between us two combatants, had reversed to diametrically opposed.

"You're shitting me right?" I said, as I focused my eyes squarely upon his.

"What?" he asked.

"Are you fucking serious here? C'mon!" I screamed. "You want $0.50 for some fucking air! Fifty fucking cent air? Seriously? No really, SERIOUSLY!

Please tell me....

Where have the day's gone, where as a customer pulling up to the business of your choice, you were treated to actual customer service? If you're at the ripe young age of 46 or older, you must remember when you had to actually tell the service station attendants that everything was just fine. They did not have to check your oil, empty your ashtray or take your garbage away and they most certainly did NOT! have to check the air in your tires as a courtesy, every single time you pulled into their little corner of the world!

The business models used today for customer service in general, seriously need to consider an outright enema!

That said, I highly recommend that all consumers consider the service aspect of any purchases they make or plan to make in the remaining time we have on this big flying rock. For if we continue to allow ease and convenience and outright greed of the purveyor's of product to make the decisions for us, we have no right to complain about being shit upon, by any of them that deem it necessary to do so.

= = = =

OH..... and don't even get me started on this crap! I have no idea WTF I was thinking!

If I can undo the total lack of geekiness I carry around with me 24/7 for just long enough to figure out what to do with this stuff. You may be able to follow along with me HERE.

Just don't expect too much.... too soon!

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....

5 comments:

Katitude said...

LMAO!!! You sound just like my dad used to!

KenP said...

Remind me to tell you about Walmart and Toshiba. That was more than annoyance. I end up out $630. Never buy a high ticket item from either.

Schaubs said...

Sounds like a scene right of the movie "Falling Down" staring Michael Douglas.

"75 cents for a coke!"

I'd take a baseball bat to that place next time and get a refund...

Does air cost money to pressurize?

DrChako said...

Allow my to be the first to say, "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

When did you become a curmudgeon?

-DrC

PS. See you in 48 hrs!

Instant Tragedy said...

It's not about service anymore. It's about consumption. If they built things like they built them when my grandfather was alive we wouldn't have this problem.

sean