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I know I’ll probably never have the satisfaction of really knowing exactly what is wrong with me–some unknown, unnamed auto-immune thingy that will rear its ugly head whenever it damn well pleases.  So, I try not to dwell on it. I know things could be A LOT worse and I don’t want to stir up any trouble. And for the most part, I get by pretending nothing’s wrong with me.

But as luck would have it, an alien has come to live inside me whose mission is to remind me daily that there IS something wrong with me.

Lately Mr. Alien has been torturing me in small annoying ways.

First, he made a couple fingers on each hand feel swollen and the joints painful, but he made it just so that other people can’t see any swelling. No big deal. Just a couple fingers. Who needs those? I don’t really.

Unless of course, I need to type anything on my computer. Oh, and if I need to pick up anything. Or open something. Yes, then it kind of limits me. Oh, and if I need to shake someone’s hand–and they happened to have a firm handshake–then you will see me cringe in agony. But until that moment, I look totally normal.

Good for me.

Now, my alien has moved on. He thinks fingers are boring and would like to torture my left wrist for awhile instead. Again, not too much visible swelling so as not to draw too much attention from others, but bend that sucker the wrong way and OUCH! I’m totally at his mercy.

Again, not much need for one wrist–except for the fact I’m left-handed and pretty much find myself unable to lift anything or do anything that involves using that arm. Did you think that maybe I was just lazy? Mr. Alien thinks that’s real funny.

Mr. Alien also likes to amuse himself by sapping my energy and sending stabbing, electrical pain deep inside my bones. Shooting pain that’s there for a moment–and then gone again. Like maybe I just imagined it, because I’m a sick pain-loving freak. Or at least that’s what Mr. Alien thinks.

How long will Mr. Alien amuse himself with my wrist? I wonder. Maybe a couple more weeks? Maybe forever. Time will tell.

And where will he go next? Feet are always a good option. Or a knee. Limping seems to keep him amused for a while.

Why does he do this to me? I think he likes to remind me that I’m not all better and maybe never will be.

But don’t worry.  I can beat him at this game. I’ve done it before.

I work. I play. And I go on. Despite his insistence on barging into my life, my body.

Are you listening Mr. Alien?

You’re not welcome.

You shouldn’t be here.

I hate you.

You will not defeat me.

I will go on despite you.

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Nothing irks me more than bad service. Maybe it has something to do with being a waitress early on in my work life that I appreciate the skill and finesse it takes to convince the initially cranky customer to eagerly fork over a fat tip in the end.

Yeah, I was THAT good.

Truth is that it’s not that hard. Just don’t over promise and under deliver.

Not rocket science.

Even if you screw that up I’m willing to let you make it up to me. Wow me. Do it. Go for it.

You got nothin’?

Wow, that’s so lame.

I have a not-so-scientific running list of companies that have really let me down at some point in the area of customer service. Most of the time, the quality of the products they offer have nothing to do with whether I’ll purchase from them again.

Wanna know who they are? I couldn’t possibly list them all, but here are a few at the top of my list these days:

Uno’s: I’ve had bad meals, meals that have taken too long–way too long–and cranky waitresses, but given my background I can definitely sympathize, so I rarely leave less than 20% no matter what happens. But my last meal at Uno’s took the cake for ridiculously bad service; exceeded only by the inept management who not only failed to “wow” me with a heartfelt apology, but he actually managed to piss me off even more. (full disclosure: I used to work here and was fired, but that was over 15 years ago)

Dell: Have to say Dell, you really let me down. I was transfered at least six times before I was told that you could not modify my order that had been placed mere minutes earlier on-line. I know you’re getting a lot of press for being a real pioneer in utilizing social media to propel your customer service efforts, but so far, you haven’t impressed me. Let’s see if you respond to this post and I promise I’ll retract it immediately.

Comcast and The Dish Network: Nothing worse than these two companies who get your one year commitment and then after your one year is up, do absolutely nothing to convince you that you’re with the right company.  What do they do instead? Increase your monthly fees and hope you’re too lazy to switch to a different carrier. Well, I’m not lazy and I’ve moved on. Now you want me back? Too bad.

Target: Do they specifically train their employees to treat you like a criminal when you return something within a week of purchase with a receipt. Are you kidding me?

Walmart: One line, lots of waiting. I’m not willing to wait. Where’s the freakin’ manager in this place.

Toys R Us: How many questions can you cram in while I’m trying to purchase something at the register? No, I don’t want batteries from my non-battery operated item. No, I don’t want to donate to your charity today. No, I don’t want to save 10% on my $10 purchase. No, I don’t want to give you my phone number. No, I don’t want to join your club so you can track my purchase patterns.  How about encouraging your employees to think and act like humans? Ask me one question that makes sense based on my purchases? Oh right, that’s just crazy talk.

I could go on. As you can see, a lot of my picks are big time corporate folk with a lot of resources, but who are just a mess when it comes to the execution part.

Gotta a customer service failure story? Please feel free to add to the black list here….

How can you suck so bad, mommy?

How can you suck so bad, mommy?

In the beginning, I had this parent thing covered. No problem.

Food: check

Clothing: check

Shelter: check

Emotional well-being: che…mamma say wha? (Ok, no more Hannah Montana for me)

This is where I apparently totally suck. My daughter is hands down the most emotional human being I’ve ever met.  I know, she’s a girl and she’s nine, but she will cry if her cereal gets too soggy. Read the rest of this entry »