Category Archives: punched in the face

I’d like the smansh-n-grab special, with a side of fraud please

Friday night, we had dinner out with some friends. When we got out of the restaurant, Melissa and I noticed that the driver’s door window had been broken out of the van. Well, at first I thought that the window was really clean. Then I thought the window was rolled down. Then it finally dawned on me what had actually happened.

It turns out the “only” stole Melissa’s purse. Immediately after calling the police, I called the bank and the credit card company to blocked Melissa’s cards. An hour and a half later, the police showed up to create the police report, then I drove it home.

Saturday morning we got a call from the bank regarding 5 suspicious charges with Melissa’s debit card. Turns out, the bank blocked *my* card, not Melissa’s. Grrr.

So, since then, I’ve been talking with the insurance company, several auto glass places, the bank, credit bureaus, etc. I’m amazed at the number of places where I can’t take care of things myself (Melissa has to be the one to call, sign, etc) even though they are completely joint accounts.

Moral of the Story: don’t leave stuff in locked vehicles.
Secondary Moral: no matter how hard you try, you can’t win.

Punched in the Face #3

Designers who mix metric and english hardware in their product. I put up an external Wi-Fi antenna for some family this weekend, and the antenna mount was a mix of english and metric hardware. The thing only had 9 bolts!


punched in the face #2

I can’t decide exactly where this punch needs to be placed, but in these posts, I think I’ll prefer to be more inclusive than exclusive. So in this case, I’ll tag punch number two for both Verizon Wireless, and for people who answer technical support lines for a living (and let’s not forget about those people that designed said techinical support system).

Backstory: I needed to switch telephone service from Melissa’s old phone to a newer one that we bought via Ebay, because her old one’s hinge failed. So I called verizon to switch her line from her broken phone to the newer one.

First call: Five minutes on hold, answered by a woman. I explain what I want. She puts me on hold. Fifteen minutes later, a different woman answers, as though the first woman did not exist. I re-explain my problem to woman #2. She makes the whole thing entirely more complex than it needs to be, and refers me to another number I need to call to accomplish want I want (side note: I realize that these people are trained to speak to the lowest common denominator (ie – they can grunt and screech ape-speak), but perhaps *someone* out there in tech-support land would consider *my* level of expertiese before boiling everything down into soft, chewable language that isn’t correct?).

Second call: Spent about three minutes “talking” to an automated system, which could not help me. Then spent 20 minutes on hold, waiting for a person. Then I gave up and went to work.

Third call: Spent another fifteen minutes on hold (while I was working… Being on hold requires no attention), then talked to a dude. He swapped the service around for me in about five minutes, and I was done. I mentioned my problems to him, he promised to let his manager know (which I know is likely a fruitless exercise, but I tried) and that was it.

So there you have it. About 70 minutes spent on the phone for something that I should be able to do automatically from any touch-tone phone, in two minutes.

What do you think? Who deserves this punch in the face more? The tele-help system (which is designed to prevent customers from being helped?) or the first two slack-jawed Verizon employees that couldn’t accomplish this relatively minor task?

punched in the face #1

I’ve added a new category today: Punched in the Face. With this category, I intend to catalogue individuals and groups that need to be punched in the face. My first target? Whatever group or individual decided on the implementation of self-serve checkout lanes in grocery stores (and home improvement stores).

Who’s bright idea was it that there should be a scale for you to bag items in, in order to prevent theft? That’s moronic! I was trying to buy pvc fittings the other day. For those who aren’t aware, these things weigh maybe an ounce or two apiece. Orders of magnitude less than the mass of the scale mechanism itself, at the very least.

So it wants me to scan each fitting, then place it “in the bag” (which is stupid marketing-speak for “on the theft prevention scales”). Of course, I had to have the cashier/overseer press her magic button for each of the 12 fittings I was buying, because the machine could not register them.

Worst part of the whole thing? They didn’t have any checkout lanes open that were operated by human beings. Only the idiotic self-serve versions. Some times a human really is better than a machine, and this is one of those times.