Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Wednesday, July 31, 2002 Before I get started in rooting through this month’s reader mail, I need to make a correction. Yesterday I made some unkind statements about U-Haul when it looked like their incompetence was going to force my friend to make fifty trips in a four-door sedan between here and Chicago to get all of her stuff moved. That was my mistake. It turns out she had actually reserved her truck with Ryder. Which is probably why she got the truck only seven hours late instead of sometime next week. So, sorry, U-Haul. It’s not your fault my friend got screwed, other than the fact that it’s an indirect result of your relentless quest to lower customer service standards throughout the industry. And so, as a gesture of good faith, I’m going to do something about that inflammatory search engine bait I posted yesterday:
Screwed by Ryder.
Are we cool now, U-Haul?
Good. Now on to the mail. Things picked up a little this month, possibly because I put a clearer e-mail link over there on the right. As a result, this is the first time I didn’t have to make up any letters. Now, if I were a real journalist, that kind of thing would have gotten me fired. Fortunately, I’m not getting paid for this. Wait, did I just say that? Never mind. On to the mail. Again.
After I carped about a misbegotten systems upgrade at my office (7/15/02), you might expect that I’d get deluged with e-mails admonishing me that upgrades are an important part of corporate life and we all have to adapt to change and blah blah blah. You might be wrong. First of all, the only e-mails I get deluged with are spam about the “three D’s”: diplomas, debt, and dangly bits. And secondly, I’m obviously not alone in being unimpressed with the new stuff. Right, SillyRed?
This morning I came into work to find 2 pieces of paper attached to my screen monitor. One read: "Magic has been upgraded to Version 7.5 your password is now XXXXXXXXX." Then a list of all the problems that we are now having (which ran on to the second page).
I work for a helpdesk for a health insurance company. The helpdesk is the "call center" for the computer problems of the employees who work here- a call center for the call centers. I feel your pain. Last Thanksgiving they upgraded the major system that our customer service reps use and today we still can't tell users why they keep getting "visited" by Dr. Watson then get kicked out of the system and locked out simultaneously. Isn't that crap? A skill that I have had to hone is the one where I can come up with complete crap that sounds technical so that the user will believe me instead of just telling them I have no idea why their system keeps getting a blue screen and the people who are supposed to be researching the problem are coming up with nothing. The nice thing about my job is I don't have to fix the problems, I just pass them on to the next level.
Clearly, the people who make these kinds of decisions for your company and mine have forgotten an important lesson, which is this: entropy always wins. You try to take the battle to it with some damnfool tactic like an upgrade, and it’ll just smack you down all the harder. And then what? Another upgrade? Soon we can all look forward to a time when we spend our workdays huddled around a wan cube-divider bonfire in the middle of the office while the freezing wind whistles in through the blank, gaping windows, and we’ll have no way to even produce documents other than scratching our bloody hangnails across ripped-up scraps of carpet backing.
On a less optimistic note, let’s move on to Clear Channel (7/19/02) and how they need to be brought down, like, yesterday. Mcgyver5 can barely wait to get to the barricades:
Yes. I will join you in your war against Clear Channel. What are my orders?
Okay, the first thing you do is stop listening to broadcast radio altogether. Instead, get that satellite radio thingy for your car, so you can—wait, hang on, this just in from Tim:
I share your seething, utter hatred of Clear Channel. The worst thing ever EVER is that they own (though they attempt to hide this fact) XM Satellite Radio. SO…let me get this straight… I can pay ten dollars a month after spending hundreds on stereo equipment for my car so that I can hear the same dreck with alarming digital clarity? Lovely. Sign me up. Except, don’t.
Oops. Okay, forget about the satellite radio thingy.
As I told Mcgyver5, I wouldn’t ask any readers to do anything I wouldn’t be willing to do myself. So your orders are to do a great deal of public bitching. If you want to go further, buy music from independent record stores, and buy stuff you never hear on Clear Channel stations. Listen to your local Clear Channel stations to find out who advertises on them, then call those companies and tell them you’re through doing business with them until they can confine their advertising to radio stations whose owners don’t have a base of operations in the foul, smoking pit of Hell. Write letters to your congressperson about the results of deregulation. If your congressperson at time of deregulation isn’t a congressperson any more, tell him or her that that’s why. Tell your congresperson’s successor that, while you’re at it. Become a tireless evangelist against the Clear Channel cause. Just don’t blame me if they end up taking over the whole world and arresting you for sedition one day, because I’m going to be in the cell next door.
From that, I have absolutely no idea how to segue to Obb, who kindly explains the meaning of a business card I found at an ATM last week (7/23/02):
The HU business is courtesy of the eckankar people. They're like a really relaxed cult, into lucid dreaming and stuff. They attract a lot of elementary school teachers for some reason. Anyway, they say HU is the magical key to controlling your dreams and reaching God, who according to them is actually a strobe light, and getting in touch with the Living Eck Master, some creepy guy in South Africa who is supposed to come into your dreams and chat you up, which frankly would creep me out. It's all kind of like Scientologists on valium.
Oh, good. That means they’re less likely to sue me for having made fun of them. Thanks for clearing that up. Also, thanks for giving me the clue I needed to figure out that the weird dude I keep dreaming about is speaking Afrikaans to me. Time to call Berlitz, I guess.
That’s a wrap for this month, and it’s a wrap for this week. I’m going to be helping friends move to Chicago for the next few days and we’ll be spending the weekend there, so no updates until Monday. Feel free to check back anyway, not because I might unexpectedly get access on the road, but so I can keep my traffic up. See you next week.
posted by M. Giant 1:46 PM 1 comments
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