Mama Wrath

Mama Earth is furious.  Earthquakes, tsunamis and what-have-you.  And she damn well should be stark, raving mad at us.  We haven’t taken good care of her, nor do we take good care of each other.

All the cheating and shenanigans of our corporate and governmental institutions are child’s play compared to the wrath of Mother Nature.  However, allow me to relate a story to you that will reinforce your disgust with our man-made institutions.  Yesterday I lost my cell phone.  Today I trekked over to AT&T to get a new one and the experience was every bit as dreadful as I had anticipated.

Mind you, I have been a customer of AT&T for thirty years: home, office and cells.  The young man waiting on me told me that unfortunately, and yes it is an industry standard, that there is a blackout period during which I cannot upgrade.  Simply put, they wanted me to pay $250 for a new phone.  You got it: I went ballistic.  I asked the man if I could speak with his manager and he said that he is the boss.  I then asked him who signed his pay checks.  He got the message.  To make a long story short, but not less painful, we went up the ladder from customer service to customer relations to finally, resolutions.  I got my phone at no charge, a very convoluted process involving charges on a credit card but a credit on my monthly bill.  At last, darling Erin in Resolutions got the concept of consumer loyalty and SERVICE.

As an aside, there was an elderly woman also in the store trying to cancel her granddaughter’s service.  It seems that her granddaughter had exhibited irresponsible behavior with her phone and the Grandma was putting her money where her mouth was.  She was perfectly willing to pay the $75 cancellation fee.  Know that this woman was appalled at my dramatics and scene-stealing antics.  Then —- the shit hit the fan for her.  The AT&T representative on the phone said that she would have to make the cancellation request from her home phone.  Disbelief engulfed not only this woman, but also the AT&T rep in the store.  Their reason: the customer is more relaxed in their own home and perhaps will decide not to cancel service.  Then this sweet Grandma started mouthing off just like yours truly.  Trust me: it was not a pretty picture in the AT&T store today in Vienna, Virginia.  In fact, the representative waiting on me said he thinks he will be taking the offer for employment from Blackberry.

This experience rivaled the encounters I have had with the airlines, financial companies and basically any organized entity in existence today.  There is no consideration for the loyal customer; in fact, once you are a customer, they write you off.   Service is not a concept that is practiced anymore.  My absolute favorite line is “Don’t get mad at me.  I just work here.”  Gotta love it.  That is precisely the point.  The employee is the face of that company.  The higher-ups are very well aware that their employees take the hits as first responders to an irate public.  They are paid squat and act as a firewall for the angry customers, preventing them from reaching the principals of the company, who save the big bucks for themselves.

So as I sit watching the possibility of a tsunami hit Hawaii, I think we had better clean up our act, environmentally and ethically.  I did have a tough day today, but my woes do not hold a candle to those of the people in Chile.  AT&T might certainly be evil, but their motives are benign when compared to the power of Mama Earth.  And the wrath of this Yo Mama, even though no one in their right mind would want to be exposed to it, is a mere blip on the horizon when placed next to the wrath of Mother Nature.

Oh yeah.  This clip from the movie “Five Easy Pieces” with Jack Nicholson will show you exactly how I feel about AT&T:

POSTSCRIPT:

Listen.  I am fully aware that it was my own stupidity that was responsible for the loss of my phone.  Certainly I was willing to pay the $30, or $50, or whatever AT&T might charge after their purchase concession to new customers and any rebates.  I was even willing to extend my service contract another two years.  What incensed me so was that they implement these random upgrade blackouts that result in treating their current customers like non-entities; they would not extend to me the deals they were offering to brand new customers walking in off the street.  And I have been loyal to At&T for over 30 years.  That’s when my tirade began and there was no turning back.

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One Response to “Mama Wrath”

  1. Natalie R. Says:

    YOU are 100% correct to be INDIGNANT. Just reminded me of my father. My father who owned a crummy small business paint store for 40 years. He would make deliveries on SUNDAY if he had to. You could call him up rain, snow, sleet or hail and he was responsive. WHY? Because he WANTED and NEEDED to make the sale and 9 times out of10 they were good customers and he liked them and wanted to please.

    True story: We would even go to his best customers for Christmas to make a delivery of Manichevitz wine!!! Yep Manichevitz that disgustingly sweet all sugar wine. It probably gave them diabetes but it reinforced the fact that he was just being a nice Jewish man to his very nice Christian customers. Bet Verizon cannot top THAT!!

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