Canned music, recorded messages: Friday night bluesPublished 7:23pm Thursday, October 4, 2012
“All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has
forsaken.” ~ Thomas Wolfe
This is a tale of the Friday night blues: a throbbing headache, recorded messages, and canned music.
Why? Having discovered that a Sam’s Club credit bill transaction made on-line monthly did not go through, so I’d been slapped with a late-fee. Every month I faithfully go on-line and set up payment in advance at the same time, like clock work.
So, I call the 1-800 number and wait. And wait. Canned music adds to misery. At last, a human: an inept sort who says she can’t help me and won’t waive the fee: I don’t think she can understand me, nor I her – but I do get the drift that she’s not going to help me. Nor does she want to help me or seem to understand my repeated declarations of paying my bills on time.
Wherever she is, it’s not in this country. Somewhere in Latin America, I’m guessing. All I’m wanting is some help: let’s get it done, don’t make me explain 400 times, and I’ll shut up. Obviously, these people do not know how persistent I can be. Part of their method is to get the irritated customer to give up and go away: problem solved!
Patiently, I explain repeatedly that the problem has happened several times, because of the same issues with their payment site: the undeserved late fee was waived.
Finally, getting nowhere fast, I ask to speak to her supervisor. Wherever this bunch of customer service fiends are, they must be laughing: she forwards me to a different planet. Again, I get transferred to the land-of-no-return. And wait. And wait. Listening to more really, really terrible canned music that makes matters worse by the minute. Salt in the wounds, I think. The Twilight Zone has nothing on me. Finally, the headache has become super-sized; still no help, and I’ve been passed back and forth like a superbowl football.
The “supervisor” tosses me back “out there” to someone else: at that point, I’m not feeling amused at all as I’m put on hold. The canned music returns – ARGH!
Finally, I hang up – and control myself from bashing the phone to smithereens. Retry the 800 number. I get a real person this time and force myself to be “nice” as possible, reminding myself he has no idea of what I’ve just gone through. It’s not his fault, although by now I’m past frustrated and a little ticked to be treated so badly.
He says he’ll have the fee waived, but insists I must complain to my own bank. I point out to him that the problem is on his end. I’ve had enough football games and canned music to do me a lifetime: so I painstakingly thank Mr. Personality o’ a Limp Noodle and hang up. And head for the bottle of Advil. No canned music. No waiting.
Saluda Tailgate Market continues through October; West Main Street public parking lot on Fridays, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Help Saluda School! Box top collection containers are located in at the library, post office and school office. Each is worth ten cents.
Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) has hikes on the first and third Sundays of October. Meet at Saluda Library at 2 p.m.; call 828-749-1560 for information.
Meet the Candidates Night is Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at Saluda Center.
Plan on enjoying the Art and Music Fair supporting local artists at Nostalgia Courtyard, Oct. 20.
Happy October birthday to Patricia Case, Joan Barker, Gary Corn, Aaron Bradley, Amanda Burrell, Lisa Orr, Marilyn Prudhomme, Bubba Dawson and Kirby Jackson.
By the time you read this, hopefully I’ll be on the mend after eye surgery this week. The good news is that thanks to so many kind and generous souls out there, I’ve been able to pay both the surgeon and the hospital in advance and happily shared the details of why with them. A “feel good” moment all around! I promise to keep you updated.
Thank you, dear readers. for reading this column. It’s my goal to make you feel as if you were enjoying a ‘Saluda Time’ visit on the porch swing, and warmly welcome in our small town of Saluda whether you live here or not, dreaming of being here, or are visiting.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org; or 749-1153. You may also visit my website at bonniebardos.com for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.