Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mr. Telephone Man

I hate Verizon. More than I hate Comcast and the IRS. But I'm not talking about them today. I can only deal with one headache causing annoyance at a time, people. Anywhoodie...

Verizon sucks ASS! I have them for my telephone service - for several reasons 1) I'd get Vonage, but the whole "we don't have 911 service" thing bothers me 2) Worldcom went bye-bye and 3) when you set up your local service and Verizon gives you a choice, the list is like 40 names long, none of which I'd actually heard of, so instead of dealing with Leroy's Long Distance and Rib Shack, I choose to deal with...Verizon.

The other day I was at home. It was my day off. I was in a good mood. On the phone with my sister. On my computer surfing around. In my room watching TV. Then an expected fax didn't come through. Many times. My roommate called my phone to see if it worked - it went straight to voicemail. I picked up my phone - dead air, static, faint voices, and a faint "we're sorry, please hang up and place your call again". So after checking to make sure I'd actually paid my phone bill (you know it's embarrassing when you call up a company all indignant only to find out it's your fault because you're three months behind and forgot), I put in an online request for service. It said I could get an appointment for the next day. Ooh yay, unexpected but cool.

I should've known better. This isn't my first time dealing with Verizon. So the next day is Saturday. I've been given an "appointment" time between 8 AM and 6 PM. Great. That's only 10 hours to sit around and do nothing. I check the status of my order online. Still says 6 PM. OK. Let's just say I wasted a day. And at the end of that day I was still in tin can and string mode. I sent in a letter of complaint for the no-show lazy ass unqualified telephone repair technician. Sunday I checked my order status - according to them, there had been an outage in the area, my number was one of those affected, and the problem was due to be fixed by 9 PM....the PREVIOUS day. That was some serious bull since I'm pretty sure my roommate's phone would have been affected. I looked at my order status - oh look they couldn't "find" the information. So I put in another order - and got an appointment for TUESday between 8 AM and 8 PM. Did I mention I hate Verizon?

I got my phone service back for a hot second that day. And then it broke again. So on Monday when I got to work, I called Verizon. When the illiterate-sounding person answered the phone (after 5 rings, no less) they said that I'd put in an order for Tuesday. Ooh ya THINK?! I responded with I'd actually put in an order for Saturday, but since no one could see fit to actually show up and do their job, I'd had to place another order. And I was calling to talk to an actual person to see if someone might take it upon themselves to actually show up on Tuesday. After a silence Mr. Hooked on Phonics informed me someone would definitely come out on Tuesday. Mm-hm really. So could he at least tell me what the problem was? Well he could test my line. Um yeah duh hop to it. HE tells me there's a short in my line. Whatever that means. And whatever you half-breed idiot. Just send somebody to fix my damn phone line.

Tuesday I'm up and waiting. Not expecting much because, after all, this IS Verizon. So I sit. I eat. I watch TV. I clean out some more papers and stuff for the upcoming move. I play on the computer (on a sidenote thank the Lord I have cable modem - had I gone with Verizon DSL I would doubly be shit out of luck). So it's 9. It's 10. It's 11. Then I notice my message light is flashing. Which it wasn't before. I pick up the phone. Oh look they fixed it AND DIDN'T EVEN TELL ME. And the message? From the day before. When Verizon called and left a message asking if my line was working and if it wasn't could I give them a call back. There are so many things wrong with that sentence, I don't even know where to start. OK you know my line's not working. But you call me. Since my line isn't working, I don't know when I have a message without waiting until I go to work and calling my voicemail. But yet you leave me a message. Then you tell me to call you. With WHAT?! Hold on, let me go get my Batman light and I'll send you a signal.

Verizon shall be receiving a nicely worded letter from me this week. I hate buying stamps, but they suck monkey nuts, and it's worth the effort.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Now I Know Why People Go "Postal"

And ya'll better be glad I don't work for the post office. At work I was working on something that I was TOLD was due January 16. I come back from Christmas break and it's "Oh - it's actually January 3." OK, fine, I'll deal. Since I work for the government, everything is an ordeal. My project was a 300 word abstract. Simple right? Just remember - government, people.

To get to these "simple" 300 words, I was forced to 1) look at some data - THAT I DON'T HAVE BECAUSE I NEVER WORKED ON IT, 2) interpret said data - EASIER SAID THAN DONE BECAUSE I NEVER WORKED ON IT, 3) run some statistics on this data, which is all fine and good, except - I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO WHAT YOU ASKED, and then 4) write these "simple" 300 words and submit to my boss for review (which means it will be ripped to shreds, left with 3 original words of my own, and rewritten by my boss for what SHE wants to say...about MY abstract).

Anyway.... I go to my boss to ask for the imaginary data and she acts surprised that I don't have it (NOT MY PROJECT PEOPLE) and then gives me a thick sheaf of Access printouts which I must now decode - which of course is after she told me the data is in our system - which it isn't. To decode this data, I now have to retype it in Excel and add some formulas so I can get one number instead of 800. Then I have to run statistics. Which I know how to do a certain type but I understood not one word that came out of her mouth on that subject - turns out SHE had a statistician write up a formula. Uh-huh. So I go to a colleague who has said formula. Now since I'm apparently an unschooled idiot with an IQ of 2, instead of just telling me what the formula is, I get a damn spreadsheet that she did for her data and an hour long "tutorial" - much of which is spent with her asking me if I knew how to use Excel. After managing not to bash her in the head with her own stapler, I take the data and the statistics and get to writing. Futile exercise, I know, but we must please the lions to keep from being eaten, no?

So I do all that crap and give it to my boss. Who promptly goes on vacation. But she finds time to e-mail and call. In short, in the whole week, I spoke to her more times than if she had actually been present. I get my revisions back from her. Now if I tell somebody I'm going to do something then I'M GOING TO DO IT. Do NOT keep calling to check on me. Do NOT send a colleague to ask condescending things about how I'm doing, where am I, or DO I NEED ANY HELP. NO!!!!!!! People I am NOT an idiot. I went to school. I did quite well. I even know how to write. Imagine THAT. *puts down knives*

So - because my boss decides I'm apparently too dim to understand anything she might tell me, she decides to come in on Friday. My early day. The day before a holiday weekend. A day in which, because she was nitpicking over ONE sentence, didn't end until an hour and a half AFTER I was supposed to leave. I was so ready to strangle her with my shoelace. So I managed to get the abstract done, in SPITE of these idiots and submit "my" words on time. Oh wow - lookit that. I'm capable! Who woulda thunk it? All I'm saying is if anyone even LOOKS at me sideways today we will have it out.