Friday, May 29, 2009

Who Do I Call To Complain?

I put this picture up because 1. it's cool looking, 2. my daughter took it, which makes it a bit more cool to me personally and 3. i'm too damn fat to put a picture of myself up today. (Thinking positive, I could be way thinner tomorrow so...)
My question is, who do I call? I need a roving complaint department. If I only had complaints in one or two areas, I could have a stationary department. I'd go to that department with my occasional query or concern and let them deal with it on their own timetable. But that's not the scenario here.
As it stands, I need a team of people to follow me around so I can complain about everything that bugs me and then have it dealt with by people with headsets, matching vests and sickly sweet voices. In fact, scratch that. I need a team of people to follow me around with headsets, any kind of vests and some basic competence, because it's the competence that's sorely lacking everywhere I go. In the interest of fairness in this tough job-market, I'm willing to negotiate the head pieces and vest-wear but any lack of competence would be a deal breaker.
What the heck happened to simple competence? The ability to smoothly, in one try - two -maximum - do things as simple as answer a phone or schedule an appointment or remember that a mom is waiting five panic-inducing days for a call to determine if her child's blood test revealed diabetes. It didn't but I had to call six times to get that answer in a very casual tone from a doctor who seemed mildly unaware that this was even an issue of concern. What happened to getting an intelligible answer from a clerk - wearing the vest, mind you - at a store about a product they sell? If another kid says 'umm' to me for more than five seconds when I ask a question about a product in a store they work in, I'm going to do bad things that will land me on the flippin nightly news - where, I might suggest, someone finally admit that they don't know a damn thing about the weather or politics or the economy and openly assert that they're just putting on a nice variety show with a 'newsy' theme. Jon Stewart's making quite a nice living at that, thank you very much, and I watch his show getting exactly what I'm supposed to get - a good laugh out of all the nonsense that we pass off as importance.
Sadly, the things that are important are falling victim to the epidemic of incompetence that is running rampant through our lives. And everyone's just merrily plodding along, bumping into the incompetence all the time like electrons pinging off each other in a whatever-it-is-they-ping-around-in. The crazy thing is, if the chronic lack of competence we suffer manifested itself as a cough, we would name it after a farm animal and then in the ultimate act of stupidity-gone-wild, we'd put it on the news! It'd play right after the segment on me shoving some hapless Home Depot kid into a lawn-mower's side bag! That bugs me to no end. So who do I call?


  1. This is my favorite piece of yours!
    You are NOT alone! I refuse to settle for anything less than competence and decency.
    By the way, I seriously believe you've come up with a million-dollar idea: a Complaint Department. One calls with a complaint, any complaint, and the Department finds the place that the complaint needs to be directed and handles the rest! Genius!
    p.s. Did you ever watch Kids in the Hall? There was an ongoing sketch about 2 Hollywood producer/director types that would walk around town going "I don't like that Stop sign- LOSE IT!" and people would scramble to take the stop sign down. They'd see a couple on the street and say, "LOVE the girl- keep her! Lose the guy!"

  2. OMG - you have successfully channeled your inner Lucy from Charlie Brown. You have put into words what I've been thinking for at least 15 years. Where has competence gone? And how about accountability? No one was to take ownership of their actions anymore. "Uh...I dunno" - or "I didn't know" or "I was not aware that was happening" or "Why didn't someone tell me?" are phrases that make my blood boil. I think we could get pretty darn rich by opening up a complaint window...I'm in for putting in 10-15 hours a week. But - since we're going to be living out of our car within 90 days - I'll have to hold down my portion of "the window" from my van. Hope that's OK. Sue Serra