Thursday, November 13, 2008

Alien

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary Definition:
ā-lē-ən (adjective) (2) :
differing in nature or character typically to the point of incompatibility

I've had enough. Obviously it's just me because the rest of the world goes on. I simply can't take much more of it. The stupidity. The insanity. The complete lack of common sense. The total disregard for a job done well - the emphasis being merely on profit. What has this world become?

Where do I begin?

At lunch today I heard the conservative banter about how the election of an openly liberal president and his policies will totally lead the United States into destruction by the terrorists. "How are we going to handle when the terrori
sts are let out Guantanamo Bay and start attacking Americans because they hate Americans, and want nothing more than to destroy us?" This said in the context of continuing the alleged war on terror, that I still assert is not a war at all. Intelligent people look at the why, not just the what. The liberals see our new president as some kind of savior, who is going to fix the world by taking from those that have and give it to those who have not, like communism/socialism has worked in some other place in the world. Give the government that kind of power and it is that same government that ends up screwing the people. Not to mention that it doesn't seem right to reward bad behavior. In the name of helping people who have fallen on hard times, we hand out money and things to people who just continue to make bad decisions, to the point where people who fall on hard times are too proud to accept the assistance (or those who need it find too much red tape to access it).

The City of Austin wants to create an opening (entrance) from my street (more precisely, around the corner from me) into a secluded wooded area that has paths into a park in an industrial and apartment planned community. Sounds like a good idea, but nobody ever asked us if this was something we wanted in our neighborhood. So the neighbor who lives in the house next to the planned entrance starts a petition to block the creation of said entrance. Most of the people in the immediate area sign the petition. So what does the city do? They tell us that we have no real recourse here, that a bicycle group wants the opening, and that even if we petition against it, they will go over our heads and do it anyway. I wouldn't mind talking about the idea if they would consider that teens are already using that wooded area for illegal activity at night, and the areas outside our neighborhood are experiencing problems with graffiti and other property crimes. Nobody has addressed the impact on the residents adjacent to the opening. They simply don't care.

I am doing battle with the Time Warner Cable right now. The Scientific Atlanta DVR they provide is a hunk of shit. More specifically, it is unreliable and awkward to use. I frequently lose parts of the programs I record because it either crashes or it refuses to record past the end of the program when I tell it to do this. Its functionality is lacking - providing, at best, what a VCR would do instead of the kind of interface a TiVo would provide. So TiVo recently (about a year ago) works out something with the manufacturers of the cable head-ends and Cable Labs (a consortium that handles the CableCard encryption devices) to have a device that would allow CableCard to pick-up the subscribed channels on the cable system even on the newer technology (switched digital video) connections. So I call TWC, and I ask them, "Do you have the CableCard Tuning Adapters available?" "No," they say. "They're not available in Austin yet, and we don't know when we will be deploying them." So I asked, in an e-mail, who I can speak with at TWC/Austin who will be willing to work with me to resolve this frustrating situation before I take my business elsewhere. They replied with an e-mail repeating their position on CableCard. Does this mean that they don't want my business? Stay tuned and find out. I suspect they don't f**king care.

Time after time after time it's the same old story. I recently told someone that this is the kind of attitude I have come to expect from customer service in any organization, so I usually don't call. I don't get a thrill out of fighting "the man" and eventually getting something out of them for my trouble. In the case of the cable company, I watch TV to relax. If I get stressed-out in the process of getting the very thing I use to relax, then it kind of defeats the purpose.

The barking dogs, the excessively conservative/liberal morons, thoughtless reproduction, religion, customer service, people just acting dumb, and of course, JC's post office incident too. Hey, I admit I'm not perfect and am entitled to a blonde moment once in a while, but for the love of some deity the wholesale distribution of stupidity and utter lack of understanding is amazing. Amazing in a bad way.

I feel as though I'm alien to this world. It's that feeling that makes you ask yourself, "Owwww...How do I make it stop? To where can I run away from it?" I've tried understanding. I've tried writing it down in a blog. I've tried calling up companies ranting and raving. I've tried ignoring it. I've even tried not caring, but couldn't keep it up. I can't accept it. It's wrong.

Seriously, I thought writing it down would make me feel better, or at least collect my thoughts such that I'd come to tolerate it all again. I don't feel any better, and I'm about to call the cable company. I'm going to call someone and ask, "Do you see what I wrote? Did you read the response? If you were in my position, how would you feel about this? Would you want to continue to do business with that company?" I am trying to mentally prepare myself to hear a response that completely ignores what I ask and begins, "We don't have CableCard Tuning Adapters in the Austin market yet and..." I wonder who'll clean the blood off the walls in my office after I turn red and my head explodes.

2 comments:

Jeff Simmermon said...

Hi -- I'm the director of digital communications with Time Warner Cable. And I'm really sorry to hear about your frustrations. We should be rolling out tuning adapters in Austin within the next two weeks -- and if you like, you can sign up for one here: www.timewarnercable.com/tuningadapter

If there's any problems, don't hesitate to contact me directly at jeff.simmermon@twcable.com

Thanks ...

JC said...

You, my cyber-friend, are in a bad place right now, no?

Sounds like things are building up and getting to you. I hate when that happens. And I really hate to see it happen to smart, cool, interesting, funny people, even if I don't know you all that well personally.

I was ranting to my dad (who works in Education and is practically an expert in dealing with difficult, petty people) about the post office guy treating me like crap and how unfair it is. [I'm a Libra. Nothing makes me angrier than unfairness.]

His advice? Let it go. Which, of course, is no fun at all. That guy has no control over anything else in his world, so it manifests in his work. How lucky for me (and him) that I don't work with him. I don't know if I'll be a big enough person to follow dad's advice, but I'm keeping it in my back pocket, and have been frequenting the UPS store instead of the post office as an avoidance tactic.

But I know what you're saying, I think. Sometimes it all just adds up. Rude people, stupid people, bad politics, pending environmental doom, and no obvious way out of it all.

Know what I do, when it all really really gets to me? Horses. I thought back to what made me really happy as a child, and horses was it. So I look for places to volunteer to groom and work with rescued abused horses, and it is soooooooo therapeutic. They just calm me down.

So, I hope you can find a happy place to revert to and get some zen.

PS - I have a Disney 1-day park-hopper ticket, good 'til the end of November, that I'd be happy to donate to the cause if you want to take a roadtrip to Orlando! After all, it is the happiest place on earth... ;)

Hang in there.