Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Dear Universe-God-Buddha-Oprah-Allah (heretofore referred to as UGOBU),
The Matron must take up an issue with the entities that guide the globe. Her is a pressing concern, one that has a dramatic effect on the lives of millions, daily. Morality, money, quality of life, commerce and eternity are all at stake
Honorable UGOBU, the Matron is required to remind you that Satan has set forth much evil in the world: tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, serial killers and adults who purposely hurt the feelings of small children. To these evils, she has adjusted. She has even softened some of the crust on her heart in the face of Satan’s Familiar, the dog He of All Bad Intent planted beside her. Indeed, Scruffy’s presence has made the Matron practice daily gratitude, as in “things could be worse you still have your legs and don’t need diapers.”
But she has recently been introduced to a new, alarming and apparently uncontrollable and all-powerful calamity.
Need she write more?
The web site itself instigates the wicked spell. Navigation is pretty much impossible and when one does call the ‘customer service’ number, querying about a ticket’s return, ‘customer service’ turns out to be a sales person who in turn tells you to hold while he connects to customer service. Then you get sales again, no matter what number from the web site you dial.
And she has nothing against India as a nation and people, but wonders if the nuances of language, time and distance render the conversation complex.
Matron: “I’m wondering what your policy about returning a ticket is?”
Person Probably Not Making Enough Money for the Tortuous Job (heretofore referred to as PPNMEMTJ): “Pardon? Earning a ticket? You buy ticket.”
Matron: “I’m wondering what your policy is about returning tickets.” Notice how she switched around some verbs, aiming for better understanding.
PPNMEMTJ: “Pardon? There is no way to earn your ticket.”
And so on.
UGOBU, the Matron was on hold for 30 minutes. She dialed 22 numbers and spent another forty minutes on the web site running through circles of language without substance or concrete outcomes. She thought she spent $40 and then realized that in the world that is Ticketmaster, $40 is actually $69. Or $80.
The other problem here is that one cannot avoid the behemoth that controls all events, including Public Radio shows like Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, which is the very sharp, innocent, non-rock-n-roll event the Matron initially intended to see. The hidden fees, the monopoly, the complexity, the tyranny – if Ticketmaster was a government there would be talk of Sadam Hussein.
Suggestion? Human beings should be allowed to call or drive to a theater box office and purchase a ticket. Period.
The Matron appreciates UGOBU’s attention to this urgent matter – and while Your Greatness is attending, could she please just have her $69 refunded?
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
John: "Uh . . . . can I say something about that?"
Matron: "Maybe. You'd prefer chip dip?"
John: "Do you remember that last week, you signed a book contract? The title of the book -- in case you've forgotten - is "How to Advocate for Quality Health Care: A Guide for Patients and Families." This treatise is due October 10, which is about 120 days, not weeks, away. "
Matron: "Your point?"
John: "Do you also remember that you're now the Gender and Women Studies ENTIRE DEPARTMENT at your college, single-handedly developing, designing and deploying a new degree program? For which you have to develop five new classes over the summer?"
Matron: Determined silence.
John: "And you're teaching a new class in English, too, and have to put that up online AND you're doing a big technology training for faculty in July. And you're writing an article for that national technology publication, right? Due in three weeks?"
Matron: Getting really good at the silence thing.
John: "You are totally working. But you're just not teaching because you're doing every other possible thing under the sun. Can I reiterate: you have 120 days to write a book and have signed the contract, for which you've recieved money."
Matron: "Effective rhetorical strategy, John."
John: "It's called truth."
And then she had a martini, a mental breakdown and went to bed.
Happy Father's Day, honey!