Because I wanted to kill a man. I was pushed to that level and now I understand murder just a teeny bit more than I did before…and maybe some of those people on Death Row were pushed too.
It all started a couple weeks ago with that (#*!&#)$_*( scanner! Gah! First I thought I had it plugged in wrong, then it froze a couple times, then I got everything working right…except the duplex scanning. It would scan the front side, flip, scan half the backside, then turn into some cheap Salvador Dali impersonation and the paper, if it came out at all, was askew. Most of the time it got stuck and I had to pull gently, but hard, in a wiggle back and forth motion to get the paper out. And I did this about 11 times. I fantasized about picking up this incredibly expensive piece of machinery and dropping it off the roof of the Ed Sullivan theater like Letterman used to do with stuff. Instead, I called Hewlett-Packard. The scanner, at this point, was 9 days old. Mind you, I don’t feel like this was an issue with the scanner, per se. I feel like something got bent in shipping and I just want it fixed. Or replaced. It’s not hard.
The first person I spoke to was Ambitesh, and he changed everything I thought I knew about myself.
My friends often say that everyone should be forced to be a waiter or waitress for a little while in their career to understand what it’s like to serve people. I was a restaurant hostess, so I did my time there. I’ve been told to fuck myself by a man wearing a Santa suit who arrived with his church group, party of 20, five minutes after calling to make their “reservation” and angry we couldn’t immediately seat them. I’m good on taking crap from the restaurant industry.
I’ll take it a step further. I think everyone should have to work in a call center. I spent 6 weeks pretending to be “Jenny” and asking people if they might like to refinance their mortgage before the situation felt iffy and I quit. I came home every night crying because the people were so rude, or they were desperate and really wanted my help but they lived in a trailer or an apartment and I couldn’t help them, or my boiler room boss didn’t think I’d gotten enough leads. It is a truly horrible job and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Now imagine you’re in a foreign country (or Omaha, or L.A…I really don’t know where Ambitesh was) and you speak with a very thick Indian accent. It must be so crappy to be on the phone with idiots like me all day who make dumb mistakes with their computers and have to ask you to repeat things you’re saying all the time because they don’t understand either computers or your accent. I feel for Ambitesh, I really do.
That being said, he’s an a$$hole and I wanted to kill him. The first thing he did was sigh a whole bunch in that “I can’t believe I have to talk to this idiot” tone that set me off immediately. Then he told me that the printer was top of the line and therefore it was impossible that it was broken. Then, “This printer doesn’t even HAVE a duplex scanning function, Ma’am.” Silence. He goes to speak with manager. “Like I said, you cannot duplex copy from this machine.” I wasn’t trying to duplex copy, I was scanning. “This machine doesn’t do that.” Silence. ”Manager” again. “Oh yes it does. Let me take over your desktop now to check some things.” He did. He checked nothing. Then he got angry at me and told me to QUIT PRANK CALLING THEM AND WASTING THEIR TIME. When I asked to speak with his manager, he pretended to go get someone who sounded exactly like him (faker!) and connected me to the “complaint department” which I’m pretty sure was just the phone off the hook in his cubicle while he went to lunch.
Something inside me changed that day. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself taking his stupid Britney Spears headset, wrapping the cord around his throat and jamming the ear and mouth thingies into his eyeballs so I could wiggle them around inside his skull. I was so pissed, and nearly ruining my boss’s 2008 tax documents in this debacle was not helping. I called another number at Hewlett-Packard and I got Charles. Speaking with Charles was when I realized how vile I had become.
Charles said they could send another document feeder but first I’d have to go through 17 steps with him and prove it wasn’t software-related. When I refused this on the basis that him altering 1′s and 0′s and electrons in my laptop wasn’t going to fix the bent piece in the document feeder, he got upset. (To be fair, I was already upset so he was just catching up.)
At this point, I became the a$$hole. I became Ambitesh. I told him that I was very active on Facebook, had my own blog, and that I was a Twitter celebrity. I said I would bash HP from then until doomsday if I didn’t get another effin’ document feeder ASAP. In truth, I hate FB, I love my blog but it’s new and we’re still building a platform of readers, and I’m nowhere near a Twitter celebrity. I have no idea why I said it. I was just so angry that lies and spittle were ushered forth from the darkest depths of my soul. Charles, if you’re reading this, I’m very sorry that I lied to you. You were a prick and your solutions made no sense whatsoever. I didn’t appreciate the runaround, but that was no excuse for me to impersonate Ashton Kutcher or Laurie Ruettimann or genuine Twitter celebs of any variety. My bad. Also, when I told you I had just gotten off the phone with an a$$hole in India (most likely), that was Ambitesh, and if this makes it into his performance review, I won’t cry. That part was accurate.
I had to go
have a drink cool off a while after this – remove myself from the situation. I decided that if Hewlett-Packard wouldn’t help me, I’d go to the source and call Amazon. Amazon doesn’t have a phone number that I could find specifically related to returns, so I called some other department and got Victoria. Oh Victoria. She was sent to me by Jesus or Buddha or my shrink or something. I was on a metaphorical ledge at that point and she talked me back down. First off, she located the order even though it was my boss’s account and I had none of the required info. We pieced it together. She worked some magic and sent an email on our behalf to the 3rd party seller who should be getting back to us any day now. Actually they’re a little late, but I’m not worried because Amazon is everything that HP is not. They are willing to listen. They are willing to help. They don’t accuse you of prank calling and wasting their time when your $700 brand new piece of equipment that your boss purchased on your recommendation instead of buying herself an iPad turns out to be broken!
I’ve calmed down now. I no longer want to murder Ambitesh and I’m sorry that I had those thoughts, however fleeting, and possibly not serious. But I do wonder just what lengths I could be pushed to under the right circumstances. I don’t believe in the death penalty in most cases. I think it’s swift justice for torturous crimes and it’s too good for people, mostly. But also now because I wonder…were they on the phone with bad customer service when provoked beyond all limits of the human psyche? Did they not have a Victoria to talk them down? Hear me now world, if I’m on a jury, I will never convict anyone given those circumstances.
Though I will not kill him, if I do ever meet Ambitesh anywhere in this life, I will trip him. In front of his kids. And I will laugh and laugh.