Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Why Manhattan...

Image site and Hawaiian explanation here.

...sucks donkey balls. I just got back from a lovely trip (excepting the days of spitting cold rain) to Chicago and Detroit thereabouts. While still working through my e-mail, I was contacted today by a fine New Jersey supply firm to inform me the curtain rod I ordered last week was damaged in shipment by UPS, so they'll have to send out another.

-Thanks, fine, but I need it by Friday. Can they upgrade the shipping?

-No, UPS won't do that. Of course, they're the ones who screwed the pooch. And the gent I'm speaking to is reluctant to even allow me to pay for an upgrade because the rod I'm ordering now costs less than its shipping.

-Yes, but I still need it. Even if you and UPS don't think I should. Why everyone seems unwilling to make me whole is perplexing.

-Can't I find it in Manhattan, the gent asks.

-If I could, doesn't he think I'd posess the aforesaid item Already?! NO! You can't find **** in Manhattan. Limited selections due to low storage and display capacity.

-Oh, but his brother lives near where I do and he finds everything.

- Does his brother know where I can find an extra-long, small-diameter, cafe-style curtain rod? 'Cause I'll go buy it post haste.

- What about Home Depot?

- Despite my apparent stupidity, the thought did occur. They don't stock the special size. It'd cost me $50 to rent a car to get to another borough or New Jersey where I could conceivably find the article somewhere in stock. Not to mention gas and tolls. Thus, my online order of last week. And I do have a couple of other things to do before my 4 houseguests arrive.

- Well, you know we'll have to charge you the extra for shipping. It's gonna be a L-o-T. (In the universal sing-song of taunting.) If you're S-u-r-e, give me your CC info again. Our new system doesn't retain it from the previous order- we're not some fly-by-night operation. I don't want you to think...

- Yes, I know. I've ordered from you before and wouldn't have again if I thought you were disreputable (rather than merely self-absorbed and argumentative). I hope to have adequately comforted him in his distress. He has yet to sympathize with mine. UPS doesn't care to remedy the problem that their mishandling caused. The NJ gent is most interested in defending inventory levels in Manhattan (and his brother's incredible resourcefulness) despite the fact he works for an outfit benefitting directly from this phenomenon. I take the bath.

UPDATE: I have now been called by the NJ outfit again to get my credit card expiration date. A different person. Female. Apologetic. No doubt the Good Brother didn't want to speak with me again. He'll be suprised by her report of my meekness. I am deflated and defeated.

UPDATE2: I've been called back again by Gent #1 who must have heard I'm cowed. Their extra-reputable, security-conscious new system is bouncing back my card and we have to check over the specifics. Turns out the trouble was in transcribing from the note that he scribbled with all my billing information. Ah, irony. Hope he's as fastidious as the computer about destroying it. He's laughing at his own poor handwriting while I'm crossed between a whimper and sigh. Should have been a sturgeon, he says. Funny old life.

Don't ask me how much a cheap curtain rod should cost. When you're out of time and don't run your own blacksmith's shop, you must pay the price.

While visiting old friends this weekend, I went to a store near Lansing, Michigan with an amazing shoe department that would make Imelda spasm in glee. The staff was plentiful, friendly, and helpful. The prices and sales were good, and the scores of customers scattered across the ample seating beamed in joy as we consulted and complimented each other's selections. After ascertaining the precise location of the expansion I needed, they stretched my new sandals for free while I shopped. My sales clerk was terrific and probably in late high school.

That and the former exchange above are why, unless you're the kind of rich and famous person who is excessively fawned upon or the kind of crazy that's gently tolerated, Manhattan and environs can suck donkey balls.


Anonymous said...

OMG what a big ol' clusterfuck!
Sorry about that. But come to MI anytime for shoes!!

Henway Twingo said...

Roger that.