Thursday, February 18, 2010

I guess if you are going to be awful, be spectacularly awful

I feel like I have been encountering a number of services lately that just suck. Last night, I had frustrating call number 184 with Comcast (exaggeration, but you likely feel my pain on this one) that did not end up in my service being restored. It didn't even end up in them setting up an appointment for a tech to come here today, or even the day after that. Nope, it would be a full week before they could come and "take a look at" their shoddy cable box. And even at that she acted as if I was really lucking out. I know the immediate response to this is just me being impatient....or maybe I should see this little break from television as a good chance to read an actual book. Well, those who know me know I'd be more inclined to read an Us Weekly and the good news is it is only affecting the TV in the living room. So we still have TV....just not reliable HD tv. It's so rustic, it's like one step above camping.

My real anger stems from the fact that I am paying for a service. Quite a lot actually. And I think it is fair that I should expect that service to be somewhat reliable. I want to come home and be able to turn on the TV and have it work. Not turn on the TV, then go to my DVR, then select a show and let it play for 5-7 minutes, then go back to TV and see a very pixelated image and then after it works itself out to normal (another 5 or so minutes, well THEN you can watch TV. Yes, that is the process and while it eventually gets you TV, it is completely unacceptable.

Same goes for Metro. And I have experienced a whole new level of hate for Metro now that I have added Metro Bus to my daily routine. I get that a vehicle that is out on the roads can't keep to a strict timetable. I understand that due to traffic, or frequent stops for onboarding and offboarding passengers, the 8:35 bus may not be there right at 8:35. Maybe 8:40 or even 8:42. But recently with Metro (and I mean BEFORE we could blame it on the snow), these timetables seem more like a humorous suggestion. Like a joke on all of us that they could say there were coming and then show up 35 minutes later. Sadly, 35 minutes is one of the shorter wait times too. One morning, I turned into a human popsicle as I waited out in the cold for a full hour waiting for a bus. According to the metro published timetable, 5 or even 6 buses should have shown up in that time period. I know at the end of the day I am just paying for a ride with the hoi polloi but dammit, would it kill metro to post a schedule they could actually stick to? I truly don't care if that means busses are running less often. Cause let's face it, they are running less often as it is. Maybe publishing a schedule that makes it look like you are running all the time helps them sleep better at night, but it doens't keep me from freezing my ass off.

It just astonishes me that companies can be not jus awful, but spectacularly awful...and apparantly that is a-ok. I get paid a salary to do my job well. And that "well" implies consistency. What would happen if somedays I rolled in at 9:52 or 10:17. Or if someone needed my immediate attention on a project and I told them I would be sure to help them -- in a week's time. Well, I'd likely be out of a job. But that's not who I am....I go into work, I work hard, I give it 110%. And then I foolishly expect the bus to be on time to get me home, so I can unwind the stresses of the day with some HD TV. Silly me.

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