Friday, April 1, 2011

Apocalypse Soon

April Fool's Gag

The kitchen at work:  I notice that someone has moved the bottle of dish detergent from the sink to the lunch table.  I think: that's a silly place for the dish soap!  I start to move it back to the sink, when I see a note taped to the bottle.

In Joanne's clearly recognizable handwriting, the note on the soap says: "Joanne with eat this on Thursday.  Thx."

Someone moved the note from Joanne's lunch to the dish soap.  I had a good chuckle at that one.

(This is one of those offices where if you leave "leftover" food in the fridge, scavengers will make off with it at the end of the day unless you specify that you intend to eat it later.)

Worst Customer Service Award

I ordered a product that should take two days to ship from the warehouse to my workplace.  Two weeks later I noticed that it still hadn't arrived.  I called the company.  They said that they had received my order, but the order form was out of date and they needed my approval to charge the new, increased prices.  It was nice of them not to bother to call me.  Very thoughtful to leave my order sitting in a pile on someone's desk until I noticed the problem.

I approved the new prices.  They said: "We'll ship the product today!"  A week later it still hadn't arrived.  I called them again.  Turns out they shipped it to our old address, even though the new address was clearly indicated on the order form, for both shipping and billing.  It had gone to the old address; it had been rejected by the new tenants; and then it had been returned to the warehouse.  Guess where it was?  Sitting on someone's desk, where it had been for a few days.  Again, no one called me to check in, and they were still claiming not to have any record of our new address.


I gave them our new address, again.  Then the sales rep asked me if I would like the invoice shipped to the same address.  Invoice?  I put a credit card number on the order form.  Did they not read the order form at all?  At that point I decided that it would be wiser to be invoiced, because that would give us the option of not paying unless I actually received the product.

It finally arrived today, one month to the day after I placed my first order.  Isn't it great to have suppliers you can rely on for fast, reliable service?

The Sky Is Falling!

During the months leading up to January 1st, 2000, I became convinced that Y2K computer problems might cause the downfall of our society.  I moved through the summer of 1999 with misty eyes, viewing all things through a touching lens of anticipatory nostalgia.  When everything turned out to be fine, I regretted all the energy I'd wasted worrying about the worst-case scenario.

Now everyone's got their knickers in a knot over 2012.  Supposedly on December 21st, the winter solstice, life as we know it will come to a cataclysmic halt.  Maybe there will be a nuclear catastrophe, perhaps a meteor with smash Earth to smithereens, or perhaps space-time itself will end.  Whatever, it's going to be bad times for all of us, and the worst surprise birthday party ever for my husband and my sister, who are both solstice babies.

I honestly don't have the patience to do detailed research into these predictions, but I am not impressed by what I have heard.  I did watch one documentary which aired on the History Channel.  It outlined how December 21st 2012 is the end of the ancient Mayan calendar.  Apparently there have been previous dates when sub-cycles of the calendar came to a close.  The prognosticators on the documentary pointed to these dates as evidence that something big is coming.

Their argument goes something like this:  At the end of the first era, the Mayans moved from mud huts into villages.  At the end of the second era, they moved from the villages into cities.  At the end of the third era they abandoned their cities and started over somewhere else.  And the end of the fourth era they walked away from their new cities, and no one knows what became of them.

So, let me get this straight.  Due to their spiritual beliefs, the Mayans made completely voluntary changes to their living conditions at the appointed times.  Life on the rest of the planet was business as usual during these transitions.  The changes only affected the Mayans.  Voluntarily.  The sky did not fall.  Space-time did not end.

At least my Y2K worries had some basis in warnings from actual scientists.  I think everyone needs to calm down about this 2012 thing.  Seriously, don't we have enough real problems to worry about?


Anonymous said...

And that woefully late product you ordered, that was your insulin. You'd think people in the time-sensitive product industry would be better at getting stuff out to you in time.

Jameil said...

Please never order from that company again! Good gracious! They obviously have way too much business! Re: Y2K... I was just looking around like umm... now what's supposed to be happening? I was 17 and my parents weren't freaking out so I didn't! If cataclysmic things happen next year, we can't do anything to stop it anyway so we may as well keep living like we're supposed to! People really just need a way to make sense of this crazy world (and/or something to worry about).

Ron said...

I wonder why nobody ever considers that the person making the calendar might have died or just decided that he was wasting his time making a calendar that goes that far in the future. I think the fear mongers wont be happy until the universe collapses in a heap so in the last seconds they can mumble "I told you so...."

G said...

A month would be a relatively quick turnaround in government.

Still sucks though, no matter how you slice it.

One of my favorite pet phrases to describe the intellect of companies like this would apply here.

"Smartness Abounds".

Sparkling Red said...

wigsf: I try to anticipate the foolishness of others by ordering stuff far in advance of when I actually need it, but even my careful planning can't accommodate a 2-day order that takes a whole month. I guess that's what happens when you're dealing with a company that has a monopoly on a particular, copyrighted product. They don't have to concern themselves with customer service. They have a captive audience.

Jameil: People have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the world. I heard somewhere that on the eve of the year 1000 some people were so convinced that the end was nigh that they gave away all their earthly belongings and laid down in coffins to die. I guess they felt pretty stupid the next morning.

Ron: Exactly. The Mayans were carving stone tablets to lay out this calendar. That's a lot of work! They probably got tired and said "That's enough for now. Our great-great-great-etc. grandkids can calculate the next 5000 years later. There's plenty of time for that."

G: Maybe the company is secretly run by the government. That would explain a lot.

DarcKnyt said...

I'm proud to say I never fell for the Y2K scare-mongers and their "science" (pseudo, I say). And this 2012 thing's sort of comical.

I like your description of it.

Lynn said...

That was a pretty funny April Fools joke. :)

ileana said...

We had a fridge at one of my old jobs was just plain disgusting! Food would sit in it for weeks until the smell made someone take action. I never got near the thing!

I hate it when there's incompetence mixed with bad customer service. I can't believe what you had to go through to get that product.

Have a great weekend! Hope you're feeling better these days. :)

DarcsFalcon said...

I predict that on 12-22-2012, there will be a lot of people with hangovers. ;)

Glad you finally got your product - how sucky it took so long!