Monday, April 30, 2012

Customer Service

Why is it that every time you call customer service for any product or service you are immediately solicited with a "brief" questionnaire about, "how we did?" I guess because no is bothering to answer these annoyance infringements on our time, they have changed tactics. Here is the newer, better, solicitation for our opinions of, "how we did?"

Dear Allan:

Thank you for contacting [name omitted because I don't want anyone to get hurt] Service and Support Department. Our records indicate that [let's just call him John Smith] was the primary representative who assisted you. Because providing excellent customer service is our prime objective, we would greatly appreciate it if you took a few moments to rate your experience with [XXX] and,in particular, John Smith.

Please click on the link shown below to complete the short list of questions. It's that easy, and, with only a few moments of your time, you'll be helping us provide the absolute best service possible. Please also note that John has a wife and two small children. Your refusal to participate in this survey will be interpreted as a failure of John to do his job and will result in his immediate dismissal from employment. His accounts will be frozen and his children removed from their home, becoming wards of the state. In addition, his wife Marie will be shipped to a Chinese shoe factory and John will be forced to move back in with his elderly parents, one of whom, your choice, will be shot.

Thank you for your time and assistance in this matter.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lord Stanley's Cup

Wednesday starts the annual quest for the holy grail of ice hockey: The Stanley Cup. For those of us who care, this is our time of the year. Last team standing takes home the Cup:

Originally inscribed the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the trophy was donated in 1892 by then-Governor General of Canada the Lord Stanley of Preston, as an award for Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club.

The first Cup was won by the Montreal Hockey Club in 1893. My team, the Detroit Red Wings, have won the Cup 11 times, more than any other United States' based franchise. This year the Red Wings' players come from across the globe, including, Canada, Sweden, Russia, Finland, United States and Syracuse. Professional Ice Hockey has become a United Nations of boys on skates.

The actual word hockey was 1363, when King Edward III of England issued a declaration banning a list of games: "moreover we ordain that you prohibit under penalty of imprisonment all and sundry from such stone, wood and iron throwing; handball, football, or hockey; coursing and cock-fighting, or other such idle games."

This is a special time of year in the hockey world. While mainstream media is filled with the banal and mundane, basketball and baseball, real men and women, those who know the difference between playing a game for money or playing a game for love, will be absorbed in two months of spiritual bliss: The Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sunday night, April 8, 2012

Shadows are fallin' and I've been here all day
It's too hot to sleep and time is runnin' away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal
There's not even room enough to be anywhere
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.