They’re Doing It Wrong

I’ll start with people who aren’t doing it wrong. The yummy deli in downtown Vancouver is called La Bottega and right this moment I am full with treats from their delicious lunch menu. (That website could use just a teeny bit of cleaning up. Maybe I can offer to trade for food!) It’s a deli, it’s a wine shop, it’s a sit down restaurant that was SRO today for lunch. We shared a grilled pesto salmon salad and a large serving of smoked mushroom ravioli and I picked up a couple pounds of ravioli to take when I visit my Mom and Dad. It’s located on Main in the old Hank’s Tavern.

So in the category of people are assholes item # 1430. On Wednesday as I took my yoga clothes out of the trunk I noticed that there was some peeling paint on the rear bumper. Remember back in April I took the car in and got all this body work taken care of and it was three different claims. Someone hit me, someone hit-and-run and I, uh, scraped something. I’m not obsessive but I like to take care of my things and the car was starting to feel like a dented tuna can so I finally took care of it and after all the deductibles and taxes and charges and extra charges, let’s just say it cost about the same as one paycheck on a bi-monthly payday schedule.

I drove by the bodyshop today to have them check out the peeling paint and turns out my car was hit again. He showed me where you can see on the bumper how something hit it hard enough to make the bumper (plastic) bend and crack the paint. Then I remember that when I pulled out on Wednesday, the car behind me (remember we have tandem parking) was a Hummer. Probably didn’t even feel hitting my car. Thanks guy! Or gal!

I hate to ignore it because what’s a small bit of peeling paint now is no doubt going to be a crap looking bumper three months from now. I asked the body shop if there was a temporary fix so it wouldn’t get worse. I know zero about car bodies but there must be some sort of something they could seal it with. If there is, there was nothing they were willing to do for me without a claim and an estimate. So there you go. I don’t want to spend any more money the bumper of a 2001 car with 75,000 miles on it.

Next item. My dear husband turned 50 in March and one of his relatives thought it would be funny to get him a membership in AARP. As a spouse, I’m a member, too. I’m still in the process of owning the whole middle age thing. I don’t want to be a member of a retired people club. Especially since the retired people club has been blitzing us with piles of unsolicited mail for insurance and crap like that.

I’m hardcore on not getting junk mail and catalogs and we get very little. This afternoon I decided to log into their webpage and drop them a note opting out of all these mailings. And of course there are only two ways you can contact AARP: mail and phone. Evolve or die, AARP!

So I phoned and here’s where they invested their technology dollars: a phonebot to answer the phone. Remember how much I loved the Sears phonebot? It was awful. It was like reading my request one letter at a time. I got tired of dicking around and pressed the magic zero and my bot said, “I’m sorry. You didn’t answer my question about what you had for lunch. If you had baloney and cheese, say: baloney and cheese.”

I screamed: “I want to talk to a person!” (I really did shriek very loud so imagine a cat in a blender type voice when you read the above.) And the bot said, “Would you like to speak to a customer service representative?” And I said “Yes!” and she said, “I’ll get someone to help us.” And that is not a typo or error, the robot said she’d get someone to help us.

Aside, and I wish I could find the URL, but recently I saw an article online said that often phonebots are programmed to recognize swear words so if you tell the phonebot to f-off, it will transfer you to a person.

Dimitri came on the line and was happy to help me out with my request and supposedly, that problem solved. So what you learned here is that if you don’t want to talk to a phonebot try screaming and swearing. The laugh you get when it works will diffuse your frustration.

Final item of the day. You know how there are stereotypical categories of certain types of cars and driving behavior? The aggro pick-up truck that can’t go less than 25 MPH over the posted limit who zooms up on your bumper and terrorizes you and giving you about three seconds to change lanes before swerving around you and then flipping you the bird like you’re the bad guy? Also the driver is a guy wearing a baseball cap. The pushy Subaru that absolutely has to get in front of you even if you’ve already let a car in or have to slam on your brakes but then gives you a wave like we’re all so friendly driven by a woman with bobbed hair and a Labrador in the back? The luxury sedan with the person on the cellphone drifting around in the lane and not aware of the concept of turn signals? I have a new one to add: the lame Prius driver. Hello! You aren’t going to save the planet by ignoring your accelerator. (It’s not getting any greener! ha!) Or hey, I’m giving you close to three car lengths, go ahead and change lanes. You’re safe. Jeez.

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