Thursday, August 17, 2006

Day 20, Thursday- Where the cell minutes go.

After letting the paint in the room dry, I carefully taped the walls in the Princesses’ Palace of Pink and painted the trim with three coats of a nice bright semi-gloss white paint. I ate dinner and returned to the time sink to remove the tape and touch up and scuffs or blemishes.

I pulled the tape and watched in horror as large (3 inches!) chucks of paint came off with the walls. I did what any rational, calm, terminally exhausted, stressed out person would do. I swore. Loudly.

I actually made up new and exciting compound expletives.

At this point, I found myself angry, frustrated, and looking to complain. So, I called the paint company helpdesk. Again. Hey, what the hell, it is an 800 number and it is printed on the can.

My call was answered in the order it was received by a nice man who said his name was Bobert and wanted to know who I was.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

I fought the urge to hang up. I was going to complain! I had a legitimate concern!

I managed to stammer out “um, I think I’ve talked to you before.” Questions swirled through my mind- like "aren’t these call centers supposed to be huge operations?" and "what the hell are you doing?" and "you can't win five bucks in the lottery, but you get the same guy at the call center on different nights?" I swallowed hard.

“I’m glad to be of assistance, sir, can I get your first name and where you are calling from?” Bobert was chipper. He obviously just started his shift.

“Yeah- Tom, I’m calling from Astoria, Oregon.”

There was a long pause, followed by a sigh. “You are the monkey man, yes?”

“Um, yeah. Look, I wasn’t expecting to get you again…” I felt my face turn bright red.

“Yes, what is your problem this evening?”

“Err, you know, um, hey, can I talk to someone else?”

“Sir, I assure you, I will assist you in whatever manner I can. Now, what is your problem this evening?”

“Yeah, but that whole monkey thing…..”

“Yes, well it is after hours, and there are only a couple of other people here now. You can hold, but I assure you that I will handle your call in a professional manner.”

Damn, I was already burning time on the wife’s cell phone. Holding would probably not be good. I decided to go for it. I cleared my throat. “You actually work for the paint company?”


“The actual paint company.”

“Yes, in an office in Florida.”

What? “In Florida.”


“What, Florida, India?”

“No sir, Florida, United States. I came here from India.” Bobert was getting a little annoyed.

“You moved from India to Florida to work in a call center?”

“In India, working in a call center is a very good job.” He sounded a bit defensive.

“Yeah, not so much here.” I replied.

“That was a lesson I learned very soon after coming here. Now, what is your problem this evening sir?” Bobert was done with small talk.

I described the paint coming off the walls in big chucks to the nice person on the other end of the line. I explained my frustration and my reservations about using their products in other rooms.

There was a pause, then Bobert shared his idea on what may have caused my problem. “Maybe your monkeys pushed too hard when they put the tape up,” was the reply.

The bastard.

“Monkeys using painter’s tape isn’t funny, Bobert.”

Bobert apologized. He asked a few more questions- were the walls clean, was the paint dry, the normal routine. I let slip how I cut it with Evil Empire paint.

“You mixed our paint with another brand?” He sounded incredulous.

“Yeah- it was like super, monster pink. I needed to tone it back.”

Bobert sighed. “That is probably your problem sir. I suggest you refrain from doing such things in the future. Our guarantee does not apply in such circumstances.”

“I really don’t see how…” I stammered, “I mean, isn’t paint just…”

“Goodnight, sir, and thank you for calling.” The line went dead, and Bobert was gone.

Total costs: $1,368


At 12:33 AM, Blogger Mom of Three said...

I used to think you could flip off someone in LA, but not Astoria because it was too small of a town. Now, I realize you can't even flip off someone in Florida because the world is so small!

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Miss Sassy said...

I can't believe you got the same guy!!!
Bobert. I just plays over and over in my head and I can't stop the giggles.
bobert. hahahahahahaha

On the upside, I have forged quite a fulfilling relationship with my companies tech support team - they know my calls will take them a half hour to try to solve before giving it to the REAL techies, I know that every time I call its frustrating question and flirt my ass off so they don't hang up on me every time I call.

I'm using the monkey thing next time, just to spice it up =)


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