What are your patience buttons?


What are your patience buttons

As I get older I am finding my “patience” tolerance has moved up the “how much more can I take” scale. Baby’s crying, bad drivers, 8:30 at night solicitations from so called non profits (and calling me Miss Cindy the whole time) and bad t.v. shows are just a few of the “little” things that are starting to make me crazy.

Now I don’t want you to get the impression I am turning into an old fart who is a complaining curmudgeon…. after all I’m only 50 (which is the new 40) because I’m really not, hey I read “who moved my cheese” and “don’t sweat the small stuff.”  For the most part I will have to live with the bad drivers, the late night phone calls and some of the crap they call t.v. shows (come on now, “Dancing with the Animals”????).

But lately I have decided there are some things that I just no longer can accept (wearing an adult diaper is not one of those things), and I have come up with a list of 3 things that no matter how old I get I will just not tolerate, so if you can be patient with me, let me tell you what they are (in no particular order, they all bug me equally).

1) Mail-in rebates- WHAT A RIP OFF, whether it’s at Staples or your local hardware store, rebates are on the rise. Let me give you a few examples; Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care; keeping your lawn green does not come cheap, in my case a few hundred dollars. So finding a store that gives even a $35.00 rebate can help take the sting out of slamming down over 300 bucks for your lawn; that is until you try to get your rebate money. Bar handing over your first born, the process that you have to go through to get a lousy $35.00 can make the sane run for the nearest straight jacket AND that’s even if you remember to send it in. Now I know most of us convince ourselves that, yes, we will send in the 50 cent rebate CVS is offering on our favorite pack of gum, or WOW that price on that ream of paper is pretty cheap… how hard can it be to get a $2.50 rebate? Well 6 out of 10 of you will never even do it. According to “About.com” companies offer $6 billion a year in cash rebates to attract buyers, but an estimated 60 percent of those rebates are never redeemed, due partly to the difficulty in the redemption process, purposely made more complex to discourage consumers. Most rebates go unredeemed because consumers never bother to send in the mail-in forms. But those who diligently put the forms in the mail are finding the hoops they have to jump through to get their money back almost impossible.  So my advice to you is “JUST DON’T DO IT” save yourself some aggravation, time and hair on your head……don’t go for the rebates.

2) Out Sourcing Customer Service-

I was quite surprised the other day when I called to make plane reservations on Southwest Airlines and a customer service representative answered with an actual southwestern accent (and not Southwest Malasia). I was floored; imagine an American company that actually employs American representatives? It was music to my ears to hear her U.S. sarcasm and snide remarks when I asked for a few different options on flights.

But seriously, nothing drives me crazier then when I have to call a so called American Company to ask about a charge on my credit card or find out about a shipment that is two days late and to be greeted by a person who can barely speak English AND tells me their name is Scott or Mary

Come on now, how many women in far off lands are naming their children Scott or Mary?    But my real objection to farming out “quality service” off American soil is the lack of understanding a foreign call center rep. has of the American caller. Beside one of us asking the other to please repeat what they just said, most of the reps are trained to deal with the easy questions or the average order, BUT ask something out of the ordinary and the rep starts to act like an overheated computer from “Lost in Space”. I almost half expect the rep. to start chanting “that does not compute, that does not compute” when I ask why my credit card statement states I was charged twice for one order.

So there has to be a happy medium, on one side a call representative who is knowledgeable and courteous and on the other side a person who I can actually understand and who can actually understand me. Hmmmmmm……Would American companies consider Canada for their call centers. What do ya think…EH?

3) Bad service in restaurants-I’ve been in the food service business for a long time and I have to tell you there is no excuse for bad service in a restaurant. Now when I say bad service I don’t just mean the wait staff, to me bad service could also include food quality, cleanliness of the restaurant or how I am greeted.

Let me start out by saying that being a food service worker is not an easy job. Long hours, low pay and tough working conditions are often the rule not the exception, and for the most part these workers really do care about the service they provide.

But most of us work hard for our money and during these down economic times going out to dinner is more of a luxury then ever before. That’s why when I plunk down $60.00-$80.00 for a night out with my family I expect good service. But to my surprise a lot of restaurants don’t get it. With jobs as thin as they are, many of our local eateries still continue to provide sub-par service.

One case in point is a chain of family style restaurants that my family and I frequent often.  The problem is the service, for the most part, is terrible. Long wait time for food is usually the norm, incorrect orders  comes in a close second and prices that are getting a little to high for my pocket book. Now I want this chain to prosper, I grew up with their food and have many fond memories of meals eaten there, but good service starts at the top and the service I often receive is consistent among most of their area restaurants. The hard part is my kids love the food, so I have to endure many bad meals. But it’s not just this chain; many other restaurants are in the same boat. In the old days a restaurant could get by with just good food, but these days there are many, many little fish looking to become big fish….so all of you who continue with bad service, you can “KISS MY GRITS”

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