random responses to stuff that happens

Labor Day Cramps and other Consumer B.S.

Dear Williams and Sonoma VISA Card,

Could you kindly give me a reason why I should not immediately shred your card into oblivion?

Okay, so you dangle the carrot in front of my face in the store with all kinds of promises –discounts, free shipping, points.  I’m buying a stupid electric tea kettle, a place mat, and a jar of discount hot mint jelly. Does that sound like anything a serious cook would buy?  No matter, forget the question.  You offered me a discount.  It sounded pretty big.  $25 bucks.  The tea kettle was only $31.  So, that’s, like, getting something for free, right?


Not so quick little miss burnt muffins.  Your credit card will arrive as promised.  You will activate it on Labor Day, because it’s rainy and you don’t have anything to do except drink bad tea and eat all the leftovers from your cancelled Labor Day bash.  Then you will read the “fine print” , which, oddly, is printed in large font size. To get your free one-year shipping (on all eligible online purchases for 12 months), you instruct TheResponder, she must enter her “RESERVE Shipping Promotion Code.”

The code, unfortunately, is absent.  TheResponder has just decided to drink directly from her beer keg’s tap, because – why dirty another 24 oz red plastic cup?  Why limit herself to 24 ounces?  Why count beans?  or bean count?  Whatever.

Why does TheResponder suddenly feel the urge to anesthetize herself with alcohol?  Because, she realizes that she must now make a phone call, in order to get the “benefits” that were described so cheerfully to her in the store as she was eyeing the bars of nougat priced as if they were gold.

Okay, you’re saying, so what?  Quit yer bitchin’.  It’s not the end of the world.  Your propane tank is still full.  You still have 15 pounds of raw ground beef in the fridge.  So what if you’re a vegetarian, or flexitarian, or whatever.  You’re not gonna starve.  And besides, your 8 pound Chihuahua is gonna be in hog heaven for, like, about three years before all that dead cow is gone.

TheResponder has a great distaste for telephone prompts that send you through an algorithm of choices only to get waylaid on “hold” for eternity, listening to very bad dance music from the 80’s played with enough static to make one believe that we’re in the middle of nuclear catastrophe.  Not that that’s Williams and Sonoma’s problem.  TheRespondicator just has to “get a life” and be  okay with being on hold for 10 minutes only to be cut off just when the “agent” answers.  Maybe TheRespondicator should just “ease up, would ya?” after she calls back and holds for about another 20 minutes only to be transferred to a Pottery Barn VISA lady who’s so nice TheRespondicator would like to offer her a refrigerator full of ground beef and a nearly new tea kettle with small dent, the result of being thrown against a kitchen wall during a difficult consumer telephone call situation.

TheRespondicator cannot offer these items to the new “agent” because she is on hold listening to something that sounds like music but tastes like beer mixed with dental drilling.

So what if 25 minutes of your Labor Day life are wasted.  You have the opportunity for FREE SHIPPING.  Don’t blow it!  If you hang up now, you’ll ruin everything.  Including your chances to ever become a good cook.  They’ve got Peanut butter in Williams and Sonoma that makes your peanut butter look like something that would choke a monkey.  Your PB & J sandwiches will always suck, if you don’t get that free shipping from Williams and Sonoma.  And besides, they have pumpkin bread mix already prepared in a bag. You can’t f-it-up, because everything’s been measured by  stainless steel measuring cups and spoons manufactured by Williams and Sonoma’s highest quality factory in China, where everything is Standardized to the U.S. Department of Weights and Measures, just so no one dies from an overly-shitty-tasting slice of pumpkin bread.

You GOT to stay on hold.  You’re NEVER gonna be a good cook, if you hang up now.  Oh, who cares? if when they finally return, they give you a new phone number to call.  Call the “RESERVE” number, another agent says.  The RESERVE employees should be able to help you out.

TheRespondicator is sick of this post.  Not vomit sick.  But modern-bullshit-empty-vacuous-consumer-living-sick.  She’s not going to finish this story.  She’s gonna try to put a little garlic in a pan, add some dead cow, some olive oil, a spray of beer, one twig of peppermint from the cocktails that never happened, a dash of meanness, and stir that sucker up into meat sauce, hold the sauce.  Oh.  And salt too.  Williams and Sonoma’s authentic unground sea salt freshly ground by her Williams and Sonoma salt mill , which she’d otherwise like to use to shred her new Williams and Sonoma VISA card.

But she doesn’t dare shred it now.  She’s on hold.  She doesn’t have two hands available to do all that.  She doesn’t want to miss any telephone prompts telling her what buttons should be pushed next……


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