Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bras. Wiis. Me Behaving Badly. Advent. This Is My Post For Today.

Did you mark the start of December by adhering to the long held Canadian tradition of cleaning out your underwear drawer to make room for your new bras? Because that's what I did.

I ordered four new bras from the Sears' website, and seventy-five percent of them are keepers. It's the BEST way to shop for bras. Even if I lived in a town with a store that stocked good quality bras, I'd still use the site. Trying bras on at home is much nicer than dealing with poorly lit, filthy-carpeted, department store change rooms. Plus Sears stocks the brand of bras that fit me best: Warner's.

This almost makes me forget that I spent most of November being very angry with In late October, the Sears price for a Wii console was on par with other stores and -- fearing a price hike as Christmas approached -- I ordered one for my sons. In fact, the opposite happened. Days later the Wii price on dropped by $90. Adding to my frustration, the console was late arriving.  After two weeks, I called Sears' customer service line.

I'm going to briefly pause my narrative and confess to a shameful habit that I have. Whenever I call a 1-800 number line for a Canadian company, I chant "Please don't let the operator be a twenty-something francophone boy. Please don't let the operator be a twenty-something francophone boy. Please don't let..." in my mind. I would feel badly for this unfair bias, and for these young men who are victims of the Trudeau-era dream that bilingualism would be the key to success for Canadians, if only they weren't so dismissively rude and extremely unhelpful.

When I called Sears I was connected to a woman who, I assume, was a recent hire. My query was off-script, and she floundered, unable to answer my questions despite someone whispering prompts in the background. Fair enough. Or rather it would've been fair enough except that she tried to end our five-minute call by saying, "Your item should arrive in three to five business days. Thank you for calling Sears. Is there anything else I can help you with." I'm ashamed to admit this, but I went all twenty-something francophone boy on her ass. "How can you help me with anything else when you did not help me in the first place?" was my opening line and it only got uglier.

I will again briefly pause the narrative to confirm your suspicions that I am a rude asshole. I am frequently a rude asshole.

The Wii did show up -- in three to five business days, no less -- and I picked it up and returned it without leaving the depot. I went home, reordered the exact same console for $149 and waited. During the eleven days that I waited for the second Wii to show up, guess what happened? GUESS!? dropped the price to $119. Did I call and demand that Sears credit me the $30 reduced price? Did I re-order a third Wii console at the new-new price?

NO. I did not.

Because my kids were panic-stricken that they were never getting a Wii.

Because my husband was tired of me raging about the cost of a Wii.

Because I am totally paranoid that my name has been added to Sears' master list of "Asshole customers who we make speak to that Francophone Kid with the Ph.D in cultural-anthropology who has a huge/rude chip on his shoulder and $175,000 of student loans."

And because the Wii arrived yesterday. Finally.


  1. There are times you just have to stop looking at the internet.

    When you have a big surgery coming up.
    When you have weird symptoms that could be anything.
    After pulling the trigger on a big purchase.

    Glad you guys have the Wii in hand. What games are you looking at getting?

  2. Whereas the francophone boys in their 20s don't bother me nearly as much as calling a 1-800 number and getting a call centre in India. They can't pronounce my name, ever. They don't understand me when I speak. They don't stop talking long enough for me to get a word in edgewise. And I invariably end up frustrated.

    If it makes you feel any better at all, we paid a lot more than that for our Wii, and agree that it was worth every penny for the entertainment value we've all gotten out of it (not to mention currency to ensure good behaviour, ha!)

  3. My credit card company now answers its customer service line with the announcement that your call is being sent to our help line IN UTAH. They say IN UTAH several times. I think they have decided that NOT having a call center in India is now a selling point.

  4. Aaaaah. How frustrating. I agree with all the above comments except for Hannah's. I had a problem with my Dell printer and I got a fellow from a call centre in India. I started crying hysterically on the phone (Jake was starting kindergarten the next day AND I was getting my period) and the nice young man said "Don't worry ma'am. Why don't you get yourself a drink of water and collect yourself. I am going to take care of everything." After two hours on the phone he gave up and sent me a new printer. CRYING FTW.

    I use Sears website for a lot of things, especially winter boots. They never have them in stock in the store for some reason. And there are a lot of old people in the store. And you know, old people. Look - I'm an asshole too! :)

  5. I am surprised Sears doesn't do price adjustments to your bill...a 30 price adjustment policy is pretty standard in most department stores I thought.

    I have become so wicked now when I am dealing with an inept call centre rep...I just don't have the patience anymore.

    We have a WII (our only gaming device) and have several game show games, two with Mario, resort sports is coming and so is the new Harry Potter game. The girls also have a fun mystery game "Guilty Party" and some dance ones where you dance along.

    I think the boys are going to love it.

  6. @Eryn -- wise advice. I'm not sure about games, but I'd really appreciate some recommendations.

    @Hannah -- we will definitely use the wii as an incentive for behaviour modification.

    When we discontinued using Bell ExpressVu, I did a little "no more service calls to Bell" happy dance. I think their call centre is a training ground for Parisian waiters.

    @Veronica -- Utah. This makes sense, since Mormons are very friendly and courteous. Of course, this is a stereotype I base entirely on my knowledge of the Mormon ambassadors, Donnie and Marie Osmond.

    Last month I called the Toys R Us Canada 1-800 number. Half way through the call I was spelling out the name of my town and the nice man on the phone said, "Excuse me ma'am. Is a "zed" what y'all call the letter zee up there?" Until then I wasn't aware that I was speaking to an American.

    @Nicole -- I love it when the operators are in India! "Guess how cold it is here!?" I have been known to say, "Minus 30!" The general response is one of shock.

    @Jenifer -- I think Sears might do that. But at this point I'm exhausted.

  7. I ordered DS in mid-November because I could not handle the pressure of a potential shortage and not being able to get the one thing my kids have been asking for for over a year(and actually requested in letters to the N. Pole because I told them that I would NOT buy those things and they'd have to take it up with Santa). I told myself not to check on prices any more because I could not handle some big price drop. But you know that I've been secretly checking prices, to see if I'd overpaid. I can't help myself - what's wrong with me?! Luckily I got a fair deal and the games are received and ready to go. Oh - and Wii? Lots of fun. The big hit lately is Star Wars Lego. Just good clean light saber fun.

  8. Please don't make fun of me. I know you probably will since you said you're a "rude asshole" but what the hell is a francophone-boy??? Is this a Canadian thing? Maybe that's why I don't know.

    Thanks for the learning experience!

  9. @Omaha Mama -- I keep reminding myself that regardless of the cost, I didn't sleep out overnight to secure a Wii. This is something a member of my extended family did.

    @Naked Mother -- Sorry, I didn't realize this wouldn't translate for readers south of the 49th parallel. A francophone is a Canadian whose first language is French. By the same terms, I'm an anglophone since my native (and only) language is English.