Friday, July 23, 2010

7 Quick Takes (Volume 91)

1) There must be some kind of telemarketing phone fairy teaching operators the proper way to attack customer complaints. I encountered a freaky phenomenon the other day in my adventures of trying to get help from companies with no local phone number. After punching through countless options and hitting a dead end with no desirable option left, I took a chance and pushed zero hoping to get a customer service representative. Glory be, it actually worked.

The woman asked, "How may I help you?" I explained my issue and she came back with, "I would be happy to help you with that."

Great. I'd already spent more minutes on the phone than I wanted communicating with a lifeless voice and my touch pad. I was ready to get this job done, but either I talked too fast or my issue did not appear on her script because at some point she asked, "Now what is the nature of your problem?"

Sigh. I gave her the brief version and she answered AGAIN with, "I would be happy to help you with that." I wanted to scream, "SO DO IT!" but I refrained. I'm good like that.

After MUCH frustration and a little venting on my part (don't worry, I apologized for my impatience), my problem was addressed and I hung up. I picked up the phone to dial a completely different company and navigated through another litany of options. When I finally got the customer service representative I heard, "How may I help you?"

I spelled out my new trouble and got, "I would be happy to help you with that." I'm not kidding. It sounded like the VERY SAME SPIEL, from two unrelated companies.

There must be some phone etiquette fairy or maybe Dr. Phil's making the rounds convincing answering centers of the psychological benefit to pretending like you can solve a problem.

How many of you have heard the exact same words--"I would be happy to help you with that?"

2) I've got to give a big shout out to Drama Queen. A few weeks ago, she and a few of her friends attended band camp at the University of Nebraska.

We were excited to hear Drama Queen's name announced along with another kid as the outstanding campers for the percussion clinic. Way to go, Drama Queen! Not bad for a saxophonist turned oboist turned drummer. We're proud of you!

3) Ladies Man has taken to calling he and his siblings "the cubs" and his father and me Papa Bear and Mama Bear. I'd like to blame it on our bear sighting (see #6), but alas, he's been doing it all summer. He says things like, "The Papa Bear is supposed to provide for his cubs" and "It's the Mama Bear's job to support the cubs." Yeah. Oh brother.

We were riding in the van the other day when he said something goofy and I dismissed it, flinging my hand in the air, accidentally hitting him in the head.

Ladies Man: The Mama Bear's not supposed to smack her cubs.

So I got one in for all you mothers sick of their cubs' smart aleck comments.

Mama Bear: Every good Mama Bear knows how to backhand her cubs into shape. Watch your step, cubby!

4) Drummer Boy wanted to do something daring, but didn't want to do it alone.

Drummer Boy: Hey Dad, if I buzz my hair, will you shave off your moustache?

You must know that Kevin's been sporting his moustache our entire married life with the exception of a time around his fortieth birthday when a midlife whim caused him to lose it for about a week. Drummer Boy has NEVER had a buzz cut, not even as a small child. His trademark bushy hair is his identifying characteristic.

Kevin: You'd really buzz your hair?

Drummer Boy: If you shaved your moustache.

Kevin: You're on.

Summer weeks drug on with no hair being shed anywhere. Until last weekend. Drummer Boy decided he needed to do the dirty deed BEFORE a Sunday, so his dad had to appear in church moustache-less. Here's the result.

Frankly, I'm not sure it's a great look for either one of them, but I'm not one who handles change well. Kevin's already growing his moustache back and will probably be looking "normal" by the weekend. Drummer Boy's may take a little longer, but he'll certainly stay cooler throughout his three weeks of band camps. He did sunburn his scalp this week, though, a totally new experience. The upside is he finally looks good in a hat which reminds me of a funny comment someone left for him on Facebook--"Do you think your band hat will still fit?"

5) After hearing of my plans to go out with a friend, my sweet husband looked at Miss Innocent One and said, "Since Mom will be gone, would you go out on a date with me Friday night?"

Miss Innocent One giggled and accepted without saying too much (who knew it was possible?), but later she smiled wide telling me, "I'm excited for Friday. I get to go on a date with Dad."

Nice work, honey. Now, when is it MY turn?

6) We ate dinner early last night and had to rush off for another event without cleaning up. I patted Drummer Boy on the way out.

Me: Feel free to clean up.

Drummer Boy: Pssht. Yeah.

Which translated means "keep dreaming, lady."

But when we got home an hour later, Drummer Boy was walking out the back door carrying a bag of trash. I was impressed with his thoughtfulness and then about pooped my pants when I walked into the kitchen. The counters were spotless, the dishwasher running and he even lit a candle!

Do you think his heavy hair was weighing down his brain, decreasing his capacity for cleanliness or has he finally found the way to get to a woman's heart? Look out ladies. This boy has new skills!

7) Just when he's getting helpful around the house, Drummer Boy will be moving out soon, darn it. We've sure enjoyed having him around this summer and I know I'll mourn his absence again. He's moving into his first apartment, crossing yet another milestone and leaving a weepy mama in his wake. I sure am proud of him though. He's becoming a terrific man (with an aptitude for cleaning hiding under the radar!).

Now before I start a cry fest, we better wrap this up. Read some other Quick Takes at Conversion Diary. Have a great weekend, friends!


joven said...

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Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Some automatic responses now include "How may I help you with that?" The only difference is that they do not help you unless your response matches something on their lists. Isn't progress great?