Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wrong-teous Indignation

It's amazing, sometimes, what people will get upset about.

I mean, I'm right there when it comes to getting upset with the Bombast cable company's crappy customer service. Christopher dealt with some of that, yesterday, which started with a letter from the company saying that we were about to default on some services as a result of our "downgrade" in our plan. Except that we just upgraded our plan.

So Christopher phoned them - using the number in the letter - which sent him into a dead-ended automated phone tree. When he finally got a person, she said "We only deal with new customers" and hung up. So, when he was pissed off at Bombast, that was - at least to me - totally righteous indignation.

(We eventually got it all figured out - they apparently had to downgrade our service in order to then upgrade it to get us the deal we had been offered. But no one had thought to tell us that. No one had thought to stop the letter from being sent. And no one apologized for the incorrect number on the letter.)

On the other hand, there is the "wrongteous" indignation that just amazes me sometimes. I saw a perfect case of it last week when we went to see a movie.

I was standing in the line for popcorn and pop (err... soda, for many of you), and the woman at the next register was definitely getting off on the wrong foot. She started by bringing in a big cup from the last time she was there, and asking to have it refilled. To which the counterperson politely explained that they don't have a deal like that. But... yeah... not an auspicious start.

As I waited my turn in line, I heard the woman order a whole list of things, including multiple pops/sodas and three orders of chicken tenders and some candy. The counterperson asked if that would be all, and when the woman said it would, the counterperson said "That'll be $37.50."

You'd think she'd said that it was going to be "Thirty-seven dollars and a kidney" from the way the woman reacted. There was a gasp. Then there was a kind of half-step away from the counter. Finally, she asked "How much are the chicken tenders?" (Because we all know that in situations like this the customer has never looked at the display to check on the costs before ordering.) "$7.75." "Seven seventy-five for 3 tenders? That's insane." "You get 5 tenders and sauce..."

At this point, I was trying to focus on my own order - dinner for Christopher and me of large popcorn and pop/soda, so it was close to $20. I figured that, in comparison, $37.50 sounded like a good deal for all she was ordering. I mean, basically, she was getting dinner and dessert - and drinks - for what sounded like 3 or 4 people.

"I'll just have 2. How much would that be?" "With two chicken tenders, it would be $29.75." "You're kidding me."

With my popcorn and pop/soda on the counter, I was about ready to walk away, but there was a little of that "can't look away from the train wreck" feeling. I took an extra moment to get my straws.

I was so glad I stayed, because, out of the corner of my eye, I could see a back-up worker pouring chicken tenders into some massive machine. As if it had been planned, I then heard, "I could go out to dinner for that much money! I've got to think about this. I'm just gonna go away for a while." She stormed off, wrongteous indignation coming off of her like the heat squiggles in a comic strip.

I'm pretty sure at that point the counterperson breathed a sigh of relief, although the back-up person had the look of "what do I do with the chicken tenders I just put in?"

I picked up my priced-as-expected popcorn and pop/soda, and walked over to get some salt.

No comments: