Who Is Hosing Me?
I hope y’all enjoyed the kid-friendly headline. It wasn’t my first choice. -Ed.
I’m looking at one of the 42,000 spinning animations that constitute the soundtrack of my life. In this particular instance it belongs to the Netflix app on my iPad. But really it could be any of them.
One question: Who is responsible for this outage outrage?
Yes, we have the technology to sell technology whether it is ready for prime time or not.
When I was a kid “sit and spin” was consider an insult. Now it’s a phrase that singularly defines an entire generation of tech-hungry consumers.
Who decided this shit was ready? Because I have a serious bone to pick with them.
The technology cycle works like this: Invent. Sell. Count your piles of gold. Then, and only then, stick your head up, look around and see how it works. (Just ask Apple about iOS 8.)
This thing, right here, right now, is not working. Since it takes about 42 pieces of tech just to make this go, how should I proceed? Is there a way for an average schmo like me to logically isolate the culprit? Is there anyone I can call who won’t say, “Nope. It’s not us,” and point the finger at one of the other 41 links in the chain, including me?
I think not.
Is it my ISP? The cable assholes of Satan? Is it the router? The modem? Any points of relay on the internet between me and them? Is it a problem in my iPad? Is it Netflix itself? Is it the Amazon Cloud where Netflix wisely decided to put their egg in a basket? Is it a fucking solar flare?
All I know is that I paid a lot of money for this shit and that money is long gone. And there’s no tech fairy who will make it right.
What a helpless feeling. It’s enough to make my head spin.
This post was written on an iPad using only one finger. Sheer torture.
So you want to be in the mail order business. Whether traditional “brick and mortar” or hanging out your shingle online, you have decided to ask the same question: How easy is it to rip me off?
Mail order is a retail system where fulfillment takes place at a remote location outside of your field of view and control. Think of it as the fog of war. By definition you are operating with less than full information. By design. Remember, this was your choice.
You might as well go in a dark alley and roll some dice. You might get better odds.
Here’s a typical scenario:
- Customer/criminal visits your website and loads up on plastic crap made in China. (Let’s be honest, that’s all you sell.)
- Payment is made with a credit card.
- You rub your hands together in glee, shout “Squee!” and box and ship the crap.
- Customer/criminal fiend receives the crap.
- Customer/criminal fiend then claims crap was never received and “disputes” the charges with the credit card company.
- The credit card company (aka The Vig) is, in this situation, the sole arbiter of truth, justice and the American way. You agreed to this policy.
- You submit all of your detailed records regarding the transaction including: customer order, shipping receipt, emails, phone records, retina scans, DNA samples and a electronic facsimile of thumbprint.
- The credit card company says, “Well, there just ain’t no way to know!” and decides in the
customer’scriminal’s favor. There’s a giant sucking sound as the money is extracted from your account.
Let’s review. What just happened? The customer isn’t out one single penny and the customer has your stuff. Bazinga! And there’s no magical fairy in the universe that’ll ever do one thing about it. Welcome to your new reality.
Those of you who watch Orange Is The New Black may recognize this tactic as employed by the criminal mastermind Lorna Morello during her pre-prison flashbacks. People really get caught for this? No. Remember, OITNB is fiction.
The bottom line is that shipping product mail order to a customer is a supreme act of faith. You’re basically hoping it’ll all work out. And when it doesn’t, there’s isn’t too much you can do about it.
The point is that when this happens the boss is furious and that, of course, is hilarious.
Dear Guru: Offended
I feel offended.
That’s not much of a question but I’ll take what I can get. -Ed.
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Dear Guru: The Gift of Stolen Moments
Welcome to a new semi-regular feature here in the sludge mines. I’m calling it “Dear Guru.” This is where you get to ask me, the self-proclaimed Guru of Negativity, advice questions and I respond by insulting you and/or your intelligence. Why would anyone sign up for this kind of treatment? Perhaps that should be your first question. The questions are flooding in so get on yours quickly if you want some attention. I imagine this column will repeat about every five years or so depending on how many questions are received. Now on to our first victims. -Ed.
Hey, hey, guru. I want to marry you.
Fool! That wasn’t phrased in the form of a question!
I have a dilemma I hope you can help me with. I have a best friend of 40+ years. This friend gives me gifts for birthdays and holidays. I know for a fact that this friend has shoplifted these gifts as this friend confessed to me several years ago. I do not feel right accepting these gifts. Even with her shortcomings she is very dear to me and I don’t want to hurt her. What should I do?
Fanny from Fort Fear
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It all started when I loaned a friend a hammer. A hammer is a tool typically used for driving metal objects known as nails into various materials like wood. Or so I’ve heard.
For the purpose of this story let’s assume I actually owned a hammer.
If we wanted to (and were sufficiently sick in the head) we could think of this loan as a transaction. The hammer represents the principle, my friend is the debtor and I must be, of course, the bank.
It isn’t too hard to assume my friend is a
debtbeat deadbeat and never returned the bloody thing. Amazingly, even though I dunned him many, many times, and threatened to assess late fees of 1.5 percent on a monthly basis.
Finally that worthless so-and-so left me no recourse. After consulting my voluminous and most accurate
scribbles documentation, I looked up his address and drove across town. I was literally seeing red. My goal? To retrieve the hammer and write the dude off as my friend.
I kicked in his door, tore the place apart, and, having found my precious hammer, I got the hell out of dodge.
The only problem? I made the totally understandable mistake of going to the wrong house. The hammer I repossessed wasn’t even mine. In my defense, it was of similar design. Oops. My bad.
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