Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Grabbing the Bull by the Horn


Whilst I have no clue whatsoever as to the etymology of referring to a telephone as a “horn”, I seem to have been a tin-eared elk honking like an out-of- tune saxophonist this past week...

“This call will be recorded for quality control purposes” the mechanical voice properly officiously informed me as I dialed a utility company with a simple question.

“Yeah, God willing”, I accidentally sighed out loud.

“OK.  Got it.  I’ll transfer you to billing.”

“Wait, wait, wait; NOOO!

Crap...  Welcome to thirty minutes of pressing buttons on the “horn”...

Are there really no more living, breathing human beings available to pick up the phone except out-sourced companies that leave you on hold with Muzak and then transfer you to another country?


In a worthy attempt to keep my expenses down, but craving some beef, I purchased a bacon cheeseburger at a local mini-mart from their refrigerated section and wagged home the chilly cow.

YAY!  Time for a tasty lunch, yes?!

“Insert burger into store microwave and press #3”.


“Customer satisfaction is guaranteed!” the label read all happily, with an 800 number for my requisite ‘customer satisfaction’.  (Cue more Muzak.)

“Hi.  I bought a bacon cheeseburger from your company, but didn’t cook it in the store.  Can you help me with approximately how much time I should nuke it as to the equivalence of whatever is #3?”

“Oh, I don’t have that kind of specific specs maam. But thank you for calling, and have a great day!”

Are you kidding me???  Yeah, let’s just wing it with E.coli!!!


Still feeling a bit bullied by my on-line Tech Support, I frowned at my computer which was encouraging me to follow seven steps of uploading/downloading (I don’t understand the difference) for technological blah, blah, blah...  (No thanks to my nephew Austin, who is an absolute genius, but is currently waaay too busy being a teenager to help me.  Rebellion.  Got it.)

So, sometimes you just have to take the bull by both horns.

Sending a seriously crabby email (this One Red Cent was in her own rebellious mood); I asked just what the heck I was paying for. 

I’ve seen the little window pop up, and I know that they have the remarkable ability to access my poot remotely!  So, why should I have to sit through all of their idiotic procedures for a program that I never wanted in the first place?

“You’re going to have to allow me remote control, and the current queue is 70 minutes long.”

And pawing at the ground like a bull, I stood my ground, ever at the ready.

“Thank you” I typed, most kindly.




Lastly, aroused during a pleasant mid-day catnap, I awoke to yet another mechanical voice on my landline from my telephone/computer service jarring me into calling their 800 number lest my account catastrophically collapse. 


“Hi and hello, I paid my bill the day after I received it in the mail” I explained truthfully to ‘Ethan’, who tappety-tap-tapped on his computer during the majority of our conversation.  ”Yes, I received your email a week ago identifying my usual monthly bill” I continued, “but I write actual checks to pay my bills.”

And baffled by a dinosaur such as myself, Ethan continued on with his scripted dialogue...

“So, just to be clear, may we use your cell phone to send you text alerts when upgrades are available?”

“Absolutely not” I replied, feeling very much like a bull about to tear down the streets of Pamplona and gore him long distance in the belly.

(Hey, I’m an Actor by trade, and I respect the written script handed to me, but sometimes you need to be aware when your fellow Actor in a scene has fallen off the same page.)

“Sooo, you really DON’T want to be contacted in advance by any form of social media?” simple, stupid well-meaning Ethan sat ever-so confused, confounded that not everything in the world must be handled with whack-a-doodle technology.

(Feel free to insert some sort of rolling eyes emoticon here.)


And just when I thought I’d finally tackled the bull by the horns...


Yes, kind readers, a fax machine is now apparently in love with my cell phone and calls the private number five times a minute every morning with cheery beeps.  (Good grief...)

Maybe some days, we’re all snuffed by the bull?

Unplugging everything for a few hours, but always hopeful for a better tomorrow!




Darrayl Hampton said...

Miss you so much!

Big D

Michael Taylor said...

Oh Penny, where did you go, and why did you leave us? I just found out, and am reeling at the news. You were much too young to go, and had so much yet to give. I'll miss those blue eyes, red hair, and saucy smile...

Heather Copeland said...

I only just found out about this due to taking a break to have a kid, but I'm terribly sad to have found out.

Penny, you will be greatly missed, and fondly remembered for taking a lowly PA from Canada into your fold.

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I just found out, and am reeling at the news. You were much too young to go,
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