You asked for it … you know you wanted it ... now you got it.
It’s one of the rare Friday nights that I work – because we all know that I can’t get enough of the House of Wal – and I’ve yet to find a man wealthy enough to keep me in the style to which I could become accustomed.
I’m alone at Customer Service – of course – trying not to think about how much my feet hurt. I’m sorting through a cart of returns and cataloguing the stuff that’s been stolen and already hating the fact that Christmas carols are playing on the speakers.
Suddenly Customer Service is mobbed with people. Old people. Young people. WOACAs. Tall people. Short people. Skinny people. Fat people. I think I even saw some Canadians. Not too much in the way of white trash though.
They are obviously all together, because they have the same T-shirt on, but I can’t quite make out the connection. Orange and white T-shirts don’t ring a bell with me for anything other than Tennessee football – and somehow, I don’t think that’s it for this group that is wandering around in the bowels of Florida.
ME: “Can I help ya’ll?”
THEM: “Yeah. We want to return these posts.”
ME: “Fence posts? We don’t sell fence posts.”
THEM: “No. Your stories.” Oh. You mean the ones I wrote? The ones you didn’t write? The ones you didn’t create? The ones you didn’t put out there?
ME: “What’s wrong with them?”
THEM: “We don’t like them.” Cause nobody like nothing they get for free.
ME: “What specifically was wrong with them?” Other than the fact that no one likes change?
THEM: “Did you really intend to regurgitate this same story all week long, but in a different style each time?” Yep. That’s pretty much what I said I was going to do. Yeah. One story, five times.
ME: Speechless. Realizing at this point that I have never misjudged something so badly in all my life. My first boyfriend. My second girlfriend. Any decision. Ever. In the entire history of time. This ranks right up there with Little Bighorn or the decision to invade Russia in the winter.
THEM: “Well, when we first started reading, you were kinda funny. We liked you then. The first few posts were fine. But the last ones in our RSS reader really sucked. They sucked hard. They sucked like a Lewinsky-bot. We want to return them. We didn’t hardly read them. They have the html tags on them and everything.”
ME: “But see, you did read them. I can’t give you money back on something you already read.” And you read it for free. Didn’t even click on my ads now did you?
THEM: “The posts didn’t look good – especially that Jane Austen mess. And don’t get us started on Gabriel Garcia Marquez and that priestess wench. We want some cash back. Right now.”
ME: “Well, do you got a receipt.”
THEM: “Naw man. We read it online. Books are so like last century.”
ME: “Well, you can’t have cash back without a receipt.”
THEM: “No. That is not acceptable. These posts were NOT ACCEPTABLE. It crashed my browser and I DEMAND MY CASH BACK!”
ME: “Look. Ya'll got them for free. On the Internet. And you don’t have a receipt.” Why are you complaining? If you hated it, wait a week. It changes, like the weather.
THEM: “I demand to speak with an editor immediately.”
ME: “I write it. I edit it. And you’re going to have to deal with it.”
THEM: “I still want a refund. And some free hosting for my trouble.”
ME: “Like I said. It was free. I can’t refund something you got for free.” This isn’t Wal-Mart. I’m not a spineless jellyfish of a manager. You can and will be getting the big N-O as an answer.
THEM: “Do you realize how long I’ve been reading here?”
ME: “And?” I realize you care. You care enough about me to leave hateful troll comments imploring me to stop even though I was clearer than glass about the fact that this was a five-day experiment.
THEM: “If you won’t refund these crappy posts, I’m going to take you off my RSS feed.”
ME: “Thank you for your feedback. Would you like a comment card?” When you’re done, drop them in that round can with the plastic Hefty bag inside. Please. Yes. Do take me off your RSS. If you're reading me on RSS, you’re not giving me ad impressions. And if you really dislike my writing enough to leave me a venomous comment, I’m not so sure I want you around anyway.
THEM: “This is stupid. If you want to keep your readers, stop it.” Don't drink too much of that there haterade now!
ME: “Thank you for your feedback, would you also like a comment card?”
THEM: “But we’re important. We are your readers. We demand to be heard.”
ME: “That’s right. I’m listening. I’ll never do anything like this again.” I SWEAR BY THE MANY ARMS OF SHIVA THAT I WILL NEVER DO ANOTHER TRIBUTE POST AS LONG AS I AM ALIVE. McDonald’s could take a lesson from me. Stick to what you know.
THEM: “I'll be back next week when things have hopefully gotten back to normal.”
ME: “You do that.”
THEM: “So we’re cool then? Can we get back to normal now?”
ME: “I guess so.”
THEM: “Good. But let that be a warning. Don’t stray from the path again.”
ME: “I can't deny the fact that you hate me, right now, you hate me.”
Regular posting resumes Sunday or Monday. And we have another guest post this week. Thank you for all your comments, emails and diatribes. Even if you hated it. ☺