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The Sound of Silence

I had ordered two pairs of black pants from a cheap but fashionable clothes store for my son. He really needed them. I swear the boy grew four inches in the last two weeks. His jeans are all sitting up by his ankles and however much he pulls at them, they will not cover enough leg to not be embarrassing. There was nothing else for it: longer pants were needed and thankfully I could do that for him.

The pants are somewhat of a necessity, and with life being as strange and transient as it is, I decided the best thing to do was to pay for expedited shipping. For the low price of $14.99 you can have 2-3 day shipping. Great I thought! His pants will be here fast, in the extra small size they never have in the shops, and I can avoid risking getting the Delta virus in the inside shopping mall that the physical front of this shop sits in, in the hellish Westfield Mall downtown. I say hellish, but am being kind. The mall is a disaster of violent and erratic denizens, partially empty shop fronts and stuckup rude shop staff in the department stores. Fabulous. All fixed.

Except that I got an email today saying the pants were delayed. That is all well and good, but having paid precious $$$ for fast shipping that was not ok. So I called customer service, and 44 minutes and 77 seconds later I am still on the phone. First of all the woman wanted to ‘assure’ me that it was not late. I informed her that I had received an email saying they were delayed. She uh mmm’d me and tutted irritatedly. Unfortunately, I am the kind of freak that finds a hill and dies on it. I informed her that the shipping fee would be refunded since the company themselves wrote to say they were late. She uhhhmmmm’d uh nah’ed me again. My blood pressure began to rise. She then started to pretend that she could not hear me.

This is where it began to get interesting. Now, I would fuss and baulk at being called a petty little bitch, but that is exactly what I can be. She was ignoring me, finding with her telephone cord. Pretending that she could not hear me. All of a sudden after 20 minutes she turned in an oscar winning performance pretending that she could all of a sudden hear me again! “Oh Miss! It is you! We had a bad line (chip bags crinkled, telephone cord twirled). Can you hear me?” Absolute bullshit. I began to lose my temper. “Come on now, we both know you were just ignoring me, I could hear you talking and giggling!” “I can’t hear you…uh …ma’am”…she went back to her pretense. I pulled a Karen and asked to speak to her supervisor. She then told me the supervisor was busy. I insisted. She made various disapproving noises. I listened to some music for a while, then finally, was treated to an open line and silence for what is now…55 minutes and counting.

I am still listening to an open line, being ignored, and the issue not resolved. I still haven’t spoken to a supervisor. So far I have sung Hello Darkness My Old Friend (Sound of Silence), Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit, Pink Floyd, Hello, Is There Anybody Out There?, I even cranked out some Lionel Richie, Hello, is it me you are looking for, a much underrated song by one of the sweetest voiced men in r and b.

It is now an hour of my time and counting. I have been researching an article I am writing, typing this as I sing various songs on the theme of silence and saying hello, and thoroughly enjoying being petty. I won’t put the phone down. They will get their feedback at the end of the call even if I have to sing the entirety of The Wall.

1 hour and 10 minutes later I finally woke up and used another phone to call customer services. The nice man on the end of the phone refunded my expedited shipping charge and told me when the package would be arriving. I told him about my exploits with his colleague and laughed as he clearly had heard about the crazy woman singing a medley of songs about silence and saying hello and goodbye, and was still holding on the other line, an hour and 15 minutes later.

The world should note the pants were free.

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