Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 22, 2008 / 17 Nissan 5768

New phone tactics help me develop new hangups

By Dave Barry


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recently, I had a great idea while waiting on hold for customer service.


That's pretty much all I do these days: wait for customer service. My call is important to them. They have told me this many times in a sincere recorded message. They can't wait to serve me! They will answer my call just as soon as they finish serving the entire population of mainland China.


It's my own darned fault that I need to speak to customer service. We made a really stupid homeowner mistake: We moved to another house. Don't ever make this mistake! It's ALWAYS better to stay in your current house, even if it's actively on fire. If other people have bought your house and are moving in, you should hide in the basement and forage for food at night. Because if you move, you'll end up like us: surrounded by hundreds of cardboard boxes packed by strangers, each box containing an average of one item - perhaps a used toothpick - wadded up inside 75,000 square feet of packing paper. Virtually every box will be labeled with some mutant spelling of the word "miscellaneous." You will not be able to find ANYTHING. For example, I'm pretty sure that, before we moved, we had a 7-month-old daughter.


(I'm kidding, of course. We know exactly where our daughter is. She's inside one of these boxes.)


On moving day, I was crouching in a forest of stacked boxes, attempting to take apart a sleeper-sofa the size of a Chevrolet Suburban so that we could attempt to force it through a doorway the width of Courteney Cox, when suddenly, outside, I heard the movers, who spoke Spanish, shouting something about a serpiente. I could tell by the urgency in their voices that there were upside-down exclamation points at the beginnings of their sentences. So I ran outside, and there, on the front walk, was a snake. In other places, when you move, you're visited by the Welcome Wagon; here in South Florida, you get the Welcome Snake!


But my point, which I am hoping to get to before we reach the end of the column, is that, because we moved, we had to change all the essential services - the electrical, the phone, the mail service, the water service, the cable service, the beer tanker delivery service, etc. - and naturally, because all the companies involved use sophisticated computers, none of these services actually work right in our new house. Everything is mixed up. We have water coming from our phone, and we receive phone calls on our toaster, and when we turn on our kitchen faucet, scenes from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" come gushing out.


So to straighten this mess out, I quit doing my job (whatever that may be) and started spending my days waiting on hold for customer service. While doing this, I got my idea. You know those telemarketing people who always call you at dinnertime?


Lately, they've been using the bizarre term "courtesy call" to describe what they're doing.


"Mr. Barry," they'll say, "this is just a courtesy call to do you the courtesy of interrupting your dinner so I can ask you this question: Would you like to save 50% or more on your long-distance phone bill?"


I always say no. I tell them that I WANT a big long-distance bill, and that I often place totally unnecessary calls to distant continents just to jack it up. I tell them that if my long-distance bill is not high enough to suit me, I deliberately set fire to a pile of cash. Then I hang up. But, of course, this does not stop them. The next night, they call again. That's how courteous they are.


So here's the deal: On the one hand, we have telemarketing people constantly calling us, even though everyone hates them and, to my personal knowledge, nobody in the history of the world has ever bought anything from them; and on the other hand, when we want to reach customer service, we can never get through. Obviously, what corporate America needs to do is round up all the employees in the Telemarketing Department, march them over to customer service, and order them to step over the bodies of the customer service employees, all of whom apparently passed away years ago, and ANSWER THE PHONE, OKAY? Because this toaster is burning my ear.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

For faithful readers, a course in Journalism $1.01
How to speak English very much better
When it comes to laundry, men are all washed up
This houseguest is ready to throw in the towel
Fixing your home can truly be a bonding experience
The lies about this mammal just drive me batty
In spin cycle of love, hard to be delicate
It's just not the time to thumb our nose at bagels
Latest fitness Rx for men is a yawn
My daughter's party, I'll cry if I want to
Sanguine ride on rabid transportation
One experiment worth repeating
Nothing like a good trip to help me see the light
The lord of the dance doesn't have anything on me
Invention clearly worth the brewhaha
Safe on the slopes
Why-oh-why-oh-why-oh…
A gross national columnist
Mr. Language Person: Weird word
I (cough) was a teenage smoker!
Frogs hop into the headlines
Great American turkeys
Mr. Fixit strikes again
‘Einstein Gap’: It's all relative
Lost in space
The Trojan Twinkie Caper
MR. LANGUAGE PERSON: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!
Feeding your worst fears
Sock it to 'em, sartorially
The rubber band man
Does public art make sense?
Needling the birthday boy
On calamities (in the sky and on your head)
Modern medical mysteries
Bored games
Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles