Friday, May 22, 2009

The Mighty Pen

Ever get exhausted trying to be the good sister? good aunt? good daughter? Taking the high ground is painful not only on the calves but on the psyche. It's necessary and critical, however, for each of us to leave kindness, compassion and decency in the wakes of our lives. Right?

Case in point: It's not enough that my laptop crashed, my washing machine is dying a slow and painful death, my sewing machine bit the dust with 29 orders on the table, and I didn't get my screenplay done in time for the Nicholl. Oh, no. Open up any rag magazine or turn on Jerry Springer episode and somebody in my extended family is having similar issues for which they expect me to assist in finding a solution. And I try.

So a couple of weeks ago I learned that my nephew has gained enough credit recovery to graduate high school a year late. I immediately set about finding out what I needed to do to get him a tassel and a stole for his borrowed cap and gown. Emailed Jostens three times. They gave me the price, told me their hours and where to go. Got there. Line around the building. Came back next day. Line still around the building. Came back a third time. Stood in line 90 minutes in the sweltering heat only to finally arrive at the counter and be told I needed my nephew's student I.D. They refused to sell the stupid things to me as if I was a student from another school trying to crash somebody's graduation.

Where the heck has customer service gone? Seriously. Instead of saying "oh I'm so sorry nobody told you about the student I.D., let me see what I can do to help", the guy says "I'm been on my feet all day, too". Really? Did you just compare a customer unnecessarily suffering outside in the heat for 90 minutes due to your error to you doing your job in the air conditioning?

Here's the kicker. I get home and read my emails from Jostens and they're from the very same guy who absolved himself from all responsibility and told me to come back Saturday and stand in line again.

So, here I am exercising my right to free speech by saying this -- BUY YOUR SENIOR RINGS FROM WALMART!!


E.C. Henry said...

Marry An, you are such a drama queen; a real life romantic comedy heroin playing out in real time.

The "good sister," eh? Sounds like a romantic comedy TYPE you should tell Billy Mernit about... Now if I was romantic comedy casting agent I would so cast you against a distraught Jennifer Aniston type.
Zooey Deschanel, Judy Greer take a back seat! Mary An Batchelor is movin' in on your action!

Keep rockin'. Don't let the trival things in life derail you. This is the stuff you should draw upon when you write. IF I were you I'd find ways to work this angst of yours into your writing. Coming from a safe 2,500 mile distance, I feel strangely empowered to say that.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

MaryAn Batchellor said...

I do hope to be a drama queen one day. Right now I suppose I'm more of a drama apprentice.

It's true that little things like paper cuts can seem more annoying than a broken bone. Most disappointing to me though is the way we as the human race have evolved into self important centers of the universe oblivious to the sufferings and misfortunes of the people around us. I'm truly sorry for people who work on their feet all day. I really am. It's a tough job. But I was more sorry for the little hispanic woman next to me who was about to faint in the blistering sun.

Thank God - truly - that my kids have more compassion than that self important man who weilded his power like a loaded gun.

My middle son rode our lawn mower down the road to a stranger's house to mow her lawn. Why? Because he had driven past her in his air conditioned camaro and saw her pushing her lawn mower in the scorching heat.

THAT is the way we human beings need to treat one another.

Anonymous said...

Hi MaryAn. My name is Carol and I work for Jostens in Consumer Affairs. If you are still having problems with cap & gown please feel free to call me at 1-800-854-7464. ext 16319

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Thank you, Carol!

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