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December 19th, 2008

Brown Paper Ticket fail

So I attended an event a little over a month ago, and tickets were pre-order only, through Brown Paper tickets. I procrastinated and waiting until a week before the event to order my tickets. I paid $5 more for priority shipping, which the website states will guarantee be delivered within 3 business days. Okay, good. Keep in mind the total for these two tickets was about $135.

Cut to the day before the event. My tickets haven't arrived. The website states to call the company if this happens. I do, and they change my tickets to Will-Call, and tell me to bring my confirmation email and everything will be fine. Good.

Later that evening, I go to the ATM to take out all $280 in my bank account to spend at the event. The ATM says I have insufficient funds. WTF? I call my mom and ask her to check my online banking, and she tells me that the ticket company charged me again for the tickets. I'm furious, and call them back.

The guy on the phone says that they refunded the original $130 and then recharged for $125, to refund me the extra $5 I payed for shipping. I didn't care about the $5, and ask why the refund hasn't shown up. "It takes a few days," he said. Um, sorry, so that means if I hadn't had the $130 in my account, I would've been overdrawn? I am not amused. I argue this, and that I never, EVER approved for them to do this. I would have just had them keep the measley $5.

He says that it's the bank's responsibility, and that there's no way I could have been overdrawn. Actually, I WOULD HAVE. Dumbass. I ask for the manager, and he says he IS the manager. I'm very pissed off, because that money was supposed to be spent at the event, and now I'm a poor college student with NO MONEY for the next 5 business days. He says there's nothing more he can do for me, and I say that I will kindly never have business with Brown Paper Tickets again. I mean, really. You can't just go taking hundreds of dollars from people's bank account without asking. UGHHHHHHH.

tl;dr: Ticket company takes $130 out of my bank account without my permission.

Library fail!

OK, so I'm writing a paper for school and I need a primary (firsthand) source on Haitian arts and culture. I go through the library's catalog, and my particular branch of the library doesn't have anything. However, the library told me when I first got my card about this awesome reserve system they have where you can order in books from other libraries in the county and get them within 2 weeks. The catalog mentions one book that fits the requirements for my paper, which is available at four locations elsewhere in the county. I go to the information desk, put the book on reserve, and she says the library will notify me when the book arrives and that it should be in in less than 2 weeks. I think this is great. I'll get the book in 2 weeks, and still have about 2 weeks after that to work on my paper. Plenty of time!

When three weeks pass and I don't hear anything, I go to the library and ask what's up. The lady at the info desk looks up my account to see the call number of the book I reserved. I can see the computer screen at this point. The status says, "Request Pending," and at all four locations, the book is listed as having been on the shelf (i.e., not checked out) for far longer than the book has been on reserve. The account also says that I'm next in line to receive a copy of the book (which means, not only has no one checked it out in all this time, no one else has put it on reserve either). The librarian calls the other branches. One branch says they'll send it out and it'll be there within a couple days.

Another week passes. I haven't found any other firsthand sources anywhere else, and I'm getting desperate. I return to the library, and the librarian at the main desk says, "Your account says you're next in line to get the book." So I go back to the info desk to see why the book still hasn't arrived a month after I put it on reserve. She calls up the other branches that have copies of the book. Three of them, including the one she called last time, are closed for the holidays and won't re-open until January. The fourth branch is open, but can't find their copy of the book. The librarian then spends an hour going through the library catalog (which I could have done myself) and getting out books on Haiti (travel books and history books) for me, even after I told her several times that those books did not meet my school's requirements because they are not primary sources.

Thanks a lot, guys. Now, I only have a few days left to finish a paper that I'd written based entirely on the premise that I'd get that other book to finish up with. Not only that, but I also have to find a new primary source somewhere else. I waited a whole month for that book. I spent an entire month operating under the premise that that particular book would arrive in time. A month is plenty of time to tell me that the book is not available. Yet nobody said or did anything during that entire month to indicate that there was a problem. Now I have to ask for an extension so that I have time to find another primary source and finish my paper. This is not the first case of bad service I've had in this town that was based on poor communication between employees, but it damned well better be the last one I have to deal with for a long time.

At 9:15 this morning I arrived at the mall, hoping to grab something quick before the rage of last min shoppers showed up, yet be able to take my time if I needed it before my shift.

I entered through to food court and noticed that Burger King, Subway, and Gold Rush Coffee were open... or at least looked open.

Subway had all of it's lights on... every single one... so it glowed brightly in the naturally lit food court considering that it was a rainy day and sunlight was minimal. The big neon sign that says "SUBWAY" ---was--- on.

So I walk over... I see all the cheese and meat and veggies in the little sandwich bar that they use, and there were two girls back there just chatting. I walked up to the "order here" spot and waited quietly. Both girls continued to chatter, then one looked at me and walked over like she was going to help me only to say "We're closed."

Oh... um.. okay. Because all the other Subways in the area open at 7:30AM (college student likes $5 footlongs)  and this particular food court opens at 8AM I was a little confused, especially since every single light was on and there were two employees up front. I asked what the hours were, planning to just come back later. (There were no posted hours -I looked.)

The girl looked to her co-worker, then looked back to me and said loftily "Oh... 9:30... 10'oclock". Her tone had me honestly wondering if she'd finish with 'Like, you know... whenever'.

That got some raised eyebrows  from me, and I instantly felt she was lying too me.  I wouldn't have minded waiting fifteen minuets, but 45 when she sounded like she was making up  her hours  on a whim?

No thank you.
 
I decided to get breakfast at work, so I could get my employee discount for the airport clam chowder (suprisingly good for airport food), but I was still miffed. I'm fairly sure she was doing something that her employer would not be happy about - such as blowing off customers because she didn't feel like working.  I have half a mind to ask the manager what bs is this, so s/he can ask her the very same thing.

Oh the wonders of having a uterus

Seeing a post about gender discrimination in a comic book store reminded me of this little gem.

From the subject I hope you have guessed that I am of the female gendered variety but I am also an avid gamer and technogeek. Yes I know, shocking.

The day after Christmas when I was about 17 or so I went with my then boyfriend to Fry's (big-box tech store) for their crazy sales. We waited in line for about an hour before the store opened and we each had a mental list of the things we desperately needed for computer upgrades.

The doors finally open and we split up. I find the 250gb hard drive I wanted, but since computer hardware is very expensive and very tiny you must find a person to print out a slip that you turn in at the register once you give them your money. After waiting patiently next to one of the worker-bee kiosks I realize I'm being ignored by all the employees. To get one to even look at me I had to literally block their way in and out of the kiosk. I tell the employee what my heart's desire is in hard drive form and am greeted with "Are you sure you know how to replace your existing hard drive?" I assure him that I am fully competent, having built the damn thing from the case up, but am still met with reluctance to sell me what I want. He tries to steer me towards the fully built computer section but I stand firm.

Lather, rinse, repeat. For every single item I wanted I was met with skepticism about whether or not I could actually utilize the damn hardware I was spending a couple hundred bucks for. I finally had to fetch my boyfriend and basically use him as my puppet. Slightly self-defeating but much much faster.

After getting the things I wanted I decided to browse the console games section to see if there were any deals where I was met by yet another Employee of Doom. He asks me if I'm looking for anything specific to which I reply that I'm just browsing. But he will. Not. Stop. I am asked if I am looking for a game for my brother. And then for my boyfriend. And then for my son. MY. SON.

I look young for my age, even now at 25 I get asked if I'm still in high school, so back then I looked about 12. I then came to the conclusion that this lovely young gentleman couldn't come to terms with the fact that I might possibly be buying a game for myself.

That's when I'd finally had enough. I asked for the manager who was very dismissive about the treatment I had gotten, paid for my things and left.

Same Old, Same Old

Dear UPS,

Today, I received a package from my mother, delivered via your service.  It was delivered between 4:00pm, when I arrived home, and 6:00pm-- I'm not sure when, because my doorbell wasn't rung.  I found my package when I was leaving my house at 6:00pm.

Before, when I've had packaged delivered via UPS, I've had "missed delivery" notices left when I haven't been home.  This service is not only appreciated, but what I assumed was considered standard, as I live on a busy, urban street.  I share an outdoor entryway with two other flats, have a laundromat located next door, and two bus lines have stops within sight of my front door.  This leaves ample opportunity for theft of my belongings.

I realize that the package said "perishable," so it should be delivered in a timely manner.  This does not mean that my packages should be treated with a total disregard to their security.  

I have several expensive packages due to be arriving via your service over the next few days, and would appreciate them not being left unattended.

Sincerely,

(The woman VERY happy she decided to stay home and do laundry tonight)

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