This is how they Repay you

The other morning I was out for a walk before work. I do the same path every day. I walk behind my apartment complex and it leads to a little shopping center that I pass. This specific morning it was early, about 5 am. I see that a truck had been broken into. There was glass everywhere. The doors were open. Shit was everywhere. As I was walking, I debated what I should do. I mean, the robbery already happened, should I even bother calling the police? I don’t know what the protocol is on that. I didn’t want to call 911 because I felt like they’d think I was an idiot. It obviously wasn’t an emergency. I really didn’t want to call anyone at all. It’s not my fucking business what happens in this shopping center, so what do I give a shit. 
I ended up deciding to call the police department itself, instead of the emergency number. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I call up and after a lot of button clicking and redirecting, I finally get to speak with a human being. I tell her my name and say, “hey, I’m just out walking the dog and I saw a car had been broken into and basically destroyed on the corner of etc etc. So, she says, “hmm, hold on one second.” She comes back and says that’s right outside of the area we care for so you should call the other police department. I said, “I already tried that department, they’re not open until 8.” She then tells me, “ok, well then you can call back at 8 and report it.” I ask her, “if it was in my complex would you come see?” She responds, “well, yes that’s part of Henderson police jurisdiction.” So you mean when I literally step 25 ft out of the conplex you can’t come help? Super comforting. 

What the fuck is wrong with this woman. Does she actually think I’m going to just again, waste my time to make this phone call again? It’s not even my fucking car. You try to the do the right thing and this is what happens. So, I said, “look lady, I’m not calling anyone else, do whatever you want with this information, but I’ve done my part as a concerned citizen.” I don’t give a shit enough to call again. I barely cared enough to call the first time. I mean the two cities that I live between might as well be one. It baffled me that she couldn’t do anything at all. She would rather me wait for three hours.

I guess its just a car theft so it’s not that big of a deal. I just wonder what I would’ve done if it was actually my car. I obviously wouldn’t have waited until 8. I would’ve called 911 and said, “we have an emergency, the woman over at Henderson dispatch is a fucking moron. What are we going to do about that?”

People really are doing the opposite of what Robert Frost said. No one is taking the path less traveled. People are taking the path of least resistance and for this lady, it was the ‘do nothing’ path.

Catastrophizing

Have you ever heard of this word? It’s what a therapist would define as making a catastrophe out of a situation where people would normally shrug their shoulders. I apparently do this pretty often. For example, I ran to the supermarket during lunch yesterday to get my food shopping done so I could have more time after work to get other shit done. I forgot the garlic. When I got home and realized, I yelled, “Mother Fucker!” I was genuinely pissed off. Finally, Marisa said, “Vin it’s garlic, do we really need it?”

I kind of realized, “shit she’s right.” Is the stuffed pepper going to taste substantially different without a few extra pieces of garlic? Probably not. The day before that, we got our rent bill in the mail. It was twice the normal rent. Fucking twice. I didn’t open the bill until after business hours. Naturally, I thought they were charging us double rent because the dog moved in with us. What other logical solution could there possibly be? It must obviously cost double the rent to have an animal here. That’s why there’s like 50 dogs in this complex.

Obviously, they weren’t charging us rent for the dog. That wouldn’t make any sense. In my head I conjured up how they could basically do whatever they want and take all of my money. Not the case. I went into the office the following day ready to kill someone.

A pregnant woman walks out of the office. All I can think about is, “what is the protocol for yelling at pregnant woman?” I really doubt that you’re supposed to do that. I’ll pretty much yell at anyone. But a pregnant woman? I’m not really sure if I’m allowed to do that.

Before I could even take my deep breath to tee off on this woman, she says, “are you here because of your bill?” I responded, “uh, yeah.” She told me, “Oh it was a mistake if they doubled it, just pay what you normally pay.” Still kind of pissed off, I asked her, “why didn’t anyone send an email out yesterday when it happened?” She said, “I’m actually working on the email now.” (I didn’t receive this email for another 2 hours) It was 2 o’clock in the afternoon. It took her all day to sort this shit out? Pregnant or not, move it or lose it lady.

At least after this conversation I was able to blow some steam off on the cable company who keeps fucking with me. Marisa just sits there laughing at me. Apparently it’s funny when Vinny gets all worked up. Everyone is a fucking comedian.

It is funny that people can let this stuff all roll off their shoulders, meanwhile I’m preparing for the end of the world, diagnosing myself with cancer, and pretending that I can read people’s minds.

I think a little bit of both is necessary. If no one prepares for the worst, who will be ready when it happens. I try to chill a little bit about the little stuff. Usually, a glass of wine with a nice healthy pour does the trick.

I  feel like I’m more prepared than other people for worst-case scenarios, but I’m really not. I think I’m the last person you should come running to during the apocalypse or when the undead begin to rise.  I’d be every black guy in every scary movie ever.

Sirius Radio

My Sirius radio subscription expired on Friday and they charged my credit card $216. I love Sirius radio. Well, actually I love Howard Stern. The rest of the stations I couldn’t really give a shit about. I decided that I can’t afford to listen to the radio for that type of money. I gave Sirius a call to see if I could either get a better price or if not, to cancel the account.

I get on the phone with this gentleman with a very thick accent. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… I decided I was in the mood for a little hardball. I was ready for a solid argument. I get on the phone and tell him I want to cancel the account. Naturally, they want you to rejoin the subscription. There must be some type of incentive for them to sign you up. The man says, “May I ask why you’re cancelling, sir?” I wanted to start off as nicely as possible, I respond, “of course you can ask me why I’m cancelling.” Then I sat there in silence, waiting for him to ask me again, why I was cancelling. The first round of chicken in these sorts of conversations.

Finally, he budges after about 15 seconds of awkward silence. He asks again, “why are you cancelling your account sir?” I said, “to be honest the service isn’t worth $216 for the year. I only listen to one station.” Which to be honest it really isn’t worth it for me. My drive to work is 3 minutes long. I listen to Howard for about 5 minutes before I walk into work, and I don’t want to pay that much money for that. I can sit in silence instead.

He then proceeds to tell me that I paid the same price the year before and asks me, “why was the service worth it last year?” Very good tactic my call center friend. Use logic, if I paid for it once, I’ll pay for it again. Not today sir, not today. Last time, they charged my credit card and I didn’t realize until a month later.  But I wasn’t going to admit that level of stupidity, especially, to this man answering phones to argue with people for a living. Although, I feel like I could be very good at his job. I explained to him, in a way that makes no logical sense, that last year it was worth it. This year it is not.

He didn’t seem to understand so I cut to the chase. No more games. No more “Mr. Nice Guy.” I say, “listen sir, I’m not going to explain to you why I paid what I paid last year. I’ll pay $100 for the year and that’s as much as I will pay.” He pretended to sound very caught off guard and says, “Sir, that, uh, is a very exquisite price.” I inform him, “Well, ‘sir’, I’m a very exquisite guy.” I get my very first laugh out of him. Score: Vinny – 1, Human Answering Machine – 0.

I know that this guy has a price that he can sell the service to me. You have to play the waiting game though, right? He now says, “sir, I’m going to put you on hold. I have to talk to my manager.” He puts me on hold for like 5 minutes which I can only imagine that he got up from his cubicle to go take a shit. This tactic is the idea that if I wait long enough I’ll run out of time to negotiate and will have to accept his price. Little does he know, I set up a specific hour to have this conversation. He returns to the phone and gives me another offer. $118. Not the price we asked for.

I say to the man, “hear me out, I understand you’re selling a product and if you don’t want to give it to me at that price I understand, but I’m not negotiating I’m telling you the highest we’re going today is $100.” Now he wants to be a smart-ass. He says, “do you want me to pay your taxes and fees on it?”

It’s amazing what these jerk-offs will say to you to try to sell it to you. I say, “my friend, I wouldn’t expect you to pay my taxes and fees. Lower the price to $87 and I’ll pay the taxes and fees and it will come out to $100.” He starts explaining how taxes work now and I had to quickly cut him off.  I say thanks, but no thanks and I try to hang up. Then he asks, “what about $36 for 6 months?”

Really man. I had to be on the phone with you for 35 minutes to figure that one out? You wanted to charge me 6 times the price. Granted it was for a year, rather than 6 months. So 3 times the price overall, if we’re counting by month.

But in the long run Sirius is losing money on this deal. He could’ve gave me the year for $100 and they would make $50 every 6 months. Maybe they are relying on the idea that in 6 months, I’ll forget again. But I won’t. I gave him a credit card and only authorized a one-time payment. Now they are only making $36 for 6 months. Capitalism is really something these days.

Nothing is a fixed price though. Always remember that everything is negotiable. Fight for what you want. Even if it is just a talk show host for 5 minutes in the morning. Stay tuned because I’m going to attempt this tactic in the supermarket soon. $2 for an avocado? Sorry, I’ll take the five finger discount.

 

The One with the Road Rage

So last week I went home to NY for the weekend. I got back to Vegas late on a Sunday and was exhausted by the time I got to work the next morning. Fast forward to the afternoon when I’m done for the day and have to drive home. I get in my car, naturally, I’m just annoyed because it’s a Monday afternoon. I still have to go food shopping and cook for the next few days. I’m driving home, and as I’ve said before (if you’ve been listening), there is a ton of road work every where. A lot of the roads near my house are one lane for this reason. So I’m on this one lane road by my house and get stuck behind this person trying to make a left. There’s no stop sign in the direction I’m going but the crossing street has a stop sign. Finally, the guy in front of me makes a left and I start to go forward when this jerk off on my right side decides it is his turn to go. Which, it is obviously not his turn, vis-à-vis the stop sign.

Naturally, I start waving my arms at him in New York fashion. This fucker has the balls to open his window and start yelling at me. He literally says, “what the heck man?” He said heck. Like if you’re going to yell at me at least make it worth your while. So I open my window and release the last 36 hours of New York on him. I yell back, “Fuck you jerk off you have a fuckin’ stop sign.” So then he proceeds to tell me about my manners and responds with, “you have no manners man.” That actually kind of pissed me off because who is this guy to talk about my manners and in reality what the fuck does manners have to do with driving. So that’s when I told him, “we’re in the middle of the road not your mother’s dinner table, follow the fucking rules of the road!” He starts to retort but I had already decided I was done arguing with this moron. I stuck my head out the window and used the manners my Mother taught me and yelled a polite “Fuck you!” So to my fellow transient New Yorkers, remember your manners, but more importantly, remember where you’re from.

Memberships

So I was sitting here think about what I should write about and then it hit me. As I’m sitting here I get an email from a company I ran a 10K through saying my trial membership is up and they charged my credit card on file with 70 bucks. Before I even made the phone call I knew this is exactly what I was going to write about. I was just saying the other day that it’s almost like I hope people do stupid things just so I can write about it. Without fail, there will never be a lack of material.

So I call this company up and explain that I didn’t sign up for a membership, I signed up for one race. I also explained how I never got an original email telling me about this “trial membership” I supposedly signed up for. The guy tells me, “I’m not sure what I can do about that.” I obviously than retorted with, “Well here let me explain, you’re going to cancel the year long membership you signed me up for and had me pay in one shot and you’re going to refund the money. Does that help you be more sure?” He grumbles and says, “relax sir, we’re going to figure this out.” At this point, after he tells me to relax, I’m ready for a real argument. Nothing like a real good argument. So I say, “There’s really nothing to figure out. Cancel the membership, refund the money and let’s make this a quick phone call.” He tells me, “Alright sir, I’ve been authorized to refund the money. You must have opted in for the year long membership when you signed up.” This guy just had to throw this in there. He had to say it was my fault. He doesn’t even know me and he can’t accept the blame. Clearly the company is conning people into signing up. I didn’t sign up for a year long membership to run races. Who the fuck am I Usain Bolt. I did one fucking race. So I said “Listen guy, thanks for the refund but I didn’t sign up for a year long membership. That’s why I’m on the phone with you.” He hung up on me. But that’s fine man.

I appreciate the stupidity in the world. I’m sure I’m part of it. I’m sure the guy I got in an argument with in the middle of the road the other day would have some pretty choice words to say about how stupid I am. But I’ll save that story for another time. Nothing like some good old-fashioned New York road rage. I’m surrounded by assholes. Stay tuned.

The Tailor

I’m sure everyone has been to a tailor before. I always have to get pants hemmed. I went to the dry cleaners yesterday to drop some clothes off and I figured I’d get a pair of pants hemmed while I was there. So I walk in hand them my clothes and everything and then tell the guy about the pants. So he proceeds to ask me “how much do you want off the pants.” So I answered back “I don’t know the right amount.” So he calls the manager over and she asks the same question to which I respond “I don’t know I’m a short fat guy and the pants are long I want them shorter.” The woman obviously was not going to measure me as she asked next “what size are you?” she never actually measured me. So she’s basically going to guess how the pants are going to look on me. I’ve never had pants tailored like this. I’ve never not had them measured. I don’t know why people aren’t smart. I can’t answer that. I can tell you that I’m very well aware that these pants are not going to fit me when I go back, either that or they’ll look like fucking bell bottoms. I just don’t understand how no on else has ever been confused by this at her business. No one else ever wonders why they don’t get measured. Maybe I should have walked out. I probably should have. But they already had my shirts so was I really going to say you’ll probably fuck up the pants so I’ll just leave the shirts. I’m really interested in how this is going to turn out so I guess we’ll just have to see. I am excited to try the pants on in the store though so that when they don’t fit, she knows what she did.