Sunday, July 30, 2006


"Thank you for calling Nokia Customer Service. How can I help you?"
"I need to order a new part for my phone, please."
"You can do that on our website at www dot nokia dot com."
"I looked, but I can't find the phone I have."
"What's the model number?"
"I don't show that model has been released in the US yet, ma'am."
"Well, I bought it overseas. All I need to do is order a part."
"You'll have to go back to the website, and go to the page for the country you bought it in."
--momentary pause--
"Okay, I'm there... Where do I go?"
"I don't know, ma'am."
"Isn't there some one who can just contact your Middle Eastern service center and order a part for me?"
"No ma'am."
"So you can't do anything for me at all, is that correct?"
"I can sell you a new phone."
"I don't want a new phone. I like the one I have, I just need a new display."
"I'm sorry, ma'am."
"So you have no correspondence with any of your other offices whatsoever? There's no one I can speak to?"
"No, ma'am."
"Right, then. Thanks for um... answering..."
"Thanks for calling Nokia Customer Service."

Dear Nokia:

I have damaged the screen on my phone (model 3230) that I got while in
Qatar. The US support can't help me; they have no information that the
model even exists. I need to purchase a new display screen for the
phone, but I don't know how to do that. I am now back in the United
States. I would like very much to simply purchase the part and continue
using my Nokia phone. Please let me know how to proceed in purchasing the
Thank you
Thank you for contacting Nokia.

You will be receiving a reply from one of our Customer Care
Representatives within the next 48 hours.

Have a good day.

[This is an automatically generated acknowledgement. Please do not
reply to this e-mail.]

72 Hours Later....

Dear Mouth,

Thank you for emailing Nokia Careline.

With regards to your enquiry, kindly be informed that this is the link
of our Authorized Service Centre there in USA:,2854,,00.html?no_zip=1
contact them they will definitely help you about the it.

Should you have any further enquiries, or if we can be of any
assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Nokia Careline via 'ASK Nokia'
located at

Register withections and you will receive a monthly fun newsletter
about the latest products and events. Click below to register.

Kind regards,

Berthe Alassane
Nokia Careline

As I stated in my original email, the American service Center told me
they couldn't help me, since that model wasn't released in the US "yet"
(so the customer service gal said). Apparently, if they don't sell the
phone stateside, they can't order parts, either. She had no record
that the model even exists.

It's alright, though... I just got another phone, from a different
company, and signed up for wireless service with them. It was a little
more expensive, and I don't like it quite as well, but at least when I
call and ask them a question, they don't ignore me or make me wait over a
week to give me an answer. I donated my old Nokia phone when I bought
the new one. It'll wind up in the trash, which is where it belongs,
since it cannot be repaired.

I'm glad Nokia is so big that they don't have to attend to each
individual customer. It made my decision to switch brands very easy.

Have a nice day!

Thank you for contacting Nokia.

You will be receiving a reply from one of our Customer Care
Representatives within the next 48 hours.

Have a good day.

[This is an automatically generated acknowledgement. Please do not
reply to this e-mail.]
96 Hours Later...

Dear Mouth,

Thank you for emailing Nokia Careline.

We sincerely regret to hear that

With regard to your enquiry, kindly be informed that we are a technical
support center, providing our services to all Nokia customers from the
Middle East and North Africa, who are facing difficulties with their
Nokia mobile products.

Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to
contact the Nokia Careline and speak to any of our Customer Service
Executives on +44-207-365-5309, between the hours of 9am and 8pm (local
time), Saturdays to Thursdays. For online assistance, please visit ASK
Nokia at our website

Register with Nokia Connections and you will receive a monthly fun
newsletter about the latest products and events. Click below to register.

Kind regards,

Liyth Nissirat
Nokia Careline

I know I'm only one client, and I know my situation was unique. I've also worked in service positions since I was 14 years old. There's always going to be one customer with a unique situation. There will always be problems you don't have the answer to, and always situations that are difficult and uncomfortable. You take care of that person as best you can, regardless of how many hoops you have to jump through.


Because when you work in service, the only reason you have a job is because that one person with the unique, pain-in-the-ass situation decided you were the person who could help them.

I'd like to thank Nokia for reminding me of that. Now, when Agents are screaming at me, and customers are sobbing into the phone, and I just want to throw my hands up and walk away, I have a glaring reminder of what it feels like to be the person on the other end who just wants to hand over their cash in exchange for a little bit of attention, courtesy, and a genuine desire to make it right.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I haven't spent much time outside lately. Haven't walked through the woods. Haven't explored the rural expanses beyond the suburbs. How, then, did my usually smooth, rounded, sun-dappled shoulder wind up mottled with a nasty, bubbly, itchy rash?

Despite the smokin hot Jessica Rabbit lookalike from the Batman series, there ain't a damn thing sexy about Poison Ivy.

"Did you do any yardwork this weekend?" asked the too-cute pharmacy girl in her little white lab coat. She blinked at me over her wire-rimmed glasses.


"Take your dog to the lake?" I thought about Mister Puffy Pants... he's not a lake kind of dog.

I haven't had much of a chance to get outside since coming city-side.

I eyed the librarian pharmacy girl. I know exactly where I picked up contamination from the noxious weed. The boytoy's been working with a contracting crew lately, tearing out an overgrown greenhouse near the old downtown district. I told her so.

"Maybe you got it from him?" she said. "You should wipe down your car seats and any surfaces in your home he may have touched. He may have had it on his pants or work boots or something."

"... or under his nails," I smirked.

Her eyes popped and a sweet blush spread across her cheeks. She stumbled through a recommendation for hydrocortisone cream and Benadryl, and I chuckled to myself.

I'm currently laid up on the sofa, sipping a cream soda and watching television, laying on a towel so as not to infect the furniture with the oils from the rash. At this point, I'm definitely open to suggestions on how to clear up a feisty bout with the lady in green.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Just to See You Smile

“Yesterday I knew just what you wanted
when you came walkin up to me with him.
So I told you that I was happy for you,
and given the chance I’d lie again just to see you smile.”
(Just to See You Smile, Tim McGraw)

When he told me, I thought I’d been hit in the chest with a brick. That tender bud of confidence I’d been nurturing since my return to the United States curled in on itself and went back into hibernation. Three months later, there’s still a vague ache somewhere near the vicinity of my heart.

He was so excited when he told me, so proud. He sounded happy. I couldn’t take it away from him, so I just smiled and murmered something politely congratulatory. What else was there to do?

Scream? Stomp my foot? Cry and tell him I’m sorry and that I didn’t mean to hurt him and that she’d never make him as happy as I could have? I couldn’t, of course… because it wasn’t true.

Almost three years to the day after we broke up, Bentley told me he was marrying the gal he left me for.

She’s cute and blonde and energetic and fun, and unlike me in almost every way. In fact, she’s a near cookie cutter of every other pre-me girl he dated. I was a bit of a step off the beaten path for him.

The strange thing is, I really am happy for him. I don’t begrudge him his joy. I can’t fathom rekindling a relationship with him. The pain, I suppose, is more a mourning for the closing of a chapter in my life; the end of something beautiful and dynamic; the drawing-to of a period of growth and learning and self-realization.

There’s no way to turn back those pages, no way to un-live the years, and I’m glad for it.

With all sincerity, I wish Bentley and his soon-to-be bride the very best. May you always be kind to one another, and live in inspiration and joy together.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Rueda del muerte

I was thumbing through the channels at L's place (because L likes to step outside the box, and happens to own a television). There's this guy named Deutsch on the screen, nearly bouncing up and down he was so irate. So what gives?

Apparently, some ghetto-fab mamma put her six year old son in the swinging bucket of a Ferris wheel alone. The operator smiled at them as she strapped him in, and she moved behind the cattle fencing with the rest of the family members, waiting for their loved ones to make their way around the jerky, start-and-stop ride. When her son made it to the top, he started waving frantically out the barred window.

Ghetto-mama pushes through the crowd, past the gate, and tugs on the sleeve of the operator.

"My son, he's afraid. Bring him down."

And then she heard the word that would be the death of her son. The operator blinked at her, brow furrowed...


He didn't speak English. Not a word. The frantic mother squinted up to the rocking carriage that housed her little boy. She watched him climb over the plexi-glass wall and slip through the bars. Ghetto-mama screamed - screamed at her son to get back into the car, screamed at the operator who only shook his head with his mouth open. The little boy hung from a spoke for a few moments before his little hands couldn't grip the bar any more; finally, when he could hold on no longer, he let go and fell to the ground.

Resilient as they are, six year old boys don't stand up well to a fall like that. The little boy died.

Ghetto-mama intends to sue the company that manages the carnival, of course. She claims that the reason her son died is because the operator didn't speak English. Nevermind the fact that she loaded her pint-sized kindergartener onto an adult ride by himself. Nevermind that she didn't teach the kid enough to sit tight when he was scared or confused. Nevermind that she let him watch shows and movies on television where it's funny and cool to climb out of a box on a carnival ride and hang from a spoke (think: that first date asking in The Notebook) - most likely completely unsupervised and without the guidance from a parent to say simple, logic-based things like, "People don't really do that."

Please don't misunderstand: I'm not saying it's okay to hire imported labor that's nonfunctional just because it's cheaper. What I'm saying is that Ghetto-mama needs to be jailed for negligence, and that her six month old needs to be taken away from her before she decides to let the baby try his hand at driving the car... by himself.