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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Le Saga Duh eBay (and) The HORRORS Of Broccoli

Common complaint of a consumer calling a help-line: speaking to a series of people with faux English names (the kind they must have dredged out of 1940s movies or pre-War novels abandoned on Yon Far Shore by fleeing expatriates bound for home and the Blitz) for whom the King's/Queen's is not their native language, trying to explain a situation complex enough to require sequential reasoning and elementary math proficiency, all of which is lost in translation.  It's maddening.  And eBay's call centers may well be found in Singapore and Mumbai--they are definitely NOT in this hemisphere.  I've spent a total of more than three quarters of an hour on the phone to these distant places trying to resolve a question of some fifty dollars which was not credited to my account.  The last woman I got at least had the common decency to introduce herself by a Chinese name--and she noted that the previous people to whom I had spoken had never actually sent the emails which they said they'd dispatch promptly.  (So basically, they act to call the customer and then lose the paperwork?!)  If it weren't such a large sum, I should have given up weeks ago, but poverty has made me persistent.

I'm having a rotten time with my temper lately.  I was civility and patience itself with the eBay offshore contractors, but I've been close to snapping at my American colleagues in person almost every day the last two weeks.  It's like my soul needs power-washing--I'm becoming a complainer and a witch.  I apologized to one boss for my behavior and asked the other for a raise.  Prayer appreciated.

I hate broccoli.  That's not a complaint--just a fact.  I've loathed the stuff since childhood.  I hate the smell, the texture and the flavor.  To me, broccoli ruins every dish to which it is added, even more so than olives.  Nasty, greasy little deceptively-grape-like orbs, olives.  People have lectured me on the health benefits of broccoli until I've turned green, and I remember one episode from childhood (I was five) when I was sent to my room and threatened with bodily harm for refusing to eat broccoli, but I just couldn't and can't bring myself to touch the loathsome stuff.  Until now.  I went shopping at Trader Joe's the other afternoon and they had this wonderful wasabi-mayonnaise slaw on their sample counter, so I bought the plain bagged slaw, the cranberry-almond trail mix they'd tossed into it, and a jar of that delicious sinus-clearing mayo and whipped up my own salad this afternoon...and I noticed that the slaw was made from raw julienned carrots and broccoli stems!  It's really good.  Of course, the wasabi flavor also helps to mask any residual broccoliness too.  Don't break out the steamed flowerets, though--I still can't stomach them.

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