Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Days of Rage

I happened across a great idea from an unlikely source: the militant Palestinian organization Hamas. The big H and I don’t see eye-to-eye on most things. To take an easy example, they believe Jews are an abomination, whereas I had a lovely time slow-dancing with Brienne Johnson at a Bar Mitzvah back in the seventh grade. I’ve also been known to enjoy a carnitas-based entrée at one Mexican restaurant or another, and I gather the folks over there in Palestine aren’t down with that. Something about sour cream? I’m not sure exactly. Religion is confusing.

Anyway, I’m stealing Hamas’s “Day of Rage” concept. They recently declared a Day of Rage against Israel, though I’m unclear on the specific rationale. I went to their website to find out but they have one of those little checks on the front page: “How much do you hate Jews?” I answered “Only a little,” because that was the nicest option they gave me, and I got kicked out! Right to Google’s homepage, and they had some recognition setting that kept me from getting in with another answer. I felt like a teenager who accidentally clicked the “I am not over 18” button on a porn site, only there’s not an infinite number of alternative Jew-hating websites to fill me in on whatever this beef is between the big H and the big I. Which I just realized are right next to each other in the alphabet as well as the Middle East! So that’s pretty cool.

The Day of Rage, as I understand it, is basically a day devoted to very directed and specific anger. It’s like the Two Minutes Hate, only a leisurely day-long hike of anger as opposed to a sprint. You’re not expected to be actively railing against the Day of Rage’s subject; rather, you’re supposed to proceed with the ever-present mindset of hatred. Just keep it in your thoughts as you go about your day. To stick with the same example, you wouldn’t wear a DEATH TO ISRAEL T-shirt to work. But if you’re buying lunch and the lady at the counter gives you your change, you should say “Thanks. A Jew would have kept my money!” Or if you encounter a beached whale, you could say to your friend, “I wish that whale would just retreat into the sea. Like Israel.” Just take advantage of any opportunities to express your distaste.

All this helped me to realize that I’ve been really sub-optimally angry. In a given day I probably hate twenty different things, to varying degrees and for various reasons. Most of these things make sense, like hating people who wait until they’ve already started their turns to activate a turn signal. The light from your signal telling me you’re turning reaches my eyes at the same time as the image of your car turning, telling me you’re turning. But still, the strain and mental gymnastics of hating so many things wears you out and ultimately dilutes your precious rage. To this end, I will endeavor to concentrate these feelings on a single issue each day. Well, not each day; if Days of Rage are such a mental cakewalk that you can manage one each day, you’re doing it wrong. So we can’t do this every day. Certainly not at first; maybe we can build up to something bigger. But for now, let the Days of Rage begin!

Our first subject? The United Parcel Service. They have earned themselves some concentrated ire this week because they are a package-delivery company that does not deliver packages. I ordered a pricey PC component online and had it delivered to my home via UPS (there was no other option). They failed to deliver on Day 1 because I have a job and was not home to sign for my package. This was not unexpected. I signed for the package on the back of the slip (where there is a designated spot to do just that), but on Day 2 the delivery was not made. I might have found a way to be at home during the delivery window, but none was marked. It just said "Wednesday." Congratulations, UPS, on beating out the cable company for Most Farcically Poor Service. At least Comcast gives me a non-binding four-hour window in which they might decide to appear and do their jobs.

Frustrated, I called customer service. The helpful woman I talked to help me lay out a simple, very specific set of instructions to be conveyed to the delivery supervisor and thereafter into the gutter-speak of the delivery Orcs they breed in pits beneath my local UPS Store. She assured this doubting Thomas of success several times, and everything was set up. Except that the instructions were never followed and the package was never delivered and I discovered upon calling UPS that not only was it not delivered, but due to the three failed deliveries it had been returned to sender. If I'd called before 7pm that day, this could have been avoided! Except that I didn't get home until after 7, because I have a job that also prevents me from sitting on my ass all day waiting for UPS packages.

Customer service also informed me that my local UPS facility was closed for the weekend and I had no recourse but to try and stop the return Monday morning at 7am. I did; it was too late. So now it's been returned and I can't re-order the component because this shipper only uses UPS and they're cheaper than everywhere else. The upside? I did manage to agitate multiple UPS customer service employees over the course of the weekend. There are a couple keys to this: first, do a heavy trade in patronizing statements/questions. For example, I asked one young lady: "Philosophically, what is the purpose of a delivery company that doesn't deliver things?" She couldn't answer, but she could get defensive and angry! Another big thing: the pronunciation of the word "fuck." You need to enunciate; that much is obvious. But the real trick is to put heavy emphasis on the F and draw it out just a little, so when you get to the meat of the word it's like you're spitting it in somebody's face rather than just saying it. It's really great, and it triggers reactions both strong and immediate.

I won't belabor my personal UPS situation too much, since I know countless people who've been in the same boat. UPS is fine if you're a company. If you are a human being, you are shit out of luck. It's a bit like trying to contact a member of Congress. Other crimes committed by UPS:
Poor fashion: Brown. Brown brown brown. What can brown do for you? It can sit there quietly on the toilet paper and accept its fate in the watery maelstrom. Those DHL guys get the color yellow, and I imagine their jobs are 2.6% less miserable than a typical UPS employee. Also, according to Wikipedia the uniform for UPS prohibits any facial hair aside from a mustache. Mustache encouragement is unacceptable from any person, entity or organization. The shorts are forgivable because they are a humiliation tool, rather than a fashion statement. See: the U.S. Postal Service.
They killed my uncle's dog: A few years ago, a UPS van struck my uncle's beloved Golden Retriever, killing her in the driveway right in front of the whole family. On Christmas Day. I shit you not.

So let's just spend tomorrow in a state of loose meditation; ruminating on the intense suck of this horrible company. Meditation has always been a preferred tool of the furious, and few organizations work so hard to establish petty misery in the lives of their customers. Congratulations to the United Parcel Service for being the centerpiece of the world's first non-anti-Semitic Day of Rage. Let's give it up.

No comments:

Post a Comment