Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Annoyed Man!!

You know, it's been an entire YEAR since the stupid Metamucil/Old Faithful ad went on the air, but I only saw it over the holiday. I don't know why I thought about it today, other than I'm just in one of those moods--going to the bank seems to do that.

Anyway, I have no idea what show it was on, but as you can see from the linked article, the premise of the ad is a joke that what make Old Faithful so regular is a regular dosing by Park Rangers with a glass of refreshing Metamucil. Of course, there is the obligatory disclaimer, 'respect all National Park Service monuments', or some such gobbledygook.

You know, I am really getting tired of the ad consultants or the lawyers or whoever, who come up with these stupid ideas for commercials, and then feel compelled to slap on a warning sticker. Why not just do away with the stupid stuff? It's the same silly thing as the Saturn Vue commercial with the cougar chasing bunnies and a tiny Saturn through the snow. "Professional Driver. Closed Course." Please.

Second, I realize again it's been a whole year and I'm way behind the commentary curve on it, but is the idea that the nice Metamucil folks really want to convey that using their product will cause you to erupt at 92 minute average intervals with a scalding plume of superheated steam?

Seems like that would hurt. Although the commode sure would be sparkling clean.

AND THEN, to the bank--first stop was the credit union way over on Southside. Uneventful aside from the occasional jaywalker I was compelled to bunt over to the curb with the front bumper [Professional Stunt Personnel--Do Not Attempt!] and then it was back over downtown to go to AmSouth. Usually, parking is non-existent around the main branch at the AmSouth-Harbert Plaza, but today I managed to luck out and find someone leaving right on 5th Avenue. Pulled in and found out the parking meter was out of order--we have some that have a little LED screen, and it had a tiny P with a slash across it. Hmm. No parking when the meter's out of order? Sh'yeah, right. I put in a nickel to assuage my burning hot guilt and ran inside to the bank.

Mile long line. ::sigh:: I had hoped to be able to run in and run out before I got papered by one of the dutiful Parking Enforcement folks, but it's the first of the month.

Oh well.

Stand, look at people in line. No one even remotely entertaining. One guy about six people in front of me is Just. Too. Busy. to have to put up with this mess. I started to ask if he wanted to swap places in line, but he had that look about him.

You know, insane.

Anyway, no matter how put out he was, he kept his place. Noticed a sign on the station in front of me: "Customer Service is our FIRST PRIORITY!" Somehow, I think that if this really were the case, putting a few extra tellers in place to work on the first of the month would be a REALLY good idea. You know, to serve customers. If you don't want to actually have to pay anyone, just let some freelancer come in and sell shoeshines or coffee and donuts or something. And I think if the whole program of priority customer service was so all-fired important that I wouldn't trumpet it by using a sign written on poster board in felt tip pen. That seems to point to to the policy being something a bit less than permanent.

As part of this stunning marketing ploy, I also noticed that each teller was equipped with a petite brass bell, and a nice card taped to the counter scrawled with, "If your teller gave you GREAT customer service, ring the bell!"

Each time someone finished up, they swallowed their embarrassment of having to play a musical instrument in public and gave a little tinkle on the bell. No one wants to shame the poor tellers--can you imagine the disgust and shame if someone didn't ring your bell!?

We waited some more, and the line got even longer, which prompted a suit-clad young man who appeared to be approximately thirteen years old to come over to the TensaBarrier and undo and redo the straps to allow more people to be cordoned off into the queue. How's THAT for customer service!! No standing over THERE without the aid of nylon strapping, all out of sorts and making a big messy mob! Thanks, kid!

Finally got to be my turn, and being in a puckish mood I asked my teller, Lisa Whose Last Name is the Same as the City in Which This Story Takes Place, who thought up the bell idea. "Oh, I don't really know. It's just a customer service thing."

"Well, if someone comes in and really rings the heck out of your bell, do you get, like, a bonus or something?"

"Uh, well, no. They just want us to do a good job, you know, but there's no extra money in it."

"HMPH! They got plenty of dough, they oughta share some!!"

She seemed concerned at this point that she would not be receiving a bell-ringing from me, but I assured her that I would do so as soon as she got through and not to worry in the least. She finished up and gave me my receipts and I grabbed up the bell and hunched over and started jumping up and down and climbing all over stuff and screaming "SANCTUARY!"

(Not really. It was just an excuse to have a picture of Maureen O'Hara.)

What actually happened is that I gave Teller Lisa a momentary jingle of the bell like a good sport and went on my way, and found that I had remained unticketed, climbed in a came back here, where I remembered about halfway through typing this exercise that I have to leave at 3:00 and go pick up Catherine to take her back to the doctor to have her ears rechecked. Oops. And I have to remember to pick up an immunization certificate for Rebecca that I forgot to get when I took her for her checkup in October, and which I subsequently forgot to get when I took Catherine in two weeks ago, and which I must NOT FORGET today or else I will be the butt of much ill-temper.

Good thing I remembered, but it does mean that the thrilling tale of Black Friday K-Mart Shopping will have to wait until tomorrow. See you then.

(OH, by the way, I meant to mention in the post earlier about putting up the Christmas tree that we also watched Miracle on 34th Street.)

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