Saturday, July 08, 2006

Believe it or not, there are times when “cunt” just isn’t the right thing to say

I can complain with the best of them. I moan, I rant, I bitch.

But most of this moaning, ranting, and bitching ultimately leads to nothing. It's just a venting of spleen about this work project or that neighbour or some other annoyance, be it TV shows, parking problems, or Blogger acting up.

Sometimes I complain to people/organizations about a service that they have offered yet failed to deliver.


One such time was a number of Christmases ago. Wife and I had booked a hire car to drive up and see my folks over the festive season. Back in the day we didn't have a car, so this expensive option was our only one. Knowing cars would probably be in hot demand, I booked plenty of time in advance. Even so, being the cautious type that I am, before setting off on Christmas Eve to collect (it was a half-hour Tube ride away), I phoned the company to make sure the car was ready.

"Oh, we don't have a car for you," I was told.

"But I've booked it," I said. "Several weeks ago."

"Yes, we have a record of your booking, but we just don't have a car right now"

"Okay... so when will you have one."

"I'm afraid I don't know, sir."

"Well, will it be today?"

"I don't know."

"Because I've booked it for today. I need it today."

"I understand that, sir, but I don't know that we'll have a car for you today."

... You can imagine that I didn't like the way this conversation was going. I got a little stressed in fact. So stressed that, before I knew it I had called the bloke a cunt and slammed down the phone.

"Now what?" asks Wife.

"I don't know," I replied.

We sat. I vented and moaned. Told her how they shouldn't be able to get away with this sort of thing. "But," she reminded me, "we need a car. And we certainly won't get one anywhere else today."

"I've got to phone back, haven't I?"

"I think so."

Five minutes later...

"Hello, I phoned a little while ago... "

"Sir, I think you should speak to my manager."

So I speak to the manager, who tells me that it is not very nice to speak to his staff that way.

"Fair point," I say, "but you have to understand my frustration." I was very contrite. I did apologize. Said that I was very stressed because they didn't seem to be honouring their side of the bargain. He said I could come and get a car now. So we did. It was a little embarrassing. I did the right thing and apologized again. Sometimes you just have to, even if you're not in the wrong.

This is the true and accurate story of how I learned that there are times when "cunt” just isn’t the right thing to say.

And these days, before I phone to make any complaint, Wife always reminds me, "Be calm. Don't call him a cunt."

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10 Comments:

Blogger Tanya said...

Fair point.

And by the way, thanks for directing me to the Blog of Cat. It's most insightful. See? The cat waits till everyone's out of the house so it can moan about the servants.

08 July, 2006 15:49  
Blogger Suze said...

I always consider what it would be like to be the person on the other end. This comes from working on helpdesks for most of my life.

The worst thing I ever did was to vent my spleen about a caller thinking they were on hold and they weren't. It was them who put me on hold and they heard everything I said.

I had to do lots of apologising that day. :)

08 July, 2006 16:07  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

but to be fair to you, he was being a cunt!

08 July, 2006 18:45  
Blogger a.c.t said...

I totally understand how you feel. To be honest, I think he totally deserved it as it sounds like he was being unsympathetic and unhelpful.

08 July, 2006 19:41  
Blogger Ranting Dullard said...

Christ knows how your wife would cope with me then!!! I call most people cunt. Hence my weekly competition.

08 July, 2006 20:39  
Blogger ~ erika gabrielle said...

i totally get where you're coming from. i'd do something akin to that if the person on the other end didn't sound even remotely ashamed of whatever inconvenience he was giving me. hahaha. but i agree with ur wife, take it easy the next time!

anyways, i'm kind of into jazz right now. since you're such an expert when it comes to picking out good artists (and i mean this in the nicest way possible; im not being sarcastic), can you recommend me a few?

thanks! :D

09 July, 2006 08:40  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Tanya: Thanks! And yeah, those cats are quite something, huh?!

Suze: I know they're only doing their job (one I'd hate, I must say), and that's why I don't like losing my rag, but sometimes...

FF: Exactly.

ACT: And exactly!

RD: Me, too. It is my most used swear word, without doubt. And Wife is fine with that; she uses it plenty too. But she is aware that it doesn't always further my relationship with the person on the other end of the phone...

Erika: I'm pretty good at remaining chilled now. Ish. But I don't know anything about jazz. To me it's music to go mad by and I just can't help you out. Sorry...

09 July, 2006 11:45  
Blogger Cynnie said...

we southerners say..you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar..
sometimes it even works..but god..
A fist in the face might work too.

09 July, 2006 16:13  
Blogger d34dpuppy said...

a cunts a cunt

10 July, 2006 02:12  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Cynnie: Quite right. (I think.)

DP: Sure is. Can't argue with that!

10 July, 2006 09:58  

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