Doctor Curmudgeon: Don’t You Dare Say You’re Sorry

doctor curmudgeon, dr curmudgeon

There are things that occur in the simple course of daily living that get my Curmudgeon up. They make me:


 Want to holler


   Want to reach through the phone and grab the person on the other end


   Run to an island without anything more technical than a thatched hut


   Find another planet.


I really hate it.


I am busy.


I call some place for tech support.


PERFECTA:  “Oh hello, I am Perfecta.  I am here to give you perfect service.  I am so sorry you are having a problem. I am here for you and I….”


ME (breaking in):  “I keep getting a red error notice, loud noise and my digital smart toaster oven shakes whenever I dial ‘toast.'”


PERFECTA:  I am so sorry that you are having this problem.  I will be sure that you get the help you need. What is your name?”


ME: “Hermione.”


PERFECTA:  “Oh, Hermione, I am so happy that you called.  I do hope you are having a wonderful day…”


RUDE ME (breaking in): “My toaster oven.  Why is it going nuts?”


PERFECTA: “Nuts?  Oh, I am sorry.  We are not here for nuts. I thought you were calling about your toaster that was having a problem.”


ME (screaming):  “I told you about my toaster…remember…red light…shaking…”


PERFECTA (with her sickeningly sweet voice).  “Madam, you are screaming.  I am sorry.  It is not necessary to raise your voice.”


ME (quietly exasperated and back to nail chewing): “Just tell me what to do about my brand new, two week old, expensive toaster.”


PERFECTA: “I am so sorry that you have this difficulty with your toaster. I am so sorry that you get the red error message.  I will help you. But, I want you to know that I am really sorry…….”


ME (really screaming now):  “Don’t say you’re sorry.  Just fix the damn thing.”


PERFECTA:  (after a pause): “Madam, you have cursed me.  I am sorry, but I will have to report you to…”


Next sound is me slamming the phone against the wall.


So readers, friends, foes, anybody who is out there…

Is there one among you who has not encountered a similar situation?

Is there one among you who knows the secret to handling these kinds of calls better?

If so, please, I implore you…tell me your secrets.

OH yes, I am so so so so so so so so so so so sorry to bother you with this dilemma


  1. Patricia says

    Dear Doctor Curmudgeon – Your scenario above is surpassed only by the incompetent, un-educated, un-caring workforce in Miami.

  2. siberian says

    I just had a similar experience with Verizon FIOS, only it lasted 2 days, rather than a few hours, which is usually the case. I think the customer service people have the ability to activate static on the line, because on day 3, when I lost all self control, I said the F word. Right after I did that, the customer service person’s voice started breaking up.

  3. Diane says

    What a terrible experience, siberian.
    Unfortunately, that is all too common these days.
    Where, or where is that good customer service that so many companies used to pride themselves on?

  4. Ellen Kracoff says

    I have been told numerous times by customer service that the person on the other end is there to insure that the problem is resolved and that you are happy….Unfortunately, unless you are really lucky, you are getting someone reading from a script. Not only that, but most customer service is “out sourced”. I ask where they are located…and generally it is out of the country. I then request to be transferred to someone in the United States. Sometimes you have to ask more than once, but ultimately they must transfer the call. That, of course, does not guarantee that the US Rep will have any better knowledge of the product and the course to take to resolve your issue BUT at least there is a chance that you will not have a language problem.

    My other suggestion….return the toaster and get a new, less complicated toaster! It is all the “bells and whistles” that get us into trouble!

  5. diane says

    Dear Reliant,
    I await my chocolate.
    I follow the letter carrier, sniffing at his bag, hoping to smell the welcoming aroma of chocolate

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