JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 1: Sea Captain and Land Blubber
Wawa is great. It's walking distance from my house, so I don't have to drive very far to buy their meatball and cheese sub and chicken corn chowder soup. There are usually weirdoes at Wawa as well, so I tend to get some great writing material while I order yummy food that will clog my arteries.
I recently had to take blood and urine tests because I applied for life insurance, so I had to wake up early. The nurse from the insurance agency came over at the crack of dawn (10:30 a.m.) and the procedure lasted about 20 minutes. I'm usually not up before 11, so I didn't know what to do with myself. I ultimately decided to go to Wawa.
If you've never been to a Wawa before, they have these touch screens to order food. The first screen gives you breakfast, lunch or dinner options. If you select lunch, for example, they then ask you if you want cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches, bagels, sides, etc. It's pretty simple.
Well, at least I thought it was simple. As I was ordering my food, there was this strange dude to the right of me. He looked like some sort of sea captain. He had one of those sailor's hats and sported a grizzled white beard.
It was like Sea Captain hadn't been on land for 20 years because he didn't understand how to operate the touch screen. He was constantly mashing buttons and scratching his head in confusion. The Wawa employee behind the counter finally noticed this.
Wawa Employee: Having trouble over there, sir?
Sea Captain: I don't get how dis darn ding works!
As a reminder, if I'm right, the last time Sea Captain was on land was 1991. Most people didn't have computers back then, so it's understandable that he would be so befuddled by technology.
The Wawa employee walked around from behind the counter to assist Sea Captain.
Wawa Employee: What exactly are you having issues with?
Sea Captain: I can't read da dang ledders on dis dang ding!
Wawa Employee: Let's see here... Oh! That's because you changed the language settings to Spanish.
Sea Captain apparently changed the language settings when he mashed the buttons on the console, which is why he couldn't understand anything. I'm not sure why he was mashing the buttons in the first place, but who am I to question a man of the seas?
Anyway, there was another jerk in front of me in line. This fat Russian lady was paying for her own food. The guy behind the counter, a dude in his early 20s with sideburns, tried to be courteous to this woman, whom I will refer to as Land Blubber.
Side Burns Worker: Hi, how are you?
Land Blubber: ...
Land Blubber didn't say anything in response. She didn't nod her head. She just grimaced at Side Burns Worker.
Side Burns Worker scanned all of her items and asked her a question.
Side Burns Worker: Is that it?
Land Blubber: ...
Land Blubber once again refused to acknowledge Side Burns Worker. Instead, she just handed her money to him, and he gave her change in return. Land Blubber took this opportunity to complain about something.
Land Blubber: Receipt!
Side Burns Worker: OK, just one second.
Land Blubber: Receipt! Give receipt!!!
Side Burns Worker was printing out her receipt, yet Land Blubber impatiently demanded it. What a b****. It's a shame that Sea Captain was so distracted by the touch screen; otherwise, he could have harpooned her.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: Comcast
If you don't watch Game of Thrones, make sure you do. The show is incredible. All of the episodes are available right now on HBO on Demand. If you don't have HBO, I'm sure you can find the episodes online somewhere. It's seriously a must watch.
A few weeks ago, HBO offered the ability to watch an episode of Game of Thrones a week in advance on their Web site, HBOGo.com. Wasting no time, I hopped onto HBOGo.com and was prompted to enter my Comcast ID and password. I didn't recall getting a password from Comcast, so this was an issue.
I clicked the option for a password reset, but instead of receiving the normal e-mail with a new password, a chat window opened up. I was told that a Comcast representative would be with me in moments.
Five minutes later, some Comcast worker with the handle erebutaBLD contacted me. She took my Comcast ID, social security number, date of birth, etc. I gave her tons of information. Finally, she asked me for my Comcast four-digit PIN number.
Me: I don't remember receiving a four-digit PIN number.
erebutaBLD: You should have gotten it with your welcome package.
Me: I don't remember getting any sort of welcome package.
erebutaBLD: Well, I can't reset your password without your four-digit PIN.
Are you f***ing kidding me? My ID, social security number and date of birth aren't enough? You're not sure I am who I say I am because I don't have some weird four-digit PIN number? That's ridiculous.
ErebutaBLD told me that someone from Comcast would call me within minutes to verify my identity. I waited... and waited... and waited... Suddenly, erebutaBLD sent me a message:
erebutaBLD: Did you know you can watch many of your favorite TV shows and movies online at no additional cost with Comcast. Check out www.xfinitytv.com to watch the latest TV shows, relive a favorite television moment, or just relax with a movie.
Oh, wow! I had no idea! Thanks for telling me that, erebutaBLD. Maybe now I'll finally decide to get Comcast. Oh wait, I already have Comcast. Hmm... maybe if I purchase additional Comcast stuff, they'll send me that four-digit PIN number. Probably not.
My phone rang. Some black chick from Comcast asked me some questions, so I was finally able to verify my identity with them. When I got back to my computer, erebutaBLD finally gave me a new password.
Before I closed the Comcast chat window, erebutaBLD asked me a few additional questions. Then, erebutaBLD sent me a puzzling message:
erebutaBLD: Before we finish up, I want to remind you that we have generated a new password for your online account.
Holy crap, really!? I had no idea what we were doing the whole f***ing time. Thanks for reminding me, a**hole.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: E-Trade
Sounds like Comcast has s***ty customer service, right? Well you haven't heard anything yet.
If you're unaware of what e-Trade is, it's a Web site where you can buy and sell stocks. Many of you have seen e-Trade commercials - they're the terrible ads with the talking baby in front of a computer. CollegeHumor.com, by the way, ran a hilarious parody of the e-trade baby commercials.
I've been buying and selling stocks on e-Trade for years, so my portfolio is pretty substantial. However, when I logged in two Saturdays ago, my account showed $0.
I figured this was a glitch, so I checked back that night. Still $0. I signed on again on Sunday. Still $0. I couldn't call them until Monday, so I waited until then - and it was still $0. Now slightly concerned, I called the e-Trade customer service number.
Some robot lady on the phone told me that all of the customer service reps were busy, so I had to wait for 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes of crappy elevator music is no fun, as you all very well know.
I finally got a live person on the phone. Before he could solve the problem with my account, he had to verify my identity. Uh oh...
The e-Trade customer service rep asked me for my e-Trade ID number, social security number, my monthly mortgage payment and my mortgage lender. I gave him all of the correct information, but that wasn't enough.
e-Trade rep: Can you tell me the first company to give you a student loan?
Me: I have no idea. These things change every few years. In fact, a company just took my college loan from another company a few months ago.
e-Trade rep: I'll give you multiple choice.
*** None of the answers sounded right, so I went with Answer E, "None of the above." ***
e-Trade rep: I'm sorry, that's incorrect. I can't verify your account.
Me: Are you serious?
e-Trade rep: Yes. Let me fetch a new set of questions.
He put me on hold for another five minutes. More elevator music - hooray!
E-Trade Rep's next set of questions were more personal. He asked me for my mom's maiden name, my dad's month of birth and my sister's current living residence. The final question, however, was a bit bizarre.
e-Trade rep: OK, last question, where does Diana Cherepinsky currently own property?
Me: Diana Cherepinsky? What!?
e-Trade rep: Yes, Diana Cherepinsky. Where does she currently own property?
Me: Umm... Diana Cherepinsky is my dog.
Yeah. I don't know how they got my dog's name in the computer, or why they think she owns property somewhere, but who am I to question these wise customer service reps?
e-Trade rep: Haha, that's embarrassing. That's the first time that's ever happened.
Me: It's fine. It is pretty funny.
e-Trade rep: So, where does Diana Cherepinsky currently own property?
e-Trade rep: Is it A) Salt Lake City, Utah; B) Boise, Idaho; C) Kansas City, Mo.; D) Bozemon, Mont.; or E) None of the above?
Me: Wait, you're serious about asking me this question?
e-Trade rep: Yes. I can repeat the options for you.
Me: MY DOG DOESN'T OWN PROPERTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
e-Trade rep: OK, so you want to go with answer E then, none of the above?
Me: YES, OBVIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
e-Trade rep: OK, your answers are all correct. Please hold while I transfer you so we can solve your problem.
Five minutes of elevator music later, a new customer service rep was able to tell me that the $0 glitch occurred because I was logging in from a different location (my new house), so they froze the account because of "suspicious activity."
My e-Trade account now works, but this experience has me wondering whether I should transfer all of my stocks and funds to a different online brokerage. I bet Scottrade doesn't think that my dog owns a house somewhere in Montana.