Thursday, June 21, 2007

Passive Aggressive

Just when I think I've seen the height of passive aggressive behavior, it comes blasting back at me in a new, more elegant form. As you know, PA behavior is my favorite thing to point out (especially to the passive aggressor, who always loves when I open my big mouth about it). It's especially fun to call people on it who don't really know what it means, just that it's jerky. A thing that I have been raging about lately is Dell, Inc., a company that should have a slogan involving their beautiful talent for passive aggressive customer service. Today I will share a bit of Dell's wisdom. I'll preface this gem by saying that, for WEEKS, TD and I have been gently, kindly, fairly pushing Dell to fix crap they've screwed up and then asking them to please reimburse us for our time and hassle. Not only have we received no apology for things like, say, sending me a computer without a working hard drive, but at least one Dell representative told TD that he couldn't possibly understand how "these things work" because he's from Utah. You can imagine the head explosion that happened after that. Subsequently, I sent a little note to Dell (one in a series of about ten little notes):

I'm not particularly pleased that my husband was contacted to get information about when I'd be available by phone. According to him, the person who spoke to him was rude and unaccommodating. Please just resolve this situation with me and I will stop bothering you. Dell is a big company that really should be able to be more pleasant and efficient than this. I can't imagine that, if Dell's computers are such good machines, that a warranty would cost the company much of anything. Warranties are expensive to the customer, but not to the company-- that's elementary.
Please keep all communication on this matter directed to me and not my husband.
Thank you,


Miss Rosenberg I apologize that your husband thought I was being rude. I was stern in my decision on this issue but ,I was not rude. Again I do apologize if he felt I was rude. As I told your husband Dell is not going to extend your warranty. We have made an offer for a 100.00 coupon which is more the adequate for this issue. If you would like to speak to me in person please just let me know when you will be available and I will make arrangements to explain this issue in detail.

Hmmmm... Nothing warms my heart more than a sincere apology. And it's even more precious that though I've been the one communicating w/ Dell, they decided to call TD. Women are scary and irrational. I filed a complaint with the BBB which will probably be trashed, but whatever. It's EVERYTHING I can do not to correct the grammar, spelling and format of all the letters I've gotten and send them back.

Okay, so maybe Dell sucks, but I suck too. This week my friend, Amanda, passed her Social Worker's licensing exam (which I would love to do but would requite a million more years of grad school). I was so happy for her until I realized that Pat was also so thrilled-- thrilled enough to have a bunch of quiet conversations about her moving into a therapist position with our company. And so, because I am who I am, I had to lock myself into an empty office to cry and pout and stomp around. None of my friends are allowed to like each other as much as they like me (sound familiar???). AND how dare they accomplish something fancy? Damn them! I practice the classic passive aggressive maneuver with them: no eye contact and "what's wrong kate?" "nothing" "Are you sure?" "yes, I'm sure. I'm just trying to do 15 things at once" (which = why the fuck are you standing around basking in your wonderfulness, bitch?)

I fixed it by fessing up and apologizing. Dell could do the same, no?

revelling/fuming in the thick stench of rude,
your p.

p.s. I love you. Would you care to rewrite some of Dell's notes? It's reeeeeeally satisfying.
p.p.s. Thank you so so much for my new friend. He lives in my tote bag now for photo ops.

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