Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let's Make Fun of Angry, Humorless Commenters!

This happens so rarely that I just can't resist. My blog on Carla was picked up by, and it's a mixed bag of crazy readers over there, so I have a lot of fun reading the responses.

There's always some colon-tickling moron with his thumb so far up his asshole that he can poke his own bellybutton from the inside and god help me, but I love making fun of these guys. Instead of polluting Laurie's blog, I decided to do it on mine -- with a post dedicated to just to you Anonymous Former Reader!! (Queue applause)

The original post was about how Carla is making antifeminist remarks and tarnishing people's opinion of women's rights everywhere because she's model idiot, and here were a few comments.

  1. Comment by A Spivack | 12/04/12 at 5:21 pm
    A result of too many Botox injections? Love your writing.
  2. Comment by Moira | 12/04/12 at 5:24 pm
    Sorry dear, but in France, “bourgeoise(e)” culturally identifies the man or woman who is a member of the wealthiest social class of a given society; and their materialistic worldview”…
  3. Comment by Former Reader | 12/04/12 at 10:26 pm
    What an ugly article. I won’t be back to the paris blog. Grow up and realize your vajayjay isn’t the most important thing in life.

@aspivack - thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it more than former anonymous humorless reader who thinks (rightly) that I'm obsessed with my vajayjay. Who wants to take bets that's someone with a very small penis? Anyone? Bueller?

@Moira - Webster strikes again! Damn those dictionaries!! Why do we even use them. Let's just make up our own description, "People who describe themselves using this word are obvs really rich people too busy living their fabulous lives to give a shit about normal people." :) Probs more accurate.

And now the cream. Since 'Former Reader' won't be back and will sadly miss out on this post, I'll just go out on a limb and say anyone who has the brass balls to use the word "vajayjay" in a sentence which clearly demonstrates their sense of humor is as lively as a wet blanket should look into having that cucumber removed from their ass.

Sorry Laurie, another one bites the dust! More fun for us!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dear Carla, Please Shut Your Tiny, Smirking, Botox Hole.

So I was just stuck in an elevator for an hour. This is what happens...

She's at it again folks. Rarely am I in a position to write a blog and I think to myself, "Ok. This is so F#@!ed up... where do I even begin?".

This is one of those times. All I can say about this is that despite how well spoken she seems in this most recent Vogue article, her stupidity has reached a level that even I have never fathomed. (And that's saying a lot considering my country birthed such idiots as the extremely screechy Sarah Palin, the gay-man-marrying Michelle Bachman, and general vagina-hating-rape-loving senators of the republican party.)

At first glance, this quote from Vogue sounds like an insanely dumb gaffe. Like if you'd gone to Vogue's interview, and accidentally sharted on their silk, Louis XV chaise due to a night of heavy drinking and bad mexican food. 

“You don’t need to be a feminist in my generation. There are pioneers who paved the way. I’m not at all a militant feminist. On the other hand, I’m a bourgeoise.”
-- Queen of the Morons

We don't need feminists? Admitting being bourge like it's some kind of badge of honor? Unfortunately for Lala, it doesn't end there. REFRESHER COURSE! What's a feminist kids? Wikipedia says...

"an advocate or supporter of the rights and equality of women"

And, just so we all are clear, what's a bourgeoise? says...

"1. a member of the middle class.
 2. a person whose political, economic, and social opinions are believed to be determined mainly by concern for property values and conventional respectability.
 3. a shopkeeper or merchant."

Call me crazy, but from the quote above and my vague knowledge of her social status, Carla may very well be confused about what she is or isn't. She's essentially announced above that she is a poverty-conscious upper-middle-classite (and/or shopkeeper??) who doesn't support the rights and equality of women.

Le sigh. Riddle me this people, what happens when someone influential/visible does something so douchetastic that 50% of the world's population is offended by it? The issue becomes as visible as a red carpet wardrobe malfunction, is what. 

But wait; take another gander. What if we're misjudging her amazing verbal diarrhea? Maybe she's turning everyone's I-hate-you-and-want-to-punch-you-in-your-silicone-boobs gaze on herself so that she can make an ironic point?


"This phrase is very clumsy and poorly translates my thoughts. It should have read: 'I have never personally felt the need to be a feminist activist'... I imagine I am [a feminist] if feminism means claiming one's freedom. But I am not if it means being committed in an active way to the fight that some women are still leading today... I admire their bravery a lot, but I have chosen to commit myself elsewhere." (courtesy of Huffington Post)

So what you're *really* saying is... 

"Personally, I have no need for feminism because I'm very happy picking out my next outfit from my ivory-model-heaven-tower. Therefore, I don't see the point in defending my fellow-vagers, and will go fight for someone else's cause because all you snatch-carrying-complainers are so bitchy about the whole 'discrimination' thing. And to summarize, PFFFFFFFFF."

Keep digging Carla, no *really*, I promise one day you will strike gold.

Can we please stop confusing feminism with this now:

I offer to pay the first man who gives Carla so much botox she can no longer speak 20% of my salary. Btw, I'm still not done blogging about her. More to come...

"Holy Shit I'm Stuck In An Elevator!!!!" Greatest Hits!
"Love in an Elevator" - Aerosmith
"Go Outside" - The Cults
"Hotel California" - The Eagles
"Save Me" - Aimee Mann
"Living in a Box" - Living in a box
"Crowded Elevator" - Incubus

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More shit that doesn't exist in France

As we kick off the holiday season with recently feasted,Thanksgiving, I'm here to contribute a list of even more shit that doesn't exist over here, thus, negating everyone's "I'm SO THANKFUL for my AMAZING LIFE [Insert Humble Brag here]" posts. Yerwelk.

1) THANKSGIVING doesn't exist here.
Though, I did receive a shocking number of "I hope you had a good thanksgiving" messages from the Frenchies in my entourage & at work (involuntary tear). So I'm grateful for their gratitude-consciousness, and my ability to take friday off to & spend the next 72 hours GORGING myself.

I'm also thankful for stretch-pants.

2) Black Friday could never, EVER exist here.
What. The. Fuck. Is. Wrong. With. AMERICA?!? For once, I'm standing along side the French, shaking my head at you IDIOTS. The French are to logical for this. They value time and comfort much more than the dolla-dolla.

This is what I imagine is going through their heads:

"Hey! I know, let's get up at 1am, and go stand in line in the FREEZING cold for the next 14 hours with our BABIES and ELEVENTY BILLION other REALLY GRUMPY, COLD people so that we can save a total of 25 dollars!! It's totes worth getting shot, stabbed, trampled, punched in the ballsack, captain america action figure shoved up your asshole, or ANYTHING really to save a little money on all the christmas crap my child is demanding because he's a spoiled little f*cker!"

3) Christmas Lists don't really exist here.
I've started this tradition with my French family, but I think I'm definitely breaking some unknown "you're ruining everyone's Christmas if you tell them what you want to get because it's not a surprise you ass-fondling-douche-kayak" rule.

4) Cyber Monday doesn't exist here.
Am I the *only* one who saw this and thought to herself "Wow, they created an official cybersex day and decided it should be on a MONDAY? Kinky."

The French aren't doing this afaik, and I have to admit, I don't see the point either. It's just another online sale, except this one sounds like it should be for dildos.

5) Major sporting events are not scheduled for holidays.
I know the French *loooooove* their soccer, but they don't do games on holidays. Holidays are for being together, eating food but not too much food, drinking wine, way too much wine, but they are certainly not about to schedule a soccer game on Christmas. At least, that's how the French see Thanksgiving... it's pre-Christmas-Christmas to them.

But the U.S. is completely fine with ignoring each other for hours on end to watch a football game. 

If I'm being honest, I like both ways. Curling up on the couch to watch football with the fam is great. Sitting around drinking wine and chatting is great. I think we need to marry the two -- football game, while getting smashed and chatting... HEAVEN... as long as I have my own personal bowl of guacamole and a big glass of vino, you could smear poop on my face and punch me in the boob and I'd probably laugh it off.

6) The need to stuff yourself into a coma doesn't exist here.
Though food is important, for some reason my family over here doesn't feel the need to eat until their heart is about to explode. It's a time-honored American tradition to eat until you are close to passing out, then drink coffee to stay conscious, then eat pie until you're going to vom, then lay down. And France is the poorer for not recognizing the value in this. 

Then again, they look good in jeans. It's all about priorities.

What would you add to this list?

Monday, November 26, 2012

France's Fat Food Fight is Flighty

Though in Paris the population seems to mostly fit into "Taille Petite" (a size small), this country has a decided love affair with foods made mostly, or entirely, OF FAT.

I present to you, exhibits A through D as evidence there of:

A) Brie.
Delicious, gooey, and equal parts pure lard and proteine, this French staple is always a part of holidays and Sunday dinners for the lactose tolerant. 

Though delicious, if you enjoy eating things that have been rotting for at least a month, this is technically worse than eating a giant spoonful of Betty Crocker frosting. (so says CalorieCount, who gives it a big FAT F, on the healthy scale.) 

B) Cassoulet.
The French cousin to our Pork & Beans. Vastly superior, naturally, instead of the random unidentifiable chunk of lard, the French went the extra mile to include several types of lardastic meats.

This is basically a huge mound of fatty bacon with some beans and buttery sauce poured over the top to hide the fact that you're mainly eating BACON.
I hope you enjoy the treadmill.

C) Tartiflette.
If you enjoy Brie and Cassoulet, you're going to flip your shit over Tartiflette. Here's how it works: Boil potatoes. Fry a [BLEEEEEEEEEEP] ton of bacon. Combine & melt more cheese over the top than should be consumed by any one human being. Faceplant. Heartattack. Resuscitation efforts. Backwards floating out of the white tunnel. Alive again. Bite #2.

I hope you have medical insurance.

D) Aligot.
Are you F***ing kidding me? No seriously, IS THIS A JOKE?? 

This is a ruse I tell you. A trick to allow people to say "See? I'm eating mashed potatoes", when really it's pure effing cheese.

As if this weren't enough, this is typically served over some fatabulous sausage. So basically fat, mixed with carbs, served over fat.

I have to say, I'm surprised at how many different ways the French have found to serve potatoes + cheese + fatty meats. They're so damn creative.

So, with that in mind, it's surprising to see the sudden attack on the beloved, NUTELLA.

Which, just to refresh your memory, looks like this --> 

It's nothing short of amazing that this country, so fond of Nutella in all it's hazelnuttery, could ever try to pass a law to tax it into oblivion.

If I have one very solid memory of my Francais classes in high school  it is how much we all assumed the French venerated this product.

But, it's true. They tried to add a tax to palm oil products, which would have quadrupled the current tax, and had an effect on the cost of products like this one.

Yet, as is typical in Frogland, it was promptly struck down a few days after voted in, and is set to be debated over (and over and over) again.

Let us bow our heads and pray, that the chocolate-fat-cheese-sausage-gods will allow us to continue the culinary traditions that make this country so delicious.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Difference Between French & American Baby Showers

Holy shit. I know I've turned 30 when all my friends have started families. Year of the dragon my ass, it's year of THE BABY. They are popping up like fricken mushrooms, people.

The French love babies. This is clear enough to me when strange people are constantly stopping to stare at my buddies' little ones to coo, ogle and often give totally inappropriate, unsolicited advice.

What's odd is the way the French seem to respond to babyshowers.

Not only does this beloved American tradition treasured since the 1950's not exist here, it's even less popular than picking up your dog's poop.

The first one of my girlfriends to help me learn this lesson was French. When I offered to throw her a party at 7-months along, she looked at me like a giant cockroach was crawling out of my eye-socket, and I'd just suggested we take her baby out prematurely and turn it into a piñata. 

I explained that it was very common, and it would set her up for the months to come and she seemed agreeable to the idea. But as time passed, we couldn't find a suitable date, and I started to suspect her resolve to have a shower was wavering. Not being the kind of friend to force my beliefs on anyone, I let it roll, and bought her a gift which I delivered after the baby was born.

The second one was also French, but since she really could benefit from friends and family chipping in to set her up for the new addition, her enthusiasm was without compare. Lots of us banded together for what was, to my great surprise, exactly like a sleep-over between 12yo girls except everyone but the mother-to-be was getting hammered.

Several other non-Americans were having showers hosted for them by their American friends, and I noticed a strange trend. At some point I would mosey over to a French woman to ask -- "So, how are you enjoying the festivities?".

In response I got one of two things typically:

a) deafening silence coupled with a really awkward shrug that was basically the type of answer you'd expect from someone offering you a free enema. I backed away slowly because sometimes that is immediately followed by..

b) the LECTURE of the CENTURY about how WRONG it is to give your pregnant friends a gift before the baby is born.

I found out that I was :
- laughing in the face of destiny
- preparing her for great sorrow should anything go wrong
- a total ass-sprinkler for being such a BAD BAD friend

From what I gathered, the French women at these parties expected no bother to be made for the mother while she's undoubtedly going through one of the most difficult things a woman can experience physically.

So the difference imho is:

Americans: YAY!!! Let's Have a party and celebrate the wonderful new addition with lots of gifts the mom-to-be will need! Let's be *optimistic* about this pregnancy and not assume the baby will die! I'll bring pigs in a blanket! Someone sign up for alcohol-free cocktails, WE NEED CUPCAKES WITH STORKS ON THEM, STAT!

French: You, future-mother, are dead to me until that thing starts breathing on its own outside your humincubator. I don't want to celebrate your pregnancy because I feel celebrating it is like counting chicks before they've hatched. 

I prefer to give gifts after the birth when the you will be a sleep-deprived, baby-pudged-up, trainwreck with baby puke on her forehead and poo on her forearm when you feel the least like having visitors because you're trying to figure out how not to kill the new human you just pushed out of your snatch.

While we're at it, I'm not sure how long you have left, so let's not celebrate your birthday until after it's happened. I know it's on a saturday this year for the first time in years, but tough tomatoes, you might get run over by a bus on Friday at 11:59 and then we'll have prematurely planned all these joyous festivities only to wallow in sorrow. 

PS: I don't want to hear about how sore your boobs are when this is all over with.

So, my advice to you dear readers, is:

a) maybe don't invite the Frenchies?

b) invite them, but tell them it's a party for non-superstitious people ONLY and if they're just going to pout during the whole thing or make faces or comments they can go get stuffed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The French have invented a new way to get drunk

All I can think about this invention is:

What took them so long?

It's about bloody time someone invented a pure-alcohol breath spray that hastily gets you loaded.

My only regret is that I was living under a rock when this stark-designed miraculous discovery was unleashed on the world.

Despite the genius involved here, I'm convinced that they got the name wrong. It's called "WA|HH Quantum Sensations Spray", when obvi it should've been named "WHOO HOOOOO Sensations Spray"!! Or, I've got it... maybe something like, "Immebriated". Hein?? Rolls of the tongue doesn't it?

What's kind of a shame is that the effect only lasts for a few seconds. So, given that, here are a number of situations where a few seconds of instadrunk would be useful:

- When my neighbors clomp around above me at 3am, and wide-awake I want to walk upstairs and render them unable to bear children with my own pair of steel-toed boots.

- When that one ass-pirate runs through the crowded throng of people waiting infront your full metro train cabin, to slip in between the metro doors just soon enough to smash your genitals against some gross smelly man's ass.

- Any time you're ordering in a restaurant.

- Any time you're buying something in a store.

- Any time you need help from anyone at any place for any problem.

- When my husband kills my dreams of owning a puppy. Again.

- When trying on jeans that should be my size but are actually a size -2,000 because the French are in fact miniature.

- When I'm forced to go watch French melodramas at the movies. #sobad

- Any time you need to "stand in line" here.

- When someone asks if you're pregnant. Again. When you're a size 36. #pffffff

- When someone tells you you look tired. Again.

- When you accidentally step in poop. Again.

Actually. It seems like it's probably a good idea that this thing isn't available to me. I'd probably be drunk constantly in this country.

When would you use it?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Paris transportation & Vom. Apparently I have 2 stories now. (+Bonus give away!)

I wish I could say that this is my "vomit story", but yack and I have a long (long) history when it comes to transportation going all the way back to our family road trip across the US where I filled numerous bags full of stomach acid and half digested McNuggets. I've even blogged about some of the more awful ones in the past.

But this story. This takes the cake. Please share your sympathies, vom stories, or let me know if you tried the service I'm suggesting at the end of this post (FREE SHIT, CHECK IT OUT!) & feel free to share your thoughts about it in comments.


I had a business trip to Brussels a couple of weeks ago, one of those there & back in a day trips for an important partner. I had on my favorite power outfit, an electric blue dress, which is quite a step up from my favorite jeans with a hole in the crotchanal region that I keep stitching up no matter how many times it rips open from my ever fattening-arse.

I got in the cab, for once I was early & feeling like this, blithely unawares of what had just happened. A few minutes into the voyage, I noticed it. Putrid can't really capture the rankitude that was the backseat of that cab.

This was not your average lungbutter. It was like...leathal stealthchuk. Invisispew of the alien genre. I searched that backseat like I was looking for a winning lottery ticket, but unfortunately my only clue to where the affected area lie, was on my clothes.

So I had a decision: get out and walk until I find another cab, and possibly miss my train, or just deal with it. Luckily, it was my trenchcoat that took the brunt of the stank, but still. NOT COOL.

The driver said he had no idea. There are only two possible explanations for this:

1) He's a lying SOB and I hope one day someone stomach fountains directly into his mouth.

2) That smell was so noxious that shoved a red-hot poker up his nose to obliterate his olfactory sense entirely, because spending all day in that rolling horkbox is a kind of torture no smelling human being should ever be subjected to.

Needless to say, the next time I needed a ride, I went with a different option. I've been touting the Snapcar service since they launched in August, and it's not only because they are ralph-free. The other day I was lucky enough to be driven around in an Aston Martin convertible!

So, the choice is apparently: Vomit-filled cars with clueless, rude drivers... or... Aston Martin-driving, awesome people who know where they're going and a kick-ass app system to support the whole deal. Tough call.

There is good news though -- I told Snapcar about this incident, and they are offering my readers a discount so that no one should ever have to suffer my fate again. 

10 euros off your first booking when you use the code "ASTONMARTIN"!  (Get the app on your iphone to book, my post from this summer explains more.)


Monday, October 22, 2012

3 Shocking Things the French have Admitted

I'm seeing a very strange trend happening over the past few months. The French seem to unabashedly be accepting their oddities and it's all over the media in several different places. 

Here are the top 3 that shocked me the most -- did they shock you?

Photo copyright: Atlantic Cities Bruno Marguerite/RATP
1) The French can really be a bag of dicks sometimes.

I thought hell would freeze over, thaw, then freeze over again before anyone in this country would grow the balls to admit that *sometimes*, French people cross the line separating jerks from complete douchecanoes. 

I think my heart skipped a beat when I read this article which claimed the French surveyed thought they were "rude, stroppy, and slothful".

Stroppy? Really?? If you know someone who uses the word "Stroppy", raise your hand. Put your hand down, you do not, you freaking patho-liar. Something's off here, I'm thinking this was faked, and I will devote my life to making the truth come out. (*wink*)

Anyway, who cares if it's real or not because the result is the Parisian metro was littered with campaign posters like this article shows

Conclusion? Entire World Who Hate Assholes: 1. French: 0.

2) The Seine is

So they vetoed a huge Seine-swimming event. What's more surprising I ask you: 

a) That the French wait until less than a month before the event to put the kabosh on it destrolishing the hopes and dreams of over 2,000 people who signed up for the swimming event


b) That 2,000 people actually thought the Seine was clean enough to swim in.

If I'm being honest here, part a) doesn't surprise me at all -- in fact, it feels par for the course. Regardless, we probably saved 2k moridions from drowning in putrid. Yay French gov't!

3) It's totally legal to be a cockjuggling manwhore, you guys.

This is the scandal that will not finish. (tee hee.) Strauss-Kahn's trial continues, and the prosecution is squeezing him (lol) to find out if he has ties to a prostitution ring.

His defense against these claims? Being "libertine" (swinger to us anglophones) is not illegal!

Where was this guy when Clinton needed a pep-talk? How awesome would that speech have turned out to be if they had been pals. "I totally porked her, so sue me, it's not illegal b***!".

I never thought I'd say this, but I admire Strauss-Kahn's wrinkly old balls right now.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Subject: Hello Dear.

Just got this curious email in my inbox:

"Forty-four years of age, a ship Captain.
Wish to know you.
Sincerely, -------------"

He sounds like a long lost father, or grandfather or some other absent, regretful, patriarch, and not someone trying to scam naked photos which is what this weirdo probably is. I'm not sure how to tell him the following, taking suggestions on email draft...

a) Pretty sure
people stopped labeling themselves as "ship Captain" a long time ago. Probably around the same time that people stopped using the words "greenback" and "woman of ill repute". Just a guess.

b) All patriarchs in my family are accounted for. Unless the huge bombshell that I have a different father who was actually 14 at the time of my birth (which makes him even more gross than Alfie Patton). Dramatic pause. I think we're safe on this one.

c) Sorry. No nako photos for you, cap'n dinghy fondler.

Woman sick of getting emails like this.

Friday, August 17, 2012

How I lost 40lbs and Smelled AWESOME doing it.


Think about it. What are the two biggest problems this country is currently battling? Ok. Besides the economy. Ok, ok. Besides the housing disaster. FINE, besides EVERYTHING that matters to the governing of the country, the next most important issues. I said, besides the fact that Greece, Spain and Italy are going to plunge Europe into an economic diarrhea-vomit-filled toilet. Think outside the box here!!!

YES. Correct. Keeping people insanely skinny and solving the body-odor crisis.

Not only have they found a way to keep weight loss under control in a country where people speed-eat cheese, but they also tackled *another* major battle this country continues to fight: STANK.

Please stop shaking your heads at me, ANYONE who has been in the metro at peak hours knows I'm not exaggerating, bad shit happens there. Bad, smelly shit, people.

All I can say is, get the nobel prize nominees some ice cream and a bottle of scotch, because they're about to lose to the inventer of this shiz.

Read the amazing news here:

PS: love the name. "Prends-mois". What is this, some kind of play on words to resemble "poids en moins" but like, in a sexy way? WOW. Top shelf work, draper-wanabees.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to go INSANE Part II: French Customer Service Survival Tips

Here's the rest of the story, and some tips for you as promised!

Chapter 5: Apparently I'm a masochist. And a Giant Moron. (But we already knew the 2nd part) 

Yes, I did it. I called the insurance company back when the phone spontaneously stopped working, after I previously insulted the balls off them.

At least this time I wasn't dumb enough to expect them to help, almost. I can't help it, underneath all this cynicism is a raging optimist! I *want* to believe that people are not tiny, little, round pieces of shit.

Me: Uh, hi! Me again. Guess what? I FOUND IT! Hahha. Yay. Um. Ok. So, the only thing is, this time the phone just, spontaneously stopped allowing me to make phonecalls.

Insurance Anus: This is my problem, becaaauuusseeee?....

Me: Well, my policy also covers dysfunction. I read it. Because I can read. Reading is FUN! (I'm hopelessly trying to be upbeat because my negative nelly attitude was getting to me at this point.)

Insurance Anus: Can you tell me how it broke?

Me: Here we go. (Witness the death of Happy Me.) What do I need to tell you so that you'll cover this?

Insurance Anus: (finds this hilarious and laughs HARD) If I told you THAT, I wouldn't be doing my job.

Me: What is your job exactly?

Insurance Anus: Duh. Keep you from filing claims that we have to pay. Did you drop it?

I *literally* thought this:

Me: Fine. F#@% it. I have dropped it so many times it's not even worth counting. But I didn't yet drop it today.

Insurance Anus: Ok. So you didn't drop it, *TODAY*.

Me: No?

Insurance Anus: We only cover instances of malfunction when it's dropped and only if it doesn't concern the antenna, the inner-workings, the screen, the casing or the software.

Me: O Rly? Hmm. Isn't that, basically... the entire phone? Can you tell me under what circumstances the clause covers any kind of phone breakage or theft?

Insurance Agent: If someone beats you about the neck and head, stabs you in the heart, steals your phone, and tells you his name and where to find him... then maybe we can reimburse you. If you're still alive. Maybe, no promises there. Your next of kin could possibly make use of the phone. Unless you become a zombie. Then maybe you can use it to talk to victims instead of eating their faces like the bath salts guy.

Chapter 6: New Service Provider, Same Unelievable Retardation!

I change operators (hundreds of euros down the drain), but the Phone Deities still have diarrhea. I get the new phone immediately, but should've known better than to expect it would be alright.

Me: I just got an email saying that if I don't activate the line in two weeks, you're going to block my line? I expressly mentioned I was out of town and unable to activate it until my return in August.

(Here's the point where I save you four hours. Yes, I spent four hours on the phone, and had to call back over ten times because I kept on getting disconnected, because I was in effing ITALY. I got transferred from one service to the next, *NO ONE* knew what the hell was going on.)

Service Douche #783: Just do it online.

(I try to do it online, GUESS WHAT? Yeah. It doesn't work. At this point my rageometer is reaching murderous.)

Chapter 7: Go here. No go there. No go here again.

Me: I can't do it online, I can't select a date of activation. WTF.

Service Douche #784: Ok go into a boutique and request a SIM card.

(I go to the boutique)

Me: I was told to get a SIM card from you.

Service Douche #785: We have no record of your purchase, we can't do anything for you, we are, in fact, useless in every way possible. We should start over from scratch. Come back tomorrow with 19 pieces of paper, and we'll get it done.

Sidenote: I have a fork in my hand, Imma bout to stick it in my eye to distract myself from the pain of this process.

Chapter 8: Time to bleed again. 

(It's at this point in our story that I get an email stating that if I don't activate my line in 24 hours, they're going to charge me 629,90 euros for the cost of the phone.)

Me: I don't care *what* you have to do, but you NEED to activate this line, TODAY. 

Service Douche #786: I don't like your tone. I'm not doing *anything* to help you.

Me: Ok. I'm going to press charges against you, I'm taking my dossier, and I'm going to the police.

Service Douche #787: Laughs. (<-- I hate her)

Service Douche #786: I'll call customer service. 

Service Douche #788: I can't do anything unless your husband comes into the shop.

Me: OMFG!! FML. I can't believe this. Let *ME* talk to customer service.

Me again: Look. This is RETARDED. I am UNABLE to activate the line, so call the billing and activation services, make a little note in my dossier, and if you charge me so help me GOD I will sue you.

Service Douche #789: Ok.

Chapter 9: Is it over yet? 

(2hrs later, I realize I have no written confirmation of this.)

Me: I need written confirmation of my last conversation.

Service Douche #790: Of what? Did you know you need to activate your line or you'll be charged 630euros? We don't send emails to clients.

Me: (Sticks fork into eyeball.) (Relay entire story. AGAIN.)

Service Douche #791: OK, we're activating your line now, you'll get a confirmation email. This should prevent you getting charged in any case. Sim card should arrive in 5 or less days.

Me: I'm so demanding compensation for this BS.

Chapter 10: The great wait.

Chapter 9 was last Friday. It's Wednesday but it's also Aug 15th -- a holiday. So, one more day of suspense before I call them back AGAIN. That's right. I'm not even hoping anymore that this card will arrive.

I feel neither rage, nor frustration about this, oddly. I've gone into a catatonic state. I have reached the culmination of the rage-o-meter, and I'm really not sure what will happen next. Maybe I'll start all over again with a Lohan-Lethargicoma. I'll keep you posted.

So, what did I do wrong here boys & girls? Here's the top 10.

1) I expected support teams to be educated about the workings of their company
2) I ordered over the phone with no written confirmation
3) I went on vacation while expecting a delivery
4) I expected the boutique staff to have the same information as the phone staff
5) I thought insurance would cover *ANYTHING*
6) I didn't ask for management contacts sooner
7) I expected them to own up to their mistakes
8) I got angry at them (despite weeks of patience)
9) expected service to work at all
10) I had an entitled attitude because of all my expectations

As you can see, most of the big mistakes are to do with my own attitude.

So, how should I have dealt with this?

1) First, I should not have expected the competency of the employees. Sad but true! Set your expectations low, or you *WILL* be frustratingly disappointed. There's a very high employee turn over in these roles, and a lot of the time, these poor employees are just not educated enough in the company's workings to help you.

2) I didn't see someone in person, and MAKE them acknowledge that their job is to solve my problems. I should've literally said to them, "You're supposed to help people do X, right?" then they say "yes", then you say, "Ok I need you to help ME do X", and they say "OK." You've officially become their problem. They have to solve your issue.

3) The first tier person you talk with, they're useless. Know this and reread point #1 if you need to. You need to get to the next level, that is all this person is good for. You can ask to speak to someone who knows the process of what is supposed to happen, because asking for a manager or supervisor will undoubtedly get you the response of "Um, there isn't one" or "Yeah, it's me." -- which is utter BS.

4) Read the fine print on insurance coverage clauses. Mine was totally stupid-hard to read, but when I did I saw that it was essentially a giant waste of money.

5) Have a written dossier of the situation if possible to show them you mean business, and you're not going anywhere because they *will* try to pawn you off on someone else.

6) Check your attitude at the door. French customer service teams HATE entitled customers. They also DESPISE when you get angry with them, even if it's warranted. This 'tude will get you no where.

7) Be patient & persistent. It's a long, dark, horrible road to get to where you need to be, but if you hang in there and triple check everything, you will get there.


Monday, August 13, 2012

How to go INSANE Part I: French Customer Service Survival Tips


This saga is so drama-filled that I couldn't even fit it into one blog. So, posting in 2 parts. I apologize for the suspense, I know you're all dying a slow, painful, death-of-the-soul, waiting for part two to be posted. (ps: I don't apologize for the suspense.)

To accompany the 10 chapters of this story, I have created what I call, The French Customer Service Rage-O-Meter! 

It goes from:

1: The Lohan Lethargicoma - Maybe if drink a fifth of vodka and fall asleep I can dream that this is a nightmare.

2: The Van der Beek Blubber
 - I'm just going to feel sorry for myself, just for a little while.

3: The Busey BallBuster - You doubt I'm lucid, but I'm so scary you'll help anyway.
4: The Sheen Sanity Check -
I think this is not even possible. I must be having a psychotic break.

5: The Nicholson NutJob - I'm unhinging, my inner Johnny is showing.

6: The Betty White Flaming Frenzy - In my mind, I'm imaging burning you alive.

7: The Christian Bale Beat-down - Imma bout to cut a b----. Seriously, look at my face, and prepare to be sliced.

8: The Arnold Ape-Shit - I am holstering this knife in order to get a saw, because first I'm going to scream in your face, then I'm going to cut you up into tiny little pieces, and probably store your remains in my walls.

9: The Cage Crackout Someone help, I can't stop swearing. I'm like someone fed Nicholas Cage an entire bucket of crack, then set him on fire. 

10: The Cameron Catatonic  - I can't deal with this, I can't... DEAL. WITH. THIS. Going to my happy place, happy place, happy place, lalalala-lalalaaaahh, happy happy plaaaaace...

So here goes. Enjoy my plight.

People who know me, have seen that I can't really handle French customer service. Imagine I'm superwoman. (It's not hard.)... (that's what she said)... (anyway, I'm superwoman). Well, customer service over here is like injecting liquid, radioactive kryptonite into my super-hero veins, then setting my hair on fire, shoving a kryptonite grenade in my mouth, and pulling the pin. Read: I'm a hot, liquid, melty-flesh mess.

I've been sans cell and dealing with phone and insurance companies for almost 6 weeks now, which in Shannon-time is like, 72 years. This feels like forever. I should be an old lady. 
I should have.. I don't know... Madonna-Arms, or, Angelina-Jolie-Hands, or... belgh, Lohan-Forehead.

The time spent on the phone with these people alone is enough to suck the life right out of me and turn me into an old, old, I'm-on-hold, hag. Most of these conversations were so ridiculous that I have documented them for posterity, and in part 2, I will share my top tips.

I'm paraphrasing most of this. And by 'paraphrasing', I mean grossly exaggerating.

Chapter 1: Phone Company A tells me to block my phone.

Me: I think I lost my phone.


(So, the phone was blocked, the police were notified.)

Chapter 2: Let the Insurance Debacle #1, BEGIN!

Me: I have the maximum policy possible, I've been paying 20eur a month for 2.5yrs, please reimburse me for this theft.

Insurance company: Do you know the circumstances of the theft?

Me: Umm.. not, really, I didn't notice the theft, so I can't really tell you what happened other than I was probably pick-pocketed because the phone company says someone's using it.

Insurance company: Oh. (clickity click in the bkg). Yeah, this file is now closed, we can't take your case.

Me: WHAHH?? Did I just hallucinate you saying no? Or are you really that much of a dick?

Insurance company: (maniacal laughing) I love this part. You're screwed. You're more screwed than Tila Tequila, my friend, get those condoms ready because we're going to make your ass bleed.

(The rest is really not appropriate for the blog, I mean, seriously it's just a long string of swear words in French that even I didn't know I knew until that moment, and I already mentioned ass bleeding, so I gotta draw the line somewhere.)

Chapter 3: F@#%. I found it.

Me: Um, Phone Company Rep-Person... Why in the hell did you tell me someone was using my phone when it was just lodged in the black hole between the car door and the driver's seat?

Phone Company: I never said that. You're a dirty, lying, whore.

Me: Yes, but let's get back to my phone situation.

Phone Company: I never said that. You're a hallucinating, dirty, lying, whore.

Me: Crossing the line with that hallucination talk, I'm a perfectly lucid dirty, lying, whore, and you told me someone was using it. 

Phone Company: Did not.

Because I'm a persistent (dirty, lying, but not hallucinating) whore, our conversation went back and forth for 40 min in a pathetic "did-not-did-to" dance that degraded into another swearing session. 

I asked them to reactivate the sim, and naively thought that my troubles were behind me.

Chapter 4: REALLY? Really. This. Is. Not. Happening.

It's at this point in my story that the Cellular Gods feasted for 3 days and 3 nights, mainly on ex-lax chocolate, with some fruit, whole-grain muffins and espresso, on the side. Then, they lifted up their glowing, pristine robes, and squatted right over my face. 

So I was happily calling everyone, relaying what an idiot I am, when all of a sudden... the phone just stops working. Bad luck too, because I was supposed to catch a train, and my sole communication with the friends who had my ticket, was, you guessed it: my phone.

I asked several staffers at the train station, but it was a good samaritan who lent me his (working) phone, and I caught the train. But my story isn't over. I am still phoneless at this point, and my face is covered in Phone Deity excrement.

Stay tuned for part II where I relay the end, point out all my stupid mistakes, and give you the keys to success. 

Feel free to share your own horror stories in comments, I feel your pain.
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