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.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Study says Some Men Like Women... again. Sigh.

So, they're at it again. Trying to find more, extremely obvious, ways to prove that straight men enjoy looking at women. (Le sigh). Can someone *pleeeeease* tell me when money will stop being wasted proving the following things are true about heterosexual men:

- Men like women who have breastesses
- Men like women who show their brestesses
- Men like women who have vaginas, labia and a clitoris
- Men REEEEALLY like women who show their labia and clitoris
- Men like women who wear flashy red-hued colors
- Men like women who wear make up
- Men like women who are healthy
- Men like women who smile
- Men like women who have clean hair
- Men like women who have clean teeth
- Lots and Lots and Lots of Men like women... PERIOD.

I think, it's safe to say, we have ESTABLISHED this. No. Need. To Study. 

If you thought wearing yellow instead of red was going to get you more tips, then you deserve to get stiffed. Baboon asses do not turn yellow. Lips and other body parts do not turn yellow when engorged. Le sigh, again.

Thank you French nation for proving the obvious! Maybe move on to something, like how to stop wasting money on useless fact-finding?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Watch this French guy DESTROY that cheese

I've done several posts about France and food. I'm not so much the "OMG this restaurant makes me incontinent I'm so excited to eat there!!!!" type, but it's a topic I feel the need to bring down a notch from time to time. This blog is no exception.

In the spirit of the Olympics which have taken over the planet, I've decided to turn the JNSQ spotlight on to a very important... wait, wait, no. Important is not quite cutting it. Let's go with... FURGIENT (or furious urgent for those who don't know me well enough to know I do this with all words in the English, and sometimes French, language).

Anyway. It's a FURGIENT subject, readers: competitive eating.

What? You (naively) thought the French didn't do this? That they spend hours and hours and (fucking) HOURS at the dinner table? Ok. You're not wrong. But *SOME* righteously awemazing people in France have boldly gone where no one else dared because they were (rightfully) expecting to be judged.

I submit to you, the cheese eating contest of Livarot in the Calvados region of France:

(Thanks to My Last Meal Will Be Made of Cheese for the link, you people should go like her page btw.)

For some Americans, even eating a molecule of French cheeses are a challenge, and really I can't blame them, even I wasn't sold at first taste. But I gotta hand it to this guy, he just sucked down a LOT of fucking cheese like it were some kind of semisolid fairy-magic-unicorn-dust, constipation BE DAMNED.

Even though I feel this is a step in the right direction, these guys still have a long way to go. I feel like they're style is lacking a certain "I'm eating this so fast that I literally have to make a chomping movement with my face because I cannot actually chew that fast without the help of gravity", that our great nation has perfected. Exhibit A:

But let's end this on a positive note, France -- you're on your way to disgustingly fast eating habits, and I SLUTE* YOU.

***UPDATE: I cannot beLIEVE I didn't comment on this before... I must have been delirious with the cold I was fighting when I wrote this. Who else absolutely LOVES that the first thing he does when the winner finishes, before he even has time to smile, IS PUKE UP CHEESE!!!!! He's all, "Whooo-hooo-oh-god-I'm-throw-ing-up-merde" lol. I adore this even more now.****

(*I typed "SLUTE" when I totally meant to type "SALUTE", but somehow feel it's appropriate because of the fromage-whore above. So it's staying. Deal with it.)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In all seriousness...

I tried to repress this comment, but I can't. Just look at this guy's face while the woman is speaking. I took a screenshot. 

Clearly, he thinks it's funny, he thinks female contraception, and the brave woman defending it, are a joke. She's so eloquent, it's all the more insulting that he belittles her articulate speech with his sad little grin. Watching this clip reminds me of all that makes me *sick* about Romney, and so many republican men who agree with him. 

Can you put the shoe on the other foot for a moment fellas? Imagine that we lived in a matriarchal society, and women were battling to remove your right to ejaculate because to us, it meant you were killing potential human beings. We called you all sorts of names, like whore, and murderer. We called you unchristian, evil, and we said you would burn in hell. Imagine we screamed in your face about how ashamed you should feel for defying God's will, as if we could presume to understand such omnipotence.

The French figured this out in the 70's, and even now, today, a candidate for president in the US and his lackey f**kpuppet can't comprehend something that should not even be a question. 

I feel rage, but also quite a bit of pity for these pour souls who think they have it all figured out. I'm equal parts disgusted and dismayed for anyone who says they speak for God, and thinks they should have some say over what I choose to do with my body.

Le sigh. America, you are so big, so grand, so full of dreams, spirit, talent and potential. Also, so sad, so young, so embarrassing, and so painfully misogynistic. All I can do is shake my head, and pray that 51% of my homeland is enlightened enough to see what a mistake it would be to elect a president so woefully ignorant as Romney.

Hopefully this is the last time during election season I will feel so sickened that I need to blog about it for therapeutic reasons.

To see the full clip:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pinterested in some crazy shiz?

In yet another blatantly conscious attempt to avoid real life, I've started pinning. In case you live under a rock, it's where you take images and plug them into a website.

It's like when unicorns touch their horns together and a beam of light erupts so bright that rainbow sparkles fall from the sky and the sun turns into a giant lollypop and pandas begin prancing around in a garden full of hibiscus flowers. Or meth*.

My favorite board is called "This is SO WRONG", and it really is.

I'm about to get my 100th pin -- any suggestions?
*It should be noted that I'm deathly afraid of all drugs. All of them. Including aspirin. I'm just assuming that meth is like magical pandas dancing in rainbow glowing land of hibiscus. I apologize in advance to meth-doers who refutiate** this claim.

**Yes a-holes, I know this is not a real word.
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