Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thing 251 Write a Letter of Complaint

I love some of the distinctly Irish characteristics that I possess. I think we've mostly got them. Sitting in a restaurant, choking down bad food, waiter walks over; "How's everything for you...?" Great. Delicious. Really enjoying it. It's like there's a party in my stomach and everyone's invited. I'm actually the happiest I've ever been in my entire life... Soon as the man is gone I'm complaining. It's Irish. We just don't give out about the stuff we should, then we crib and moan about unimportant stuff.

Example: country in ruins. Welfare slashed. Taxes up. Protests outside the Dáil? No. Rubberbandits release a song about a horse outside and Joe Duffy loses his life and goes off on one about the damage the song does, and somehow makes it a debate about child neglect. That's Irish. Complaining's just not something we do appropriately. We complain loud and long about the wrong things, but we grimace and get on with it when we're being clubbed over the head by people who should know better.

Not this time though. I'm fighting back. Fighting the man. Taking on the powers that be... and how? With a strongly worded letter. That's right. Not an email. I'm kicking this shit old-school. I typed it up, printed it out, and sent it, snail mail style...

Here's what it said:

1 Heuston South Quarter

St John’s Road

Dublin 8

Dear Eircom,

I’m sending you this letter by snail mail because I have no internet. You know whose fault that is? It’s yours. See our modem is broken, and as I understand it, this is somehow being blamed on me – but I didn’t do it. Neither did anyone else in this house. We love the internet. Really. It gives us access to bad taste jokes on websites of questionable moral content. It allows us to watch hilarious videos on YouTube. It allows me to write pointless articles on the web that probably no one reads. It’s just not in our interests to break our only access to Flight of the Concords.

As I understand it, a replacement will cost me fifty euro, or I’ll be afforded a free modem in exchange for signing an extension to our contract with you. I find neither of these acceptable. That’s like being told that my television choices for the evening are Grey’s Anatomy or Sex and the City. I’d rather pull my front teeth out than choose one of those over the other – sometimes there’s no such thing as “the lesser of two evils”.

In my eyes, you’re like some 1950’s American gangsters running a protection racket on broadband lines. Do you all wear trilbies to work? Do you own a Tommy Gun?

At the end of the day, we’re without broadband, but still paying for it. Through no fault of our own, we’re now in the unenviable position of paying you an extortionate amount of money for a service that we’re not receiving. This is less acceptable than the Grey’s vs. SATC scenario. We’re into Days of our Lives territory here.

I expect you to contact me in the coming days to sort out a refund of the money paid while we were without service. I’d like you to know as well, that I’ll be buying a new modem directly from an electronics store. I’ll pay double what you’re asking just so that the money’s not going into your pockets.

Merry Christmas.

Dan Mooney.

Oh yeah... that'll have them quaking in their boots. It's four weeks later. Total replies? Zero. How much better do I feel? Infinitely. The only downside is that I'm twenty six. Not seventy six. How many people you know send a snail-mail complaint? I feel like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, except without the shotgun and not as cool... actually that's a lie. I feel like a combination of Hans Moleman and Grandpa Simpson. Ah well, at least I get to fight the man.

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