Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Spending my life on hold

I've been on the phone a lot lately, re-establishing our lives here in the US. One of my major phone buddies these days is US Airways - they're the ones we're going after for our $800, since the flight was technically a US Airways flight. It's taken quite a few phone calls so far and there's no end in sight, in the near future at least. Everyone is as baffled by our situation as I am.

The problem is, the number in their refunds department that I always have to call has an extraordinarily long wait time. Each time I call, I can count on being put on hold for 30 minutes. This is even after I've established a case with them and have conversed with their representatives several times.

Finally, yesterday, I asked the lady if I could have the direct number for Ms. Mendoza* so I didn't have to wait THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES every time I have a hankering to get my money back. Cell phone minutes do not grow on trees, you know. But she told me - get this - that there isn't a direct number to her. You just have to call through the main feed every time and then ask for her.

In my mind, I thought, "Really, US Airways Phone Lady? That's the only way to get through to her? So when her boss, or you, for example, want to call her, you have to wait 30 minutes on hold, too? You cannot possibly be telling me the truth."

What I said was, "That's a shame. Thanks anyway."

I've got to work on my assertiveness before their pseudo-inspirational hold music drives me insane.

*On the plus side, every time they manage to foil my plans, as above, I take great comfort in shouting, in my best McBain voice, "MENDOZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Monday, August 27, 2007

Welcome back!

I already shared with you the list of things I knew I would miss about Jordan.

Here are some of the things about America that I am welcoming with open arms:

1. A real shower. Except for hotels in Israel, this is the first one I've had all summer long. (To conserve water, we took modified shower-baths in Amman, with water that was not always hot.)

2. Being able to flush TP down the toilet. Talk about the height of luxury!

3. Grocery stores with a variety of brands, all the products I'm used to, and good sales. Amman has some of the best grocery stores I've seen anywhere in the Middle East, but Fry's still managed to amaze me on my first trip there earlier this week.

There are some culture-shock things, too, but there always are. And we always get over them. More about that later.


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