Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Should I Complain?

Now has twenty flowers and lots of leaves

I was flabbergasted recently while waiting for an overdue refund on my credit card - I had lent my daughter about $900 while she waited for a cheque to clear for a hospital admission.  We were assured at the reception desk that the accounts department would "pick it up" and I would receive my refund within a week. After ten working days, I looked into the matter and spoke to the lady responsible for the account.  She told me the money had been refunded to my son-in-law's account that day, and I should ask him to transfer it over to myself. Indignantly, I asked how she could overlook the fact the the credit card was in a completely different name? I got no acceptable answer and only a reluctant apology, she just "assumed" she said, when I started to make a fuss. As usual, I blamed myself.  I should not have trusted that the verbal exchange at reception would be passed on;  I should have detailed the request in writing and faxed it to Accounts. I made the classic mistake of 'assuming' !!  You know the old adage?   If you 'assume' anything, your make an ass out of you and me.  (Ass-u-me).  I made the same mistake a week later. I saw an ad at a nursery some distance away for an identical pot that I had received as a gift for my resurrected cyclamen. It was advertised at a quarter of its price but I (prudently, I thought), first telephoned to check that they had stock. "Just a moment", the assistant said and he obligingly went to look; he came back to confirm that they had just one left in the color I wanted.  Thrilled I rushed off and eventually found the pot, badly shop-soiled and chipped, with a display of artificial flowers in it. Why hadn't I been warned?  No-one would have bought it for any price in that condition. Should I complain? One is inclined to let things go, accepting that in today's world, standards and work ethics are not what they were.  On the other hand,  I am not working, I have time to do these things: I should represent the interests of all those busy people who encounter the same sort of problems but don't have time to phone. I expect my conscience will make me do it eventually.


  1. The shop soil is one thing, the chips another. But then, you had to figure for 75% off there had to be something wrong with it. I think that, so long as they didn't make you buy the thing at any price, no complaint is in order.

    As for New England in the fall, it's the only place I have ever seen in the fall, so to me it's the very best place! Others might say the Rocky Mountains would be the best.

  2. I envy people who can complain logically, cooly, and within reason. My MS has put a hair trigger on anger. I can go full nuke over stupid stuff, so as a result I tend to avoid complaining. No use getting thrown in jail over a fly in your soup. That said, I have found complaining usually does nothing anyhow other than hearing a bunch of platitudes of what you know is undistilled bullshit. Every once in a while though, I do blow up and it is amazingly cathartic. However on another site I just run into this aphorism, that I should have done up in a sampler and hang on the wall:

    As cathartic as being a total asshole can be, it’s not productive.

    That pretty much sums up my efforts at seeking justice in the world.

  3. I'm with you on this. We do assume, much to our chagrin, that we are dealing with competent people who will follow through in the way in which they have said they would when we make financial exchanges. That is not the case way too often. Like you, I express my displeasure. I try to be a civil as I can without being condescending. I find that often that is not the response I get on the other end. Take the time it get to get the problem taken care of.