Complaint Department

I don’t complain about much. What’s the bother? It’s going to be hot, it’s going to be cold. The traffic was horrible, all drivers are terrible. The dinner was uncooked, your wife is slowly poisoning you through her casseroles. Shut up, it’s happening to everyone. You just find the right to bitch about it to everyone you see.

And do you know what they’re thinking when you’re in the middle of your harangue?

“I wish this idiot would shut up so I can tell them what’s really wrong with lines at the supermarket.”

I feel if you’re complaining about something you’re not really interested in finding a solution. Because there always is. Too hot? Find some shade. Too cold? Put on a coat. Traffic is horrible? Find another route. All drivers are terrible? Stop driving because you’re only adding to the terror. Dinner was undercooked? Put it back in for ten. Your wife is poisoning you? Stab her while she sleeps.

See? Solutions you could have arrived at if you’d just stop bitching about everything.

But I did find myself actually complaining to a company the other day. It was a humorous complaint that placed much of the blame on me. I never would have done it if, right there on the package, it didn’t say, “If you have any complaints about our product contact us here.”

Why would anyone do that? That’s like saying, “If you find me loud and obnoxious punch me here.”

That’s just the kind of request someone like me will take you up on.

What brought me to my complaint was an issue but also a bad thing for me to have: time to think.

I had to shave, my blade was dull and I had no more refills. I knew I wouldn’t have time to go to the store but knew I’d see a person who sells personal care products so I’d ask them to sell me some. Of course they didn’t have blades for any of my razors but they did have packages of disposable razors. I purchased a pack and went about my day.

Later that night I go down to the basement to shave. I know how weird that sounds but hear me out. Okay, it’s weird. I do it because I like to take my time. It’s often the only time I’m left alone. I throw on some music or a podcast, crack open a beer and enjoy my alone time.

I also do it because I got sick of getting bitched at because it was taking me so long in the shower because, other than my face, I also have to shave my head. Hence, showering takes me longer if I shave at the same time. So I thought about an alternative and the basement seemed like a fine place. And it is. I like it down there.

I rip open the new package of disposable razors (which is where I first saw the “If you have any complaints. . .” statement) and take one out. It seemed a little flimsy to me but, via the packaging, I was told it had something like ‘flex-tite technology’ or some such bullshit someone in advertising thought up because the word ‘flimsy piece of shit’ isn’t considered a positive.

I slather up my head (I work in stages) and go to work. Right off the bat I noticed that the flims. . .I mean flex-tite technology infused handle had a lot of torque to it. The blades did chip away at my hair but I had to put in a little extra effort to put the ‘tite’ in ‘flex-tite’. But it’s going. I feel some tugs and pulling that really shouldn’t have started at my neck right from the start.

It was then that I began formulating a response to their request. At first I was doing it to entertain myself. Shaving, if you’re doing it right, is a lonely business. And when I’m left to my own devices I can think up some things. Trust me, you don’t want to know.

I’m now up to the sides of my head in this journey and it’s not sliding as smoothly as you’d expect from a five minute old blade. But it’s still taking the hair off so I carry on. Other side of the head then the top of the head.

Now I know some of my bald brothers out there are saying, “Side to side and THEN the top? You’re a bloody heretic.” And to that I respond with a rousing “Shut up.”

That problem vanquished, let’s move on with the story.

The shave is a little rocky as I get to my face. Being left-handed I shave the left side of my face first. It’s starting to cut a little bit but I think I can finish without looking like I was in a gravel fight with weed whackers. But I was wrong. It’s pulling and cutting and finally I end the shave with a big razor burn down my throat.

Oh, I’m sending an email.

A couple days later I get some time and sit down to write a short, humorous tale of my shave. I don’t blame them I’m really poking fun at myself and, hopefully, give the person whose job it is to read all these requested complaints a chuckle.

I’ve had worse shaving accidents. Here’s a troubling one.

A day later I get an official looking email from the company thanking me for contacting them and how sorry they were that I had an unsatisfactory experience with their product. Just your average form letter. It said they were sending me something. I wondered with it was. Maybe a t-shirt saying “I gave blood! With the Acme Flex-Tite Razor!” Hey, maybe a better quality razor from a competitor. Who knows but I didn’t think about it again.

A couple days later I get a envelope from them. Inside is a letter stating pretty much what was in the email, a padded envelope, a self-addressed return postage sticker, a hazmat bag and two coupons for, wait for it, yep, the exact same fucking razors.

The exact same razors I complained about? Yes, the exact same razors I complained about.

Where is the sense in that? I vomit at a restaurant they’re not going to prop me back up and plop another meal in front of me.

And wait, they want me to send back the offending razors but also want me to go out and get exact replicas to replace them. What? You wouldn’t bring back a shirt because it’s too small only to be given the exact same size in return.

In the end I couldn’t send the razors back because, while telling the story to someone, they said they loved those razors so I gave them to him. I gave the coupons to a homeless guy. But I kept the hazmat bag.

That could come in handy.

But it also got me to thinking, I wonder what else I could complain about to get free shit?

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2 responses to “Complaint Department

  1. Sometimes complaining is pretty cool. look at Larry David. He made a career out of it.

  2. Notre Dame and Bound & Gags Fan

    The opening of this piece could be posted in every business, home or street corner. Love it!

    As for the shaving part, not having shaved since the morning I got out of the service about fifty years ago, I have trouble remember what it is like to have a bad shave. Now I do. Thanks.

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