Thursday, October 4, 2007


Right, so this post hasn't the slightest thing to do with masonry, but its about failure in general. Well, not failure per se: What's the word, I'm looking for...ah, incompetence...right. I'm not a superstitious person in general; I like the number 13, I walk on cracks, you know stuff like that; but today is one of those days that I am sure I'm going to avoid all people because I think that everyone is just fucked today.

1. I've been trying to figure out a way to get money from France to the US...I still have outstanding things in the states to pay (damn Sallie Mae), but without any income in the US, I have to find a way to transfer this from €uros to Dollars and from France to the US (I'm hoping that the dollar just take a huge shit and it turns out that my student loan is only worth like 50euros or something). Along came Paypal with, what I thought, would be a solution...Yet, it seems that they can't even make a website that works. I jumped through the 80,000 hoops to prove that I'm not a drug lord or supporting the Taliban with my "payments"...I get to the "Send Money"...I try to send from my French paypal persona to my US paypal persona and..."You can not use your credit card to complete this transaction at this time." Ok, fine, I'll use my bank account. I jump through 20 more flaming hoops to put my banking info in there and...."You can not use your credit card to complete this transaction at this time." Well no shit...That's why I'm trying to use my bank account...Fuck that. I go to email them to ask how the fuck I can pay if I can't use my credit card or my bank account...Food stamps? bartering? food-for-oil? I don't know. So I click through the 15 screens to get to the customer service request thing and "Page Not Found." Ok, no problem...I'll go through the US site and request info "Page Not Found." Ok fine, I'll call them, even though this is France where any number that would be a 1-800 number in the States is the equivalent of a 1-900 for pay I paid 21 euro cents a minute to listen to Muzak...after 10 minutes I gave up on that too. So now I'm in Paypal purgatory...I need a new way to launder my money to the states...any ideas?

2. Our air conditioner/heater (it's one unit) is on the fritz (and not on Fritz-ha!) and we need to get it serviced...being that it's only 4 months old, it [had goddamn better] be under warranty. Julie spoke with a woman at the company*, who needed more technical information than Julie could give...So the woman said she'd call me right away...that was over 3 hours ago...It comes back to the for-pay lines...I don't want to pay 25cents a minute to talk to this woman who's supposed to call me.
*great aside: In France, customer support or customer service is called Service Apres Vente (SAV); literally After Sales using the same format this is of course the "ASS department".

3. La Poste has corporate programs where I can get a volume discount if I buy different shipping options in advance...I ordered them about 10 business days ago and was told they would be here in 4-5 business days. Of course I haven't seen them...Contact La Poste..."No no sir, everything is in order. You should probably get them today or tomorrow at the latest at '25 rue...'". "Umm, did you just say 25? 'Cause I'm at 13." The asshole who ordered these took down the wrong address.

I swear, if France didn't have this overwhelmingly huge bureaucracy that's it pillared on, the whole damn country would be on par with Nigeria and Bangladesh for efficiency and all other first world traits. And of course, being that La Poste is one of the biggest groups of incompetent bureaucrats in the entire country, you'd think that it would be ripe for other groups to come in and do that...Fed Ex is here and in a partnership with...wait for it: La Poste!! And UPS costs like 4 times more for exactly the same [lack of] service.

Don't get me wrong...if I were in the US, I would also hate the US as much as I do now...It's not that France is worse than the's just that I'm here, now.