Round 2: Toby Hanks vs the Insurance People

May 23, 2007 at 9:26 am (annoying, fury, insurance, patronising)

I have yet to receive word from my insurance guy. I’ve been blown off every single time I’ve called.
First (after calling his direct line for the umpteenth time) I was put on hold then transferred to an automated voice system that put me on hold again. For 15 minutes. That’s hellishly long when you’re holding on.
Then, when I tried later, someone else answered. I asked for my guy and this dude said he’d transfer me. Puts me on hold. Two minutes later he’s back: “Sorry, there seems to be a problem with your guy’s phone. I’ll take a message for him and get him to call back immediately,” says he.
Three hours later my guy has still not called and I dial again. Someone else answers, asks who it is and after I’d identified myself, my guy suddenly became unavailable. The convo went something like this:

TB: Oh, so now he becomes unavailable when he hears it’s me?
Other Guy: Sorry m’am but your guy’s line is engaged. He’s really busy.
TB: He HOUNDED me when he wanted me to take out the policy. Called so many times. Now he’s too busy?! [starting to sound like a jilted girlfriend] Actually, I’m starting to feel as if I’m being blown off.
OG: Sorry. Perhaps you can leave a message.
TB: I have left several messages. Is he going to be too busy to ever call back. [voice drops to a deadly whisper à la Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada].
OG: [obviously uncomfortable] Er, um, can I take a message?
TB: You tell him he must phone me today still. I will not leave another message because even you know who I am and you all have my number.
OG: I’ll ask him to call you, m’am.

Two hours later: still no word from my guy. Other guy obviously didn’t convey my serious pissed-off-ness. I’ve given them enough chances – I’m moving up. Back to complaints department where I outlined my problem to Complaints Guy (CG). After a brief rundown CG agrees there may some irregularity and promises to listen to the tapes then get back to me.
I’m waiting CG. Don’t you dare bail on me too.

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The biggest boob

April 10, 2007 at 6:45 am (advertising, bimbo, cricket World Cup, patronising, sexist, VW Jetta)

There are currently two ads competing for my Ad I Hate Most award. The first is probably going to be off soon as it’s Cricket World Cup related.
If you’re not sure which one I’m talking about check in between matches – patriotic music playing in the background while our boys get dressed; fans waving flags and then…some bimbo sliding on a SA top while doing the requisite hair flip.
After Graham, Polly, Ntini and co have run (slow motion no less) down the passage we see girlfriend jiggling up and down so her ample cleavage can be shown across the nation. Nice.
The second one, which is definitely getting my knickers in a well-defined knot, is the VW Jetta ad where the loser asshole calls his date telling her he’s on his way then gets “caught” in a carnival. He then proceeds to shake it with all the scantily clad women while his date waits. Hours (I presume) later he rocks up at her house, and she, only after seeing his car, lets him in.
This is 2007 yet we still see this sexist bullshit on our screens. In a country where staying alive is an achievement this is a small thing to be irked about but, dammit, I get into a furious frenzy every time I see it. I can’t believe women are still treated as brainless bimbos who are only good for jiggling what their mama’s gave them and being so shallow they’d let a guy get away with anything because they have a cool car.I’m preparing to go to war.

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Coffee coloured comments

March 21, 2007 at 6:41 am (investec, patronising, racism, training)

So I did an EQI (emotional quotient intelligence) test yesterday. It’s part of this programme at work where they’d like to develop young talent to grow in the company.
At the meeting where it was all explained a girl asked if it was a “coloured thing”. Some laughed; others didn’t.
I thought it was rather silly of her to say that especially as the publisher made a concerted effort to explain that they’re trying hard to right the wrongs of the past – or something like that.
She thinks it’s patronising for them to develop non-whites and this kinda stumps me…If you’re given a chance to grow and develop; go on training course; get guidance from those in the know, etc, why would you throw it back in their faces.
Look at the Investec dude, Bonga Bangani. He resigned because he felt he wasn’t given enough training and just treated as a token black. Racism is rife there, he says.
Now we (at our company) are being given the tools to not be token blacks and this girl thinks it’s patronising.
So this makes me wonder – if white management gives you a chance to develop, it’s patronising. And if they ignore you, it’s racism. Can anyone explain to me exactly what they must do to get it right?

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