If You’ve Seen One Epiphany, You’ve Seen Them All

As a result of the growing chorus calling for an actual plan in Iraq, the Bushter tip-toed into Annapolis this morning and speechified about it. The goal was to offer something more substantial than the “It Takes as Long as It Takes and We Must Win and Just Trust Me” plan. Judging from what we know so far, we – and certainly others – suspect this may not be the correct formula. However, we’ll give it a little room to breathe before we jump on his back. We are heartened that Shrub seems to have seen a least a small sliver of light about even needing a real plan. True, it took merciless hammering for two years and record low job approvals to do it, but he’s clearly a believer in the “better late than never” stance.

What we aren’t heartened by is Shrub’s insistence on leaving many of the key people who helped create this mess in their positions of authority. Forgetting about his Administration’s many other fiascos, and Condoleeza Rice’s recent performance notwithstanding, there are still quite a few obvious boneheads wandering the halls of the White House in search of something else to muck up.

Perhaps the chief mucker this week is SecDef Donald Rumsfeld. As he’s done several times in the past, he offered public comments that again show just how big a knothead he is. In the midst of the worsening crisis in Iraqi he felt it necessary to weigh in with an important revision to Webster’s Dictionaryinsurgents aren’t really insurgents. “Enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government,” was Rummy’s suggestion. EOTLIG for short. It sort of rolls off the tongue like his suggestion to change the “war on terror” to the “global struggle against violent extremism,” or GSAVE. Or how about his insistence that the nations fighting the war be called a “coalition” when the biggest contributor to the effort aside from Britain was that other well-known world power Poland. And lets not forget Togo’s contribution either, we couldn’t win without them either. We won’t even go into that whole suicide vs homicide bomber thing.

We don’t think EOTLIG will stick. For one thing, even Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace said, “I have to use the word ‘insurgent’ because I can’t think of a better word right now.” Pace even apologized for using the word a second time, saying, “Sorry, sir. I’m not trainable today.” We will agree on one thing, there was an untrainable person on the podium yesterday, and it wasn’t Pace.

Rummy called his notion to change the vernacular an epiphany. We’re glad he continues to have these visions, but we’d sure be happier if he had epiphanies about something important like doing his freaking job. We’d be even happier if the Chimp-in-Chief had an epiphany and fired his sorry ass. But sadly, we think Bush doesn’t pray at that church.

The Evil Minions of Cable TV

Companies no longer need to provide good service, they need only suck marginally less than their competitors.

— Omnipotent Poobah, 2005

As omnipotent beings go, we’re usually quite laid back. We promised, at an early age, to use our powers only for good, but sometimes our aversion to smiting the deserving is greatly tested.

This morning we had a rather vociferous “discussion” with one of the Minions of Evil in Comast’s billing department. It was the third try to straighten out a billing problem that has existed since our credit card was stolen and we had to change the number on all of our accounts. We won’t go into the gory details of incompetence, but the evil disembodied voice on the call kept trying to lecture us on proper behavior by constantly interrupting us when we were pontificating. We have few buttons to push, but she successfully found one of them and continued to push it like a doorman on crack.

After some dignified shouting, she agreed to our request for a supervisor with a relieved tone in her voice. However, the supervisor was as powerless as his drone to give assurances there would be no fourth bite at the incompetence apple. They claim the problem has now been cleared up, but they said that the first three times too. If we need a fifth attempt, we will feel completely justified in responding with suitable omnipotent rath.

Being a reflective sort of deity we thought about the call afterwards. There is no question that we entered the discussion on heightened alert, ready to pounce. It’s also equally clear that the minion and supervisor were powerless to do anything other than absorb our omnipotent displeasure. But who does that leave to blame, or more importantly, who can actually fix the problem?

It seems to us that the most logical place is at the top of the corporate food chain, with the CEO. We’re sure that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts is handsomely paid. We’re sure that part of the way he gets handsomely paid is to “save” money at all levels of the operation. But here’s the catch, what happens when all the savings become a loss?

Things can go to hell when you’re too busy minding cash flow instead of the store – a fact that our national CEO, George W. Outsourcing and his Evil Minions, prove on a daily basis. But perhaps the most idiotic thing about billing systems problems is this…when they are dysfunctional your customers are reduced to having to beg you to take their money. This, in effect, rubs their nose in the fact that you raise prices and reduce service as often as a hooker has sex and then demand they pay for the privilege of catching the hooker’s case of clap. Not surprisingly, this leads to low customer satisfaction (or “really pissed off customers” in the jargon of the industry).

We suppose we should feel bad about the thorough going over we gave the minion and supervisor, and we do on a personal level. We treated them shamefully. However, when we call Comcast we don’t get to speak to good King Brian and discuss things dios a dios. Instead, we must talk to the most junior minions in all of King Brian’s realm. We find this situation quite unsatisfactory. That’s why we propose this solution:

When having problems such as ours, contact the Top Dog whenever possible. Hurl your thunderbolts at them. Ravage them in every way possible, because what they do is the true transgression…cowering behind minimum wage pawns and multiple level bureaucracy as they count their money and escape responsibility.

So, Mr. Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast…if we have to call again about this be forewarned, we’ll be skipping the low wage minions and dropping the steaming turd directly on your shiny mahogany desk next time. After all, that’s what you are paid $(insert unbelievably huge number here) for.

We just want to help you with your job.

As We See It – Version 11.0