Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On privacy, crappy customer service and depressing Bengali movies

What happened to privacy in one's house is all I want to know?? I love Son to death, but I do draw a line and that line goes right in front of the bathroom. Lately, Son has picked up a new awesome habit which goes like this. Every time I decide to visit the facilities at home, I try to clandestinely slink out of the room I am in and even more quietly sneak into the bathroom for some one-on-one time with Mother Nature. I happily pick up a magazine or whatever defining intellectual reading material lies there and just as I am about to enjoy my privacy, I hear the hasty patter of little boy feet and two seconds later, I hear the following, "mamma...mama...mammmaaa.....maaaaaammmmaaaaaaaaaa" all conveyed playfully underneath the crack of the bathroom door. Next, I see a few tiny fingers showing from there. A few seconds later, a couple of cars gets shoved inside but in a few seconds their owner starts screaming demanding the cars back. With a resigned air, I get up, open the door and am greeted by a beaming face and a happy voice which promptly and loudly announces to the world, "Mommaaa pooped!" Um, well...I love that child!

Now, let me tell you about an awesome shopping experience I had last week. I had this brilliant idea to send our parents and grandparents a slightly cheesy 2011 calendar with pictures of Son and us. You know the type--when other people have them in their houses, you just roll your eyes, but when it comes to your kid, you think they are a piece of eternal art. At any rate, since Son's grand and great-grand parents barely see him, I thought it would be a stupendous gift, easily shipped to Bulgaria and India. I know that CVS makes that kind of personalized crappola so I promptly went to their website, and lo and behold, turns out they provide a 1-hour express service!! Now, how about that? The consumer in me rejoiced, and I almost teared up thinking how awesome America is for providing me with such excellent ways of spending my money. I promptly designed the calendar, uploaded Son's best pictures in it, and three hours later sent the Diplomat (who seemed like he had nothing better to do and was just loitering around the house) to the CVS across the street to pick up the masterpieces. To my utter dismay, he came back rather quickly and told me that he found the photo guy at CVS amidst Son's pictures , looking lost and baffled. Apparently he said that he did not have the time to finish the calendars that night, and not even sure about the following morning. The consumer in me was horrified. After a choice of unladylike words, I let it go. The next day, around 12, I went to CVS to get the finished product. I found a rather flaccid-looking gal behind the counter, wearing unnecessarily festive antlers attached to a tiara on her head, who informed me that the calendar service was a new thing there, and no one there has been trained to do it. Brightly, she offered to make me some albums instead. After I stifled an urge to smack her antlers, I reservedly asked for the manager. He appeared from behind, wearing a T-shirt and a massive skiing hat, and confirmed the distressing info. Visibly agitated (to think of it, I might have been near screaming), I asked why they offer the service, take the money for it but then do not perform the service. He passionately assured me that they will do everything in their power to provide me with the calendars and he would call me by 5 pm with new info. I stared him down with my best blood-curdling look and told him that I am still unhappy and that he should make me whole somehow. He sighed and refunded me all the money I had paid. I brightened up considerably. A couple of hours later, I got an email from CVS that cheerfully informed me that my order has shipped. Unwisely, I presumed that it was sent by the manager and went to CVS again! He saw me enter the store and I swear, he was about to run. I told him about the email, he was rather puzzled and told me it must have been sent by the automatic CVS email system. I almost took a fake wreath from nearby to choke him with it, but took a deep breath, turned around and left. An hour later, he called me to say the calendars were done--they had sent them to a different location.
The moral of the story--when you are about to order some seemingly awesome service online, call first to see if it is too good to be true. Cuz it could be.

Today was our last day in Bangla class for the year. Our lovely Bangla teacher let us a watch a movie, and to celebrate the festive occasion I suppose, chose a particularly grim and depressing Bengali movie, which included a murder by a crazy person, a suicide, a sad love story and a horrible forced marriage. At least there were a bunch of friendly cute goats in the movie. Happy holidays!


  1. If we get a house in Dhaka, I want to get a goat! Jack said I could, if it's allowed. I am so excited!

  2. Yey, we can have them as pets!!! And milk.