It's always special to get a package in the mail--valu-coupon packs, new checks, bulk pregnancy tests. So it was with great delight that a new package graced the ol' postal box this past week. Opened that baby up and what do I find? Topical flea and tick medication for a cat I no longer own and an invoice for $53 that has already been conveniently charged to my credit card courtesy of a pet medication postal service.
Okay, convenient, timely, effecient...except that we no longer own said cat. To update: we 'rescued' a kitty back in '05 while still living on Padre Island. Somehow this feline had survived a scorching summer and a ravenous coyote population (you laugh, but coyotes on the island would pick off small dogs from backyards like popcorn). 4 of 8 had been begging for a kitten and this seemed like a do-gooder thing to do...and Mike had the flu when 4 of 8 asked permission, which turned out to be a brilliant strategic move on her part. We rousted this extremely ungrateful, unsocialized feline and listened to her howl for the next two weeks from a hiding place in the garage. WARNING: advanced literary content: we named her Berthe Rochester after the crazy sequestered mystery wife in Jane Eyre. She ultimately was tamed into a reasonably hospitable pet who heard the news that twins were on the way in the family and high-tailed it one dark and stormy night (literally) for regions unknown. We have celebrated her memory in the intervening months with a few tears, some relic hairballs and now with prescriptions arriving in the mail.
Since we had the enviable adventure of moving to a new city 5 weeks before the twins were born, the kitty meds went first to our previous home and then arrived here. They have a cute little policy, this pet medication, now-you-owe-us group: you only have thirty days to send any product back. Well, apparently the US Postal system was unaware that the package that was being sent across America and back was going to arrive at my new home just short of the policy deadline. I made the frantic call to Customer Service You Will Now Wait on Hold for the Next 15 Minutes While We Wait for Another Customer Service Representative to Help You Who May or May Not Speak the Same Language You Do and Who May Not Actually Even Be in the Same Country From Which Your Call is Originating. After a relaxing musical enterlude, I was finally connected to someone who seemed to be sympathetic to my situation but "so sorry, the policy is a 30 day return period." Okay, but we moved and I didn't order $53 flea and tick topical gel and I don't even have this cat anymore. "Yes, so sorry, the policy is a 30 day return period." Did I mention the part where I don't even have this pet anymore? "Yes, so sorry..." We finally developed enough of a relationship through this dance that my Customer Service Representative was willing to go ask a supervisor about the unique conditions of my query....more relaxing musical interlude..."Yes, so sorry, we can not make exception..." OKAY, so does the supervisor understand that I MOVED and DIDN'T order this product? "Yes, so sorry....I could ask again..." Yes, you could.
While waiting through yet another musical enterlude...wait, I must go down a bunny trail here. Please tell me this has happened to you...you are on hold with some deeply responsive customer service department and you are listening to the music they are playing for you while on hold to make you forget that you have spent 15 minutes of you life that you will not get back ever waiting for the next available representative to pick up the phone at which time your conversation may be recorded for the purpose of improving customer service...and as the music plays, all done in elevator style, you find yourself humming along. The melody seems vaguely familiar, but you don't remember lush string orchestration. As a matter of fact, you seem to remember some synthesiz....and then it hits you. You are listening and tapping along to the musak version of George Michael's "I Want Your ..." which has gone from raunchy 80's dance party to yuppy spa tune.
Okay, bunny trail over....back to being on hold. So I had a little time to contemplate what I would do with $53 tick and flea topical gel should I be stuck with this little purchase by force. And it got me to thinking about the technology I was holding in my non-phone hand--a product which renders fleas and ticks unwilling to allow your pet to play host to their parasitic habits. Hmmmm....I could develop a whole line of topical pest repellents...say, Man in the Grocery Store Staring at all the Children and Asking if All These Children Came out of My Womb ("Why, yes, and how was your last prostate exam?"), Woman at the Counter Asking if I am ACTUALLY Nursing Both Twins and How She Would Never Do That ("Why, thank you for your input. I never expected to find a La Leche expert here at the shoe store")and of course, that perinial pesty duo, Retired Couple with Nothing Better to do Commenting on My Basket-Full of Supplies at Costco ("Frankly, I don't think it's any of your business how I chose to spend my money.") A topically applied product which would render the comments and opinions harmless to my fragile ego--how amazing would that be!