I am going to step away today from my current four-part blog-series to share a moment I had Wednesday on the phone with a Fortune 500 American corporation that provides our TV-Internet service of which we were having billing and channel-package issues. What could have been more frustration and screams at the phone that blast the cat up onto the ceiling, claws locked into the sheet rock, actually took a little unexpected turn.
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As one of my Top 100 favorite films, in the category of romantic comedies, there is a scene I laugh about every single time with Kate (Meg Ryan) and Luc Teyssier (Kevin Kline) at a Paris railway station. Luc is desperately searching for Kate amongst the crowded travelers embarking and disembarking. Let me share the scene’s details.
Why is Luc frantically searching for Kate? One, because she is unwittingly carrying his one single grapevine he has illegally smuggled into her handbag from the U.S. and into France so he can make a needed career change. Two, the Paris police are after him, almost on his heels. Luc has been a common and successful thief and pick-pocketing pro preying upon tourists and unsuspecting Parisians around street cafes, at busy airports and train stations. He and Kate have already had their sharp differences, on the flight over and in the hotel lobby. She’s become suspiciously aware of his shady dealings at her expense, like all the French, but with Luc, not entirely.
He spots her at the cashier’s window purchasing her rail ticket and quick-steps to her before he loses her again in the crowd.
Luc: I come to make peace with your people.
(Kate is not interested and silently ignores him, Luc stares at her handbag at her feet, so close, yet so far)
Luc: So you’re still after Charlie?
(still ignoring him; silence)
Luc: It is incredible.
Luc: I admire your persistence. (no response)
Luc: It’s so American.
Kate: I am not an American. (matter of factly) I am a soon-to-be ex-American Canadian.
(wanting to put distance between herself and Luc-the-annoying-French-Pepe le Pew, she coldly turns away toward her train)
Luc: May I help you with your bag? (she clutches her handbag closer!)
Luc: No. Maybe not. (they continue walking side by side, she ignoring him)
Luc: You know, I am feeling some very strange emotions for me.
Luc: Guilt. Remorse. My self-esteem is rock bottom.
Luc: I’m trying to think, what can I do to say I’m sorry?
Kate: Shut up?
Kate: You haven’t spent 5 seconds with me when you weren’t after something.
Luc: (to himself) – Buy, sell or trade?
Luc: – It is so true. I used you, a lot. You helped me to get my vine and I left you with nothing.
Luc: So now I ask myself, what can I possibly do to make it up to you?
(suddenly up ahead Luc notices the Police Lieutenant and officers scanning every direction for Luc’s whereabouts — Kate wants to be oblivious to him, never looking at him)
(Luc hurries his last sentence!)
Luc: And so now, I am here… for you. (the police spot him right then and he darts the opposite direction!)
(noticing the sudden silence and half unaware, Kate turns her head his direction — no one, nothing)
—from the 1995 film “French Kiss”
Now fast-forward to yesterday’s phone call to Customer Support.
Beep, beep, beep-beep, beep (dialing, pushing numbers)…
Computer voice-recording: Thank you for calling DISH Network. For English, press 1. Para el español, presione dos.
Computer voice-recording: If you are an existing customer and already have DISH Network, press 1. If you are wanting to subscribe to DISH, press 2.
Computer voice-recording: If you are calling about your bill, press 1. If you are calling to order Pay-per-View, press 2. If you are calling about your channel line-up, press 3. If you are calling about technical problems with your TV or internet service, press 4. For all other questions, press 5.
Computer voice-recording: If you are moving and calling to change your address and wanting to transfer your service, press 1. If you are calling to change your security password, press 2. If you are calling to discontinue your DISH service, press 3. If you are calling to report technical problems, press 4. If you are calling to speak to a Customer Support representative, press 5.
(beep — 5 to 8 minutes have passed by now)
Computer voice-recording: Thank you for using DISH. Here at DISH, we truly care about your happiness and peace of mind. We want to hear what you have to say… and are ready to listen!
Please HOLD for the next available Support representative.
(que the elevator music for 7-10 mins)
Recommended human advice: no matter the irony, do not suddenly laugh and scream uncontrollably into your phone falling on the floor. It takes another 20-minutes to find a step-ladder, unclaw, coax and lower your cat from the ceiling… claws still deployed in fight-or-flight mode.
Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Breathing-Coping Skills
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