Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Won't Go There

So, for the past three weeks (or is it four), I’ve been going through a nightmare with Sears and my husband’s elliptical machine. It’s covered by a protection plan, which means everything is free. It needs a new part to be fixed. The part can be ordered over the phone, but so far, they’ve sent me the wrong part, twice. Same part, same box big enough for me to fit in, same problem. While they’re able to order the part over the phone, to reorder the correct part, I have to have the technician come out, identify that it’s the wrong part—even though everyone knows it is—and then reorder it.  I think I may have found someone in their corporate office who has identified the correct part and ordered it for me, but I’m not sure. She’s at least acknowledged and apologized for the rudeness of the customer service rep I’ve been dealing with, so that’s a start.

To say I’m frustrated is a supreme understatement. There are not enough swear words invented for me to use to describe how frustrated I am! My mom suggested that I think about how I’m going to write about this experience as a way to keep me calm.

I don’t think there’s any way I can write about this experience without being rude. And while I love being snarky, there’s a fine line between snarky and rude and I really don’t want to cross it. So I’m probably not going to blog about it – snarky tweets to and about Sears will have to cover it for now. However, it got me thinking about what I write and why.

In my romances, I write to escape, in the same way that people read or watch TV to escape. That’s not to say something won’t be realistic, but it’s got to be enjoyable for me to write. I might even work out a problem in real life on the page, make the hero or heroine respond as I wish I could, but ultimately, my writing has to keep me entertained and make me feel good.

In my blogs, I’m a lot snarkier. I make fun of situations, myself and issues that are going on in my life and around me. I use myself as a judge—if what I write is not going to somehow reflect on me then I’m not going to write about it. So, if I write about friends or family, it has to somehow lead back to my own relationship with them. And I don’t make fun of friends or family without making way more fun of myself—they might set the scene, but I’m the protagonist. It’s not that I’m full of myself; it’s that I wouldn’t want to use my blog to call them out on something.

In this situation, I don’t think there’s any way I can write about my customer service problem. Currently, there is someone who’s actually trying to help me. For me to trash the company while this is going on is mean-spirited. I hope the situation gets resolved, and if it does, there’s no point in my writing about it. If it doesn’t get resolved, well, actually, I think I’m probably going to make my husband jog around the block rather than continue to use it, so it will be moot.

So for now, I’m going to wait and see (and fume a bit more) and not write about it. It would be too easy to write about it and be really mean, which is never my goal. Besides, I have many more ideas to come up with in the meantime.

What kinds of ideas do you come up with and/or reject? How far will you go?


  1. I sympathise with your frustration. It's at times like these I'm likely to mutter 'Why is nothing simple these days?' (with a few swear words interspersed, of course!). Hope you can get it all resolved - eventually!
    Must admit I don't tend to use my blog for sounding off about anything(or FB or Twitter either), mainly on the grounds that you never know who might read it!

  2. I'm this close to giving up. And as for sounding off, I tend to avoid politics (usually), so at most, I have to worry about people seeing embarrassing stories--mostly about me, occasionally about my kids--but hopefully couched in a good way. We'll see!

  3. Yikes! How awful. You're right, this might be too 'real' to use in a book. Although, maybe the hero can be the service rep that comes to the house and meets the frustrated heroine??!? (Just kidding.)

    I think about including real-life angst in some of my books, but I'm with you, I want an escape when I read (and write). I'll stick to inner emotional conflict to torture my hero and heroine.

    Good luck! I hope it all works out for you and your frustration level doesn't get too high.

  4. Spoken like a true writer, Debra! Every experience can be stored away for future use in a novel.

  5. Actually, Debra, that might not be a bad idea, although not sure I could get an entire book out of it. But I'll have to think about it--once I calm down! :)

  6. Sorry you are having such a stressful experience, Jen.
    The first way you should write about it is in a letter to the company. They take letters seriously--because not many people write them anymore.

  7. Ah, yes. Sears. The ones that ship Washing Machines without drain hoses. Twice. And still refuse to refund the delivery charges The same ones that ship one case of Weed Wackers instead of one unit. And then refused to take the extras back.(I actually made money on that one, since I only paid for one unit.

    I could go on and on. Snarky? Go for it. Don't even worry about being rude. They deserve it.