Me and My First World Problems
Ecclesiastes 1:2 – Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
I don’t know if people have simply become dumber or if companies who hire people have become dumber. I do know that I have not had more issues with companies than I have in the past 3 months. I’m not big on whining about things. It isn’t like I haven’t had issues dealing with companies before, but things have really ramped up lately about these companies putting the “um” in dumb.
I’m going to share some of my stories. Please keep in mind that this post is less an apologetic or a life story of mine that leads to a spiritual reality but more just a rant and a plead for these companies to fix what is broken.
I want to share 3 stories.
Story 1: Comcast
It started simply. I returned from a trip to come home to no internet. Simple fix, right? Well not so much. I called at about 8pm after playing around with the modem and router in my home and trying to do the simple things I do know how to do.
After 45 minutes, the Comcast rep said that they sent a signal through to my modem and were able to “see” it but it wasn’t responding. It must be the modem. I could either go 30 minutes to town to pick on up the next day or they could send one to me in 3-5 business days. I chose to go down and get one. The next day, I went to get one and brought it back and called them again when I had no internet. Again they said they could “see” my modem but couldn’t get it to respond. They said THAT modem must have been defective. They told me to go get ANOTHER NEW ONE!
Exodus 20:13 – Thou shalt not murder
I decided that this time I would go buy my own one rather than dealing with their defective modems. I got a top of the line one and called Comcast annnnnnnnd….it didn’t work.
I finally started to get incredibly upset and they agreed to send a tech out in 3 days. 3 DAYS?!? 3 DAYS?!? Ugh. 3 day later, the tech comes out and realizes something, THE CABLE COMING FROM THE STREET HAD BEEN CUT IN HALF. There was no signal at all going to my house.
I asked for every senior person I could talk to before I realized something, COMCAST LIED TO ME.
There is no way that the signal could ever get to my modem for them to ever “see” it. These reps did absolutely nothing. This was corroborated by the senior person who called me.
About an hour later the tech had the cable fixed and the internet was working. Unfortunately this took a total of 5 days.
Note to Comcast: DO NOT LIE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.
Story 2: Budget Rent a Truck
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12- For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
So I had to rent a truck for an event for work. I placed a reservation through Budget rental for a cargo van. The email I received said that they were open until 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Soon after church, I asked a friend of mine to take me home, drop my car off and then take me over to Budget to pick up the van.
We showed up at 3:15 PM. Last I checked, that was before 4 PM, right?
So when I went up to the door, we saw that the place was closed.
I called Budget and read a portion of the email to them about the place being open until 4 PM and that I have a reservation but the place was closed early. I asked them if it would be possible to get someone to please come back to Budget to let me get the van like they had promised.
The woman’s answer was classic: “I’m sorry, sir, but all of our inventory specialists are off work on Sundays, so I don’t even know if they have cargo vans at that location.”
I placed an order for a cargo van. I got the confirmation that they had a cargo van waiting for me at this location. I turned toward their lot and noticed that they had 3 cargo vans on site. When I mentioned this all to the woman on the other end said “having you tell me that there are cargo vans on site doesn’t mean there are really cargo vans on site.”
Then she proceeded to change my reservation for 7 AM the next morning FOR THE SAME LOCATION THAT SHE COULDN’T FIND A CARGO VAN AT BEFORE.
Proverbs 3:6 – In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Story 3: Century 21 realty and 1st Mariner Mortgage
Proverbs 10:9 – Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
So I am buying a house. With the market where it was recently, I decided it would be best to purchase a home than to be renting. I could get a really cheap rate at just over 3%. Fortunately, my credit came back good and I started filling out paperwork for a rural development loan. It took a while to get all the paperwork in that they required, but I got it done. Everyone at 1st Mariner told me we were good to go so on 8/25 a new tenant is moving into my old house, I have a rental van set up for Friday, I have electricity, water, Comcast (yea, I never learn…they have a great product, just terrible service!), and DirecTV. Well on Tuesday, I get a call that I am no longer approved for the loan.
I called my lender and he worked me up in a 5/1 ARM (needless to say I am NOT happy about that!) and I called my realtor who knew about this before me!
So now there is a chance that I won’t be settling on 8/23.
This means I will officially be homeless as of 8/25.
It won’t be for long, granted, but still the fact that I will be homeless and have my kids this weekend is very upsetting.
As a dad, that is one of the biggest fears we have for our families, that we won’t be able to raise them in a safe, stable environment.
I, admittedly, went off on my realtor and lender. Now my rate is higher. I have an adjustable rate loan, not fixed. AND WORST OF ALL….I could be homeless for a while. I am very nervous about that. That fear, turned me into a very petty man.
Romans 13:13 – Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
But the one thing that I am very upset with is that I feel deceived. Everyone told me we were in great shape for this loan and 3 days before settlement I get told that it isn’t going to happen and that they have other options for me, all at higher rates, etc…. Can someone say BAIT AND SWITCH?!?
That may not truly be the case. As a matter of fact my lender called me at 9 PM saying he did not bait and switch me. But I am sad to say that I just don’t believe him.
Proverbs 12:22 – Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
So by the time you read this I will either be living in a new house or I will be homeless. Regardless of what happens, God will take care of me.
But what is the message here?
Companies are stupid?
Companies hire stupid people?
As a Christian, we need to make sure we live our lives above reproach. Comcast had their employees lying to me. Budget was slothful. 1st Mariner engaged in deception.
It is very easy to conform to this world’s pattern of looking out only for ourselves. But what does the Bible say about this?
Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
We are to walk in the will of God.
We are to live a life that is not conformed to this world’s view of selfishness, slothfulness, and deceit.
This doesn’t mean our lives will be easy. God never promised us that. As a matter of fact, He promised us the opposite. Our lives will be more difficult for following the Lord. But ultimately we know that we can live our lives with integrity and be able to look ourselves in the mirror.
Proverbs 12 puts this a great way:
Proverbs 12:15-25 – Stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice. When a fool is annoyed, he quickly lets it be known. Smart people will ignore an insult. When you tell the truth, justice is done, but lies lead to injustice. Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal. A lie has a short life, but truth lives on forever. Those who plan evil are in for a rude surprise, but those who work for good will find happiness. Nothing bad happens to righteous people, but the wicked have nothing but trouble. The Lord hates liars, but is pleased with those who keep their word. Smart people keep quiet about what they know, but stupid people advertise their ignorance. Hard work will give you power; being lazy will make you a slave. Worry can rob you of happiness, but kind words will cheer you up.
Have you ever been affected negatively by a company? I’d love to hear YOUR story. Just leave a reply and let’s see how many different companies will be listed here.
Praying for the Lord to provide you with a home and a much better deal than you had anticipated, Fred. What a mess…
Though I don’t really feel moved to share stories of woe relating to deplorable service at the moment, I do have stories about justifiable anger and have been prompted on several occasions lately to share. Not so much the specifics of my story, but that we are all going to have holy, justifiable anger at times, living in this world of sin and sinners as we are and do. The thing is, just like you so aptly shared, how we handle this anger makes all of the difference. They will know we are Christians by our… road rage, no… by our temper tantrums, no… by our name calling and sharing how inadequate others are, no… but by our love… even to the seemingly at times, unloveable.
Truth is, it’s only by God’s grace that I wasn’t the one caught in a lie about seeing something I didn’t really see. It’s only by God’s grace that I am the one who has stories of being the hurt and not the hurter. God reminds me often when I’m engaging in prison ministry that it’s only by His grace that I’m not the one behind bars, on the other side of the table in the orange jumpsuit, and that I could be at any moment. How we respond says so much about who we are and who our God is- about how merciful and gracious He is, even after we lie to Him and don’t make good on our promises and so many other infractions that we commit daily.
Praise God that I don’t have to answer to God for those who hurt or frustrate me but I do have to answer for myself. And when I answer, my prayer is that I can say that I did everything I could in the character and love of Jesus, for who I live and who lives in me.
Beautiful reply, Kris! It is very easy to become very selfishly focused when facing problem after problem with these companies, especially when they come at a rapid-fire pace. I appreciate your feedback and friendship in Christ. God bless you, Kris.
Completely understandable, Fred, and thank you for your kind words. I echo them back and wish you the very best!