How To Win The War Against Terror

By Melodee

Today’s task: Sort through last year’s school books, box up the non-consumables, discard the workbooks in the recycling bin, open up new boxes of materials, inventory and shelf them.

After I unpacked the new materials from, I realized that I was missing an entire box of materials. I’d noticed an uneven number of boxes when they arrived several weeks ago, but assumed that the missing box would show up sooner or later. Only, it didn’t.

So, after making sure my daughter was happily involved in a computer game at, I telephoned to report the missing materials. (This is a paraphase of my actual conversation.)

Me: “Hi, I just unpacked my materials from K12 for this year, and I’m missing a whole box.”

Him: “How do you know?”

Me: “Um, because I have twin students and didn’t receive all the materials for the second twin. Plus, I have the packing list here and I am missing five subjects. A whole box.”

Him: “Let me check. I see we shipped five boxes.”

Me: “Yes.”

Daughter: “MAMA! MAMA!”

Me, hissing under breath, motioning to boys in the family room: “Go help your sister!”

Him: “Just a moment. Let me check.”

Daughter, shrieking: “NO! I WANT MOMMY!”

Me, holding phone against thigh: “PLEASE! HELP YOUR SISTER!”

Boys, staring at television: “She only wants you!”

Me, speaking into the phone: “Hello?”

Him: “Yes, I show we shipped five boxes. Did you receive five boxes?”

Me, ignoring screaming in the background: “Yes. But I should have six boxes.”

Him: “How do you know?”

Me, calm voice, now aware I’m dealing with an imbecile: “It’s like a math story problem. I have two students who should have three boxes each. Three plus three is six. I have five boxes. Six minus five is one. I’m missing a box. Plus, I. Don’t. Have. The. Materials. I’m looking at the packing list right now and I’m missing five subjects.”

Him: “How did you get a packing list?”

Me, now sweating, hissing under my breath at daughter who has appeared to cry up close and personal: “GO. AWAY!”

Me, aware of sweat on brow: “The packing list came with the history materials which were shipped separately because of the shape of the box.”

Him: “Do you have a tracking number?”

Me, glaring death-glare at red-eyed, weepy, gasping daughter: “Do I? I have a packing slip. Should it be on here?”

Him: “Um, let me check. Okay. Well. Do you want me to order the materials?”

Me: “Well. I need them. Do you need to reorder them? Or find the missing box?”

Him: “I’ll have to call UPS with a tracking number. I will reorder the materials.”

Me, still sending death-rays through the air at sobbing daughter: “Okay. Do you want the ISBN number?”

Him: “Yes.”

Me: “Number is XXXX.”

Him: “That’s back-ordered.”

Me: “Then how come I received the identical item already?” Pause. “Never-mind. Do you want the other numbers?”

Him: “Yes.”

Me: “Blah-blah-blah-blah.” Phone against hip again so I can yell at boys, “HELP ME OUT HERE!” Daughter still screams.

Him: “Okay. Those items are ordered.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Him: “Can I help you with anything else?”

Me: “Yes, please call 911 because I am going to JUMP OFF MY ROOF and then send me a nanny and a ticket to Tahiti because I AM RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME!” (Okay, I didn’t really say that part, but I could have!)

Why, please, tell me WHY small children have urgent needs ONLY after their parent has begun an important telephone call? Why do they not understand the universal sign for “I’M ON THE PHONE SO GET LOST!”? Why? And why do companies hire people with an IQ of a cardboard box to be customer service agents?

When I got off the phone, I restarted my daughter’s game (it had shut off after a 30-minute trial) and noticed my boys had disappeared. (Smart kids.) I jerked the thermostat down to a cool 70 degrees and then stomped around for awhile until my pulse returned to normal. I told my daughter that she can NOT talk to me while I’m on the phone. Her eyes were red-rimmed and she was contrite.

I hugged her then and felt terrible for my crescendoing fury. If the powers-that-be really want to defeat the terrorists, I suggest they use a preschooler who can break the terrorists down within fifteen minutes by merely screaming and whining and sobbing while they are trying to think and talk on the phone at the same time.

Originally posted at Actual Unretouched Photo

7 Responses to How To Win The War Against Terror
  1. edj
    October 19, 2009 | 10:25 am

    Hehehe. I think you’re on to something there!

    And yes, the existence of the Phone Demon is well documented.

  2. Melodee
    October 22, 2009 | 4:06 am

    I’m glad to know that!

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