The second circle of hell

Based on the difficulty my blogging buddy Michelle of Michelle’s Clutter Box had getting her passport, I’m going to guess that the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa may leave a bit to be desired.

Well … that and that the whole experience made her imagine it’s what the first circle of hell looks like.

“Okay, let’s see how long you’ll be with us,” she says and starts slamming on the keyboard with those ridiculously long nails. “Oh, eternity,” she laughs.

“Hand me your other forms,” and you give her the forms you have been filling in for a lifetime while waiting in the queue. She simply skims over it, “‘Reason for damnation.’ Adulterer? Sir, you have the wrong form. This is an A68, they’re for lawyers. You need the A69, they’re grey. Now go sit your ass down.”

I, like Michelle, have never read Dante’s “Inferno,” but what happens after Margery — the blonde gum-chewer with the long pink nails and the “middle-aged-white-lady-from-Pretoria accent” in Michelle’s version of hell — eventually gets your forms sorted?

And she will get it done, right? After all, she literally has forever.

Well then I imagine you go to the second circle, which is where I’m going to pick up the story.

There were multiple calls. The same stalemate ensued.

And that’s a situation that ended well. All it took was sending a complaint to the New York State Public Service Commission’s website, and the utility company got very cooperative, very fast.

Years ago, I had a one-bedroom upstairs apartment in a two-story house. I got the pull-off-the-side-of-the-road parking spot, while the downstairs apartment came with the garage … a garage to which I had no access.

The garage also was the home of the gas meter, which caused a problem when my downstairs neighbor was not home to let the meter reader in. Lacking the ability to determine how much gas I used for my stove and the heater in the corner of my living room, the utility company sent me a series of bills with “estimated” charges based on past use.

Except the charges were higher than I ever paid during the midst of an upstate New York winter … and this was the middle of summer. I cooked very simple meals for my single self; there wasn’t a lot of gas coming through those pipes.

So I called the utility company. The irresistible force of my logic (the whole thing about not using as much gas during the winter as they were saying I did during the summer … plus, they were punishing me because the guy who lived downstairs wasn’t around when they showed up) met the immovable object of their insistence that they couldn’t get in, and so therefore it was my fault and I had to pay a bill that bore no resemblance to reality.

There were multiple calls. The same stalemate ensued.

And that’s a situation that ended well. All it took was sending a complaint to the New York State Public Service Commission’s website, and the utility company got very cooperative, very fast.

However, they don’t all end that way, especially since now I only call when:

1. I can’t find a solution on Google.

2. I can’t find a solution on YouTube.

3. I can’t find a solution by asking Suzi.

Since I’m pretty sure none of those options are available during times of eternal damnation, my guess is that the second circle of hell involves calling customer service.

”I got this job as punishment for being a jerk to people on customer-service hotlines.”

“Hell’s hotline — I’d ask how I can help you, but we both know that’s not going to happen. … Hello?”

“Yeah … sorry … been waiting decades. I’m not entirely sure what a gonekdazoink is, but mine’s not working.”

”Ummm… what’s the serial number?”

:: Picks up device, twists head and neck in way not even recommended in the yoga classes I didn’t take while alive ::

“AW34FT587H2QQAUVR”

”Was that UVR or UTR?”

”V, as in Victor.”

“Hmmm … that one’s not in my manual. Is there another number?”

:: Twists head and neck in other impossible direction ::

”234-TFG-9887”

”OK … I think I see that number, but I have no idea what that means. Actually, I don’t know what a gonekdazoink does.”

”Then why is your number listed as the one to call for gonekdazoink problems?”

”I got this job as punishment for being a jerk to people on customer-service hotlines.”

“Well, is there a manager or someone I can talk to?”

”How do you think he got the job? Satan himself couldn’t believe what he used to say on the phone!”

“OK … thanks, I guess? Maybe I’ll just unplug it and plug it back in.”

So now that we’ve figured out the second circle of hell, anyone want to take a shot at the third?

I hope the dude in the photo by michael_schueller on Pixabay got his problem solved.

3 thoughts on “The second circle of hell

  1. Pingback: The week gone by — March 21 – A Silly Place

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s