Oh Me Oh My

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Pity Party - Table for 1

I saw this picture when I googled "getting screwed over" and I thought it was fitting. Not only because the guy looks eerily like me: thinning hair, plaid shirt, glasses--the resemblance is uncanny really; but because it's sort of how i feel right now. It's a strange mix of quiet rage, deep-seeded resentment and subtle chest pain. It's the feeling you get when you've been screwed-over.

The first example I can remember clearly was in Grade 7. Someone had written a nasty letter to one of the students in our class full of insults and general douchiness. When this was discovered it was brought to the teacher's attention. She read the letter and come to the conclusion that I had written it. Even though I had no reason to rag on this kid, it wasn't in my writing and I was never seen with the letter, she surmised it was me because the letter included the acronym "AKA" and she had heard me say that before, or assumed I knew what it meant. Evidence didn't matter. She had decided it was me and arbitrarily treated me like shit for weeks afterwards. The real culprit was never found and I bitterly remember her to this day.

A few months back I received a letter from the Canadian government saying I owed them more taxes because my condo builder had refiled and apparently added a bunch of stuff that they could write off but would cost me a couple hundred dollars. Subsequent calls to both my builder and Revenue Canada failed to properly explain why this was a) doable and b) fair. It didn't matter though as it's the government, and so I paid, and I really got ticked.

As most people know Telus has decided it will start charging for incoming text messages. I hate texting and very rarely do it, but receive enough from friends and spammers that this might prove costly. They say they need the money so they can expand their network to support the massive use of text messaging, and so they've decided to punish the people who use it least!? This makes me seethe.

This past weekend I stayed at 1 King West Hotel in Toronto for my friends' wedding where they charge a sizable chunk of change for forced valet parking. The following day as we were driving home I hear a scraping sound. By the time we reach the highway it is overwheming and we take the nearest exit. Once we inspect the car we see that the front bumper has been hit with something and looks pretty damaged, and the fender liner is broken and dragging on the street. Livid we drive back to the hotel and are met with lies and excuses. First I'm told that the car came in this way, which as I explained to the valet manager was horse shit since I'm pretty sure the scraping sound would have given that away.

Then I'm told there is no feasible way it could happen since if it had hit a pillar in the lot it would have orange paint on it. As she gives a friend and I a tour of the parking garage and we point out the dozens of possible spots and scenarios where the car could have been hit, she goes all CSI explaining why the physics of our examples couldn't possibly work or she simply talked over us.

As I was realizing she was going to do anything she could to squirm out of taking responsibility for her staff she informed me that it was corporate policy that if the car leaves the lot, they can no longer be held liable. In that moment I thought of my naivite, assuming 40 dollar valet parking wouldn't result in a hit and run with my car. I thought of the vehicle I bought a month ago parked on the street with a dented bumper and broken liner. I thought of this smug, emotionless woman defending a staff member who knew he had done something wrong, but would never come forward and I was suddenly filled with rage. It was overwhelming. I just wanted to break something in revenge. I looked down at my hands and they were shaking. I actually had to breathe in and out for a while to calm down.

I've since learned that the repairs will be appx. $800, and I'll probably end up having to pay for them. I skipped on a vacation because I had no money this year, and what I'd been saving for gas money for school will probably have to get dipped into to fix the car. I spent the day after the valet incident getting trashed so I wouldn't feel feelings anymore (as Mel would so eloquently put it), but it gets tiring you know? It seems we're a world where the squeaky wheel always gets the grease, the reward for hard work is more work, and everyone is essentially in a constant state of self-preservation that alienates them from everyone else.

I guess I'm just tired of feeling like the little guy who gets kicked around, but I feel like society's answer to that is to strive to become the big guy, but for what? So you can be the one doing the kicking...Is that really all there is?

This was really long. I just needed to write it out. Thanks for reading.


At 1:48 a.m., Anonymous Daniel said...

I would take those booze and send a flying Molotov Cocktail into the parking area of that hotel. Absolutely heinous! Don't let them get away with this!

At 8:39 a.m., Blogger Mel T said...

You don't necessarily need to drink. You could take a bunch of steroids / human fetuses and become endowed with super human strength. Then just walk around and beat up people you don't like.

At 10:23 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is total ass! You should complain to the hotel manager about the valet manager. Even just to speak to how poorly she handled the situation and how as a result you will never stay there again.
Sorry you had to deal with that. Boourns!

At 12:57 p.m., Blogger Darek/Darciu/Dariusz said...

Why is it everytime I read your blog, I'm eager to write in my own?

Like I said before, don't let a bunch of paperwork get in the way of the hotel paying for what was clearly their fault. Don't even fall into that "I'll just probably end up paying for it" pit - the best way to stab the world back in the eye is to show you're not gonna let a little eye-stabbing get in your way.


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