Friday, March 15, 2013

Codbag in a bottle

Today we tried to sneak one by the man and got called on it.  Turns out we ran out of some acoustic sealant and oversold it on eBay.  Our bad.  Upon discovering the mistake we sent the buyer an apology, explained the SNAFU and initiated a full refund. 
Here is what we got in response:
“I'm not sure that is my problem. I bought it. We have a contract and you are not providing the product. I would recommend that you buy some more stock and ship 2 to me. This is ebay. There are rules.”
I love the closing sentiment. I imagine this guy’s inner image of himself… a Charlton Heston-like character at the front of an old-timey court room gruffly bellowing, “This is Ebay, Damn it! There are Rules!”

Unfortunately, the rest of us just see him as a pathetic, blow-hard, Codbag.  So, as is my way, belligerence begat belligerence. I considered threatening to buy two tubes of acoustic sealant, fly to DC and permanently sound-proof his ass.  But then I had an epiphany: The problem with the internet is anonymity. This guy sits in some dark, smoke-stained office with fake wood paneling just fuming about his wasted life and every once in a while he gets an opportunity to lash out at someone he’s never met and try to make their life as miserable as his, comfortable in the knowledge that he will never have to look that person in the eye. And then it struck me.  The way to fight anonymity is to make it personal.  Conveniently enough, I had his address from PayPal so I did a little drive by via Google Street view.  I learned all sorts of stuff. 
Here was my response:
As you sit in the park bench on the porch of your two-story brick condo, gazing out at the silver reflection ball in your rock garden, ask yourself three questions:
1. Is it Tuesday? Because if it is it’s street sweeping day and you need to move your green Toyota.
2. Why don’t I have more friends?
3. Am I being watched?
While none of these questions will get you the acoustic sealant you so desperately want, nor will they give you much comfort, they may help you be less of a dick and that, in the end, is all any of us ever wanted for you.  Sleep well.