One Cingular Sensation

You may or may not have heard of the new Motorola ROKR, affectionately known to its friends as the “iTunes phone”. Ever since the rumor mill had started rumor millin’ about this gadget, I figured I would probably be buying one as soon as it was eventually released. When I heard recently that my existing cell phone service provider, Cingular, would be the exclusive carrier of the ROKR, I was extra-pleased, as this meant it would be all the easier to accomplish this task.

Allow me to tell you the story of how one simple clerk in a Cingular store in Valley Fair Mall screwed me over.

Okay, so yesterday morning, Apple unveiled the ROKR, I saw the official specs, and I liked what I saw. Super, I was set to buy me one of them things. So I made my way to Valley Fair Mall and spoke with a person that ran the kiosk (those little autonomous stores where the salesman tries to sell cell phone plans to passers-by, which can’t be a very fruitful business). The kiosks hadn’t yet received the phone, but he suggested I might have better luck at the larger store by Macy’s. So I made my way over there. The clerk there, named Phuc Bui, told me they had one more phone in stock (I didn’t care if it actually was or not, it was the first place I’d found that had it, after trying the over-the-phone upgrade service and calling into another Cingular store the previous day). Great, I was all set to pay the man for the goods and be on my way. Before going forward, I informed him that the checking account attached to my check card did not have sufficient funds on its own, and I would have to also pay with a check from another account. He confirmed that he had heard and understood me.

He confirmed that he had heard and understood me.

So I slide my check card, and what does he do? He charges the entire amount to my account! I can’t really deal with bank fees at the moment, so I quickly had him transfer the funds back into the account, then called the bank support line and explained the situation thus far. Unfortunately, since the overdraw penalties would not appear for a few days, they couldn’t do anything about it, and told me I would receive a $22 fee when that happened (not to mention the bad reputation that is established with your bank with such things). I subsequently explained to the clerk what had happened, and that I would need to be reimbursed $22 to pay for the mistake. He refused, stating that I had never even stated my intention to pay with two accounts in the first place! He then proceeded to obnoxiously shake his head in disagreement as I tried to reason with him (I never realized how obnoxious this action can be until today; he wouldn’t even say anything, he just kept on head-shaking). I attempted to speak to his manager (her name is Maria E. Pineda), and she gave me the exact same stonewall reply. They could not possibly be at fault for what had occurred! Not a Cingular employee!

After much heated arguing, they agreed to deduct $22 from my next phone bill. While this was a nice gesture, it does absolutely nothing for my bank account, which is currently in the red (it seems to take much more time for Cingular to give me my money back then to take it). Now I can’t use my check card or make any withdrawals until the money is reimbursed! And once I do get it back, I’m down 22 bucks, which is a lot for a college student! And I didn’t get my phone. Screwed!

So if you should ever find yourself in Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara, CA, and you need to speak to a Cingular representative, don’t go to the store there. Go to the Cingular kiosk in front of the Apple Store. The folks there are courteous, quick to help, and aren’t named Phuc Bui or Maria E. Pineda. Consequently, if either of those two are working at the kiosk that day for some reason, quickly turn around and find something else.

I should note, in closing, that I don’t have any real problem with Cingular’s overall service. Just Phuc Bui and Maria E. Pineda.

I really wanted that phone.

にてもにつかない / ふたごのきみ / どうしたんだい / くつひもさえ / もどけっぱなしのまま / うわのそら

My latest project is playing through my collection of songs which are either unplayed or unrated, and in doing so rate or play them as the situation dictates. I have 3,223 out of 8,372 songs which meet one or both of these conditions, so my work is cut out for me. But so as to keep it more like idle music-listening and less like hard labor, I throw random gems into the Party Shuffle.

I think it’s definitely bedtime when I start regaling you with anecdotes about my very boring music-listening habits. Peace out, world.

Stef, hope you’re enjoying life on the open road. Miss you.

Cancer came scuttling back

I hate it when I sit down in front of my computer, all prepped to make a comic, and suddenly all the inspiration and drive completely drains out of me. I mean I really hate it. It’s incredibly frustrating, being psyched to create a comic one moment and wanting to be anywhere but at the computer the next. Usually I try to force myself to make something, anything that might pass for an update, but that ends up being even less productive.

Right now I just wanna sleep, so we’ll see how that goes. Might as well be somewhat well-rested for work tomorrow.

I have an office!

What’s this now? Oh my, it would seem I now have a full-fledged office, complete with its own door! And *gasp* is that a desk? All for me?!? Why yes it is! My iBook and Mighty Mouse fit perfectly! I’ll take it! There couldn’t possibly be anything better than- wait just a minute! Hallelujah! Natural sunlight! There is a god! (he’s strung up tackily above the window)

(original images lost in the Great Internet Fire of Aught Five)

Save ConnectiCon! Please.

The site linked in the colorful banner below can explain all this much better, but to summarize: ConnectiCon is in desparate need of funds to get the founders out of debt and ensure that the convention continues to exist for next year. Please consider donating a buck or two to the cause. If you’re not into the PayPal tip jar ‘thang’, several artists are auctioning some sketches on eBay in the name of Save ConnectiCon, so place some bids if you’re interested.

Thank you for your time.

"Oxygen don't grow on trees, ya know!"

I’m making an entry in my blog!

Google has added NASA imagery to the Google Maps technology to create Google Moon. Zoom in all the way. Satellite photos don’t lie, people!

My current listening-to music isn’t even music, it’s a podcast! Look at me, using crazy meme-phraseology like “blog” and “podcast” like some sort of l33t mememaster*!

I’m hungry for breakfast. Can I have some breakfast now?

*Mememaster is ©2005 Mario Panighetti. All rights reserved. Royalties can be sent to my PayPal account at