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Here's the letter I received from
Canada's Darkest, Most Forbidding Hell-Hole Of Corporate Ineptitude:

Although deeply scarred by their moral insolvency and Quixotic corporate gracelessness,
I nevertheless mounted this modest defense:

19 October, 1999
Rogers Business Office
P.O. Box 2121, Stn. Main
Vancouver, BC
V6B 5W6

Your astonishing letter left me talking to myself. It was a long incredulous conversation. Let me share it with you. (You can call me Don, which is what I usually call myself):

"Good Grief, Don", I began, "the people at Rogers have ignored your instructions. They're saying we bounced a cheque!"

"Whatever do you mean, Don?" I responded sceptically. "Our instructions were as clear as a sheep's ass. Why, I remember speaking to Leona, just as clearly as if it were yesterday ... when in fact it was September 8th! Bejabbers! Our mind is playing tricks!"

"Now now, Don", I replied temperately, "let's not be too hasty. How could they possibly have misinterpreted your instructions? We followed Leona's suggestions to the letter! She asked us to fill in a form, giving full details of our new banking instructions, which were to take effect on October 1st!"

Dashing to his briefcase, Don quickly found all the pertinent documents, including the fax transmission slip that verified that all the forms had indeed been sent to Leona's attention, as requested. "Look at this!!" Don said, now trembling with indignation. "It's all here. The new account number ... the branch address ... the voided cheque bearing the encoded account number... Nobody could have gotten that wrong! I guess those people at Rogers are as bone-headed as people say."

"Hey, careful, fella. Watch your mouth. Anybody can make a mistake."

"Well, Don", I countered, unamusedly, "when I want a mistake made, I know I can count on Rogers. Think about it! I changed banking arrangements for five different companies that day, and Rogers is the only company that asked me to put it in writing. And ... get this, Apologist Don ... Rogers is the only company that didn't get it right. Two insurance companies, the utility, the internet provider ..."

"Hey!" Don interrupted rudely. "Isn't Rogers the company that has cable internet connections? We could get that!"

"Over my dead body", I replied glaringly. "We don't need mistakes that badly. Anyway", I resumed, "once we show all this documentation to Rogers, I'm sure they will not only reinstate our preauthorized payments under the new arrangements, but apologize for suggesting that we were the ones in error."

"Don't forget to include the new bank branch and account number", I interjected helpfully. "They'll need that to get our account back on track."

"Once again, might I suggest that that episode will occur only in the event of my demise, over the empty shell of my stiffened corpse."

"Over your dead body? You're a gruesome guy, Don. But I guess what you're saying is that you've already given Rogers all the necessary instructions and documentation once, and it behooves them to explore their own files to find the pertinent vouchers and memoranda that have heretofore been rendered unto their corporate body, thus equipping them to make whatever account adjustments might have been necessary to avoid the unpleasantness of company-to-client vilification, however mild, extant", I expounded, gloriously but inefficiently.

"Zackly. And if they need me to give the information again, I'll give them the information again."

"You'll give them the information again?"

"I'll give them the information again."

"You're a peach, Don", I contributed needlessly. "I sure hope this has a happy ending. Let's end it here."

"Okay, but not without firing a copy off to the local Rogers office. Thanks for listening, Don. I just hope Rogers is listening."


cc: Sparky Tetherball
Rogers Head Office

Incompetence being what it is, I sit anxiously hoping
that they grace me with a reply before they disconnect my cable.


  Posted October 20, 1999