How dare they toy with my emotions in such a cold, calculating fashion. Despite all appearances to the contrary, I have real feelings that are not to be trifled with for sport or kicked around like an emotional hackey-sack. My emotions are not to be played with or taken for granted. They ought not be subject to trickery or slight of hand.
How dare they toy with my emotions in such a cold, calculating fashion. Despite all appearances to the contrary, I have real feelings that are not to be trifled with for sport or kicked around like an emotional hackey-sack. My emotions are not to be played with or taken for granted. They ought not be subject to trickery or slight of hand. I’ll admit that – as I write – my senses are somewhat heightened, but believe me when I say that I very much doubt that I will ever be able to look Ticketmaster in the eye again and believe a single word it says.
It was Tuesday two weeks ago when it happened. I was sitting at my computer whilst at work (something I do quite a bit) when I received an email from Ticketmaster. The subject line conveyed both excitement and a masterful sense of restraint. It said, ‘Hi Stuart, Congratulations you’ve been selected for 2 special offers.’ How my heart leapt with joy. They had chosen me! Of all the people in all the world, they had selected me. Had they produced a bouquet of flowers from behind their back, I could not have been more flattered. But then a second email arrived.
‘Hi John, Congratulations you’ve been selected for 2 special offers.’ Years ago, I’d had the emails of a work colleague diverted to me when he left. Thus, a minor administrative task had accidentally managed to uncover a major emotional rouse by Ticketmaster. It was suddenly clear that I was not special, unique or important. Whilst I may have been ‘selected’, the process was, in no way, selective. I felt used. In fact, I hadn’t felt this violated since the time I realized that whenever I jumped over the forecourt fence at high school that other students could see straight up my shorts.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, preferably with some kind of salad and a crusty bread roll. Probably a Kummelweck. Or maybe, if push comes to shove, a Lancastrian Oven Bottom. However, sometimes revenge is something best served in t-shirt form. It was quite a sizeable irony – I would estimate between XXL and XXXL – that the offer for which I had apparently been ‘selected’ came in the form of a free t-shirt. Blinded by my sense of betrayal, tears stinging my eyes, I immediately logged on. The basic premise was that you could design your own t-shirt for free and get it shipped to you with the kind of speed that normally requires the use of lycra.
They used to say there were five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Or, as they are colloquially known; sporty, scary, baby, posh and ginger. Then, like an ever-expanding home and away football season, they decided to add a further two stages of grief. It is widely accepted that the additional stages are confusion and, most importantly, sarcasm. Luckily, I had been chosen for accelerated advancement through the five (plus the two extra) stages of grief and by the time I’d logged on to design my t-shirt, I was at ‘sarcasm’. Frankly, sarcasm is something I wear remarkably well. It is a slim-fit state of mind for me, and I eagerly set about designing a t-shirt that would be so witheringly incisive that it would cause Ticketmaster to fall, helpless to its knees and beg my forgiveness. But what message could possibly be so powerful? ‘Ticketmaster sux’? Too crass. ‘Ticketmaster made me feel more special than I am’? Accurate, but not so good on a t-shirt. The answer was obvious and the message as simple as it was inevitable: ‘I have been selected’.
I have never before designed so much as a sock much less an entire t-shirt. I would have to say that I took to it not necessarily like a duck to water but at least an egret. The results, if I do say myself (and, for lack of alternatives, I certainly do), were most impressive. Having sent off my order, I sat back and waited for the world as Ticketmaster knew it to crumble to dust.
It arrived after only five or six days, despite my choice of ‘standard’ postage. As I pulled out my t-shirt, I marveled at the genius of my blistering retort. From this moment on, all of corporate Australia would surely be on notice. Here was one person who would no longer tolerate their shenanigans. Things were bound to change. All I had to do was put on my t-shirt and wait for Ticketmaster to see the error of its ways.
I have now been wearing my ‘I have been selected’ t-shirt for the best part of two weeks without a result. Maybe they’re embarrassed. But perhaps the real lesson here is not to take things at face value, or even body value despite the fact it is wrapped in a complimentary t-shirt. For now, let me simply say that I curse the day that I ever stared across a crowded room at Ticketmaster. Like the Mata Hari of ticket service providers, I had been seduced into thinking that I was something special when nothing could be further that the truth. It occurs to me now that such declarations of affection are all too common in the business world. These corporate trollops think they can get away with treating us like the gullible fools we most certainly are. No more. From now on, I’ll not believe a single word they say. My capacity to be sucked in like a marble up a vacuum pipe has now come to end. I am not a valued customer. They do not value my feedback. This offer is not limited and, in spite of my t-shirt’s sarcastic protestations to the contrary, I have not been selected.