Thursday, April 4, 2013

Eco-altruism eludes me kinda like reaching a human by phone at one particular toy company

Because of my loving devotion to procrastination, I never found out how to dispose of this toy. 

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to ditch a perfectly good toy. This one is broken in a couple places. There are sharp edges. This little garage saw lots of hardcore playtime; but I just can't donate it.

Today I called our recycling company. The toy does not have any recycling numbers on it. The representative said toys like this are made from hard plastic which they don't recycle.


So, I called the toy manufacturer. I snort-laughed at their elaborate caller blocking scheme meant to wear me down until I give up.

I don't want to brag, but I've been told I stand in line VERY WELL. It's my superpower.

It must have cost good money to implement such a complex telephone system as it was seemingly co-created by M. C. Escher disciples and professional hockey goalies.

Options like:
Press one for number of employees in line at the microwave in our break room; press two for the types of flowers planted in front of our building; press three for each of our vice presidents' favorite dog breeds. 

Yet with each new choice I GREW STRONGER. 

I get it. They don't want to talk to their customers. Or potential customers.

But I needed to talk to them.

And then I heard,
"Customer Service. This is Jeanine."

Her voice caught me off guard. After working the phone for so long, I had to wipe away tears of gratitude. At long-last, the home stretch. It was almost over.

I composed myself and explained the toy dilemma to my new very best friend, Jeanine. 

I told her how I've had this toy for a long time. How the kids loved it. How it was broken so I couldn't donate it. How my local recycling service wouldn't accept it. How some of the sound effects still work on it, though, crazy as that may seem.

Her response?
"Home phone number, please."

I didn't understand how that was relevant, but I told her anyway. 

Eager to get Jeanine's sage advice on this years-old recycling issue of mine, I was on the edge of my seat. In addition, I'd dedicated a good chunk of my day to reaching an actual human.

Then she said,
"First and last name, please."

I told her my name as my frustration escalated. 

I guess callers who are annoyingly persistent enough to arrive at the final stages of that phone labyrinth must then pay the company with INFORMATION.

I could only imagine what sorts of marketing I was agreeing to by complying. 

As I expected, she continued,
"Home address, please."

No. No. No. 

The answer to my recycling question does not depend on my phone number, my name and the location of my home.

I refused to give her my home address. 

Curiously enough, she was OK with this.  *shrug*

So, what WAS Jeanine's assessment of my recycling problem? 

She didn't know.

The end.


  1. I chuckled at your story....I think we have all been there. Mine this week was with AT&T....and the only thing more frustrating for me was the person who I finally got to didn't speak English well enough to understand me at all!!! I haven't ever tried to recycle large plastic toys such as these, but it would be nice if we could!!! Thanks for the chuckle today!!! (BUT Sorry for your frustrations!)
    Pam @ The Patriotic Pam

    1. Pam: Ha Ha. AT&T. Literally, "THE" phone company frustrating everyone ON THE PHONE. They could be setting a good example of phone etiquette instead. Thanks for commenting!!

  2. Haha, I love the way you tell that story! It can be incredibly annoying trying to get through to humans. I used to be relentless, sometimes staying on hold for a good hour. Now I just try to find a good contact email for the company, and that usually is answered within a couple days :)

    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday! I hope you eventually find a eco-friendly solution for your toy :)

    1. Thanks, Andrea. Sometimes you just gotta laugh about stuff like this. Ugh!