I’ve frequently had the fortune of seeing dolphins swim past while surfing and I am equally fortunate in that I haven’t ever seen one of those less welcome yet equally hyped sea creatures: the Shark. Until earlier this week. And then I practically sharted in my wetsuit. Which is very similar to an experience I had today with my cellular network provider.While technically this can’t count as my first shark encounter (sharing your wave with a dolphin is one of the ultimate experiences a surfer can enjoy. It happens to me and I shit myself and cry wolf) the panic was real enough. Seeing that dark outline eclipse the silhouette of my own board got my heart racing and had me straight onto the beach begging the lifeguards to ring a bell or sound an alarm or whistle or do something to alert the other surfers that they may have just taken a big slide down the food chain. Never mind that despite my panic nothing happened, and never mind that by the time I got to my fourth lifeguard the so called apex predator had revealed itself to be a smiling marine mammal. The point is that my experience was real and they should have done more to take care of things as they appeared from my perspective.

It didn’t help that their jeering laughter rang in my ears as I turned and headed back for the water, nor the knowledge that the loss of fun time and unnecesary fright had ruined a perfectly good dawnie. I was bumming and they managed to make a bad situation worse.

Which brings me to a recent similar experience. This morning I dropped my phone off for repairs for the second time in less than 4 months. Both times the estimated waiting period has been 4 – 6 weeks. My contract has only been going for 16. This means that regardless of the severity of the problem, they most likely have had my phone for longer than I have. This is a big problem for me, and yet there is no support, no re-assurances and no promises that it’s all gonna be alright.

They just took it away, grinned blankly at my impotent ravings about how unsatisfactory this situation was and did nothing to ease my obvious discomfort. Even if it turns out that the issue is a minor one, right now, in the moment, I, the customer, am having a big problem, and they should treat it as such. It’s a fairly minor and humorous event for them and I really don’t care if they regale their friends with stories about their encounter with an idiot at work over a beer this evening. But for fucks sake people, show a little compassion for the guy who is paying your wages.

When I yell SHARK, react accordingly.

In closing, I want to add that I don’t understand why everyone is so blasé about dolphins in the first place. It’s a 250kg highly intelligent pack hunting carnivore. You’d be smiling too if, as a predator, potential meals were willingly placed in your clutches. The rest of humanity might be fooled but I’m not dropping my guard.