Tuesday, June 14, 2016

the bitch

Nothing's going my way today.

In-office work is fine; that's not the problem. The problem is that our finance department has, for whatever buttfuck reason, switched to some new system for distributing our monthly pay stubs. It used to be that an email would come, sporting an attachment; I'd simply click on the attachment, and that was enough to open the pay stub. Today, my June pay stub arrived, but when I clicked on the attachment, another browser tab opened up, and on that screen was a field in which I was supposed to type my date of birth as a YYMMDD code. (I also could no longer use Google Chrome as my browser: code entry had to happen via Internet Explorer because Korean Web designers are stupid and never design their sites to open in anything other than IE.) I keyed this six-digit info in and immediately got an error message. Growling, I saw that, below the field, there was a long set of instructions on what to do if you're not able to enter your code and see your pay stub. I followed those instructions, which took me deep into the coiled, Byzantine guts of Internet Explorer's browser settings, with all of its confusing check boxes, then tried to input my six-digit code again.

Fuckin' nada. Error message.

I emailed the office that had sent me the email, detailing my problem. The reply was swift and completely unhelpful: "Enter the six-digit YYMMDD code formed by your birth date." Gee, thanks, guy. I wrote back that I already knew that code and had used it. I then said I'd ask the techies who work next door to me for help, and thanks, anyway. I went next door and said something was up; one of the eggheads said he'd be over momentarily. He came over; I explained my problem to him; he shook his head and said he didn't know how to solve the problem, but he tried a workaround that, miraculously, allowed me to log in and access my pay stub. The techie had worked his magic so fast that I hadn't been able to follow what he had done, and when he bolted out of my office, I tried to access my pay stub one more time.

Fuckin' nada. Error message.

That's not the only thing pissing me off today. My phone company, SK Telecom, is now fucking with me. Last month, my bill was about ten dollars more expensive than usual; I knew this was because I had used more data than my 3-gigabyte limit thanks to a super-long Skype conversation—without Wi-Fi—that I'd had with my brother David. Not a problem; I knew I was guilty as charged, so charge me. But this month's bill is for the same amount, and I know I didn't go over my data limit this time around. I'm also not happy with the fact that my phone bill hasn't gone down since my contract renewed last year. I had originally gotten the phone in Daegu in September of 2013; it came with a 2-year contract that included a pay-down of the cost of the phone. After the 2-year mark, your bill is supposed to go down significantly because the phone has been paid off, and all that's left to pay for is the monthly service charge. This never happened with me, and I've been an idiot for letting this slide for so long. So sometime this week, I'm off to an SK Telecom office to find out what the hell is going on. Wrongs will be righted, or heads will roll.

Always frustrating, being quietly bilked.

Bitching done.

EPILOGUE: I lumbered over to a nearby SK Telecom branch after work and spoke with a customer-service rep about my problems. He said I had been mistaken on two fronts: first, the ten-dollar jump in my bill wasn't because of data usage: it was because a two-year-plus-several-months-long discount had finally ended, and my bill had reverted to what was supposed to be its "original" amount. Second, paying off the cost of my phone had somehow been plotted over thirty-six months, not twenty-four. I didn't fully understand the guy's explanation, so I couldn't reconcile why the phone would be paid off over a longer period than the original contract's twenty-four-month period. Ah, well.

The rep was helpful, though: he said I could re-sign for another years-long discount if I planned to stick with SK Telecom. I tiredly said that, yes, that was the plan. So I was given a form to fill out—not a whole contract, just a discount-registration form—and I handed over my alien-registration card. The guy took my form and my card, worked his magic, and voilà—I'll be back to cheap billing... starting in July. Because today is June 14, I'm too late in the cycle to benefit from the discount this month. The guy told me to come back if I had any more questions or if anything else appeared strange. I was actually surprised he said that, as that's the kind of line you'd hear from American customer service. It's almost a dare: "Yeah, go ahead: test me. See if I'll really be here when you've got another problem." Hey, whatever; I'll take that offer. But in theory, everything ought to be fine for another two years.



hahnak said...

hate all that _brazil_ bullshit. sorry, kevin!

Kevin Kim said...

Nothing to apologize for, as I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about. "Brazil," as in... the movie? Is this a reference to the movie's portrayal of crushing, labyrinthine bureaucracy?

Aha—if that's indeed what you're talking about, then your "sorry" isn't an apology, but rather an expression of sympathy. In which case, I apologize for misunderstanding.

hahnak said...

it is a reference to the bureaucracy in the movie "brazil". i think i shouldnt assume people have watched that movie. i was lucky youve watched it!

hahnak said...

also, glad it worked out with sk tel.