I’ve recently come to the realization that I have never owned a pair of pants that fit me properly. This is largely due to the fact that it is nigh on impossible for me to find the “proper” cut of pants in a retail store. I have a large waist, wide hips, and I’m tall. Most retailers seem to think that if you’re overweight you have to be short, so in order to avoid having a horrible case of “moose knuckle” I wear my pants low on my hips, under my belly. This is fine in most situations, but if I wear a shirt tucked in I get a horrible case of Dunlap’s Disease. In researching my dilemma online it appears as though the solution to my problem lies in a pants with a high “rise.” They have an extra inch of length between the crotch and the waist line to give the boys more room and prevent the dreaded moose knuckle.
Having finally made this discovery at the ripe young age of 38 I set out on a quest to find some pants that may actually fit me properly. A few handy Google searches later, and I found myself on the Eddie Bauer web site. Without ever leaving my chair I picked out three pair of pants that I wanted and ordered them. Oh, imagine my excitement my friends in knowing that, perhaps for the first time in my life, I would be wearing work pants that actually complemented my awkwardly shaped body. Imagine then the level of disappointment I felt when, the next day, I got an e-mail from the company stating that the size I had ordered was out-of-stock and that my pants would not be shipped for a month.
Of course I did what all good social media conscious Generation-X people would do. I took my ire with the situation to Twitter. Much to my surprise, a representative of Eddie Bauer contacted me and within a few hours I had a call a woman named Celeste who works in the office of the President of the company. She had searched around the entire company but, alas, my pants were still not to be found. She apologized profusely, and even called me back 10 minutes later to see if I would be interested in the same pants with a pleated front (I was not).
This is not, actually, a post about how impressed I was with the way Eddie Bauer handled my complaint. That said, if the pants are as good as the response I got from the company is Eddie Bauer has just earned a customer for life.
No, this post is about how I realized I was being a completely whiny bitch about the whole affair.
I mean…I sat in the comfort of my own home and picked out three pair of pants that were the exact size and cut that I wanted. I selected colors that I liked. I entered my payment information and in a matter of moments I had a commitment from the company to put these pants into a box and send them to me over potentially thousands of miles and deliver them to my front door.
And I actually complained about the fact that this was going to take a month to happen.
Sometimes I take a step back from my digitally connected life and reel in shock over how utterly and completely spoiled we’ve all gotten by how easy our lives are these days. What’s more, don’t seem to appreciate the things that we have and we are downright ungrateful about the fact that some of the things we take advantage of aren’t as awesome as we want them to be.
Take the recent price change over at Netflix. Customers who took advantage of the “streaming online content plus one DVD” service were OUTRAGED over the fact that Netflix was splitting the two components into two $7.99 options. This was a significant price increase over what they were paying and a huge “slap in the face.”
Now let’s think about this. Netflix was, in essence, asking them to pay $6 more a month for to have unlimited access to thousands of hours of digital video and the ability to watch as many movies as the mail service and their time allowed in the course of a month (I’d say someone who watched a movie the day they got it from Netflix and returned it the next day could potentially see 10 or more movies a month this way).
$16 a month for the ability to watch tons of online content and to have movies shipped directly to your house…and people actually thought that as a rip-off? Really? 10 years ago I would spend that much to rent 3 movies from from a retail store and I’d only have 3 days to watch them.
Another one that is blowing my mind is the number of people who are complaining about the commercials on Spotify. Spotify, if you aren’t familiar with it, is a service that lets you listen to any song they have in their catalog online. Legal, free, on-demand streaming of a licensed music from many artists. Their coverage isn’t perfect, but so far I’ve only managed to find a few artists that didn’t have their music on Spotify.
Again, this service (if you listen to it online) is free. If you want to stream the content to your smart phone you have to subscribe to the service, but if you do that you also get the content without commercials.
I’ve actually seen people complaining that they could not “mute” the commercials on Spotify.
You can listen to any song you want to, any time you want to, without paying for it…And you’re going to bitch about the fact that every few songs you have to listen to ONE commercial? Maybe, god forbid, you’ll be forced to listen to a song you didn’t request?
And that’s a problem?
It really blows my mind, man.
Those are the most recent examples, but this kind of thing is getting more and more prevalent. People complaining about changes to Facebook, or that they have to watch commercials on Hulu. Grumbling about how much the free wireless connection at their local coffee place sucks. Ad infinitum.
It seems like the more we get, the less grateful we are. At no point in history have we ever had access to this level of entertainment, information, and comfort…and yet we act like nothing is good enough. I’m not saying we should accept mediocrity, but damn people…would it kill us to show some gratitude for what we have? Would it be so horrible to take a step back and go “You know…this is actually pretty amazing”?
Another way in which I see this is the whole “No Spoilers!” mentality. So, here we have social media…this vast network of connectivity in which we have the ability to communicate with people who share our interests and passions…and yet some folks actually have the audacity to think that because they haven’t actually read or watched some particular piece of popular media that everyone they know should avoid talking about it.
So because your ass was to busy doing something else I’m not allowed to be excited about the results of the football game I’m watching? Because you haven’t gotten around to reading a Harry Potter book that came out several years ago I’m not allowed to mention that Dumbledore dies? Where do we draw the line, people? How about taking some personal responsibility for avoiding spoilers if you don’t want them? Especially if you’re behind the cover on the vast majority of other folks. When I started playing Portal 2 I knew I was well behind many people who had already finished it, so I specifically avoided going to places where I would see spoilers until I finished. I didn’t start watching Dr. Who until Matt Smith took over as the Doctor, but I managed to avoid most of the major spoilers by actively avoiding talk of the show until I had caught up (I DID have one major plot point spoiled for me literally hours before I finally watched the last of the current episodes, but again…as annoyed as I was it’s my own fault for not watching the show when it first aired).
Yep. We’re a bunch of spoiled assholes, all right. We want things free, immediately, and on our terms.
Face it, Generation X. We’ve become Veruca Salt.