Control Thy Temper: Analysis of a Crisis

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basic control settingStep Through a Crisis

As we wind down enthusuiasm for painting our October witches and kittens, , temporaily of course, we prepare to relax and unwind by performing some neglected housekeeping tasks.

Check Book Maintenance

The checkbook has caused us much consternation over the years.   Not because we have no funds to put into a checkbook but because software has become so incredibly unweildy and intrusive.

Through a 20 plus year timespan we had enveloped ourselves in the world of Quicken and online banking which much to our dismay grew more intrusive and controling by the minute to the point we were required to log into the service just to view our own check book.

And then the crisis.  We needed to use the thing and the controlling site goes down for software maintenance which locked us out of our own files on our own computer.

This will not stand says Control.

So, we agreed to tell Quicken where to go and reverted back to the old spreadsheet to create a masterpiece design which we used for nearly 2 1/2 years.  Then…it crashed. Lost it all.  File corrupt, no recovery.

Finger Pointing and Accusations

anatomy of a crisisWho do we blame for this crisis?  Quicken for forcing us into this situation?  Ourself for not making appropriate backups?  Sigh.

These general crisis situations come ready-made made for basic Control.

She is at her best when we are to blame for our own snafus.

This level of Control brings out the old adages Mother used to warn us about.

  • Bootstraps
  • Elbow Grease
  • Take it like a Man

Little crisis moments, situations which get us through each waking day.

Ultimately we decided to just start over with the spread sheet and be more diligent with software backups on our own local drive.  So much of our lives is displayed online for the world to see.  Why make it easy for total strangers to meddle with our records of finance?

Crisis Averted.

Control has Many Faces

Faces of Control Depending upon circumstances, Control has multiple faces and wears many hats to deal with our range of irritation an depending upon circumstances.

We have the Work Horse who keeps us on the job and doesn’t let us quit.

The Patriot comes in handy for political discussions.

Our skeptic side, the Pastafarian, is ever vigilant for the pseudoscience and manipulative jargon of politicians, marketers, advertisers and earnest idealogues, true-believers, intended to confuse and gaslight.

Dorothy is the curious Control willing to check behind curtains of deceit.

Fun Control is always on stand by to prevent us from experiencing too much fun.  A real killjoy that one but she could care less what we think.  Fun Control is so powerful she comes in two hats.

Our Sarcastic Control protects us from foolish ideas and notions which may place us in a position of ridicule and/or humiliation.  Sarcastic Control works hand-in-hand with Mockery Control.

Guilt Control beats us over the head with memories of things we have done to hurt ourselves and others.  Mourning Control keeps our grief in check and the Witch Control is useful to deflect unearned, unwanted and undeserved blame.

Lastly is General Kala Control who is loosely based on Flash Gordon’s dominatrix character.  General Kala Control is the Last Straw control before all Hell breaks loose.

As we are now in our 70’s we’d say our Control mechanism has served us well.

That said…

There are limits to what Control can effectively handle without assistance from “The Cleaner.”

We don’t like the Cleaner.  OK, Chaos likes the Cleaner but everyone else thinks she’s cringe and scary.

She resides in a deep, recessed place where she’s rarely bothered.  We haven’t decided whether the Cleaner is an aspect of Control or Chaos’s BFF.  Sometimes we suspect she’s both.  We were inspired to illustrate her as the haunting creature in the movie “the Ring.”   The reason is simple.  We won’t watch the movie it’s creeps us out too much, therefor made a perfect match for our mood.  Yes, it is all about the mood.

We used to think Kala was the worst of the worst as Control goes but now, we’re not so certain.

Case in Point for The Cleaner

The same day we discover the check book had self-destructed, which already raised the degree of frustration level to the maximum Basic Control can handle, we settled down in our big, expensive (overpriced) Perfect Chair to relax and massage these old achy bones.

We hit “recline,” and … nothing happened.   Upon further examination we discover the controller box had a loose wire.  Of course, it does because the cord is about 12 inches too short for comfort which, of course, is a direct result of busybody legislation for some bureaucrat’s notion of consumer safety which, of course, contributed to our oft repeated attempts to keep the chair’s control box handy and within reach which caused the wire to pull free.

The purchase of the chair did not go well.  A source of irritation that soiled the memory.  A nasty tempered support staffer.  A non-working chair and wasteful destruction to replace.

Bad memories rise with blood pressure as we envision future interaction with the same nasty-tempered customer support.  Which of course, instantly attracted General Kala’s attention which rings the bell to alert the Cleaner because General Kala does not lose.

Never Fear We Remind Ourself

We have receipts and warranty and will use our rationality, reason and logic will prevail.

So, we research, locate and draft an email letter to request Support for the chair.

Then we settle into a resigned mood to begin rebuilding the checkbook starting from January 1.  Boring!

But, the good news is technology makes it easy these days to retrace financial steps.  Download here, tweek there. Success after a few short hours.

Then we check our email. Support request email not found. Bounce.

Approaching the Danger Zone

Of all the occurances and events we may experience, none quite reaches critical mass quicker than the irritation of frivolousness, which is a double whammy to us because

  • General Kala gives no quarter to bad customer service.
  • General Kala does not lose – it’s not that she doesn’t like to lose…she doesn’t lose period.
  • General Kala will cut off our nose to spite our face

Things that bring General Kala screaming to the surface:

  • Bad Support- rude, arrogant…more arrogant than we…
  • Thick Accents – sorry but we just don’t understand
  • No Replacements Available – warehouse fire
  • Hold Music – loud, obnoxious
  • Transfer – cut offs
  • Redial – from cut offs
  • No Response whatsoever

There it is.  No response, bounced email.

Now what?



Back to Reason, Logic and Understanding…

Still, no need to panic.  Ask questions: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why?

Bring the pressure down with reason.

  • Did the email address change?
  • Did the company get sold?
  • Is the company out of business?

  • What can we find out online?
  • Who advertises this product?


A brand new owner and new support line.

Again we remind ourself that we have receipts and warranty and will use our rationality, reason and logic will prevail.

So, we research, locate again and draft an email letter to request Support for the chair.

24 hours – no response.

Go to the website, fill out support request – 24 hours no response

Call for support.  Get transferred, cut off. Call again leave call back number – 24 hours no response.

Kala has reached DEFCON 5 …and the Cleaner has awakened.

As we have always suspected, the Cleaner and Chaos seem to be best friends forever and when activated the two combine to create an incredible force with which to be reckoned.

And now it’s on.  The Cleaner immediately goes into kitchen sink mode and races through our thoughts like a hungry bear in a blackberry bush and each berry is a potential morsel of experience that may be called upon in the pending battles to come.

It ain’t pretty.  The Cleaner will do anything to give General Kala all the ammunition she needs to win the war.

We don’t like the Cleaner. She makes us hate. She makes us rage.  She is Cringe but necessary to our survival according to Chaos.

Cringe suggests:

  • Call and complain to advertisers
  • Write letters to complain
  • Seek out social media and destroy
  • Go on public crusade, rant and rave on ratings sites
  • Call the BBB!

Wait…That’s a good idea.  Sometimes Cringe can be good, we acknowledge, even when it’s cringe.

Temperature immediately falls back to Basic Control. We can work with this.  Upon examination of complaints lodged against the company on the BBB, we discover they answered every one and customer satisfaction acheived.

This means we are dealing with a good company, not the smart-assery of the past.  A good sign.

Thinking cap back on.

We draft and send a final letter to support:

  • We explain what is wrong
  • We describe our experience and treatment thus far in our attempt for a remedy.
  • We ask for replacement part asap.
  • We notify if response not given the BBB will be next step.

Within 20 minutes a friendly support person calls our number and expertly talks us down from our annoyance.

We have a nice chat, share a few fun stories and resolve the issue on the spot.

A new controller is on its way free of charge, under warranty.

We have our recliner back, Cringe the Cleaner is back in the dark recesses with Chaos and

General Kala did not have to destroy the planet in the process, which is nice, because she can…


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