Do I Look Like a Communist to You?

It always takes a few minutes to explain my origins to someone I’ve just met. I’m usually bombarded with questions: Wait, so you’re not from the States? I thought you were from Cali… or Flushing or something. Are you Korean or Chinese? How on earth do you speak English so well? You don’t even have an accent! Believe it or not folks, you can actually learn proper Engrish in Asia (ORLY?). My background is confusing though, even for me. When people ask me where my hometown is, I’m usually thrown off by the question. It’s an easy enough question, isn’t it – where you’re from. Anyang? Seoul? Shanghai? It’s one of those.

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around a lot – I’ve got more than a handful of countries visited under my belt. And I’ve never been asked this particular question before coming to the States (that’s 17 years of my life): Are you South Korean or North Korean? The first few times, I let it slide. I’m in America now. Most Americans don’t know shit about other countries. I calmly replied, South. However, the more and more I got that question, the more annoyed I got. If I was North Korean, what the hell would I be doing in New York City? Honestly, people. Do you not know anything about the heinous conditions in North Korea? Do I look like a refugee to you? I don’t actually voice these thoughts, obviously. They’re just running through my head before I answer the question. Sometimes I like to fuck with people (especially those who I’m 99% sure I’ll never see again) and say that I am indeed from North Korea. I escaped the grips of poverty and communism through the barren lands of northern China… on FOOT… and instead of heading to South Korea where I’d be granted asylum, I decided out of the blue to make my journey across the world to become one of the (roughly) one hundred North Korean defectors living in the United States. I’ve come to the most expensive city in the country, at that. Just chasing the American dream, you see. You understand, don’t you?

No. No, you don’t. Just… No. How the hell would I have done that? How would that even work? I had to file a ton of paperwork and attend a nerve wrecking interview just to obtain my student visa for FIT, and I speak perfect English (there are plenty of South Koreans who are deemed “not good enough” for entry into the States, I know this because I sat in the US embassy for over 3 hours waiting for my turn and watching people get rejected). It’s actually not that easy to enter the States illegally (despite what the media has you believe). Not all illegal aliens are able to jump the fence. In this case, the fence would be the Pacific Ocean. Moving from a fucked up socialist country to what is perceived to be a “normal” capitalist one should be enough culture shock for a North Korean refugee’s lifetime – I’m pretty sure moving to what is perceived to be one of the “most capitalist” and egomaniacal cities in the world would be a tad bit overwhelming for this hapless escapee.

Alright, that’s enough ranting. Just don’t ever ask me if I’m North Korean, okay?

Pretty please?

North Korean PropagandaNorth Korean Propaganda



Phone Companies

I hate phone companies. They are evil. Truly malicious. AT&T has had me in a death grip ever since I “upgraded” from MetroPCS. Looking back now, I miss MetroPieCeofShit. I hate being tied down in a plan and paying $105 a month for shitty service and crappy connection.

I wish I never got a smartphone the first time around. Now I can’t ever go back to a non-smartphone. Especially now that I’ve sold my soul to both AT&T and Apple (I renewed my 2 year contract to get the iPhone).

Before renewing my contract with AT&T, I did a lot of research. But as an individual with no family members I can expand the contract with, I get screwed by pretty much every company.

You get what you pay for. I learned that from the $50/month no contract deal with MetroPCS. Shittiest customer service I’ve EVER had to deal with. When I broke my Windows phone (what the hell was I thinking, buying a first generation Windows phone? I guess I wasn’t), I went in to get the phone fixed. By the way, MetroPCS had only TWO proper stores where I could ask for a new phone – one was in Harlem, and the other was in downtown Brooklyn. There has to be more official stores now.

Anyway, back then there were only two goddamn official stores. So I had to trek to Brooklyn to file my insurance thingy. First time I went, the dude gave me so much shit because my phone was strangely acting FINE in the store (although it had been majorly fucking up for the past 2 weeks). It was like he was accusing me of lying. I was sweating, trying to prove myself. Why the fuck would I lie about it? The phone doesn’t work and it’s a pain in my ass. After a while, I finally proved to him that it wasn’t working. He reluctantly helped me with the insurance process, and told me to come back in a week.

For the next week, the phone was driving me insane. I couldn’t properly call or text anyone. I waited it out, and went into the store (I even cut class to do so) after a week. After drawing a number and waiting for like half an hour, they told me that they received the new phone, but sent it back by mistake. They told me to come back in another week.

Two weeks with a broken phone that barely worked. It was hell. It was almost as bad as not having a phone at all. Actually, that actually would’ve been better – in that case I wouldn’t have gotten so damn frustrated. Anyway, I went back the next week and got the new phone.

On the ride home, I tried calling my friend. It didn’t work. Nothing worked. It was working in the store?!? I was so enraged I almost threw the piece of shit phone out the window. My friend, who was giving me a ride, drove me straight to AT&T from there, and helped me open an account under his family plan.

Two years passed after that, and it was time for me to get my own individual account. But with which company? AT&T gave me a lot of shit over the years as well, but I’m not going to go into that. My point is, they’re all just a bunch of liars. Not a single phone company is trustworthy.

Have you ever watched a Verizon ad and an AT&T ad right after the other? They both compare their coverage with the other, and the maps directly contrast one another. Red for Verizon, blue for AT&T. Do they not realize that both of them doing that completely cancels out what they say? Sure, I may be a smarter consumer than most of the population in the US, but honestly. Shouldn’t they be penalized for false advertising? One of them is obviously lying. Or they’re just both lying. Neither of them has that good of a coverage.

What pisses me off the most is AT&T makes me out to be a bitch. People say they called me and I didn’t pick up. I check my phone, no missed calls. I had full bars in the library all day? How is that possible? They say that it was ringing before going to voicemail. What the hell, AT&T? How are you failing this hard at this? I pay $105 a month. You are fucking up my social life.

I went to T-Mobile. No iPhone. The price tag says $99, but you have to pay off $499 over a few months. Cheapest plan out of AT&T and Sprint! NOOO. Come on, T-Mobile. The $50 4G dealio they keep advertising all over the place? It’s got its defects.

Sprint… I liked that one ad where it called both T-Mobile and AT&T out with an honest tone. Nice surprise. I’m not saying Sprint is less evil than the other two. I just liked the ad. At AT&T, I was eligible for an upgrade, and I really wanted the iPhone. I’ve avoided it for as long as I could, but when my brand new Android started fucking up after 3 weeks, I really wanted the fucking iPhone.

So, I sold my soul. Oh by the way – I had to make a security deposit of $500. They didn’t tell me this till the last minute (after I made the decision to re-sign with AT&T). I get it back in a year. Every time I pay the phone bill, a little part of me dies 😦


Health Services, My Ass

I hate having student insurance. I hate the FIT health clinic. I despise it with a fiery passion. I hate that I have to go to the health services to get a referral before seeking professional medical advice/help (because they don’t actually give you much of it). I hate waiting over an hour to be seen by a nurse who usually doesn’t know JACK SHIT. It’s probably this, it’s probably that, hmm I don’t know, it’s probably nothing.

Every time I go in there, I come out anywhere from semi to fully frustrated or enraged (mostly enraged). I go in with chest pains, they tell me to take Advil. I go in with stomach pains, they tell me to take Pepto. The stomach pains continued over the span of a month, and I went back every week, feeling worse. Each time, they didn’t have ANYTHING helpful to tell me, until I finally snapped and demanded that they write me a referral to see a REAL doctor. Every time I go in, it’s someone different. Every time I go in, I have to answer the same stupid questions and explain myself over and over and over and over. Can’t you just look at my fucking chart? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? It’s a thick ass chart; god knows I’ve been there enough times. The damn clinic. It’s so impersonal. It’s so useless.

Other times, they try to prescribe me something without even being sure of what I have. When I had chest pains, this lady just poked around my chest and said it’s probably a muscle thing, and tried to prescribe me some kind of muscle relaxer. I told her, no, it’s not a muscle thing. It’s internal. It feels deeper than the muscle. Well… is it hurting right now? Umm, no. Well… you should come back when it’s actually hurting. Ummmm, NO, because the clinic hours and the waiting time are absurd and it usually hurts at nighttime. Well… you should call an ambulance if it hurts that badly. NO, lady, I don’t want to wait until I’m in that much pain to figure out why I’ve been in pain all this time. What the fucking fuck?

Oh, and they always try to get me on the pill. They talk like they care about whether or not I get knocked up, but really they just want my money. It’s really cheap, they say, trying to sell me on it. NO, and I said NO more than a few times, saying that I’m a big smoker and that’s not the best idea. They say there’s no proof of smoking + taking the pill being harmful to women under the age of 35. So fucking what? If it’s harmful for women ages 35 and up to smoke and take the pill at the same time, there’s a good chance that it’s harmful for teens, even if there aren’t any studies to actually prove it. Shouldn’t you know this better than I? Shouldn’t my health be your top priority, nurse practitioner, not your profit margins? QUIT. FUCKING. PESTERING. ME.

The FIT health services completely lost my trust when they practically poisoned my roommate back in freshman year. She went in because she had the flu. They gave her medicine. A few days later, she was rushed to the emergency room in an ambulance. They had mistakenly given her Vertigo medicine. (Vertigo: a neurological symptom of a disorder involving the vestibular system – the structures of the inner ear, the vestibular nerve, brain stem, and the cerebellum). She had the fucking FLU! How does that happen? I still can’t believe she didn’t sue the shit out of the school for that. I would have.

One of these days, I’m really going to lose it and end up causing a scene at the clinic. But then again I really hope I don’t. I’ll probably end up on a blacklist or something and won’t ever receive any kind of care again (even shoddy care that I’ve been getting). Well, I got my flu shot today. At least they didn’t fuck that up… I hope 😉

Your Call is Very Important to Us

I hate 1-800 numbers. I hate calling customer service. I hate being on hold. I hate listening to the stupid elevator music and the automated message that says “Please stay on the line, your call is very important to us.” If my call was indeed that important to you, you wouldn’t have me waiting on the line for fucking 30 minutes, robot bitch.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to lock down an apartment. The bank was (obviously) closed, and I needed to get a grand out of my account to put down for deposit. I went to the ATM, and tried to withdraw $1000. I had plenty of money in my account; I just needed to access it. It didn’t let me. I withdrew 500. When I tried to withdraw another 500, I was barred from my own damn account. Fuck you very much, Bank of America.

Then the dreaded process of calling customer service began. First time around, I waited patiently. I stayed on hold for around 10 minutes, and got through to somebody. I explained my situation, and she asked me the usual crap, name and birthday and blahblahblah. She then asked what she could do for me. For the second time, I explained my situation. She then said that she doesn’t handle these types of calls; she’ll need to transfer me to another department. Why couldn’t she have transferred me earlier? I bit my tongue, and said okay. When she tried to transfer me, the line went dead. Confused, I looked at my phone. The phone call had ended. Are you fucking serious?

I called again. Another 10 minutes of piano music and stupid robot bitch. When I got through, I hastily went through the name birthday process and asked to be transferred. The dude transferred me, and I successfully got through to someone else (who, of course, asked for my information all over again). I explained my situation, and the woman said she’ll see what she can do about it. A long pause. More questions. Another long pause. I was pacing outside the bank, chain-smoking. The pause had gone on for a little too long. Hello? HELLO? WHAT THE FUCK? I checked my phone. The call had ended. By this point, I was screaming into my hands, about to tear my hair out.

The third time, the call was dropped again. Over 30 minutes had passed. I was done. Passerbys were looking at me like I was crazy. I had no idea why the call kept dropping, and that probably wasn’t Bank of America’s fault (I blame AT&T), but I had had enough. I couldn’t believe I was going through so much stress in order to get my own money out of my own account. I gave the landlord the 500, and gave him the other 500 the next morning.

Another time that comes to mind was when I was trying to book a plane ticket to Australia. I couldn’t purchase the tickets online for some reason (United Airways), and I reluctantly called in to see what was wrong. I hated the irony of the robot bitch telling me to go visit their website – I was on the damn website, miss robot bitch, it doesn’t work. Now put me through.

When I got through, this lady took forever looking for the flight I was looking at on the screen. I told her – round trip from JFK to Melbourne, date and time of the flights. She still couldn’t find it. After a few minutes, she realized I was talking about Melbourne in Australia, not in Florida. She then said she needed to transfer me, because she only handles domestic flights. TYPICAL.

The international flight lady couldn’t find the flights either. What the hell was I looking at on my screen, then? Mysterious flights that can only be seen by certain people? She then went on to explain that the website may be delayed, because it shows that the flights I’m looking at are completely booked. I was puffing steam out my nostrils. That is it, United Airways, I’m going to Delta. You not only just lost $2400, but lost a customer FOREVER.

As you can probably tell, I have a lot of pent up anger about this subject. These are only two accounts out of I don’t know how many. Nobody wants to take responsibility anymore. Oh I can’t help you, I don’t handle those calls. Oh I must transfer you, you’ve called the wrong department. In China, if you have a problem, you call and yell at them until they get the job done. Or you just go and yell at them. They’re not too nice about it, but that’s okay, because you’re not being nice about it either and they get the job done. None of this fake niceness, fake apologies, fake phrases like “your call is very important to us.” Enough already. Not another word out of you, robot bitch. Enough.