What would you do?

I was going through news and articles this morning as I do, and I came across an article about the California Angels’ ballplayer Albert Pujols, who hit for his 2,000th career RBI last night.   Apparently, for the feat, he hit a home run, which landed in the stands of Comerica Park, where the Detroit Tigers play.  The ball was grabbed by a local fan, who decided to keep it, rather than give it to the player in exchange for swag, which is completely within his right to do.  He explained that he might have given up the ball to Tigers’ security, or the reps from the Angels if they hadn’t been so rude and heavy-handed with him from the outset.  (Naturally, the reps from both teams dispute this, but of course, they would)

The fan, (who just happens to be a lawyer) said that the Tiger’s security person began his negotiation by stating he the fan wouldn’t be able to re-sell the ball, because there’s no ‘chain of custody’ available, to authenticate that that ball was indeed the ball whereby Pujols hit for his 2,000th RBI.  If it were me, I’d be a little peeved with that too, suggesting the only reason I was being stubborn about it was that I wanted money.  The fact that the guy, later on, wasn’t interested in any of the other items that were offered to him (an autographed ball, a ‘meet and greet’ with Pujols, a signed jersey and even Tigers swag from another player [Mickey Cabrera]) definitely tells me that all he was interested in was the ball and the fact that he had never caught one at a ballgame.  It didn’t matter -which- ball it was, even though this one is somewhat special.  Honestly, for Pujols, it would only be another ball in his collection, gathering dust on a mantle or in a display case, until it was sold years later (or donated) after he either died or his family needed money.  Since Major League Baseball gave him the bases from Comerica Park to commemorate the moment, he has in concert with them, the bat that he used, the jersey and whatever else he wishes to save, he could take any ball and say ‘Hey, that’s the one‘ and be done with it.

Even after he was informed that the fan didn’t want to part with the ball, he seemed ok with it.  He didn’t want the stadium staff to push the issue, he seemed to understand that he’s there to participate in a sporting game for their benefit and if someone wants to keep a ball, they should be able to.  Not to mention the fact he’s getting paid an exorbitant amount of money to play said game, so it’s good to know that he ‘gets it’, even though there is a multitude of people on social media arrayed against this particular fan.  They seem to think he should give it up, but sure, they can make that call, since it’s not them.  If it were they sitting on the ball, would they be so quick to give it up?  Something like that changes when you’re the one sitting on the problem.

As for me, personally?  I think it would depend on the situation.  If like here, the stadium personnel were asses about it, I’d hold onto the ball until the furor died down.  After a bit of time I was over the ‘newness’ of the ball, I’d have a lawyer or someone in authority reach out to the player in question and ask if he’d like to have the ball.  To me, it’s a ball.  It has a memory attached to it of where I was, who I was with and so on.  To him, it’s a milestone of sorts.  I can understand if he’d want to have it, for him, his family and friends and whoever else wants to see it.  Would I hold out for swag and a meet and greet and whatever?  Nah.  I don’t need autographed items from ballplayers or famous people.  I enjoy what they do, and pay for the privilege of seeing them in action, either on the screen, at the ballpark or wherever.  They can keep the overpriced items.

But as for you, dear reader…what would you do?  I’m curious to know.

You’re sh*tting me, right?

I spent 5 hours of my life yesterday waiting for someone that was supposed to come to my house but never did.  Five. Freaking. Hours.  On my vacation, no less.

The lease for our vehicle is due to end next month and one of the requirements is that the vehicle has to be inspected so that the lessor can determine whether or not there’s cause for additional charges for repairs before the end of the lease.  Which makes sense, if there’s some major problem with the car, and they don’t determine that ahead of time, it could end up being costly for either us or them (likely us) and it would happen at the very end of the lease, causing probably less than stellar results for us in wanting to be a repeat customer.

We started getting phone calls and e-mails from the company the lessor uses for this about a month and a half ago, and I’ve been interacting with them for the past week or so.  Getting the car inspected isn’t a problem, scheduling a time that’s convenient for both them and us is.  We’re not in a major metropolitan area, so their inspectors are going to be on the road going to and from places for large stretches of time, so they need to schedule them accordingly.  Consequently, when I was on the phone with both the customer service arm and the dispatch arm, they took down two places and two addresses.  I think you can start to see where things are headed.

I made an appointment for Thursday, between 12 and 5.  They schedule appointments in blocks, so you have to wait between 8 and 12 pm or 12 and 5 pm for the inspector to arrive.  You can either have it done at your workplace, your home or at a place that’s mutually agreeable to you both (like a car dealership, a parking lot or somewhere else)  I had mentioned the local car dealership where we’d originally leased the vehicle, then mentioned my home, since I was on vacation this week and wouldn’t have to sit around a dealership for 4 or 5 hours waiting for someone to arrive.  If I’m going to have to spin my wheels and wait, I might as well do it somewhere that I can be comfortable, or do something else in the interim.  After confirming the appointment (and location, as well as address) with the scheduler on Monday,  I didn’t expect there were going to be any problems.  Oh, what little did I know?

On Wednesday the phone rang here at the house and I answered to a confirmation call, the operator informing me that the inspector was going to be here between 12 and 5 and the car needed to be accessible to them, as well as having the keys (or key fob in this case) available as well.  I informed the operator that all of that was going to be in compliance and hung up with him.  Yesterday, our houseguests wanted to go out for early-bird dinner but figuring the inspector was going probably be here and gone long before that, it was just a matter of finding a place to go locally that was open.  In the interim, I started waiting around 12 pm and waited patiently through the afternoon.

By 4 pm, however, I was starting to get antsy.  No inspector, no phone call, no nothing.  I finally decided it was time to call the customer service people and discover whether the inspector got lost, had an accident, or there was some other reason he or she wasn’t showing up.  After taking my information, I was informed that the inspector went to the local dealership even though the address they had was my home address!  If the inspector had come here, they would have seen the car in my driveway.  So I was more than a little perplexed why when the inspector went to the dealer and inquired about the car, no one, neither they nor the dealership called us to determine what was going on.  The person on the other end of the line didn’t know either, so she bumped my call up to her supervisor.

The supervisor was extremely apologetic that I’d been inconvenienced, and attempted to right the situation as best he could.  Since by then it was past 4:30, he wasn’t able to get an inspector to come here and do the work.  It would have to be rescheduled.  Again, being out of the way was going to be a problem.  He looked in my area (which confirmed my suspicion their central office is nowhere near here) with his limited scheduling ability and couldn’t find anyone that could be here before July.  Well, that wouldn’t work as the lease is up next month and the car won’t be here by then.  So, again I have to wait for a phone call from them to re-schedule this inspection that should (by all rights) have already been completed.  And yes, the clock is ticking.

So yeah, I’m pissed right now.