If you ever needed a bull taken by the horns, or to ensure a bone is never yielded by a dog, do I have a bull toting, bone gnawing person for you. Yes, dear hearts – Sir is at it again.

He called me the other day, and prefacing his question with “I’m not worried if you did” – which of course always makes me worry, he asked if I’d charged $392 to our checking account for something. Now that being quite a chunk of change, I would surely remember it, but my memory could come up with nothing.

On further investigation – this was now Sir’s Phase One of dog with bone scenario, if you will, his discovery of said bone – he revealed that it was a subscription renewal. I will not reveal the identity of the organization, but suffice it to say it’s pretty large and it’s local.

Now nibbling the bone around the edges to get a good feel for the thing – Phase Two, Sir of the quick thinking mathematical mind, calculated that this dollar amount was 33 percent more than the dollar amount six months ago, and, insultingly, with no warning of an increase from the company at all. At this point I rather thought Sir lost his sense of humor and the whole thing exploded into “cancel my subscription!”

Our off-shore customer service rep, upon hearing those magic words, endeavored to soothe the savage beast (with the bone now firmly clamped in his jaws in Phase Three), and offered a reduced rate which only represented a 25 percent increase.

“So the quality of your #$%# product has declined by 65 percent and you’re going to only charge me 25 percent more because I found you out in the first place? Cancel my subscription, and put me onto someone on the mainland!”

Well, that opened up a whole other can of worms, and Sir, at Phase Four and now ripping the bone to shreds, came to the stunning realization that it was not actually physically possible to communicate with anyone at the company here in Kansas City – not 15 minutes away from home, but instead, no matter what number he called, had to be routed 8,000 miles away to speak with someone who had no knowledge, no authority, and frankly, no clue why Sir was so upset.

Thinking that the bone was now suitably devoured, I suggested to Sir that he just let it go. We were getting our money back, the subscription was cancelled, end of never-ending story, close of conversation.

But no, dear reader. Sir, romping ahead to Phase Five, refusing to give up the bone splinters in his teeth, took himself downtown, determined to speak with “someone on the mainland.” What he got was an unhelpful, not remotely interested customer service person who I think was horrified that a member of the public actually got through the front doors.

After the tirade Sir delivered, I would like to think she might’ve gone back to her cubby-hole, taken an aspirin and had a good lie down. What I suspect however, was she went back to her cubby-hole, snug in the knowledge that her phone would never ring, and that the pesky public was not likely to breach the front doors again.

-- Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com.