My Grand Opus of Irritation – An Open Letter To Yahoo

I’m a Writer and an Artist and a Free-Spirit and a Lover of All Things Beauty & Happy. One of my favorite pieces of street art is a Raised-Fist Afro Wielding “Power to the Peaceful” mural that once graced a small corner of the ever-changing graffiti phenomenon that is the Krog Street Tunnel in Atlanta. (I actually shed a tear when that mural was inevitably covered by newer material. Anybody out there possibly have a picture of it?) But I’m also a grown-up and a business woman and a realist. So, it goes without saying that I’m Hell on Heels if I give you a chance to do right and you screw it up. Today, Yahoo screwed up. Big Time. ~ Constance SHERESE

 

Yahoo Customer Care I am NOT a happy customer right now! I didn’t want a Yahoo account in the first place. All I wanted was to join my local community association group. The group is hosted by Yahoo, but on the log-in page there is an option to sign in using Facebook or Google. “Great!” Or so I thought. Not until AFTER I’d pressed the agree button to allow Yahoo access to my identity & contacts on Gmail did I get another screen notifying me that I’m still required to create a Yahoo Mail account anyway. What’s the point of signing in with Google & giving you all my info, if you’re still going to demand that I create another account I don’t want or need?

Then, when I say “screw it” and decide to create the new account, your system goes batty and won’t accept the password I created! Huh??? For the record, my chosen password was 9 characters in length, with upper case, lower case, and numerical symbols (as stipulated by your instructions). After 3 attempts to sign in and continually receiving “Invalid Password Format”, then voila! it finally went through.

Problem solved, right? Wrong! I was then transferred to your telephone verification page, where you told me to wait for a text message number to enter on screen to verify my identity. Only, guess what??? THAT doesn’t work either!!! I requested a text message twice. Received a text message twice. Only to have your system give me this message “Verification Failed”. I then asked for a phone call instead (hoping I might get a live person) but of course it was a recording … and that number didn’t work either.

I clicked the link for Customer Care on your website, but all that led me to was a bunch of articles on what I might be doing wrong. (Here’s a guess, I’m wasting my time trying to create an account I don’t want, with a company who hasn’t offered a decent product since 1998!) When I was finally able to locate your number – where it was hidden in a barely accessible location because you clearly don’t want to be bothered with talking to your potential customers – I was immediately greeted by this message:

“Hello, our call volume is high and you may be on hold for a while. If your call is disconnected, please send us an email by going to help.yahoo.com & following the prompts.” Are you kidding me? This is a joke, right? I’m being video-taped & any minute now someone’s going to pop out of a back corner, right? Because you can’t possibly think it’s acceptable to TELL your customers you’re just going to keep them on hold until either they give up or you hang up. What are we, playing a game of Chicken here?

It’s taken me 40 minutes to craft this Grand Opus of Irritation and guess what? I’m still on hold! On the bright side, I guess I should be happy you didn’t hang up on me?

Nevermind, I definitely won’t be getting a Yahoo Mail account after this nightmare. I WILL however be sharing this information ALL OVER social media. THIS is why Google rocks and you guys suck. It’s 2014, the United States is just starting to recover from a horrible economic plummet and somehow there are STILL big businesses who think it’s okay to treat potential customers like crap. #HowNOTToTreatACustomer #LessonsInHowToKamikazeYourBusinessReputation #GoogleRocksYahooSucks

P.s. Google, please don’t make me regret giving you this free publicity. You’re FABULOUS. Just make sure you don’t forget us little guys along the way. Thanks!

Decatur Market and Art Gallery: Dreams on Fire

I spent last Saturday night perusing various pieces of art on display at a local gallery/ cooperative in Decatur Village. It was a fun evening of conversation with other artists and casual “interpretation” of the deeper meaning behind some of their works. The theme of the event was Dreams on Fire and Mali Harrell’s fused glass “Fire Flower” offered a visually literal representation of the concept. When I visited her website after the exhibition, I could see clearly why she refers to glass as her “constant muse” – especially when it comes to finding joy in the unexpected “imperfections” that work their way into her finished pieces. I wondered, and still wonder, where the imperfections lie in some of my favorites that range from playful sea sponges to dresses inspired by famous women to full body figurines in her Ladies series. The execution was flawless, as far as I could tell!

Fire Flower

One of my other favorite artists of the evening – and probably the one whose style physically and emotionally drew me in the most – was Penny Treese. She refers to herself as an encaustic artist and I immediately wanted to learn more about this medium that I hadn’t heard of before. As an artist, I naturally gravitate towards art forms that involve a layered, nuanced process that I can immerse myself in on multiple levels, and Penny’s work did not leave me disappointed.Treese creates both landscapes and female figures, but it was one of her female figures that stopped both me and my husband in our tracks. We couldn’t tell if the woman was dancing or in pain, falling or being uplifted, naked or clothed – and yet it was all of these questions and contradictions that compelled us to deeper dialogue and curiosity about what we were seeing.

encaustic 2Encaustic 1

 

I was reminded of my original CultSTATUS logo The Dancer as well as my current and permanent logo The cS Angel. Both images were meant to discuss deeper issues and concepts than their surface visual depictions revealed. I hoped that my works would engender a similar reaction with my own viewers. And yet, no artist – especially an emerging artist like myself – wants to find an exact mirror of their process already being accomplished by someone else. So it was a pleasant surprise to read Penny’s artist statement and discover that her intent was something completely different than what I would have expected.

The short of it was that she used an aging process with coffee, wine, water, salt, cold, and heat to physically “age” her subjects and then reveal their inner beauty through the encaustic process. It was a concept that left me wildly inspired! I wanted to call up my sister-in-law who recently used a similar process to give her hand-made wedding invitations a vintage appeal. Who says aged can’t be beautiful? I’m also thinking about taking a few encaustic art classes, now that I’ve experienced it first hand! I’d want to blend the form with my love for graffiti, papier mache, and collage as well – but discovering my own style would be half the fun. Oh, and did I mention how much I LOVE her business cards? Got any spare change? ~ cS, Constance SHERESE

Spare Change

Captain’s Log, Star-date: 071514

Over the past year, I’ve started recording a lot of my creative thoughts and ideas to help with my writing. In the meantime, my husband has reignited my love for Star Trek. He’s been watching old episodes on YouTube and giving me flashbacks to my childhood and Thursday nights spent stretched out on the living room floor with my dad and Sir Patrick Stewart – sorry Shatner, but I’m an eighties baby!

The recordings are meant to help with the fact that I struggle to fully translate my outgoing, welcoming, artistic side because I’m also a bit of a perfectionist. The way it usually goes is that I have this great, original idea but by the time I finish “tweaking” it, all that’s left is a highly accurate albeit emotionally void shell of what I first came up with. And that’s if someone else hasn’t beat me to the punch because apparently tweaking takes time!

The Rabbits in my mind are fun, vibrant, and a little cheeky but unless you happen to be in the room when my inspiration first strikes, you’d never get to see that side of my personality. Which is why I’ve started making video recordings as well. At first, I was only making audio recordings for my own personal benefit. But in recent weeks, I’ve started to feel like I need to share a visual of my process as well. How late am I on the whole self-recording wave???

Anyway, I figure if I’m starting to put myself out there with grant applications and public art projects then it’s time to dive into the deep end and let it all hang out. So, here are two videos I made a few nights ago when I was going through a pretty nerve-wracking experience. ~ cS, Constance SHERESE

Captain’s Log, Star-date: 071514

Oops! I ramble when I’m nervous and I guess I ran out of memory … Here’s the rest!

Coming Through My Headphones: @Joyful_Sings!

I’m counting down to the 4th of July tomorrow … make that in less than an hour. I’m looking forward to some All-American barbecue, fireworks, quality time spent with family and friends,  & a celebration of our freedoms. But I’m also counting down to the iTunes release of @Joyful_Sings first single, “Deepest Fear”!

@Joyful_Sings aka Joy Conaway is one of those independent artists I really like because she has focus and direction in a way that most haven’t quite figured out yet. Joy knows her vocal strengths and she totally plays into them. She’s released about 12 covers and one original song on her Sound Cloud profile and my favorites all have the same tendencies even though they’re across different genres.

Joy’s voice has an ethereal, whispered quality to it that all of her fans love. Add that she’s brilliant at executing the ever challenging Self-Harmony and it’s hard not to enJOY as she asks of all her listeners. But don’t let her breathy signature sound fool you. Her range and power vocals are equally present as displayed in her penchant for covering Hayley Williams’ tracks. Those are some of my favorites, actually.

So you know I’m dying for more of her original content to see how she weaves in her own unique style. She’s proven that she has roots in such greats as Nina Simone (my imaginary auntie), Anita Baker, and Michael Jackson too, so what’s next?

Like any growing artist there is always room for improvement: Her self-harmonies are so amazing, I’m almost underwhelmed by her attempts at duets with other actual people – is that really a flaw though? And her enunciation in her original songs isn’t quite clear enough to follow the lyrics, but even that comes across as a typical production issue for someone trying to fund her own breakout.

cS Favorites:

There’s her original song “Finally”

Her cover of ZEDD & Hayley Williams “Stay the Night”

Beyoncés “XO” – Her best duet, I think.

Katy Perry Mashup – Flawless transitions!

A Thousand Years – There’s that heavenly vocal quality again!

The Only Exception – More Hayley …

Plain Gold Ring – I told you there was Nina! Daayyyuum, she did Auntie proud didn’t she?

and these live performance gems that really can’t be described …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SN-0n0-OuE

In a world where support for Indie artists is hard to come by, I’m jumping on the Team Joy bandwagon with both hands in the hair. I’ve only got one question: Is it midnight yet???? ~ cS, Constance SHERESE

 

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