It has been an absolutely miserable month for mail-order retail therapy. I have this thing where I don’t feel like I earn enough to really save anything, so I buy things to try to feel better about it, and then you shut up and leave me alone. I pay all of my bills. But it’s been a bad month for this kind of thing.

It starts with Batman car seat covers. I wanted to get a little something nice for my car after paying $700+ to get the roof-scar removed after the snowstorm / branch incident, so I ordered some Batman car seat covers. These, of course, were to match my Batman floor mats and Batman steering wheel cover. After excitedly waiting for these things to arrive, they appear and they’re made of stocking-quality nylon, stitched onto incredibly cheap foam material, with a Batman logo embroidered weirdly in the center. The material was already developing runs, and apparently, the Toyota Corolla has unnaturally malformed tumors for seats, because nothing was fitting anyhow.

I’m not sure how such cheap materials are supposed to protect the car from anything, but these were promptly returned for ‘not being as described’. My car is naked on the inside. My search for Batman shoelaces continues unsatisfied.

I accidentally placed two orders for the same two action figures from an import shop in CA, so when I realized this on the e-mail shipping notice, I just swallowed hard and decided that I’d sell the extra two as a set and earn a little bit of my money back. Why an experienced retailer would ship $140 worth of goods in a thin cardboard box, uninsured, and at Parcel Post rate, is beyond me. It took 16 days to reach here, and by the time it did, it was so crushed that the figures had actually been sprung from their packages. I battled over e-mail for the right to return these, which cost me an extra $10 in shipping for the negligence of the USPS and the retailer. So, don’t shop with HobbyFan. Their shipping FAQ page is a manifesto of dirty, dirty lies.

Finally, I ordered the first 5 appearances of MODOK from Mile High Comics, via eBay. When the order arrived today, two of these five comics were wrong. I mean, these are honest mistakes : ‘Tales of Astonish’ #94 instead of Tales of Suspense #94, and Avengers #112 instead of Captain America #112, but that’s nearly 50% of my order that they colossally screwed up because no one bothered to properly inventory what they were sending out. I’ve yet to hear back from them.

I know that I’m going about life the wrong way, in some way that I can’t understand, but these little things suck royally. Maybe it’s a sign that I should stop buying nice things for myself, or focus on something else, or that the laziness of businesses and employees has reached a sleepy, fever pitch – but this is a collection of annoyances that have clustered together to form a trifecta of suck that takes too much valuable time to deal with. I spend enough time at work fixing everyone else’s negligence.

Get it right, morons of the world.