Tag Archives: everyone is stupid

Operational Reasons

Not available due to operational reasons. I’m going to start using that one.

For our trip, 3 of our flights were operated by United and 1 by Lufthansa. I never thought I’d be comparing Lufthansa unfavorably to United but these are the times we live in.

United let me make seat reservations for free. Lufthansa wanted $35. Since it was a 10 hour flight, we decided it was worth it to make sure we were elbow-to-elbow with each other instead of random strangers. (Yes, there were work arounds, those weren’t going to work for us.)

When we arrived to the check-in kiosk the above notice welcomed us.

When I got home I phoned Lufthansa as instructed and the customer service agent told me she wasn’t sure how to deal with it so I would need to send copies of our boarding passes and our itinerary to email customer service to request a refund. This didn’t make me too happy seeing as how I paid for a convenience that United offered me for free on THREE other flights and then I didn’t even benefit and now the burden was on me to document this and try to get my money back.

I consider this straight-forward. They have the technology to take my money and give me a ticket with onerous cancellation provisions, they have the technology to check me in, print me a boarding pass. We even checked our luggage in ourselves. It shouldn’t be too tough to verify that we paid for seats, we didn’t get those seats and issue a refund.

Almost 2 weeks. Nothing.

I’m still have a hard time getting back to my routine. Just too many things going on.

Haven’t worked on the photos yet. The computer says there are 597 photos but I accidentally loaded some in twice so I think it’s more like 497. hehe. The above photo is dated for after I got home so not sure how I snafu’d but I’m going to guess that it’s Bruges.

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18 Years with This Guy

Here we are in Montreal on the way to the Timbers match. We were on the Metro and a spanger was working her way through the train asking people if they spoke English and then telling a sob story and asking for money. She got to us and before we could even answer she shook her head and moved on.

Could we look more American?

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart.

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One More Chance to Get it All Wrong

The past couple weeks have been ground zero for doing it wrong.

I wanted to put a travel alert on my bank account. I went to the branch and was told to wait for a banker. I talked to the banker and he seemed surprised like I was a fussy old lady and he was just indulging me. Then he thought I should open another bank account: just for travel. That way if something happens, I have an alternative.

I’m ahead of you pal, I have another account at a different bank. I also asked the banker specifically what the travel related fees would be and he agreed that there would be fees and that would be something to watch out for. Then he tried to sell me an American Express card to save on fees. I felt it was unlikely that travel related fees would be more than the annual fee for Am Ex.

Then after all that he told me I still had to call customer service.

Remember my rant about Verizon and how all they can do at the store is sell you stuff? Same at the bank. They can give you your very own cash that you earned yourself and they store for you or they can sell you stuff. They can’t do anything else. I called customer service and got into a phone tree where the only choices were to check my bank balance or get transferred to someone who could sell me something. I had to do that thing were you yell at the auto-attendant until she reluctantly transferred me to a person. I finally got that settled.

And speaking of Verizon, I needed to confer with them also about this travel. Phone tree that had no choices that I want. Yelling. Put into waiting queue and told they are experiencing extra long wait times. What does that mean? Unfortunately I didn’t have an extra long time right then. I decided to try the live chat (I know you’re shaking your head right now, desperate times … ). The interface was confusing but once I was connected it was kinda okay. At one point I was totally confused about what was going on and thought: I should call customer service so I can ask questions. Then I remembered that I was talking to customer service. I think this one is settled, too.

Finally, I ordered a specialty item from a store that only sells 2 things. In order to do this I was forced to create a user account, including a separate username other than my email address and it scolded my only moderately secure password. Like I need a really secure password for a place I’m never going to return to. I ordered both things. One magically arrived on my doorstep. Never got a shipping confirmation or anything. I figured the 2 items must have been separated in transit but several days later I still hadn’t received them so I went to the website and logged in. It didn’t need a username, just my email and moderately secure password. And next to my second item it said cancelled-back ordered. So I had to contact customer service which luckily was straight email and I also kindly suggested implementing a system to inform customers what the hell is going on with their order. I guess it’s not cancelled, just back ordered and they appreciated my suggestion. Just kidding! No one ever tells me they appreciate my suggestions.

I’m going to be offline for a couple of weeks. There will be tweets and photos.

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FIFA World Cup Games 27 and 29

These two games wore me out. I am finished.

Argentina v. Iran

I don’t think one single game has gone the way I expected. I thought was going to be an easy rout for Argentina with me turning off the TV after the half so as not to have to watch the horror. I was very wrong. Iran was amazing. I found myself conflicted. Who doesn’t like to see an underdog beat one of the favorites? Argentina found a heartbreaker in stoppage time and I felt bad for Iran. But if you’re going to get your heart broken, at least it was at the feet of Messi.

Germany v. Ghana

What a game. Great playing on both sides. And completely exhausting. I thought it was kind of interesting that the commentators seemed to be writing Germany off when USA and Portugal haven’t even played yet. Let’s not jinx it by assuming the outcome.

So, the good news is that the technical problem I was whining about the other day is actually an update to Photoshop.

Just kidding. That’s not good news at all. It took me what, 18 months to finish a 15 hour class on the last version I had? It asked me if I wanted to import my settings. Yes, I clicked. My settings were not imported. Bob asked if I had a back-up. Of course I have a back-up but I don’t need a half-day project because 1 computer program updated.

I’m going to putter out in the yard for a bit. I need the fresh air and sunshine and the garden needs any attention I am willing to give it. I need to wait until my bread is finished. I haven’t baked in a couple of weeks and have been missing decent bread. EVERYTHING that comes from the grocery store, no matter what it’s called or what shape it is, is soft, squishy crap. I would rather not eat bread than eat soft, squishy bread.

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Yesterday when I sat down to post, all my stories vanished from my mind. It wasn’t until I started doing something else that I remembered some of them.

All my winter long underwear is disintegrating, or worse. I have this habit of thinking I will buy new seasonal wear and then putting it off for so long that I decide to get through the season with what I have and buy new the following season. But I don’t get rid of the ratty stuff. I hang onto it in case I need it before I have time to get the new stuff. And then the cycle continues.

I, cleverly I thought, went and found some long underwear on clearance to buy now. Then I could throw away the ratty stuff and be treated with pretty new stuff next winter when my butt gets cold.

I bought it on March 27th and according to my tracking number it arrived in Portland on April 3. Since then it’s been in transit. At the beginning of last week I phoned to find out what was happening and of course the phone system of Giant Global Delivery Service is automated and after making me state my 22 digit tracking number into the phone, it told me my package was in transit. Gee, thanks for the helpful update!

Then I went to email help. After 24 hours I received message, apologizing for any inconvenience I might be suffering while being denied access to my long underwear for next winter, and asking for the delivery address.

Shouldn’t this information be attached to the tracking number?

I complied and 24 hours later I received message, apologizing (… etc) and asking for my phone number and assuring me that they would contact me to let me know what’s going on.

Still haven’t heard. Already this clearance underwear isn’t worth it *plus* they couldn’t ship the order complete so who knows what else I have to look forward to.

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The Department of Doing it Wrong

About every 2-3 weeks were getting a special, exclusive, JUST-FOR-YOU offer for a business loan for the tenant who was in our space before us. I’m talking about the office. He moved out in September of 2008. I can understand maybe a year later, but 5+ years? Update your mailing list.

Last week, in a fit of irritation, I stuck the offer into the pre-paid envelope and wrote on it, “This person hasn’t been at this location since 2008.”

This week we got another letter for previous tenant who is not at this location. The image above is from that letter. It was a normal white paper letter. I added the rainbow and the texture, because I can.

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Happy Bowl is Finished

I have a piece of exercise equipment that failed in exactly the way they have a lifetime guarantee that it won’t fail.

This exercise equipment has different pieces and this particular piece I could easily live without but you know, principle of the thing. I went online to see how this lifetime guarantee thing works.

They have one of those webpages that you scroll down forever and the text alternates black, red and blue and in different sizes. Lots of act now for a special offer and when you click away a window pops up asking: Are you sure you want to leave this page? I swear there’s a marketing template of this somewhere because I’ve seen the same style on a huge variety of products. The lifetime guarantee is cited numerous times.

I found a link that said it would tell me more about the lifetime guarantee and I clicked away and there it was all spelled out how the lifetime guarantee works. I didn’t even have to send my piece back, I just had to pay for shipping and they’d replace it for me. For more information on how this works, click here.

And that link took me back to the page with the first link. And I clicked until I did the circle again before I said, Wait a minute.

So there very clearly is a lifetime guarantee but how make it work for you is going to take some digging.

And I could dig. There is a phone number but how much is my time and energy worth?

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Pam Advisory Notice No. 77

This is a Breuer chair.

You might think this chair looks nice and not the kind of chair that can ruin a person’s day. Do not be fooled. If you have the choice between fixing a Breuer chair and buying new chairs, buy new. If your husband indicates distress over buying chairs over the Internet, even after you point out that the two of you are the worst shoppers ever, always pick the first marginally decent thing you see and you might as well just buy damn Internet chairs to solve your problem, just kindly listen and then buy the online chairs. He’ll forgive you.

Breuer chairs came into my life in the late 70’s. You can see proof here. I still have that Breuer chair. Many years later, in the late 80’s my Dad made me a kitchen table and gave it to me with 4 Breuer chairs. I still have those, too.

The cane gets stretched out and holes in it. I had a local guy fix a bunch for me once.

But the last time I needed help with my chairs, which was OVER FIVE YEARS AGO, I phoned him a couple of times and never heard back. This is the kind of project that I only looked at once every few months. Like maybe company was coming and I thought: extra chairs would be handy, so I’d make the call.

I eventually gave up on my guy and looked for another guy. I finally found a place and I thought I wrote about it here but apparently I wrote about it on Facebook.

In brief, I found a place in an inconvenient location and I made the time to go out there and carried my broken chair parts in and they were patronizing and rather than just saying, this is such a pain in the ass we don’t want to do it, they quoted me a ridiculous price while all looking down their noses at each other. When I said, thanks, but I’d rather buy new chairs, they said: Well don’t buy chairs like these.

If you know me, you can imagine how I took that. I stomped out of there determined to show them.

Using new information, I FINALLY got around to ordering replacement parts that arrived this week. You can buy replacement chair bottoms and chair backs for probably too much online. My parts arrived and this afternoon I fixed my chairs.

First of all, I totally violated the Uncle Joey rule about never letting an inanimate object kick your ass.

I could not get my screws to go in so I looked it up online and saw a demo, from the company I bought my chair stuff from, and they’re like, “Keep the screws you already used. Our parts are pre-drilled.” Well, I had the screws that I already used because I am my father’s daughter. But they are like 10 feet long and I couldn’t get them to fit. And “pre-drilled” my ass, they were like “pre-dimpled.”

Also I had to replace the chair back which is not pre-dimpled. They said either measure from the old chair back that you’re throwing away (too late!) or do whatever you want.

What?!?!?! He’p!

It took probably 3 times as long as it should have and I said a lot of bad words plus ruined the chairs’ self-esteem by telling them how much I hated them but in the end, we have fixed chairs (I was very creative with my screws) and I can cross something off my list that has been there for more than 5 years.

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Click Here For More Clicking

A couple of weeks ago I had a question about my health insurance so I did what I thought was a sensible thing and went to the website.

The website wasn’t going to tell me anything until I created a username and password to log into my account. Once I was logged in there was a box that said I had 9 alerts.

Nine alerts sounded serious so I clicked on the first one which sent me to a different website and asked me to create a username and password.

I wish I was making this up. At this point I was determined to see what all this alerting was about and the first one led to a cryptic note about a test my doctor had ordered.

Then to see the next alert I was supposed to go back to the first website and start the process again. There was no way to navigate from alert to alert.

Needless to say, I felt that they should take their alerts and shove them. Then I made the terrible error of wanting to tell them this and spent another 15 minutes trying to figure out how to send them a note. Would the process maybe involve going from the first website to the second website? Why yes it did. I’m sure they are taking my suggestions to heart right this minute.

Meanwhile, somehow while I was clicking around between websites I got into a health survey which was 50 screens of questions about exercising and medications.

When I finally got to the end, I failed in two categories: alcohol and nutrition.

First of all, I don’t believe more than 5 oz. of wine a day is bad for you. Oops, accidentally typo’d that as 50 oz. at first. I do believe more than 50 oz. of wine a day is bad for you.

I take really good care of myself and I like to drink wine. There are oodles of other bad things I don’t do that the survey did not ask about so they can take my fail grade and shove it.

Nutrition I screwed up because I didn’t understand how to measure what I eat. Fruit? I have fruit in the morning. 1 serving. Vegetables? There are vegetables in my lunch and dinner: 2 servings. For whatever reason, a serving is a tiny portion. So I should have said 4 fruit servings and 15 vegetable servings. The survey thought I was starving. It wants me to take some positive measures to improve my eating and maybe sign up for coaching – which is tempting purely from a performance art perspective.

Finally, after all this I received a pedometer in the mail with congratulations on taking steps to improve my health.

WTF? Next time I need a healthcare service that isn’t covered I’m going to be pissed because I do not need a pedometer. My fitness is also fine and doesn’t need any canned advice based on the results of a poorly designed survey. Maybe there are people out there that benefit from this and if so, great but to me it seems like a waste of resources that could be put to better use.

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Cold Call

I usually avoid writing too much about work but this isn’t about my employer so I think it will be okay.

Not long ago a copier salesguy came by the office to tell us about his company. In my career I have told approximately 20,000 of these guys to take a hike but on this day, I was interested.

I welcomed him in, told him we would be looking at copiers soon. I showed him the copier we had and what the terms were and explained what we were looking for.

Him: Can you give me a copy of your copier lease?

No, I said.

He returned another day with his manager and they continued their spiel and brought some pictures of copiers and told us about some other services that we’d expressed an interest in.

Them: Can we get a copy of your copier lease?

No, we said.

Later I asked for a good faith estimate that we could use for our budget to take to our boss. I gave him at least 3 weeks. Two days before the I needed the numbers I followed up and asked if he could get me an estimate. Didn’t hear from him.

Over a week later I got an email.

Him: Can I get a copy of your copier lease so I can get you that estimate?

No, I said, and it’s too late anyway.

Later I told him we were seeking proposals and I sent him a sheet explaining what we were looking for and reminded him what we already had and what we were paying.

He sent me back an email that said what we were looking for didn’t need a proposal and they would lease us a machine and charge us based on what we used.

For reasons not related to this story, we’ve had to delay getting the new copier.

I just about dropped my teeth when a few weeks ago a different salesguy from the same company came in here to ask me if I was interested in talking about copiers.

I told him the entire backstory and he made an appointment to bring his manager in.

I had to cancel it because we had something going on here and when I called he informed me that *he* had to cancel and was intending to tell me this, “soon.” He would call back to reschedule.

And I’ve never heard from him.

Clearly, we decided not to do business with these people a long time ago. Colleague has asked me to stop talking to them.

But I’m dying to see how far this thing will go. How many times we can ask and still not have one useful piece of data about what their company can do for us?

[Note: I updated the post to clarify that they wanted to see our copier lease.]

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