Tag Archives: everyone is stupid

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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In Reference To The Stoves Required At This Post

I don’t like to wear sunglasses. I feel like I can’t see when I have them on. I have an sunglasses holder in my car and every once in awhile it will be super bright out (only about 3 days a year in this neck of the woods) and I’ll reach into the holder for sunglasses. Only there are never any glasses in there because I don’t wear sunglasses.

A few weeks ago it was really bright out and I reached into the sunglass holder and found these. We got them as a promo at a game last year but I don’t remember putting them in the car. They don’t really help with the whole, “I feel like I can’t see when I have them on” thing.

This morning I finished George Saunders. Then I picked up my Siskiyou County Historical Society publication.

With very little editing, the “Selected Entries from Military Notes from Fort Jones, 1852-1858″ could pass for a George Saunders story. It’s hard to find even a brief quote that conveys the dark hilarity of these letters. The gist of this particular exchange is that Fort Jones needs some cookstoves because they either have to cook outside or with some sort of stove that has chimneys made of mud and don’t draw well and all the food is sooty.

Here’s a tidbit from a letter from D.A. Rupell dated January 4th, 1855:

The condition of the chimneys, and the means now used for cooking, are a most serious annoyances to the officers, and a source of very great dissatisfaction among the men — and as the cost of material at this place with which to build proper chimneys would be very great, the length of time which must elapse before they could be completed, and the entire uncertainty of their being fit for use after they are completed, I think it would be a matter of economy, as well as justice for the A.A.Q.M. to purchase two cooking stoves for the above purposes if such purchase would be allowed by the Department.

Naturally, I have no sympathy since the letters also discuss one of the troops’ main purposes for being there: operations against the Indians. The book is called the Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook, 2012 and if you want to get your hands on a copy, try the gift shop.

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The Office Next Door

For reasons not completely clear to me, the wall between my office and the office next door is paper thin. The wall between my office and co-worker’s office is more substantial.

Way back when we moved in here I commented on it because I can hear everything that goes on over there. I’ve never had to work in a cubicle. Perhaps it is analogous.

Fortunately, whoever was using that space was hardly ever there and it wasn’t a problem.

Earlier this year, those people moved out and the business adjacent on the other side expanded into the space.

I might have whined about it during the construction process. It was loud and dusty and inconvenient and no one even took 3 seconds to come over here to talk to us about it. At one point it was so loud that I couldn’t hear people on the telephone and when I complained I was assured that they were doing something something so that it when it was finished it would be more insulated.

As it turns out, this is not true.

So far, the office isn’t in full time use but at least once a week their receptionist goes in there to make phone calls. Her voice is loud and grating and she talks a lot. Oh my. I know everything about everything in her personal and professional life. She is guilty of massive overuse of the word, literally. Sometimes after she’d been in there awhile I have to leave my office because the sound of her talking makes me want to stick forks in my ears.

It occurred to me that I could politely mention how thin the walls are except it’s financial firm and most of them are total weenies and when I complained during construction everyone gave me stink eye and make it clear they didn’t care. If it gets worse I’ll move my computer to the reception desk.

Meanwhile, the photo. I have been an office worker since time immemorial and we’ve always had these floor mats. The mats come with a lifetime guarantee and I am here to tell you that they last about 5 years, max. The lifetime guarantee is genius because it comes in the form of a sticker on the floor mat and it’s impossible to peel off without destroying. “Just present this sticker and your original purchase receipt for a full refund.” HA! Every time we buy a new mat I try to figure out how to get our refund. It’s not even the money, it’s the challenge. This last time I managed to peel off the sticker in about 3 big pieces. Then I couldn’t find the receipt. I have every office supply purchase receipt in the history of this office, except that one.

Next time.

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Like a Chicken With Its Head Cut Off

OOPS. Looks like I never clicked publish yesterday.

Ladies Room

It’s only Day 7 and I’m already losing steam for NaBlo. Soon you’ll find posts about the snoring man on the bus and how I organize my socks.

So you know how everyone has their Internet pet peeves? For example, incorrect use of the word: literally.

I’m sure it will come to no surprise to my loyal readers that I have a million pet peeves. My pet peeves have pet peeves.

And I always resist the urge to write about them because pet peeves are sort of like dreams, it’s much more interesting to talk about your own than hear someone else’s.

Unless that person shares the pet peeve. Then it’s love.

I started to keep them on a piece of paper next to my desk so I wouldn’t be tempted to write about them. Then the paper became too full so now I have a spreadsheet. It has two columns. The column for lazy writing clichés has 35 items and the column for hated and overused expressions has 31 items.

Sometimes I have to sit on my hands to keep from writing about “just this one this one time because it is so irritating and I hate it so much.”

Another reason I can never write about them is that almost every person I know including myself has used at least one of them before and I don’t want anyone to think I’m picking on them.

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Well, what if there is no tomorrow?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

I’ve had this post partially finished and saved in draft for days but haven’t had time to finish. The weekend got away from me and I’m behind on everything. My yard is out of control. The rain is destroying my will to live. I made *another* loaf of fail bread. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
It’s the same post every week.
I’m going to queue it up to post itself over and over and save myself from the existential despair of discovering that I am living some sort of twisted and ultimately unsatisfying version of Groundhog’s Day.

Here’s some news: I saw two movies in one week and neither one was The Avengers (which I’ve seen 3x and I would cheerfully go see it again tomorrow, if you asked).
First: Rock of Ages.
When I saw the trailer for this movie, I wanted my 3 minutes back. I thought it looked dreadful. I did not think I wanted to see Tom Cruise in that role.
I went on a movie date with my cousin and we saw this. It is totally off-the-rails crazy and also completely genius. Tom Cruise is amazing. If you enjoy 80’s hair band music, you should run to the nearest theater. If you hate 80’s hair band music, you might be happier if you stayed home.
The other movie I saw with my sweetie: Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson is in danger of becoming a parody of himself but I loved loved loved it. This movie is brilliant. I loved all the acting. The kids, Bill Murray, Francis McDormand, Bruce Willis. Tilda Swinton plays a cold bitch — but it’s a different flavor of cold bitch than you’ve ever seen her do before. Bob already downloaded the soundtrack for me. I can’t quote my favorite line because it’s a spoiler so here’s one:
Watch out for turtles. They’ll bite you if you stick your finger in their mouths.

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Point of No Return

I’ve had a gift card for new exercise clothes since my birthday. I tried to use it at least a half dozen times but always seemed to get interrupted before I was finished or else when I finally found the perfect item it was only available in XXS or neon green.

I like to go through the comments where people describe the fit. If there are lots of comments that the clothes run small or that an item looks cute but is uncomfortable on, this is helpful information but it’s time consuming.

I finally sat down with all my notes and figured out what I wanted and placed my order. And then when it arrived the pants were too tight. I think they might have been doable but I don’t like skin tight pants and would never have wanted to wear them so I decided to do a return.

The invoice that came with the order exclaimed how easy returns were! Then proceeded with three paragraphs of tiny writing that made no sense. Use the pre-printed return label. There was no pre-printed return label. Use the same packaging the clothes came in. You mean this plastic bag that I had to rip open to get the clothes out?

This company has about 5 brands You had 45 days to make the return unless you only had 30 days to make the return although some clothes could be returned anytime. You could return them to an actual store unless you couldn’t. You could call and they would credit the return but charge your credit card and then credit it back and upgrade the shipping.

On and on it went. I seriously considered whether it might be easier to just lose weight so the pants fit.

Finally I called and navigated one of those phone trees that makes you say what you want to a robot. You can’t just press a button. I prefer to press a button. It also had no choices that fit my situation: “Doesn’t understand return procedures” and it took a few rounds to get it. But finally, Mitsy picked up the phone. She was super perky and ultimately very helpful. She ran me through an equally confusing thing about my credit and gift card. Something like it takes three weeks to get the gift card return because you have to get the credit in the same form you paid and I used a combo of gift card and credit card. But I could get the exercise pants now if I gave her my credit card and then use the new gift card on a future purchase. Or I could wait and call back. Or I can get one pair of pants now and one later. Let’s check how much we have in stock.

I was still confused but Mitsy’s over-powering confidence urged me to a decision. So I think I bought a pair of bigger pants and then will get a gift card in a few weeks and can start all over with a new order. And if I don’t like the new pants, I will keep them anyway.

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