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It’s Me, Isn’t It?

I recently had cause to question the customer service skills of three separate companies in one week.

I think that’s a new personal best, but I’m not sure since I don’t normally keep track.

Anyway, the first was a pair of earrings I ordered from a site and it was not the only pair of earrings this site offered.  It was, in fact, a pair similar to a couple of others they offered…but waaaaay cuter.

When I received the earrings – clearly not as pictured on the site – my first thought was, “dumbass, you ordered the WRONG thing..again!”  Sigh…it’s not the first time it’s happened to me, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

I checked my order invoice, and sure enough I’d ordered the RIGHT earrings and they’d sent me the WRONG ones.

So, it wasn’t me? I guess?

I contacted customer service, via e-mail, and got an extremely effusive apology from a very perky (I imagined “Tina” as a 20-something college student about to embark on a personal quest to save all the whales, and unicorns, and garden gnomes in the world) “customer experience specialist” (really?) who promised to ship my correct earrings that day.

Me: Thank you, and please issue a return for these and I’ll send them back.

Tina: Already done, it’s attached in this e-mail.  Just print it out and put it on the envelope you got your earrings in and send them back.  Oh, and have a super day!

Me: Oh..okay, will do

And, I did, sending the wrong earrings back.

The VERY next day I received yet another package with what I assumed was the RIGHT earrings.

They were the same WRONG earrings I’d sent back.  I mean, not THE same earrings I’d sent, but another pair of the wrong thing.

Feck.

Me:  Hey, Tina, yeah I got the WRONG EARRINGS again.  Let me ask you, does your inventory match the SKU numbers on the site?  I mean, this isn’t rocket science.

Is it? Is it me? Do I not understand the intricacies of online retail? I wondered.

My cell phone rang about 3 seconds after I sent the e-mail.

“Hello”

“Hi, this is Tina, from (unnamed_retail_outlet)”…Sweet clothespin jeebus, she sounded exactly like I imagined she would… “and, I am SUPER sorry about the mix-up again!! Hold on a minute while I check something, okay?!”

“Okay”

She came back on the line after a minute or so, breathless, “Okay, I’ve got the RIGHT earrings in my hand now. I’m super-sure of it. I’m sending them out today, and you know what? Just keep those others for all your trouble!!”

“Oh..well…umm…thanks?”

The WRONG earrings are hideous people, like really, really ugly…but, they were free, so yay?

I did, in fact get the RIGHT earrings the next day.

I love them.

In episode 2, a popular online retail site for pet food and products screwed up an order for my cat’s special food.

Yes, I buy my cat stupidly expensive food because he’s diabetic and prone to puking if his system gets out of whack. And, you know what? Turns out I don’t like cleaning up cat puke.

I’ve been buying the same, exact-no-changes, food for three years now.  Every month, they send me the stuff and charge my credit card.

Until last month, and the automatic didn’t happen.  It was me, that time, as I’d forgotten to update my credit card after having to get a new one when someone in New York tried to buy $800 worth of parking on my stolen credit card information (high fives to my bank for catching that so quickly!).

When it came time for Bugsy, the Insane to get his food I got an e-mail telling me that my order wasn’t coming because of the payment issue.

I called immediately, explained the mix-up, and gave them the corrected information.

Fido: “So, we’ll just get that added to your account so it doesn’t happen again!!  And we are super-pleased you chose (unnamed_pet_outlet) for all your fur baby’s needs!!”

Me: “Uh..okay..thanks?”

I’m always confused and startled by the exuberance of most customer service people, and wish they’d all go work at the post office or the DMV…like, right now.

This month, I got an e-mail stating with sad puppy eyes that I wasn’t getting Bugsy’s-now-I-won’t-puke food…because my credit card was denied.

Huh?

I looked at the e-mail, it listed the last 4 digits of the card I’d canceled.

The one I’d replaced last month with Fido, over the phone, and he was super excited about it.

I called again, and explained again, about the credit card.  This time, Fido found the old notes and said he’d “definitely get this corrected right away”, and ship Bugsy’s food.

I got the food, but I have to wonder what next month will bring.

Is it me, or is it too much to ask that I give you information and you retain it somewhere?

It’s me, isn’t it?

And, lastly, my first order from another site (can you tell I shop online a LOT?) had two items in it.

I got one.

So, I sent an e-mail to my “bestfriend” @ (unnamed_vintage_site).com   Is it me, or is that presumptuous?

It’s me, isn’t it? I mean, who couldn’t use a BFF in online retail, right? Hello, discounts!

I digress, anyway I was asking about Thing 2, having received Thing 1 that day.

BFF: Wow, that was super fast!! And, typically our orders don’t come all from the same place so they arrive in different packages.  But, we know you’ll be super happy with it!

Me: Oh, okay. I was in no rush. It’s my first time ordering from you, so I was just wondering. I do love Thing 1, though.

BFF: We’re super happy about that!! Thank you!!

Me: …

I didn’t answer back. I was super tired from reading.

Is it me, or are these exchanges just a tad over-wrought with faked sentiment and the overuse of the word “super”?

It’s me, isn’t it?

Isn’t it? I’d be super happy if you agree!!!

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I Need Bats

Every mosquito in the state of Texas has bitten me, at one time or another.  I’m certain of it.

Every. Single. One.

Bastards.

I cannot go outside, for even one second, during mosquito season (Jan-Dec here in these parts) without getting eaten up.

So, I have a Ritual of Preparation for doing things like taking the dog out or, you know, getting the paper.

The night/day before I eat garlic.  I don’t know why, but I think someone, somewhere one time (at band camp, probably) told me it was good for keeping mosquitos away.

Or was that vampires?

I get those two confused.  I mean, after all, they’re both blood-sucking fiends and never sparkle in the sunlight.  It’s an easy thing to mix up.

After I’m garlic-infused I then cover myself with this wonderful product called “Bite Free”.  It’s a citronella cream that smells like..well, citronella…going on and then in about 15 minutes’ time the scent goes away.  Every part of my body, not covered by clothing, gets the cream.

I’m not done yet.

THEN I spray “Deep Woods OFF” on my clothes, shoes, and as a second layer of protection I spritz some on the exposed skin.

THEN I clip on one of those battery-operated “OFF” thingys…can’t remember what they are called…that’s supposed to create a “mosquito-free zone” around me and anyone within a five foot radius.

After all this, I’m ready to go outside and be….alone.  NO ONE wants to get too close when you’re doused in “OFF”.  I don’t care what scent they add, or want to call it, you still smell like you bathed with a badger in kerosene.

So I sit a little ways removed and enjoy the outdoors…until I start to itch.

There, and there, and there..and dammit…there again!

Going inside I invariably find a cluster of mosquito bites, usually about the size of a quarter, on the ONE SPOT on my body I may, or may not, have missed in the creaming/spraying/zoning ritual.

I currently have just such a spot on the bottom of my left foot.

The bottom. Of. My. Foot.

I have no idea how that happened since I wear shoes outside…and if I wear sandals, the bottoms of my feet get the Ritual.

The only time I’ve not been bothered by mosquitos was when we visited Bull Shoals Lake in northern Arkansas.

When I first noticed, I asked if we could buy the lake and just live there forever.

Hubby thought that might be extreme, but clearly he doesn’t have to deal with what I deal with.

Then I asked a local where all the mosquitos were.

He told me it was because they have bats, lots and lots of bats, living around the lake.

Bats eat mosquitos.

Bats are my new favorite animal ever.

They gave us Batman (hubba, hubba) and dammit they are cute.

I told hubby we needed to get bats and turn them loose in the yard.  He says that won’t work because there are no caves in our backyard.

I told him I thought the bat cave was a made-up thing from television, but he insists it’s not and bats need caves to roost and since I can’t just make a bat cave (because I’m not a millionaire) I’ll have to give up on my dream of a mosquito-free life.

He sure knows how to crush a girl’s dreams.

OMG! WTF!

This interwebby thing, or whatever it is that the kids are calling it these days, has its own language.  A slang term for nearly everything has been invented.

It’s not your mama’s interwebby, that’s for sure, and for those of us who didn’t grow up all OMG and WTF, there’s a lot of catching up/on to be done.

Some things, though, I may never get.

You really don’t want to know how long it took me to figure out this one:

OIC

Or this;

ICU

And this one from a girls’ little makeup kit (which had a geisha on the lid and isn’t technically an IS, but it took me weeks to figure out):

Mih Soh Preetee

I still can’t remember what this one is sometimes:

FML

And I’ve finally gotten comfortable with using these:

SMH and SMDH

But, I still do not know what this means:

‘K

I send a loooooooooong text, and that’s what I get back? Does it mean ‘okay’, and ‘I’m too lazy to type the rest of the word’?  Or is it, ‘You’re not worth the time to write ‘okay’, so I’m just using one letter’?  Or is it, ‘This is symbolic of my passive-aggressive attitude towards your last text, and up yours?’

That’s one I may never know the answer to.

IDK

And That’s How I (Maybe) Got a Puppy

Few things in the entire universe are more frustrating for me than shopping for insurance, any insurance.

This is part of the reason I haven’t changed car insurance companies in 12 years.  That, and the fantastic discount I get because I’ve been with them for 12 years.

Every year, though, I have to go through the whole process of renewing or changing my homeowner’s insurance.

Last year, though, last year was different.

I was informed that my homeowner’s insurance, that I’d had for three years, was dumping me.

Just like that.

No explanations, no reasons, nothing.

I hadn’t made any claims.  I hadn’t even looked at another company’s rates to compare.

I HADN’T CHEATED ON THEM IN ANY WAY.

And yet, here I was being dumped.

Then, it became evident why as I tried to secure new insurance.

Every conversation with an agent went like this:

ME: I need to get a quote on homeowner’s insurance.

ENTHUSIASTIC REP RESPONSE: SURE!! We can do that!

ME: Okay…blah, blah, blah…I give them the particulars.

STILL ENTHUSIASTIC REP:  And how old is your roof?

ME: (confused as to why my roof was singled out) It’s original to the house, so 18 yrs.

TOTALLY DEFLATED REP: Ohhhhhhhh…I’m sorrywecan’thelpyouIhavetogonow…

*click*

This happened twenty-three times.

I’m not shitting you, twenty-fecking-three times.

On lucky number twenty-four, I found a rep for the insurance company from hell, a/k/a Farmer’s Insurance.

(I don’t care how cute their commercials are, they are the spawn of Satan and soon you’ll agree.)

ME: I need to get a quote on homeowner’s insurance, and beforewegoanyfarthermyroofis18yrsold.

ENTHUSIASTIC REP RESPONSE: NO PROBLEM! We can cover you!

ME: *speechless*

REP: Ma’am?

ME: Oh, right…did you just say you’d cover an 18-yr. old roof, at replacement cost?

REP: Yes.

ME: Why?

REP: ‘Scuse me?

ME: I mean why will Farmer’s cover it, and twenty-three other companies won’t?

REP: I can’t say ma’am.

ME: Fine. Whatever. I just wish I’d of called you first.

REP: Well, you found us now. So, you can relax.

ME: Good..and here’s the rest of the info…….

I got the coverage, and paid a stupid amount (“Well, we do cover the roof but it will cost a little more, because 18-yr. old roof…”)

Four months later the house was pummeled by hail.  I’ve lived in Texas nearly 40 years, and I’ve seen hailstorms.  Lots of hailstorms.  But this one was different.  The hail was golf-ball size and was hitting the house with such force the windows shuddered.

I was sure my roof was toast.

Thank the hail-gods I’d gotten replacement cost coverage for it, amiright?

Whew!

We made the claim, and the little adjuster in the Farmer’s Insurance hybrid car came out to tsk, tsk the damage and tell us how sorry he was and did we want a puppy to make us feel better? (okay, I may have made that last part up, but he schmoooooooozed)

The next day he called me…

“Well, ma’am I have your estimate, and you’re going to need a new roof, but with the roof’s depreciation….”

“Wait, what??” I replied, “I have replacement cost coverage.  I thought that meant you know REPLACEMENT COST COVERAGE.”

“Oh, yes ma’am it does..for everything except the roof.  Can’t get that kind of coverage on any roof over 15 yrs. old.”

“Why wasn’t I told this?”

“You were, and it’s in your policy.”

“Who reads their policy??” I asked, knowing I should have, but distinctly remembering that with all the brou-ing and ha-ha-ing over my ‘old’ roof in the twenty-three rejections I made it clear I had to have replacement cost coverage. “The agent and I discussed this, and I made it quite clear I didn’t want to buy the insurance unless I got replacement cost coverage.”

“Umm…let me check with the agent.”

“Yeah, you do that”, I said,  “I’m sure he’ll back me up.”

The next day, the little adjuster called to tell me that the agent had personally informed me at the time of purchase that I did not have replacement cost coverage on my roof, specifically calling that little line of fine print to my attention.

“Bullshit” I said, “I’ve never even spoken to the man.  Everything was done by e-mail, except the very first call in which I told him I had to have replacement cost coverage on the entire house, roof and all.”

*cue crickets*

“Hello?” I asked.

“Well, ma’am I am only repeating what I was told.” He said, adding, “and we’ll have to take that puppy back, too”

(Again, I may have made up that last part..maybe)

So, for a nearly-$10K roof I got…wait for it….$1,500.

Since the roof did not leak (and it looked pretty good, actually) we used the money to repair the fencing and some other items also damaged in the hailstorm.

I cannot abide liars, and Farmer’s Insurance is represented by liars. I vowed to get rid of Farmer’s Insurance when renewal time came around, and I didn’t care if I had to make fifty calls to do it.

So, this year when it came time to renew I picked up the phone.

On the second try, I talked to an Allstate agent.

ME: I need a quote on homeowner’s insurance, and my current roof is 19 yrs. old and has minor hail damage from a July 2014 storm, and stop me now if you cannot quote me…

ALLSTATE AGENT:  No, it’s fine.  We just have to inspect the roof, and if it looks like it’s worn to say a 3-yr. old roof level we can cover it.  If it looks more worn than a 3-yr. old roof, we cover it but not for replacement cost.

ME: Can I get that in writing beforehand?

AA: Yes, ma’am.

And I did.

And they inspected, and guess what?

I got FULL replacement cost coverage….and a puppy.

I Knew This Was Coming

So, my car spends one week in the shop and you know my trusty service advisor’s boss had this convo with him.

Supv: So, what’s with the Impala?

ServAdv: Yeah, lady claims it makes a weird grinding sound and won’t go when she turns to the right.  Usually only when it’s cold, though.

Supv: And?

ServAdv: We can’t find anything wrong with it.

Supv: Is it still under warranty?

ServAdv: Yep

Supv: So, how much you going to charge her?

ServAdv: $144.50 and we’re telling her the trouble is that her car is due for the 30K mile injector cleaning.

Supv: Excellent.  Can’t let a car sit here for a week and not charge the customer something.

Cue laughter.

And, guess what the car started doing 4 days after I brought it home?

I’m taking it to a real mechanic next week and having him diagnose it, then I’m taking that info to my trusty service advisor and have him fix the car.

And also guess what?

The car I sold, to get this car, just turned over 200K miles and is purrin’ like a kitten.  Running perfectly, no problems at all.

Grrr…arrghh…

Apparently No One Keeps the Camaro

My car is a 2012 Chevy Impala, and lately it’s begun to do weird things.  Like refusing to budge, despite my politely placing it in gear and gently pressing on the gas pedal. It particularly likes to refuse my requests in reverse, or when turning, or when it’s cold.  Add to this the strange shuddering and grinding sounds it’s making, and my instincts tell me..something’s wrong.

I’m intuitive like that.

I just refuse to believe that a car, with only 40K miles on it, should be exhibiting such behavior. Especially since this is nearly identical behavior to what drove (heh..heh..see what I did there?) me to take it in last June, when they replaced all the fluglebinders (it’s an industry term) what made the wheels go round and round in front, under warranty.

So, yesterday I took the car to the dealership to drop it off and find out just what the feck is going on, again.

Consensus of opinion, from various shadetree mechanics I know, is that it’s the CV joint in the right front wheel.

Apparently, that’s bad.  As in, the car may just stop suddenly on the highway.  And by suddenly, I mean as if you’d hit an invisible wall…which would no doubt lead to actually hitting a wall, or being hit by something that feels akin to hitting a wall…at 60 mph.

I told my personal service advisor (*eyes roll*) the trouble, and “whew…am I glad that’s covered under the powertrain warranty..” to which he replied, “no it’s not…”  So, I looked it up on the Chevrolet’s website where it lists things like “Shit We Cover Under the 100K Powertrain Warranty, and Unicorns” and gollleeee, right there in black and white coverage it lists the CV joints.

I haven’t imparted that wisdom to my personal service advisor (*eyes roll…again*) yet, because I’m waiting to hear what he has to say.

All of which has nothing to do with the title of this post.

I’m getting to that part.

As I turned into the dealership, I had to pass the “Pre-Owned Sales” lot.  I saw a mid-40’s ish couple looking at a silver Camaro.

Then I noticed the red Camaro, the blue one, the other silver one, more reds and a few blacks.  The entire lot was damn-near door-to-midlife crisis-door with ‘pre-owned’ (what does that even mean?? It was owned before it was owned? Never understood that..) Camaros.  Most of them looked to be within a year or two of rolling off the assembly line.

It was a procession of shattered dreams and loves lost.  I could hear the sobs as I drove past them.

I went inside the service department, noting that not a single Camaro was in for service, and stood next to a lot of other dissatisfied GM-product owners.

One young lady struck up a conversation with me.

Hey, this is Texas, if you stand still in any line long enough you’ll hear someone’s life story.

She told me that she’d driven up from Houston that morning in her 2013 Equinox, only to have it break down near her destination.  It was doing the same thing my car is doing.

I looked at my personal service advisor (*eyes..okay, you get it*) and said, “I used to believe in GM products…I’m just sayin’”

Others in line snickered or nodded, grumbling ensued.

“Hey, now!” personal service advisor said.

“Well, see…her car is doing the same thing as mine – it sounds like – and you know why?  Because the same worker assembled them, and he was hungover..both times.  His wife left him for that damned exotic dancer and he can’t let it go….”

The line erupted in laughter.

I was on a roll.

“I had an ’05 Impala, and it’s still running perfectly.  But that was before Homer’s wife left him. It was right after their second honeymoon to Cozumel..”

Everyone, including me, dissolved into fits of giggles.

My personal service advisor even joined in.

Finally, the Houston lady was given a loaner and sent on her way.  She’s in town till Friday, so they’ve got a couple of days to figure it out.

And I was given my loaner.  A 2015 Malibu with the most comfortable seats in a car I have ever sat in.  No lie, these things are amazing.

But, the car shuts off every time you come to a full stop.  Personal service advisor says it’s a “cool feature, that saves gas” and I heard, “weird shit that’ll break within a year, or if it doesn’t your engine will die a premature death from all the unnecessary starts”.

Also, at the post office yesterday I found out that if you bend your head down to text you exert the equivalent of 60 lbs. of pressure on your neck.

I told you this is Texas, and you learn a lot standing in line.

By the way, I know where you can probably get a Camaro, cheap.

Okay, So the Plague of 1,000 Deaths Was Fun

…but, time to get on with wreaking havoc and letting slip dogs and setch…

Yeah, I had (deep breath) a sinus infection, ear infection, throat infection, and bronchitis.

ALL of them, at once.

The past week is a blur, and not in a fun way.

I’m back, on the mend, no longer in danger of hacking up a lung every five minutes.  So, yeah…where was I?

These Didn’t Happen in The Same Day, But Definitely In Close Proximity To Each Other and My Life is Weird

So I went to the doctor for a bizarre rash-thingy (that’s as much detail as you get) and she walks into the room hunched over like she’s 900 yrs. old.

Me: “What the…???”

Dr. Derby: “I joined Roller Derby, and somehow tweaked my back and the last patient I saw…I don’t know, suddenly I can’t stand up and it hurts.”

Me: “Does it hurt all the time? Or just when you move? Any numbness or tingling in your legs or feet?”

*doc and I exchange weird looks*

Me: “Well that was odd.”

Dr. Derby: *laughing* “Nah..you’re the back expert here”

She sat down in a chair, only she didn’t sit, she kind of rolled backwards still bent nearly in half.

I couldn’t stifle the giggles any longer.

Dr. Derby: *giggling* “Shut the f*ck up. I’m f*cking fine over here”

Me: “On the list of things you are, doc, ‘f*cking fine’ doesn’t even make the top 100”

(…and yes, she’s that cool..she drops the “F” bomb on me and is a roller derby jammer – and that’s why I have been going to her for 15 yrs and will till one of us dies..no offense, but I’m kind of hoping that ‘someone’ isn’t me)

Later that week……..

The frat boys across the street thought it’d be cool to start a ginormous out-of-control bonfire in their front yard.

The police and fire marshall disagreed on the ‘cool’ factor.

The fire marshall had his boys put the fire out with one of the high-pressure hoses.

The frat boys are still cleaning mud off the front of their house.

Idiots.

Apparently Being Squished Isn’t Enough of a Deterrent

I’m of the opinion that the fear of being a greasy spot on the road is enough to make people wait to cross traffic until the light turns.

Apparently, I’m in the minority as this video proves.

It’s a cute concept, but sweet clothespin jeebus why can’t we simply stand still for a minute or two anymore?

Or am I the only one who thinks that, you know, maybe obeying a traffic law here is a really good idea?

I Have the Most Amazing News!!

And, I’m not telling you what it is!

I’m just leaving it as an annoying Facebook status update on my wall.

No matter how many “likes” I get, no matter how many people respond with “OMG – wassup?” *ouch*  – I will not tell you….until days from now, and then it will be something exceedingly anti-climactic or so obscure you won’t know what the hell is going on….and you won’t care in the least.

What?  Why yes, I have been inundated with inane Facebook posts as of late.

Why do you ask? 

     

“…and then I was like, and she was totally OMG, and I was like way, and I like pie, do you have candy, OMG that’s amazing!”