Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Incident # ??

So Michelle (Still, not yet legally) K; and her husband had been talking to my husband and I about switching our phone, Internet and cable service from Cox to Qwest and Dish Network. Considering that they were the ones who had fostered our switch to Cox for all of the above a few years ago, I usually look into whatever they suggest. Anyway, since my husband is from Mexico and Michelle and Mike are not; we need to have a calling plan to Mexico and they don't; so I did need to call and get some info on my own. Well, I called Cox to find out EXACTLY what services I currently have, so that I could compare it to Qwest when they gave me my quote. Now, I'm no fan of Cox, since they still seem to think that they are the only game in town and discontinue services at their will, yadda yadda; but they did give me all of my info in great detail. So I called Qwest and spoke with some inept buffoon, who obviously didn't care about working there and sighed heavily each time I asked a question. The Whiz quoted me $67.98 for my phone (w/ unlimited US long distance) and Internet at 1.5 MB's. I told the Whiz that I was a little surprised at the speed of the Internet since my speed with Cox is 7 MB's; and he tried to tell me that 1.5 is faster. OK - I am admittedly, Not the Queen of Computers, so I let that one go. Then I asked him how much it would be for us to call Mexico, and after pausing a moment; the Whiz told me that it would be $35 a month. OK - so you know I laughed a hearty laugh and then I told him that I didn't think this could be possible. He asked me to hold on, came back and told me that it would be an additional $2.00 a month and then 10 cents a minute to both Mexico and the US (so I wouldn't have unlimited US LD anymore) but $20 would be dropped off the rate. So I understood him to mean it would be $47.98 plus $2.00 plus 10 cents a minute. We hung up, and I did the math and yah, not such a great deal. So I called back. This time I got a woman Thank GOD and I told her that I needed to clarify some information about their rates. Now I know that you're going to be shocked by this; but, the Whiz was wrong. I know, I know, hard to believe, but true. Turns out, the calls to the US are still unlimited, you still pay $67.98 but you also pay $2.00 a month to entitle you to the 10 cent per minute to Mexico deal. OK, now that's more like it. Things were looking good. I'd definitely be saving some money on the phone and Internet services; but what of this difference 1.5 vs. 7 MB's??
My husband came home and I gave him the info about Qwest. I told him about the MB's and he told me that 1.5 was definitely a lot slower. He asked if I was sure that he didn't say 1.5 GB's? Well, I was kinda sure. No, no, I was sure. But then I read this flyer from Qwest, talking up their 1.5 Silver Internet plan and it said up to 2 GB's of storage; so I thought "Maybe that is what he said," and once again I called back.
The gentleman answered the phone by saying "This is Patrick. How may I provide you with excellent service today?" Hmm, "I like the sound of that" I thought, "excellent customer service as opposed to Cox' whimsy; this is gonna be good." I VERY cheerfully said "Hi Patrick; I am a previous customer and I've called a couple of times today and I'm just trying to clarify some information that I was given. I was told that your 1.5 Silver Internet plan is 1.5 MB's but my current plan with another carrier is 7 MB's and then I read your flyer that said up to 2 GB's of storage; so I'm wondering is it 1.5 MB's or GB's?" To which Patrick replied "How are you getting speed and storage mixed up?" OK, close your mouths, that IS exactly what he said. Well you know the Queen was not gonna tolerate that insubordination so I told him. "That was very rude and uncalled for." (Wow, fierce response huh?) To which he replied "I'm sorry if you thought that I was rude ma'am; there's just no accounting for insecurities." Say it with me "OH NO HE DIDN'T!!" But yes; he did. So of course you all know what I said next; "Get me your supervisor because it is obvious that you DO NOT know how to provide EXCELLENT service." I waited on hold for what seemed like an eternity and I was convinced that he had just put me on perpetual hold until after several minutes a supposed supervisor got on the line. (I say supposed because when I did a stint in the call center at my office; whenever a customer would want to complain and ask for a supervisor, we'd all just look at each other and say "Hey, wanna be my supervisor?" and then someone else would take the call. So word to the wise, forethemostpart, there is NO SUCH THING as customer service. But, taking a chance that Qwest; being so interested in providing EXCELLENT customer service, would actually care that they had a failing employee, I told the supervisor that in the course of 30 seconds, Patrick was rude, disrespectful and insulting. I encouraged him to play back the tape and explained that I didn't know we all had to be IT aficionados in order to purchase Qwest's services. It was absolutely fine for me to have questions and Patrick in his infinite wisdom didn't understand that. Patrick, who is SO SUPERIOR that he has to work in CS for Qwest; guess he must have just moonlighting from his job at the think tank.

Anyway, it turns out that in fact Qwest was only offering 1.5 MB's which does seem significantly slower than Cox' 7; so for now I'm going to stick with Cox. I tell you though, it all goes back to that Squeaky wheel syndrome. People just don't care about their mediocre jobs; and I find it SO sad that this punk would fancy himself so smart that he would believe that he could get these insults by me without me even noticing; but he messed with the wrong one. I am the Queen of Wise cracks and smart talk and I'm usually pretty quick on my feet when it comes to a sassy retort; but this was just totally uncalled for. Like I said; I was even cheerful goddammit.
I'm not sure what it is about me that invites "customer service" people to insult me without provocation; but if there is a mishap to be had, ya' know, I'm gonna have it. That's me Queen of Mishaps. Queen of Incidents. But definitely, without a doubt; NOT Queen of Computers.

Till next time...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I'll Admit It...

Disclaimer: Some of you may have already heard this story, though I told precious few due to the high embarrassment factor and fear of my husband finding out. That being said; this is the SAFEST place for this story to be told.

Thursday night I got a call from Tiffany around 945pm. Tiffany was very apologetic for calling me that late; since I've been getting up at 415 to work. Tiffany said that she didn't realize what time it was, but she had important news that she needed to share with me right away. I told her that it was absolutely fine to call me at that time and asked what the big news was. Well,there was this scrapbooking store that had gone out of business a few months ago, and the owner was now going to have a garage sale to sell off the rest of her inventory. Now this was BIG news. Tiffany said that the sale was supposed to start at 6am on Saturday morning, but she was going to call the woman to see if she and some friends could go on Friday. All you non-scrappers probably had no idea that scrapbooking was such serious business, but trust me, it is not only the act of scrapbooking that scrappers love, it is also the shopping for scrapbooking supplies, the organizing of scrapbooking supplies and yes, probably most of all; the THRILL of getting some outrageous deal on scrapbooking supplies. Yes, most of us do realize that we have a problem, and of course as with any addiction, the first step is admitting it; but then we shop.

Well, I quickly got to my computer and forwarded Tiffany's email to all of my scrapbooking friends. The responses came in fast and furious, and several of my friends responded that they planned to be at the woman's garage at 6am. I could not; but I had hoped to go later on Saturday, knowing that I was risking slim pickings. I was talking to Lesa G about the possibility of going and could not help but remind her of our trip to a similar garage sale a few years ago.

So, I think it was about 2 years ago that my favorite scrapbooking store at that time, closed. A few weeks or months later, I really don't remember which; the owners sent an email alerting it's faithful patrons that they would be having a garage sale to sell off all of the inventory that hadn't been sold during their going out of business sale. Lesa G and I planned to go the garage sale; I even got a babysitter. I met Lesa by the Bank of America not far from the garage sale address and we drove over to the sale together. By the time we got there; not much was left. I would definitely classify it as a waste of my time; and money, since I had actually paid a sitter to watch my kids so I could shop. Well, we got back to my car and I was saying goodbye to Lesa but could not find my keys. Lesa suggested that maybe I had left them at the garage sale and was prepared to drive me back over to check; but I said, "before we drive back there, let me just check my car to make sure I didn't leave the keys inside." I hadn't left the keys inside my car in years, but something inside my stomach sank as I peered in and saw that not only had I left my keys LOCKED inside my car, BUT the car was ON. Oh My God! What a complete and total idiot I am. And there sat my locked, running car right outside a bank no less. Oh, I am a piece of work!! Now say it with me "Who could make this stuff up?" OK, so I tried to think fast because the last thing I wanted to do was explain to my husband how I was so careless. Hell, I didn't even want him to know that I paid a sitter to go to a scrapbooking sale. Well, it was at this point I realized that I had a SERIOUS problem. I mean, was my addiction that bad that I could have been so anxious to get to the sale that I jumped out of my car, with the keys still in it and never turned the car off? I did however, lock the door; THANK GOD! For sure my car wouldn't have been there when I got back, had I not LOCKED THE DOOR.
Anyway, in trying to figure out how to avoid calling my husband, I realized that the passenger side window was sightly open; and though I am a BIG girl, my slender arms were able to fit through the opening and unlock the passenger side door. Hallelujah! There is a God.

Now Lesa G, good friend that she is, didn't laugh hysterically in my face at the time; though I know the mere mention of this incident must give her the giggles for a good 10 minutes. I was very selective in who I told this story too; because even for me this was a little TOO embarrassing; and to this day my husband has never found out; and I'd like to keep it that way.

Till next time...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Why Disney?

Disclaimer:This blog is not your typical Bumpy Ride. In other words, it's really not that funny; it's just intended to give you some food for thought and hopefully leave you hungry for more.

I am a HUGE Disney fan. Oh, I like the movies OK, but when I claim to be a HUGE Disney fan, it is really more about being a fan of Walt Disney World, than anything else. I LOVE Disney World; it makes me happy; it's fantastical and beautiful, and clean. The air is sweeter, the food tastes better and their attention to detail is phenomenal.
My parents took me to WDW for the first time when I was in the fourth grade and I went AT LEAST once every other year until my husband and I moved to Arizona when I was 29. One summer, back in the day; the day being the late 80's, when I was still living in New York and pre-husband; my friend/sister Michelle and I were going to take a vacation. We planned to go to Laguardia airport and just get on a flight somewhere; but unfortunately, Michelle wasn't great at reading a map, so she directed us to JFK instead of Laguardia and since JFK was (still is) an international airport we couldn't afford any of the last minute flights; so we just got in my car and drove to Disney World instead. Then a few years later; though still back in the day, during one cold winter; a friend and I were running errands and we decided to try my airport stunt again; but she and I went to Newark airport. Once again I didn't know where we were going to wind up; we just wanted to get on a flight and go somewhere. The ticket agents were kinda impressed with our spontaneity, and came up with a reasonable fare for, you guessed it - Orlando. So we went to Disney World. We bought some clothes and toiletries when we got there. It was quite the adventure; but back to the husband. My Prince Charming (though these days he's more like My Captain Hook) and I were married in Disney World AND then we even moved to Orlando; which my husband used to refer to as Bore-lando; if you can believe it. Anyway,since it's been 10 years since we moved; I am suffering with terrible WDW withdrawal. We're planning to go there Christmas 2008 god willing but it is hard for me to wait. Addict that I am, I've gotten several quick fixes by going to in my opinion the inferior, Disneyland, but it's just not the same.
My latest fix was just a few weeks ago, and our impending trip was the topic of many conversations with friends. During some of these conversations, I did admit that I feel a little guilty being such a Disney fan since they clearly have something against 2 parent families, but nonetheless, my addiction wins out. If I don't stand in those long lines, pay too much for bottled water and walk till my feet feel like they're going to drop off, I'm just not happy. Now, I know that I am not the first person to recognize Disney's affinity for single parented characters, but I would like to point it out for those of you who haven't thought about it before; so let's take a look..
Snow White, she only has a step mother Wicked Queen at that, Cinderella, only has a step mother; another witch, Bambi, now he had his Momma, and Momma only; but she died. Simba starts out with 2 parents and shortly into the movie his dad dies. Nemo lost his mom before he was even born; so that leaves him with his dad only. Sword in the Stone - well Arthur was pretty much a ward of that mean guy,but not his parents; same with Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose has 2 parents but she had to be raised by those fairy ladies. Mogli and Tarzan were both raised by animals; and if memory serves, the animals were single parents too. Parent Trap, now they had 2 parents, but they were divorced; and I must say that if Disney had left well enough alone, and not remade the brilliant Haley Mills original, then perhaps poor Lindsay Lohan wouldn't be in the predicaments she's in today. LOL But I digress... Jasmine, has her father the Sultan, but no mama in sight; same with Ariel, she has King Triton, but no mommy. Andy in the Toy Story movies, he's got Mom, but none of the toys ever mention Dad. Chicken Little; he has his Papa, and Remy in Ratatouille has his Pop. The Incredibles; now they were a two parent family, but really, can you think of any others? Don't say The Darlings, because the kids are off in Neverland for the whole story; and basically parentless for the entire movie. And while I'm at it, I guess I should add; not a lot of siblings in these stories either. So I ask you, what did Walt or do present day Disney execs have against 2 parent families? God knows they make enough money off of us. Would any of those stories have actually suffered if there were two parents involved? I don't think so; but then again, that's why I write a blog that 20 people read,and not Oscar nominated Disney scripts; YET!!
Till next time...