Monday, April 18, 2016

The 20-minute toy

My sister came over the other day so I could do her taxes.  She brought a toy for each of the dogs.  As I did the taxes, she watched Bogie destroy the hedge hog.  She was laughing and I think he was showing off.

She did help clean up the stuffing. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Attitude is all (or most)

So after my really bad day, the next day turned out to be even worse.

Let me just say I found myself car-less, after the rental car places were closed, and after a half mile walk, my sister didn't answer her door.

I had a mini-meltdown. Turns out she was home after all, but the doorbell doesn't work. She was able to give me a ride home.

During the drive, she wondered why all this was happening to me now. I off-handedly replied, "17-year-old car, 17-year-old house, 8-year-old dog."

But I wondered if maybe it was more involved than that?

I firmly believe that you get from the universe what you put into it. And I realized I have been floating a boatload of negativity towards the universe. Mostly because of my job.

It’s only reasonable that it would come back to me. And I resolved to stop looking at the negative in all the situations.

And almost immediately, problems became more manageable. I was able to sleep better. And I returned to my cheerful, former self.

And I swear my luck changed for the better.

The car was fixed and ready to be picked up the next day. Although I ended up taking it back twice more, they didn't charge me any additional money. I did have to rent a car for one more night, but I got that one from Hertz and they treated me much better.

The smoke alarms will take a little bit of work to replace, but that’s the cost of owning a home. Things need to be fixed or replaced periodically. Alarms are supposed to last 10 years. These were installed when the house was new, seventeen years ago.

And a co-worker had already done the research on good replacements. I have them now, waiting for me to get around to replacing them. Supposedly, they are easy to replace.

And Angel will get better with time. She is in a good humor, so not in a lot of pain.

And work bothers me less.  I even got an unexpected day off, with pay.

My attitude change has made it easier to deal with work and the various travails that life throws at me.

And I daresay, I'm more pleasant to be around now.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Today has to be better ...

Yesterday kind of sucked.  I surprised myself by being resigned instead of getting upset.  
My 17 year old car needs a new air conditioner compressor.  People think, well, just don't use the air conditioner.  It's not that simple.  This compressor is part of the serpentine belt that runs the car.  If the compressor stops, so does the car. 
I left work early to get to the garage at one in the hopes that they could fix it in one day.  My mechanic was confident that they could.  I sat in the waiting room for 3 hours, reading Scientific American and playing games on my phone. 
At 4, he came out and said they have to keep it.  The supplier sent the wrong compressor.
I called Enterprise rentals and arranged a car.  Yikes! Twice as expensive as the last time I rented one.  $85 a day – economy or compact car. Damn Cactus League. 
I arranged for them to pick me up.  They said it would be between 5 and 5:30.  An hour or more from when I called.  I considered walking, but the location was just far enough that I wouldn’t get there any sooner if they made the early pickup time. 
I had finished my magazine and the battery was very low on my phone.  I sat and waited, trying to meditate,and  keep my mind blank.  It worked.  For two minutes at a time.  
Enterprise closes at 6.  At 5:25, I called them again.  I got the distinct impression they had forgotten me, since he said someone would be on the way right away.  They were just over two miles from me.  It still took them 15 minutes to get me.  
The rental office is in a temporary location about ½ mile closer than the original one.  Had I known that, I would definitely have walked. 
It was 6 pm before I left the lot. I pulled into my home garage at 6:30.  Kept hearing beeping.  Thought something was wrong with the car.  
Opened up the door to the house.  Every smoke alarm I have, all 6, was screeching.  I don’t know how long the dogs had to put up with it.  Pulling the batteries from each would have meant listening to the cacophony for longer than I could stand. 
I went outside, hoping the circuit was clearly marked, and shut off the circuit breaker to the smoke alarms.  Blessed quiet.  Interrupted by sporadic beeps.  I pulled the batteries out of the beeping alarms.  Now there was truly quiet. 
And then I noticed that Angel was limping, badly.  She is on pain medication for inflammation.  I wonder if the medication made her feel better and she over did it.  Or did the smoke alarms startle her into escaping too quickly?


Friday, March 18, 2016

Not good customer service ...

I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon and I generally have good luck with them  
But I bought a birthday tie for Bogie from one of their third party vendors and didn't get it.  
Honestly, I'm not sure who is responsible if the Post Office says it was delivered, but the recipient didn't get it. 
I do know that a careless and condescending email is not the correct response. 
Their email infuriated me.
"Since the tracking information suggests the package was delivered, we would suggest one of the following based on our past experience -
- Check with your local post office
- Check with your neighbors if the package was delivered to the next door by mistake
- Check on your front porch, patio, or outside garage where the package may have been delivered"
Let's take these "suggestions" one at a time. 
1) I don’t think I should be the one contacting the post office.  I wasn’t the one that shipped it.  Besides, the post office said they put it in my box in the cluster mailboxes.   I assumed that for $4.95 to mail the tie, the shipper would have had insurance.  Which they have to claim. 

2) Yes, let me ask my neighbors if they got my mail by mistake and decided to keep it.  Might as well accuse them of thievery.  Good advice. 

3) The tracking slip said it was delivered to my mailbox.  Sure, let me check my front porch, patio, garage entry, and anywhere else it wasn't delivered to.  

The tie did end up on my front porch about 9 days later. 

But the communication left a lasting, sour aftertaste. 

P.S. I had never seen a cluster mailbox until we moved to Arizona.  This is what I mean, although ours has more cubicles;

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Job hunting is confusing.

I wasn't officially looking for work (yet), but I was offered a chance to interview for a job that seemed ideal.

Except -

I blew the phone interview.  Badly.  I got nervous and overly concerned about using proper terminology and blanked out on questions I knew the answers to.


I didn't get a follow-up in-person interview.  And I expected that I wouldn't get an offer.

I was grateful that they emailed me to tell me I wasn't getting the position, instead of leaving me hanging.

But I found the rejection email confusing.

It stated "We encourage you to follow us and see if there are other roles in the future that may be a good fit."  

Umm.  How would that work?  I applied for the job I thought I was qualified for.  You politely disagreed.  

If I were to apply again, it would be the same type of job.  

Would I magically be more qualified in the near future? 

I'm sure the text was just boilerplate that someone thought would be comforting.  

It wasn't. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Trying to be good.

Out walking the dogs in the afternoon.  Our usual route takes us behind the nearby grocery store.  As we were walking, the dogs heard someone coming up behind us.  
A man was walking a well-mannered boxer-type dog.  So, another large dog.  
Bogie and Angel kept turning around to look.  Especially Bogie. 
I wanted to stay ahead of the other dog so there would be no danger of a confrontation.  Honestly, I can't always hold Bogie if he wants to get away. 
Bogie turned and sat.  I pulled him forward.  
Bogie turned and sat.  I pulled him forward.  
This happened twice more before I realized that what he was saying was, "Mom, I want to be good.  I will sit here and watch the dog and I will be good."
So I let him sit on the opposite side of the driveway.  I had a good grip on the leash.  But he didn’t pull away even once.  

We watched the dog and man pass.  I let them get far ahead of us and around the building corner before starting out again with my dogs.  
Bogie was good the whole rest of the way home. 
I was so proud of him.  (Angel is always good.)