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.)



Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"All Natural" doesn't mean safe

Listened to a radio ad this morning touting some "all natural" weight loss product.  

The FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives.  Basically, if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances, it can be called "natural". 

So manufacturers can basically slap the label on a wide variety of products that aren't necessarily good for you. 

A quick search on Amazon lists deodorant, all-purpose cleaners, cookies, fruit snacks, dog treats, and vitamins. All bearing the marketing buzzword of "All Natural". 

I don't understand how and why "all natural" came to mean better, or safer. 

Salt is all natural. Too much isn't good for you.  

Hemlock is all natural. Not safe. 

Cyanide is all natural. Also not safe. 

Hemlock, belladonna, wolfsbane, oleander - you get the picture. All natural. NOT safe. 

For me, saying something is all natural is not a selling point.  

Tell me that you make it from pesticide free materials.  

Tell me that you didn't add any artificial flavors or colors.  

Tell me that no animals were harmed in the development of this product. 

Those are claims I can get behind.