Thursday, August 21, 2008

Winkie Dink Service

I sort of roared. Okay, so it was a politely cool roar, but I did it, folks! I stood up for myself on something and I'm damn proud of it.

The situation: We have Direct TV and it was most definitely not working. I let it go for a couple of days because I was attacked by a migraine. In the meantime, the cubs had to make do with their Wii and movies if they were in the house.

Today I called to see about getting this fixed. After going through those damn automated voice thingies forever, I finally was able to talk to a tech who walked me through a number of possible fixes. Nothing worked. She then said she'd have to set up an appointment for someone to come to the house. No biggie on that one - I have been paying about five bucks a month on a maintenance plan. All was right with the world - until she dropped the bombshell on me.

"The soonest I can get someone there is September 11th"

Excuse me?!?!?!?! That's THREE f'ing weeks away! I pointed that small fact out and she said it was the soonest appointment available, but I could call another number to see if they could help me. I called.

I explained the situation to them, and again was told there was no possible way anyone could come to fix this until September 11th AND if I didn't snap up that appointment quickly, the next available one would be September 30th!

I asked her if they'd have been willing to give me that much latitude if I called and said the soonest I could pay my bill was that far off. She didn't quite have an answer. I asked why on earth they had me paying a service plan if they weren't planning on providing timely service. Again, no answer.

I called Dish Network to see if they could set up an account for me. It was absolutely possible AND they will be here the day after tomorrow to put in their satelite dish and get my house wired for their service. I went for it.

Then, I called Direct TV back and spoke to customer service. I asked the nice guy that answered how long it would take to have satelite service set up in my area. He assured me it could easily be done within a week. I asked him if Direct Sat was the company they used for installation and service - he said yes, they do both for them. Next I asked him what would happen if I had service with them and a tech needed to be sent to my house - as in how long will it take to get one here.

He said "Oh, we would have someone there within 24-72 hours".

Me - "I guess I should be honest with you. I am currently a customer with Direct TV. I need service, and the soonest YOUR people can get a tech here is on September 11th."

*dead silence while he regrouped*

Him - "Uh, I don't know what to tell you. Have you tried calling our corporate office at 800-we'reassholes" (no, he didn't say the we're assholes part)

Me - "I called that number and every other number I was passed off onto. I have spent TWO hours trying to find someone that can take care of this problem."

Him - "Uh, I pride myself on the fact that we have the highest customer service rating in the business and I've never heard anything like this. You just burst my bubble."

Keep in mind. I know it's not the fault of any of the people answering the phones; I went out of my way to be polite and NOT go off on them. I'm pretty proud of that fact. Even so, I am way pissed at their company!

Me - "Now I need you to do something else for me. Please connect me with whoever I need to speak to so I can cancel my service with you."

Next I had a very nice woman to talk to. Once again I explained the situation and she double checked the service time. Even she sounded a bit stunned at how long they were willing to make me wait. This is where I roared a bit.

I told her I'd called and was told about installation and service as if I were a new customer. Then:

Me - "It seems to me that your company is more than willing to find a way to get someone to my house to set up a complete new system and promise me the moon. However, once you have the account, you stop caring about your clients and have no problem screwing them over. I don't think that's the sign of a company I have any desire to do business with."

Her - "I can see why you are unhappy, but that truly is the soonest anyone could come there to fix this problem."

Me - "Let me just point something out to you. Technically, I could cancel my service right now, then call installation and set up a new account. They would be here to hook up a new system for me AT NO CHARGE, and it would all be done within a week. However, since I am already a client, I have to wait three weeks before I can have service. Do you see the irony in this?"

Her - "I could offer you three free months of Showtime for your inconvenience."

Me - "Do I need to remind you that I don't have any kind of service now? I couldn't WATCH Showtime and, if I wanted Showtime I would have ordered that when I bought my satelite package. Now, I simply want out."

My contract was terminated. I am being reimbursed for my last payment. Dish Network will be here in two days to set up my satelite once again.

I will NEVER do business with Direct TV again. In fact, I think I need to write a letter to corporate. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!


PS - I'll get caught up with blogs over here ASAP! I don't have time to read them tonight.

Friday, August 15, 2008

End of Days

I am a weird with two back to back entries in one day! I just didn't want to blend this one with the one about the phone call.

This morning I realized this is "it". Summer is really really really ending soon. My last week "off" is next week! Once upon a time August 25th seemed so far away; now it's just around the corner.

It's time to get that little bit of summer in before I pack it away in a box of memories. We're going to the lake. Yeah, I can do that in the fall and after school starts, but the "feel" of it isn't the same. When I go then, I usually drag work along and/or simply don't have that carefree feeling that goes with summer.

The cubs have packed up their beach towels and fishing poles. I have my books to read. We're going to swim, try to catch some fish, waterski, and play for the last few days that we can. We can't put it off - next week I have meetings, Babycub has her sports physical, Boycub has friends coming over. It's truly now or never.

Woe is me - where on earth did our summer go?

I'll be back before you know it!


The Call

I took the bull by the horns - okay, not really - I called K because I was tired of waiting for her to call me. The conversation went well; at least I think it did.

Talking to her reminded me of past conversations with my prescription drug addicted aunt - she was slurry and disjointed. I'll chalk that up to her saying she'd just woken from a nap.

In any case, I put on my best bubbly, friendly voice and asked if she had any questions or concerns about the wedding. She wanted to know what the menu was. Even though I knew her daughter had already told and the caterer had already told her, I went through it all again. She didn't mention beer even when I said we were serving coffee and punch.

We talked about decorations; I told her I'd taken her daughter out to get some more things yesterday. It seems all of that is falling into place now.

The bride's family isn't coming here until the morning of the wedding. She works on Friday and, according to her, doesn't want to come up that night and have to "bathe in a lake" before the wedding. I guess getting a hotel room or staying with her mother who lives in town is not an option for them. It's not a big deal to me; it just means that I'll have to help with the decorating myself.

The weird thing is - I think she's intimidated by me. It's a freaky weird feeling because I'm about as scary as a butterfly. She stammered and tripped over words. I found myself going out of my way to be nice and to reassure her that everything was going well on this end.

My hub, A, once said that he thinks K's second hub is a total schmuck who probably bullies her. A thinks the second hub, B, is the one behind the beer and everything else. We shall see, I guess.

So, the wedding is in two weeks and I'm anxious for it all to be over. I am simply hoping for everything to go well and the kids to have a wonderful day.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Some People

**** Rant Alert ****

News flash – there are idiots among us.

Remember a long while ago when I mentioned my son’s wedding? Here’s how things have progressed thus far.

The kids decided they wanted a small, intimate family wedding among the gardens in my yard. Last spring I started really going bonkers to make sure everything was going to be glorious; I wanted their day to be wonderful.

The bride’s mother, K, then fired off her guest list and this “small” wedding was suddenly up to 150 guests. This just isn’t a possibility for my yard. There isn’t enough room to park that many cars, I only have two bathrooms, I would have to rent tents, chairs, and all that jazz. The kids, my hub (A), and I sat down and decided it would be best to move it to a gorgeous park nearby. From there, we would have a reception at a local place in town.

The kids were tickled by this and we went on to planning food and all the rest. I know my son’s fiancé’s family isn’t rolling in the bucks, so we offered to help pay for things. I realize that tradition says the bride’s family pays, but we can afford to help out. Nothing Ms. Fiancé was picking out was expensive; things were simple, but classy. All was right with the world.

Suddenly, the wedding was being called off by the kids. The fiancé’s family announced they couldn’t afford to pay for anything other than the decorations. A and I stepped in and said we’d pay for the dinner, the clergy, the park rental, the reception building rental, the linen, the music, etc. We wanted the kids to have a nice wedding.

Within a couple of days Ms. Fiancé called me with a new issue. Her mother told her that some people may not be able to afford to buy drinks if we have a cash bar AND it is the groom’s family’s responsibility to buy a keg for the reception. I was stunned. Excuse me? It would seem all “tradition” went out the window when they stepped back and had the groom’s family paying for almost everything!

To have any alcohol served at the reception involves me putting it on my homeowner’s insurance which means a rise in rates for the month. Additionally, I have to hire a cop to be there the entire time and contract with one of three bars to bring in and serve the booze. To me it was a no-brainer. After checking with the kids, I decided to have a dry reception. We are serving coffee and punch.

Meanwhile Ms. Fiancé’s mom was scrounging through rummage sales buying “decorations”. I saw them today; we’re using them, but adding wee bits to try to dress them up a bit. I don’t want to step on toes and I don’t want Ms. Fiancé stuck in a rough spot with her mom.

A few days ago Ms. Fiancé told me she was having difficulty saying no to her mom who now was demanding we also host a dance and have a bar. I asked Ms. Fiancé if this is what SHE wanted, and she said no, but her mom was being insistent. Argh! I told Ms. Fiancé it was time that I talked to her mom and explained the financial situation to her. God, I am leaving out so much – but suffice it to say, these people seem to think I have unlimited funds to spend so they can entertain all these people they are inviting!

This morning I met with the caterer. Thank goodness I have known this person for years. K, the mom, lives 120 miles away – last week she “just happened” to be in the small town where we live and decided to stop by and check things out herself.

First she and her hubby crashed a wedding reception that was going on at the place where we are holding the kids’ reception. They went in, went to the bar, and asked the bartender how they go about getting beer at their daughter’s wedding reception. The bartender is a previous student of mine, and he sent them off with the name of the caterer who is just down the street.

From there they went to the caterer’s place and asked about beer. He told them I’d only requested punch and coffee; they said there had to be beer there and looked into booking that as well – all on my dime. Then they complained about the menu Ms. Fiancé and I chose. They wanted it changed to something more expensive – again on my dime. He told them he wouldn’t change anything until he spoke to me, and let them know he was meeting with me on Wednesday morning.


Who the hell are these people? I could see if I’d met them before and had been mean, snotty, bitchy, horrible, etc. No, I have NEVER met them and NEVER even spoken to them. Instead of calling me with concerns or suggestions or anything else, they are scampering around behind my back spending my money!

Can they afford to help out? You tell me. They have a very nice home, a boat, a lake house, four-wheelers, and snowmobiles. I’m thinking they could kick in a couple hundred bucks if not more. In the meantime, I cancelled two summer trips am putting off some dental work and am scrambling to make sure everything is nice for the kids AND within my budget.

I am furious beyond belief.

I’m proud of myself for NOT taking this out on Ms. Fiancé and telling her that her family is made up of first class jerks. It’s not her fault and they have treated her like shit all her life. They do nothing for her, spend very little time with her, and couldn’t be bothered to come see her when she was in the intensive care unit for a week a few years back. It’s not her fault they are like this; she loves them and so wants to be loved by them. It’s really very sad.

K never called me – surprise surprise. Tonight was the night she said she’d call to discuss wedding plans. I think my sister-in-law hit the nail on the head when she said it seems they want to have some splashy wedding to show off for their friends and family. After all, it’s not like they have to tell anyone they are barely doing a thing to put it together – most will assume the bride’s family did the wedding.

I practiced my diplomatic, nicely sweet little discussion with her in my head all evening. I was ready to be nice, but firm when I let her know that I wouldn’t take on the responsibility of booze at the reception. My suggestion was going to be that they reserve the place, put it all in their name, pay for it, and I’d still pay for everything else and the food – the food that Ms. Fiancé and I already selected.

Nothing – no call!

What to do, what to do? I am trying so hard to walk a fine line here and make sure the day is wonderful for the kids. I don’t want squabbles between families to ruin things for them. Even so, I really want to plant my fist between the woman’s eyes.

Whatcha thing, blogger buddies? Shall I smack her or remain sweetly serene when I finally meet the wench?


*whispers* If you’re still with me, thanks for taking the time to read this long long entry. I am just soooooooooooooo frustrated with all this right now!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Boxing Boob Blooper

I appear to have had one of those Freudian moments today. Who knew I was a violent person masked behind a mellow demeanor? I certainly didn't.

Remember last winter when I had my boobie moment happening? It was the whole thing with the cyst, the biopsy, and a positive outcome that I didn't have to deal with that ugly disease that starts with a "c". Because of all of that, I had to have a six month follow-up mammogram on my naughty boobie.

Lucky me; today was the official "smash the boobie" day. I know it's a good thing, but it still isn't the most pleasant experience in the world. Truly, I would rather have a root canal - but then - you all know I've discovered a recent passion for going to the dentist. Yes, I am sick!

There I was in the room with the tech and the boobie smashing machine. She'd just completed the smashage and was getting the films ready to run across the hall to be checked. While they do that, they don't want me to get dressed in case something went wrong and a second smoosh becomes necessary.

Even so, I felt it would be okay to slip the gorgeous hospital gown back on while I waited. I was wriggling into the gown while she reached for the slides of my breast. She turned just as I jammed my hand through the sleeve. My hand connected solidly with her face!

In horror I looked at her and began apologizing profusely. Seriously, I don't like mammograms, but I don't tend to smack the people whose job it is to administer them. She laughed and said it really didn't hurt. I can only imagine how red my face was - hell, I was far more embarrassed about this than I was when she was manipulating my boob to get the perfect pic of it.

So there you have it - my first act of violence. Don't piss me off, peeps - I'm obviously rather dangerous when smashed!


Friday, August 8, 2008


The poor guy had to have been utterly and completely ready to crawl in a hole. I couldn't help but giggle. Yes, I actually do "giggle". For years, I denied it and called myself a "laugher", but sadly, I must admit to being a giggler.

I digress - the ins and outs of my sounds of amusement were not to be the topic of tonight's blog. Nope, they were not.

Instead, I am talking about the embarrassment faced by my oldest son on three, count 'em, THREE incidents in one day.

I picked him and the wee baby grandchild up to run some errands around town. His fiance was working; it was just the three of us dashing about paying bills, doing a bit of shopping, and having lunch.

At the bank, he was depositing his fiance's paycheck. She assumed it was me. Yes, I laughed. Poor kid, he stammered and said "uh, that's my mom". It was grand fun!

In one of the stores, the clerk said something about what a cute baby we have. Ha ha ha! Again, he felt the need to explain that I was the grandmother, NOT the mom!

I took pity on him at the restaurant when it happened a third time. I told them we were three generations - not two. It truly did make me giggle to watch him turn four shades of red at the mere thought that I was his fiance. I think he was having visions of ugly incestuous situations and it was making him ill.

Frankly, I just thought it was funny.


The Little Pisser

I know, I know, I'd hoped to start catching up on my way behind blog readage, but I got busy tonight. I shall get on that tomorrow evening - I hope!

I just had to scamper to my comp to share my latest tale from life in the woods with you.

I plunked down on the end of my couch a wee bit ago. Almost immediately there was a small splash of drops that felt just like those first bits of rain that land on us. Puzzled, I looked up and the ceiling was dry. It wasn't raining outside; I was confused.

It happened again. It truly wasn't my imagination. There on my arm were tiny droplets of wet.

Then it came to me.

"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww", thought I.

I looked on the screen in the window behind where I was sitting and there was the culprit.

Ladies and gentlemen, I was being pee'd on by a damn tree frog that was crawling across my window.

How utterly disgusting is that?!?!?!?!?

Needless to say my arm has been sanitized and I scrubbed the end of the sofa just in case it got hit as well.

Gotta love life in the woods!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Home Again

I love you peeps to bits, but damn you sure can talk a lot! Egads, I have only been gone about a week and I have 79 post alerts, 18 comment alerts, and 82 tracking alerts!

You do realize I shall never ever catch up with everything. I will try. Lordy knows I'll try scampering through as much as I can, but I'll be one crazed basket case if I attempt to leave comments (aka my mark) wherever I go!

As for me - I ran off to parts unknown. There was no cell service, there was no electricity (unless you count batteries and a generator), there was no civilization (not like I'm used to, anyway). It was simply luverly to kick back and not think about things for a bit.

Even so, there are still bunches of thoughts rippling through the recesses of my mind. One is a big old ugly word that starts with a "d" and ends in an "e" and has a total of seven letters. I approached A about this several weeks ago; we are "talking" about things now.

Another is The Dark Knight. Yes, I did see it while I was away from you. I think it falls into one of those "I expected soooooooooo much more after all I heard" categories. It was "okay". Heath Ledger was quite impressive, but overall, I really don't see what the buzz is all about. I contemplated a nap toward the end of it all.

I'm itching to share something else with all of you, but I don't know that I can. I'll try to talk without saying much. Remember back last spring when I mentioned "threats"? It seems something may be coming of all that now. I have mixed feelings about it all - some of them are a bit creepy. Is this poking something ugly with a stick? Will that something ugly snap and hunt me down now? It somewhat scares me.

Satelites - wowserooni are there a lot up there! One night while I was away, we sat and counted them. We got to fourteen before our necks were sore from staring up at the night sky. In case you are wondering, we did wave at several that we suspected of being a part of Homeland Security. After all, campers in the midst of nowhere could certainly be deemed a threat and in need of photographing! Yikes, thank goodness I wasn't nekkid!

Brett Favre has me uttering profanity. I think he's making an utter ass of himself over this whole thing. However, I did think it was quite amusing when the Vikings were thinking of picking him up. I have tickets to the season opener when my purple dudes travel to enemy territory (aka - Lambeau Field) next month. I think it would have been quite the show to see him in a purple jersey in front of his home team. The Pack was supposed to be retiring his jersey at that game - I am wondering if they will be burning it instead. I'll report back after it's over.

For now, that's about it. Yup, this was one of those rambly "what the hell is going on in her head" kind of blogs. I'll be back around later this evening, I think, to try to start working on those gazillion alerts!