Monday, March 30, 2009

Take A Step

Inspiration has been stifled lately. I have things I want to do, more writing and such, but I haven't been able to take action and move forward. My brain is stuck in neutral and I'm plagued by a nagging sense that if I just had an inspiring place to write, more ideas, more passion and a belief that what I have to say even matters, things would begin to move. Uh ya, these things are all excuses. They make sense in my head and that is why they hold me captive. 

I used to wish for more time to write. Then, I needed a new computer. Both of those things have been remedied and still I find myself stuck. I feel chained to limitations of my own making. Repeatedly, I have heard it said that in order to start, I must simply get going. One foot in front of the other, one word and then the next; but why is it that beginning is the hardest part?? Why do I get stuck on the emptiness of a blank page?? 

So, today I'm starting again because while I've been waiting for the stars to align, I've been missing the constellations that are already in place.  

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Emotional Constipation

Sometimes that is how I feel. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Service Accountability

My washer broke AGAIN. 

I bought a brand new washer in June of '07. I paid premium price for the little devil because it was the only model that would fit in the space allotted for it in my house. The washer has been the biggest homeowner headache I've had in the past 2 years, hands down.

When it was delivered fresh out of the box, it didn't work. After waiting another week, I received a replacement. That one worked fine for several months and then it broke, just one week after the warranty expired. I purchased the extended warranty and dealt with the inconvenience for 2+ weeks until it was repaired. Now, another 8 months later, it has crapped out AGAIN. I'm a single person. I don't have Octomom's laundry load. 

Thankfully, the extended warranty is still effective and the process of getting a technician into my home was promptly executed without hassle . The technician apprised me of the situation and gave me an estimated time frame for the parts to come in of one week. He informed me that he would order the parts on that day and would call to schedule the repair when they arrived. That's a typical service call, nothing crazy. 

2 weeks go by and there was no word. I made a call to the repair company to get the status. I was told that they have been waiting for an additional authorization from the manufacturer and that the parts have NOT EVEN BEEN ORDERED. No one had let me know that there was a hold up. Upon further questioning, they had sent a couple of emails to the manufacturer but hadn't received a response so they were "just waiting to hear back". It took me .01 second to go from curious-information-seeking to give-me-the-manager-ready-to-call-the-BBB-rage. 

WHY HASN'T ANYONE PICKED UP THE PHONE AND CALLED THE MANUFACTURER FOR THE AUTHORIZATION??? 

At the very least, why hasn't anyone called me to give me a head's up??

I have worked in customer service a time or two in my working days. It's not fun. The mistakes of the whole company fall on the shoulders of the customer service rep. When an upset customer wants answers, the CS rep is trained to be nice and just repeat company policy or apologies like a mantra as if saying the same thing a million times is going to calm the customer down. Absurd. The company policy chant that I kept getting was one of the lamest I've ever heard. Are you ready?? Here it is: "We are not allowed to make outgoing calls to manufacturers". Are you serious?? That's your final answer?? 

As you can imagine, I launched into a high spirited monologue demanding answers. I spoke with 2 CS reps, 1 supervisor, 1 parts guy and ended up facilitating a 3-way call between the parts guy and the manufacturer so that the two entities could communicate and get the authorization because they couldn't seem to do it on their own. I wanted to ensure that the parts were ordered that day. I'm so irritated that I've had to go to the laundromat for 2+ weeks already. This culmination of my frustration happened yesterday. 

First thing this morning, I called back to make sure that the authorization had been received and that the parts had in fact been ordered. I was assured that it had been done but that it would be another 7-10 business days before the parts would come in. My blood pressure began to boil yet again. That means, I will be going to the laundromat for ANOTHER 2 weeks. I took a deep breath and accepted it since I had already bitched a blue streak. 

This afternoon, there has been a turn of events. 

I received a call. The parts have arrived (magically, in just one day) and the technician is scheduled to repair my washer tomorrow. 

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!

The moral of the story: If I wouldn't have called for a status update, my work order would have sat indefinitely without follow up. With accountability, things get done.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dancing With The Home Video Super Star

Tonight is the start of a new season of Dancing with the Stars. I like the show but over the years, I've been an on and off kind of fan. Tonight I'm watching. We will see how long it keeps my attention. 

My sister Kari has been working on a big project over the past few months. She is taking our family VHS home videos and putting them on DVD. If you've ever done this, it is freakin' time consuming. We have numerous VHS tapes filled with all manner of footage. Mostly, footage NO ONE wants to see again. 

We started documenting family life on film when Abi was about 4 years old. She loved being on camera as a little one. She is without a doubt the star! 

Here is a sampling of her 5 year old dance moves during Christmas...


video