Monthly Archives: March 2014

My Loves

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I rarely get the option to have a day to myself with little responsibility, but that’s exactly what I had this past Saturday.  I’ve been mom to a 12 year old for what feels like 30 years.  I don’t really remember life without him in it, but occasionally I get a  day where I don’t have to worry about breakfast, lunch and dinner for Grae, who is the most HORRIBLE, picky eater.  I’m not running him to a friends house or picking him up.  I’m free.

I planned a lunch date with my son, Shawn who no longer lives with us, and asked my daughter Alysa to come along.  We were meeting half way between mine and Shawn’s home.  The restaurant, The Back Porch, is a charming old home renovated back in 1972.  There are 3 floors counting the basement, which holds a small bar with some tables.  Beware if you’re over 6 foot tall, the ceilings are really really low.  Visiting this particular restaurant is off limits with my husband and a 12 year old.  For some reason, they don’t have the ability to really FEEL the ambiance of a room.  They don’t appreciate the presentation on the plate or the white table cloths.  But I do.  And so do my two oldest kids.  Yes, they will always be my “kids”. 

I’ve always felt like I taught my kids to feel comfortable in a slightly more upscale environment.  Giving them wings to fly includes this very sentiment.  They’ve each had opportunities to put their knowledge to work, so my work here is done,  so to speak. 

We had great conversation, and laughed and laughed, especially about some of Grae’s little comings and goings.  He’s always gonna be there, mentally if not physically. 

Later we shopped at some quaint little stores across the street.  Then it was off to the land of Walmart and Aldis.  More laughter ensued and before we knew it, the date was coming to a close, sadly. 

Being a mom is sometimes a lonely job.  Saying goodbye to your son that no longer lives with you makes you feel sad, but it also helps you to enjoy the time you do spend with him.  I still got to drive home with Alysa, but at 23 with a career, she’s doing her own thing with her own life.  Having a lunch date like we used to do, just me and her when it was her birthday, reminds me of how fast time flies.

Just to be part of these two awesome individuals lives is definitely one of my most favorite things. 

My Loves.

 

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They’re talking but we are we listening?

Ya know,  if you sit and think about it a little bit, our lives are filled with a lot of noise.  It starts early in the morning.  We wake up to our alarm,  reminding us to get up and seize the day.  I wake up with music, the song “Happy” by Pharrell.  By the way,  if you need a good song to wake up to,  try that one.  I honestly have a much better morning if I awake with a good tune that I can dance to.  In fact,  I’m listening right now,  just to give me inspiration for this blog.

Digression is real.  Apologies.

Back to noise.  The sizzling of scrambled eggs cooking in the pan.  Coffee perking.  The morning news on the T.V.  Shower running.  My dryer even plays a whole song when it finishes a load of clothes.  A. Whole. Song.  Humming of the car on the drive to work.  Music obviously playing.  And if I can’t find a song to sing to, I jump from station to station, because I simply MUST sing along.  Walking along the paved sidewalk with heels clicking on the way to my building.  You get the picture.

Have you ever thought of all the noise we don’t hear?  I’m speaking specifically about  perceived noise.  Noise that amplifies like a megaphone from another human being,  yet we “hear” nothing.  A loved one,  a friend,  a complete stranger.  They’re speaking to us,  telling us who they are, what they want and how we should give it to them,  yet there is no voice.

For instance you’re driving down the road,  minding your own business, and if you’re me you’re also singing, when you happen to glance into the rear view mirror.  Oh, where the heck did they come from?  Another person kinda riding your butt,  obviously not happy about being late or just a speedy kind of person,  we don’t know for sure.  Their aggravated driving tells us that they are in a damn hurry.   We know that.  But in the comfort of their own car,  are they blaring out their quick-to-anger personality to us and everyone in their path?

Maybe.

I just had a staff member request something from me last minute,  and she forgot to put in a request for it.  I was able to help her out, but when she came to pick up said item,  she said “I should have brought you a coffee (for helping her out of a jam)”.  What is she saying to me?  If she were a nice person,  she  should have repaid my favor saving her ass and show her appreciation by purchasing a cup of morning java?  Does not actually doing that but telling me she should have  make her a not-so-nice person?

Again, maybe.

And then there are the actions of loved ones.  Now we grew up with them, they grew up with us,  we all grew up at one point with family.  I’m gonna come right out and say this.  We all  aren’t created the same.  They very well may have had the same parents,  they may be the same sex, or maybe not.  But they are different.  They think differently.  One member could be considerate while the other is self centered.  And for the most part we can’t understand why.  How could Susie not want to go to college?  Why doesn’t Jimmy take better care of his house?  We don’t get it.  But they are talking.  Not with words, more with silent actions.  They tell us that THAT is who THEY are.  They aren’t like you.  They’re different.  Treat them accordingly.  You don’t hear from Betsy and you wonder why?  Truth is Betsy likes being a loner.  Don’t beat her into submission.  She LIKES who she is.  Maybe you need to constantly bail out Ben.  He’s a slacker.  He tells you that all the time with his actions.  You just aren’t listening.  We sit and ponder about why people do what they do.  Why aren’t they more like me?  I mean we lived in the same house,  for God’s sake.  We need to quit trying to change them and try to change ourselves.  Does little Mikey refuse to pick up his clothes?  Leave them.  When you choose to make another person conform to YOUR ideals,  you’re fighting city hall.  I’m not saying it will be easy,  after all they should WANT to do things to make you happy, right?

Wrong.

We hear the coffee perking,  we hear the phone ringing, but we refuse to hear the signals that others are sending.   There are exceptions, certainly.  We need to give our kids good morals.  Wings so that they can eventually fly I like to say.  But when adulthood sets in,  we need to do just that….let them fly.  Quit the judgement and expectation of conformity.   Treat others as they treat you.  After all, they’re telling us how to treat them.

But are you listening?

 


You Had Me at Blah Blah Blah

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We’ve all been there.  Aggravated by a company or their customer service, or lack there of.  It’s a helpless feeling, really.  I’m speaking specifically about the demon company, Verizon.  I have only satanic adjectives for the devil cell service.

My story starts with an online purchase of a new cell phone for my 12 year old son.  Now before you go all “too young for a kid, it’s your own fault” attitude, my son is paying for this phone.  A new iPhone 5s to be exact.  I big $200 new line cell phone with a $50 a month charge for having it.

I digress.

I’m attempting to make an online transaction while “online chatting” with Verizon to walk me through the process to answer any questions that I might have about features.  I was informed via chat that although the screen says “2-day shipping”, the phone will be shipped overnight.  For free.   Long story short, the purchase didn’t take place that day, it took place the very next day.  Again, I “chatted” with Verizon while completing the purchase asking AGAIN about the shipping.  AGAIN I was informed of the “free overnight shipping change” just as soon as I pressed the “complete purchase” tab.  So I press that tab.  I feel confident that Verizon chat customer service could not possibly be wrong.  I feel accomplished.  I prepare for the euphoric excitement that my son will experience when he finally gets to open his brand new, not a lame-ass tracfone – phone and prepares to become one of the millions of cell phone users addicted to this little device that has completely changed how just about EVERYONE lives and breathes.  I’m almost exhausted saying that.  I’ll bet there’s an app for that.

It’s the evening of my purchase now, and of course I’m checking my facebook, instagram, twitter and email when I see a Verizon email — shipment notification.  I hear a symphony of tones in my head equivalent to the sounds you hear entering a casino.  Until I read the email and track my shipment.  Expected delivery:  Monday, March 10, 2014.

What?  Purchased online on March 6 before noon, overnight is March 7. March 10th is 2 day shipping.  Nooooooo.

I call customer service.  I hear, “we’re experiencing longer than normal call volume, we’ll be with you shortly”.  And I wait.  14 minutes to be exact.  That’s a long time, but I’m able to put my phone on “speaker” so I can do other things.

I finally get to speak to someone from customer service.  I don’t get his name, cause I’m mad.  I tell him my dilemma and he’s unsympathetic, at best.  I’ll call him Mr. Radio Station Voice.  After a conversation with very little compassion and a whole bunch of him talking over me, I realize I’m getting nowhere.  By the way, it’s a huge red flag when the person on the other end of the line is talking over you.  That person has no intention of giving in.  That “I’m always right and you’ll always be wrong person”.  I should have just thrown up the white  flag screaming “I give” and let him have his paltry 2 day free shipping.  I should have just bent over and taken it up the proverbial ass, because that’s exactly where he wanted to give it to me.  But I didn’t,  I ask to speak with a supervisor.  And then I hear what everyone fears the most when taking this drastic step to get some kind of empathy from a complete stranger.  “I AM the supervisor”.

All the blood drains from my head, my heart starts beating double time and I can feel the veins protruding from my neck as I try to plead my case to a man lacking cell phone service compassion.  My voice raises ever so slightly as I stress every syllable in my pathetic attempt to get free activation (a $35 charge for a new cell activation).

As I start to realize I’m speaking to deaf ears, because all Mr. Radio Station Voice hears is “blah, blah, blah”,  I blurt out,  “fine, tell me how much I’ll need to pay to cancel my contract”.   Never skipping a beat,  Mr. Asshole, (my new name for him) says, “sure, I can do that”, to which there’s a few short seconds of silence and then quiet.  I’m thinking he’s a dick and he’s putting me on hold while he goes to get a snack a few floors down from his office and he’ll be back in about 5 minutes.  I was wrong.  He disconnects me.  He’s done with the conversation.  He doesn’t care about my problems.  He doesn’t want to find solutions.  My pleas fall on deaf blah blah blah ears

OH NO HE DIDN’T!  I redial that damn 800 number and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  I wait for exactly 34 minutes.  The reason I know that is because my lovely iPhone 4s tells me how long I’ve been waiting.  In the meantime I’m trying to chat with someone from Verizon on my phone, on my tablet and on my desktop.  I’m a victim of technology.  I desperately want someone that I’m chatting with to again tell me that it’s an automatic overnight delivery, when I’m finally at the head of the phone cue and get Jordan, a very nice rep that only apologizes over and over to me as they are taught to do in customer service school.  And all I hear is blah blah blah.

I try to get the name of the person I was talking to prior to Jordan.  “How long ago did you speak with someone” Jordan asks?   Exactly 34 minutes, Jordan.  34 vicious minutes.  I wonder to myself if Mr. Asshole somehow set my subsequent phone call up that way.  That he somehow had super Verizon power that could red flag my phone number and push me to the very back of the que to make me suffer.  Hey, it’s a distinct possibility, right?  I mean we are talking about one of the Prince of Darknesses worker bees after all.

I’m sorry, this is not a long story short.  This is a long story LONGER.  The end result is that I’m not getting the phone until Monday.  Verizon makes promises they don’t keep just to stop you from going to the Apple store to purchase your phone.  They won’t credit your account for all the pain and suffering you’ve felt due to not having your phone as promised.  You cannot call a “supervisor’s” supervisor, they don’t exist.  You cannot email the company.  They don’t care.  The company is so big that if you threaten to leave, their all, “blah blah blah”,  good riddance.  And sure you can leave, for a $270 early cancellation fee, you can high tail it outta there and join a new cellular service plan.  You won’t be able to use the “Verizon” phone that you purchased a little while ago for another family member, because that phone is only good with that particular plan.

My son will be devastated having to wait until Monday.  He can’t text his friends.  And I’m all “blah blah blah”.