Changing telecommute

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Well, after telecommuting full time for the last 16 months, there is a date to start going back to the office and I am not sure I am all that happy about it. Actually, I am sure that I am not. I lied. I am not happy about it.

Yes, I realize that the expectation to be at the office for work has always been there but this whole situation has fully exposed the fact that we don’t need to be in an office to get our job done. We have proven beyond that shadow of a doubt that our job can be done fully remote and that our clients have been affected to the smallest degree possible. In fact, many have commented over the this time about not really even realizing we were all working from home except that they knew we were working from home. That’s how we roll. There was no break in service, ever.

Anyway, the time has come to get back to the office and there will still be a telecommute policy as before, except that there is a new proposal to expand upon it. Frankly, I don’t think the expansion goes far enough and while I haven’t talked to any of my co-workers yet, I am sure there are quite a few who will express similar feelings.

Prior to the pandemic, we were allowed two days a week (40%, with a few limitations on what days they could be). Now, we are going to be allowed three days a week (60%, not sure of limitations yet). Also what remains to be seen is whether or not this policy has built in flexibility, meaning I don’t have to have a set three days but can pick and choose when I want to telecommute.

Anyway, I don’t think three days is enough.

It could be and should be more.

Perhaps I’ll see what is out there, in regards to full time telecommute and whether or not a change can be had.

Never hurts to have options, right?

Not forgotten

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Yes, I haven’t been on here as of late. It’s been hard.

Not because I don’t want to. It’s because it has been so freaking busy at work (like unusually busy) that it just makes it hard to find time to get anything written.

The end of the school year is upon us and schools are trying to figure out how to navigate all the new rules, special situations, and data reporting needs, etc. so they can close out their educational year. The phones are ringing off the hook. The emails are none stop.

Add on top of that a handful of districts preparing for data migration to a newer version of the software and its hard to find time to breathe.

Anyway, I just wanted you all to know that I haven’t forgotten about you. Ya’ll are still on my mind, just not the only thing on it…

Hopefully things will slow down a little in a while and I get get back to my usual grumpiness.

Until then, keep an eye out for an occasional grumble, whine, complaint, or just a plain pissy point about common sense (or lack thereof).

The instructions

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Stop trying to take the easy way out. By easy way, I mean the one where you have someone else do it for you.

Nearly everything you buy these days, nearly everything you work with these days, nearly EVERYTHING has some kind of “User Guide, “User Manual,” “Setup Guide,” “Assembly Instructions,” “Directions for Use,” etc.

Seriously. Have you opened a box of anything and not found at least some documentation with directions or instructions of some sort – either right there on the paper or directions to find them online? So there is honestly no excuse for not knowing what to do, how to use it, or how to set it up.

Unfortunately, society has become a bunch of “anti-instructionists.” (Yes, I made that up, but I can’t think of anything else to call it.)

It used to be that the cliché was that men were notorious for not reading the instructions and just jumping right in to figure it out (even if it meant taking something apart multiple times to get it right). That cliché has been turned on it’s head as, apparently, all people are just too lazy to read/learn/discover/follow directions. So many people are just willing to have someone else do it for them (or, to put it more bluntly – DEMAND you do it for them).

I know I am a little bit on the unusual side, since I do in fact take time to read the documentation included with a product, or posted online. I don’t always read them AT the moment of unboxing but I do eventually get to it. It depends on the level of complexity involved. I have even read the manuals that came with my car (hey, I like knowing about all the features that I may or may not use!). So, I do go through the trouble to learn about something. Sometimes it is trial and error and sometimes it is because I actually put effort into it and did it the right way.

Work lately…work lately is a bunch of people who don’t bother to read the documentation the software owner puts out. They don’t read all the supplemental documentation we create to further assist in use of the software. Hell, they don’t even watch the video we produce to give them visual aid in using the software. Instead, they just call use and take the easy way out – they want us to do it for them.

It’s frustrating that day after day after day people call and ask the exact same questions they asked three days ago, or 24 hours ago, or 6 weeks ago. Seriously, people, it’s part of YOUR job. Learn it. Read it. Discover it. Work in it and work at it. You aren’t going to have a crutch all the damn time.

OK.

Deep breath.

I guess my rant is over.

What type of person are you? Do you read the instructions and learn or do you completely ignore them and rely on someone else to do it for you? Do you follow directions to do things correctly or do you just make it up as you go and hope for good results?

What type of person are you?

Take my money

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Every had something you really, really, really wanted to buy but couldn’t because they can’t keep it in stock? I am sure you probably have, so that is kind of a silly question.

To throw a whole twist to the situation is that it is only available online, which is more convenient than having to go into the store to check the inventory but it still causes an issue because there is no way to find out when it is back in stock. Like, there is no way to sign up for a notification when it is in fact back in stock. That’s seems weird because, ya know, technology…but it just isn’t an option for this retailer.

I do have some information that it will be restocked “at the end of May,” so there is that to go on. It was also previously not showing up on the website when it was out of stock the first time, but now it is again. That leads me to believe that it could be stocked at any time. So, now I am reduced to checking every hour to see if it pops up.

A similar item was in stock, then out of stock, then magically appeared as in stock, only to be out of stock less than 6 hours later. It wasn’t what I really wanted, but seriously debated the purchase as it was close and did I want to risk waiting for the other one I really wanted? I decided to wait. Which might pay off, but the waiting is excruciating.

I just want to give them my money. Why do they refuse to take it? Hell, I’ll even pre-order it, but they won’t even accept that either.

So, I am left to checking the website….OFTEN…in hopes that it suddenly appears in stock.

Frustrating and exciting at the same time. Know what I mean?

Sprung

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Sorry for being (mostly) MIA this week.

A major project and presentation was sprung on me two days ago and I had/have less than nine days to get ready for it. Oh, and that also means I have to prep for it and plan it while still doing the rest of my job.

Sure, I have a team to help with it some, but in order to have them help I have to have interim meetings along the way…which means planning for those meetings…

Thankful for a job, but hating it these days.

Registered?

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Lots of companies want you to register the product you purchased. Probably so they can track you or something, but hopefully it is because they want to provide you with excellent customer support when the product breaks or malfunctions or something.

Why then, if they want you to do this, does it have to be so difficult?

I went to the Ryobi website to register a product and to make sure the warranty was going to be there if needed. I signed into my account and the very first thing I noticed was that EVERY page I went to the “live chat” box popped up, even after closing it. Annoying…

When I finally got to the product registration page and inputted the model number, the correct product doesn’t come up. WTH? I searched through everything that was suggested and they were the right type of tool, but not even close to the correct model.

So, I had to use the “live chat” after all…only to have to agree to have them send me an email so they could get all the pertinent product details and then they would register the product for me and confirm via email that it was done.

I am still waiting for that email.

Again, this is a large tool company. It’s their website.

Think it should work correctly? Think it is good customer service to have the customer go to your website and then they can’t do the thing they were directed to do on the website in the first place?

Not even remotely.

I hope I get a satisfaction survey…

Project list

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Who else has a seemingly never ending project list at work?

I kid you not, every time I finally get to knock a project off my list three more get added. Or, let’s put it this way…every time I get close to the surface and can actually start treading water something grabs me and pulls me farther underwater.

Yes, I know I shouldn’t be complaining – job security and all.

But there is a point where you just feel like if they add one more you are going to break. Luckily, I am still working from the garage-office (or garoffice, if you will) and I can literally scream or yell when I need to. It really does let off steam, and it is slightly more productive than throwing office products.

They just keep piling it on and I am just lining it up. Deadlines? HA! I scoff at deadlines. You can’t keep piling this stuff up and think that deadlines are going to be met. When the work whistle goes off, I go home (well, I am already home so picture me turning off the light and walking out).

Anyway, how are you doing today? Do you have an overwhelming list of things to do, or are you good? Got good balance at work?

Commiserate with me. Spill your tactics for dealing with that overwhelming work load.

Sirius-ly annoying

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Does it astound you how companies or corporations or whatever you wanna call them when they assume the customer is stupid? Does it astound you that they don’t realize in today’s world that there are other options that you, as the customer, have when it comes to entertainment? It frustrates me. Gets me all pissy, and stuff. Guess I am in the right place…

So, the subscription to SiriusXM is up in my car. Well, in another month, but basically I have gotten the renewal notice already. Knowing there is a “game” to play with these companies I called and went through the stupid hassle again. The whole point here is that as the customer we shouldn’t have to play the game in order to get the best deal. Sirius-ly.

When I got the car I had and used the free trial. When the trial was up I cancelled the service. I wasn’t going to pay $20+ a month for radio in my car when I can literally get it for free or use whatever streaming service I have on my phone. Sure, there are lots of choices available via the service but they a pretty much the same as the apps I can get on my phone and they are actually better than listening to the regular radio because there are no (or rarely) commercials. So there is some give and take when it comes to features.

After about eight months and multiple offers at different pricing tiers, SiriusXM finally hit one I couldn’t pass up. It was better than some of the streaming services on the phone, Amazon, and Apple. So, for just over $6 a month I felt it was worth it. After a year at that price, and a pandemic going on, they offered another year of the service at the same price. Of course I accepted it have enjoyed it more since used it nearly every day while working from home.

Now, two years later, its that time to renew again.

I did the messaging online and long story short, they didn’t offer me the same deal to start with. They instead offered just six months and then back to their “regular” price.

Uh, I just said if I wasn’t going to get the same price I was going to cancel. Did you not believe me?

So I told them to cancel it.

Oh, wait, suddenly now the same price is available again…weird…

No, not really. They just like to yank people’s chains hoping you’re stupid enough to pay any attention to the deal you’re getting. It’s irritating. Sirius-ly.

Anyway, I renewed at the same price I have gotten for the last two years. Do you supposed since I have had the price for three years that it should now be the “regular” price?

Probably not. And I’ll have to cancel again next year.

Or not.

Highway robbery

This is my first foray into the prescription drug market in quite some time. I don’t like what I see, or felt, when I went to pick it up.

This all, of course, stems from the ear infection that I have been dealing with since the Apple Airpods Pro 2 decided to tear up my ear canals. Thanks, Apple. I appreciate finding out that I am now allergic to my expensive earphones’ silicone ear tips. You can read all about that at the link above.

So, the day I went to the doc to confirm what I already knew, they prescribed some ear drops to help with the paid and clear up the ear canal. The prescription was sent to the pharmacy and I waited about four hours before going in to pic it up. It is rarely available immediately, so there was no point in rushing in to get it. I waiting in line for 20 minutes only to find out the prescription wasn’t ready and I would have to go back the following afternoon because they “were out of the product.”

I was a little EAR-itated…but I had already been dealing with it for a couple days so no biggie. I waited 24 hours and went back.

It took the gal a little while to get the whole thing ready to go once I presented my info and insurance card. The pharmacist came over took a look and asked if I had any questions (seriously? They are ear drops. I haven’t forgotten where my ears are!).

Finally the gal says, “That’ll be 150.”

I was like, “1 dollar and fifty cents?”

She replied, “No, $150. It’s kind of an expensive co-pay.”

My reply, “Holy crap! Are there gold flecks in the drops? What makes them so expensive?”

She says, “I am not sure, but probably the brand.”

I debated letting my ears just deal with it. I mean, who really needs ears anyway, right?

I forked over the credit card (don’t get all judgy…the credit card is treated like a debit card for the rewards) and waited patiently for the transaction to be done.

When I got out to the car I opened the paperwork that was in the bag. The picture at the top of the blog is what the ACTUAL cost of the eardrops would have been had I not had insurance. My drug co-pay isn’t that great, so I was prepared to pay some dollars, but not this prepared.

I am a little stunned. Well, actually, not really.

You hear about this stuff all the time, but this is the first time I have experienced it. There is literally no reason for the cost of this tiny little vial of liquid other than because the drug companies have absolutely no checks and balance on they way the industry works.

Sure, I am a proponent of the free-market, capitalist society. But we all know there is a serious issue with the way the medical industry works. Scalping? Gouging? Inflation? Unfair practices? Most certainly all of those.

After I am done using the drops in my ear, I might just drink the rest of the liquid – even though it says it isn’t for internal consumption. I sure as hell and going to get every dollars worth of value out of that thing. One way or another.