Watch what?

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I am currently watching Yellowstone on the Peacock.

I LOVE that show.

But, what shall I watch once I am caught up with the episodes? I need a new show to watch.

Tell me what you’re watching, why you’re watching it (as in, what is appealing about it), and why you think I should watch it?

Unhappy returns

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The time has come and I am not liking it whatsoever. Mostly because I feel it is so unnecessary. I can literally do this anywhere in the world and having an office, a cubical, is the most unwanted and unnecessary thing in the world right now.

Tomorrow, I have to start going back to the office.

The telecommute policy has been expanded, but that still means I am going to have to go back to the office on an average of two, sometimes three, days a week, depending on the month and various other activities that need in-person attendance.

Of course, we all now know that nothing really requires an in-person presence since we have been away from the office for 15 months straight and we have been doing our job completely and totally without fail for that time.

As you can probably assume, or tell, I am not stoked about this in any way.

Predictable intrusion

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You didn’t have to be a fortune teller to see this stuff coming.

Those people who predicted that Animal Farm or 1984 would come true (you know, the ones labeled as conspiracy theorists) apparently weren’t so far off, as the government has, and continues, to be in close contact with social media giants in order to “control narratives,” direct information, kill truth, and thus subjugate the population as it continues it’s bent on thought control. Obviously, the media itself has been in on the whole thing too, but then we already knew that.

The Biden administration confirmed that they are indeed coming after your free thought, the ability to ask questions and be skeptical, and truth in general as they seek to bury anything that doesn’t fit with their narrative. It even doubled down on Friday by saying, essentially, that your freedom of speech and free thought didn’t matter if it didn’t fit with the information they want you to have.

I have seen that the government is exploring the possibility of injecting themselves (see what I did there?) into your private text conversations to also combat misinformation. Though they deny that is really the intention, it can’t be too far off if they are battling people making choices of their own free will to not get the vaccine.

Soon, there will be people showing up at your door (if you aren’t vaccinated) to lecture you on the need to get vaccinated. As the Biden admin and Dr. Fauci state, it’s not the government doing this but “trusted” community activists who will be at your door to harass you. No, they aren’t government goons yet, but that could be down the road when you choose not to follow the silly government restrictions for operating your business or whatever.

I supposed life will continue to get uncomfortable for those who like to think skeptically and for themselves. The effort being put forth to control where you go, what you do, how you do it, and when you do it OR what you say, when you say it, how you say it, and where you say it is totally unprecedented in our history.

If you believe that the government (no matter who is in control) has your best interest in mind, your are sadly mistaken.

Only YOU have your best interest in mind and if you are letting others control what you believe and how to believe it, then you will lose your ability to have your best interest in mind.

You are giving up control and you won’t get it back.

Authentication frustration

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Frustration level has reached CRITICAL. I am having a hard time balancing the internal coolants and I just might blow a top, a gasket, a lid, a …

So, yesterday I upgraded my phone from an iPhone 8 Plus to an iPhone 12 Pro. That part isn’t the frustrating part.

The frustrating part is all the apps that have to be logged back into and set back up and all that jazz that goes with having a new device. BUT, there is one big issue that has been caused by doing this and it is creating a huge roadblock!

The issue – two factor authentication.

Good lord, what a nightmare!

I have two work apps that are used for two factor authentication. Both have to be set back up on the new device. The guy who does the usual setup is on vacation until next week, meaning I am going to have to wait to get help with the setup and I’ll have some limited access to things that are part of my job until it is done. Obviously, that’s an issue.

Also, I am now locked out of my Instagram account…because of two factor authentication. I have two factor authentication set up on my account to keep from being hacked, but what Instagram doesn’t tell you when you set it up is that it MAY or MAY NOT work as it should. What it is supposed to do is send a text message to the phone number used to set up the account. So, when you go to log in, it shows you the number it is sending to but the text message is never sent. I have tried over and over and I get all kinds of other two factor authentications via text, so why it isn’t working is beyond me. Included in that two factor authentication set up is the ability to get recovery codes for when the text message doesn’t work. Great, except the codes don’t work either. I have 5 unused codes from when set it up and none of them have managed to get me back into my account.

Even more frustrating, try finding a place to get “tech support” for these issues. That’s a freaking circus in and of itself! The website is of little help. There is no help in the “reset password” email (especially if it takes you right back to the two factor authentication screen).

I am telling you, two factor authentication is a pain in the ass.

I have finally managed to file a support ticket/report with Instagram/Facebook, but it was tough finding the place to do it. So far, it has produced no results as I go through the process.

Let me tell you, if I get back into my account, I am turning that two factor thing off ASAP. What a freaking nightmare…

Totally makes you rethink upgrading your devices now…

The fine print

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Don’t you just hate it when businesses offer something to their customers, only to find out “the fine print” would exclude you from receiving the offer?

Over the last couple of days I have been considering an upgrade on my cell device, an iPhone 8 Plus. I have done my research and I am ready to make the leap and upgrade to an iPhone 12 Pro. I have been watching the sales, the promotions, and looking at a different carrier so see if that would make a difference in the offer. I am currently with AT&T, and honestly I haven’t had any issues with them other than the cost, which seems steep in comparison to some of the others at the moment.

Anyway, I finally decided to pull the trigger after talking to one of the people at the phone kiosk in Costco. They told me that I could get the iPhone 12 Pro, 256GB, for only about $15/month with a trade-in of my current phone. That basically worked out to about an $800 trade-in value for my 8+. WOW! That’s a pretty good trade, which I have never done in the past because it just wasn’t worth that much and I could get more from selling it myself. Trigger pulled…I started the process.

So, I spend about an hour with the guy and we were most of the way done with the process and then I got, “Oh, wait, I didn’t see in the fine print of the ad that you have to upgrade your phone plan. Are you wanting to do that today too?”

WTF.

Is it “bait & switch”? I don’t really know, but it sure feels like it.

Why the hell do these phone companies give deals to new customers but really don’t care much about retaining their current customers? That is what really rubs me the wrong way. They do very little to incentivize you staying with them. There is no loyalty program – I’ve been their cellular customer for probably close to 20 years. No discounts or special upgrade deals for those who have been with the company for a long period of time.

Ultimately, I am going to end up doing what I have always done. Upgrade and then sell my current device privately.

It could have been so easy, except for that fine print. That fine print always makes easy not easy. It gets you every time.

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?