Towel throwing

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At what point do you just, “Throw in the towel?” Literally, if we throw the towel into the washing machine we don’t know if it will actually get cleaned or not.

At the beginning of March, we bought a Kenmore washing machine from Costco.com. It wasn’t the cheapest model, but it also wasn’t the most expensive. We decided that we didn’t really need something fancy, but one with “triple action” agitation without the agitator sounded good. We had it delivered, mostly because they would haul the old machine away at no charge and then I wouldn’t have to do it.

The new Kenmore washer didn’t work correctly from the very beginning. No matter what I did to it to try and “balance” it, it sounded like there was a body inside of the machine and that it was bouncing around inside the laudry room. When I finally did get it close to balanced it squeaked and squealed like a pig getting chased around it’s pen. It was taking two, sometimes three, “Drain & Spin” cycles to get a load dry enough to even put into the dryer.

I called the repair service. Mind you, this was a new washer and it was only two months into it.

The first guy came out and said it was the drive belt and clutch. Ordered parts. Service is covered by warranty.

Parts arrived. Second guy comes out and says the first guy didn’t actually diagnos the issue correctly and the parts that were ordered weren’t needed. Second guy dug into the machine and said, “I have been doing this a lot of years and I have never seen this part (can’t remember which one he said) in that color. I am going to replace it.” Luckily, he had several parts in his van that he said needed repaired. He left and it supposedly was repaired.

The very next load run through it again sounded like someone was in the machine. Stopped the load, tried to balance it out (which by appearances it looked fine), still banging. More loads. More banging and squealing.

So, today after work, I get to unhook the thing and haul it back to the local Costco.

I have no idea what the plan is to replace it.

Perhaps running water and some rocks in the backyard.

Clueless Chris

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It’s interesting that there are people doing jobs for others and they have no actual idea what the person they are working for does. A while back I mentioned that I was having “retirement envy” and that I was starting to wonder how I was doing on progression towards that goal (an evaluation) and possibly planning for the future. I have an acquaintance/ friend that I have known for a long time and it was my understanding that he did financial planning, as well as insurance sales.

Well, I called and booked an appointment and talked with whomever was answering phones, a guy named Chris. He didn’t get a lot of info from me (didn’t even ask my last name) and didn’t really even ask what it was that I wanted to meet about. I let him know with the initial phone call I was looking at financial planning for retirement. He booked the appointment.

I got a call today to confirm the appointment and when I confirmed that I would be there, I again mentioned that I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to bring to the appointment. He said he would find out because he wasn’t sure. He called back and told me to bring documentation for insurance comparison. I let him know that isn’t what I was coming in for. That I wanted financial planning. I asked if I had misunderstood what services were being offered. Again, he didn’t know and was going to ask his boss.

Huh.

You would think that if you work there you would have some understanding of what your boss does and what services are offered.

Needless to say, the first impression of the office person isn’t a good one. Clueless Chris may be hurting the business if the communication is this clumsy about what services are offered by the office he works in.

I have a feeling the meeting this afternoon is going to get cancelled as I am not exactly looking for insurance (well, maybe some additional life insurance, but that isn’t high priority) at this point.

“Back order”

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Took my car in for service today. It was actually needed before the long drive over the holiday, but timing just didn’t work well. Before I left for vacation, I set up the appointment for when I got back. That works out to just about two weeks before the the appointment.

The appointment is the scheduled 45k mile checkup. This is the one recommended by the manufacturer. So I expected, given the lead time, that there would be no issues in completing the work needed for this appointment. As a business, I expected they would have all the stuff they needed for the appointment lined up before the appointment. That would be good customer service – so that it is all done in one trip.

I guess I expected too much.

They don’t have the air filter needed for my car. This is the dealership, mind you.

It’s the whole, “We’re having a hard time getting parts” and “Everything is back ordered” and “Come back another day and we can just slap that thing in” and “We’ll have it by 3:00 (later) today.”

So now I need to make a second trip over here because you didn’t check to see if you had all the parts needed for this very specific check up?

That’s not good customer service.

Good grief.

Anyone else experienced this whole “back order/supply chain” excuse lately? That seems to be a pretty standard answer when a business can’t delivery on the services they are selling. Is this REALLY that bad of an issue or are businesses just using it as crutch?

Kind of like the whole “national coin shortage”? There is’t one really. Business seems pretty normal to me.

Am I being unreasonable? Should I give grace for something like this when there was time to prepare or give me a head’s up before the appointment?

When it don’t

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Yesterday. Yesterday was a challenge. Well, not the whole day, but a part of the day that mattered more than the rest, if that makes sense.

Like most people who are working from home these days, Zoom or Teams or whatever video conferencing platform you use is kind of an essential part of your job. Meeting with clients, meeting with your supervisors/teammates/co-workers, or meeting with potential clients is something that typically needs to be done several times throughout the day.

Yesterday, I was co-hosting a meeting (a training) with clients and the challenges of the day started shortly after the meeting began.

First, the video started to freeze and the sound was choppy. Then the internet just dropped altogether.

Gone. Kicked outta the meeting.

I frantically tried to reconnect, and within a minute or two I am back in the meeting. Apologies to my co-worker and clients.

15 minutes later I am dropped again.

This time, after waiting for over 5 minutes to get a signal back, I find there just is no internet at all. Damn. Wait several minutes, still no internet. Wait several more minutes, look to see if there is internet by staring at the router. It says there is WiFi, but of course that just means it is broadcasting not that there is data being transferred.

I tell my phone to stop using WiFi and then log into the Xfinity app. Sure enough, internet is down for maintenance in the area. Affected customers is between 51-500. “Expected restoration of services…” is an hour and a half. Seriously?

How about a little warning? Or, better yet, if this was an unexpected outage, how about a text message with info letting me know this info without me having to become a detective for the internet signal?

Thankfully the outage didn’t last as long as they estimated. The internet came back and I logged back into the meeting after 30 minutes. It appeared that I might get kicked from the meeting again after 20 minutes, but apparently they figured out something and I was able to co-host as expected.

The internet is obviously a necessity these days, especially when it comes to work.

But, when it don’t work, it don’t work. And neither do you.

Ongoing saga

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Comcast/xFinity has some real nerve. Obviously, there is always an issue with the cost of their service. Too high for too little. That has never been in doubt. But, if you saw an earlier post (Thieving) about the issue I was having with their billing, well the saga continues…

So, brief catch-up if you haven’t read the other post. Comcast decided randomly that it wouldn’t accept payment from my bank. They have done so for years but suddenly have decided the payment last month wasn’t going to be accepted. Instead of notifying me of an issue, they just said I hadn’t made the payment and said my account was “past due.” My bank says and has proven the payment was made and accepted by Comcast (thus, money was deducted from my account.) Now you are caught up.

I have made several calls the Comcast and navigated their stupid automated system over and over to get to a live representatives, who quite frankly don’t know squat. I was told the first time I needed to get confirmation from my bank that the payment was made.

I did so. It wasn’t the “right” kind of verification.

So, I was finally able to get through to Comcast payment services who said that they did receive a payment couldn’t (read wouldn’t) apply it because they needed some kind of verification because it was paid by a “virtual credit card.” Say what? I am using the bill payer service from my bank and the payment is made electronically to their system. There has never been an issue before. They don’t me to contact my bill payer service at the bank to get the specific authorization they needed.

I contacted the bank. They did their research and communicated directly to Comcast with the information. Comcast’s response? The customer has to provide the proof.

#$%&#$$@!!!!

Listen, Comcast, I authorized the bank to pay you. You have an agreement with the bank to accept electronic funds payments. You have been accepting said payments for years. Now, you won’t accept the payment and want me to authorize a payment the bank made on my behalf?

What the F’n crack you smoking over there?

I haven’t yet sent the proof to Comcast yet, but I’ll let you know if need a couple of you to accompany me down the the office to voice my literal displeasure in doing business with them.

How about a peaceful protest involving some windows and flipped cars? I feel like burning something down.

Accountablity

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What are your thoughts about holding someone accountable?

Situation: Someone tells you that they will do something (or have something done, like a service) but it will involve several people for it to be seen through to completion. As the agreed upon service is unfolding, it is clear that its going to get screwed up because there are multiple people involved with several different parts to coordinate to make it happen.

What do you do at this point?

  1. Deal with the individual parts and let it play out, hoping it is done correctly.
  2. Go straight to the person who set the whole thing in motion and make sure they are coordinating the various pieces so the outcome is successful.
  3. Let it all go to crap and then hope it can clean it up after.

Being a planner, I think you know which way I would go here. But, I really want to know…what do you think is the best way to approach this?

Do you let the person who promised something hold on to that accountability, or do you take it on yourself?

Warranty Department

fashion hand hurry outfit

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Continuing the saga from yesterday

With a phone number and instructions to have tools, batteries, and chargers on had when I call the number, I called this morning to make sure that I was calling during East coast hours.

The call was answered by a machine and the instructions were the same as I received in my call yesterday. Then it proceeded to read back my phone number and ask if I would like a call back when someone to handle my call was available, if so, press 1.

1

And now I wait? Until when? It’s been two hours so far. Am I just supposed to wait all day by the phone, in the garage, staring at the tool that doesn’t work?

So, the saga continues…

 

Morning flight

man walking on the road holding black luggage during sunset

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Travel day has arrived! To say that I am excited might be an understatement. Sun, baseball, buddies, beer, food,…yeah, it’s gonna be a blast.

Unfortunately, the start hasn’t been completely smooth.

I left the house one time and got the the airport exactly as anticipated. Grabbed the small suitcase, pulled up the handle for better handling while rolling, and headed to check in for my flight. I was checking the bag (it’s free) so I didn’t bother to check in early.

I got to the kiosk, checked in, and went to put the handle down on the suitcase and it won’t go down…like not move, at all….I pushed. I shoved. I pulled. I pounded. I tried finessing it. NOTHING. It isn’t moving. Great.

I am not unpacking this thing to see if I can get the bars for the handle to move from the inside. Oh, and I didn’t happen to bring my hacksaw with me so I can’t cut the dang thing off.

I asked the luggage people what I should do. They said, “We’ll still check it.” REALLY? Thank goodness!

Stress melted away.

Coffee is being consumed and I am waiting to board my flight. Let’s hope that is the only challenge faced during this trip.

 

Obligation

gray box with silver ribbon

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I hate feeling obligated.

I hate feeling obligated to leave a tip at a restaurant if the service I received was just part of the ordering process. It’s one thing to leave a tip for a server and personal interaction. It is another thing to leave a tip for someone who took an order from behind a counter. I just won’t do it.

I hate feeling obligated to go out of my way for a family just because “we’re family.”

I hate getting invitations to an event and feeling obligated to go because someone has invited me.

I hate feeling obligated to eat the last cookie in the cookie jar because it is probably lonely.

I hate feeling obligated to do things for co-workers. I especially hate being invited to the wedding of a co-worker (by the co-worker, of course) I don’t particularly like all that much. I hate feeling obligated to go to the wedding because “everyone” (or nearly everyone) will be there. Look, just because you are a co-worker, doesn’t mean I want to hang out with you or celebrate your special moments with you outside of the workplace. We just aren’t that close and we never will be. So, I hate having the feeling obligation when it comes to attending this event.

How do I solve such a dilemma?

I’ll just stop having feelings. I am pretty good at that. No feelings? No feeling of obligation.

Done. Solved.

 

Stepped in it

agriculture animal cattle close up

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I made the mistake of working with a client on an issue that was outside of my knowledge wheelhouse. It really wasn’t that big of a deal and should have been an easy solve for those who are more knowledgeable than I in this particular area. However, as it turns out, not only am I a “middle guy” but so is the client. So you have two middle guys passing information back and forth only to have two larger organizations duking it out above us as they blame the issue for each other.

As such, I was trying to keep my head down and just play my part in passing along information.

Well, as I was following up on this issue this morning (I hadn’t heard anything for several days, going back to last week), I found out that there were at least three other people involved, but didn’t now know that because I wasn’t included in the follow up emails as the issue continues to cause problems.

To add even more confusion, one of my colleagues who was trying to be helpful (though she often steps where she shouldn’t) saw an email in our customer support account that wasn’t addressed properly and started an completely new client ticket before looking to see if there was history on the issue. Now, the issue is in giant CF mode!

I didn’t want to deal with this issue in the first place, so I am going to do what anyone else in my position would do when they venture onto the farm and promptly step into a big pile of B*LLSH#$%…pass it to a colleague who should have been dealing with it in the first place.

Now, I need to find a rag to wipe off my shoes.