Archive | January, 2022

What is this “Customer Service”. . .

28 Jan

. . .of which you speak?

I started my “life of crime” working in Customer Service for Ma Bell. Other than not being able to handle business phones, I took care of whatever came in on my line. Moving? I can handle a “T & F” (To and from) with no problem. Question about your bill? I can explain it. Need an extension in another room. I can schedule that, too.

I went to work for a major bank after my firstborn came along, and again was in customer service. Stop payments? Over drafts? Balances? Last five checks? Not a problem.

Later on, I worked for one of the Blue insurance companies. Again, we knew how to handle everything that came along. How many hospital days do I have left? Do you cover physical therapy? Why didn’t you pay for the meals I ordered in from the restaurant? Not a problem.

There was a day when you could call a company and tell the operator “I need to discuss whatever; could you please connect me to the proper department?” and wonder of wonders, she did exactly that.

Now everything is these bloody phone trees. Press one for this and two for that. Or worse yet, they want you to say something. “Pay a bill.” “Claims.” And then the metallic voice says, “I didn’t get that.” You know what I think? They just want you to go away and not bother them! “We have more important things to do than actually interact with pesky customers.”

I HATE Computers!

26 Jan

My mum died in 2011 and I am still going through her stuff. She was a hoarder, and I am a procrastinator, which is a pretty bad combination. I found a bar pin with her initials – AJP – and thought I’d take a chance and put it on Freecycle. I took a picture of it, but now my cellphone won’t “Bluetooth” with my computer. OK. I’ll just download it to The Squire’s computer and send it to myself.

His computer won’t send it, saying there is a “Permanent Error”. Lovely. I tried posting it from my own account, but using his system, and none of my email addresses show up.

He gets funny videos and such from a high school classmate, and I have frequently asked him to send them to me, so I can share them or post them here. Last night I tried to forward one and it bounced back. Apparently, I don’t exist.

The Squire tried to correct all of this, but Comcast is being uncooperative, to put it mildly. He was involved in a “chat” with their IT department, which never ends well, and they promised yesterday afternoon that somebody would call him back within a half an hour. So far, nada.


Calamity Jane Reporting In

23 Jan

Where to start?

I did check in with my GP and he told me I had gotten the shingles vaccine, but it is obviously possible to have a breakthrough case. There is a new, two-step vaccine on the market, and he recommended I get that, but I have to wait 90 days, so I just hope I stay out of trouble until Apil.

Our church dates back to 1724 on the current location – it was actually established in 1692 by Queen Anne of England – and back in 2017 we restarted our Colonial Fairs, renamed as Historic Fall Festivals. I managed to celebrate the occasion by getting a stress fracture in my left foot, and it has bothered me ever since. The last job I had involved a lot of walking and even though I wore tennis shoes most of the time, by Thursday I was nearly in tears. The Squire called the podiatrist, and his office was able to squeeze me in on Friday. One x-ray later, I am wearing a surgical boot and under strict orders, both from the doctor and The Squire, to keep off my feet. Well, I don’t have to tell anybody how that is working out, do I?

The abovementioned job ended on Thursday, so I am hoping to catch up a little bit. The dust bunnies are getting aggressive, and I owe about a dozen people letters and notes.

The Squire is doing well. Our GP is very, very pleased with his blood levels, so that’s good. He is taking Trulicity, and all I can say is, it’s a darned good thing we have a good health insurance policy. That stuff is PRICEY! We could never afford it if we didn’t have a prescription program. America so desperately needs a national health program. I wonder how much people in other countries have to shell out for this stuff?

And that’s the news from this end of the swamp.

A Wash!

17 Jan

Yesterday’s fancy snowstorm was literally a “washout”. It snowed hard for about four hours – we got about an inch, if that – and then it started to rain. We went to bd around 9:30, and it was not looking good. This morning, there is nothing to show we ever had snow. However, it is very, very windy! I’m just waiting for something to land on the house.

It’s Snowing Hard as Rain!

16 Jan

We are just now having out first real snow of the season, and depending upon which station you believe, we are going to get three to five inches, or it will turn to rain before morning, and we’ll have a right mess. It started about 4:00, so I went out to feed all of the critters around here before things got out of hand. It’s the sort of snow that you can’t really see; it just looks foggy until you step out into it.

And thereby hangs a tale.

The Late and Unlamented insisted on being in charge of the money in our house. And I mean in charge. When I had suggested – assumed, really – we’d have a joint checking account, he looked at me as if I’d grown a second head. “I never heard of such a thing!” I certainly had – my parents had a joint account all of their married life. “Well, your mother always was crazy.” Okey-dokey. As a result, if I wanted anything at all I had to ask him for it. He insisted on going with me to the grocery store and questioning every item I put in the cart. Later on, he began giving me $35 every two weeks for groceries (this was in the mid-60s) and making me write down what each charge on the tape was for. Anything I couldn’t account for, he wanted me to pay him back.

One night, we were shopping at Polan’s, a long-gone store in Bel Air – a sort of cross between Walmart and a five-and-dime – when The Eldest Daughter came running from the front door, to announce “It’s snowing hard as rain! Do you think I can get a pair of real boots?”

The L & UL threw his cigarette on the floor, stomped on it, and began to yell. “Every time I think I’m going to have a few dollars to myself, you or that brat decide you want something!” Tina buried her face in my stomach, and everybody in the area turned to look at him.

Mind you, at the time, the poor child was wearing two pair of woolen socks and two bread bags when she went out because I wasn’t working, and somebody couldn’t afford to give up his beer and smokes. A friend finally gave me a pair of boots her son had outgrown.

And yes, he died a natural death.

Never a Camera

16 Jan

We have been inundated with starlings and grackles. Normally, they don’t show up en mass unless we have snow covering the ground, but they seem to have made an exception this season.

Yesterday, a red winged black bird landed at the feeder scattering all of the little birds. While he was gorging himself on seeds, a sparrow flew down – and began pecking the blackbird on the head! Defeated, or simply bewildered, the blackbird decamped, and the smaller birds flew back and continued eating.

Out of the Frying Pan

14 Jan

I finally gave up on my poison ivy, and Sunday afternoon I took myself down to the local Doc-in-a-Box for a look-see.

I have shingles.

Frankly, I’d rather have poison ivy. This will probably last longer, but at least it isn’t contagious. The doctor gave me a prescription for a steroid cream and some pills, and they seem to be working. At least I don’t have to keep changing the bed clothes to keep from spreading “the itch”.

You Have What?

9 Jan

Nobody gets poison ivy in the middle of the winter!

Except me.

I have no idea how I got it, but I have a nasty patch on my right arm, about three inches above my wrist. I’ve tried pretty much everything I can think of to stop the itching – calamine lotion, Oxyfresh Pro Relief (a sort of industrial-strength Ora-Gel), a mixture of powdered aspirin and hand lotion, and plain old laundry bleach. I even had the druggist did around in the back for some sort of poison ivy cream. Nada.

If anything, it’s getting worse. Instead of “simply” itching, it has become painful to touch. I’ll probably end up at a Doc-in-a-Box before the day is over.