Sunday, November 22, 2009

  Gosh I'm Bad at this Blogging Thing

Seriously, how bad can I possibly be at this entire blogging thing? I keep on telling myself that I'm going to blog and I never get around to it. Mainly because I just don't feel like I ever have time anymore. It seems that for the last three weeks every single day I am rushing home from work only to have to go somewhere else, do something, pick up something. GAAAAAH! Does it ever end? I'm actually looking forward to the snow so I have an excuse for not being able to do anything else... "Oh sorry I'm pregnant and its slippery outside..." "Oh I'm sorry, my husband took the SUV and I'm not going to take the convertible out in this weather..." Yep, being pregnant has more perks then just bringing a little person into the world!

So before I get to the actual subject of this blog I thought I'd share some news with you all. I went for my ultra sound on Nov. 11th and everything is great. My baby is developing perfectly and I no longer have to call the baby "it" "lil person" or any other cute nicknames, its a GIRL! Oddly enough EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE thought I was going to have a boy but like I said, my baby just to spite everyone would come out a girl! At first I was shocked and maybe a little disappointed. I really wanted a boy first. We want 3 kids and I've always wanted the boy to be first so he could be the protective big brother but I'm very happy with my little girl. Her name is Demitra Hope Ourlastnamehere. But we will call her Demi for short.

I did a 3D ultra sound and we were able to see soooo many wonderful details from the baby. Like, I can tell you that she has my lips and she has big eyes like me. She opened her eyes for a spilt second and all 3 of us were like WOAH! Big eyes! My husband has small eyes so we knew she was looking like me! I'm totally down with that. I think I'm pretty freaking cute and apparently my baby is on the right track.

Things with work are going pretty okay as well. I still hate my co-worker and think shes a lying sack of shit but I am working well with her. I figure if my boss wants to ignore all the signs then its just not my place to step in and say something. I mean, this girl is in the early to mid 30's and constantly needs emails or telephone calls to remind her to send in expense reports, she wants to go against everything our head office says...she's just a huge pain in the ass but the way I see it...I'm going to be on mat leave by Feb 2010 and I won't have to deal with her for another 14 months. What do I care if she pisses off my replacement? Good luck to them!

Now onto the subject of this blog post: MONEY!!!

Now I totally get that times are tougher this year than other years. Our economy is in the crapper, people are losing their jobs left right and center and of course to even out the playing field everything is more expensive but is that any excuse to be living paycheck to paycheck?

I've been reading things on Facebook and other friends blogs where all the do is complain about the lack of money. It's like, "If I buy shoes that I really NEED, I won't be able to eat lunch for the next week". Um excuse me? Most people whose blogs I read and who I friend on Facebook are people who are employed full time and have been for some time now and in their mid 20's to early 30's. Didn't we already pass that paycheck to paycheck time in our lives? The times that we just made the minimum payment on our credit cards and immediately spent it after the transaction went through?

For those people who do live paycheck to paycheck, how do you handle an unexpected expense like your car breaking down, getting into a car accident and not being able to work for a few days/weeks? What if you need to take time off of work to help a sick parent? How do you handle that loss of income?

Now I'm no money guru and I'm horrible with saving money but I do it because I'd hate to be in a position where I had to choose between putting gas in my car and eating dinner. (And no I'm not being extreme in my examples, this is shit I've read!) How can you be so tight for money? How can you live in such a bind? So restricted, so...not living?

I'm 28 years old, married, and expecting my first child. I'm a homeowner, a pet owner, and we have two cars. Unexpected expenses ALWAYS happen. A trip to the vet, a car in the shop, something at the house not working 100%, renovating the basement, business expenses (husband owns his own companies) and I'm just thinking if we spent every single penny we made before we even made it how in the heck could we afford anything else? We like to shop and buy new clothes (hey I AM gaining weight slowly here), we like to buy our dog new treats and toys, we like to eat out every now and then, of course we are getting Demi's room ready and planning her baby shower...and I just couldn't imagine being happy if every penny I had was allotted somewhere. I don't think I'd be very happy if I always had to tell myself if I do one thing then I can't do another. And I'm not talking big things either here folks, its not like I'm debating between a 7 day trip to a 5 star resort or a 5 day trip to Vegas. I'm talking about either a new pair of winter boots not having lunch money for a week. Ummm? Kinda hard to decide and be happy about the decision right?

I dunno, maybe I'm crazy but I don't think that anyone in our age bracket that is employed full time should ever be in these positions!

What makes me laugh a lot is that one of the main reasons that our high school reunion turn out was so low is because people complained about the cost of the ticket. The tickets were between 64$ to 75$ depending on how early you purchased your ticket. You KNEW for 10 years that you'd have a 10 year reunion...Although we hadn't given the location to our classmates in advance we did give them an estimated price range (between 50$ to 80$ per person) and people were fine with it...or so they said. Our reunion website had like over 100 people as "attending reunion" and the actual turn out was kinda blah. When asking classmates why they didn't come their first response was "money." Wow. Oddly enough, people didn't want to pay 70$ a person for a reunion but now they want to do a 15 year reunion on a CRUISE! Yeah okay folks. You didn't want to pay less than a 100$ per person but you are going to pay upwards of 1000$ per person to be on a cruise ship for 5 to 7 days with a bunch of people you barely want to see for a few hours every 10 years? Okay.. you plan that and let me know how the turn out is okay?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

  March 2006- A Repost

So I was just on one of my blogger friends blogs The Constant Complainer and he posted a blog regarding his wife and Wal-Mart. I won't get into details since you can just read his blog post HERE. But it did remind me of a time when I got GREAT service from Best Buy. Read below!

Yes its long, but read it. It gets funnier as it goes along!

I blame my sister. Seriously, I blame my sister for wasting my entire day yesterday, March 8th. Why? Well lets see I got home on Tuesday from school exhausted and as I walk into the house I hear the clicky click sound of someone typing in the kitchen. Why would someone be typing in the kitchen? Because my sister decided to move my laptop from my bedroom to upstairs so that she could watch her stupid greek soap operas while searching "myspace". Obviously the first thing I ask her is why did she bring my laptop up stairs and shes like, "because I want to watch tv and type, its not like I did anything to the computer, I just brought it upstairs." DING DING DING! The minute Alex says, Its not like I did something, when it comes to computers be prepared to have to replace something or buy a new computer.

No, I'm not kidding. Let us look at Alex's history with MY computers shall we? The first computer of mine that she killed she somehow managed to get into the BIOS settings and turn off the computer fan causing it to overheat and it fried the hard drive. My sister, who knows NOTHING about computers other than where the power button is and how to write emails, and now surf myspace, managed to get into BIOS settings and turn off the fan. If you ask her how she did it she'll still tell you that she has no idea and that the did nothing. She was just using it and POOF there goes the computer.

So the next computer that she screws up was my brand new computer that I had bought over the summer for the house in Texas. I got bored of the one I had and asked my parents to buy me a new one so that I'd have a nice computer when I vacationed. My parents agreed and bought me a really nice computer that I used for maybe, an entire week. Alex comes back to Texas to live for a few months and she uses the computer and there is the blue screen of death. No icons, no start bar, no nothing, just a blue screen of death. How? Hell if I fucken know. I had unplugged all the parts of the computer since I wasn't in town so all Alex had to do was plug in the machine and press power. Okay so maybe that's not her fault but I'm convinced that she did something to it. I mean a computer doesn't just die because its bored someone has to kill them.

So this brings me back to Diva, my new pretty laptop. Diva travels with me to and from work every day, sometimes she goes to school with me but mainly I have the laptop for downloading and watching tv shows. I use it for fun. So I get home and there is Diva in the kitchen with Alex. Alex goes to show me something on the computer when the computer writes the message "preparing to hibernate" now I see that she didn't press a button so its not like she put the computer on sleep mode but my computer automatically goes into hibernation when the battery is low so anything you were working on is not lost. I asked her why the battery wasn't charging if she had the computer plugged in and shes like "but I didn't do anything, I was just typing on it" and I tell her "I know you were using it, that's the thing with batteries you can use it up until the point that the battery dies and that's the problem if the computer is plugged in and the outlet is working why isn't the computer getting a charge?"

Good question eh? Who wants to guess the answer? Alex somehow managed to bend the pin that goes into the laptop to charge it from the ac adaptor. She tries to tell me that I did it, but how? I wasn't home all day and if I broke it, by the time she got home from work to use the laptop the battery would have already been drained and she wouldn't have been able to use it.

So now the next day I have to go to bestbuy to get my computer fixed because I bought that lovely 3 year service agreement thingie. This is where the story gets interesting. I spent TWO hours of my life in best buy trying to get this problem solved. So I park my car, grab my laptop case and walk to the back of the store where the "geek squad" is located. I have my warranty information, best buy receipt, and service plan agreement in my hand. The guy, Vince, smiles at me and goes "that's an American warranty" and I look at him and ask him, "How'd ya know" and he tells me that the best buy flyer looks different and that even though the warranty is good in Canada, since the laptop and service agreement plan was purchased in the US that things work differently.

Whats the difference? The difference is that they want you to leave them the laptop, look at it, get an estimate, make you pay for the repairs and then when the repairs are done YOU have to fax best buy and the will reimburse you within 60 days. I'm obviously not happy about this because, why else did I pay 250$US for a warranty plan that is going to make me have to pay?

Well Vince is a nice guy, a real nice guy in fact (and not bad to look at either!) and he tells the techs there to look to see if they have a spare adaptor laying around that they can just give me and not make me have to pay for anything or wait for anything. Craig, the tech there tells me that they unfortunately do not have a spare adaptor pack and that they will have to order the part but I will have to pay for it just to get my money back. This does NOT please me. Now Philippe (another nice looking foolmaybe I should work at Bestbuy?) tells me that he also has another solution for me to be able to use my laptop. He told me to purchase this adaptor power pack that has like 6 different pin heads in order to charge the laptop and once my laptop is fixed to return it for a full refund. So now basically they are telling me that my trip to Bestbuy is going to cost me 500.00 The adaptor power pack thingy to use for the time being is 183.00 with taxes and as it turns out the replacement part for my laptop is another 300.00. So basically 500.00. Now I have the money to pay for this but what if I didn't? What if I didn't have $500 just laying around? What if I had it but couldn't afford to wait 60 days for the refund of 300? (the adaptor thingy refund would be instantly because its in store, not from corporate office). Well Philippe has ANOTHER idea. He suggests that I call the Best Buy customer service number and speak to them to see if maybe there is something that they can do for me.

This is how my FIRST phone call went. I listened to the menu options on the telephone and pressed the correct numbers. Now the options were "If you have a warranty plan with us press 2" so I pressed 2, the next thing said "if your warranty plan is for a notebook or laptop computer press 1," so I pressed one. Do you know what happened NEXT? The machine prompt said, "Please bring your laptop into a local bestbuy store so that we can fix your item" WHAT THE FUCK??????????? So I hung up and called back. This time I tricked them, I said that I wanted to buy accessories when the prompt came on and low and behold I got a real life human being. I explained to her the situation and she tells me that I should dial blah blah number and I told her I did call that stupid number and their automated prompt system sucks and that she should transfer me to a human being that can help me with my problem. She transfers me to BestBuy Corporate Consumer Office. This is where the story gets more interesting.

Picture this, I am in Bestbuy, sitting at their service counter having a coffee (thanks Vince) using their phone to complain to the corporate office. Mind you, I have no problem whatsoever with the service I am receiving in the store. Everyone there is trying their hardest in order to make me happy and they are trying to find a solution, and even they don't understand why the warranty would work differently in the US and in Canada. So I get "Sharlene" on the telephone and I explain to her the situation and she says that she is very sorry but there is nothing she can do for me, but she does have a solution to get my laptop fixed without me having to pay up front for it. Care to hear it? This crazy bitch told me to "You can bring your laptop into any US Bestbuy and have it fixed without having to pay for anything" so I politely ask her if she is well. She replies that "yes I am well" and I tell her, "Maybe you misunderstood me, I don't care how you are feeling, I'm wondering if maybe you are mildly retarded?" The guys who work at Bestbuy who are sitting with me in the customer service care area are laughing now because they seem to think I am funny. Well Sharlene gets offended and replies that "no I am not mildly retarded," to which I quickly reply that "Well Sharlene, I think you should go to a doctor to get that checked out because you must be at least mildly retarded to suggest that I go to the US in order to get my laptop repaired" (Mind you, there is a bestbuy in the US about 45 minutes from where I live but WHY would I go there? Why would I drive to the US, have my laptop inspected and then have to RETURN there the next week to pick up the replacement part?) So I tell Sharlene that I would like to speak to her supervisor, "who I hope has more than two brain cells to rub together". Sharlene replies that she will get her supervisior on the phone but that she will tell me the same thing that she told me, and I retorted, "That is fine and I will tell your supervisor that you are mildly retarded for suggesting I leave the country to get my laptop replaced!"

I am put on hold while Sharlene is trying to find her supervisor and the people in bestbuy ask me if they can have my number in case they need someone to call and bitch for them, apparently its an art that I've perfected these last 24 years. Sharlene's supervisor gets on the phone and tries to fix the situation because I'm sure that Sharlene has told her side of the story, I was on hold for like 10 minutes. I tell the supervisor, I don't remember her name, it was something stupid like Kay I think, that "you have to be fucking kidding me right? Your CUSTOMER SERVICE REP just told me to leave the country to get my laptop replaced? Do you know where Canada is? Its that big piece of gray land that is above the US on those big maps they studied in grade 4 and that I don't leave right across the street from the border" She apologized for Sharlene's retarded-ness and told me that there was nothing she could do besides what the warranty plan offers and I ask her why the warranty plans is SO DETAILED that it provides exclusions and rules for each state why they couldn't add a stupid note saying "International repairs work differently, ask for more details" Or SOMETHING. But I tell her that I have another solution, "how about I just buy this replacement adaptor that isn't HP but is compatible with it, you can refund me for that and you can take my old adaptor and shove it up your ass for all I care" She replies that "its not possible" and I ask her which part is not possible, the refunding or shoving up her ass. She replies both.

I hang up on her because by now I'm angry and I've been in the store for almost 2 hours. Craig comes back to me and tells me that he is going to try to order the part directly from HP since the warranty from them hasn't expired yet. Everything is great until they tell him that they don't ship to Canada. So I get on the phone with the HP guy and give him my work address in NY which is like 45 minutes away. One of our employees goes down to that office once a week so I am bound to get my part, and for free. So I buy the replacement adaptor thing for the time being and in 8 days when the part is in my hands I can bring this back and get my money back.

I drive back to work all happy now because I have this adaptor thingie which is compatible with my laptop and when I get to work I'll hook everything up and I'll be happy. I make one of the employees open the package for me all nice and pretty because I am going to return it in about a week. I hook everything up and its not working. WHAT? ITS NOT WORKING? I check the compatibility charge and as it turns out this thing works with MOST HP's but apparently not my exact model number. No problem right? I'll just go to Bestbuy, get a refund and see if they have another kit in stock. I get in my car and think about going back to Bestbuy but I don't want to go to the one in Marche Central again because there will be traffic going East towards Montreal but the other bestbuy in Laval will have no traffic going there. I decide to go there instead. BIG MISTAKE! I get there and I am waiting in line in the returns department and when its my turn Robert, the customer service guy, has to call to verify that all the pieces are included. His manager says "nope there is one pin missing" so I call work and make one of the employees there check the area around my desk for that piece and its not there. The manager brings a box exactly like mine up to the front and guess what there are SEVEN heads in there, but mine only has 6. Seriously this is messed up right? I take the package and go back to work thinking that I am stuck with a stupid 183 piece of crap that I can't return because I lost a piece and its useless to me because the piece doesn't fit.

I decide to go online while I'm at work, using a work computer, to look up this stupid thing online. I go to the website of the manufacturer and I see that there are two versions of this thing. One of them has 7 heads, it's the newer version, whereas the older model only have 6 heads. Not only that but its only $79.00, I paid $183. I go back to Bestbuy Laval pissssssssed off with the print out from the manufacturers website. I don't even bother waiting in line, I cut in front of everyone and demand that they call a supervisor right away. The supervisors name is Rafaki and I found humour in that. I explain to him the situation as well as the price difference, seriously, its like 100ark up! Rafaki says that he understands and that he will accept the return, let me buy the one with the 7 pins (because I checked and my laptop needs that 7th pin to make it work) and he would only charge me the 80.00 that it is for sale on the manufacturers website. Guess what? There is ANOTHER PROBLEM now! There are 2 of these things in stock and they can't find them. They aren't on the shelves, they aren't in the return bin. Rafaki gets on the intercom and demands that all of his employees on the floor search for this Kensington 70 watt AC Adaptor with 7 pins. Suddently two of them appear, the refund gets processed, I buy the new one and I make them open it while I'm still in the store. If it doesn't fit I'm not going to come back to Bestbuy for another refund and run around. It fits I get in my car and drive hom.

What an exhausting day, all because my sister doesn't know how to use a computer! So yes, I blame my sister.

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