Monday, November 30, 2009

Verizon Still Sucks...but Tom Doesn't.

Had to call Verizon again today...more billing issues. *Groan* Blessedly, though, the person on the other end of the line was a man named Tom in Tucson. Tom is clearly the most intelligent person in Verizon's customer service team. He actually figured everything out, explained it in a way I can understand, and, most importantly, took care of the issues. He didn't even transfer me. Not once.

I love Tom. I hope he gets what he wants for Christmas. He deserves it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Tips from Tech Support

(see Tips From Tech Support if you have not already done so)

Today's crazy making (and here I am, only on my lunch break!)

As I said in tip one before, presumably you call tech support because we know more than you do. So stop arguing with us already!

Do not argue with me over security policies. I will not risk my job and make an exception for you. You are not that special.

Do not hack the operating system of your device and then call me and complain that things are not working like they should. It is your fault. I cannot fix it. Or you.

And, finally, this self-mutilation-inducing call (as usual, details obscured to protect my Superhero Identity):

My Toyota doesn't seem to be running very well.
Oh, I am sorry to hear that. I assume you put unleaded, regular fuel in the tank?
Well, no, actually I used some diesel fuel that I had leftover from my Peterbilt.
Sir, diesel fuel is not going to work in your Toyota.
Yes, it will! See, diesel fuel is this neat stuff that makes my Peterbilt run and it's really great and so I am using it with the Toyota. It worked for a little while...before it stopped working.
Sir, we are familiar with diesel fuel. It will not work in your Toyota.
But it-
Sir, we do not support the use of diesel fuel in your Toyota. You NEED to use unleaded, regular fuel.
Well, I guess I can try that...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Why Verizon Sucks

(I don't normally say 'sucks' but in this case, I can't find a better word! Worse words follow, FYI)

After spending hours and hours on the phone with Verizon, I think I have a good handle on why they suck. My experiences are as follows:
When I found out that I would be working from home (yay!) I phoned to ask them to upgrade my internet and add a landline. Since they are a telecommunications company, one would think this would be simple, but no...I was given a waiting period of WEEKS. Seriously? They couldn't explain except to say that an actual repairman had to come out. This made no sense, after all, I already had internet, and you can't tell me that no one who ever lived here had a landline. But I wouldn't want them to argue if they called MY company and I told them to stand on their head while pushing 'back'. So I waited.

On October 2, the repairman came to my house...and left...after doing nothing. He said the orders didn't make sense, he couldn't complete them, and told Nate to tell me to 'call the office.' Easier said than done! What office? What number? What do I ask?

I spent THREE HOURS that afternoon on the phone with at least seven people, hung up on twice, transferred innumerable times, and generally becoming convinced that Verizon has a maximum IQ for their employees. No one could figure out what was going on, give me any answers, or get anything taken care of. THREE HOURS, during which I was supposed to be working, but could not. After WEEKS of commuting to the site when I should have been working from home (it turns out all they needed to do was flip a couple switches...seriously). After that three hours, a supervisor named Cindy in St. Louis promised to call me after my bill came out to discuss compensating me for the hell they had put me through.

Today I was balancing my checkbook and found that Verizon had taken money from my acct. They are not supposed to do that. I have never received a bill, like I am supposed to and Cindy never called. So I just spent another hour on the phone with seven more people, none of whom were very helpful. And during that call I found that I had been OVERCHARGED as well. Nice news!

Here is what I have learned:
Verizon associates have no insight into their own company. Each associate can only see into your account as far as their own duties reach. So, for instance, if someone is a weekend worker in the phone department, they can only see enough to facilitate weekend emergencies with your phone, even if they are, say, working on a Monday morning. If someone is in the internet department, they cannot see that you have phone service. Now, this is a company that advertises BUNDLING. One would think that bundling would mean, you know...putting it all together.

Verizon associates cannot transfer phone calls internally. If they need to send you elsewhere, they would actually have to go through the same phone tree that you or I would have to go to, and that takes too much time and trouble, so they just dump you in there with no instructions even on which buttons to push. You never know who you will get next, and every single time you get someone, you have to start from scratch.

Verizon makes it difficult to speak to a supervisor. In the company I work for, if you ask for a supervisor, I will give you one--even if you have no good reason. At Verizon, they apparently have to type up a paper explaining why they would need to bother a supervisor.

Verizon doesn't give its associates any power. They don't get to make decisions. This would be in keeping with the maximum IQ requirement (I would guess smart associates get the hell out as soon as possible).

Verizon doesn't really care about their customers. I found the continual 'thank you for holding! you and your time are so important to us!' hold messages absolutely insulting given the experiences I have had with that company.

Now, I know my view is skewed by the fact that I work for THE company with the GREATEST customer service in this solar system. I know not all companies can be us, but can't they at least give a damn?

In my company, I can see what's going on in your account, even if has nothing to do with my job. My bosses trust me to make choices, even choices about giving away money, free product, etc. I don't have to explain myself. If you asked for a supervisor I would have one on the phone with you in a couple minutes, and that is whether you had a complaint or a compliment. If I needed to transfer you, the person I gave you to would almost always greet you by name and know why you needed to speak to them.

And we would never, EVER, make you spend three hours on the phone because of our own screw-up.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eating My Words

Tonight was promotion night at Jukido. I was sure it was too soon for Nate to get promoted--after all, he just made orange in the Spring. But I was wrong, and am now the mother of a Blue belt!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Does Our Insurance Cover Mental Health?

Normally Nate can wander in my 'office' and chat with me or ask schoolwork questions between calls. I thought I should let him know that this afternoon we are running a stress test and I won't be available. He asked me what a stress test is.
"Well, for a couple hours we are going to run at top capacity, until--"
"One of you cracks?"

Yes, son, they are performing experiments on the employees. (fyi, it's to test the equipment/systems)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

At Least Chivalry Isn't Dead

I am sitting in my bedroom/office, eating ribs and home fries. Nate is sitting in the living room, reading a book he was supposed to save for his trip this weekend. We hear a crashing noise. I say, "Do I WANT to know?"
"That didn't come from your room?"
"Good. No need to rescue you, then!" and he keeps on reading...

I still don't know what the noise was.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Over the last couple of days I have noticed that I am eating when I am not hungry, and in kind of a desperate mode, and uncomfortable, and not enjoyably at all. This is rather unusual for me, at least over the last several months.

Today I figured out why. I have not been honoring my hunger.

What has happened is that I have been lazy in the mornings. I don't cook breakfast, and instead went to having a cup of cocoa, and then eventually to having nothing at all until my first break. Then I am starving but nothing really sounds good (my first break is at 7:30 a.m.) but I try to grab something and eat it while working. Then I eat something, or maybe not, on my 'lunch' break (9:15 a.m.), and then I am overly hungry by the time I get to my second short break, and then I eat while working, and from there it just goes even further downhill.

I am not eating enough early in the day and it throws me off completely! My poor body thinks I am starving it again, and it reacts badly to that both physically and psychologically. The result is an overwhelming urge to eat even when I am not hungry.

So, I suppose I should cook up a decent breakfast before I go to bed tonight, or at the very least set my alarm a few minutes earlier so that I have time in the morning. I have to stop this cycle, or I'll just spiral down until my eating is as un-intuitive as it gets. No fun!

Italian Bean Soup

For a change of pace, I thought I would share last night's dinner with you.

Italian Bean Soup

1 lb mixed beans (I find these are cheaper in bulk. If you buy them in a bag, please throw away any nasty ham flavor packets that are included)
1 box/4 cups or so chicken broth
1 lb bulk Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 or 2 cans Italian-style diced tomatoes (or the equivalent of another kind of tomatoes)
1 large onion, diced
Generous sprinkling of Italian seasoning

Put the beans in your crockpot, pick out any stones or anything, and cover with plenty of water. Leave the crockpot unplugged but soak the beans all night.
The next morning, pour off that water. Add the remaining ingredients, if that doesn't look like enough liquid add a bit of water (you may want to wait on that, things don't dry out in the crock pot as quickly as elsewhere), and cook for a long time on low or not so long on high. Beans being what they are, the cooking time can vary.

Serve with parmesan.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If I Go Crazy, Take Two

Today's insanity-inducing call (and here I will pretend I work for iPhone. I don't, but you know the drill):

"Thank you for calling iPhone support! How can I help you?"
"I'm sorry to hear that. What can I do to help?"
"I bought one of these iPhone thingabobs and today I went to buy some movies for it. They almost all cost money! I don't understand! Why should I pay more to have a movie on my iPhone when I can get it at the library on DVD for free? The whole idea was that I could take the movie to Starbucks, and it would be easy to carry. But most of your movies cost money!"
"Well, we do have some free movies, but most movie prices are set by the studios and-"
"I know that! But these should be free! I want to watch Gone With the Wind and look, it costs 3.99!"
"I'm sorry about that, I-"
"So I checked some movies out from the library. Will they work on the iPhone?"
"Well, it depends on the-"
"Where are they?"
"Pardon me?"
"Where are the movies I got from the library?"
"Ma'am, that would depend on where you put them when you got home."
"Well, every house has a shelf to put movies on. Help me find mine!"
"Ma'am, I'm sorry, but I don't know where you put your movies. You could look around for them."
"You don't know much about houses, do you? Every house has a shelf!"
"Yes, every house has a shelf, but every house is different and-"
"You are supposed to help me! Tell me where to find my movies!"
"I'm sorry ma'am, but if you don't know where you put your movies, I really can't help you."
"I want to talk to your supervisor. You aren't any help!"

My poor supervisor. He had a very similar experience. And there were so many things I would like to have said to this customer.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Why did the walking blog disappear? Because I found that it was more trouble to post about my walking than it was to just walk! I think that is a good thing-I walk most days and I enjoy it and it isn't something I have to force myself to do anymore. But it was taking up room on here and it felt like a burden to have to post about it. So, I may still post about my walking from time to time (still looking for some sort of definitive goal) but figured I would take down the running list. Um...walking list?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Could I Have Some of What He's Smoking?

Just for fun, I read this article in our local paper, the Tri-City Herald. It's about a local guy, Chet Biggerstaff, who wants a marijuana co-op for our area. Now, I have very little in the way of opinion on medical marijuana. It's legal in this state. But what Biggerstaff (pardon...somewhere in his lineage someone HAD to have been making up for feelings of inferiority) wants to do is put a storefront on marijauna cultivation. That is shameful. More shameful is that the landlords at the Parkway have allowed him to rent space there. This would be the place where free movies are shown for kids, free concerts thrown for families, the Farmer's Market shows up every Friday for half the year...what, are we gonna let him sell pot next to the peaches? I think it's abominable.

But that isn't why I am posting. I am posting because I think this guy is hilarious. Take a look at these quotes:

"More than likely we'll open and they'll shut us down and arrest me and I'll have to deal with it in court. I firmly believe most of the people in Richland and the Tri-Cities in general are for this."

Yes, you are right. Most people may be all-for your going to jail.

Biggerstaff also claims he's been harassed by Richland officers who he says have pulled him over and come to his house on an "anonymous" tip about a marijuana grow in his backyard.
Biggerstaff said his latest harassment by officers was Oct. 23, when he was pulled over for having expired tabs on his license plate. He said he was on his way home when an officer drove past him, turned onto the next street, then sat and waited for him to drive by.
He admits his tabs were expired, but questions why so many officers were required for a traffic stop. He was not cited, just warned to take care of it. "Why have I been pulled over so many times and not cited?"Biggerstaff said he's been stopped by Richland cops two or three times, but the only other instance he could recall was when an officer said he was "changing lanes too quickly in the middle of rush hour traffic."

So, you have been harrassed by....the police doing their job following drug hotline tips...and not arresting you...and the police doing their job by pulling over people with expired license tabs...and following protocol by having more than one car at the scene (this would happen if they pulled my little white-haired granny over, it's a basic safety precaution)...and not arresting you, and not even giving you a ticket for a clear violation of the law?! Because, the last time I was pulled over for expired tabs, I got quite a whopper of a ticket! Could I please have some harrassment?

Oh, by the way, if you can't remember all the times you were pulled over? You may be smoking too much pot.