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Two things happened today that have so ticked me off, I felt the need… - The Art of Procrastination
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Sun, May. 15th, 2005 12:31 am
Two things happened today that have so ticked me off, I felt the need to make an entry in my LJ. I am still uncertain which I’m angrier about, so I’ll simply list them chronologically.

Several weeks ago, I contacted Comcast because I could no longer stand the fact that my remote was broken. I had previously asked for a replacement from a repairman when he was here – but he refused to provide one, saying I should replace the batteries. Not having batteries in the house at the time, there was no way to prove him wrong, so he left and after replacing the batteries that didn’t need replacing, my remote still didn’t work, that is I could no longer use it for the TV or volume. When I called in, I explained that my remote was no longer working properly. After listening to their recommendation that it simply required new batteries, I insisted that it was time to send me a new frigging remote. They agreed with only two or three attempts to talk me out of putting them to the trouble.

A few weeks ago the remote came. I programmed in my VCR and TV, then the cable box. The VCR came on, the TV came on and the cable box came on. Hot damn. So I parked myself on the couch for an evening of one remote TV viewing. I wanted to cruise the guide - I pressed the button labeled guide and got the guide. Scrolled down to a show and pressed info and got info. The music came up on an advert in the background and I pressed the volume down button and the volume went down. I was a very happy camper… I went to page down through the guide and the volume went up. The page stayed the same. I scrolled to another page and found a show, I pressed enter and the channel went to the first music channel. I could have sworn I chose Law and Order, SVU. I hit guide again, found SVU, hit enter and was again listening to classic disco – something I didn’t listen to even before it became a classic. Oh well, the remote looked good in the remote basket.

I was bored this morning and called Comcast Customer Service to discuss my basic dislike of disco and ask if the they had any suggestions on how to avoid it while still using my new and improved remote. Charles asked for my account info, knew what cable box I had – I mean he knew the actual, correct cable box. He then asked which remote I had been sent and asked if I would be willing to try to reprogram it with him. Sure, I was bored, had nothing better to do. So I pressed the buttons as he instructed. After the first test of the reprogrammed remote, I was again listening to disco. I turned it way up with my page down button, so Charles could enjoy it with me. He offered to send me a new remote, or the opportunity to try reprogramming it with me one more time. I was happy to press buttons if he was willing to listen to disco. He didn’t hang up at the suggestion, so again I pressed along to Charles’ instructions. But this time the planets aligned or something because I could no longer turn the volume down by paging up and when I went into the guide and pressed enter, sadly I was watching The Care Bears Movie. The remote now worked.

I had no choice but to thank Charles. He works for Comcast and I had to THANK him! Life sucks…

Then -

This evening I went to Barnes and Noble. I know, but honestly, I had a good reason. Harry Potter is coming out while I am on my annual whale-watching weekend with my nieces. Both Dan and I are hopelessly addicted and need to have the book on the day of release. There is a Barnes and Noble in Holyoke, MA where I will be meeting Becca, my other niece, for the last leg of the drive to Boston. We will be on a tight schedule that day and this would be the easiest place to pick up the books. I could not find an easy way to order it for pick at that store on-line and I was going to be near B&N this evening anyway, so into the store I went.

I am accustomed to being ignored for at least the first ten minutes at their customer service desk, so that didn’t really bother me. But when I was told by the customer service dude that he didn’t know how to reserve the book for me at another store location, I was taken by surprise. He was kind enough to look up the telephone number in a store directory and give it to me so that I could call long distance and order the damn things myself. As I walked around the store browsing for a couple of other books I wanted, I became more and more pissed. It isn’t as if every chain on the planet isn’t offering a huge discount on this particular book – there is actual competition for my money. He couldn’t pick up the damn telephone and call another B&N? I did go back to the desk once more to ask if they had a book I couldn’t find. When he finally came back to the desk to assist, he did tell me they didn’t have it, which considering his lack of enthusiasm in having to actually type something into the computer was nice of him.

There has to be a Walmart in Holyoke, right?

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avon7
avon7
Avon
Sun, May. 15th, 2005 11:27 am (UTC)

It isn’t as if every chain on the planet isn’t offering a huge discount on this particular book

No, not on the *planet*. Trust me - I'll be paying a fortune for it ;-)

Other than that - sounds like you need a virtual dartboard to pin Comcast and B&N to. *Passes Chris a well-used virtaul dartbaord*

The whale watching weekend on the other hand sounds very neat. Do you go out on boats or just do it from shore? During our whale migration season we go down to a local headland and watch - some spouts and lots of tails. We haven't been lucky enough to see a real breach yet.


ReplyThread
elladans_witch
elladans_witch
Chris
Sun, May. 15th, 2005 04:44 pm (UTC)

Hi Avon,

It isn’t as if every chain on the planet isn’t offering a huge discount on this particular book

No, not on the *planet*. Trust me - I'll be paying a fortune for it ;-)


Okay, you caught me in a moment of immersion in my American Egocentric-ness. I would be happy to get a copy of it here for you and send it over. But, you would be stuck with an American edition and you wouldn't have it opening day. Let me know and I will get three copies instead of the two.

This will be our third year going on our whale-watch. The first it was just Dani and I, we go . We sail on a boat from the mouth of the Merrimack out about 20 miles to either the Stellwagen or Jeffreys Bank feeding grounds. The first year it was just Dani and I. We saw two finbacks deep feeding, so only saw fins and tails. But A large pod of about 40 Atlantic white-sided dolphins played around the boat. It was great. Last year Becca came with us as well. We saw a finback and humpback deep feeding again. Toward the end of our time at Jeffreys Bank a small humpback was sighted swimming about 200 yards away. He breached. It was so beautiful! Our guide told us that no one knows why whales breach and that they only see a breach maybe two or three times a year. From watching television, I assumed breaching happened all the time, but it is pretty rare in the northern feeding grounds.

The three of us are really looking forward to this trip. Becca is moving to Tennessee later in the summer and this will probably be her last trip with us for a while. So we are going out a couple of times over the weekend.

Last year, we were able to combine or whale-watching trip with the Boston LOTR exhibit. I love the girls so much - they are great fun to go adventuring with.


ReplyThread Parent
avon7
avon7
Avon
Mon, May. 16th, 2005 11:37 am (UTC)

*grins* Sorry, I just couldn't resist a good feeder line.

I'm not really sure how often 'our' whales breach. They have a little viewing platform out there where volunteers keep a constant watch and record everything they see and from memory they do see a fair number of breaches, but I'm not certain.

I love the girls so much - they are great fun to go adventuring with.

I envy you that. I'm very fond of my nieces (well, especially the eldest 2 - 21 and 20 now - because I've always seen way more of them) but I'm too shy to be that close to them. I did take them some places when they were younger - but they're a bit old even for mystery flights now. ;-)


ReplyThread Parent
avon7
avon7
Avon
Thu, Jul. 7th, 2005 06:08 am (UTC)

It isn’t as if every chain on the planet isn’t offering a huge discount on this particular book

No, not on the *planet*. Trust me - I'll be paying a fortune for it ;-)


I stand corrected - this time we are getting discounts! By prepaying I'm getting a copy for $30 instead of $45. I'm quite impressed. The only thing that bugs me is that I hate the hardcovers - but buying it twice seems silly. ;-)


ReplyThread Parent
edrys
edrys
edrys
Sun, May. 15th, 2005 07:07 pm (UTC)

There has to be a Walmart in Holyoke, right?

Not in Holyoke, but Chicopee or Springfield are close:

http://www.walmart.com/storeLocator/ca_storefinder_results.do?sfsearch_city=Holyoke&sfsearch_state=MA&sfsearch_zip=&x=29&y=14&=Continue&continue=

I usually have better luck with Barnes & Noble's customer service, at least at the one I go to most often in Bellingham, which is less than 20 minutes from here (15 if I hit green lights all the way *g*).

If you'd like, I can phone B & N for you; it's not a long distance call for me, on either phone.


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elladans_witch
elladans_witch
Chris
Mon, May. 16th, 2005 03:32 am (UTC)

Hi Ness,

I called the B&N in Holyoke and ordered a couple of copies. I think I was more incensed that they have the nerve to say that they actually have "Customer Service."

This afternoon, I found that Becca might be moving before we are to go now. So, all the plans are up in the air now any way.

How are you? All is well with my folks and things are good at work. I am headed up this weekend to take the kids to a butterfly conservancy. Mom and Dad are both joining us! I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it is to see her walk...


ReplyThread Parent
edrys
edrys
edrys
Tue, May. 24th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)

I think I was more incensed that they have the nerve to say that they actually have "Customer Service."

A major fault with too many businesses these days, I fear.

Hearing the news re: you Mom is great. How I've hoped and prayed that she would be able to walk. And I trust that your Dad's treatment is going well?

I owe you a nice long e-mail and/or phone call. We're all plugging away here; Eric trying to get things in order so he can go to college full time this fall (though now it looks like he may have to wait for a Jan. entrance date); Justin still working on his music and plotting to a) apply to Berkley and b) buy his own car - not necessarily in that order. ;-)

As for other matters - they can wait till we talk/e-mail. Till then, (((hugs))) to you, and my love to your family.




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