Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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Frustrations

After twenty plus years with the same email address, Verizon is not supporting their email anymore. The process to switch over is relatively simple, but I thought this was a good time to try to wean away from Verizon anyway. Sending everyone an email and saying “use this address instead” is simple enough. But you can’t possibly imagine how many websites I’ve signed in on over a couple of decades. And the book? Well, I have an entire spreadsheet of websites and passwords from anything to production to marketing.

Every day, instead of deleting most of the emails I get, I’ve been reading them carefully. I click on the website and then search for a place to click where I can change my email address. Sounds simple enough, right? Holy crap…wrong!

One of the most difficult sites to change was Facebook. I had to google several times how to do it, and believe me it wasn’t easy. The worst one? You’ll never guess. Verizon! I spent God knows how long pouring over the website and couldn’t find anyplace to change the address. I then spent over 30 minutes on the phone with them. I got transferred four times. Finally, “Brian” completely understood what I was trying to say and it took him 45 seconds to fix it. I explained it the same way every time, but somehow, only Brian had the ability to understand. Over 30 minutes for a less than a minute fix. So frustrating!

Then came Apple. I’m not an Apple person, but when my first book came out, we had to develop the ibook format and set up an account. I spent hours on-line but couldn’t change anything because I couldn’t get past the security questions. On the phone forever. Got sent to a Senior Analyst. Spent two days with her until she broke the news there was nothing they could do for me. So I set up a schedule for myself. I could try every eight hours to get in and then it would get locked. I made a list of every possible answer to the security questions and kept a typed list of what I had tried.

Question was, what is the first thing you learned to cook?

If you know me, you will chuckle at that. I CAN cook, but I DON’T cook. At least not very often. Faithfully, every day, I tried to break through the damn security.

mac and cheese

macandcheese

macaroni and cheese

macaroniandcheese

mac & cheese

mac&cheese

macaroni & cheese

macaroni&cheese

Do you see the frustration? Hitting my head on the wall, day after day after day. The only response I would get is, “That answer does not match our records.”

Then today, I almost passed out. I actually answered the question and was able to get into the program. Guess what the right answer was. Come on, guess!

eggs

I’m going to invest in a helmet to cut down on injuries from banging my head on the wall.

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Slacker

It has been three weeks since I have blogged. I know I have missed a week here and there, but I don’t think I’ve ever missed two weeks in a row except when I had that planned hiatus. You would think I would be boiling over with words to write, but I am actually struggling.

The first week I missed, I was sick. Like could barely sit up sick. Tons of people are. My office is full of clients that compete with me for coughing time. This episode has been dragging on forever. I get better, then I get worse again. I could feel myself fighting it for a week, then I woke without a voice. Then a few days later, it became full-blown sickness. I got an antibiotic so I could still fly to my vacation in Myrtle Beach. The first two days I felt much better. Then we went horseback riding on the beach and I got sick all over again. It was totally worth it, though. Riding was awesome.
DSC04444

I got so bad that I had to go to urgent care or there was no way I could fly home without rupturing an ear drum. Of course, they wouldn’t accept my insurance so I had to pay for the visit and the steroid shot, but I got better and came home. A couple days later, I felt worse again. Up and down. Now I just have to work hard to find my proper voice sometimes, but I don’t really feel sick anymore.

The second week I didn’t blog, was because my computer had crashed. I didn’t even think computers crashed anymore. My phone didn’t work for almost two weeks and after battling with Verizon (shocking, I know) I finally got a different phone. Two days later, my computer crashed. I have no idea why, but in all fairness, the extent of the damage was my fault. I called my IT guy and he told me to shut it off. I said ok, but when the computer screen asked me if I wanted the computer to repair itself, I couldn’t resist saying yes. It repaired itself all right, right back to factory settings. My IT guy wanted to wring my neck.

He was able to save my files, but I lost over 400 email addresses. I lost about five years of important saved emails with registration information and other stuff. And I lost three years of photo information. I still have the photos, but the organization, data, and the collection information is all gone. It will take about three months to restore all of that. Anyhow, that was my excuse for not blogging. I could have logged into another computer to blog, but that would require my log in information. That was in a document in my computer that hadn’t gotten rescued yet, so no-go.

So this week, life is relatively boring. I am done traveling all over the place. I am not so sick. My phone and computer are both working. I’m done crying in my soup about the years’ worth of work I lost. I am experiencing something I was craving the entire month of February- consistency. Contentment. Calmness. Hmm… all C words. Not the usual craziness, another C word. I gained back four pounds during all those weeks I was off track, but I’m back on the course I need to be. Just a pound short of my original success.

But here’s the thing. Ted’s Hot Dogs is having a customer appreciation day. Hot dogs are only 99 cents. Maybe I will celebrate my drama-free week with a diet cheat. Celebrate, another C word. :)!!


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Frustrations

I had lunch with a friend today who said sometimes she doesn’t want to read my blogs because they make her sad. It’s a Catch-22 because she knows I speak the truth about my life and wants to know what is going on, so what to do? I really do try to develop positive mindsets, but I guess the blog-worthy stuff tends to be the more difficult things…

I don’t have a great topic today. I have spent the last 24 hours dealing with cell phones. Mine hasn’t worked properly since January. When I say that, I mean it totally stops making phone calls or sending texts. It’s as useful as a paperweight. My dad was eligible this week for an upgrade.

I know I have mentioned before that the age of consumers is close to dead. I’m an intelligent woman with four businesses and a Master’s Degree. Yet I think you need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what the hell is even going on nowadays.

First, let me say that seeing a Verizon logo on a store does not mean that the store is a corporate store. That is the first thing you need to know. How do you tell the difference? The only way I can tell is to call the Verizon number and ask. An authorized Verizon retail store is still not the same as corporate. They don’t have the same information and services, but they certainly want you to think they are all alike.

For example, yesterday I took Dad in. He wants a simple phone. No touch screen. No internet. Eligible for an upgrade. I ended up paying $108 for the phone, and will pay a $40 upgrade fee on my bill as well. They make it sound great because you get a $50 rebate eventually. I still thought it seemed like a lot considering it is only a basic phone and he was entitled to an upgrade.

This morning I called Verizon because I was having problems with his texting. In that call, the wonderful woman on the other end said she noticed I’ve been a Verizon customer for over 15 years. What do I think of them? I told her I was trapped. Verizon has the best actual phone service out there. But their customer service has sucked the last few years. After we talked for a few minutes, I was already in my car driving back to the store before I got off the phone with her.

Turns out my dad’s phone should have only cost 99 cents. Yes, you read that correctly. If I wanted to buy the phone outright, it costs $89. That joker told me yesterday if I bought the phone it would cost $349.

I could go on and on and on with all the explanations and excuses and reasons I’ve been given today. In the end, I don’t care. I understand businesses have to make a profit, but PLEASE. This was ludicrous.

Literally four hours later, Dad and I both have new phones and paid reasonable amounts after going to a CORPORATE store. But now I’m back in idiot mode. I couldn’t even figure out how to answer the damn thing. I have a long list of questions that I have to figure out. I’m sure I will spend many more hours on the phone and computer trying to set up the phone and use it properly.

On a good note, while I was blogging, the woman I spoke with on the phone actually called me back to see how things worked out. She gave me her email address to contact her, and has set up follow-up appointments to check in with me. I told her she gets a special paragraph in the blog 🙂  So customer service isn’t dead, but it is barely breathing. It is now 5:15 and I’m well aware that I have lost another almost entire business day just trying to get things to work that are supposed to work.

Yikes. Sigh. Eye roll.

Tomorrow is another day.