3-30-11 Wednesday (Short Games)

Here I am!  It’s Wednesday and it’s my first, new scheduled, day off!  2 days at the grind.   Grueling.  I need a vacation.  OK, not really.  While I may not need a vacation, I’d surely take one if given the opportunity.  

I mentioned that during “graduation” I received an extra certificate/award.  Here it is:


Yay!  I’m proud of it… really.  Maybe it’s silly?  That’s me.  Sure, leave it to me to be proud for being a class clown…

Jim never called the BMW dealer service manager back; I was supposed to do that Saturday but forgot.  We had the car serviced this past weekend at Sears so we don’t need anything from the dealer.  Their loss but I still want to call them and see what he says.  I’ll do that later.  One problem we were going to have is that Sears and Monro said we’d have to return to a dealer to have the oil service light reset.  I was prepared to call a private BMW servicer and pay them to reset it.  I had an epiphany this morning… Google it.  Sure enough, there were the steps to reset my light, for free!  AND it worked.  Screw you Mr. Overcharging Hendricks BMW Dealer!

Friday I bought that PlayStation 3 game, Star Wars: Force Unleashed II.  I played it some on Saturday, Sunday and finished it on Monday.  That was so frickin’ disappointing that I already finished it!  Most games last a lot longer.  It’s normally $60, it was mispriced at $50.  I used Rewards Zone money for $15.  That put my cost at $35.  I can probably get close to that on eBay.  In the meantime, I started the game over on a harder level.

Here’s another follow-up.  Last Sunday we went to brunch at Wild Wing Café.  I complained about the not-so-bottomless-mimosa deal.  I did email my comment to them and got this response.  It’s a long response but it’s a great one.  Here it is.   If you don’t want to read it, skip the blue text.

I recently received a correspondence from our corporate office detailing an unpleasant experience you had at our Wild Wing Cafe. I would like to start by expressing my regret for this and offer my sincerest apologies. It seems that when you visited one of the items was not available, namely the "bottomless mimosa" promotion on our weekend brunch menu. I understand that it is frustrating to see something on a menu and not be able to order it and I am truly sorry this was the case when you visited us. I would like to explain why that item was discontinued at our location, if you would permit me. In our location, which is very close to the University, this promotion became extremely popular. Unfortunately it became obvious soon after it began that serving our mimosas with no limit would be irresponsible and could be construed as false advertising. You see when alcohol is involved there is always a limit. Our guests' safety and the responsibilities of owning a restaurant require that we responsibly sell alcohol and refrain from what the ALE terms "overselling". In observing the "bottomless mimosas" it seemed that guests were often attempting to stretch the limits of what we deemed safe and responsible. Of course, it became a contentious matter with a couple of guests angry that we would not serve them even though we claimed the special was "bottomless". We are currently in the process of working with the Corporate office in Charleston to resolve the matter and to get new menus that will reflect a more appropriate special for our location. I would like to again apologize for the inconvenience and hope that my somewhat lenghty explanation helped to clear things up. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have.

Best Buy update: Remember Monday, I bought that game and had a bunch of purchase, point redemption problems.  I did fill out a survey the other day.  Anyway, I decided today to get my password reset and I got the same frickin’ thing today as I did Friday:


So I called.  I spoke with Erica in Rewards Customer Service.  She said they’re having problems with the new website and that the last time a case of some sort was issued for resolution.  Erica went on to tell me that we haven’t quite reached the due date for resolution (or something similar).  I was never told any of this but OK.  She apologized and said that when the system is repaired, I’ll have another $15 in my account for the inconvenience.  Go Erica!

I did manage to call the BMW service manager back today.  I had to leave a voicemail.  When he called back he stood firm on the spark plugs being changed at 50,000 rather than 100,000.  I argued a little.  He used the ole “here in NC, be it our climate or the fuel we get, we find that replacing spark plugs…”  blah blah.  I really didn’t care to argue with him so I just let him “win” by saying, “OK, thanks.”  Naturally, in the end, he lost because we paid a better price for services that are actually needed.

3-28-11 Monday (Fetch!)

Today I started my new work schedule.  12:30 – 9, Wednesdays and Sundays off.  I can’t sleep past 6:30 or 7 so I’m going to try and maintain my current pattern.  The biggest problem with the schedule is dinner for me versus dinner for Jim when I’m working.  Bedtime is typically 10pm and I want to adhere to that so our internal clocks stay somewhat aligned.  We’re trying to plan menus that are simple for him, may reheat well for me to have for lunch the following day.  It’ll be a challenge, I’m sure.  My plan is to have breakfast as usual, a hot meal (left overs or such) for lunch and then my sandwich for dinner at work. 

I was kind of bored today and on top of that kept looking at the clock every 15 minutes.  I went into work extra early to make sure I was organized, read bulletins and emails, and in general ready to go.  I set up my eBay purchased digital frame which I love.  I love glancing over and reminiscing about what ever pops up on the screen.  I took oodles of phone calls today.  Some were junk, some hang ups, some credit applications and others wanted rate quotes.  It was certainly strange to be there into the evening.  My lunch break was my dinner break.  I ate my typical sandwich, turkey and cheese.  Low in points and filling.  Getting home at 9:20pm, I certainly don’t want to eat dinner so late.

It’s nice to pop up from the lower depths of by cubicle to talk to other cubicle coworkers while we await our next call.  When someone gets a call, they start talking into their headset and then sit down.  I joke that it looks like Whack-a-Mole. 


The weather here has taken a turn toward chill.  It was somewhere in the 40’s with a freeze warning for the night.  It’s nice getting a little artic chill here and there.

I realized I skipped right over the weekend.  I’m trying to remember what we did and on what day.  Sometime over the weekend, we saw Battle: Los Angeles.  Great special effects, the story line was basically a war movie.  The enemy just happens to be from outer space.  Maybe a DVD movie, or see it in on the big screen to appreciate the special effects.  Either way, in the end, you’re life will probably go unchanged.


Saturday evening we attended a birthday party at Doug and Bill’s house.

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2011-03-26 012Above: Due to my playing with camera settings, here’s a photo of Bill the birthday boy blowing out his candles.   Each photo is slightly different as shown by the candle flames as he blows them out.

2011-03-26 066Above: Bill and Jim.

2011-03-26 072Above: Chloe loves to play fetch but doesn’t like giving up the ball.

Sometime over the weekend we drove by the property.  In a previous post I mentioned it looked like a drunk guy staked out the property.  Upon closer inspection, we can see that both sides are uneven.  We think that the house will be slightly angled (as compared to the curb) which would be more in synch with the house next door.   It’ll be just fine.

3-25-11 Friday (Graduation)


Jim hasn’t made much progress with the BMW dealer (Hendrick BMW).  He questioned why they recommend the spark plug change at 50k rather than the manufacturer’s recommendation at 100k.  They’re telling him that it’s for optimal performance.  Optimum performance?  Does that mean the manufacturer is only interested in our car running at average?  They also told him that “the maintenance schedule has been updated.”  Hendrick’s didn’t even include a brake fluid change that the manufacturer recommended.  Jim had to push them to price it out.  They want hundreds for a brake fluid flush as opposed to Sears wanting $40 for a fluid change (as recommended by the manufacturer).  He’ll probably continue to pursue this with BMW corporate at this point.  I think he should.  Hendrick BMW is a rip off!  Aside from corporate, I wonder if it’s worth a comment to the Better Business Bureau?  I’ve said it before.  I was in the business for many years.  To me, this is dishonesty at its worst. 

Work is going well.  I’m enjoying it but still learning.  There’s a mix of opinions within the department how some stuff should be handled.  It’s odd that it’s not cut and dry.  Today I couldn’t get an application to correctly submit.  Between the trainer, an “expert” and a supervisor, none of us could get it set up correctly to accept.  A woman came over and gave her opinion and it still didn’t work.  That’s 5 of us.  When a Team Leader came back from lunch, he was full of answers… correct ones.  Frustrating.  I understand though that some situations are very rare, I just happened to get one on day 3!  Six months from now if someone runs into that situation, will I remember the solution?  Probably not.  I just wish the system itself would provide the solution.  Perhaps the error message could have told us what to do instead of being so cryptic?

Over the weekend I bought a fan and put it under my desk.  It has made the temperature absolutely comfortable and even cold at times.  Yep, sometimes at 77 degrees I have to turn that fan off.  It could be the whole “heat rises” issue, hence why I put the fan on the floor blowing upward at my chest.  Today I glanced at my thermometer and it was 74.  Maybe they’ve adjusted the thermostat?  Awesome!


The rest of the week went fine.  I’ve certainly had my share of “interesting” customers this week.  Most of the class is needing help less and less.  That’s good because next week we won’t have people walking around specifically to help us.  Sure, we’ll have help, just not as easily.

Jim called BMW corporate.  They’ll refer the situation back to the service manager but at least “big brother” is watching, hopefully.  BMW corporate skated around the whole situation taking caution not to confirm the dealer be correct or incorrect.  Jim even asked about the updated maintenance schedule but was told that they didn’t have any access to updates.  We were out for dinner when the service manager left a message for Jim at about 7pm. 


It’s graduation day at work!  We worked the phones from 9-11, then went to a training room for graduation “ceremony”.  Our trainer said a few words and then handed out certificates.  Some of us said a few words as we accepted.  Mine was “I’d like to thank the voices in my head.”  Yes, I’m the class clown.  Speaking of, there were 4 awards given out.  “most likely to reach incentive first”, “most helpful”, “most likely to become a team leader” and “always smiling and making class fun”.  The last award was a tie and I won as well as another classmate who is nothing but smiles and upbeat.  I probably got it for my frequent outbursts during class.


2011-03-25 001Above: The mail robots name is Wally.  Wally gets stuck in front of Mike’s cubicle twice a day.

2011-03-25 003Above: Me in my cubicle.

2011-03-25 004Above: Cubicle neighbor Kaci.

2011-03-25 005Above: My floor mat which seems to get a lot of attention.

2011-03-25 007Above: One of our supervisors assists Mike.  Mike is on the other side of my cube wall.

2011-03-25 009Above: In the training room waiting for graduation to start, our trainer, Jay.

2011-03-25 011Above: One of my lunch buddy’s, Jessica.

Our supervisors, coaches, leaders, etc spoke some words and then as an extra bonus told us that we were dismissed from work after lunch!  Awesome!  We all went to Buffalo Wild Wings where they had tables set up for us.  17 classmates plus coaches = 23 of us.  I did snap some photos at lunch.  If you want to see all the photos, click here.

Meanwhile, Jim was at the mall killing time while Sears performed services on the BMW that the dealer wanted top dollar for.  That leads me to the next story.  Best Buy.  Oy.  Let me start by telling you that a few years ago we had several gift cards for Best Buy.  We purchased a radio for the Motor Home at bestbuy.com and used up the gift cards.  The gift cards were used up.  I threw them out.  When we received the stereo we decided we’d live with what we have and attempted to return the item to the store.  They wanted the old gift cards.  I don’t have them.  Can’t they just issue new ones.  Nope.  They said Best Buy is different than bestbuy.com.  The whole thing was a mess.  I was angry and stressed.  We eventually got it resolved and vowed never to give Best Buy another dime of our money… 

When we moved here to Charlotte, we needed a TV so, we bought one at Best Buy.  Perhaps the wounds had healed but we’ll still never buy from bestbuy.com.  So far. 

Jim and I are Rewards Zone card holders.  You know, it’s one of those perks where you get special coupons or earn money based on prior purchases?


The other day we received an email saying we had a $15 certificate waiting.  When I got off of work today, Jim suggested I print off the certificate, meet him at the mall, and I could buy a video game I really wanted.



I accessed my email from Best Buy which took me to a site to log in.  My password wouldn’t work, I clicked on “forgot password”, followed the instructions, eventually getting to a site to select a new.  It wouldn’t work.  I called the 800 number and was told they were having problems with the password reset system.  She recommended I just keep trying.  I told her I’d like to go to the store now.  She said the store can call and get the certificate number.  With that info, I departed for Best Buy. 

I selected my game, took it up to the register.  I explained the rewards situation and she instructed us to go to Customer Service.  I did so.  It rang up differently at $59.95 than the posted $49.95 price.  I had to run back to the shelf and snag the price which was apparently a sale price from 2 weeks prior.  No problem on getting the new price. 

The clerk called rewards and was give a number to use that may or may not work.  It didn’t.  She then tried to see if she could do it another way.  This went on for a long time.  She eventually gave up.  I asked for a manager.  Another employee over heard and asked if he could give it a try.  He tried getting the certificate number online but couldn’t so he called the reward number.  Meanwhile, I too called the reward number, got someone 30 seconds sooner than he and asked them to help me, eventually passing the phone to the guy (Michael) to get the certificate number.  Michael asked that the rewards representative stay on the line while he tried the number.  It worked.  Michael saved the day and I’ll be writing a letter to Best Buy to tell them so.  That was the “short” version.

We finished off the evening by having dinner at Red Robin with Mike and Billy.

3-21-11 Monday (Ravioli Holidays)

imageToday was my first day on the phones, and Jim’s start to a week off from work.  He took the BMW in for service and they proceeded to try to sell him $800 worth of spark plugs, air filters, fuel system cleaner and oil change.  He declined, came home and looked over the maintenance requirements per the owner’s manual.  He’s only got 50,000 miles and replacing spark plugs isn’t even recommended until 100,000.  Rightfully, he’s angry about it.  Just because we have a BMW doesn’t mean we’re wealthy.  Even if we had gobs of money, why give it to them just for the hell of it?  Being in the automotive service industry, we used to recommend services using the manufacturer’s “severe” schedule which was in the owner’s manual.  For the BMW I only see one schedule.  Jim will call the advisor or service manager tomorrow and ask them to justify their pricing and over zealous pricing.

My first day went well.  I wasn’t nervous at all.  I, just like everyone else needed a lot of help here and there.  No worries, that’s what this week is about.  I like it.  I do.  I’m still dreading the schedule but that can be changed down the road.

I got an interesting call today.  I’ll be vague and generalize it for you.  College aged girl wants credit card, she tells me her mom was arrested last week for robbing a bank, her “home” address matches her employment address which had the words “mental health” in it’s title.  That was my second call for the day.

imageSometime during the day, Jim spotted an ad or something about Bravo Italian restaurant having some National Ravioli Day or the like where as ravioli entrées were half price.  Off we went.  We enjoyed the meals, the bread, the salads, etc.  Service was wonderful except for the food runner.  He dropped off our meals and asked, “can I get you anything else?”  We requested more bread.  We were almost finished with our meals and our server stopped by again.  We asked him for more bread since it never came.  In a rare moment I decided to bitch.  I told our server, “tell runner-boy that if he’s going to ask us if we want anything, and we make a request, he should do it.”   The server had a great sense of humor and replied, “they always do that.”  Not really the best answer but oh well.  Anyway, great meal over all, good price for tonight.  Meals: Chianti Braised Beef Ravioli: Sangiovese braised beef-filled ravioli with roasted sweet potatoes, brown butter and sage. 11.99 AND Lobster Ravioli Alla Vodka: With sauteed shrimp, grape tomatoes in a tomato cream sauce topped with pesto bread crumbs. 15.99

Our new home saleswoman, Michelle, emailed us that the property had been staked.  After dinner we stopped by to check it out.  We were thinking the stakes represented the corners of the foundation but I hope not.  The right side edges didn’t line up at all.  We’d have a very odd shaped home.  That leaves us wondering what the point of the stakes are?   Maybe it’s a rough outline created by the vision impaired alcoholic measurement dude?  I’m so excited though. 

In other news, NACA, who we’re getting a great mortgage rate/deal through is kind of annoying to deal with.  There’s so many things that have happened… so many unconventional requests.  This evening was no different.  Sometime after 5pm we get an email that we need to come to their office tomorrow morning and sign: “File approved for lock in rate. Rates dropped today. Rate is good until 10:30 tomorrow morning. Can u both come tomorrow morning @ 8:45 to sign RESPA docs???”

Jim emails back and forth that I can’t get there due to a new job.  Our resolution is that since Jim is on vacation, he’s going to NACA in the morning, pick up the documents, bring them to me to sign and then back to NACA.  Ugh.  The other tricky part is that not just anyone can even get on my job’s property.  I had to contact my supervisor to find out how I can get a guest on the premises.  My supervisor is going to leave the directions on my desk.

3-20-11 Sunday (Bottomless, No More)

imageI cleaned all the bathrooms yesterday and put Jim in charge of vacuuming.  He vacuumed the upstairs and will do the downstairs today.  Why not all at once?  Well, there wasn’t enough time.  We had other errands to do yesterday + Jim’s vacuuming thoroughness = not finished.  I elected Jim to vacuuming duty cause I knew he’d really, really vacuum.  Just as I thought, he moved a lot of furniture, did the base boards, vacuumed furniture, the top of the curtain rods, blinds, and even the drapes.  I’m a lazy vacuumer.   I don’t move much.  I figure how can dust get under it?  OR I’m not tall enough to see the top of that and neither is anyone else.  Don’t judge.


We went to brunch with Deanna and Beth.  Well, it was more like lunch since it was noon.  Due to the NC State law of no booze till noon, our new brunch time will be 12.  The mimosas were yummy.  Oh, we went to Wild Wings Café.  Yes, they had a great brunch menu. 



The menu said they have bottomless mimosas for $10.  They discontinued that but they did have mimosas for $3 each instead of $5.  Service was great.  The food seemed to take al ong time to come out but that was OK cause we were enjoying each other’s company.

After brunch, Jim and I stopped at the model center to pick up the sample that Michelle got for us:


Mohawk you still suck.  Michelle you rock.

Dasher gets a treat:

2011-03-20 0072011-03-20 0032011-03-20 0042011-03-20 0052011-03-20 006

For dinner we went to Cheddar’s with my classmate/coworker/next-cubicle-over, Mike and his other half Billy.  We were there for 2.5 hours.  We had a great time!  Funny, we couldn’t stop talking enough to review the menu.  We sent the poor server away 4 times.  The server was cool and luckily wasn’t that busy…

2011-03-20 008Above: Billy and Mike.

3-19-11 Saturday (Don’t Contact Us)

I forgot to mention the office temperature at work.  The classrooms seem cool but the vast cubicle work area is very warm.  I brought in my desk top clock/temp combo to see and at times it reached 77 degrees.  Not wanting to be a whiner (shut up), I’ve complained in a roundabout sorta way.  I’d say, “it’s warm in here, my thermometer reads 77”.  The response thus far from coworkers has been, “it’s always warm here, I’d suggest you get a fan.” and from management, “yeah, it’s because we’re between seasons.”   I’m going to buy a fan but I hope they can make it cooler.  I understand that all the desks have computers which radiate heat but c’mon.  There… now I mentioned it.

2011-03-19 001Above: The photo has nothing to do with the text before or after.  Just enjoying my new camera.  This is Clea.

How’s my diet going?  I’m glad you asked.  The temperature right now is 74°with a high of 77°.  It’s shorts and flip flops time!  I had to try on 5 pairs of shorts before finding a size… ahem, that was large enough without resorting to my stretchy shorts.

Jim is on vacation next week.  The full week.  It’s part of that use it or lose it PTO (Personal Time Off) days that he gets.  It’s the last week I’ll have a “normal” schedule, aka banker’s hours.  The following week I start my 12:30 – 9 shift, off on Wednesdays and Sundays.  Jim and I haven’t quite figured out how this will affect us.  We’ll certainly have fewer dinners together.  I’m not sure what he’ll eat for dinner.  I just assume I should eat lunch before work, and then dinner at work. 

In the middle of April, Jim will take some time off again and attend his brothers and sister-in-law’s baby shower in Georgia.  I don’t think it will be a good idea to take time off work so soon so I’ve elected to stay home and take care of the pets.  I logged onto Babies R’ Us to check out the Baby Registry and make our selections.  We made several selections, I checked out with the option to pick it up at the store. Ugh.

Rant Cloud Animated - Fast

We arrived at the store, Jim went on a mission to find a “best uncle” type shirt for his future nephew to adorn.  I waited at the baby registry desk.  I spotted a few caged and locked bins that I was able to peek into and spotted my name on a bag.  I must be in the right place.  My pick up email didn’t indicate where in the store I should go.  I waited.  I asked someone page an employee for help.  I waited.  Someone showed up and helped the person who was first.  The employee spotted my email in hand, asked if I was picking up and directed me to the service desk.  Ugh.

I waited in line.  Several minutes later, it was my turn.  The employee had the personality of a paper clip.  I presented my slip, she got a book, filled out some info and asked me to sign.   She seemed distracted.  Perhaps it was the constant paging for the owner of a red Ford Focus to come to the front.  She didn’t talk me through what she was doing and left me wondering if she was helping me or not.  She walked over to a computer and typed a bunch of stuff in.  She talked to coworkers.  The manager was helping what appeared to be a disaster right next to us.  I saw the anger building in the customer’s eyes while they stood there to get something resolved.  They were there a long, long time.  Before me and after me.  My clerk walked away.  Again, she didn’t communicate with me.  Did she think I do this every week or something? 

I knew where my merchandise was.  No one was getting it.  The front end of the store had filled up with more employees than customers.  Perhaps it was all about the red Ford Focus customer.  We think her car had gotten hit in the lot?  I dunno.  I waited for my package.  Where’d my girl go?  I cracked.  I was so pissed, I marched over to the baby registry desk and demanded, yes, demanded my merchandise.  The employees, there were 3 or more of them at the baby registry, said they needed the manager to unlock it.  The manager that was helping the customers at the service desk?  I have to wait for them?  No one else is trusted by this fine company to hold a frickin’ key?  I demanded again.  One of the employees walked over to the manager and like magic retrieved the golden key and gave me my stuff.  I called Jim and told him to come to the front of the store, leave whatever merchandise he had picked up because we’re leaving.

I’ve determined that the clerk helping me was stalling because she needed a key to unlock the bins.  If only she had communicated her actions to me instead of making me feel like I wasn’t worth it.

I’d like to let them know about what happened so I went to their website to find a link and leave them a comment.  Apparently they think they do such a fantastic job at customer service and don’t want to hear from me since there’s no option.  Here’s their contact us page:


Maybe they have my IP address and know that I complain so they block the option?  Sure, I can call their 800 number but I’m done.  <end rant>

We stopped into Dollar Tree next door.

2011-03-19 010

Precious.  I know it.

Anyway, I also did some eBay bidding today.  I decided I wanted a digital photo frame for my cubicle.  I won a bid on a used 7” frame for $5.00 + $7.02 shipping = $12.02.  It’s coming from someone with a Salvation Army email address.  I won another bid on a brand new 7” frame for $25.00 which included shipping.  One will come to work with me, and the other will be for the upstairs office or the RV or for Jim to take to work.  I’m excited.

Sunday is brunch with Beth and Deanna!  Here’s a few more photos just for the hell of it:

2011-03-19 005Above: It’s a little blurry because we were in a moving vehicle when I snapped the photo.  See the gum?

2011-03-19 012Above: “Julianne Chicken”.  Chicken breast on top of artichoke hearts, capers, olives, mushrooms, cheese and Hollandaise sauce.  Mmmmmm.

2011-03-19 004

3-18-11 Friday (Manicures)

Work: On Friday, I took my first call on the phones.  We had a choice of teaming up with a classmate, sitting with an expert, or going it alone.  My classmate, Jessica and I, teamed up.  She sat with me during my call and then we switched.  I did have to get the trainer to help us a little bit but all in all, it went well.  I chose this way because I didn’t want a crowd standing over me.  I felt more comfortable with just a peer, as did many others.  The problem was that our trainer was running all over the place trying to help. 

I wanted to take a couple of more but the trainer couldn’t keep up.  Next week, we’ll do nothing but take calls (with more help) so I guess it’s no big deal.

This week taught me that there’s so much we didn’t learn which was discouraging.  We haven’t even learned many of the functions in the screens that we’ll be using.  I think this was done intentionally so as not to majorly overload us and for that, I give them kudos.  The seasoned/expert bankers are so very helpful and are very encouraging.

Nails: My anti-nail-biting has been going well.  I’ve even had to cut and file the pinky nails.  The others are growing a little slower.  I’m going to keep using the no-bite stuff for a while longer.

Camera: I got the new camera the other day and I LOVE the photo quality.   I took a few zoomed test photos of Dasher from across the kitchen and they came out beautiful. 


The new camera is a little larger than the old one which kinda bites since I like carrying it around in my pocket.  (The next 2 photos were taken with my camera phone since it’s too difficult to take a picture of the new camera with the new camera…duh)


The other complaint is that the flash pops up (see below) where 98% of the population would put their fingers to hold the camera.  I read about this “problem” in reviews prior to purchase but if that’s the worst thing about it, then it’s OK with me.


3-16-11 Wednesday -- 3-17-11 Thursday

Wednesday: Our trainer wasn’t in today so it was an all day free for all.  The class socialized, got their notes in order or whatever.  At one point, we were told we could go to lunch at 11am and be back by 2.  We had a 3 hour lunch.  A group of us went to Razzoo’s for lunch.  It’s a Cajun/New Orleans kinda restaurant.  I ordered:

image It was yummy.

I’ve been reluctant/nervous to get on the phones.  By Wednesday I wanted to give it a shot.

Thursday came and I plugged into a seasoned co-worker’s phone to listen.  I “drove” the computer systems, while Michelle talked to the customer.  I enjoyed it.  After lunch I wanted to go full into it but discovered some of my systems weren’t working with my sign-on.  Ugh.  I told my trainer; tomorrow he plans to check everyone’s systems and let us team up to take calls for ourselves.  Next week we have coaching queue, which is when we’re fully on our own but helpers will be waling around to help us out.

I talk a lot about customer service and here’s something from Consumer Reports:


I’ll have to take a day off from work just to bitch…

3-15-11 Tuesday (Cubed)

Tuesday: Today is the day we’re to relocate to a different training room close to our cubicles.  Looking at the photo below (from Google Earth), the training room was at the red arrow.  As a reminder, you can see how huge this place is based on the size of the cars in the lot.  Anyway… we’re moving to the green arrow from the red arrow.  I decided I’d park at the green arrow and walk to the red one so that at the end of the day, after we moved, I’d be quick to get to my car.  I got soooo lost this morning.  Eventually I went down to the first floor where the cafeteria is so that I could get my location figured out.  I found the cafeteria and used that to get to the green arrow.  Oy.  Naturally, after the move I’ll park at the green arrow area all the time.

Parking Lot

We arrived at the new classroom.  We were all quick to figure out our cubicles.  We were split into teams.  My opposing team supervisor put her employees names on assigned desks, ours did not (he wasn’t in till noon).  We were told to pick desks in a specific area.  No cubicles.  I was bummed.  It wasn’t very private feeling.  It didn’t feel like an office to me.  Most of my team felt the same way.  I promised myself to just deal with it and find the good in it.  The good?  A window very close by.  Teammates/classmates that I like were beside and behind me.  No cubicle walls to make us have to stand up to see one another. 

A little later, once my supervisor was in, one of my teammates saw a large cubicle area empty and asked if we could move.  He agreed, I was thrilled.  I got a killer cubicle with 3 file cabinets that have 3 drawers in each.  That’s 9 drawers in case you’re having problems with math.  I have 3 open shelves and 1 with a door on it.  The cubicles all have the same amount of desk space but are lacking some shelves or cabinets.


There’s a new option on the left sidebar titled “Follow by Email”.  Thanks to Blogger’s marvelous technological advances, you can submit your email address and have new blog posts delivered to your email box.  You will only receive emails for new posts, not spam nor emails saying nothing is new.  This is handy for those of you who do not have a “blog reader” and have to check the blog periodically for a new post. 

3-14-11 Monday (The Inconvenient Freeze)

imageMohawk never responded.  Mohawk carpet and flooring sucks as far as I’m concerned.  I’m thinking that perhaps when I received extra piss-poor customer service I should make sure that people will find my blog and comments when they Google.  This can usually be achieved by making sure that all the keywords someone might use to research Mohawk can be found within the entry.  For instance:

Mohawk flooring carpeting floors oaktown wood floors reviews care hardwood customer service poor sucks terrible problems

I should do that more often.

The good news is that Monday, Michelle, salesperson at Adams Homes extraordinaire emailed me:

“I was able to get a sample of the Oak Town Cherry hardwoods for you!  It's the 5", but it's the same color as the 3".  I've set it aside in my office, so whenever you are in the area stop on by to pick it up!”

The cool thing is we didn’t have to ask.  She remembered from a conversation several weeks back and I guess acted on it!  Now that’s customer service!

imageMeanwhile back at the office… we’re pretty much done with training but have this entire week left “in the classroom”.  Today we took our final assessment, 85% was passing, 35 questions, I got an 89.  Some people had to take the test again which is no big deal.  I kind of had to take it twice cause I was on question #30 and my computer froze up.  I was pissed.  I had to reboot and re-do the test.  At least it didn’t count as an attempt.  So, we pretty much did nothing except for a 45 minute test.  We did little oral quizzes here and there.

imageIt was announced that we’re relocating our class to a room closer to where our cubicles will be.  Right now we are on the complete opposite end of the complex.  We’ll also have the opportunity to take some real calls and then return to the classroom to discuss.  Next week is our final week of “training” except we’ll be 100% live on the phone without a classroom.  The company will have many extra staff (trainers, well seasoned bankers, supervisors, etc) constantly walking around to help us.  The following week we’re no longer in training and our schedules change to the 12:30 – 9:00pm shift.

During our abundance of down time today, some classmates worked on flash cards so that tomorrow we can play some games.  Others worked on a proposal to NOT have to work every Saturday which most of the class supports that idea.  They’re requesting an alternating Saturdays schedule.  Our trainer told them how to best put together the proposal. 

imageTomorrow we’ll probably be assigned our cubicles.  I’m resisting bringing personal items right now but I really want to walk in with a box of stuff like tissues, Advil stash, napkins, pictures, etc.  As my friend, Deanna’s blog once stated, I have to remember not to bring in gobs of crap.  Here’s the article.  Her post, from and HR professional’s point of view, was about how she had to help a terminated employee pack up to leave the company.  The woman had so much stuff, they were short on boxes and it took 2 hours yet she only worked there for 3 months.  The rule of thumb is that it should all fit in one banker’s box.

3-13-11 Sunday (Happy Trails)

I really, really have to stop eating out especially when I’m so weak about resisting yummy things.  Jim signed us up for some Mimi’s Café club thing online that gave us a free breakfast… so off we went.  We haven’t went there in a long time and I’m not sure why that’s the case since we think they have some unique dishes there.  Their breakfast menu of complex flavors was the absolute extreme opposite to Friendly’s plain Jane menu.  It was hard to decide.  I finally settled on the cinnamon roll French toast that I had been wanting at Friendly’s.  Damn this was good.  It came with eggs, breakfast meat, and orange juice.  I get eggs over easy so I ordered a side of toast to “dunk” into the egg just the way I love ‘em.  I chose bacon which was very generous.  4 thick and long slices that were high quality.  I ordered iced tea and never got the orange juice so I assumed they substituted which was fine.

The service was excellent but I have complaints.  What else is new, right?  When the meals came we reminded the server we were expecting white toast.  She came back with toast that wasn’t cut nor buttered.  They included the butter.  I thought that was odd and annoying but OK.  Not being cut was even more annoying.  Our server brought out more white toast.  The runner and server made for a double order I guess.  The bread she brought out was a little different, was cut, not buttered and didn’t seem toasted in any way shape or form.  It was never eaten since it was delivered in error anyway. 

The bill came and I saw that I was charged for the iced tea.  I asked the server if my meal was to come with OJ since I never got it and I was charged for the tea.  I asked her to remove the tea.  She said the OJ was a small glass and she couldn’t do that.  She said she could put the OJ into a to go cup or skip it.  I was annoyed but didn’t get bitchy.  Now we all know that iced tea is probably a quarter of the price of OJ.  Probably even less than that.  I asked for the to go cup and intentionally left it on the table.  There.  Now you wasted a cup, straw and lid which probably still cost more than the OJ.

We went to BJs and Walmart for grocery shopping.  The weather today was so freakin’ gorgeous that we came home, changed into shorts, grabbed the dog and went to our future property.  We wanted to check how it did (drainage ditch and creek) with all the rain we had lately.  Checked out fine.  We then went to Reedy Creek and walked one of the trails.  I think Dasher enjoyed all the sights sounds smells.  He likes to pee just enough to mark every damn tree.


Here’s some photos from today:

2011-03-13 001Above: Dasher laying outside the back door soaking up some sun!

2011-03-13 002Above: Spotted at Walmart.  Did they just find these from last year OR are they super early for this year?  I’m scared.

2011-03-13 003Above: A little pond with cat tails in the new neighborhood.

2011-03-13 004Above: Dasher inspects the new property.

2011-03-13 005Above: The creek behind our to-be-built house.

2011-03-13 009Above: Jim at Reedy Creek park.

2011-03-13 010Above: One of the trails at Reedy Creek.