Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I am surprised I am allowed to own a phone

My mom has a lovely ranch house with a bay window on the front.  Over the bay window is a beautiful copper roof. 

My mom also works for a local hardware store and has the opportunity to talk to many local contractors.  Just the other week she was talking to a painter and over the course of the conversation he agreed to come paint all of mom's shutters for a fair price. 

He has since painted and collected his money.  A few short days after he was done Mom happened to notice something a little different about the front of the house.  The super nice painter was also a super duper idiot since he painted the golden copper roof...it is now solid black.

She called him and was told that he thought the house needed a little something extra and decided to really make the roof "pop".  He assured mom that he would come out and look at it....IN THE SPRING.

As mom was relaying this story to me, I told her to give me his number.  She was relunctant to do so (with good reason).  After I promised not to curse at him she relented and I called him immediately.

Me:  "Hi.  I think you did some painting for my mom..."

Idiot:  "Oh hi!  I did.  As a matter of fact I just talked to her today!"  He says this all chipper-like as if I need someone to paint my window panes for me.

Me:  "Yes, you did.  I believe you discussed the fact that you painted over her copper roof.  I would like to know how you are going to fix it."

Idiot:  "Oh yeah, I promised her I'd come out in the spring and...."

Me:  "Nope.  You are going to fix it now.  For free.  What possessed you to paint a copper roof to begin with?"

Idiot:  "It was all a misunderstanding.  See, she told me to paint her shutters and I thought she meant that part too."

Me:  "So she told you to paint the shutters only...evidently we have very different definitions of the word 'shutter'.  We both assumed that someone who painted houses for a living would understand what a shutter was.  Who in their right mind would paint over a copper roof?"

Idiot:  A lot of silence

Me:  "Let's review so that there aren't anymore so-called misunderstandings.  Mom wanted her shutters painted, you painted over a very expensive copper roof.  You messed up.  So you will be calling my mom to set up a date this week to fix the roof.  And if you can't fix it, you can pay someone else to fix it.  All repairs will be of no charge to my mom and I also suggest you learn what a shutter is."

Idiot:  "I'll call her right now."

Me:  "Good idea."

He did call my mom and is going out there tomorrow to take a look at it.  I wanted to call him back to ask him why he needed to look at it when he did the painting to begin with....but mom seemed somewhat satisfied. 

If anyone needs any recommendations for house painters in the SW Virginia area, call me.  I'll give you a very short list of 1 for you to avoid.  Unless you want your roof painted....

Monday, October 3, 2011

How NOT to win against the federal government

My week has started off with a bang.  First of all I have a fruit fly infestation.  After bleaching every square inch of my kitchen, I still have fruit flies.  I feel disgusting.  I now have a trap on the counter quickly filling up with their little dead bodies.  Lovely.

Last night I had a dinner/movie date.  We were going to get together around 7pm.  I got in touch with him around 4pm just to confirm our plans.  That's when I got "well, um, see, something came up yesterday and I kinda forgot to tell you but....".  Good thing I asked otherwise I would have been stood up. What a gentleman.

Today we tragically lost a well loved family member.  Enough said about that.

Then to top all of this off, I received a letter from the United States Department of Education.  In this letter they informed me that my small student loan that I had been paying back was now delinquent and that they expected my first born child by Wednesday.  Since I do not have a first born nor am I currently pregnant, this was going to be difficult to accomplish.

I called the number on the two page letter threatening to ruin me and everyone had gone home.  Of course, I am also trying to reach someone in the federal government after 3:30 pm when we all know they are stuck on I-495.  I left a very friendly message that was in no way rude or a little yelly (you believe that, right?).   

I rushed to the computer to pull up my account in order to prove (at least to myself) that the letter was a mistake.  Instead of the loan services website coming up I get a message that their website had been disabled while they created a brand new one.  This better than ever website would not be functional until October 10th (well past my deadline of two days from now).  But, there was a number listed so I called.

I started off nice with only a slight panic in my voice.  I calmly explained that there was no way I could produce offspring by Wednesday in order to pay a loan that was in good standing.

"I'm sorry, there is nothing I can do.  Our site is down and won't be back until the 10th."

"Right, I got that...which is why I am calling.  Now help me problem solve this."

"I'm sorry.  I don't think you understand.  Our website is down and I can't access your records until the 10th.  Please call back then."

"Um, I don't think you understand how a calendar works.  My first born is due on Wednesday, but you can't help me until next Monday?"

"Ma'am, I am staring at a blue screen. If you would call back on the 10th, we can access your account.  Please call back then."

"Really?  You mean to tell me that you don't have file cabinets somewhere?  With paper records in them?  Why would you completely take the site offline while you improved it?  No one else does that.  Not for weeks anyway.  Are these my tax dollars at work here?  Because I am not impressed.  No wonder the federal government can't get anything done."

"I'm not going to discuss governmental opinions with you.  You can call back after the 10th."

"Can you at least point me in the right direction to get this rectified?  This whole issue is YOUR MISTAKE."

"I'm done discussing this with you.  You can call back on the 10th"

At this point a string of not very nice words erupted from me.

Annnnnd, he hung up on me.  I didn't even get to inform him that at least I had furthered my education so that I wasn't stuck answering phones in a call center.  I'm sure that would have gotten me somewhere (as long as I call back on the 10th).

Now I seem to be a lunatic at the gym because my pent up anger was unleashed on some poor guy as I yelled "TWO DOORS!  THERE ARE TWO FUNCTIONING DOORS!  USE THE OTHER ONE!" as he blocked my entrance trying to squeeze out the door I had opened. 

I hope the US Dept. of Ed is ready for me tomorrow...because I am calling again....