Wednesday, April 02, 2014

straw, camel's back

I think that's what yesterday afternoon was.

I get upset when my schedule is disrupted because I have to schedule so tightly because I'm so busy. (I'm already fretting about when I get the bags of soil sorted through for this seems during an average class day, stuff comes up). I also get upset when I sense my time is being wasted, which happens from time to time on a college campus. (Occasionally there are higher-ups who get a power charge out of making people wait for them when a meeting is called. Luckily, none of my 'regular' meetings are that way, but it happens)

The set-up is at 2 pm and I'm expecting it to take at least 1/2 hour, so that would put me in Sherman no earlier than 3 (and that's assuming the guy is on time, and there aren't any hangups). So I don't know. It's a long enough drive I like to do several things while I'm there, not just go for one thing.

We need a better big grocery in this town. Green Spray is good, but they're very small and their produce section is limited. And when I said "stepped on" produce, yeah, some of the wal-mart produce looks that way. And I won't buy the brand of salad (their house brand) they sell - I bought some once and it was terrible. You'd think someone couldn't ruin salad greens but somehow they did. (At least I can get bagged spinach at the Green Spray and I've kind of been living on that). Or we need a CSA system where I can order boxes of stuff. We don't have that, don't even really have a proper Farmer's Market. (When as much of your diet is vegetables as mine is, you care about them more, and you care about them being good and organically grown whenever possible and not, like, having been sitting on the loading dock for a week before they're put out for sale.)

I did do one other thing yesterday afternoon - I decided since I was already kind of in a hissy-fit mood, that I'd go out to the cable-company's local office. (They do not have a local phone number, but I know where the office is hidden). I thought, best case scenario, they go, "Oh, man, we're sorry for the mess-up - wait, let us get you a box from the back" and I'd go home with a set-top box.

Well, that was not offered even though they had one sitting on the counter and I kind of eyed it. I told them about my early call, about how on the later call someone tried to claim I had called the wrong number (!)  and that I was concerned my service was going to cut out for lack of a box.

Well, it turns out it's not switching over Friday like we were originally told. When does the switch over happen? No one knows. They did tell me I "should" have my box in time before the switch over. But no one knows when it is.

Yeah. so.

(I was polite to the ladies, one of them seemed fairly frustrated at the lack of information the head office had given THEM.)

Also, something I've noticed lately: very few people in customer service say "I'm sorry" or "We're sorry" any more when a customer is inconvenienced. I realize that that's kind of like wanting to hear "thank you" when you help someone - that you shouldn't expect it - but it does make things a little nicer and a little easier even if it's likely that they're just PRETENDING to be sorry. 

I say "sorry" all the time as a way of hopefully placating people so they won't be angry. Said it just the other day when I had to tell a student that no, he could not hand in a paper a week late, because, as per the syllabus, late work is not accepted. And yeah, in a way I am sorry: sorry it will hurt the student's grade, but also sorry that they couldn't abide by the rules of the class and therefore are forcing me to play bad cop in the situation. (Surely, surely, many workplaces still have deadlines on stuff? I have deadlines on things - article reviews, textbook reviews, revisions of manuscripts, grant proposals. I've never actually missed a deadline so I don't know if there's any forgiveness in professional cases but I generally assume there ISN'T and budget my time accordingly. I suppose, with something like a revision of an accepted paper, if I became violently ill for two weeks and was physically unable to do the revisions, they'd cut me some slack and not rescind the acceptance, but I hope never to test that out)

Also, all the Viacom channels (well, the ones I thought to check) are still available on my cable, and there's no ominous "Call this number now and DEMAND your channels back!" header like there was a few days ago. I guess the cable company caved to Viacom's demands, or maybe this is just part of the regular kabuki theater between channel-providers and cable companies, that then allows the cable companies to go to the customers and go, "Look, guys....we got those channels back for you but now we need to increase your monthly rate, because of the greedy channel-provider." I don't know. I probably should have called the number and gone, "You know? Except for SpongeBob SquarePants, I don't really watch anything on the channels I'd be losing, so go ahead and let them drop." 

(I'm not really in the demographics of most of those channels....there's the "channel for men" (or so it used to be called), the channel for teens/twentysomethings, the LGBT channel, a couple kids' channels, a tween channel. I wish there were a "middle aged spinster channel," but I suppose we don't count demographically. And anyway, what would they show? Programs about cats?  (Maybe Hallmark is actually the middle-aged spinster channel, now that I think of it). I just wish there were still a channel that actually showed educational programming that was actually educational. PBS does sometimes, though most of the daily block here is taken up with kids' educational shows rather than ones aimed at adults. I also wish HGTV still occasionally showed quilting or crafts shows, instead of just the "couples arguing over what home they want to buy" programs (Why are so many programs now about conflict? I have enough conflict and arguing in my day-to-day life that I want something just kind of soothing for my entertainment)

AND in the midst of all this, I just remembered I'd supply brownies for a church "feed the college kids" lunch tomorrow. (I was going to make them last night, and of course I forgot). Crud. Usually I use a mix for these as it's faster and brownie mixes are not that bad. But I don't have a mix on the shelf (and I also usually use a 9 x 13 disposable pan, which I also currently do not have on the shelf). So, I guess after piano, if it's not storming too badly (the storms are supposed to start around 4, so I should be able to take my field lab out). 

But, meh. It would have been so much easier if I had thought of that yesterday. I can get the mix at Green Spray but last I looked, they didn't have the disposable pans, so either I have to risk sacrificing one of my glass pans (they get carried a couple different places and it's possible for a pan to get dropped) or go to the wal-mart. At 4 pm. On the day before big storms. (Or I could get up an extra hour earlier tomorrow, run there in the middle of the night, cook the brownies while working out....but that way lies madness.)

1 comment:

Joan said...

Or you could just go somewhere that sells ready-made brownies and buy those. More expensive and maybe not as good, but it will probably be a lot easier on your nerves...