To Run an Errand in this Era -A Rant

Errands. The mission of driving somewhere to do some small task, that you feel doesn’t really warrant the effort of driving all the way there just to complete it.

Here’s the thing: I think that because most tasks can be accomplished online (we are used to online bill pay, shopping for items other than groceries, etc.) these small tasks that actually require more effort really annoy us now.

I used to not mind so much stopping by the bank or post office or dry cleaner or whatever, but now I absolutely loathe it. That’s right, not dislike, not hate, I LOATHE it. Why? 2 things happened to instigate my loathing.

First, every company became Internet friendly. My bank literally charges me a fee if I visit in person, in a branch or talk to a real person, even on the phone… Because I belong to the online club. Honestly, that’s not a real problem. I prefer talking to machines or just doing everything online, until I run into a problem. I had an issue with a withdrawal, it withdrew twice, so I called. Only, there is no machine option 7 to help out, so I talked to real person. We discussed the issue, got it settled and then the person says, “I see you are in the online club, so this call is going to charge you $5.” I was shocked, so I said so and the lady was nice enough to just waive the fee.

The second thing that has happened is the economy went down, down, down. The drop has resulted in companies that we still need to visit shortening their hours. If you have a 8-5 job, forget about visiting any government maintained building, no post office, no banks, (who all now work Mon-Fri 8:30 – maybe 5 and Sat 10-3) conveniently on your way to or from work. I’m the type of person who has always attached errands to other obligations or planned outings, because I hate making Saturday “Errands Day.” (It doesn’t happen all the time but its very annoying when it does.) So here is the really annoying part: these shortened hours means anyone who works my schedule must either take time off work, go during the lunch hour, or make “Errand Saturday”exactly at 10am. Limited hours for many people means the hours your able to go is the same for so many others resulting in lines like Disney with a bunch of irritated adults with no ride at the end, only a small sense of satisfaction that your task is done.

I understand companies needing to shorten hours and reduce costs, but I really think they should think about the time they are open. I think any company who’s current hours are so conveniently a half hour after I start work and close when I get off should make a decision; either elect to open an hour before so that your hours are from 7 – 4 or shift an hour later 9 – 6. If they really want to be helpful (which will never happen) they could do a 2 hour shift; either 6am-3pm or 10am-7pm. They still cut costs and shorten their operation time while maintaining hours that help people actually complete errands through the week.

I also understand that it’s impossible to make everyone happy, and I guess since I live in a city where so many people work night, swing or various other shifts I should be less loathe-full about the subject because their decisions may be based off that -I doubt it though. Come Tuesday during the lull of office hours, right before their shift starts at 4, people working these irregular hours can walk straight in, no line and be out. Apparently, they get fast passes.

Agree? Disagree?

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I’m Going to Have a Bad Day

I have for you all today a list of the random ways to tell it is not going to be a good day. I guess, as Justin said, it is a list of superstitions. I never really considered myself particularly superstitious, but when something from the following list occurs I know the day is just not going to go my way.

  1. Hair does not cooperate. If the strands on your head are not doing what you want, they are telling you to stay in bed.
  2. You choose the wrong shirt, pants etc. This one is more like a self-fulfilling prophecy. You choose something, it feels awkward, it affects your confidence you still choose it and you attack the day with your lack of enthusiasm and self-conscience attitude.
  3. Nothing good on the radio or nothing on your music device is something you want to hear. I don’t know why but when I start the day listening to music I don’t want to hear and I continue listening in hopes that something good will come on next, well it mirrors my day -hoping, hoping and continuous let downs.
  4. You literally wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I know this is a saying, usually going something like, “Oh, seems like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” Yes. Yes I did and the boyfriend stole all the sheets too.
  5. Drop your keys. Okay, I can drop my keys anytime during the day and it doesn’t mean a thing… except in the morning, just before leaving the house. If I drop my keys then maybe I really just shouldn’t go anywhere that day. I should just stay home, and go back to my wrong side of the bed.

M&M’S, The Colors Debate

You might think today’s rant is a silly one, but for whatever reason, it kind of irks me- Not in a blind rage way, but in the I am going to correct you politely way.

You know when people say they only eat the brown M&M’s? And their reasoning is that there must be less food coloring because chocolate is already brown?

I blame The Wedding Planner, the movie with Jennifer Lopez and that greasy guy, whom I’m sure half of you think is attractive. In it she says exactly that.

But M&M’s have a candy coating. And when you suck on them and re-examine, the inner coating is white, which means they create the colors artificially, even the brown ones. And if any had more or less it could stand that yellow may have the least, while brown has the most because brown takes more mixing and darker colors to create than yellow.

Regardless,

Companies spend a lot of time studying things like what color of red, specifically, is the most appealing to the majority of our demographic.

So,

Rest assured, the candy companies have specifically generated each color to make them the most appealing possible, nevermind artificial colorings. The brown M&M’s have just as much artificial coloring as the rest.

But,

if you only eat the brown ones think of how many calories you’ll be saving. If a bag has 250calories total and you only eat the 3 brown ones, your still saving yourself artificial coloring and real calories.

But, when I reach for a bag of M&M’s I’m not thinking about coloring or calories, I’m thinking this will fix my sugar low, however, that green is one of the best shades ever.

Customer Service Rant

Tantrum time!

I can not tell you how many times I have been dissatisfied with a customer service rep. I think my problem is I do not keep to the KISS rule (Keep It Simple Stupid). Instead, I ask more than one question and apparently my questions are too hard.

I really have trouble with this and it’s becoming one of those things that grates my skin -a real pet peeve.

I am a very thorough person. If you sent me an email asking several questions and leaving a few comments in-between, I’m the type that will respond with an answer for each, separately and I will probably address your comments as well. That’s just how I am. That is how I think customer service reps should be as well.

I find myself in a T-Mobile store, wanting to know (now here’s my question) If I buy a smart phone, do I need a data plan, or can I buy the smart phone and just text/talk on it.

Trust me, I know that it seems silly to want a smart phone without all the smarts, but it does suit me, well at least for now.

You see, I have talk/text unlimited. So I bought just the crappy $10 phone thinking that it would be fine. Well, the interface sucks, the texting is ridiculous, its just really lame. I still didn’t need to up my contract by adding data (though that’s in the future) but I couldn’t deal with the baseline phone. So, there I am in T-Mobile trying to ask the guy if I could upgrade my phone without altering my plan.

The guys response “Yes, you can have data on these phones.”

So I ask again, changing my approach, “Can I use the smart phone without the data plan?”

Here he proceeds to pull out the paper with the hierarchy of plans and explains, “This is your plan,” he circles, “and this is the data plan. You can change plans for data.”

Now I’m frustrated, “Can I keep my plan, as is, and buy this phone?”

Ok, we went back and forth until I literally walked out.

And I would chalk this up as a bad experience, but this is a regular occurrence. I email someone two questions and they are extremely helpful… with one question. I talk on the phone and am constantly redirected.

sigh… KISS

Thanksgiving Gripe

Today is Thanksgiving, the day to be thankful and take a moment to appreciate the things you usually take for granted. Today is also Thursday, my rant day of the week. So, although I have a lot to be thankful for I do have a gripe.

My dad was going to come to Las Vegas and spend Thanksgiving at my place, but he ended up having to work. Now, he doesn’t work for any of those places that decided to start Black Friday way early, he works for a mining company, but all of it irritates me. I will certainly miss him for this holiday, and hope he gets some tasty turkey, just like all the people who will miss their family working the holiday.

Now, I’m not against places being open and having people work. I know several people who enjoy working the holiday, either for extra pay or because they do not care for celebrating the holiday. If they want to work that’s a good thing, but when companies decide to open their Black Friday hours on Thanksgiving or even before and require their employees to be away from their families kinda sucks.

Anyway your celebrating, or whenever, I hope your turkey day is enjoyable.

Tantrum Thursday

Yay! Tantrum Thursday, the day I get to rant, be a sour face, generally displeased and take it out on the blog. You might think I would choose ranting about politics, or maybe the dwindling supply of leftover halloween candy, but I decided on a something that happened tonight.

I was making very delicious homemade chili and cornbread. The pot of chili was coming along quite well, add a little more garlic salt, red pepper, yumm. It started boiling and I decided to taste it again. I brought the spoon to my mouth and enjo-way owe! I forgot to let the spoon cool and my tongue burned.

Now the real rant here is in enjoying a taste test I lost my taste testing ability for the night. Delicious, delicious chili, I have been looking forward to since 3 and I ruined my ability to enjoy.

I do look forward to the top layer of skin peeling off the roof of my mouth. So, there’s that.