Monday, February 11, 2013

Messy houses and bad business

A couple of months back, we ordered a set of algebra books for our boy--a fun sort of "survival guide" book and its matching workbook.  We ordered these from two different vendors--LABN Books and More and GoodwillSA.  The survival guide, ordered from GoodwillSA, arrived quickly and was, in fact, the correct book.  The workbook, ordered from LABN Books and More?  Came a little more slowly (but not awfully so), and, sadly, WASN'T the workbook at all.  It was, in fact, a second copy of the guide.

Since we ordered through Amazon, we used Amazon's system to contact the seller.  The seller never responded.  After waiting nine days for a response, we turned to Amazon, who credited us our entire cost.  Here we are, five weeks later, and LABN Books and More still has made no effort to contact us about the mistake.  That's a lousy way to do business, because we would have forgiven one screw up.  But not responding, not making good, not making some effort to explain and reassure that it was a fluke?  No, that's the end of us and them.  A look at their seller feedback shows a dramatic drop in customer satisfaction just the past few months.  Not sure what their problem is, but they won't be hearing from us again.

A wonderful friend of mine spent hours at the Social Security office today, trying to update her card and information.  The demand for a logical paper trail (marriage licenses, divorce decrees, etc.) had her jumping through hoops all afternoon, and found her in line for hours.  My heart goes out to her, though I'm not sure the SS's anality is a bad thing, all things considered.  Sucks that the good folks have to jump through the hoops necessitated by the bad guys.  I remember it was bad even before 9/11 and the Patriot Act buried us in bureaucracy.  I was living in SoCal, trying to get a passport so I could spend a few really awful weeks in Europe (I know, boo-stinkin'-hoo, huh?).  Unfortunately, the name on my Social Security card didn't match the name on my birth certificate, which didn't match the name on my driver's license.


Oh, the papers I had to gather, the hassle of pulling it all into one cohesive pile (this was not long after my accident and was right after an interstate move--my stuff was scattered hell to breakfast).  I lived well east of Los Angeles, and spent a lot of time calling various federal agencies long distance (yes, back in the day when that cost extra!).  One memorable call?  To the US Passport Agency on Wilshire Blvd.  I called at 3 pm (in those days, the office closed at 4 pm).  They put me on hold, and I stayed on hold for an hour and forty-five minutes.  That's right, they put me on hold (again, long distance charges accruing), then they closed the office and went home for the day!  It took me that last 45 minutes to wise up and hang up.


L.A. Federal Building on Wilshire Blvd in Sawtelle (not really Westwood)

I was trying to describe to my husband how we have become neater with age.  The house is, in my opinion, a disaster right now.  But what constitutes a disaster has changed.

When living with Margaret?  This was a disaster:

Add cigarette butts and dog crap.  Seriously.  Living with Margaret was tough.
 What constitutes a mess today:

Hey, post 10 hour Walking Dead marathon with two meals!

Hubby said we've just reached a lower point of "critical mess."  I'll take it--I like things nicer now that I'm all grown up.  If I wound up moving into a place like Margaret's today, I'd almost certainly burn the place clean with a blow torch.

Maybe tomorrow I'll tell the story of moving in with Margaret.  I don't think it's "speaking ill of the dead."  I mean, they're my stories, I was there, too.  And I've told the stories for years--her dying doesn't make the stories suddenly not mine.

Anyway, I have to run--I had more to say, but Hubby and boy have school work to do tonight, so I need to get that reading done with him.  Goodnight!

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