Wednesday Whine

That is WHINE and not WINE (remember it's still Lent and I've given up wine/alcohol for the season).  What is there to whine about this Wednesday?  (Remember, we can ALWAYS find something to whine about if we try hard enough!)  Let's look at all the "horrible" things life has dished up.
  • Yesterday's Snow Storm:  So we didn't get 24" like they said.  We didn't get 18".  On my block we probably got somewhere from 12" - 15".  It's hard to tell because it was blowing so hard (that's what Nor’easters do).  It started early Tuesday (like between midnight and two) and didn't end until after five (that's PM, not AM). I started shoveling (even with a snow blower you need to shovel; if only to get to the snow blower) before it was all over.  (It was starting to slow down, but that stinging sleet didn't make it a pleasant chore.)  The kid came out to help.  Then hubby came out to start up the blower.  It did not want to start.  Big surprise.  (I know the one time I had to use it several years ago, my arms were sore from trying to pull it to start...there's got to be a better way to start up a snow blower other than pulling that damn cord over and over again till it finally catches and starts.)  I was digging around the car (which I had NOT put in the garage because with over a foot of snow, I didn't know if we'd have enough gas in the snow blower or the man power to dig out the entire driveway...and guess what, we DIDN'T), listening to my husband pull and pull, all the while saying a little prayer that went:  "Please start, please start, please start."  Eventually it did.  But not until tension had run high and so had hubby's blood pressure.  The three of us (with the help from some neighbors) cleared a path from the house to the driveway and cleaned out part of the driveway.  We also worked on my parents sidewalk (though that was mostly done by my whining there, but WINE is deserved for all their help) and there stairs. All in all, I spent a good hour and half doing some BASIC clean up.  (Just enough so that we could get out and about.)  Came inside and "rested" for about an hour before I headed out to clean up more.  The town plow had come by and pushed snow back into the apron of the driveway.  (Appreciate their hard work and that they have ungodly long hours, but cleaning up that part of the driveway is always the worst and when it's done, to have it plowed back in KILLS me!)  So I clean that out and attempt to clean around the car a bit more.  I actually got in the car and backed up a little, just so that I could do some more cleaning.  And in the process, "killed" my green shovel.  It had been standing on the side of the driveway, but somehow ended up IN the drive way and under the rear wheel of my SUV.  (Some have suggested that this was a suicide.)  Moved the car back and "rescued" the shovel.  (Which I was still able to use somewhat.  But next year, we need a new shovel.)  Then I went back in the house to a well-deserved hot bath...only to hear as I climbed into the wonderfully steamy water:  the snow plow coming back down the street.  FML!
  • My son didn't have school today, but my office was open (closed yesterday, although I did work remotely).  I felt that I should make the effort to go in (even though I can work remotely).  Spent 20 minutes cleaning off the car...although it is still NOT perfectly clean.  I am short and it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to get everything off the roof.  I purposely left the house later than usual (didn't have a kid that I had to drop off early).  This was a smart move.  Traffic was minimal (this was a tail end of early morning rush hour.)  Though the secondary roads were a little iffy, the main roads and highways were pretty darned good.  Then it came to the road that my office sits on.  Now this is NOT a main thoroughfare, but there are several office buildings on it, one large condo complex and another complex in the process of going up.   As was the case during our last snowstorm (back in February), very minimal plowing has been done.  Entire road is still white.  The most treacherous part of my drive and if I lived in that condo complex I would be howling... (With that said, the office parking lot is beautifully plowed.)
  • Since this morning was not a "typical" morning, while I remembered to bring some fruit for lunch, I forgot to bring something to drink.  I typically bring a two liter bottle of diet soda and leave it in the office fridge for the week.  Now that I've forgotten, I either go downstairs to the cafe where I pay the same price for a small bottle as I would for a 2 liter bottle at the grocery store.  The alternative is to visit the local grocery on lunch.  (Stop and Shop IS having a soda sale.)  What do you think that place is going to look like during the lunch hour today?  Can I face an afternoon with no caffeinated soda?  I don't think so!
  • You may recall my Charming Charlie rant of several months ago:  Issue was NEVER resolved.  After I finally received a return label, I used to.  NOT to send back the item, but to send a note.  (Figured it might be noticed if it was sent FedEx).    My note said:  
"To Whoever Actually Reads This,
Last Friday, after 16 days of waiting for a return label from your company, Federal Express contact me (via email) with the shipping label that is attached to this package.
As you have no doubt noticed, there is nothing in this package other than this letter.  As I repeatedly told your customer service department, I only wanted to return/exchange a tote bag that you had sold over the holidays which also contained other items (cosmetic bag, travel mug, etc.)  I had used most of the items in the tote, but not the tote itself, when I noticed the tear.  I could not return the tote with the items that I had used and all I wanted was a replacement tote.  
All of this has been documented in my blog:    But since no one seemed to read my emails, I doubt as if anyone in your organization has stumbled upon my post about your customer service.  Nor do I think you care about the fact that you’ve lost a customer.  What’s one customer after all?  Maybe a couple of hundred dollars a year?  A drop in the bucket that you clearly don’t need.
If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll realize that it isn’t really about a tear in a tote bag, but the lack of listening and attention that is the true reason for your loss of my business.  I can fix the bag with needle and thread, but I can’t fix your inattentiveness.  And sadly, all of this could have been easily fixed with a new bag, a partial refund (since I couldn’t return the item intact and complete) or even a gift certificate to your store.  That would have required something that your organization seems to be lacking; customer care.
Now, if you’ve managed to make it to the end of this letter, THANK YOU.  As the person reading this, I know you’ve had nothing to do with any of this.  But it is my hope that perhaps you will pass this along to management and maybe, just maybe, you’ll look into how you handle customer service and the next time someone has an issue, you will listen and not just give rote answers."
 I DID actually get a response in the form of a phone message from a Marilyn at their corporate headquarters saying she wanted to follow up and make sure I was "happy."  I called her back and got HER voicemail.  I believe my message was something along the lines of the fact that I WASN"T happy and there wasn't much they could do about it because their customer service had really dropped the ball.  I left my number in case she wanted to discuss further.  Obviously she didn't because we never spoke.  I'm not pursing it because obviously they don't care...and I guess I don't either.  It is saving me money!
  • Speaking of saving money (something I LOVE to do...who doesn't???), I purchased a large bottle of Alba Botanica Hawaiian Shampoo at TJ Maxx last month. I rarely shop at TJ Maxx (I'm not sure if I've ever even bought anything at the store prior to this purchase). I was sucked in by several things: the price had been reduced twice on this 32 oz. container, the promise of the shampoo being a "body builder" (I need all the body I can get) and the scent of mango. (I am sucker for tropical scents. While it might not take me away to Hawaii; I was hoping at least to have some memories of the Polynesian Resort at WDW while sniffing.) The product DID smell fantastic. I don't know how much body it added to my hair. It looked pretty much the same, but I have no real complaints on that. What I do have a complaint about is the lather, or lack thereof. I had to pump, pump, pump (why does that sound vaguely dirty?) and use a lot of product to get any sort of lather. Remember, I DON"T have thick hair and where a dab of shampoo will usually do me, I went through this bottle in less than a month! Not such a great savings when you think about it. I do plan to let the company know, but perhaps I should have known better. I've been told (but don't know if it's true) that products sold NOT in specific beauty supply stores, may not be what they should be. This buyer SHOULD been aware. I wasn't...and it was MY financial mistake. But one that I won't make again.
 Now if you've made it through all this whining, you're probably ready to whine yourself.  (About this post.)  I'll admit I don't have much to whine about. Why not look at the bigger picture?  I'm grateful that I have the health and stamina to do snow removal.  I'm grateful that my family is healthy enough to help with snow removal.  I'm EXTREMELY grateful for neighbors who helped not just my family, but so many on our block.  While the road at the office may be a mess, I've got an SUV that can handle it and I'm smart enough to know that I need to be cautious and take it slow.  No soda at the office?  All my problems should be so tragic.  Crappy customer service and products?  I'm lucky enough to be able to afford little luxuries.  No more whining...

...but what is that a snow squall that I see outside my window????  WHINE!


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