dilemma dilemma

A bit of a rant…

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I’m starting to feel a little… overwhelmed? Frustrated? I’m starting to prepare to be gone for this week-end and for our big trip – leaving September 22nd.

Here’s the thing – I’m often limited by what I can do based on what the companies I’m contracted by give me (like, pics, blog posts, fodder for email blasts etc.). If I don’t get the stuff, I can’t do my job. So…

  •  Do I look bad in the eyes of these companies when things don’t get done?
  •  Do they realize I couldn’t do my job because I didn’t get the info (from them!)?
  •  Do they not care at all – ’cause it’s only social media?

I’m kinda leaning towards C. I get it, social media is not the most important part of any business that I work with. But it’s super frustrating when I’m ready, able and willing to do what I’ve promised and have been contracted to do – especially with me being gone quite a bit soon – but they don’t fulfill their side.

When I start working with a company, I outline exactly what is required of them to do my job and when it’s required. Trust me – I make it easy on them. I also now know to deal with one person so there’s no miscommunication or blame. Still, it doesn’t always work.

Oh, also it’s plain old LAZY on their end at times. Simple as that. Lay to the Z. (The info is not coming from an owner or manager, rather an employee – if their employer knew how much they don’t do to support me, it may cause problems for them, but it’s not my place to rat them out – but then – I end up looking like I’m not doing my job!)

I’m pretty good at reminding myself, ‘if they don’t care, neither do I’ – or ‘why should I care more than them?’ But I was raised to always do my best. Always give 100% all the time. It’s just the way I am. So it’s difficult for me to do this particular job because my 100% depends on their efforts.

ACK and onward.

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Stress balls

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Yesterday I started my day as normal checking emails. Surprisingly, it was one of those odd days when there was nothing ‘to do’ in my inbox. How nice for me.

I checked my ‘other’ email address, which I do everyday, but it’s mostly junk (facebook messages, groupon – that kind of thing). Because I didn’t have any actions to take work wise, I sifted with a bit more care through this inbox. No biggie, right?

I saw a statement of what I wrongly thought was our Tennessee phone/internet bill, which I opened just for fun. Now, a bit of a back story…

In the fall last year, I put the phone and internet at the house in TN ‘on vacation’ – so instead of paying about $90 a month, our bills would be about $20 a month. I planned on ‘turning it back on’ around now – mid April. In late February I received an odd (I’m saying odd because I don’t usually get them) bank statement from TN – our account was overdrawn. I was shocked and bothered and stressed to say the least. In the winter, we generally put enough money in the bank down there to cover all the aut0 bills that come (insurance, water, phone/interent, and power). After a little investigation I realized that the phone company never put our service on vacation, and had been charging us the full amount all winter long!

Ack!

So I called the phone company, and of course they had no record of my request (even though the woman I spoke to actually called me at home in Canada, as she couldn’t put our phone on vacation unless we had ‘digital phone’ – which I agreed to)… blah blad blah. I actually had awesome customer service and the phone company agreed to credit us for a full 6 months of bills. Yippee.

So during this time our bank account was drained. When I was in Florida the first time, I sent a money order to cover the house’s expenses until we have some rental income. HOWEVER, I neglected to consider the other bills that came into arrears during that time, as well as the growing NSF charges. Duh! ARG!

Sooooo…. I opened our electric bill, which I thought was a credit for our phone bill, yesterday and saw a balance of $243, which is crazy, as our monthly bills usually top our at $35 a month! So again, more NSF charges, interest… blah blah blah!

So in a call down there I learned:

– I could not discuss the account with them, as the account was in PF’s name (I charmed my way around that… I think ‘my husband is going to kill me’ really helped).

– Our electricity was turned off as of March 15th. Awesome.

– They tried multiple times to call us, but had a WAY wrong phone number.

– They have our wrong address, so no mail!

So all in all, it was totally my fault. A completely stupid oversight on my part not considering all the other accounts in arrears with NSF charges. I don’t make a habit of checking the TN bills as I ‘know’ there is enough money to cover our expenses. Duh! That won’t happen again.

So (I need to wrap this up quickly), the phone company needed to call me back, and I attached the phone to my ass all morning and heard nothing. I learned when calling yet again, that their office can’t call internationally. Yeah, so I sat stewing in my stress for house! Super!

I could get the electricity turned back on immediately (paying the arrears plus a $30 charge) with a credit card (yeah!) – kind of important as the next bank draft wasn’t scheduled until April 29 – no good, as William arrives there on the 25th! And he would kill me if there was no electricity! I had Jen (PF’s girlfriend who lives in PA and obviously has an American bank account) fire off a big ole cheque to cover any other random charges. (I think we’ve paid more than $200 in NSF charges! Stupid!!)

The company also requires a SSN. Super. We’re Canadian. Kinda hard for us to have a SSN! Luckily PF has a US Tax Payer Identification Number, which works in these cases. If not we would have to pay a $300 deposit on top of everything else!

Eek!

So trust me when I say I’m going to pay a lot more attention to what is going on down there! I have online banking for our TN account (it’s super crappy compared to what we have here), and I’m committing to checking it weekly! Our electricity will be back on today, and the woman I dealt with re-assured me that I’m not a complete moron, even commenting that in the 13 years we’ve had an account with them, we’ve never missed a payment. Still…

So it was pretty funny when William called me when I was in the middle of dealing with this  hot mess yesterday, and he asked, ‘how’s your day going?’ and of course I said, ‘good, good, not much going on really. How’s your day?’

Yeah… live and learn. Life’s (still) good, just a little more expensive than it was!

Ack!

A dilemma of sorts

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On Monday I’m flying down to Fort Myers, and I leave the next day, heading home, driving my husband’s boss’s car.

I spoke with my husband’s boss the other day, confirming flight times and the like. They fly home early on Tuesday afternoon, and he said, ‘Are you going to drive us to the airport, or should we try to find a ride to the airport?’

Well.

Just the way he worded the question, of course made me think that they would prefer me driving them to the airport. Which is fine. Which of course I said ‘no problem’. The problem is, it’s a solid 21 hours drive home. If I don’t leave until noon (their flight is at 2pm) I will have to drive 11 hours, until 11pm, just to be half way home. I think it will rather suck to check into a hotel (motel really) at 11pm – knowing that I’ll be up and ready to go at the crack of 6am to avoid traffic (I’m quite schooled on rush hour traffic in TN, KY, OH, and MI) Boo.

So, what to do, what to do?

If I’m leaving at noon on Tuesday, I know that I could push it a bit and drive nearly 12 hours and stay at our place in TN – which is only an hour out of the way, but there is no way I could get up early (to avoid Knoxville, Cincinasty and Detroit rush hours) and drive 10 hours home if arriving around 12am! … If I could stay 2 nights in TN, it would be worth it, and my husband’s boss would save paying for one night’s (he really doesn’t care though) hotel… I think, however, that they would like their car back sooner (they of course have 2, but after spending a solid month together in FL, they may just want the freedom to go their own way in their own cars).

In the pic, you can see that 1-75 travels from Chattanooga, through Cleveland, then up to Knoxville. The route I would take to our house is a bit parallel and west of 1-75 – also a bit slower posted speed wise…

Hm… I guess I’ll see. I think going to FL was more fun than coming home will be…

Around the house

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I don’t know know if this fantastic weather is a good thing or not…

I’ve been busting my butt the last few days inside and outside the house. I normally would be just focused (and probably close to done by now!) on just the inside, but when it’s 80*+ outside, of course I’m pulled that way.

I feel almost frantic, trying to get things done. That’s not a good feeling. I should be feeling ahead of the game – as normally not a thing is done outside until at the earliest the very end of March, or early April – never this early. But this good weather means golf courses are open early (like now!), except ours (boo!) – and there are patios to be sat upon and drinks to be consumed…

I also feel a bit, ‘ARG!’ as I’m going stateside with some besties Friday night for retail and dining therapy – so there goes two days (although they will be great days!). Plus I’m headed back to Florida on the 2nd and will be gone 3 nights.

So anyways – life is good. Time to get started on my day!

Well that worked out

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Today I was supposed to be at a ‘Business Growth’ workshop/seminar at 9am, (not for me and my personal business growth), as the first speaker is a friend (and guest blogger) of my ‘boss*’ and I wanted to hear her speak, then my ‘boss’ is on at 10 am, and I was to record the session, and look for crowd response and the like.

As it turns out, the first speaker was to be on at 8:20 am – which I discovered (it was my ‘boss’ who told me 9am) at 7:50 am… the workshop is half an hour away and I had wet hair. And apparently my ‘boss’ speaks at 11am.

I had a copy of the event flyer, which I have been passing around in social media for a week now, and I never bothered to really read it myself! Ah well.

So I’m heading there at 10:15 am to arrive during the first break, to set up power point and the flip cam. It worked better for me, as I wasn’t running around the house this morning like a poulet sans tete. (little French lesson for you there)

It’s nice when things work out. Last night things were not working out. After preparing a power point presentation for a couple of hours and waiting for my ‘boss’s’ edits, the power cord for my laptop started to spark, and suddenly the computer screen was dark! Ack! I ran to my ‘boss’s’ office to be sure he didn’t delete the slide show (he didn’t). So instead of having a quick phone chat about a few changes made to the presentation, I’m now in town (didn’t feel well either, just wanted to be on the couch with the computer) on a conference call while my ‘boss’ reviews the show slide by slide with his girlfriend (also involved in the business) via speakerphone! Ack!

It actually all worked out. The show was ‘tweaked’ and I was home in about an hour to find that my awesome husband discovered that the internal power thingy was not fried on the laptop, just the cord, which had suspicious bite marks on it (thanks Shank, dang furry kid!) was done done done. I happened to have in my huge ‘box o’ cords’ (this should strike you as odd, as I don’t keep a lot of stuff, but we do have a big ole box o’ cords for technological emergencies such as this) an old power cord from my laptop purchased in 1997! William checked the power on it (with his handy meter – yes that’s spelled right) and it worked like a charm.

So much has changed in technology since 1997 (my laptop weighed like 30 lbs, had an unheard of 20 GB memory, cost $5,000) who knew the power cord would be exactly the same! Ha!

Yeah, so in the end, it all worked out. I’m happy that it was just the cord that was fried and not my laptop and especially not the puppy!

(*boss* because while yes I do work for him, it is a contract thing, and plus he’s been a friend of mine for 18+ years, so it’s a bit weird for me to call him straight up ‘my boss’)

It wasn’t me. I’m way too cute to do anything like that!

Super productive

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Wow, I’m amazed at the stuff I accomplished yesterday. I’d list it, but it wouldn’t mean anything to anyone but me. So…

I still have one issue absolutely plaguing me. The guy who installed the furnace in TN never came back to build the book which covers the ducts which do into the crawlspace of the house. With winter coming and a wide range of critters looking for a place to call home, and water pipes in the crawlspace this little job needs to get done.

I don’t know why he didn’t come back. He was supposed to in later July. I called him when I was down in September and nothing, I never heard back (multiple messages, texts, etc.). It especially pisses me off for the following reasons:

= He had more than a month’s notice of when the job needed to be done.

– I paid him full in cash before he started the job (I’ve known him for about 7 years btw), so he could immediately pay his supplier.

– I was completely flexible and not demanding about when the furnace was installed. His mom was having health issues and he had to cancel out a few days and I was cool with that – as long as the job got done.

– He initially told me they would need to add some cement to the pad as the furnaces now are apparently a different shape then they were 25 years ago. They actually did not need to pour cement. This really cut down in their labour and the number of times they needed to come to the house – thus increasing his profit.

And now… crickets. I don’t want to threaten small claims court or reporting him to the BBB. I just want the freakin box built over the ducts like he said he would do.

It’s a little frustrating too as I’m so far away from the house in Tennessee. Luckily my neighbour is awesome (he’s the one who just did our roof down there…) and will check to see if the job is done. If it comes to it, I can always pay my handy neighbour to build the box. Of course I would pay him, but then send the bill directly to the furnace guy.

Annoying.

Awesome roof pic – actually it just shows the soffits and facia, but still, awesome!

What to do

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William has called me twice today already (I feel so special!) to ask what I want to do on Saturday… here are the options.

Option 1

Play golf with Mr. and Mrs. Revenue Canada, PF, and possibly other Sutton Creek Randoms (not Kiks and Jim, they are busy parenting this week-end). Probably have dinner and drinks at the club after.

Option 2

Steak night, great night, date night.

Option 3

Go to the drive-in.

What to do, what to do? We could combine Option 1 with Option 2, or Option 1 with Option 3… although we'd have to be responsible (not drink alcohol so much) during Option 1 to make it to Option 3… why? Because Option 3 involves considerable driving and the possibility of sleeping in the back of William's truck…

Driving home at 1am from Grand Bend (okay Shipka really) is not always the most tempting offer… HOWEVER – we love the drive-in! This week-end they're playing Iron Man 2 and She's Outta My League. I'm dying to see IM2!

I'm stumped and I have to let William know soon…

Tough life! 

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