Archive for the 'Customer Service' Category


In my inbox


So I know this wasn’t sent by the “criminals” because. . .?



call me paranoid, just don’t call me late for dinner

Is it just me, or does this sound like a scam?


It seems like the people generating these schemes would at least have the sense to hire/find someone who can actually write English.

Sure, I’ll just send money to ping-tai, even though I haven’t ever in my life ordered anything from What were the steps again? (Isn’t it thoughtful of Ping Tai to point out where exactly the “Send Money” button is?)

As Husband likes to say, I was born at night, but not LAST night.


Customer Service, local banking style

Received a letter from my bank recently, outlining my complimentary enrollment in the bank’s “Overdraft Privilege” program. The key points of this privileged status are outlined as such:

  • Should an overdraft occur, your account will be assessed the standard NSF fee of $32 for handling each item even if paid by the discretionary Overdraft Privilege services.
  • If multiple items are presented against your account on the same day, each item will be assessed the appropriate NSF fee or returned item fee of $32, up to a limit of five (5) fees per day.
  • ___________Bank has the discretion, but is not agreeing and does not have an obligation to pay your overdrafts and we may withdraw or reduce the amount of this privilege at any time.

Umm, thanks?

Guess the “Privilege” part is the part where you agree not to accidentally, manipulate the circumstances so as to charge me more than $160 a day?

They wasted paper and a stamp to tell me this? Seems like they could have just given me the finger and spat on my shoes or something.

Right up there with the bank that charges me an overdraft for not having the money in my checking account to make a house payment that’s already been paid.

I’m beginning to think I’m really in the wrong business.


never again

Bought a hooded tunic from what I believed to be a high-quality catalogue, made from what I believed to be a high-quality fabric. Wore it for 10 minutes, found a hole in the shoulder.

Here is me, working with someone in customer service at Blue Canoe, trying to get an exchange: (Warning: Don’t start down this road unless you have a lot of time.)



Dear Customer Service–

 I have a problem with my order. One of the items – the V-Neck Hooded Tunic (Item #M526-LEA) has a hole in the shoulder.

I would like an exchange, but am more than a little concerned about the quality of this item, especially considering its cost.

Can you advise me on whether this is an anomaly, or if I should just return it?



Hello —

I asked the owner Yes, it’s an anomaly.  We do have quality control and try to catch flaws, please send back the item.

Thank you,

Blue Canoe


Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 11:49 AM

To: Blue Canoe
Subject: Re: Order #1—
It’s on its way. I do love the garment — can you reserve a replacement for it?
Thank you.


On Oct 19, 2012, at 5:04 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

Currently, we have M526-LEA Small (1), Medium(1),  Large (1), & XL 3). But, we are suppose to re-stock today, but I don’t see new number in the system yet. No, Blue Canoe can not guarantee that the next V-neck Hooded Tunic will not have a hole.  Here at Customer Service, we do not have access to the Warehouse to eye-ball and check items before they ship. Quality Control does its best to check by batch.  But, you are welcome to return the item if you find another flaw.  Hopefully, if you do re-order there will be no flaw when you receive and view the V-Neck Hooded Tunic
Blue Canoe


Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 2:55 PM
To: Blue Canoe
Subject: Re: Order #1—
I had the Large in the green.
Can you automatically generate an exchange when you receive it from me, or do I need to do something else?


On Oct 19, 2012, at 6:00 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

I can include an exchange when I receive your M526-LEA-L in the mail.
What Size in the exchange do you want?  Another M526-LEA-L?   or a different size?


Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 3:04 PM
To: Blue Canoe
Subject: Re: Order #1—
Large please. 
Thank you.


On Oct 19, 2012, at 6:25 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

Okay,  I’ll make a note M526-LEA-L. when I get your return order in the mail.

Blue Canoe Customer Service


Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:00 PM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1—

Hi there-

Just checking to see if you have received my return and/or processed the exchange. (I was hoping to have the top for a trip I’m leaving on tomorrow. . . No sign of it yet.)


On Oct 30, 2012, at 2:13 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

It looks like your CC was credited $99.11 (which includes $4.16 Refund Shipping Cost for Return Flawed Hole In Shoulder of V-Neck Hood) on Oct. 24th 2012.  [it wasn’t] But, I don’t see a order put in for another M526-LEA-L.  I don’t think any delivery package will get to you (even in RUSH order) because of remenance [sic] of Superstorm Sandy.

Inventory shows M526-LEA-L  (3 in-stock). Do you still want that order item put in?

Blue Canoe Customer Service


Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:19 PM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1—

I do — from your previous email (cited below) I thought you were going to process an exchange right away.

On Oct 30, 2012, at 3:28 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

I can explain how it was overlooked.  I did check your order profile and a exchange order was not entered. If you still want the V-Neck Hoody, let me know.

Blue Canoe Customer Service

 [Does this explain anything? It doesn’t seem so , but maybe it’s just me.]


Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:34 PM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1— 

I do.


On October 31, 2012, Blue Canoe wrote:

I will add M526-LEA-L  as soon as our system is up. Currently, it’s down.  I will let you know when it is reserved.

Blue Canoe Customer Service


Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 3:15 PM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1—

I am not seeing this credit on my account. Was it cancelled out by the exchange? Or am I missing something?

On Nov 5, 2012, at 11:09 AM, Blue Canoe wrote:

Hello ,

I have sent an email to the person who does the charging out & refund crediting. I see in out order system that it has already credited $99.11 on Oct 24th including your $4.16 for Return Shipping Cost.  Transactions sometimes take time in entering into our payment system depending on who’s charging & crediting (is in the order of) but I have sent the email to the person who handles this and hopeful will her from soon.

Your credit of $99.11 – I see no notes on the credit being applied to your exchange order for the M526-LEA-L V-Neck Hoody.   Did you want it the credit to be applied to your exchange order?   I don’t recall you specifying for it to be applied to your exchange order.  Otherwise, I would have noted.  Please let me know.  Otherwise, my co-worker will credit the $99.11 & $4.16. to your current card and your exchange order will be charged for the exchange order.


Blue Canoe

Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 8:31 AM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1—

I would prefer an exchange. I just want to be sure what I get credited equals what I get charged.



Sent: November 5, 2012

$94.95  Is your order Amount for the M526-LEA-M  –  V-Neck Hoody

Our company usually takes the return credit and apply it to the exchange order.

Your Credit is    $99.11  (Credit)

$94.95  (Order Amount)

$ 4.16   (Remaining Credit)   You Don’t have to Use Your Credit Card To Purchase Your Exchange.

Is that okay with you. Or, do you still want us to credit your credit card $94.95 + $4.16(Return Ship Cost) separately from your exchange order. Meaning will we charge your card (without using return credit) for the exchange order. Applying the credit is usually customary.  But, if you want to see the actual credit return to your credit card I can ask for that.  That charge your card for the exchange order.

Blue Canoe Customer Service



SERIOUSLY? Clearly this “customer service” person is in another country — the grammar misusages sound like somewhere Asian.  This doesn’t seem like something that should be this difficult.

Sheesh. And never again.











disingenuous 101

a.k.a. Here’s hoping you’re not paying that much attention.



Bad enough that they’ve decided we even want to tip 20% for bad service (20 minutes to get a drink; 30 for a glass of water) and mediocre food. I wonder who gets the “extra” if we don’t notice and tip twice. I doubt it’s the waitstaff.

Anyway. . .


did I miss something?

Dear iTunes/iBooks customer support–

Thank you for your previous messages in your attempt to help me solve the “encoding error” problems I was experiencing after updating the software on my iPad, and which was causing most of my ebooks to appear to be empty of content. I’m sorry that you felt you were no longer able to help me. After much trial and error, I have found the solution, so I just wanted to update you, in case this situation presented itself again with another customer who was experiencing difficulties. It turns out that all I needed to do was run the iBooks app update. Everything is now fine. I’m actually surprised this wasn’t suggested in the first place.



Dear S—,

I just want to say that you are very welcome, and thanks for replying. I’m glad to hear that your issue has been resolved, and I was able to provide you with the support you deserve. I know it is always such a feeling of accomplishment, when things work out the way you want them to.

I am glad that I could assist you and best of all, put a smile on your face. Believe me, nothing makes Apple happier than knowing that we have pleased our wonderful customers. I truly hope that you continue to enjoy all that the iTunes Store has to offer.
Also, Apple (and myself) are currently striving for the best experience possible in making sure our customers have been taken care of to their satisfaction.
It was a pleasure to assist you, and I will now close this request. Remember support is just an email away if needed. You’ve truly been a remarkable asset to the iTunes Store Family and Thank you for choosing the iTunes Store.
Best wishes and continued happiness!


iTunes Store Customer Support

I work Thursday, Friday 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM and Monday Through Thursday 12:30 PM – 9:00 PM EST.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.


Let’s open this up for a vote, shall we?

How many people believe that Ashley has her replies to her customers reviewed by a superior, but not necessarily including the messages to which she is replying.

There is no possible way that she can suppose from the content of my message the she was of any use at all!!!


Just sayin’.


and so I find myself filled with rage

“Dear M&T Bank Customer Service:  I’ve spent an hour in a voicemail loop and/or on hold through your customer service number. M&T paid our Winter Taxes from our escrow on December 1. We refinanced later in the month, and the new mortgager also paid our real estate taxes. We have been told that the first payment has been refunded to M&T via a Tax Payment Servicing Company. We would like to know when we can expect to get this refund back to us. p.s. Your voicemail system doesn’t work — when I follow all of the prompts to the point where I indicate that I have a tax information question I end up back at the beginning. I’m very frustrated.”


“Dear Customer,
Thank you for your email.
Please be advised, we would be happy to assist you with your inquiry, however, we are unable to locate an account number for you. Please provide your mortgage account number so we may further assist you.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-724-2224.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve your banking needs.

Colleen Little
Mortgage Customer Support
Retail Servicing”


Well that sounds promising — Colleen would relish an “opportunity” to serve my “banking needs.”

Said mortgage account numbers were provided. . . .

Time passes. . . .

Lots and lots of time. . .

Feels like Days . .

Finally, I receive word from my new friend Heather:

“Dear Customer,

Thank you for your inquiry.
Please be advised you will need to follow up directly with our Tax Department at 1-866-406-0949.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your mortgage account, please feel free to respond via email or contact our Customer Service Department directly at 1-800-724-2224.

Heather Mitchell-Carter
Mortgage Customer Support
Retail Servicing”



Customer Support my a%$. Apparently Colleen didn’t pass on to Heather the part of the message where I pointed out my excursion in voice mail purgatory. I begin to suspect that “Heather” is not actually a person, but an electronically-generated minion, an avatar of sorts, whose job is to parse the combinations of nouns and vowels in my email message and generate what seems to be a suitable response. I decide this is cynical, and will give Heather, or should I say, “Heather,” another chance:

“I tried yesterday to talk to someone at this Tax Department phone number. I went on an almost-an-hour-long voicemail loop which repeatedly returned me to the starting place. I don’t have time to do this again. Is it possible for someone from there to call me instead?”


More time passes. . .

Lots and lots of time. . .

Frustration builds. . .

Finally, Heather builds me up with false hope by actually replying to my message. Until I read it:

“Dear Customer,

Thank you for your inquiry.

Please be advised you will need to call the Tax Department directly at 1-866-406-0949 or you can contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-724-2224 and request that a representative transfer you directly to a Tax Department Agent.
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your mortgage account, please feel free to respond via email or contact our Customer Service Department directly at 1-800-724-2224.

Heather Mitchell-Carter
Mortgage Customer Support
Retail Servicing”

OMG — it’s just like their voice mail!

Just as I suspected. Heather is, in fact, “Heather,” and M&T doesn’t give a flying f@#$ in a rolling doughnut about customer “support.” They just want me to go away. Soon.

The fact that the bank (ahem, Fifth Third) that refinanced our mortgage and the title company (ahem, Midstate Title) that prepared the endless legal documents for us to sign and initial, and initial, and initial. . .    apparently dropped the ball by not noticing that our taxes had been paid TWO FULL WEEKS BEFORE CLOSING, and can’t seem to be bothered to interrupt their whatever-it-is-that-bankers-do-in-the-winter-since-they’re-clearly-not-playing-golf to fix this for me doesn’t help.

Plus it’s Tuesday, and I work way too many hours on Wednesday so I’m preemptively crabby.

That doesn’t help.

My newly henna’d hair, does, though, kick ass, so there is that at least.


Why do other people not doing their jobs have to make so much more work for me? I have enough to do (you can tell, right?). Why am I waiting 6 weeks to get my money back? Why am I paying interest over the next 15 years for money I didn’t need to borrow? Why is the world so goddamn frustrating?


where’s the line between service and harassment?

Husband and I have decided to take advantage of the not-to-be-believed low mortgage interest rates, and are refinancing our home. We’re basically taking 15 years off the mortgage at an increase in our monthly payment of about $45. That must be a good deal.

We are going with a local bank/banker that was recommended by one of my piano student’s parents, who works in finance, so we figured he would know a good bank/banker to work with. Unfortunately this is a bank with which I have previous experience; the type of experience which caused me to close all of my accounts with them ~ 15 years ago and never look back.

But they are offering the best rate at the lowest closing costs, so what can you do?

Part of the deal, though, is that we have to open an account with their bank to have our payments automatically deducted. As we have other bills that are automatically paid from our current accounts, I speculated, (correctly, as we found out later), that this was so that we would decide having accounts at two banks was too much of a hassle and we would just move all of our accounts to their bank. As the bank officer told us, we only need to have that account open for 12 months, because they figure, if we haven’t switched our accounts by then, we won’t. Strangely, he did not reply to my inquiry as to whether it would make any difference at all if I just told them that now.

I call this coercion.

But, they are offering the best rate at the lowest closing costs, so what can you do?

To make the whole thing even more fun, we have been getting repeated phone calls from their customer service department(s) asking us to rate our banking experience. Including a call after I went into one of their branch offices to deposit the $100 required to open the account. I think I was in the building for 3 minutes. I walked up to the counter, handed the probably-overqualified-and-underpaid teller my check and deposit slip, received my receipt, selected a cherry lollipop out of the festively decorated red pail, and made my departure. At 9:00 p.m. that night some poor probably-overqualified-and-underpaid schmuck calls to ask about our banking experience.

I call this harassment.

I am, already, supremely annoyed, and we haven’t even closed yet.

But, they are offering the best rate at the lowest closing costs.

What’s a person to do?


caveat emptor

So, I blogged a few days ago about buying a couch.

On Tuesday, my husband and I went to get it.

We were very excited.

We brought it home, carried it into the house, unwrapped it from the sheets of foam, discovered that the legs were cleverly hidden inside a zippered pouch underneath, assembled it, and put it into place.

It looked very nice.

I arranged the pillows we had bought for it, and we stepped back to admire.

I then went into the kitchen to start preparations for my piano class, and Husband carried the sheets of foam to the dumpster after wrestling the old couch down to Second Son’s bedroom.

Twenty minutes later Husband was walking through the living room, and Sophie, our tiny Siamese, jumped down off the couch. He heard a ripping sound, and went over to look. One of her back claws had ripped a series of scratches/holes through what we had thought was leather to the polyester backing underneath.

Three important things have been learned this week:


“Bonded leather,” despite the similarity of the name to “leather,” is not.

Here’s the description of the couch from the Worldmarket website:

Here’s a description of “bonded leather” from Wikipedia:

I don’t suppose this is a commentary on the American family, and “daily family use” implies a family who won’t ever sit on the couch because they’re so busy volunteering at their local homeless shelter, raking their neighbor’s leaves and/or studying for their MBA?


WorldMarket apparently manipulates the comments/reviews portion of their website.

I wrote this review, on Tuesday, the 18th, on their website:

Your Rating: 1 stars

Cons : Tears Easily
Describe Yourself : Midrange Shopper

This couch was in our house for 30 minutes and had 4 scratches through the “leather” to the polyester underneath, a result of our 9 lb. Siamese cat jumping off it once. (She’s not “Wolverine.”) We were told on the phone that this does not qualify as “daily use,” and that they probably won’t be able to give us our money back.

Don’t be fooled — Bonded Leather is not leather, but a fancy name for cheap, useless vinyl. Am so upset I probably won’t buy anything from World Market for a long time.

This is the ONLY review of this couch on their website, also submitted on the 18th, which just appeared today:

You can be comforted by the possibility that they didn’t completely disregard my review. I noticed yesterday that items which, the day before we had bought the couch, had been described as “leather” are now labelled as “bicast leather” (another form of leather “product” that isn’t, really, leather). So apparently, the reviews come in handy for them to make sure they cover their proverbial a$&es in how they describe their items.


Store managers are a lot more willing to take returns when you talk to people at the corporate office.

And one thing, which I always knew, but apparently forgot:

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


On a happy note, we found a beautiful Italian leather couch at a local furniture store which has been dramatically reduced, albeit still ~ 5 times what we paid for this plastic one, and which we can order in our choice of leather colors. I’ve always wanted a purple leather couch, and this is a gorgeous purple — not Barney purple, or Grape Nehi purple, but the color of a glass of a rich French burgundy wine.

This may end up being our Christmas present to each other.

The only bad part of it is, Husband has to wrestle the old couch back up to the living room for 8-10 weeks while we wait for the dream couch to arrive.





annoying for a reason?

First of all, can I just express how disgusted I am that it’s Thursday and I still don’t have internet at home. It’s been out since Monday morning; a technician came last night and tested it and for the two and a half minutes he was there it was working, and then it wasn’t working anymore. Someone’s coming again tomorrow. Hopefully he/she will be more effective than the last guy.

I have also been promised a wiring upgrade, which is supposed to help overall speed, although, at this point, I would just like to be able to get my email, even if via pony express.

Two questions.

1. Is it someone’s job to sit in a room somewhere and either compose or find the most irritating music on the planet to play over the phone line while the customer is on hold? It’s almost a guarantee, if you weren’t irate enough over whatever has prompted you to call in the first place, that you will be Irate Enough by the time you actually get a live person on the other end of the line.

I understand that they want us to be comforted some kind of signal that we are still, actually, “on hold,”  but I wonder if that could be communicated through some soft intermittent clicks, or maybe Tony Bennett or Caetano Veloso or someone.

My theory is that they want your “on hold” experience to be as painful and irritating as possible, as this may cause you just to give up, thereby requiring them to hire fewer customer service people both to man the phones and to actually do any repairs.

2.  What is up with the continuation of “monopoly” practices in divvying up internet service providers to limited areas? As far as I can tell (through my careful research done over 10 minutes yesterday via iPhone) I have two options, and they cost virtually the same, and both have approximately identical reputations for rampant “down” time and indifferent customer service. I thought we were in America, the land of the free access to all and sundry companies-who-want-my-business, where, if I’m willing to spend my money, I can have whatever I want.

Oh, that’s right, that’s just in politics.

Silly me.

Apropos of nothing, I made granola this morning.

It’s delish.



Mix 6 c. raw, whole oats (not the instant kind, the coarser the better) with 1 c. whole wheat flour, 1 c. sesame seeds, and 1/2 – 1 c. chopped (start with sliced) almonds.

In a blender, blend 1/3 c. each canola oil, real maple syrup, and honey + 1 T. vanilla or 2 T. orange juice concentrate until the mixture is opaque and thick.

Pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat.

Spread in two cake pans, and bake at 300˚ for an hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes. (it might take 5 minutes or so less)  Mixture should be quite brown, but may still be a touch moist until it’s cooled completely.

Cool completely. Add 1 c. of dried fruit of choice (we like dried cherries; chopped apricots, apples, raisins work well too.)

Really really good, and way cheaper than Kashi cereal or store-bought muesli. Plus it’s WAY lower in sugar and fat, because I’ve cut the liquid ingredients significantly from most recipes.

Great with soy or almond milk.





In my continued quest for logic in advertising, I present:

Am I missing something? What’s unexpected about this? A dark-haired, blue-eyed, attractive man in a suit jacket in front of a darkened city skyline advertising men’s cologne. Are they being subtle/subtly clever, and whatever we imagine this is supposed to be what’s unexpected?

I don’t think so. I think that’s giving them too much credit.

And then there’s this one:

As you can see, the ad is touting their “quality” service, of such high quality that it will surpass even your highest expectations; I imagine this service comes at a price. I can’t help but wonder how much extra it costs for a seat inside the plane.

In my quest for that one, I found this one:

for all you "I like Asian women" out there*

*Look how hard the poor girl has to work to stick out her “hip.”

I actually was a little disturbed the other day, as I was reading the front page section of last Sunday’s New York Times. On one side of the crease: Egypt’s Military Leader Testifies at Mubarak Trial, Bahrain Vote Erupts in Violence, Libyan Fighters Renew Attack on Qaddafi’s Hometown — facing page, find your magic in an extensive selection of Bella Bleu by Effy diamond and sapphire rings; next page: Monitoring Rights in Chechen Region, a Month at a Time — on same and facing page, Circa will take your unwanted diamonds off your hands and Macy’s will help you find your magic, yet again, this time through their Top Ten Origins skin-care products.

I can’t help but wonder if maybe we’re all just a little bit more than spoiled.

On the way to a rehearsal the other night, Only Daughter in the back seat as there would be no one at home with her, NPR is reporting on the new Kindle Fire® and we’re passing a homeless man with his walker and scraggly beard and cardboard sign. Only Daughter commented on how sad this juxtaposition made her feel, and wanted me to go back that way and give him the rest of her tuna salad and crackers but I would be late, and on the way home more than an hour later, so I didn’t.

I think I should have. I wish I would have. I wish I would have handed them over when we went by the first time, even if the green light at that ramp is only 10 seconds long and the drivers of the 25 cars in line behind me would have been ticked off and honking.


In a not-really-related story, Second Son has come back for his first weekend home since college started with “only” 2 loads of laundry (he’s learned, now that he’s paying for it himself, that he can actually wear something more than once) and the news that a) he’s perfectly fine using the community bathrooms (he’s a bit of a germaphobe/borderline OCD hand-washer) and b) he’s a rabid sports fan; but just for his college team. Husband: “The indoctrination starts early.” Something extra for all those tuition and room-and-board dollars.


Hmmm, now I’m beginning to wonder

If I turn down the offer of credit-card/identity theft protection at the low-low rate of $12.95/month, does that mean that my credit card company is not going to take preventive steps to protect my information? Isn’t that kind of what we’re expecting them to do anyway?

Seems like a conflict of interest. Am I paranoid if I feel like I’m being asked to “buy”  protection, like from the Mafia so they don’t come burn my house down?



is it any wonder?

We’re waiting, anxiously, for Husband’s brother and sister-in-law and two-adorable-nieces to arrive from Vancouver Island, B.C. for an extended visit.

They are flying from Seattle to Denver, and then from Denver to Grand Rapids.

Of course, since we are planning on picking them up at the airport, we started tracking their flights mid-afternoon.

Here is a list of all of the Denver — Grand Rapids flights listed for today:

This is what the airline has shown since 2 p.m. today regarding the last leg of their flight:

Meanwhile, the airport shows:

We were debating whether we should call the airline, or the airport, to try to resolve the discrepancy, when we noticed an email message from Husband’s Brother, saying that their flight had been delayed, and that he trusted we knew this, as we had probably been tracking his flight, FLIGHT # 2353.

This was a little odd, as when the Frontier airlines website was searched for flights from Denver to Grand Rapids, there was a flight, #256, listed, as you can see above, departing and arriving at exactly the same scheduled times, and declared to be cancelled, and no flight given the number 2353.

And yet here it is:

And I’m just curious. Is it possible that this type of flight tracking and/or communication with their customers might have something to do with why Frontier Airline has recently been rescued from bankruptcy after a long and difficult financial position, basically since they opened in 1994? I picture some genius, who managed to finish his first semester of sophomore year in airline management, deciding that, rather than noting that flight numbers had been changed, it would make more sense to list the previously-numbered flight as cancelled.



do you want him or not?

Second Son is going to Michigan State University next year. That is, if we manage to complete the post-admission process successfully. This no longer seems to be the simple task I once thought it would be. I mean, I’ve managed to raise him for 17 years (ADHD, sensory integration disorder, booming voice, sophomoric sense of humor) without strangling him in his sleep; he gets good grades, scored respectably on his ACT test, has been accepted at the three colleges of his choice, and, as far as I can tell, has abstained from illegal drug use and has yet to impregnate anyone. One would think that now would be the time that I could pat myself on the back and complete a few easy online forms to send him on his way (off you go!). Unfortunately, this has proven to be one of the more formidable tasks to date.

What I want to do is call and ask the admissions department: “Do you want him, or not?”

The letter came months ago. We rejoiced, (some more than others). We finally manage to find an opportunity for the two of us to sit down together to complete the admission process. (We also finally find time to decline the other two schools, who call almost daily. Interestingly, we have not heard a word from MSU. Guess they have more students than they need, and supreme confidence in their desirability. Good thing their interest in him is not one of his/our most important considerations.)

The first thing that needs to be done is he must enter his Personal Identification Number (PIN) and Password Authorization Number (PAN) and the system will create an email address for him. We must then register the email address to continue to the next steps — pay the registration deposit, register for the academic orientation program, request a housing request form (seriously). He (certainly not me) takes the online mathematics placement exam; I fill out the immunization form.

The problems begin early in the process. MSU has already created the PIN and the PAN, but we have to wait 24 hours after creating an email address before we can proceed. Fine. It’s not that difficult to corral a 17-year old with a job and involvement in the school’s theater program while I’m working ~ 60 hours a week.

Today, finally, we sign back in and register him for orientation and request a housing request form (seriously). I begin to feel pretty confident that we are now on the official “home stretch,” then click on the link to have a look at the immunization form, so I can find out what information I need to get from the pediatrician’s office.

I get an error message, bright red block print: I must wait 24 hours after paying the deposit before I can continue further.


This is a problem?

Imagine this: couple, sitting around, discussing whether they want to read the Sunday paper, “go to bed early,” or watch one of their latest Netflix deliveries, and one suggests: “I know! We’re bored, with nothing better to do, let’s log in to random university websites and FILL OUT IMMUNIZATION FORMS!!!!!!!!!”

Are you wordIcan’tsay kidding me?

Isn’t modern technology supposed to be making these kinds of processes easier?

Good thing we’re so darn motivated (some more than others).


Speedy Post

I’ve been in Cleveland for a couple of days visiting 1st son; I have many things going through my mind that I’d like to write about, but it’s been a long day, and 2nd son is lurking on the next bed over in the hotel room waiting to watch a video on my laptop, so this will have to be short and sweet.

1. Why does Walmart insist on consistently inconsistent stocking practices? There are 7 packages of XLG black T shirts, 6 packages of LG black T shirts, and no packages of Med or SM black T shirts. Every single time I’ve been in a Walmart I’ve had to go somewhere else to get one basic item on my list. And I think I may have seen someone wearing one of those pairs of shoes I wrote about a month or so ago (the first pair in the blog, but in silver lamé. I’m not kidding).

2. There was more salt in the biscuits that came with my breakfast at Bob Evans this morning than I usually eat in a week. Is this necessary?

3. Who can be blamed credited for the bizarre unique street design of the Cleveland area? I have never seen so many intersections that consist of 5, 6 or even 7 corners. Then there is the tendency of whatever road you’re on to veer off in one direction or another as a new road springs to life, all in the absence of anything resembling a painted center or shoulder line. And apparently the city of Cleveland does not maintain a completely simpatico working relationship with the GPS satellite systems we have all come to rely on — “Emily” could tell me what road I was on, and what road I wanted next, but was frequently off in her estimation of its relative distance by anywhere from 100 to 400 feet.

4. Does anyone know of a humane way to restrain secure a 9-year-old’s legs in such a way that one can share a regular size hotel bed with her and not be beaten to a pulp by morning?

Secondo is getting (ha!) squirmy. Guess I’ll have to continue in the morning.

Reader Appreciation Award

Share This

Share |

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 177 other followers

Follow me on Twitter: sheriji1

Blog Stats

  • 114,561 hits