Sunday, April 27, 2014

A trifecta of sorts

So I did have a run of three things this weekend, but I wouldn't call them wins.

Unless I've won a terrible award that no one wants.

Now that it's all in the past I'm more reflective and less upset, but still I thought y'all might get a kick out of my suffering (in at least one of three stories).

Tuesday I dropped my phone in the toilet. I put it in a dry-out bag and Thursday everything seemed fine. Except then it wouldn't charge. So Friday I took it to a local place that does repair (I'm about to bash you on the Internet Techshell), and explained what had happened and my presumptive diagnosis that the charging port had fried. The gentlemen was a non-native English speaker and although we seemed to have a bit of difficulty with clarity, we came to a consensus that they would check it out and give me a call. I signed an estimate that listed "water damage, port" and said $49.95. I in no uncertain terms asked that they call for anything over the estimate and before any repairs were made.

John got a voicemail that evening that the phone was ready, they replaced the charging port and the battery and the cost was $80. I was upset but decided to deal with it Saturday when I picked the phone up.

I went into the store Saturday and explained my problem immediately to the nice young girl who was in  that day. She was unsympathetic except to say "I'm sorry no one called you but all we can do is take out the new parts if you want." We went round and round. I wanted to know what the problem was with the phone, was there any water damage as discussed, why did both parts need repair, and why she was acting like it was no big deal that they went $30 over the estimate without calling. I was informed that the technician would not be in for another 1.5 hours and they could either call me (not an option, John was at work and they had my phone) or I could come back and find out what the technician said. She said she could not reduce my bill any and when I asked to speak with a manager I was told he was on vacation and there was no manager present at their other location, but again, they could take down my name and have one call me.

I decided to go ahead and fund something to busy myself on that side of town for an hour and a half. When I returned I had a baby who was nearly ready for a nap. The same blonde told me the tech said my phone would neither charge or hold a charge and so both parts needed replacing. I guess I did not need the water treatment I was initially told I might need. Anyway, this part was XX and that part was XX and my total was $96.XX. I nicely explained to her that yesterday on my voicemail and this morning when I spoke with her earlier I was also told $80. She explained that that was before it was "rung up" with tax. I asked her if there was $16 in tax. "That's just the total" I was told. We went round again about a signed estimate, no phone call, bad customer service, likely communication error with the guy who wrote my estimate due to possible language barrier etc. She re-ran my numbers again giving me a "discount" and that my total was $80.53. I explained again that this was the total from the beginning, $30 over the estimate, and I was just not happy with that. I told her to go ahead and take out the battery as that was an easy fix I can do myself. I heard her whispering to the tech then she came out and we bantered some more. I explained if this was there idea of customer service that I would take my business elsewhere in the future. I explained that they had made a mistake by not calling me and that I had told her on my first visit that day that I would be ok with $10 off for a $70 total. At this point she relented, told the tech to leave my battery in and charged me $70 plus tax. She did say she was sorry for the miscommunication and my problem, and I thanked her for finally being willing to do something about it.

But there are 3 things right?

I drove straight home, trying to get Sophia to her nap. When I came in the house, I found dog poo on our rug. Upon closer inspection, it was spread across a couple feet of our rug. And there were some streaks on the tile floor. How did it get smeared?

Sometimes the things that are supposed to help you do the opposite. Say for instance when your dogs (who had adequate outdoor time to potty) poo on the floor and then your Roomba robotic vacuum runs over it. And over it. And takes it with it. And then you have a toddler who won't nap because you had her out past nap time, and a floor you desperately need her to stay away from. And an expensive vacuum with dog crap ingrained in every nook and cranny of it's underside.

And then you feel the urge to binge eat sweets or binge drink. I chose the former.

Then you clean your carpet and the vacuum. Only even though you were walking a fine line between getting rid of every trace of poo so you're not vacuuming it into your floor ad infiniteum, you somehow manage to damage your expensive vacuum so that it no longer does what it's told.

So by the time Saturday was done I was ok, even though I'd done about $175 in damage to electronics.

Then Sunday on the way home from church I stopped for gas. I took out my debit card but left everything else in the car. When I was done refueling I tried to open my door. No luck. Somehow even though I exited the car, ALL my doors were locked. My keys were in the shut off ignition, my cell phone was on the seat and Sophia was in her carseat.

Initially I did not panic, but only felt inconvenienced. I knew John was at work. I went in the gas station and asked the clerk for a phone. I called John to see if he could tell me the number on the back of our insurance card to call for roadside service. He did not have his wallet on him. He could Google it but I should try  1-800-Geico. Tried that, no luck. Asked the clerk if the computer right next to me had internet service they could use to lookup the number. Nope. I asked if they had a phone book. Yes. A small business only one. Found an ad for the local Geico which had the option to connect to roadside service. Got a rep who could not find the address of the gas station because it was new. She understood the urgency of the situation and asked if I'd called the police. That had not occured to me since I thought I could get someone there in 20 mins or so and the car was parked in the shade and they day was overcast and humid.  After about 10 minutes of phone calls she told me she could only find someone 45 min away. Not good enough. Hung up and John called me back to say call this number a friend of a friend with a locksmith service. Called him. 20-25 minutes away but at this point 15 mins had passed in phone calls. He told me he would come but call if I ended up calling the police. Went to finally check on Sophia. She was quiet, smiling at me behind her pacifier, holding her water sippy cup. But I could see her hair was sweaty and her cheeks were pink. I started to get a little emotional and worried. The clerks in the store did not offer any kind words or sense of urgency or danger. I hope it was because of a possible language barrier and misunderstanding of the situation.

I decided to go back in and call the police. I just did not know if another 20 minutes would be safe.
You see, there's this horrible awareness video (I won't even put the link it's so gut wrenching) about forgetting kids in a locked car and the heat stroke and death that can ensue. I saw it and bawled. I kept thinking of it. So I called 911. Dialing those numbers alone is enough to make me cry, especially since I was feeling very alone and helpless, but I didn't want to cause a big scene.

The operator was very nice and within 5 minutes, likely less, a fire truck with lights and sirens was speeding towards us. The lights and sirens only made me cry worse, try as I might to hold it together. I knew Sophia was fine, I knew it. I just couldn't help it.

In less than 1 minute they opened the locked door and Sophia was out. They agreed she was fine, canceled the EMS they called as a matter of protocol, and mostly asked me a few times if I was going to be ok. They were done and gone within about 5 minutes. They did nicely ask me to call them right away next time and skip the locksmith, and tell all my friends to do the same.

I took me about 10 minutes sitting with Sophia in the car to recover. But she was just fine.

So yeah, it wasn't the greatest weekend for me. But in the end I was thankful again to have a happy, healthy baby.

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