NIGHT WRITER

Today's thought

 

The still of our mind ascends far into flight,

When the world is asleep in the wee hours of night.

 

The realm of subconscious where time has no measure,

Where dreams and ideas float abundant in treasure.

 

With the rise of the dawn and awakening minds,

We strive to hang on to the words which we find.

 

Why  do profound thoughts emerge from that secret place?

In that state of serenity, in that magical phase.

D.G.Kaye  c2014

 

THURSDAY GRIPE – Annoying Phone Calls

wtf

What is it with me and technology? I have to wonder if I am hard wired to attract snafus with telephones and computers. Even though I question my magnetic tendencies I am not taking ownership to this theory without blaming incompetence in service with so many companies today.

My theory is that with greed in today’s business world, their standards for employees have become so minimal because employees aren’t paid enough, thus leaving them with an “I don’t care” attitude or else they are put in their positions without proper information of their products. This I am finding not only in the service related industries but also in retail stores. I have been noticing an increase in the lack of quality control on many fronts but I am going to share a five hour time suck out of my daily WRITING life that transpired between yesterday and today.

As you can well imagine, a telephone ringing in the wee hours of the night and very early hours of the morning and constantly through the day, averaging about eight to ten times a day, from an unknown number of which when answered there is no reply and when you try and dial it back, there is no connection, is very ANNOYING.

This little escapade has been going on for well over a week now and besides the annoyance and loss of sleep and work interruption, those midnight calls can be very frightening, especially when there is someone very ill in my extended family.

Yesterday, after hoping these calls would end and to no avail, I had to call my phone provider to deal with the madness. I had held off for the exact reasons that I entailed: Anytime I have to call Bell or Rogers with a problem, it becomes an at least two hour deal before I press a million buttons, wait on hold, get a service agent, get transferred again (because it’s always the wrong department), get asked again by every transfer for my life story and personal information, occasionally get disconnected and have to start the whole process over again.

So, yesterday I called Bell to simply ask for the annoying number to be blocked from my phone. About forty minutes into the protocol procedure an agent finally told me I didn’t have that option on my package but she would add it and take off another which I didn’t need in compensation and within twenty four hours the function would be in service for me to add a blocked number. After an hour and a half, I thanked her and hung up.

This morning I went to block the number, only the feature to do so was invalid. While I had only momentarily left my writing and coffee to punch in the blocked number at 930am, I once again lost half the day.

I called Bell back, punched in the prompts, gave all my info to a recording, again got misdirected and forty five minutes later I finally got connected to an agent, a rude agent. When I asked why the function wasn’t working, I was told that was not a blocking function and he would rectify it so the function worked. So when I hung up I retried to block the number but it still would not allow me to use it. I called Bell again with the one nerve I had left in me as I watched the next hour pass by. This time I called tech support who told me I didn’t have that function listed on my account! He TRANSFERRED me to another agent who once again asked for my life story and at that point, she was the lucky winner to receive the brunt of my anger. She apologized again and told me that the function the last agent activated needed the other function with it that was formerly de-activated, hence it wouldn’t work. She then told me to hold while they looked at my account. AND THEN I GOT DISCONNECTED.

I started the call procedure all over again, got transferred three more times ( two and a half hours later) and then I blew up. I asked why there was such incompetence within a major phone company, why my time wasn’t valuable, what the hell is the big deal to activate a function without going through ten different agents for three hours.

FINALLY the last transfer was to the President’s office. I received lots of apologies and assurance there was nobody higher than him to speak with and he would rectify the matter right then. Although he placed me on hold several times and eventually he activated the service and for a tiny compensation of my time sucked, added a small monetary credit on my account.

After all was said and done and he asked me the number I wished to block, I was told that number COULD NOT BE BLOCKED! Apparently it was an outgoing number only. While I hung on the line (again) he google searched the number to find out that it was an automated call from SEARS which there were numerous complaints about. Again he apologized and suggested I call Sears and try and get my number off of their list. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” I retorted. Are you telling me that I now have to start this nonsense all over again with Sears to get rid of these calls? He apologized for the umpteenth time in a consoling manner. I thanked him for his time and asked him to look into the quality of his employees and to educate them on their products so I or nobody else would have to encounter this Bull#$8t in future.

It is now 1245pm and I am writing this as I JUST  got off the phone with Bell and thought I could constructively vent here as well as share with you the pitfalls of our COMMUNICATIONS service companies — more like an oxymoron — miscommunications. I have to imagine that many of you must have experienced similar situations, surely I CANNOT be the only one these things happen to? I cannot even think about wasting the rest of my day calling Sears today!

This is my billing for my time:

Hours of time on issue:  5

Hours of aggravations and time-suck: Priceless

Resolution:  Not Really

 

DGKaye©2014

GETTING BACK IN THE GROOVE

wtf

It has been three weeks since I’ve returned from my great winter escape and it already feels like that was so long ago. This winter is just the gift that keeps on giving.

Coming home from a long vacay always involves catching up on so many fronts. Besides the discipline of getting back into routine and trying to assert myself back into writing and revisions for my next book there is also the daily grind of cooking, cleaning and laundry and whatever little surprises get thrown in the mix. Once again the clock begins ticking at a rapid pace.

As many of you may remember, I have had my share of computer mishaps in the last several months. After my older laptop suffered two fatal hard drive crashes within a four month span, I had purchased a new desktop computer in the fall, realizing that I needed a reliable backup available for use when my laptop didn’t want to cooperate with me.

It took me awhile to get used to using Windows 8 as I sadly had to surrender to it if I wanted a new computer as I mourned the loss of my beloved Windows 7. After my laptop crashed for the second time in four months in December I also purchased a new laptop in fear that I could no longer rely on it.

This week I was working on my fairly new laptop and when I took a break and went into the kitchen to get a glass of water, I suddenly heard a strange screeching, beeping noise. I followed the noise directly to my laptop and when I looked at it there was a blank screen…for a long time. I finally powered it off and restarted only to find the same screen but with added words, “windows is trying to repair disk errors.” I waited and waited as I assumed it was doing its thing repairing whatever it was that suddenly stopped working.

As I continued on with my writing, I did random checks on the progress of the repair when finally a message came up telling me the laptop required service. I already knew that my plans for the next day of staying home and writing were going to be thwarted because I had to take the laptop in for repair. I took it to my local Staples store where I had purchased it and I just didn’t have a good feeling of what was to ensue.

I was told within seconds by the tech man that…MY HARD DRIVE HAD CRASHED! “Are you friggin’ kidding me?” I blurted out in disbelief. “This thing isn’t even three months old and not even finished being paid for.” I added angrily.

stressed

The tech man who was also the man who had sold it to me was very nice and already knew all of my prior computer woes, was also in disbelief that this could actually happen. According to him, I was the only customer whose hard drive had crashed in this brand ever sold in that store in such a short time. He added that is was a very rare occurrence for a hard drive crash and even more rare that I had now endured three crashes in the past seven months.

My friends and family have often referred to me as the one per cent girl because of some of the things I have encountered in life containing slim odds of ever happening, but this hard drive business was like my Achilles heel and became to the point of ridiculous and not to mention, a huge time-suck.

The tech offered to order me a new one, which although was a lovely gesture, still involved me waiting for it to come in another day, and two more visits to the store while they worked on setting up the operating system and downloads and needed me to loggin with passwords during the process. It also involved downloading back all my files from my backup device. This was definitely one thing I learned long ago…BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP! A familiar procedure instilled in my brain.

I hate when I have that feeling of zero accomplishment in a week where the hours are so precious and I am left feeling that every step I take forward, I fall three steps behind in my work. But once again, I will start fresh again next week and try to put this behind me and move forward.

I am thinking that maybe I should be buying a lottery ticket and trying my luck out by using my one per cent odds in a positive way.

So, after all my venting I am going to say it again…DON’T FORGET TO BACKUP! Crashes don’t give us subtle warnings. They don’t slowly happen where you may be able to notice little things slowing down or not working properly. Within a moment’s notice your screen could just go dark and WHAMMO, you computer is dead.

Enough said, I have to get back to work.

 

DGKaye©2014