Thursday, October 11, 2007

Advanced Procrastination Methods

As a follow-up to my TV post, I had been a little worried about how Pushing Daisies would work as a series, but after the second episode, I love it even more. There were more "heart growing several sizes" moments, plus the tough PI who knits to relieve stress and makes cozies for his guns -- and his money! -- and then they actually gave Kristin Chenowith a musical number -- duetting and dancing with a dog! How can you not love that? Now I want to knit a money cozy. After I knit a Dalek (I saw a pattern online and now must try even though the only thing I can really knit is scarves).

Argh. The stupid dogs next door have just started yapping again. I know the other neighbor was going to talk to the management company, but I think I'll file a formal complaint, too.

You know how the other day I had all those grand plans about going to the library to work at the canal-side cafe? Hasn't happened yet. This week has been a study in Advanced Procrastination Methods. Tuesday, for whatever reason I got sidetracked by doing online car shopping and research. Then I saw a grocery store ad that had a great special on mushrooms, and suddenly I could think of tons of things I could make with mushrooms to go with ingredients I already had. I needed to go to the grocery store anyway, though not with any urgency, but that was the last day of the mushroom sale, so I went. And then they were totally out of mushrooms. By the time I got home, it was after-school time, and there are a lot of after-school programs at the library for kids, things like homework clubs and tutoring, and I'm sure the cafe will be a big hangout for teens. I don't begrudge that AT ALL. I think those programs are a great use of the library's resources, and I love the idea of kids hanging out at the library. However, that doesn't mean I want to be there trying to work at the same time. So I sat out on my patio and worked some.

Then yesterday I got very sidetracked by the newspaper issue. Something about it just flipped my stubborn switch, and I became bound and determined that I would get my newspaper, come hell or high water. I know there's a new guy on my route because my paper wasn't on my doorstep the day before, and it turned out the papers had been delivered to the wrong place, put in front of the garages instead of in front of the houses (the garages and houses are separate). So when I didn't have a paper yesterday, I put on some clothes and walked over to my garage to check. No paper. The subscriber info printed in every copy of the Dallas Morning News says that same-day replacement for missed delivery is guaranteed if you call before 10. I called at about 8:40 and used the automated system to report a missing paper. It told me a paper would be delivered by 9:45. At 10, I still had no paper, so I called again, and that time got an actual person, who apologized and said a paper would be sent out right away. At 11:10 there was still no paper, so I called again and again got the apology and a promise that it would be there right away. At 12:30 when there was still no paper, I called again, and the customer service rep said they couldn't deliver a paper because it was after their route people had gone home, and they could only re-deliver if you called before ten. I kind of lost it then and said that I had called twice before ten, and the fact that they couldn't do what they guaranteed they would do after three calls was not my problem. He said he'd have the route manager call me to tell me why I hadn't received a paper after multiple calls to report the problem. (I'm still waiting for that call.)

At that point, I gave up and bought a paper at the rack around the corner, only it was missing the Wednesday grocery ad inserts, which were one of the main reasons I wanted that paper (aside from the crossword puzzles). Since I had to buy a paper I'd already paid for, I went to the Dallas Morning News (sticking in search bot fodder in a passive-aggressive way of filing a complaint) online site to request that my account be credited -- and it rejected the request because there was a maximum of three complaints per day. Um, no. Why should I be limited in the number of complaints I can make when they kept giving me assurances that they didn't keep? I will keep complaining until they follow through on their guarantees. So I found the customer feedback form to write out a complaint. Their customer feedback form limits you to 125 characters -- that's characters, not words -- to describe your complaint. I used to think that those "complaint department" posters that had a teeny little box under "write your complaint here, please write legibly" were a joke, but the Dallas Morning News customer service department is using the electronic equivalent (and thus the passive-aggressive blog complaint). I was almost disappointed to get a paper today, since I was looking forward to escalating. I guess that's a lot to go through over a 50-cent newspaper (but I think the weekly grocery ads are worth far more than that), but it's the principle of the thing, plus, as I said, it flipped the stubborn switch. One thing that will really set me off is people who make promises -- even put them in writing -- and then not follow through on them. To really make me mad, don't carry through on your promise and then make it sound like it's my problem when you can't resolve it. I wouldn't have made three complaints that day if they'd done what they'd said they would do -- so why should my next complaint be rejected when the problem was still not resolved? Ugh.

Not that it was a wasted day. During the War of the Newspaper, I also finished up and delivered my radio scripts for the medical school, invoiced the project and dealt with the contract for next year's work. Then I washed sheets, towels and the mattress pad and aired out and fluffed my feather bed. I also put together the party favors for my table at this weekend's fundraising tea and trimmed back the scary alien vines that keep trying to invade my patio. By the time I'd walked to and from the post office to mail some bills, it was again the after-school rush time, so I worked at home instead of heading for the library. And then when I sat down to work, the opening scene I couldn't figure out suddenly made sense, and I was able to outline it, so I can get to work on those rewrites today (something that really doesn't work well at the library). Maybe my subconscious was distracting me all that time so it could work in peace and figure it all out.


One More Hour said...

I have had the same, or simular, issues with the Dallas MOrning News. I am very frustrated about their lack of response and how to address this issue. They choose no to respond and I can't find anyone to take the issue for me. Research finds that many people have the same issue.

One More Hour said...

I have finally solved my issue with the Dallas Morning News. After about two months of phones calls and E-Mails I finally reached the person who could and did make a decision. It is sad the we, the customers, must demand GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE but if we do not then your experience is what we will get. I will be getting ONE MONTH of FREE SERVICE because of all of my work and issues. I does pay to stay after those who do not provide Customer Service as they should.