Sunday, July 30, 2006

Circuit City A-No-No

Never again will I buy anything at all from Circuit City. Do I make myself clear? N -E - V - E - R!!!!! Not once, zero, zip, nada.

The story began two weeks ago....Dan bought me a new computer for my birthday because my old one took a big dump and crashed beyond repair. Very nice of him, yes? He even got me my longed-for but unexpected flat screen monitor to go with it, even though I had a perfectly good monitor already.

We get the computer home, after waiting roughly 45 minutes to be waited on at Circuit City and then spending another 25 minutes telling the salesman that "no, we don't want anything else. Not a printer, not a wireless mouse, not a high speed internet connection, not a special warranty, not a thing, nothing...just the damn computer, please, and quickly."

I put it together, amazingly simple nowdays since everything is color-coded and ta-da....I have a brand new working HP desktop....but wait, did I say "working?" I meant...NOT working. Actually, it DID work, but every time I attempted to shut it down, I would get the message "WARNING!!! HARD DRIVE FAILURE IMMINENT...BACK UP FILES IMMEDIATELY" definitely not something I want to see splayed across a new monitor coming from a new computer. I got in touch with the HP people who said, "Hmm...doesn't sound good. Take it back to the store and have it replaced. Tell them we said so." They even sent me an email saying those exact things.

Circuit City has a return policy which states all defective computer related products must be returned within 14 days for a full refund. Not a problem. We took it back yesterday, on Day 12.

First we went to Customer Service where the man behind the counter said, "No problem, take it over to the Computer help desk and they will look at it and take care of the problem." No problem for him, maybe, but the damn thing weighs a ton and it's in an huge box on top of that. We cart it over to Computer Repair and there's one guy working and about 6 people standing in line. We hold our box for 15 - 20 minutes and he finally says, "What's the problem?" We tell him our message story and he says, "Fine, take it back over to Customer Service and exchange it." Which is exactly what we tried to do a half hour ago. We ask him to please call the desk and tell them he is sending us back and that it's ok to exchange the computer and he says, "Ok, if you want me to."

We cart the box back over to CS and there's a line of 5 or 6 people in front of us. We patiently wait our turn and finally, after another 30 minutes, get to the front of the line. We ask if the man from Computers called and we get a blank look in return. The CS rep then has to call over to Computers and get the ok we were promised a half hour ago.

The CS rep then asks us if we want a refund or an exchange. I really liked the computer, so we ask for an exchange. He says, "Oh sure, no problem" and gets on his computer. After a 10 minute search he says, "Gee, we don't have any in stock, would you like me to order one for you?" So I ask how long it will take and he says, "Two weeks" and then, when I look crestfallen, says, "Maybe Wednesday." I say, "Ok" and he starts ordering the new computer. After another 10 minutes, he says, "It's a discontinued model. They aren't making it anymore. Would you like a comparable model?" I say, "Sure, show us what you've got" and he says, "Let me find you someone who can help you."

He finds a gentleman who works there, speaks no English, and is waiting on three other people, but the dude's game, and he asks us to wait a few minutes and he'll be glad to help us. (At least I think that's what he said...he may have cursed my mother for all I know, but at least he did it with a smile.)

So now we sit down and wait another 15 minutes. (Are you with me here, we've been in the store for over an hour and a half and we've accomplished exactly nothing.) The salesman comes back and walks us over to Computers and immediately tells us that we got a very good deal on the original computer and there's no way we're ever going to find anything comparable in that price range, but he'll be glad to show us the ones which cost several hundred dollars more if we want to stick with HP...or he can show us E-Machines which are only a little more expensive than what we spent last week. Not gonna happen, yanno? I don't WANT to spend more, I want to spend the SAME. It's not my fault they sold me a defective machine and it's not my fault they don't have any more in stock...it was not sold as a discontinued model, it was not advertised as a discontinued model and I didn't BUY it as a discontinued model. We ask for a manager. Salesman gets snippy, but agrees to find us a manager.

We stand in the aisle and wait....and wait and wait and wait....for over a half hour, we stand and wait. I go to the bathroom...a public bathroom in the store. One with a sign and everything. Not an "employee's only" bathroom which they let me use, but a regular, run of the mill, ordinary, public washroom. Inside there is a store employee leaning against the wall, talking on her cell phone. She tosses me an annoyed look, I toss her one back. I think she'll leave out of politeness, she thinks I'm an idiot who is ruining her talk-time. I go into the stall and pee...she leans against the wall and continues her conversation at the top of her lungs. I flush the toilet...loudly...three times. I am annoyed. I don't LIKE to pee where other people can stand around and listen. It's impolite. She doesn't care. There are 25 customers waiting to be helped in the store, but goddamn it, this is obviously an important phone call...I can tell it's important and probably work-related because it's laced with profanity and loud squeals of indignity at "What he did after that."

I go back out and Dan is STILL waiting for a manager. We start stopping everyone who walks past us and asking, "Are you a manager?" No one is.

Finally the manager comes and says, "Can I help you folks?" Arghhhhhh!!! We explain the situation to him and he says, "No problem, let's see if another store has this computer still in stock." Ok, I'm game, Dan's game, off we go - back to customer service where we wait another 10 minutes for them to look up the computer availability at other stores in the area. Turns out there are two of them....one in Fairfax City and the other in Rockville, Md. Nice....if you want to drive for an hour or better each way to pick up a computer that you deliberately bought only 5 minutes away from your home. We tell the manager we really don't want to spend any more time on this whole mess and could we just get our money refunded. He says, "Sure, minus a 15% restocking fee since the box has been opened." SAY WHAT?????

1. Dude, you are so not going to "restock" it, it's defective. It doesn't work. It's broken. It's going right back to the manufacturer and becoming their problem.

2. How would we KNOW it was defective if we hadn't opened the damn box?

3. I am so NOT paying a restocking fee.

Seems Circuit City has a "refund policy" which states that opened computer items can only be exchanged if they are defective. If you wish the store to take it back and refund you your money, you must pay them for the privledge.

Fine, but they can't even-exchange my computer, they don't HAVE my computer. Manager says, "ah, but we do have it.....in Fairfax City or Rockville." I say, "Fine, I don't have a car. Can you have it shipped here for me and I'll pick it up when it arrives?" Manager says, "Sure, if you pay for shipping."

This is going nowhere quickly. I am getting louder, Dan's face is getting redder and people are looking at us. We've now been in the store for well over two hours on our only day off.

In desperation, I say, "Fine, find out if the store in Fairfax really has the computer and we'll go get it." The manager then hands us over to another salesman and leaves.

We ask the salesman to call Fairfax and confirm that the computer is, indeed, there. He says, "The computer says it is, I don't have to call." I say, "Dude, two hours ago the guy at the service desk told me that he had the computer in stock here and he didn't." I say, "Humor us. Call them." He does and wonder-of-wonders, they really DO have my computer. We say we'll take it, and salesman says, "Fine. I'll turn you over to Customer Service and they will take care of you." (Isn't this where we started?)

We wait there another 10 minutes for a CS rep to be able to help us. He is upset because someone apparently already entered our returned computer into the computer system and he can't figure out how to move it from "returned" to "exchanged." He is waiting on two other customers while he complains about our "already entered" computer. He finally decides he needs HIS boss to come tell him how to do this. That takes another 10 minutes. His boss is busy. We must wait some more until he is free.

Finally we get the paper work all finished. We ask directions to the store in Fairfax because neither Dan nor I are familiar with the area. The CS rep and his boss say, "No problem...just go right down Route 7. You can't miss it. It's on the right hand side of the road."

Wonderful....off we go!! We drive 35 or 40 minutes down Route 7 - we find Circuit City - on the right, just as promised. One problem....it's the WRONG Circuit City. They gave us directions to the WRONG Circuit City. The Circuit City WE want is over on the other side of town...but no one in THIS Circuit City can tell us exactly where.

It's now Hour FOUR Going On Hour FIVE. We're hot, we're tired, we're irritated beyond rationality. We decide that the casino in Charlestown is also "right down Route 7" and that's where we're going.

And we do.

We got up early this morning, I MapQuested the Fairfax Circuit City and we drove an hour and picked up the computer and then drove an hour home.

Best Buy....Next time I'm going to Best Buy. Or Office Max. Or Dell. Or Something. Not Circuit City, tho....never again Circuit City. I urge all of you to do the same.

Buy anything anywhere - just don't buy it at Circuit City.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sex Poems - Poetry Thursday's Fault

Don't blame me....blame




Shatter

Stand straight
so still
in your slick-silver
high-heeled
fuck me shoes.
A thousand shards of
mirror'd glass reflect
the curve of silk-clad calf.
Stand still
Breathe in
Breathe out

Rise
Reach
Bend your knees
and kiss the floor
before dawn.
Do as you're told
Breathe in
Breathe out

Stand on tip toes,
ruby lips parted -
with his hands
around your neck.
He rules tonight.
His name is written
in the swell of your nipples
and his voice
echoes
across the hollow of
your spine.
Breathe in
Breathe out

He'll tell you when.
You own the shoes.
He owns the rest.
So stand
so still
in your slick-silver
high-heeled
fuck me shoes
and
breathe in
breathe out

before you
shatter
in the shards
of the looking glass.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why Young Chicks Cross the Road





Why Young Chicks Cross the Road**

Young rooster's calling, hear him crow.
The farmer's in the barnyard, tho.
He will not see me cross the street -
loose chicklet running to and fro.

The broody hens are fat and sweet,
content to keep their breasts and feet
inside the coop, behind the wire,
surrounded by the corn and wheat.

But I am young and filled with fire -
a pullet cheeping with desire.
The only other sound's the beep
of blaring horn and screeching tire.

The road is scary, stark and steep -
but I've a cock I've yet to meet
and eggs to lay before I sleep
and eggs to lay before I sleep.

**Thanks to editor, C. Sharpe, at Folly who took a chance and published this....and who consistantly puts out an ezine of top-shelf, high quality "lite verse" several times a year.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Every Mother's Nightmare

Got an email at 5AM this morning from my Oregon son.....the heading of the
email read as follows: "BAIL ME OUT OF JAIL"
Uh huh - just what a mom needs to read when her son is 3000 miles away
and her bank account reads $0.00 and even if it didn't, she has no idea
where the nearest Western Union is located.

Fortunately for all of us, I did manage to open the email and read
a little further before panicking and calling my own mother
for money.

The body of the email was as follows:

This year, I have the honor and pleasure of participating in
MDA's Salem Telethon Executive Lock-Up 2006 to help "Jerry's Kids®".
To reach my goal I need your help!

I'd like to include you or your company on my list of contributors
who are helping me reach my goal. Your donation would help MDA
continue the important fight against muscular dystrophy. Check out
my web page by clicking on the link below. There you'll find all
kinds of information about MDA, and be able to make your tax-deductible
donation on-line using your credit card.

MDA serves people in our community with neuromuscular disease by
providing clinics, support groups, assistance with the purchase
and repair of wheelchairs, braces and communication devices,
and summer camp for kids. MDA also funds research grants to
help find treatments and cures for some 43 neuromuscular
diseases that affect people of all ages, right here in our community.

I sincerely hope that you'll take the opportunity to support MDA.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or e-mail me.

On behalf of the families MDA serves, thank you!

Warmest Regards,

Jeremy Kudlo
Click here for Participant's Page


Click there - help get my pride and joy out of jail.....you'll be glad
you did - it'll be the first time you helped a friend's child out of
jail and had it be tax deductible!!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Tons of Good Things Goin On

WOW!! Talk about a stellar day. And it's a Friday no less.

Things I am happy about and thankful for:

WORK
Health Insurance which come with my job. A job I like. A job with a physician who promised me a health care plan after 6 months of employment but has now decided to give it to me after I've worked only one of those six months. In 24 days I will no longer be part of that miserably frightened group of Americans known as "The Uninsured." Insurance is a terrible thing to try living without...and an even worse thing to try dying without. Fortunately for me, in less than four weeks I will apparently no longer be in danger of having to attempt either.

POETRY
Fourteen Magazine and its editor, Mike Loveday who sent me an email today notifying me that I had made the final cut and my sonnet, Monkey Girl, will be appearing in the Summer Issue of the magazine later this month. YAY for England!!! This will be my first "overseas" publication.

Mary Alexandra Agner, a woman and poet I much admire, has seen fit to mention a poem of mine on her blog. She's got me with excellent company, I might add.....Katherine Lee Bates and America the Beautiful. Thank you, Mary.

A thank you to Anna Evans while I'm at it. Anna is the editor of the formalist/metrical journal The Barefoot Muse and somehow she's seen fit to list a link to this blog on The Barefoot Muse's permanent link page.

and on the home front:

This, The Times 2006 Illinois Male Athlete of the Year award, would be none other than one of my three favorite nephews, Erik Hanson!!! Way to go, Erik!! Congratulations on a job well done and an honor well deserved.

On a final and more somber note:
This happened today, which is not happy/thankful news, but considering my own first-born son was foolhardy enough to run in Pamplona three years ago, I am exceedingly grateful that it wasn't him this happened to. I do send prayers to the victim's mother and family, however, even as I thank God that Jason apparently inherited his mother's long legs as well as her winning disposition and managed to outrun his own particular bulls. I also wonder, now that he has a two year old son of his own, if he'll be doin that stupid shit again any time soon?

Life is good to me today. May it treat you all as well.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

SHANTIH





"Confessional" it is. (Yoda inversion deliberate)

Shantih

No longer do I taste each tear,
or hear the sirens drawing near
(Is it not somehow much too strange
how rapidly the dreams can change?)
I hear instead, inside my head,
the rasp of tongue, the gasp of breath
from tortured lung and then, and then -
I rest content.
And then I know, the truth is told
this time - this time.

I roll across the crimson sheets
and as I stretch
you reach -
you reach -
and bring me down with tiger teeth.
Love, not for naught
does tiger prowl
and not for naught
does tigress crawl -
her belly low against the ground.

I hear the baying of the hounds –
(like mermaid songs that don’t belong)
and now I hear them singing where
the sirens always sang before.

Tonight, I hunger for the taste
of tiger tooth and tiger grace.
Somewhere in a different place,
I bruised, I bruised, I bled inside.
I hid before. I will not hide.
It's time, it's time.

The sirens lied.