Archive for the ‘ Opinion ’ Category

An exercise in patience

Culpeper Star Exponent

Culpeper Star Exponent

On October 22, I decided to go online to subscribe to the local newspaper – the Culpeper Star-Exponent. The process took several minutes, and I placed the order under my business name of 2 Market 2 Market Your Dot Com. I ordered a special deal of $10.85 a month through some kind of EZ Pay plan.

When I clicked on the “order now” or “submit” or whatever the button was to finalize the whole order, I got an error message that the order did not go through, telling me to call their customer service number. So I called the customer service number, explained to the lady what happened. She apologized and said that she would be glad to help me with that. I had to give her all of the information again, and she quoted me a price $11.40 for the month.

I told her that I wanted the $10.85 price, and she said that deal was only through the Internet and she could not give me that price. I asked to speak to a supervisor, or if I could get an over-ride, and she said no. She did suggest that I wait a couple of days and try to order online again.

Well, I was aggravated, but did not want to wait a couple of days, so I went ahead and told her that I would pay the higher price, so I placed the order through her. The paper was supposed to start the next day, October 23. It did NOT start the next day, there was NO newspaper delivered.

On October 24, I got TWO papers, both dated October 24! I thought to myself, “well, that’s a strange glitch, I will wait and see what happens tomorrow and if I get two newspapers again I will call to straighten the situation out. Well, you guessed it, the next day I got TWO papers, again dated the same day.

Note: looking through the newspapers that I did get, I saw a full-page ad for the EZ Pay subscription of $10.85 on page B7, telling people to call them at 540-829-5496. There was no mention that in order to get that price you had to place the order online!

frustrated woman (free clip art)

frustrated woman (free clip art)

I called circulation to ask them what was going on, and they said that I had TWO subscription accounts now. One in my business name, and one in my personal name! Well, that was annoying on several levels – I had ordered the subscription to be in the business name only, not my personal name, and I only wanted ONE subscription, not TWO!

I explained to the customer service representative what had happened, and that I only wanted ONE subscription, not TWO, so would they please cancel one of the orders. I asked them if one of the orders was for the $10.85, and they said yes, the one in the 2 Market 2 Market Your Dot Com was for $10.85, and they other one (the one in my personal name) was for $11.40. I asked them to cancel the one in my personal name, and keep the one in my business name. They told me that they would do exactly that.

Today, Saturday, I was hoping to go down to the newspaper tube and get my Culpeper Star-Exponent Newspaper. But the box was empty. Hoping that maybe the paper would arrive later in the day, my hubby and I went out running errands for the day and got back home at 5:30. Stopping at the newspaper tube to get the paper, I was very unhappy to find that the tube was still empty! However, in the mail box are TWO bills from the Culpeper Star-Exponent for both of the subscriptions!

Letter to the editor (free clip art)

Letter to the editor (free clip art)

Going inside, I found the customer service number and called them to ask them to make sure that I get a newspaper tomorrow, Sunday. Their office is closed until 6am Sunday morning. I am finding this to be quite the exercise in patience! I am considering sending this post as an email to the newspaper in the form of a Letter to the Editor. What do you think?

Just say NO

Today my sister and I ran errands in town. I had a Staples gift card and a coupon for twenty percent off any item and I needed a new laptop briefcase. My old one had been was given to me as a gift somewhere in the area of 1990. That bag had been used a lot. I took it with me to college classes, I took it with me to work. I used it for a laptop briefcase (even though it had no padding at all) for several years. That bag was a real trooper – definitely had gotten our money’s worth from it!

But, the zipper had broken, and so it was finally time to retire that bag and get a new one. And so, the trip to Staples, gift card in hand. Any other day I probably would have bought a plain, boring, black case. But this time, I don’t know why, exactly, I decided to buy the most outrageously brightly colored neon pink and orange color block laptop case that they had! My reasoning? Well, chances of my son or husband borrowing that case are slim to none. Not to be selfish, but, it would be nice to have something of my own that the rest of the family doesn’t borrow all the time! And they DO have their own laptop bags! But even MORE important, in my mind, was that if I were in a public WiFi location with my laptop stashed inside this bright pink and orange bag, it would be just a bit more of a challenge for a thief to nonchalantly slip out the door unnoticed, with an unobtrusive black briefcase that looks just like everyone else’s.

When my sister and I were at the checkout counter at Staples, we saw one of their Easy buttons. I don’t know what came over me, but I just had to announce to everyone that was within hearing distance “I said NO!” And then I pushed (or more accurately, slapped) that Easy button. Of course, it replied “That was easy!” My sister, the cashier, and I all laughed, and I said that I have to buy one of those and put it beside my computer at home. Whenever anyone pokes their head into the room I am just going to say “NO” and hit that button. And for good measure I hit that button a few times, saying “no” each time. It was oddly therapeutic! I suggest everyone gets one of those, takes it home, and practices saying “NO” and hitting that button, over and over and over. You just might feel a lot better!

Spreading the word

Being part of being a member of a community means helping the community to survive. In this fast paced world, one of the newest ways available to the community to improve their chances of survival is to find ways online to let the world know that the community exists in the first place! To that end, from time to time, I find a website that accepts community announcements. Today I found the American Towns website and decided to list some of the Jeffersonton clubs and community events that are happening in town.

Hopefully this registration helps the clubs to generate more interest in their membership and activities!

The blame game

fingerpointing (free clip art)

fingerpointing (free clip art)

One of the things that bothers me the most about life is how much time is wasted playing the blame game. Don’t get me wrong, I have caught myself playing that game from time to time, but I have made a strong effort to resist doing that. Unfortunately when I play that game it usually from a defensive position where either I, or someone I care about is being “blamed” for something that caused undesirable consequences.

Anyone who has taken the time to get to know me very well would have to agree that I value truth. The old adage “The truth shall set you free” is near and dear to my heart. Of course that can put me in a predicament when a good friend asks “how do you like my haircut” or “does this make me look fat.” I have tried to learn to be tactful with my truth, or find a way to respond in a truthful way. Such as “how do you like my haircut” can be difficult – I think it looks terrible, but knowing how much people strive to look attractive I will often say that I think that it looks like it is easier to care for than the last hairdo, or say “wow, what a big change, how do YOU like it?” and then wait to see what THEIR answer is before going with the appropriate adoration or empathy.

blame game (free clip art)

blame game (free clip art)

But I am completely off topic here…. I started this post because today I met someone who was telling me things about politics and government that are completely contrary to what fact-checking has shown to be true. And this person was trying to “blame” a certain political party for the economic troubles of today. There obviously is a deeply ingrained “lie factory” in place in this country and too many people are wasting time “blaming” others for problems instead of trying to “do something about it.”

I think that if people put as much effort into “fixing” the problem as they do complaining about it, the problem would be solved. Stop wasting time playing the blame game and get on with it!

Busy busy busy

Unfortunately I have been too busy to keep posts coming on this little blog of mine. There just are not enough hours in the day! Rumors were that Google was going to be sending out another major Panda update by the end of November. If it did do that, I can’t see where it made any difference in my Page Ranks, so I guess I should just breathe a big sigh of relief over that.

One of the blog broker companies that I have been working with for about four years has suddenly gone quiet. I’m not sure if I’ve angered them so that they will never give me any work again, but I have been out “beating the bushes” looking for other sources of income. Doing my local networking thing has mixed results, my relatives think I am wasting my time networking with the local people, but I’d like to think that somewhere down the line I will meet someone who will find my skills to be exactly what he/she is looking for to help them grow their business and we will create a wonderful synergy that will astonish all of the critics that don’t understand the value of having a correctly coded well designed website and to actively market it. Having a website just sitting on a server, without ever updating it, without marketing it is a sad waste of resources. And yet that is what so many of the local companies are doing.

I’ve always loved horses but I do wonder if I will ever get these horses that I’m leading to water to drink, or if they will all just perish because they don’t believe that the water I am leading them to will quench their thirst. I guess time will tell.

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