Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 18, 2007


The plumber didn't come over on Wednesday, but it's not his fault. It's mine. I worked six nights in a row prior to Wednesday and I was just...too...tired. So the plumber didn't get called. And the warranty expired four hours ago while I was dispatching a cardiac call. Because I'm at work. Again. Dammit. What was I saying?? So...the litter boxes didn't get scooped, either, and the kitchen floor didn't get mopped, and that yellow card taped to the front door means I forgot to pay the water bill...and what else haven't I done?? Oh, there's the Christmas lights I meant to ask my son to hang the other day when it was almost warm outside. And over there, that's the heap of laundry--actually, two heaps, because although I don't recall doing it, I apparently did sort it into lights and darks. (Wonder if I could do it at work.....??) Here's the note from my friend Lindsay asking me to call her a week ago. Hope it wasn't important. The cats turned over the palm again, and I really need to pour the dirt from the vacuum canister back into the planter before the thing dies. Putting the entryway rug back was a good idea, since it covers the black adhesive residue I haven't finished scraping off the hardwood floor. And buying that other rug at Home Depot was a good idea, too, because it partly covers the icky carpet in the living room that I haven't decided what to do with. (Which reminds me--I haven't told you about that yet.) And all those leaves in the yard!

I had plans to get a lot of this done tonight, but did I mention that I unexpectedly had to come to work on overtime? Again. Dammit. Maybe I ought to finish some of this stuff on my next day off. That would be....the 22nd. Thanksgiving. Crap. I have to be at Judy's at noon. No sleep that day. And I told her I'd bring something. Not the day after, either. That's when I'm leaving for Illinois. Be there three days with the rest of my family for my aunt's 90th birthday celebration. And I get back just in time to...go to work. Again. Dammit. Until the 29th. Excuse me while I bang my head against the desk and wail.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Upside of Anger

Mr. Frank Blake
CEO, The Home Depot
Via e-mail

Dear Mr. Blake,

I have absolutely no belief at all that you will see this e-mail; nevertheless, I feel compelled to address it to you in spite of the fact that I have a deeply ingrained mistrust of any man named Frank. I would have preferred to send you an actual letter, but because your damnable website is so unhelpful I was not able to find an actual address for The Home Depot. Perhaps, had I spent a bit more time looking, I would eventually have found it, but since my patience has worn thin from dealing with the so-called Customer Service Representatives at the Blue Springs, Missouri store I very nearly flung my keyboard across the room and thought it best to give up the search and spew my vitriol via e-mail.

And so, Mr. Blake, to cut to the heart of the matter, Home Depot sucks. Allow me to elaborate with a bit of comparison to my personal life: Once I was in a miserable relationship with a man who ignored me when I needed him, hovered when I wanted to be left alone, gave me unasked-for advice, and looked at me sideways when I asked him a question. I think that man perhaps authored the Customer Service Manual for your company. The kindest thing I can say about visiting a Home Depot store is that it is not quite as frustrating as attempting to navigate the website. However, there are similarities--I am unable to easily find anything I want to purchase at either location and the customer support experience is roughly equivalent.

My last soul-sucking venture to your establishment was to purchase replacement shades for my living room chandelier. I did locate the shades I wanted, but as I needed five of them and only two were reachable by a person with arms of average length--the rest having been pushed to the dark recesses of the shelf by I know not what type of creature--and as there was no salesperson in any of the three aisles nearby, I was forced to rely upon my own ingenuity and walk to the scrap lumber aisle for a stick of wood with which to prod the shades forward. Upon my return trip to the lighting aisle, I was accosted by a woman trying to sell sunroom additions, and although I'm sure the Butt-Ugly Sunroom Company appreciates the tenacity of Miss Mary Sunshine, I do not. You, sir, should appreciate my restraint in not clubbing the woman about the head and shoulders with what I believe is called a one-by-eight after she suggested that such a monstrosity as she was selling might in fact be allowed in a National Register Historic District. I managed to escape her only after throwing a piece of paper which was purportedly a sales lead onto the floor and running away when she bent to retrieve it. But my tale of woe ends not there, for I then decided to purchase an area rug which was conveniently jam-packed into a cardboard container of about three feet in height which was intended to hold perhaps half as many rugs. And as I struggled to pry loose the rug from the container, I was approached by one of your employees, a young man, seemingly with full use of his arms and legs, who offered me no lifting assistance but did promise to finance my bathroom remodel with no interest for one year. I submit to you that this was possibly not the best time to inform me of this opportunity. My trip through the checkout line was blessedly uneventful and I made my way to the parking lot where, in chilly rain, I wrestled the rug out of my shopping cart and into my car with some considerable difficulty. As I turned to push the shopping cart out into the driving lane in the hopes that some other customer would strike it, suffer personal injury or property damage and sue the Armani pants off your ass, I ran full-tilt into another of your orange-apron-clad minions who, judging from the amount of rain dripping from his spiky hair, had been standing there behind me the entire time.

With all of this in mind, might I humbly suggest that your slogan could use a little retooling to better reflect Home Depot's lack of customer service and to provide some semblance of truth in advertising. Herewith, my submission: "You can do it all by yourself. We can help but we simply choose not to."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dark Water

Wasn't it just yesterday, or maybe the day before, that I posted about spending loads of money on a water problem? Well, okay, so it was back in September. Back then I had good water pressure and a huge water bill; now I have next to no water pressure and a teenie water bill. (Really teenie. Fifteen dollars teenie. How is that possible?) When I say almost no water pressure, what I mean is that were it not for the force of gravity, I'd have no water pressure at all. Or, as the soldier son remarked, "The water just falls out of the shower head." The water pressure in the kitchen sink's not so bad, but it doesn't exactly gush out. I can't speak for the water pressure in my son's bathroom, because that room's a biohazard zone that I try never to enter.

My next night off is a week from Wednesday--yes, you read that right, a week from Wednesday--and the son just started a full-time day job so there's no one but me to let the plumber in, meaning I have two equally unappealing options:

1. Wait until a week from Wednesday and, after adequate sleep, call the plumber. Keep in mind that the house warranty the SPOs provided runs out on the 18th. (It does cover plumbing inside the house, though, with prior approval.) Or....

2. Get up early this Wednesday and, after almost no sleep, call the plumber.

I know, I know, Option #2 is the right choice. But I don't wanna get up early. On the other hand, I don't wanna pay for the plumber by myself when the warranty's got a $100 deductible. On the other other hand, maybe the cute plumber will be the one who comes over. I'll call him. In the meantime, I'll try to put Jeff's plumbing post out of my mind and sit shiva with the folks over at The Devil Queen waiting on a plumber. Stay tuned.