Wonderful World of Retail

I have so many updates that I’d like to write about but need to get something off my chest first.

Tuesday of this week, I decided to buy something that I have been holding off getting for a while. I was waiting for the right time and this seemed to be it. It’s a high-ticket item that would cost me about $700.

I go into the store and they don’t have the item in stock–right now. “We usually do, but at the moment, we’re out. We can order if for you, though.” OK, sounds fine to me.After I place my order, pay in full, and leave.The next day, I decide that I no longer want the product I bought the day prior. The reason for not wanting it isn’t all that important for the story. Anyway, I call the store and ask if I can cancel the order, and none of the employees know what to do. “We need a manager to take care of this,” they say. “We’ll call you back.” That’s fine. There’s probably some kind of process to this.I decide to call the store later that day, knowing that they will be closing and I’d like the issue to be resolved. Still nothing. They are checking into it. Same thing the following day. I ask, “If I can’t cancel it, can I just ‘return’ it to you?” “You should be able to. It’s not like it was a special order. We usually have those in stock anyway. Someone will call you back.”I wait for my call, and of course, I miss it and am left a message to this effect:

We are able to take your item as a return but it won’t be a full refund. We can only give you $500.

WTF???? Let me make sure I understand, I haven’t received, opened, touched, used, or SEEN the item and you’re telling me that you’re going to keep $200? You’re going to keep about 30% of the original cost?I call the store back today and can’t seem to get in touch with a real manager. “Real” meaning someone who has any authority to do anything. “He’s in a meeting.” The guy on the other end empathized and thought it wasn’t right but his hands were tied. He calls the $200 a down payment at one point and I asked, “How could I have made a down payment when I paid in full? No one said anything about that? I expected to keep the thing but circumstances changed. Why are you holding on to $200?”Yeah, so. Let’s see where this thing ends up going.

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To Put it Bluntly…

I get frustrated when I grade sometimes.

One semester, I asked my students to write a note in the comments section of where they turned in their assignments online. Essentially, the note was to detail where they goofed up so that I knew that they knew they goofed up because, really, I’m going to catch their mistakes anyway. And, really, I was tired of trying to say things in a way that was more “teacher-esque” constructive criticism than just plain blunt statements. I needed a way not to waste all of my energy.

Here’s what I mean.

  • Teacher-esque: Your work was fairly good but you need to focus on your spelling and grammar. At times, I was unsure of what you were trying to say.
  • Blunt: This was awful and I hated reading it because it’s clear that you didn’t double check your work.
  • Teacher-esque: Most of your work was solid but you did have some issues along the way that added up to hurt your score. Let me know if you have questions.
  • Blunt: Follow the directions. READ and follow the directions. Follow. The. Directions.

I really wish I had thought to do that again this semester, particularly when I found myself yelling the following at my laptop the other night as I graded a student’s assignment:

“This is the kind of work you turn in when you’re ON something! Are you high?! What IS this? Are you high?! You must be to turn this in to me! I mean, what kind of garbage is this?!”

Soft Talker with a Megaphone

Hi, blog. It’s been a while. Here’s something funny/not funny I want to tell you about today.

Generally speaking, I’m not a yeller but I’m not a soft-talker either. I’m somewhere in between and I will fluctuate depending on the situation. Most days, I’m on the quieter end of the spectrum. Today in class, I was pushed to the louder end because no one was listening and I was over it.

The following happened:

“Listen, I’m not going to yell about this. This isn’t me yelling. This is me raising my voice so that you can hear me and understand how important this is because the other times I have said this, you have ignored me,” I said.

“When class started today, I reminded all of you that you needed to make sure you do two things before starting your work: connect and manage. It was a problem the other class had and I didn’t want you to forget these critical steps,” I said, as my voice got a little louder.

Then, without realizing it, I cupped my hands together like a megaphone and started talking with my “megaphone” and I guess it kind of sounded like yelling at that point.

“It’s clear that not everyone has chosen to listen to me, and you know what? That’s fine but please don’t come to my office on Monday stressing out, crying, about to throw up, whatever because your website doesn’t work. I’m trying to help you, but you won’t listen and again, that’s fine. But if you come to see me and the problem is happening because you haven’t managed the site? I’m not going to hand you a tissue for your tears and I’m going to tell you to leave my office.”

“Manage. Your. Site,” I megaphoned loudly.

Mystery Voice

hubby: I heard a song on the radio that I really liked. It was really good. I thought it was Rihanna.

that girl: When was this?

hubby: This morning. It was a good song but then Rick Dees told me it was Justin Bieber.

that girl: Oh yeah! Hahaha. That song. I like that one, too. How does it go again?”

hubby: As long as you love me…

that girl: [disappointed] Yeah, I didn’t realize it was Bieber either.

hubby: I still think it’s a good song.

(10 minutes later Bieber is introduced on the AMAs. hubby says “yes!” And then, “Is this Rihanna?”)

The Disappearance of Personal Blogging

Did I miss the memo? Has blogging become passe?

Almost all of the blogs I’ve tried to keep up with haven’t posted anything new in a while. These aren’t professional blogs. They are written by the Average Joe talking about life, and I wonder if that has a lot to do with it. I know that I get really busy sometimes and can’t find the time to write. Or could it be because of Facebook and Twitter? Perhaps our quickie updates and tweets are enough to fulfill the need to say something?

I don’t know what it is but it makes me a little sad.

If you have some suggestions for blogs to follow, let me know in the comments below.

Is it just me…?

I’m not a fan of these iPhone commercials where celebrities speak TO their phone as if it were a person. Why not speak to a real person? I mean, I know the magical phone computer is oh-so-amazing, but they are taking it too far when the phone replaces a human being.

The John Malkovich one in particular is yuck. Maybe he’s too out there to talk to the regular folk.

Agree? Disagree?

Oh, Life.

from dryicons.com

Hi. Life is crazy right now. I’m just taking a 5 minute break to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings and whatnot. I’m not sure that the blogosphere has missed me, but I’ve missed it. I hope to make a comeback next week. 🙂