Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lemme outta here.

My niece Jordanna gave birth to a little pink bundle of cuteness last week. I was eager to get up to the hospital and snuggle with wee little Jesslynne. Coincidental, a friend of mine was in the hospital having surgery at the same time.

I stopped at the store and bought a stuffy and some pink tulips for Mommy and baby and picked up a planter filled with multiple plants to take to my friend. Of course baby took precedence so off I went to the maternity ward on the first floor.

In due time, I left the baby's room and headed, plant in hand, for the elevator to take me to the third floor where my friend was recovering.

As I stepped off the elevator, I felt like a magnet as several young men, aged 25-30 or so, gravitated towards me. Each in turn asked me how I was doing or commented on my beautiful plant.

I quickly sensed that I might not be in the right place as I bolted for the nurses station and asked for my friend Lois' room.

"Um, I think you probably want the surgery wing," was the nurses reply. "You took the wrong elevator."

A glance around me confirmed that, yes, I had stumbled upon the psych ward.

She graciously explained that I had to take the elevator back down to the main floor and get on a different elevator to get to where I needed to be. She leaned over and pushed a button on the wall and then left the nurses station.

Had I realized that her button push was momentarily unlocking the guarded elevator I would have ran to it. But alas, in my naivety, I stopped when an inmate (did I say that out loud? I meant "patient") flagged me down.

"Hey! Nice planter."

"Thank you."

"What kind of plants are they?"

"Oh, I'm not sure. I just thought it was pretty so I bought it for a friend."

"Here, give it to me and I'll tell you what they are," he says as he reaches out towards me.

Slightly unnerved, I feel some relief as I hear a male voice behind me say, "Quit bothering the lady."

I turn only to have my heart pick up speed when I realize it is not in fact a nurse or doctor but one of the first patients who had asked me nearly the exact same questions when I had encountered him as I stepped off the elevator.

Ignoring the suggestion to leave me alone he stepped closer to me, put his hand around the planter and sternly said, "Give it to me!"

I am proud to say that I neither peed my pants nor screamed, "Mommy!" I simply handed him my plant so that I could have both hands free to frantically thump on the elevator button.

It was then that I had a lightbulb moment of "Duh! Of course the elevators are locked to prevent escapees."

Then to my astonishment the young man held up the plant and looked at it from all angles and proceeded to tell me all the types of plants in the pot. Now, I can't confirm or deny whether he actually knew what he was talking about but he used words that sounded like Latin botanical terms. He told me how the fern (he had a long name for it) was from the crustacean period and if the conditions were right, it would grow like a weed. I suspect he'd had a little too many encounters with weed and such and that's what landed him here in the first place, but I sure has heck wasn't gonna argue with him.

I nearly fell to my knees in worship when a male nurse came along and asked if I wanted the elevator unlocked.

"Uh, ya think?" I pounded on the down arrow one more time and the patient wished me well and handed me back the plant as I the stepped onto the elevator and scrambled for the "close door" button.

Visiting the sick and afflicted really isn't one of my gifts and talents.

But Jesslynne sure is a cutie.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cutting off my nose to spite my face.

My husband does things a little differently than I. (Hence he wins more friends and influences more people.)

I remember as a young child, my mom totally confused me and had to explain what she meant when she said to me one day, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face." Good advice, but clearly not a motto I live by.

Albert's truck has had some issues with the ABS brakes for a little while. After being shocked and stunned last year when we found out the $1500 4wheel drive was not covered under the extra Premium warranty he purchased, we dug out the warranty papers.

Yes indeed, ABS brakes are listed as being fully covered. Yay! We dropped the truck off at PG Motors.

When he went to pick it up the woman at the desk handed him a bill for three hundred and some dollars. When he told her his paper work quite blatantly stated it was covered by warranty she argued saying the computer said he didn't have extra coverage.

And this is where our approach to life differs. Since his papers were in the truck which was still out in the shop, he just paid the bill and intended to get the papers later and clear up what was obviously her mistake. I would never have paid the bill without making her go get the papers.

And sure enough when he got the truck back and pulled out the papers, he had paid for full coverage. He re-enters the shop and shows the woman his evidence. She apologizes but tells him she can't do anything for him. The other girl who entered his warranty in the computer two years ago was off work so they can't fix it; he'd have to wait until she was back.

I work in retail and customer service, and clearly understand her response fell into the "passing the buck cuz I don't know what to do" category. I would have demanded a refund then and there. And I'd probably be swearing by this point. My husband simply came home to wait for her return to work. He was angry but they probably never knew it.

A couple of days later he called the infamous Mrs Teichrob only to be told, "Oh yeah, I sent a fax to head office but I haven't heard anything back."

"Head office?? You took my money and you owe me a refund!" would have been my flipped out response. He was gentler.

He did however get a little more aggressive with her on his next call to her when she informed him that yes he would get a refund but they would keep his money tied up for a week to 12 days before they could give it back to him.

Yesterday they called to say he could come in and have the refund put back on his debit card.

Now, not being much of a shopper and certainly not one to return things, he was unaware that one must use the pin pad to allow a refund back into the account. And, as had been plainly demonstrated, the women at the desk of PG Motors are not exactly the brightest bulbs on the tree, and she did not hand him the pin pad to finish the transaction.

But she did give him some paper work and he left the building and went to work satisfied that he'd gotten his money back.

It was only after hours that I checked the bank account and saw no money had been returned to it. While I felt bad that poor Alb, who is a very busy man, has wasted a lot of time on this little episode, I knew it would just be a matter of returning once again to PG Motors and using the pin pad. And voila! I will have access to our money.

First thing this morning I get a phone call. Yes the clever women realized this morning that their cash didn't balance.

"It's just a matter of bringing in a bank card. Either you or Albert can come in," she said.

"Okay, I'm off work. I'll do it today." I respond, knowing that I have some shopping to do so I want the money.

But then she continues, "I know it's my mistake, so I apologize. But my cash is out, so it really needs to be dealt with today."

Ohhhh baby! That was the wrong thing to say to me. Your cash is out? Your cash???? My cash has been out for 2 weeks!

"If you have a credit card I can give you a refund to your credit card over the phone and clear it up right now," she continued.

My mind scrambles in many directions. Yes I'd like to clear it up once and for all. Yes I want the refund before I go shopping today. But no, I will not make your life easier for the sake of making your life easier.

"Uh, no. I'd rather have it put into my account than on a credit card."

You can bet your ass I won't be going anywhere near PG Motors today. And if you see me downtown please don't ask me why my nose is missing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

No Grammy for Granny.

I don't like Katy Perry or anything she stands for. However she has an uncanny ability to write songs that get stuck in your head for days and weeks at a time. So feel free to not read any farther unless you want to be humming "I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It," "Wakin Up in Vegas" or "You're Hot Then You're Cold" for the next few days.

I am sure you are all aware of how musical I am not. However I spend many hours a night singing (inside my head, fortunately for my husband) "You're hot then you're cold".

I hate to give Katy the credit like that when in fact it's Tamoxifen and missing ovaries that deserve the honour and recognition for turning me into the singing superstar that I am.

I hate being cold. I don't enjoy hot flashes, though I'd opt for a flash over a shiver. But this flipflopping back and forth in a game of sweat-get-wet-kick-off-blankets-get-a-chill is going to do me in I think.

While Hot 'n Cold was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance this year, it did not impress the Grammy's enough to win last night. Neither did it impress Granny as I lay awake singing it from 2:15 until 6AM.

Words. The most powerful source known to humanity.

I love words. I love to write them. I love to know their meanings. I love to know their origins. But speaking them - not so much.  You can&...