Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Record-keeping, Comparisons, & New Tablet

It's just about lunch time and I am already bone tired. Since my wake-up times seem to be getting earlier and earlier, and I have great quantities of energy at that time, I accomplish much while it's still dark outside.

Had a coffee and light breakfast before taking the  morning meds. While running a load of laundry (Damn! those stairs are killers.) I made new file folders for the myriad medical entities I owe money to and will have to pay off - eventually.  Prepped food for supper and returned it to the refrigerator for later, JIC I run out of steam and can't stand up long enough to do both prep and cook.  Yes, it's come to that. And no, I will not dwell.

Went through all old files in the cabinet and shredded those 6 or more years old.  No need to have them around. The shredder was one of the best investments I've ever made. (Shred into bags, put bags into recycle bin downstairs.) Balanced the checkbook, paid a few bills online that were coming due in a few days.

Logging in for email I found the electronic gift card from Staples, covering the cost of the dead Kindle Fire.  That was quick. Turns out, they refunded the entire purchase price even though the newer tablets are more advanced and cost less than 2 years ago. I am not complaining. I'll take it.

There was also a nice surprise statement from a credit card containing the new cash-back balance available. Since I use cards for everything (never cash, if I can help it) it's amazing how quickly the percentage points grow over time.  Plus, I'd rather use their money over the month, not mine.

Taking the advice of the 2 geeks at the restaurant, I did more serious comparison shopping between the Samsung Tab 3 and the Google/Nexus 7 ver. 2.  It's piece of cake to "compare products" online nowadays. Saved and printed relevant pages, highlighted options important to my needs, and had another coffee while making the decision. 

Staples Odyssey: The Unprofessional Edition 

Read recent news reports about the financial problems facing Staples, I can totally understand why.  First, their website is convoluted, many items are not in categories one would expect them to be, and while they offer a "find store" option, what pops up is the address and phone number.  One cannot navigate to that specific store to check stock on items. The site always brings you back to a store in a large metropolitan area, which for me is Philadelphia, or Baltimore.

I wanted to check for sale prices and availability at the local Rehoboth Beach, DE store, but couldn't do it.  And the purchase must be made in store, not online. Why?  Because the certificate is only valid for in-store purchases. Bar code must be scanned at the time of the transaction. I didn't want to waste time driving to the store if the item wasn't in stock. 

That may sound trite, even lazy, but with vertigo and shortness of breath, I prefer to stay off the roads as much as possible. I don't want to be the cause of an accident and run the risk of hurting someone. 

I called the local store several times, getting bumped or put on hold every time.  I know they're tech staff isn't busy at 7:30 am, please!!! When I finally got through to the "tech" desk (yes, well) the nimrod had no idea what I was asking for. He finally wrote down verbatim what I was looking for, put me on hold (again) for at least 10 minutes before returning to tell me he "thought" there were 5 of the items in stock, but wasn't sure.

I asked that he check with someone who could be sure as I was facing a difficult drive and wanted to confirm that I would leave the store with the item in hand. He sounded quite annoyed as I was put on hold again.  This time a woman got on the line and asked for the information - all over again. Meanwhile the sun is moving high in the sky and traffic will begin to get heavy.

When she returned to give me the good news, she had a changed attitude when she realized that this was going to be a nice chunk-of-change sale for her store.   She even offered to put the item aside for me (like they were going to sell 5 of these things on a wednesday morning, uh-huh) and asked if she could collect any other things on my list so they would be all together waiting for me when I arrived.  Sweet!

I gave her my list of needs and told her I'd be there to pickup within an hour.  She almost made me laugh when she informed me that she couldn't hold an unpaid-for item for more than that. WTF did she think I was spending all this time on a prank?  

To make a long story short, I chose the Nexus 7 tablet and picked it up with a new portable box (for the medical files) and a few odds and ends that needed replacing.  I could have been in and out of the store in a half hour, but they had to located a manager with keys to the electronic storage (she was outside the store smoking when I arrived) who had turned off her communication headset for some personal quiet. BTW, not the same woman who helped organize my purchase.

When I found this out I blew my top at her.  The only person with keys is unreachable,  takes a half-hour smoke break at 10 am!!! Turns out she is also the district manager for DE, and the peninsula. When she got pissy with me I made it clear in my best big-boy voice that she was clearly in a position beyond her talents, abilities, and attitude toward customer service. 

Believe it or not, as she retrieved the item from the secure storage area and placed it with the other items under my name, she got into my face and - - - stuck her tongue out at me in front of staff and other customers, then walked away. Surprised and a little stunned by this action of a 50+ year-old (professional?) woman, I laughed loud and hard.  I then followed to get the name off her employee badge (which she tried to hide from view). A complaint will be lodged at some point this day. 

Anyway…I have the new Nexus 7, which is a tad taller, though lighter than the Kindle Fire, but still fits well in the hand. So, that's over and done. I am pretty spent  now, and will enjoy the rest of the day relaxing, learning how to use it. That ought to take up most of my time. I'll finish the file sorting later, or tomorrow - whenever I feel up to it. Nothing is a rush anymore.

More importantly, I have my reading material to help me through the weekend medical mishugas, and that's all that matters. 

Just received a reminder call from the Cancer Center letting me know that I have Labs and a follow-up appointment with the doctor tomorrow morning, and if it's anything like past weeks, I'll need transfusions on Friday morning, as well. 

Oh, happy days! 

And so it goes.


  1. gah, that was so RUDE of her! 5 year olds stick out their tongue; must be her intelligence level. and a 30 minute smoke break? bitch please!

  2. About that laundry, can an alternative be found for going up and down the stairs? Assuming that you rent, you may not have a lot of options about a way to get your laundry done within your apartment. My mother lived in the home that my parents built in 1935 until the 1990s. The washing machine was always down in the basement, and the clothes were air dried outside, even if it was freezing. Clothes can freeze and dry on the line on a sunny day. Well those steps got to be too much for her, so she had a one unit stacked washer/dryer installed in the kitchen. Life became much easier for her. The first apartment I rented here in Wilmington NC also had such a unit installed in a hall closet. So very convenient. Could there be a similar solution for you? I hope so.

  3. I am wearing my restaurant shirt this weekend to the convention, in your honor.


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