Corporate Frustration Rant

Before the world went into lockdown, I placed an order for 3 sets of items to be used as favors for a retreat to be held later in the summer if lockdowns allow. The order was to be fulfilled by Amazon fulfillment, so not coming from other distant land. The order didn’t come, then shipping slowed to a crawl due to COVID and since I wasn’t in a hurry, I waited. Months went by and the items could not be tracked because there was no tracking number given. I finally contacted Amazon and according to them, the package had been fulfilled by Amazon fulfillment and they could see that it had never been delivered. They did send me a refund, but this put me back to square 1 on the project. I was able to locate some of the items needed through another source, but some of it can’t be located at a reasonable cost to me.

This brings about two other issues. I designed labels for the containers for this retreat favor and decided that rather than print them at home on labels that would likely fade or smear, I would have Avery Dennison print them on plastic stick on labels that wouldn’t fade or smear. This is a nice service, though those labels ended up costing nearly as much as the containers. I received a shipping notice within a couple of days, the labels being sent Sure Post through UPS to the USPS. Tracking said I should have received them a week ago and tracking hasn’t changed in a week. If you go to the UPS site, it says that once the package is transferred to USPS (Postal Service), you have to contact USPS not them. Their site says the package was transferred in Roanoke over a week ago. USPS site says it is awaiting the package from UPS in North Carolina. Bottom line, it is lost in the ether. I have called Avery and was put in a call back queue awaiting to discuss it with them.

Because of shipping issues and not wanting to have to go out to the USPS or other shipping sites unless absolutely necessary during the lock down, I signed up for the 4 week trial of so that I could buy and print postage at home for anything from stamps, media mail, small and large packages as I was selling some items that I no longer use in my fiber arts and crafting. It took less than their 4 week trial to discover that when you add insurance, you get billed separately at the end of the month though it appears to come out at the time you buy the postage and that you get charged nearly $18/month for the privilege of printing your own postage yourself from home, though you can do it through other services for only the cost of the postage. I went online and processed a cancellation of services form and submitted it. When I received the credit card charge for the insurance and 4 weeks service which I didn’t complete and shouldn’t have been charged if the form had been processed, I called them, accepted that I was stuck with that month but was assured that the service had been cancelled. A month went by with no use and again I was charged for a month of service. I called again on Friday, sat on hold waiting for a customer service representative for nearly 30 minutes, and was told that neither my attempt to cancel online, nor my first call had cancelled, but it would be taken care of immediately and I would be refunded. The refund showed up in my account the same day that the month’s service was recharged to my account, but it was the weekend. This morning after another 30 minutes on hold awaiting a representative, following an electronic message that my account was closed, the representative said the notes showed it was closed, the refund made, and yes, rebilled, but she couldn’t help me because the account was closed and I would be transferred to her supervisor. Another 30 minutes of hold time and the supervisor was able to refund the second charge and assure me I wouldn’t be charged again, and that it hadn’t previously been marked not to recharge. I maintained my calm and stayed nice. But then they had the gall to send me a customer service survey. I wasn’t nice.

Avery finally called back, a much nicer system than sitting on hold for an hour and very quickly offered me either a refund or them to reprint the labels and send them out rush delivery. At least they have their act together.

And don’t get me started on FedEx, they have yet to get a delivery to me without it going to a neighbor or totally astray.

If the Post Office goes under, we are in trouble, we will never get anything ordered.

How will it be?

I am not currently active on Facebook. If you are reading this there, I will not see your comments and reactions.

Will we ever get to meet our newest grandson? Get a hug from our sons, daughter(s), and grands? Will we ever be able to fulfill our Christmas gift trip to three of our grands? How about craft shows? History events? Fiber retreats?

We can’t be part of the herd immunity theory, we are both in the at risk category by age and prexisting conditions. If we were to disregard this SARS-2 virus, likely we would die, not become immune. Our exposure is very limited, wearing masks when we are away from home. Only I will go into the plant nursery or the post office, leaving hubby at home or in the car. We did finally break down to do drive through food occasionally since there have been no reports of transmission by that means and the number of cases in this part of the state are fairly low.

How will our children fair if it lingers and impacts their jobs? Though the two eldest can both work from home now, there are furloughs being suggested in their fields.

Will schools reopen and how? At first the fear wasn’t for children to catch the virus, but rather become vectors, but now there are serious cases and deaths to children as well.

So much history has occurred in my lifetime: Korean conflict, Vietnam war, Cold war, space flight, moon landings, technology to improve power production. Negatives such as factory farms, climate change, pollution by smog and plastic, fracking. We have seen the arrival of HIV/AIDS, SARS, MERS, resistant bacterial infections, but this virus is frightening. It infects across all ages, affects people so differently or not at all as they asymptomatically spread it. It has brought out the worst kinds of behaviors in people who believe that safety measures are infringements on their rights. “Your rights end where my nose begins..” and I don’t want you spreading your illness to me. What has happened to respect and civility in this country.

For now, I will stay home and spin, knit, garden, and take care of us.

My Sanity

Let me begin by saying if you are reading this on Facebook, it is because I can share it remotely. I will not see any likes or comments you post on Facebook, only if you like or comment directly on the blog Post.

Day 64: Of our self imposed stay at home order. On March 31 it became a state order. Because we have no home pick up of garbage and recycling, we have made trips to the “convenience center” a few times. Our wonderful natural foods store has a pdf order form you can fill out, submit via email, they call you when it is filled, you drive up, call the pick up number, and your goodies are delivered to your car by a gloved, masked employee. We have made that trip weekly for 3 weeks, allowing fresh produce, cheese, yogurt, nuts, and a few other products we use regularly. We finally braved a drive through fast food a couple of times when we were picking up the goodies (how incongruous is that, fast food and organic grocery pick up). Cabin fever sets in especially when the weather isn’t conducive to the garden, mowing, or walking the hills.

Yesterday was our last average frost date, however, there are 3 nights in the next 5 where a frost is possible, so other than garden prep the garden is not happening for another week or so. When there is nothing to do outside, or the weather doesn’t permit much outdoors time, there are sanity saving activities indoors. The garden plan is finalized, so that nightshades don’t get planted in the same place two years in a row, or that the onions and garlic won’t go back in the same box this fall. I’m thinking of adding two more 4 X 4 boxes and a 4 x 8 box for next year. The space where the mint was removed and where the three sisters garden will go this year would hold them and keeping the paths heavily covered with spoiled hay will keep the weeds down. It isn’t difficult to clear a box with a hoe as long as the paths don’t overwhelm.

And of course, there is my sanity basket.

I rotate through the spindles, spinning bits of yarn, focusing my energy to creativity and slowing the process down so that it is not production, but enjoyment. I enjoy spinning on my wheels, but until a few weeks ago, had forgotten how much I enjoy the spindles. For some reason, spinning on the spindles doesn’t aggravate my arthritis as much as knitting does and the yarn is accumulating much slower than it does from the wheels. I did learn the trick to wind the singles from the spindle off on a small bobbin using my great wheel so that when the spindle is filled again, they can be plied together without tangling as they tend to do from the center pull cop using both ends to ply.

Yesterday we had to go into town to pick up a prescription refill for hubby and drove a bit farther to the shop where we bought our Stihl line trimmer 14 or 15 years ago. They have serviced it a number of times, fulfilled a recall for the gas cap once, and I needed a part to be able to use it again this year, as well as fuel mix and line. The shop is open, but you call from your car, let them know what you need, pay over the phone if not using cash, and they bring your order out to a table in front for you to pick up. It was very seamless, except a couple our age pulled up beside the driver’s side of the car, the man wearing a mask got out and started for the door. I was waiting, wearing a mask, by the passenger side of our car for our order to come out and pointed out to the man that he needed to call inside, that their doors were not open. He returned to his car, told the woman who was driving to call in and proceeded to walk to the front of our car. As I backed up, he moved forward. I backed up, he moved toward me making conversation. I was just about to tell him to give me space when the woman called him back to his car and spoke with him and he turned around and said, “She says I need to stay back at least 6 feet, is 12 enough?” I guess she had seen me backing away as he approached. After picking up my order, the employee was trying to get his information as he was leaving a line trimmer for repair and he walked as close as he could get to the gate with the table on the other side of it and pretended like he was going to pat the female employee on the shoulders or play patty cake or something. What part of social distancing don’t people understand and realize that his actions are not taken as playful. Times have changed. It is stressful enough to go out without feeling like you have to defend yourself from fools. At least he had on a mask, so many people aren’t wearing them.