Saturday, December 29, 2012

I resolve to....

You all know I don't generally do New Year's Resolutions. Spring, Birthday and Fall seem to be my biggest times for changes. This year though I am thinking about some changes and they will happen to line up with the new year so I guess they count.

You know I love my challenges. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't. Just now finishing up my third round of picture a day challenge. This last time I used a cued shot list from Fat Mum Slim. It's been interesting and a new way of looking at things. Different than the last two shot a day challenges I did where I could just take a picture of whatever struck my fancy. Now I still did a bit of that with the cued shot, I just had to get creative on how it fit the theme. She is doing lists for 2013 and I have looked but I think I will pass this year. 

The six month fit challenge from last year wasn't successful in a traditional way but I count it as a success because I did get a lesson out of it all. The lesson being that I am old. Okay, that's a little harsh, but the lesson was that I cannot push my body to do something beyond what it can do and expect good results. Because I am old. Wait, let me try that again. I'm not as young as I used to be and now I must be smarter about how I take care of myself. Moderation is even more important than it used to be. Swinging to extremes used to be something to test out, now it's something to avoid. It also was a good reminder for me to keep an out on my eating. Skinny bitch is there just waiting to pounce at any moment of weakness. I have to make sure I am not playing the "if I ate exactly my calories yesterday let's see if I can go half that today!" game. I also got back in to exercising on a more regular basis and so even if I'm not doing the crazy schedule I started with I am still more active than I was and that means a healthier me. Now this year I just have to keep repeating the "I don't need to lose weight, I just need to stay healthy" mantra.

Writing challenges are always a repeat on my cycle. Writing a new blog every day. Or every week. Writing a piece of fiction every week for you all to read. I go back to those again and again. And every time I do I think, this time it will stick and I will be more consistent with my writing! And I am...until I'm not. There are a lot of things I am still working out in my head with my writing. What do I want to do with it all? Should I do another push at getting something published? Should I self publish? Do I need to publish in any other format than this one or does this give me what I need? Money isn't a big motivator for me (obviously) and generally when something becomes actual work or a job I lose interest in it fairly quickly. I like to do things for the sake of doing them. And right now writing is firmly in that category. But I also like to have what I've written read. So publishing would push it towards that area more. I'm not sure yet. So I think I will do a few more challenges where writing is concerned and see what I discover.

Facebook. You all know I starting cutting back in August. And I have. Sort of. I am ready to cut back again though. I've noticed that if I log on in the morning then I will lose hours of my day. Brent says "Are you enjoying it?" and I am. So he says, "Then why change?" Well...because I think I am missing something. I'm not sure what just yet, but there are other things I want to do and they take time. So Facebook will get another time culling here in the new year. Which is why I won't be doing the 2013 picture challenge. One less excuse to "have to log on."

And here are some of the things I will fill my time with: 

More writing. You knew this was going to be on the list right? I am trying to work out in my head how to challenge myself to get a book done without the end game being getting it published and see how that goes. I have a collection of short stories I've been working on for years that I think will make a book. I just need to actually focus on them and get them done. Then there are two series on here that I've put out there for you all that I want to work on as well. See where they lead. So that's three fiction pieces that need time. Along with all of the other ideas that will pop in here and there, as they do. As well as the nonfiction things. I have a piece about politics/guns/critical thinking that I have been mulling in my head that needs to come out soon.

Cooking. I know right? This one is a shocker for us all but I want to cook more. I have fought it and fought it and fought it. But when I did the two week challenge last summer I actually enjoyed it, and I discovered that I would rather eat my own cooking than go out. Going out is just easy. So this is one that is going to take a shift in the way I run my life. Brent is fine with going to the grocery store so instead of feeling like I have to do this task on my own since I'm the housewife we will do it on the weekends just like when I was working outside the house. And then most days during the week he can have the car. I have what I need here at the house, my workout room is downstairs, my writing desk is right here, my kitchen will be stocked and if I need something the grocery store is within walking distance. So unless I have an errand I have to run he can drive and I will have time to cook. 

Working out. Still on the list. Just instead of twice a day 6 times a week we are looking at a good decent solid week being once a day 5 days a week. That's enough to keep my weight stable while I eat what I want and to keep my heart and brain healthy.

And the last thing I will be working on this year is deciding if I want to stay a housewife. I find myself thinking about going back to work more and more. I'm just not sure as what. I have a list of what I don't want to dos, but I really don't have a list of what I want to try nexts yet.  But with C's college loans coming due soon and thinking about selling this place and moving downtown it might just be time to close out the stay at home mom who stayed at home when her kid left challenge. Maybe. Or who knows, once I get in to the full swing of more writing and cooking I might decide I don't want to change a thing...

Yeah, right.....

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dear Sears, I can see how this could be frustrating for you....

My dryer broke this past weekend. Stopped tumbling. You could push the buttons, the lights would come on but as far as functionality goes, that was out the window. I contacted Sears to do the repairs. It's a Kenmore, we bought it there, it seemed logical that the repair would be easiest through them. Of course it was going to be a few days before they could get a technician out, that's the way it goes. So yesterday was my day. My window was from 8-12. Don't you love how we've all been trained that a 4 hour window is reasonable?

Anyway, I considered myself lucky because the repairman showed shortly after 11. He diagnosed the problem as two blown fuses which he happened to have in his truck and he fixed it right up. The entire time he was in the house was less than a half hour. I was thrilled, for one load of laundry. Then the dryer stopped heating. Still tumbling so I was ahead of where I was this weekend, but a dryer without heat is pretty worthless.  So I called the "call this number if you have any problems, it's been a pleasure helping you" number that Ahmed showed me on the receipt as he was leaving.

So I call and a nice phone operator from someplace else answered. Oh she is very sorry for my inconvenience and she understands how frustrating this could be for me. She will get a hold of the local dispatcher who will call me back. If they cannot get to me today then tomorrow might be the soonest. Fine. Just need to get it working again. Thank you for your help.  I hang up and wait for that call from the local dispatcher. Two hours later I call back. I get another very nice phone operator who apologizes for my inconvenience and understands my frustration. They will get someone local back to me right away. Thank you for being a valued customer. 

So THIS MORNING I call again. And again I get someone far far away. This time I say I want to talk to someone local now. Well, they can't do that but they will have someone call me. And they understand my frustration. So I go to their chat with a service rep function on their website. I had tried this last night but got nothing but "no service representatives are available, please try again later" Today I got someone. AH HA! Finally someone at a computer who can fix my issue. Guess what? He's very sorry for my inconvenience and understands how frustrated I must be. He pulls up my records and can schedule a follow up visit. In two weeks. TWO WEEKS.  I typed, without the extra words I said in my head, Are you kidding me? This is a second visit for a repair mistake that was done. Oh he understands how frustrating it can be to be without a dryer but that's the best they can do. I told him it was unacceptable and that I would be terminating my relationship with Sears at this point and would be telling everyone I know about my experience. His response? Sorry for your frustration. If you contact us later we cannot guarantee this appointment will still be available so would you like to go ahead and book it. I politely typed no and signed off of chat.

Then I went and checked their Facebook page, just for kicks. Every customer complaint is greeted with an apology and how they understand the frustration.Sears, I have a few words of advice for you, and for any other retail customer service oriented company out there, saying that I am a valued customer and that you understand my frustration is not the same as treating me as such.  Ignoring me, not calling me back, not dealing with the issue in a timely manner. All of those things show me that I am in fact not a valued customer. Giving your employees a script to follow (apologize, let the customer know you understand their frustration) is worthless if there is no service behind the words. 

And I understand your frustration now that I am no longer a customer at all. And I am sorry that I will be telling everyone I see why I am no longer a customer and suggesting they do the same. Signed Former Sears Customer who is BEYOND frustrated!