Monday, June 28, 2010

T-Minus 11 hours

The carpet guys will be doing awful things to my living room floor I'm about to shut down the computer and frantically figure out where to put all the last minute things and get my room ready to do the same but opposite tomorrow night...

Before I do though, I have to share my latest trauma...Wells Fargo sent me back a "legal copy" of the Toyota Finance refund check...that bounced. See, apparently I overpaid my car loan (I know!), so they sent me the difference back in December while I was visiting my family in LA. I lost track of the check until last week when all this cleaning and sorting for the carpet replacement came up. So I guess the fault was my own for not cashing it immediately, or so the customer service representative was trying to convince me. See, it even says so on the check, void after 90 days or somesuch BS. And it is BS.

There is no reason, except utter spite, that Toyota should refuse to allow a valid check # to be cashed. Having worked in an accounts payable office for almost 3 years now? I know the drill: Bank A tries to get funds from Bank B via a check draw. Bank A's check is out of sequence (by a lot) so Bank B contacts the issuer of the check via message/email/in some way, shape, or form so as to get a person to accept or reject the check # & amount. The issuer says it's okay, fund transaction happens, EVERYONE HAPPY.

Toyota denied Wells Fargo my $13.19. Seriously. So who got dinged? Me. Not only did the cashing become a withdrawing, but now I have a $7.00 fee for the service. You bet your aunt Fanny I'm on the phone with Wells in the AM.

However, I feel I must give out the secret password to the internets. If you find yourself in a conversation with a customer service representative FROM ANY company and they tell you that they cannot do anything about the fact that your check has "expired?" It's a lie. Demand to speak with their supervisor. A company cannot "void" your refund/money it owes you. They must clean up their books LEGALLY, and those funds get to go to their home state as unclaimed cash. This takes a LOOOONG time. We wait a year before starting this process. Step #1? Contact the vendor and see why the check was not cashed. It is NEVER void the check and keep the money. No matter how small the amount. Again, ask for a supervisor.

Yes, I may have gotten a bit irate over $13. But really? Listening to the CSR convince herself that this is the way things are done and she can't do anything to change their policy? It galled. It rubbed me so the wrong way. It raised hackles. And then she went and called me ma'am.

Do not believe the money is no longer yours. It lives in their system as an uncashed check. If they keep it? It is officially stolen from you. See, I can't change policy either, but I do know how to read the lovely notices the IRS sends us with regards to unclaimed funds.

I started to wonder how many people believed her story, or any other CSRs similar explanation. They use very level and even voices, sound pleasant even after you've blown your top (ma'am), put you on penalty hold if they think you need a time out...and are very surprised when you're still there...oh yes, I was. I mean, what else did I have to do? Especially now that I felt like I was fighting for every person who had ever hung up/given up. (Blame it on being overworked...I dunno, seriously could not stop myself.)

So I'm being issued a new check. However, I still need to find a way to get Wells Fargo to reverse their $7 BS fee. Maybe someone else in the internets has a success story to share. THEN I will shut down and pack like a madman.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

By Waterproof, I Did Not Mean the Yarn Needed to be Superwash...

On Thursday we had such awesomely wonderful weather that I seriously considered playing hookie. We've spoken about my work ethic at length. You know this is not an option. Except Thursday? SO NICE.

But this just means summer is finally here, tra la, not to worry, plenty time for sun and fun and did I mention sun?

Mother nature hates me.

I walked to work IN THE RAIN on Friday. Not fog as Andy said, looking at the forecast on the 'puter, not "mist," oh no, this was rain. But so determined was I to cast on the 150 stitches I need for a hat I'm playing around with (100% wool, superwash), that I trudged through, sans umbrella, and only shoved the hat into my pocket when I noticed the bamboo was no longer slipping through the stitches all that easily.

It's been "All Summer In A Day" here for so long that I'm seriously thinking it's affecting my attitude. Me, who isn't all that enamored of the ball of flame that gives me freckles that are starting to look like perma-stains along my wrinkle lines can think of nothing better to do than stand at the window and let the heat burn the back of my neck as I waited for signatures on checks last Thursday. Mmmmmmm what a lovely memory.

There was a marathon or some-such event today, but except for a quick bento box lunch out, I've been inside sorting and packing and getting ready for new carpet. Yep, they raised my rent but I insisted that if I had to pay more? Then the carpet stain/bleaching the size of doormat that the previous tenants left us had to be fixed. As it's too big to patch? And the carpet reached some magical age? We're getting all new carpet for the entire apartment.

(If I already posted about this, I apologize, it's almost 2 AM and I've been packing and sorting and going insane with the mess all day). I'd feel all put out about missing more nice weather but um yeah, when we were out getting lunch? It was not warm enough to wander about in just the light sweater I'd thrown on. The sun on my face? Lovely. The breeze making me shiver? Not so much. Besides we had work to do. Seeing as we have to move everything around for the carpet guys, we've decided to do a thorough clean and sort of our stuff at the same time.


I am not a neat person. But there is something about the boxes and the unfinished packing ALL OVER THE APARTMENT that is driving me batty. I need a sorting/packing system. I pick an area and I go go go until it is done. It is my way. My nature. Andy, however? Not so much with the patented one-box-until-it's-full method. I'm sure he has a plan of his own, but it's disjointed enough to make we want to weep.

He said earlier this evening that I needed to not spazz out so much, it would get done and it's not as if we're on anyone's schedule (seriously, our choice for what days they come in...), but I can't live like this. It's like moving out without moving out and the boxes are everywhere and I no longer know where anything is! His solution is for me to think of "everything" as my keys. I am notorious for not knowing where they are. I might have smiled, but also maybe stifled a cry.

It's time to pass out now, as there are more boxes and messes to deal with when the sun comes out...that is, if it's not stuck behind some new freak-never-happened-this-late-in-the-year storm. Seeing as we plan on putting a slew of stuff out on the deck to get it out of the way, join me in asking the sun to start summer here already, seeing as it's almost July and all. Just a thought, no big rush or anything...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Apparently I'm Only Tight Up to A Certain Size...

This is a knitting post, promise :). And I know! How long has it been since I wrote about what was once my obsessive passion? Let's just say that same damned bike accident changed even my near addiction to something I could do when sufficiently not hurting...aaaauuuummmm, moving on...

I've posted before...years ago maybe? About my ability to make water-proof socks? Or "stand-on-their-own" non-felted socks even? I have this thing about knitting something utilitarian/non-lacy on super small needles (US1s and 2s), the tighter the stitches (without actually stretching out the's a VERY thin line I cross) the more durable/strong/scary the fabric. It works, especially for plain socks.

Not so much for scarves, or lace though.

So for larger-drapey items I use a slightly bigger needle size than called for, you know, a US3 vs US2, or maybe US4, depending. My US7's get lots of use in lieu of US6's (I'm not actually sure if I own a 6...). As well as constant vigilance that I am not gripping the yarn in a death hold. If knitting is relaxing, I should not see white knuckles, right? Right.

Then something wonderful happens after that. Maybe it's because I feel like I'm knitting with pencils? I dunno, but it's magical. If something calls for a US8? I can use an 8. A US9 you say? No worries, 9 it is.

And that's where the magic ends. I have a "Goldilocks Shawl Kit" that I won a while back now sitting and stewing, and maybe losing 1+/- of it's 540 yards in my trying to knit using the called-for 6 mm/US10 needles. I just can't do it! The yarn is too thin, the needle to fat, increasing as the directions called for was near impossible so I did my own, and it looked so bad, especially with the start and restart and restart again and this time try one larger? Okay maybe one smaller....that I seriously had to cut my losses. Mohair/silk? Does not play well if you've had to start again a few times.

So it's in time out. And I'm back to carting my mom's mom's day socks (yes for 2012 at the rate I'm going) and not knitting on them...They are panda-something-or other, and I think that's the problem...I think I need to give those a break and just pull out something more woolly and more forgiving...and maybe willing to become waterproof.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This morning? Much better.

Something happened on Friday...actually, Thursday. No, I did not go postal on my workmates in the fantastical way I described I could be pushed to do so as I chatted with my mom this morning. Or maybe I did, but only in my head.

See, my back? Got much much worse before it got better. As I sit here typing sitting up straight and trying my best to type at the correct angle (the desk is a might too tall, the chair too short, it's not like I sit here 40 hrs a week, and I do love my desk...but I'm silly that way...where was I? Right, so bad that I could neither sit nor stand nor lie down nor crumble into the aforementioned ball...much less manage to call my "butt-doctor" and see if he could work a miracle. Instead I flat out busted out and cried my eyes out.

That's when I realized that there was a lot more stress tied up into my hurt than what I was giving credit. Mind over matter and all that? Why not? If 800 mg ibuprophen was barely cutting it, I was open to multiple suggestions from everywhere and anywhere.

And people? A good cry is sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered. That and ranting a little to your immediate supervisor who was about to go on vacation (!) about how much you do not look forward to training a new temp because you've actually not been given official notice that your current temp is leaving on Friday and why am I the one in charge of these people if I'm the lowest man on the totem pole!...also helps, LOADS.

See, I've mentioned my horrible work ethic before, right? Horrible in that I maybe care more than my station and take on extra work and responsibilities and possibly get recognized for my efforts, but never ever compensated. I know it's probably because every job I've had was me being responsible for getting my work done without someone having to remind me of my to-do list because: we were a really small office; I was working for myself; or it was just the easiest thing to be the shift supervisor so we could get stuff done.

There is, however, a limit. And seeing as I do not want to end up like my mother with her handful of ulcers and high blood pressure, I need to chill more. If my supervisor is willing to go on a long weekend during our search for the next team member? Check-run be damned, I should not care so much. Eventually, once the team is fully staffed again, we can meet all our goals. Until then? I promise I will not work myself to death.

And so...on Thursday, 5PM we were booted out of our system as we were finally upgrading to the official latest version of our accounting software. So for the first time in how long? I was able to go home...ON TIME. I could not do any more work, too bad, so sad, I know! And Friday? No system. I was able to clean up my inbox like you wouldn't believe. All with little to no interruptions as everyone in the know, knew I had no access to our records, so....I couldn't find any information for them even if I wanted to! And the day was lax enough for me to give my back a break, and yet still be able to get my act together for Monday. Except maybe I think the temp took the key to the lockable drawers in the cube...I'll have to ask about that, later. Cuz you know what? Not really my problem. And that is my theme for the time being.

As the blog as my witness, I absolutely refuse to get sucked into the ball of "must happen yesterday" that my wee little team can delve deeply into. I'm too old for that (yep, that would be me saying everyone else on my team, barring our main boss, is younger than me, it happens, I guess).

And my shoulder is starting to tingle a little...probably from a combination of typing and thinking about all this mess, so that's my cue to stop.

For any dad's reading my crazy-pants musings: HAPPY DAD'S DAY!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Someone to Watch...Over Dummies Like Me...

So I lost my American Express Card on Friday...and didn't even realize it until Sunday when the nice folks at AMEX let me know they were cancelling my card and rushing me a replacement and could I let them know what the last purchase I made was?

Yes, my heart may have stopped/skipped a beat just before performing a hard staccato/piano forte tune. But after a multiple number of expletives (I'm sorry neighbors whose very thin wall is the only thing separating us...I could not stop myself), we realized that the last charge was indeed mine, and nothing more had been placed on the card.

Given that I actually lost the card 7 or 8 blocks away from where it was last used? At a completely different business? This seems rather miraculous to me. Yep, we had dinner near the convention center and meandered closer to where my friends were going to watch a show and found ourselves across the street from a dessert shop, The Chocolate Box. Yep, free advertisement for them because dude! Not only did they have yummy gelato, but someone found my card, kept it "safe," AND called it in to AMEX so they could find me!

I only wish I could say that that's the worst of what happened this weekend.

What? More? I messed up my back carrying groceries...either from the cart return to the car...or from the car to the apartment. I'm not really sure when it happened as it wasn't your traditional all-at-once-omg-I'm-going-to-die feeling that I once got bending over to grab a tupperware. See, there was a twinge a couple times, but I totally ignored it. By the time I was done making myself some dinner? I had no appetite and it was all I could do to keep moving about and not curl into a ball and die...except I doubt I could have gotten myself into a curling position what with my back hating me and all.

And yes, for those of you following along for years's all related to that busted hip/bike accident of years ago. My muscles are not as strong as I wish they were, and my tendons are far more stretched out than I let on. Last night was a reminder, I guess. But what is a non-whiny way to say that I'm so very sick and tired of being a puddle of broken?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Empty Headed...or is it White Noise?

I've mentioned more than a few times that I need a brain-to-computer connection...or a pennsieve (sp?) or similar to get all the vying thoughts smashing into one another in my brain OUT and somewhere where I can sort and enlighten myself, and maybe entertain others.

This morning I finally made time to sit and draft a post (or seven), and as soon as I logged in? Nothing....or rather, too much, yet it's all white noise. I've been sitting here trying to wrack my brain and figure out a starting point...and I can't.

So much is going on in my noggin, all whirly and intertwined and knotted so well that I can't catch even one strand to make even a random list to share with myself, much less the world at large. And yet? Because I am mean and like to torture? I'll try:

- To those who realized my lease is coming up again this month? Chances are 99.999% good that I'm renewing for another year. Until I see the actual lease? I'm not saying for sure. Yes, I know I'm cutting it close, what with that whole 20 days notice...does anyone know if that is business days or calendar days?

- And those of you who wonder if I knit anymore? I feel like I've unknit more than I've knit lately...which is kinda impossible if you think about it...but of the 9 projects I had going, (I know!), I have 2 finished items (baby hats), one that would be finished if I could make a pom pom...which I am absolutely unable to lately (child hat), two that are completely stalled (socks, both for mom), one that I just restarted for the fourth time (a cowl) and 3 that, though temporarily started to look like something (a scarf, a cowl, a hat) that are now pretty little cakes of yarn, or knotted little pieces of ... yarn.

- Yes, all very small projects...good for sticking in my work bag and forgetting completely about because work has been, hard. People shuffled about just enough to leave a HUGE, GAPING hole in my team and as much as I appreciate the temp they brought in? She has the temp mentality, you know, "I'm only here for a month." As such? Of the three things we brought her on to take over? She's only accomplished one. Which leaves me to add even more to my plate. Overtime is nice, but I'd rather have a new hire, stat.

- It's 8:15...I should be heading off to work right this second...instead I'm sitting in my robe typing this. I'm having the adult version of, "I doanwannagoto school." It sucks. Why isn't the guilt kicking in? Oh right, maybe because I didn't leave work last night until almost 7PM.

Gah! Okay, much more later, I hope.