Archive for May, 2011

Sears Auto Can Bite Me.

Over the past month, my Adventuremobile needed a few fixes. AND, it figures, both fixes needed to happen on the weekend.  I had to take my Adventuremobile to the only open repair shop, because this wasn’t a fix that could wait. Especially the first one.

That repair shop?

Sears.

The first time I went there, I called ahead to see if they did the work that I thought was going to be required. I had a nice gentleman pick up and assure me that they did the work that we thought my Adventuremobile required.

Well, upon having Doug open the hood, he noticed that the serpentine belt was completely shot. It as a miracle we had made it home from the hockey game the night before. There was no belt to be had, and the car was running directly off of battery-no alternator to drive said battery.  I made Doug promise I’d make it from home to the repair shop to get the belt put on my car. We turned off the radio, any sort of fans or things that would drain the battery.

The car electric cut out about 4 miles from the repair shop. I prayed and coasted my car the final 4 miles to the shop. Navigating through some of the worst traffic areas that the Capital Region of NY has to offer. I pulled into the Sears parking lot, shaking from head to foot, ready to cry, because I had made it without getting hit or causing some sort of a pileup with my car.

I went in and explained to the gruff guy (who was NOT the one I spoke to on the phone) who began to treat me like I was stupid (and his name is Larry. Yes, I’ll call him out. You’ll understand why later.), and then demand that I drive the car around the other side of the building to get it fixed. STILL SHAKING, I explained to him that I could not drive the car to the other side of the building. His response?

ready for this one?

“if you can’t drove it over, We can’t fix it.”

Yeah. Seriously.

I was not impressed already at this point.

So, I told him he would have to push the car in, as there was no electric in the car as the drive belt had gone.

He then proceeded to argue with me about the type of belt.

So, finally, Larry stopped aruging with me when I demanded to speak with his manager and got a tech to help push my poor Adventuremobile in.

Larry continued to be rude to me from the word go. He even called me the dreaded “Honey,” which drives me crazy.

(I had this conversation with Mom earlier-She didn’t think it was a big deal. Being called “honey,” or “sweetie” by someone who is not related to me by blood or marriage is not a way to endear yourself to me. I chalk it up to generation gap. But that’s another post.)

So, the car got fixed. I figured Larry was having a bad day and he was just a jerk because he was having a bad day. All of the other employees were nice, so meh.

I’m all for second chances. I’ve had enough of them given to me in my life for me to give someone else a second chance.

So, when Doug and I decided that my Adventuremobile’s AC needed more repairs than we could do on our own, we took it to Sears auto, thinking that this would be a positive experience.

(please stop laughing now. Again, remember I was going with benefit of the doubt.)

I got there and was immediately met by…guess who…

LARRY.

And he was in Jerk mode from the word go. He was as rude as the day was long as I questioned his assessment of what needed to be done with my car. He even called me the dreaded “sweetie” again. Yeah. He did have a death wish.

I got so sick of dealing with him, I asked to speak to someone else. It was then that Paul (and I’m calling him out for another reason. Trust me.) intervened.

Larry tried to jump in and argue with me again,a nd when I stated calmly that I was talking to Paul, he threw the paperwork at me and Paul and stormed off.

Now, my car needed a part ordered. That’s the truth. I’m not cheesed about that. It happens.

But when you are told 3-5 days to get the part and on day 7 you call to see where the heck your part is, the following should not happen:

LARRY – “Sweetie, 3-5 days are business days.”

Me- “Yes, I know. This has been business days.”

Larry- “Umm..what’s the last name?”

Me- (I gave him my last name)

Larry- (yelling at someone in the shop) HEY! Where’s the ticket! I can’t find this ticket! She’s paid for the part, but where’s the ticket! (then coming back to me) “Umm, what’s the phone number that it would be under?”

Me- (astonished) “You’ve got to be kidding me-you can’t find my ticket or my part?!”

Larry- “DON’T YELL AT ME!!”

Me- “I’m not yelling at you. I’d just like to know where the stuff is! I’m giving you the information you’ve requested…”

then, the phone went to hold music…and 5 minutes later, Paul picked up.

 

I explained everything to him again, and he said he was sending someone to get the part.

I also explained to Paul about how I never wanted to deal with Larry again, and how he was extremely nasty to me every time I dealt with him.

So, that was 9 am.

 

at 11:30, I had heard nothing. So, I had Doug call, because at this point, I wasn’t going to risk getting Larry or even Paul, because if there was no part, there would have been some serious screaming going on.

Doug was put on hold by Larry for (not kidding) 20 minutes and then hung up on.

 

I grabbed the phone and called.

 

Larry (and his infinite jerkness) picked up the phone.  I immediately asked for Paul and was told again that the part was en route. I told him I’d be there after lunch.

 

I got to Sears after I had lunch and watched a few things on the DVR.

When I got there, I was intercepted by Paul.

The part was NOT there, and it wouldn’t be there until Monday.

Why?

Because the dipsticks got the wrong line. I guess my car needed a bottom line and they got handed a TOP line.

I about lost it. I almost lost my snot because by this point, I had called several times, dealt with Larry and then this?

 

Yeah, no.

At this point, I think the word “Unacceptable” came out of my mouth at least 7-8 times in a 5 minute conversation.

They placed blame on the parts place which I called right in front of them, and my part magically appeared!

Hrm…

Paul is a gem,  and fixed everything to the best of his ability, but I don’t think I’ll ever deal with Sears auto again.  It’s just too much to ask when there’s someone who is condescending to women, treats people like trash when they disagree or even express shock and outrage.

So, Sears auto, except for Paul and the one guy who is really sweet and awesome, but I never got his name…BITE ME.

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May 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm 1 comment

10 years ago today..

On a beautiful Southern California weekend, in the middle of an orange grove, I married my best buddy in the whole wide world.

Happy Anniversary, Doug.

The one who not only drives me crazy, but I know I couldn’t be without.

Love you.

May 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm 4 comments

Professional development, Fun and Geeking out

As a teacher, the bain of my existence has been professional development.  The ongoing struggle is to get the required hours every year. Between regular hours and the “faith formation” hours I have to do because I do work in a Catholic School, it’s just a pain.

The other real challenge for me is that as a tech person, I have a hard time finding relevant professional development.  I hate going to things and finding that there’s absolutely nothing for me.  It just stinks.

So, it was with absolute glee that I found two conferences that satisfied my geek-ness and were actually applicable to my day!

Oh, and the super bestest part? They were both LOCAL. Not kidding. Usually, I end up  travelling hours and hours for things (remember Hotel Tarmac?) .

The first one was a SmartBoard conference a few minutes away from me. I spent the whole day trying out new things for the SmartBoard. I love it. I took workshops that delved into google apps, playing with rich media among other topics. It was also amazing being among like minded people-varied in their skills, but all like minded.

Some people would say that spending a Saturday playing with “work stuff” isn’t a true Saturday.

For me, I was in geek heaven. These touch sensitive boards are so amazing. I even got to show off my elephant like memory when I was asked to answer a “Lord of the Flies” question.

Thanks, Mrs. Moscheo. I did remember that from 9th grade.

Monday and Tuesday of this week were mind blowing. Frankly, my information filled brain is still trying to process it all.

I spent those two days at the Technologies in Education Conference.

I went to 8 sessions.

I met amazing educators, technologists and just really cool people.

I got to hang out with the other Catholic Schools Tech Specialists.

I laughed.

I met Marialice B.F.X. Curran. She is a force of nature. She is amazing. She loves that I have a 3 before me rule.

I spent two days in the company of others who don’t fear technology but rather embrace it. It was refreshing, it was fun.  It was me going all geek.

Especially during the session where we got to see a 3D projector and don the glasses and mess with virtual v8 engines, dinos and learn all about corrosion.

Best thing?

I get to do it all again next year.

Dare I say I’m loving this kind of professional development?

May 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm Leave a comment

It’s a Mario!

Last summer, we discovered, thanks to Sheblogs, the wonder that is K’nex. Isaac has been asking me for the longest time to get another set of K’nex and build with him.

Plus, now, since the Yoshi Halloween costume, Isaac’s very into Mario.

Then, the perfect thing shot through my email. K’nex MARIO KART BUILDING SETS!!

The day the big box arrived, we were just about to go to OT, and we couldn’t wait to see what was inside our box! Imagine our surprise to see BOTH a standard Mario Kart and a Luigi bike! We couldn’t wait to start building. So, I had the best idea possible. Seeing as Mr. S, our awesome OT, is a video game, Star Wars and sci-fi goober (and we love him for it), we figured he’d want to possibly build one for working on fine motor skills!

So, off we went with both boxes, deciding to let Mr. S decide what would work best during the OT session.

(and now, you’ll have to deal with my descriptions of this one, because my camera on my phone decided to go all wonky. The learning curve on an Android phone is insanely low for most people, but for me…in a rush…not so much.)

Mr. S decided to build the Luigi bike and also decorate the box for a jump ramp, because what’s a bike without a jump ramp?

So, the two of them hunkered down and got to work.

As they built the bike, Mr. S commented on how awesome and easy the kit was and he was expecting it to be insanely complicated.

The two of them finished the therapy/bike building in about 15-20 minutes. Then, they set to decorating the jump ramp. That took them another 10 minutes, because, hey-it’s therapy, and Mr. S had some goals to accomplish!

The laughing that ensued with the built bike was priceless. It was a good unconventional use of a therapy session.

Then, the next day, Doug and Isaac dug into the Mario set!

They started with the chassis…

and then got Mario on and the booster

and finished it off, in a matter of 45 minutes!

Isaac was beyond thrilled. He spent the better part of the next few days driving them around jumping them off the ramp and trying to figure out how he could combine the two into a hybrid of kart and bike. Yeah, that’s my kid.

So, the verdict on these in my house?

TOTALLY AWESOME! K’nex struck it out of the park again with these building kits. Fun, easy, and hours of fun in a small pack. My belief that K’nex is just awesome again for both therapy and fun purposes was cemented with these sets. If you’ve got a Mario Kart freak like we do here, these are the perfect building kits for them. Oh, and there’s even our favorite here, Yoshi!

Thank you to K’nex for supplying us with these awesome kits for review!

(as always, the opinions expressed here are totally my own and in no way are influenced by anyone or anything.)

May 8, 2011 at 10:10 am 2 comments


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