Category Archives: People and what I think about them

AT&T takes NON-customer service to a whole new level.

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According to an article on RocketMedia:  A recent Nielsen poll shows us the ways that consumers are influenced to choose one brand over another is changing. Out of the people polled, 70% expressed they trust what other consumers post online.

While word of mouth has always been valued, it can be fleeting. Today, online reviews follow the word of mouth model, but are more public – and permanent. Thus, their impact has become quite powerful.

According to a “Socialnomics” video on YouTube:  93% of  Marketers use social media for business. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, while only 14% trust advertisements.

What does this mean and why am I sharing?  Because I hope this “review” reaches enough people that AT&T takes a little hit, a punch to the jaw, so to speak.

On Monday of this week, I attempted to reach AT&T to see if the internet was down in my area because we could not get online.  It literally took me 52 minutes to get a live person on the phone.  By that time I had already cursed at the automated attendant who kept thanking me for my patience, and decided at that point that I was done with bad customer service from this company.  I did finally speak to a very robotic customer service representative who told me to unplug my modem and plug it back in.  Really?  She asked if I had a security system on my home.  Huh?  She continued asking me questions that had absolutely nothing to do with my problem.  By the end of the 45 minute conversation (yes, that’s an hour and 37 minute call), she agreed that sending me a new modem was the solution.  She said it would take 3-5 business days.  What??  I informed her, for the third or fourth time, that I work from home and  3-5 business days was unacceptable.  She quickly agreed to send the modem overnight.

Let me back up a moment.  During her random question assault, she was asking about my other AT&T services.  I mentioned my home phone, business phone, cell phones and of course, internet.  She started asking about my business account and I immediately told her not to worry about that.  Why, you ask?  Because about 4 years ago, when I simply added a business line to a separate jack in my office, the yahoo I spoke to when putting the order in somehow flipped my residential internet account to a business account.  I did not request this.  It caused my internet to go down and it didn’t get fixed for OVER a week.  Yes, they took me out of business for an entire week.  They did their best to make up for it by crediting my account with all kinds of money to cover 2 future bills.  Great, but it should not have happened to begin with.

So flash forward to my AT&T robot asking about my business account.  I told her “don’t worry about my business account, don’t touch my business account, don’t even think about my business account because it has nothing to do with my internet being down due to a fried modem.”  I did not want her getting the two accounts crossed in any way.

Okay – so the new modem is sent overnight, as promised, although it doesn’t arrive until 7:00 pm (now two days with no internet).  I immediately notice that the two boxes I receive are addressed to “IntelliTalent Management Consulting”, which is my business name.  Uh Oh!  Looks like robot lady did me wrong.  I open the boxes and what does the disc say?  “Business DSL Installation”.  Lovely.  Let’s call AT&T again and see why they would send me a business DSL for a residential internet account.  Remember, I told robot lady not to worry about my business account because they screwed it up before?  She was obviously a very good listener.

Now it’s Tuesday, I call AT&T (800-288-2020) and within about 15 minutes I speak to “Keisha”.  I explain my concern and tell her that I don’t think I am suppose to have a business modem.  She snarkily says, “What makes you think it’s a business modem?” To which I reply, “Just guessing here, but since the disc is clearly labeled “Business DSL Installation” and it was sent to my business name and not me, the residential account holder, I’m assuming it’s a business modem.”  BAM – I get put on hold.   She eventually jumps back on the line and says, “They sent you the wrong modem, please hold while I try to sort this out.”  BAM – back on hold.   Still holding……still holding……still holding…….FINALLY she jumps back on and says, “I’m going to transfer you to technical support so that they can walk you through the issue.”   WAIT!!!!!!  Nope – she transfers me before I can stop her.  My bonding time with Keisha, including her two sentences and my hold time, is now at 37 minutes.

Now I’m holding for tech support. “Ahmed” greets me, though he sounds like he’s speaking through a tin can.  I politely ask him four times in a row to speak up, which he never does.  Anyway….I start from the beginning of my saga with Ahmed, explaining that I have the wrong modem, blah, blah, blah.  I don’t really need tech support at this point, I need a new modem.  He agrees and tells me he is going to transfer me to billing.  Billing???  He explains that only billing has access to how my account is set up and can inform me whether or not my internet is residential or business.  What???  It’s residential!!!  Before he transfers me he kindly gives me the number, in case I get disconnected.  Wait for it……800-288-2020.  Yep – that’s where I’m headed.  Maybe I’ll get robot lady from Monday or Keisha from 15 minutes ago??  Yippee!!!!  Back where I started.  My time with Ahmed was indeed 15 minutes.  So far I’m 52 minutes in and still absolutely nowhere.

Now comes the fun part.  I am put on hold for a solid 42 minutes before anyone picks up the phone.  No kidding – 42 minutes on hold.  That, plus the 52 minutes I’ve already spent = 1 hour and 34 minutes.

1 HOUR AND 34 MINUTES???

Someone finally picks up the damn phone and I am good and mad by now.  I start allllllllll over, explaining the situation from the beginning through gritted teeth.  They put me hold, pick up and ask a ridiculous question, put me back on hold, pick up and ask another ridiculous question, put me hold and so on.  Finally the (non) customer service rep tells me that I did, in fact, receive the wrong modem (holy cow…really?) and that they will be sending a residential modem right away.  “Right away?” I say.  “3-5 business days” the rep replies.  WHOA.  “I can’t wait 3-5 business days to receive the modem.  Can’t you send it overnight, like you did with the one I have?” I say.  “No ma’am.”  That’s it, just no.  So I say, “Sooooo, you can send the WRONG modem overnight, but can’t send the RIGHT modem overnight – even though it was YOUR error to begin with?”  She simply replies, “No ma’am.  The supervisor tried to override it but couldn’t.  Is there anything else I can help you with today?”   Anything “else” you can help me with??  What exactly have you helped me with today?  She then informs me that they will email me a return label for my wrong modem and I snap.  “LADY – I DO NOT HAVE INTERNET.  HOW WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO RETRIEVE THE EMAIL AND PRINT IT?????”    “Oh yea” she says, “We will mail it to you.”

There you have it.  I will not have the new modem until either Friday or Monday.  Thanks for nothing AT&T.  Oh – before I forget.  My total time during that last call was a solid….

1 HOUR and 55 minutes.  Yes folks, almost 2 hours.

Luckily for me I have a mobile internet card from work that has allowed me to get online, at least somewhat.  Everything is painfully slow, the screen often just freezes, it’s better than nothing, but it’s a challenge.  It is frustrating beyond belief and I am getting behind in emails and missing deadlines because I can’t work on projects or documents.  I have a pretty significant presentation to give next week at our corporate office, but Powerpoint is so slow using this card, that I haven’t had the patience to finish the presentation.

I am moving by the end of the year and when I do, I will discontinue all of my services with AT&T.  This includes my home phone, internet, business phones and several cell phones.  I can only hope that those of you reading this do the same – if for no other reason but to make me feel better 🙂

Take that, AT&T.

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My blessing

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To those who know me and know me well,

they would get when I say “it’s a vibe”.

To those who “think” they have a clue,

they wouldn’t know how to describe.

It’s an energy, a light, a calmness, a hold on my being, my core, who I am,

that affords me the opportunity to know the truth or bond to a friend.

So call it wise or call it detached,

but call it something, I say.

Just recognize it for what it is and when you can,

you’ll call it a day.

I can’t figure it out….

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So here I am – taking a moment to jot down some thoughts. Sometimes, at least for me, putting things to (virtual) paper helps me sort them out. I have been doing a little bit of self-reflection off and on throughout my very busy days lately. I am extremely focused on a project or task and then all of a sudden I get a fleeting thought of self. I think of my job, my family, my friends, my partner, my kids, my home, my finances and so on. My thoughts of self lately have been of my partner, my boyfriend, my man – all the same, by the way. Now…he may read this, he may not – I’m assuming not – but either way, I’ve got to get them out of my head.

I think I’m a huge pain to live with. I’m highly independent, opinionated, and pretty set in my ways. I lived on my own as a single parent for many years. I learned to do things 100% on my own. No help, thank you very much. I didn’t have family around to help, friends who could be called upon to come running if I needed it. It was all me: Provider, Protector, Disciplinary, Maid, Cook, Nurse, Accounts Payable, Psychologist, Friend, General Contractor, Plumber, Waste Management Specialist, Party Planner, Mother. That being said, when someone comes into my life, I have to make room for them. That’s apparently not very easy for me. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I’m also a creature of habit and not so great at adjusting for someone other than my children. In fact, I’m not sure I ever have.

Flash forward to the last year and a half. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing man who quickly swept me off my feet. He is completely opposite of what I “thought” my type was, though my own vision of what my type was has never been spot on. 🙂 Anyway….what got me was his “core”. I know, sounds hokey. He is just a solid, real, genuine guy who loves his friends and family. He’s loyal and loving and has a huge heart. He’s not too hard on the eyes either, for what it’s worth. He happens to be quite a bit younger than me as well. It was an issue for me in the beginning, but he has a maturity to him that surpasses many older than him in age. He’s an old soul, truly. His family loves me and my family and we love them back. It’s as if we’ve been part of each other’s lives forever.

All that being said, the most noteworthy information is about how he treats me. He treats me like a queen. I don’t know why, but he does. I’m talking about hour long foot rubs every night, constant compliments, affection, passion, good to my kids, supportive of anything I do and most importantly, he gets me. When we have disagreements he is reasonable, logical, puts up with my dismissive attitude and forces me to talk it out. Most men in my past became defensive, argumentative and accusatory, brought up issues from the past that had no bearing on the discussion/argument at hand – that’s if they didn’t walk away unable to argue at all first. So this guy, my guy, also does something else that no one has ever done. He puts up with me. He lets me be moody and grumpy, even when I have no reason to be. He understands my level of responsibility and the stress that comes with it, and he tolerates the irritable energy it often results in. Again, I’m not sure why. I would have walked away from me a long time ago.

Here’s the problem: I like things my way. I, as you know, am a creature of habit. I want things in their place, where they belong, undisturbed. I want him to care about the condition of the house as much as I do, the condition of the yard, whether a beer cap is sitting on the counter instead of in the garbage, how the couch pillows and blankets are arranged, how the sheets on the bed are tucked in, the table manners that should be adhered to, how loud you talk on your cell phone, not talking during movies, not putting dirty dishes in the sink, but next to the sink instead. This list could go on and on. Have you noticed anything? They are all nit-picky little things. They are, but they are annoyances that drive me insane! Why is that? I can’t figure it out. I’ve got everything a girl could ask for in him – so why do I get so annoyed at the little things? Why does just one little thing put me in a funk of irritation? Is it because I’m Type A and want to be in charge, but secretly I really want someone to take care of me? I don’t think so. Is it because I have to be in control of everything and when things aren’t going my way I feel unbalanced? Again, I don’t think so. Is it because there is a significant age difference and my expectations of him are higher than what is fair? Maybe. Maybe it’s a combination of all of it, but the bottom line is I need to figure it out.

I recognize it though, that’s a good thing, right? I catch myself the minute I feel annoyed and I try to talk myself out of it because I don’t like how it feels. It’s icky. I tell myself that I’m irritated for nothing, or for something terribly insignificant, but I rarely prevail. So there it is. I’m a huge pain and not deserving of the love and respect he gives me, yet he continues giving it. I know I am lucky and blessed and though I don’t think I show it, I am grateful that I have him in my life. So what now?

See….I feel better already.

What I’ve learned about facebook –

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Actually, it’s what I’ve learned without facebook.  A week and 2 days ago I signed off of facebook with no warning or notes to my “friends” or family.  I decided to do so because I realized that with the plethora of friends I have on facebook, how many are really friends?  If I disappeared for a month would anyone notice?  Would my phone ring or my email traffic increase?  Would someone show up at my door to see if I was okay?

A week and 2 days later and the answer is no.  I’ve decided that I don’t want to rely on facebook to hear and share important news.  The catapult you ask?

  • I learned that my (half) sister’s father passed away through a facebook post last week.  I saw a simple post that said, “Rest in peace daddy, I love you”.  How about a phone call?  Maybe a text message?
  • I had an “event” planned through facebook and had several RSVP’s.  I purchased food and drink enough to accommodate the group, gave up my season opener ticket to the Jacksonville Jaguars, not to mention the time and energy I put into the multiple communications and reminders, setting the house up and the hostess’s time. Never mind the dozens that couldn’t take 5 seconds to RSVP at all, but those who DID RSVP didn’t show up. No kidding – not one.    Thanks “friends”, thanks facebook.

My point is;  I don’t want my relationships, my events, my family communications, etc. to be dictated by a faceless, impersonal piece of technology.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not boycotting facebook.  I’m just taking a break, a trial separation.

Here’s the kicker — all but one of my family members (aside from my children), live out of state.  I’ve seen my mother and grandmother once in the last few years – in 2009.  I last saw my brother and his 8 kids in 2005.  So needless to say, I’ve relied on facebook to communicate and stay in touch with family.  I’ve connected (through facebook) with cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and more that I haven’t seen or spoken to in years.  I love facebook and the connections it allows you to have, but not when it’s the only connection you have.

I’d like to believe that if anyone misses my status updates, updates on my kids, new pictures, or important information, they will call me.  I would also like to believe that if there was something important going on that I should know about that my phone would ring.  Is this too much to ask?

What are we doing on facebook anyway?  Looking at the profiles from our high school friends that we never talk to (guilty)?  Looking at ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends and seeing who they are with and what they are up to?  Creeping on our kids (guilty)?  Posting only our most flattering pictures so that we can paint a picture of how great we look (guilty)?  Seeing where people are “checking-in” and who they are with (guilty)?  What about when your significant other “friends” an unknown member of the opposite sex?  “Who is this person and why have I never heard of them before if they are such a great friend??”  Sound familiar?  How about, “Since when are you and Ashley friends??  You were just talking smack about her!” to which the response is likely, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” (**insert evil laugh here**)

Yes, though it may be short lived and though it’s a tough habit to break, I’m staying away for a little while.  If you’re reading this and you’ve missed me, you know my number.  If you don’t know my number….well, you know the rest.

Am I the only one?

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I have borderline smothered my kids because, according to them, I am overprotective to a fault.  So what?

Lately I’ve been observing people more than usual.  I’ve got to tell you, I am really disheartened by the lack of respect, lack of courtesy, lack of common sense, and lack of judgement people show these days.  Especially (but not only) kids!  It is truly appalling to me that kids today are so selfish, so unaware, so uncaring.  If I had a dime for every movie I’ve had to sit through in a theater with obnoxious, heckling teenagers, I could buy a new car!  Seriously – between the random yells and dramatically loud laughs to the open cell phones during the movie, I could just scream.  Is it just me?  How about those teenage drivers?  Parents – PLEASE tell your kids not to text and drive and please teach them about courtesy.

When my kids were young and got their first cell phones, we had discussions about phone etiquette.  “Kids, when you talk on a cell phone, sometimes you are speaking louder than you think.  You should always be aware of your volume and remember, no one else cares about your conversation, so keep it private.  Also, it’s rude to have loud discussions in certain environments, like in a restaurant, for example.  When you’re in a movie theater be sure to keep your phone on silent and put away.  When you open it to text, the screen light is very bright and is distracting to the people behind you.  They paid just as much for their ticket as you did and should be able to enjoy the movie without distraction.”   Yes, I really had this conversation with my kids.

Then we have the adults.  This is probably more frustrating to me because I have expectations that adults should be more courteous.  Silly me, I know.  To the lady shoppers who feels compelled to stop in the center of the aisle, knowing full well there is someone directly behind you, PLEASE PULL OVER AND PARK IT.  Even worse is when I say “Excuse me”, in the sweetest tone possible, only to be glared at  as if I were the one being inconsiderate.  Let’s not forget the family or group of friends who decide to walk shoulder to shoulder through the mall, taking up the entire width of the hall.  Oh yea, and of course they are walking at a snail’s pace.  God forbid I say “Excuse me”, in the sweetest tone possible, and try to squeeze between them.  I actually had someone shout, “RUDE” when I did this recently.  I’m sorry, but when did saying “Excuse me” become rude??

Not to say that I’m perfect, I’m not.  I’m a heck of lot more courteous then most people I see, and that’s the truth!

My kids aren’t perfect either.  But when I look at them and their behaviors compared to others their age (and older!), I am impressed with myself.  They can call it overprotective all day but in reality, I raised them well.  I gave them rules.  I gave them guidance.  I gave them consequences for bad decisions.  Even in a broken home I gave them structure.  I sat with them each and every night before bed and had conversations, told them stories and prayed with them.

I’m also very close to my kids.  I know, some people believe that you shouldn’t be “friends” with your kids because you will lose authority with them.  To those people I say “bull”.  I like my kids.  I genuinely like who they are.  I like their personalities, humor, compassion, honesty…just to name a few.   They are not those kids you will see in public and be disgusted by.  They are well-behaved, respectful, courteous.  I’ve always told them to behave as if I were watching, make me proud even though I can’t see you.  I can’t tell you how many times parents of their friends would comment on their behavior after having them over.  One parent actually said, “My daughter was jumping on her bed and asked your daughter to jump with her.  Your daughter would not do it.  I walked in the room and told her it was fine and that she wouldn’t be in any trouble for it and she said, ‘My rules for behavior at home are the same when I’m at someone else’s house’.”  That makes a mother proud.  Don’t get the wrong impression though, my kids aren’t stuffy, no fun, prissy, can do no wrong kids.  They have made bad decisions and choices in their young lives but I’ve been there through them all.

So here’s my plea to all the parents out there.  Smother your kids a little bit.  I know who my kid’s friends are, I’m on their facebook pages, I let them be their own persons but I continually give them guidance.  At 18 and 15 my kids aren’t babies anymore, but does my 18 year old daughter go out all night and have no rules because she’s an “adult” now?  No.  She goes out with her friends and is sometimes not home until 2:00am.   BUT – I get a text when she gets to wherever she went, I get a “checking in” text a couple hours into the night, I get a text if they stop to grab food, and I get a text when she’s home safely.  Her and her friends are always excited to tell me about the events of the evening the next morning.  I hear about the drama, who hooked up with who, what everyone wore, etc.  I know where she is and who is with.  Yes – I smother her.

That being said I can tell you that my daughter adores me.  She looks up to me, she respects me, oh…and guess what else.  She likes me.  She’s the girl who goes to a friend’s house to spend the night and calls me to say, “Mom, would it be okay if I had a beer with my friends?  We aren’t going anywhere and I’ll be responsible.”  If I say no, she doesn’t.  No begging, no attitude.  Just a simple, “Yes ma’am”.   If I say yes, I know that she will be responsible.  She could be off in another state in college and going to all kinds of parties, getting hammered like a lot of her friends have been doing for years, but she’s not.  So if she is responsible enough to call me before engaging, I can say yes once in a while.  The response I get from her after saying yes is, “Thank you, I’ll be responsible and will check in with you in a couple of hours.”  I don’t condone drinking under age and I’m sure some of you think that’s just bad parenting.  You can think that, it’s okay.  Your kids are doing it too, just not telling you.

My son is a different story.  He’s not as social as his sister, so I don’t smother him as much (he would disagree with that statement).  He goes to school, comes home and plays his video games and once in a while will have a friend over or go off with one.  He has just a handful of friends he socializes with so it’s easy for me to know what he’s doing.  Every blue moon he goes to the mall with friends.  I say the same thing to him every time.  He usually rolls his eyes and says, “I know mom.”, but I say it anyway.  “Cyrus, behave.  Be respectful of the other people at the mall and do not act like a hooligan.  You’re a good kid so behave that way.  Have fun without being obnoxious.”   Does he behave every time?  I’d like to believe he does.

The moral of the story and the two points I’m trying to make are this.  First – I wish parents would parent.  I wish that we could all teach our children about respect and courtesy.  My children have never said, “I hate you” to me – not even as toddlers.  They tell me they love me every time they hang up the phone, anytime they leave the house, and every night before they go to bed.   I still “tuck them in”, so to speak.  I go into their rooms, talk for a few minutes, do prayers, and kiss them goodnight.   They are respectful and don’t talk back.  When I ask them to do something, they don’t hesitate to do it.  They hug me and watch movies with me, they tell me about their day and cry on my shoulder when they’ve needed to.  I parent – that’s what I do.

Secondly and finally, I wish we would all just stop, take a look around and make sure that whatever it is we are doing, wherever we are, that we are aware of the people around us.  I wish we think about our actions, the faces we make, the tone of our voice.  I wish we would get the hell off our high horses, become just a little bit humble, lose the entitlement attitude and stop judging.  Let’s go out of our way to be nice, be respectful, be courteous.  Who’s in?

I hope I’m not the only one.

Stop complaining already….

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I know we all have struggles. I know we all face challenges. I get it. I have absolutely been there myself. If you, however, are one of those unfortunate individuals who can not seem to “catch a break”, please read this and pass it on to others in the same boat. I have a message, some insight, a little advice, call it whatever you’d like; but stop complaining already. There, I said it.

You have to make things happen, make things better, make things work. If you haven’t been able to catch a break it’s possible that your mitt isn’t large enough. The “breaks” ARE out there, trust me. You have to go after them, ask for them, research them, and take them. It’s so easy to do nothing and even easier to let every little bump in the road keep you down. It takes work, a good attitude, even some prayers to get things going in the right direction.

But what if you just don’t have the drive or the will? Find someone around you who does! Feed off their energy, let them give you guidance, learn from them. Get off the couch and step away from Farmville and do something. Get your tail to the gym, or start networking to find that next opportunity, attend community events, eat healthier – Whatever it is, go grab your “break” by the cahones and get it done.