Archive for January, 2012

So, What is in your wallet?

Because of a particular commercial this is a question I hear all the time when I watch the television, which is all the time.  So what is in my wallet?  Let me wedge it out of my back pocket and take a look.

In the money spot

Lots of folded up or crumpled up receipts that I’ll never have a use for.

Three “Make it Right” cards, this is given to us by the company I work for.  So If I’m in the grocery store and wearing company clothing and somebody comes up to me and starts complaining about us, I can hand them a “Make it Right” card. When the customer calls the number on the back it goes to a ‘special phone number’ the customer is asked to read off the ID number on the front and that card is linked to me.  The operator then knows this customer has had direct contact with me and I am kept in the loop to ensure the customer is being treated properly. When people complain to me I can’t help them because I work in a warehouse so I can’t get into the Billing system, I’m not a technician so I can’t really answer technical questions, so before they issued these cards my only option was to listen to them bitch and look like an idiot.  Now I still listen to them bitch, I still look like an idiot, but at least I can try to point them in the right direction. Thus far I’ve handed out three cards and they were never activated so I’m not sure why the customer was bitching to me.

1 Ten Dollar bill.  I ordered some Girl Scout cookies so I’ll need the money when they show up.

Some post it notes with passwords and numbers, but I have no idea to whom the numbers belong to or what the passwords are linked to.  But I’m afraid to lose them.

Information for renting a dumpster that my wife gathered a few years ago so we can get rid of a bunch of stuff in the garage.  We never did anything with it, but she told me not to lose the info so here it sits.

On the right side I have:

Business cards from companies I’ve never heard of

3 Club Cards you know those cards so you can earn point or get reduced prices.  Why can’t they just give lower prices rather than make you join a club?  

2 Credit cards, a drivers license and most important my official ‘Always Right Card’  I need the card so when my wife and I disagree on something I pull out the card which states that I am always right!  In theory this should bring the disagreement to an end.  In theory.

 The Left side:

More paper containing numbers codes and passwords to god knows what.

My Onstar card, 3 insurance cards that look identical, another credit card that I don’t think is active anymore and my Green Card which really isn’t green.

In the center section I have a business card from Pirates Treasure It has a skull and cross bones on it, so it looks cool in the little transparent part where you are supposed to put the driver’s license.

 I have one ‘credit card’ that is not actually a credit card.  It is a magic trick that I’ve long forgotten what it does.

More folded up pieces of paper, a subway gift card that I’ve totally forgotten about that probably still has enough for a sandwich.

Don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going for lunch.

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I’m sitting here watching the auditions for American Idol.  I can’t sing at all but I often wonder what song I would sing if I was auditioning.  I really don’t know, I’m very eclectic in my listening pleasure.  For the most part I don’t like jazz or opera everything else is fair game.  Often I forget how much I like a specific song.  It is kind of like watching TV.  I always forget how much I love watching I love Lucy or the Honeymooners until I’m channel surfing accidently fall upon one of those shows.

So I’m sitting here watching American Idol and wondering if I’m ever going to post anything on my blog again.  I can’t think of anything to write.  Nothing too exciting is going on and frankly I just can’t seem to find the energy to write, although I do miss writing. 

While I watch Idol I’m surfing the web trying to find something to write about.  First I go to Face Book.  My friend Ray Parker (The Mad Hatter) posts a clip of Sammy Davis Jr. performing Mr. Bojangles.  I’ve love that song, especially when performed by Sammy. I once knew it word for word but I never knew Mr. Bojangles was a real person. Bill (Bojangles) Robinson was an American tap dancer and actor of both the stage and screen.  So I watched a clip of Bill Robinson in action, a clip from the Shirley Temple movie ‘Little Colonel’ and Bill Robinson is teaching little Shirley Temple a tap routine.  I watched the Sammy Davis Jr. clip again with a new understanding of the song. 

So I said to myself, I said, “Self, you can blog about this”  doesn’t matter that nobody else cares.  My blog, my rules. So I started typing.  Then I started thinking.  What if Sammy David Jr. Didn’t write the song?   He didn’t!  Jerry Jeff Walker wrote Mr. Bojangles.  Okay, many singers don’t write their own songs, there are song writers that do that sort of thing.  And yes Jerry Jeff Walker is a song writer, but he also performs.  He is a country western dude and much to my surprise Mr. Bojangles is a country song.  And my third least favourite type of music is Country music so I’m sure you can appreciate my surprise when I found that I really liked Jerry Jeff Walker’s performance of the song.  More amazing is that Jerry Jeff Walker didn’t write the song about Bill Robinson.  While Jerry Jeff was in jail for intoxication there was a white man who refused to give his name to the police and called himself Mr. Bojangles.  In an attempt to lighten the mood in the cell Mr. Bojangles started tap dancing and the song was born.  Then I said, “Self, who else sang this song?”  I started listening.  Neil Diamond did a decent job, Nina Simone absolutely incredible, John Denver was typical John Denver.  Everybody and his mother recorded this song, but nothing like Sammy, I think it was because for some reason this song was very special to Sammy.  But then I clicked on one more version.  Sorry Sammy, I’ve always loved watching and listening to you and probably always will.  But in this instance David Bromberg takes this song to a new level of greatness.

And you know without the internet I would probably never even thought to look any of it up. 

I knew a man, Bojangles and….

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Awhile ago we sent my father-in-law some blue ray movies only to find out he couldn’t watch them because his blue ray player needed a software update and because he doesn’t have ‘the internet’ he couldn’t update it.  So this Christmas we sent him a new blue ray player.  We found one that would meet all his needs meaning it would simply play blue ray movies.  It was not expensive and was basically plug and play.  We purchased the player from our local Best Buy and they shipped it to him in California. My father-in-law was very appreciative but he could not hook it up because he has a fancy universal remote.  When he bought his new TV he got the remote with it.  The catch was that the Geek-Squad came to his house hooked everything up to this remote.  Basically his whole house is connected to this stupid remote.  He told us that if he hooked up the new blue ray player he would void the warranty on the remote. 

So we called the Geek Squad.  They looked up his account and sure enough my father-in-law was correct and to have somebody come out and install the blue ray player would cost fifty dollars.  To hook it up to his existing remote would cost an additional one hundred dollars.  On the upside that would reset his warranty.  Yup, we had to spend one hundred and fifty dollars so he could use a blue ray player that cost less than one hundred dollars.  So we went over it again with geek squad guy and confirmed with him a third time.  That if we paid one hundred and fifty dollars somebody would go to my father-in-law’s house hook up the player and program it to his existing remote.  He assured us that would be the case and seeing as they had us over a barrel we grabbed our ankles paid the money and set up a time.

A week later we called my father-in-law to find out if he enjoyed the movies we sent. We found out the geek squad guy showed up, un-hooked his old blue ray player and hooked up the new one but told my father-in-law that we didn’t pay for him to add the new player to the remote, even if my father-in-law wanted to pay the extra this guy couldn’t do it because it wasn’t on the work order so he didn’t bring the computer he needed to program the remote to the player.  So my father-in-law had him unhook the new player, plug in the old one and he (my father-in-law) would hook up the new player to his old TV and watch it that way.  BACK THE TRUCK UP! He said we didn’t pay to hook up the player to the remote, so he did nothing? 

My wife called up the Geek squad and the lady explained to us that the technician was correct we had not paid for home networking and that is what we were asking them to do.   My wife then asked exactly what we paid $150.00 for.  The lady never answered the question.  Instead she informed us that if we wanted to pay sixty dollars on top of the 150.00 we had already paid they could then hook up the new equipment to the remote.   

My wife explained, (in four part harmony) that we were told that the $150.00 was for the programming the remote and the hook up.   First she started to tell us we were incorrect because that would not cover the programming of the remote.  My wife explained again that we were told that by us paying 150.00 dollars a technician would go to the house hook up the new equipment and program the new equipment to the remote.  Instead what we got was nothing! We paid 150.00 dollars and nothing was done.  NOTHING!  We wanted to know exactly what we got for 150.00 dollars!  The lady apologized and acknowledged that we got the wrong information and if we wanted we could pay an additional 60.00 and the technician would go back and do the job.  This was not acceptable how could we possibly trust them now?  How do we know the tech would go out there again and again do nothing,  and then we could sit on the phone for another hour (yes this took over an hour) only to find out we didn’t pay enough. Personally I’d rather have my father-in-law throw the thing out the window. 

In the end, after a lot of frustration my wife got the hundred and fifty back, and my father hooked up the new player to the old TV.  I’d still like to know what the $150.00 bought us.  When the tech got the order did he really think that somebody would pay that much to plug a blue-ray player into a wall?  I work for Comcast Cable.  I assure you our techs would look at an order like that and go see a supervisor first, knowing that something was wrong.

We learned a lesson.  Don’t buy one of those fancy remotes your house because if you want to buy a new piece of equipment you may as well bend over a grab your ankles if you want it to work with your existing system. 

Two, don’t trust the geek squad further than you can throw them. I do have geek squad protection on this computer and they have helped me out.  When my drive crashed they had a new one installed within a day, didn’t cost a penny.  When I had a problem loading a program I gave them a call and they talked me through it and we had great success.  However they are right here at my local Best Buy store and I can definitely throw them that far, at the very least they have to deal with me live and in person and in those situations I can usually get people to do what is right.  In this instance however I can’t throw them all the way to California from Pennsylvania.

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