Saturday, January 31, 2015

Five Valentine's Day Gifts For Geeks

Yes, the day to shower the one you love with gifts will soon be here. But what do you get that special geek in your life? Here are some suggestions that I have in order to make your geek have an out of this world Valentine's Day.

First you can never go wrong with flowers right? Well ThinkGeek has the perfect 8-Bit Flower Bouquet.

I mean come on it's cute, it brings back memories, and it has a stand. Your geek will love it.

Now, most geeks like science. You can get Personalized Periodic Table Drink Coasters from ShopGibberish.
Ask for the symbols for the elements Lutetium, Vanadium, and Uranium. And your coasters will spell out Lu V U. It's a gift a chemistry geek will thoroughly enjoy.
Well there will be a few individuals asking someone to marry them on Valentine's Day. When I was looking for totally awesome geek gifts, I found Custom Made who crafted this engagement ring.
And if you are looking for something that is just cute. You can try some Kigurumi fleece pajamas for you loved one. They are really cute!
Check out LoomyShop they have loads of styles for men and women.
This one is for those Trekkies out there. You can purchase a conversational Klingon app for your iPhone.
It has flashcards and it helps with pronunciation. It's a great way to learn Klingon. 
So that's my list, let me know what you plan to buy your special geek.
Music to blog by White and Nerdy by Weird Al

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Package

This is Captain again, and I have to tell you all about the package. Yes, earlier this week we heard the doorbell ring. As usual I was sitting as close to my pet human as possible. She started to stir when the doorbell rang so I naturally looked at her. I have always found that reminding my human that my comfort is the most important thing on earth is very wise. She simply replied to my look by saying I have to answer the door. It seemed important to her so I went along with it.

She came back with something. It was a box. It was addressed to me. Well me and my roommate, but this is my story. My pet human set the box down and she was ignoring it. But I sniffed the box. And there was a scent I recognized coming from that box. A scent that drives me wild. So I immediately attempted to open the box. I needed to get into that box.
My pet human finally recognized my need to get into the box. So she provided me with some much needed assistance. The box was opened. And the scent grew stronger. I dove into the box. I must find what had the scent. It was some stuffed cloth, a toy for me. The toy was for me and me alone. And the scent was catnip! I carried the toy off.
And don't you know that roommate of mine thought she could play with it. Well I had to teach her a lesson. So I gave her a big swat. So she backed off for a moment, but then she returned. I had to keep my guard up, but then I needed a nap. That roommate of mine she stole my toy filled with catnap while I was sleeping. I mean the nerve of her.
But the main point of this post is I want to say thank you to the person who sent me the package. I am most pleased with my toy, and I look forward to the next package I receive. Perhaps, you would be kind enough to send me some tuna next time.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Geek's Serenity

A geek's serenity is a cup of hot tea and some quality time with everyone's favorite zombies.
Music to blog by Zombie by The Cranberries

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow Day Sheriff Badge DIY

It's winter and those snow days are here. Days where kids rejoice because there is no school, and parents wonder how are they going to keep these kids busy all day? Here's a simple snow day sheriff badge DIY that is made from items around the house already.

Here's what you need.
Modge Podge
Gold or silver paint
Clasp pin

Here's what you need to do

First draw sketch a star onto your cardboard. Then cut it out. Then draw another one that is smaller than the first one. Cut it out. And then draw five circles. And of course cut them out. You'll end up with something like this.

Next glue the small star on top of the larger star. And then the circles in the five points.

Next paint the cardboard with silver or gold paint. I used glitter paint.

Now use that sharpie to write the word sheriff on the star.
And finally glue a clasp pin onto the back.
And you have a sheriff badge for your snow day sheriff.
Music to blog by Left Hand Free by alt-J

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Happy Birthday Auschwitz Survivors

Dear Auschwitz Survivors:

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Many people call it an anniversary, but I believe it is more like a birthday for all of you. It is the day that you were able to start a different life than the one that was forced on you. So in a way you were reborn.

Survivors on liberation day
That day you were liberated must have been one of the most emotional in your lives. Finally, the suffering you went through would end. But then there must have also been feelings of anger and sadness. All of you had lost so much. You lost your childhood. You lost people you loved. And there was absolutely no reason for these losses. I can't imagine what it was like trying to adjust to how the real world operates again.

Survivor of the Holocaust

Each of you that are living is a testament that evil does not have to win. Your long lives remind me that even though we have faced enormous challenges in our lives. Those challenges don't have to be the end of our lives. You all have lived full lives. And you remind us that we can not allow hatred to overtake our society. You remind us of what can happen when we overlook the small things that are going wrong in our world.
So to each of you survivors may life present you with joy and happiness. And to the rest of the world we must never forget the events that occurred in these individuals lives so that they aren't repeated.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wacky Winter Static Hair

It's winter and if you're like me that means static in your hair. I mean sometimes it just looks like this.
It's downright frightening how your hair can look in the winter. But there are a few things that you can do in order to reduce wacky winter static hair.
1. Be Gentle
Be gentle with your hair. Yes, your hair can easily become hypercharged during the winter so make sure that you gently brush your hair with a boar bristle hairbrush or comb. Also, take it easy with your curling iron and blow dryer. Heat dries out your hair, and dry hair has the tendency to be have more static.
2. Moisture
The air is drier in the winter it is important to keep your hair moisturized. Use a conditioner on the ends of your hair. That's the part of your hair that gets really dry so moisturize it. You can also skip a day of washing. Use something to moisturize your hair on a deeper level. I've been using Old Wives Tale Hair Mask since I received a sample to review. And it has helped.
3.  Hair Style
During the winter it is so important to get a regular trim. This removes the driest part of your hair, and decreases the chances for static to develop. If your hair is long style it so that it isn't lying against clothing that might cause your hair to go wild.
4. Dryer Sheets
I know you are saying huh? But carry one of those dryer sheets with you. They are designed to fight static. And well if the first three methods fail you can always take a trip to the restroom and use them on your hair to calm it down.
Music to blog by Unhurried Heart by Harlem Shakes

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Clash of the Couples Book Review

I was contacted by Crystal Ponti a couple of months ago to see if I would be interested in doing a book review of the new compilation she and a group of bloggers have put together. I was really excited to read the book. Last year I reviewed The Mother of All Meltdowns which was another book that Crystal had put together. I loved the book, and well I knew that the new compilation would be great.

And I wasn't let down. Clash of the Couples shares true stories about relationships. The stories remind me of just how crazy life can be. It covers the everyday dramas that we look back on and laugh. But at the time they were the end of the world. Who would imagine that a sandwich could be the catalyst for an full blown argument? But guess what it happens? It reminds me that the little things are what really make relationships. And it also reminds me that every relationship has had it's moments of insanity. But it also reminded me that relationships are work. There are times when things are great, and then there are those times when you really have to work hard to make it through.

The stories in this collection are humorous. But they also offer insight into what makes a relationship successful. Successful relationship find the humor in the bad times. They celebrate the good times. And most importantly they just don't give up.

So I recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain some understanding of how relationships work.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Yes, I finally have time to write about my new job. For those of you who forget I am Bobaloo. I have a pet human who writes this blog. And whenever I have the opportunity to grab some time on the computer and write a post myself. I am writing today to tell you about my vocation as a box-tester.
I am a natural box-tester. From a young age I have enjoyed exploring tiny spaces. In fact it is part of the way I found my new home. I crawled into a tire well of an RV one night, and I began to announce my concerns about this space to anyone who could hear. Well needless to say I kept someone up all night, and they found me my current pet human. This turned out to be a positive experience since I am fairly happy in my home. So when I noticed a box in the house several years ago, I had to get inside of it and see what it was like. And well I any time a box comes into my home I test it out. These are the methods I use to test a box.
1. Sniff the box. I must first assure that there is not another creature residing in the box. Safety first!
2. Stand on the box. If the box top is closed it is important to jump on top of the box to see just how sturdy it is. Occasionally, I get a little surprise and I fall into a box.
3. Next comes the most important stage in testing a box. I move around in a circle. A good box will allow me to turn around completely. I am a petite feline so this is not difficult.
4. The final stage of testing can be a little time consuming, but it is a necessary step in testing. I must curl into a ball and take a nap.
Fellow felines feel free to follow this tutorial if you feel a need to test a box in your home. Or you may contact my pet human about our fees for testing out your boxes.
Music to blog by Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hey I'm an Important Guy

Relationships with co-workers are the strangest relationships in the world. We don't really choose to spend time with our co-workers. The financial world forces us to spend time with these people. We often like our co-workers and sometimes we become friends with our co-workers. But more often than not they are relationships that we just endure.

I was reminded of this today while I was at work. What reminded me of this? Here's what happened.
All of us are working away. The phone rings. A co-worker answers the phone she goes and gets another co-worker and tells him he has a phone call. I ask another co-worker why did she answer the phone we're technically closed today? The co-worker replies I don't know what she's doing?

A half hour passes we are busy little beavers working away. The phone rings again. The same co-worker answers the phone. She gets the co-worker who had a phone call earlier. We ask her why is she answering the phone? We're closed we don't have to answer the phone. She doesn't reply.

This occurs two more times. Finally, the co-worker who has answered the phone exclaims. You have a phone call. I'm not your personal secretary. Don't they know you're at work? And he comes up with the perfect reply to a co-worker. Hey, I'm an important guy!

The lessons I learned that day. Don't make life more difficult than it is. And don't let anyone shake your belief that you are the most important person in the world.

Music to blog by Then Came the Morning by The Lone Bellow

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

If I Had a Million Dollars

Oh, what would I do if I had a million dollars? I've spent some time today dreaming about it. And here is some of how I would blow my mad money.

First I was at lunch with my friend Scott the other day and he said that he needs a new recliner. So if by some chance I come upon a million dollars this afternoon. Guess what Scott is getting?
Since Valentine's Day is coming soon, I would get some Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Hearts.
Their chocolate is so good, and well it's fair trade. And for you coffee lovers they have a Red Cherry Campaign going on right now so for every pound of their coffee you buy they donate 10 cents to coffee growers who are being impacted by climate change.
Then what every geek girl who enjoys cooking needs an R2-D2 measuring cup set.
Isn't it just the coolest?
I'd buy a copy of Worst Person Ever by Douglas Coupland just because I've enjoyed his other books so much.
And I'd get a pair of ASICS Gel-Foundation Walking Shoes because I need some new shoes. And these are supposed to be super comfortable. Man do my feet hurt today.

So let me know how you would blow a little of that million dollars if you had it.

Music to blog by Your Body Is a Weapon by The Wombats

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Did You Flunk That Emotional IQ Test?

Conversation with co-worker.

Me: Can you tell me how she sets up her information so I can do it the way she likes when I cover for her next week?

Co-worker: She sets up things similar to the way I do. She deserves for things to be left all messed up next week, she left a mess for me today.

Me: She was really sick yesterday you know. She had a hard time getting the work done.

Co-worker: Well she shouldn't have come to work I was supposed to come in and cover for her, but it was cancelled at the last minute. And I had this huge mess today.

The conversation ended there, but when she made that comment I thought did you flunk that emotional IQ test? Once again I have to thank that inner voice for stopping me.

But it made me wonder about our level of compassion for others. Why are we all so self absorbed that we just can't overlook the one day that someone is really unable to complete tasks that they normally would complete. Is it so hard for us to step outside of the moment and ask ourselves about the times when we have needed some extra help?

And then I had to ask the tough question, when was the last time that I did something similar to this? Well at first I said to myself I don't do that! And then I had to say to myself, wait a second are you really being honest?  Umm, no, for the most part I don't complain when I am asked to do something extra to help someone, but catch me on a bad day. And well you never know what you'll get.

But that takes me back to my question about compassion for others. I believe that if we aren't asking ourselves is that how I want to be treated on a regular basis then we run the risk of loosing our ability to feel compassion toward others. I feel that if we don't challenge ourselves to see how others are feeling then we run the risk of becoming self absorbed. And to me that is scary. Do you faithful followers find this scary?

Music to blog by Yum Yum by The Deslondes

How I Became a Grouplove Fan

Grouplove, it sounds like something you're not supposed to talk about, but in reality it's an indie band based out of Los Angeles. So how did I get interested in this band?

It all started on a cold afternoon when I was watching videos on youtube. I watched this video.

The intro to the song caught my attention. At first I thought it would be a mellow love song. But then it began to build a little and there weren't the usual sappy lyrics. Rhythm was added. The song was a little poppy, but not over the top. The song is happy, but not foolishly happy.

So I decided to take a listen to another song by the band. I watched the video Colours.

This video was not light hearted at all. In fact it's a little dark. The lyrics made me think about times when life isn't going so well. But your attitude has something to do with how things are going. It's kind of happy and sad all at once. Maybe there is even more to this band I thought. Then I watched another video.

So I watched Tongue Tied

As I watched the video and listened to the song, I was reminded of that one night I went to a party, and reviewing the events of that party, I just wish I would have stayed home and watched a movie that night. They nailed it!

So after I viewed three of their videos. I've decided I really like this band. I want to see them play live. And I'm definitely going to invest in their releases. Grouplove you have a new fan.

Other Great Music Posts
How I Became a Cambodian Space Project Fan
Baby Bye Bye
How I Became a Shonen Knife Fan

Friday, January 16, 2015

Imperfection is Beauty

Couldn't have stated it better than that!
Music to blog by Roots Man Skanking by Bunny Wailer

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Adventures In Employment

I arrive at work at my usual 2:55am this morning. Something doesn't seem quite right. I'm the only one there. I think to myself maybe everyone is running a little late this morning. Yeah, that's the answer. I begin working. And the phone starts ringing. Who on earth can be calling here at 3 in the morning? If something is annoying you should always ignore it right? So I ignored the phone and it stopped ringing. I thought to myself that trick always works I am so brilliant. I keep working.

A few minutes have gone by and nobody else has arrived at work. The phone starts ringing again. I think to myself how am I supposed to get this work done with that phone ringing. I decide it's probably one of my co-workers saying that they are going to be late. I answer the phone. It's the boss. I'm like oh great. She asks me to get a phone number for her. I ask her if one of my co-workers has called in sick. Yep, that's it. I hang up, and I go back to work.

Can you believe that phone rang again? I'm starting to get a little annoyed. Where is the other co-worker so he can answer the phone? I answer the phone. It's him! He's sick. I'm okay, I'll let the boss know. I start working and this is what happened.

I was like that phone never rings this much at this time of day, well night whatever 3:20am is. I answer it AGAIN. It's my boss again. She begins to tell me what she wants me to do. I tell her she kind of has a problem here because my other co-worker called in. She asks is so and so there? I tell her no I'm the only one here. She begins to tell me what she is going to do. I interrupt her, and tell ask her don't you think I ought to be working since I'm the only one here? She agrees that this might be a good idea.

I think to myself where do they get these people? I'm still the only one here though. A little more time goes by and another co-worker shows up to start work as usual. And then another I smile and say oh good there's three of us now. I'm not all alone. They are like huh? I'm like yep, the others are sick. We all agree that this isn't a positive thing, and we can't wait to see how it works out.

We begin working as hard as we can because it is going to be extremely difficult to get all of this work finished in the time we have to complete it in. There is a flurry of commotion. It's the boss! She is going to help us. My boss is a good person, but she is one of those individuals who just has a little bit of chaos that surrounds her. So we all roll our eyes. Oh, boy this is going to be interesting.

The next co-worker is arrives. She has been called at 3:20am and told she needs to come to work. I think to myself why did you answer the phone? We all know don't answer the phone when work calls in the middle of the night. It's NEVER a good thing! She starts working, and encourages the boss to work on the other side of the building. Good thinking. The boss will be out of our hair!

Then the supervisors arrive. They ask the boss what she is doing. I need to help so and so called in. The supervisors actually begin to help us. Something is wrong here. This never happens.

Later a co-worker informs me that I can work up to 12 hours today and get the overtime because management was assisting with our job. I think to myself you're the mayor of crazy town if you think I'm going to stay and work 12 hours. But I refrain from sharing this thought with my co-worker. Saying this may not be beneficial in the long run. Thank you inner voice for telling me not to speak! Things are moving along, but not that smoothly.

Another co-worker arrives. He begins a conversation across the room with the supervisor. I didn't know if I was supposed to come in today or not. Am I supposed to be here? The supervisor replies blah, blah, blah. The co-worker blah, blah, blah, am I supposed to be here? At this point I broke. I have worked through the entire morning seeing the humor. Telling myself things happen. But this was the last straw. I can restrain myself no more. So what falls out of my mouth? Well, you're here now so get to work! Cheers erupt from my co-workers!

These are the continuing adventures in employment. The stories of workers around the world.

Music to blog by The Millionaire's Holiday by Combustible Edison

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tongues Will Wag

I received a link to some news today about someone I know. Not really a friend, but someone I know. The news had some fairly serious allegations connected to it. My first reaction to the news was Wow!
Part of me wanted to know more. But something kept telling me that I should just keep quiet and not ask about the situation. I had to ask myself if I would people talking about me if allegations were made against me. The answer to me was simple. No, I would not want people talking about me.

I wondered to myself if I should contact the individual. And the answer I came up with was no. I decided that what I had say even though they were not judgmental to me might be taken wrong. So that was not the path I decided on. I simply decided that the truth will come out. Either the allegations are true. I hope they are not. Or the individual made a mistake. And we've all made mistakes.

So even though tongues will wag it doesn't mean that mine has to.

Music to blog by Brothers by The Black Keys

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Pillow

It has been a while since I have had time on the computer to tell about what is happening around our home with our pet human. For those of you who don't know me I am Captain Morgan. And this is a picture of me and my pet human.
For the most part my pet human is a good pet and gives me what I demand. But recently she has had difficulty sharing. In particular she has had difficulty sharing the pillow when we are sleeping. This is what happens. My pet human decides that it is time to go to bed. She lies down and she seems comfortable. But something is missing. An important thing. That thing is me. I believe that it is a perfect time to snuggle when she goes to bed. And after all I am doing her a favor by helping her stay warm. So I jump on the bed and go towards that pillow. I lay down beside my pet with my head next to hers. In order for me to be more comfortable I often stretch out. And sometimes I take three fourths of the pillow. It's not much to ask from my human to share the pillow. But she has a problem with this. I mean she still has a corner of the pillow available to her. I don't understand humans. They can be so frustrating. Do any of you felines have difficulties getting your pet humans to share?

Music to blog by Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy

Monday, January 12, 2015

Winter Wonders and Woes

Someone once said that winter is the season in
which people try to keep their house as warm as it was in the summer when they complained about the heat. I've found this to be true. Winter is full of wonders and woes. Here is my list.

Snowflakes really are a wonder. Each one of them has a unique and beautiful design. And it all begins with a little water particle and a little dust particle. It's pretty amazing.

Of course those tiny wonders can turn into a great winter woe called a blizzard.

Another great wonder of winter is being able to stay at home and snuggle beneath the covers for a long winter nap inside a heated house.
The woe of winter is that it takes at least an extra 15 minutes to go anywhere because you have to start the car early and let the windows defrost.
Winter wonders bring us hearty foods full of calories to keep us warm. They all taste so great.
Warsaw Stew
But we soon realize that all these winter flavors have made the scale tell us nasty things.
These are a few of the winter wonders and woes I thought about today, do you have any to add to the list?
Music to blog by Pages of Gold by Flo Morrissey

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Kale and Pear Chicken Salad

Yes, it's a new year and we are all looking for ways to keep that New Year's resolution to eat healthier. So here is a salad that is loaded with extra vitamins, and I know there are plenty of people saying I don't know if I like kale. But remember it's pretty much a super food. It's full of Vitamin K, A and C. It's an anti-inflammatory. And these are just a few of the benefits. So don't turn your nose up to it. Just start pairing with foods you enjoy more.

Here's what you need

1 bowlful of chopped kale
1 handful of sliced purple onion
1 red pair diced
2 handfuls of almonds
2 handfuls of dried cranberries
Top it off with a vinaigrette dressing

Music to blog by Black is the Color by Rhiannon Giddens

Friday, January 9, 2015

It's Not Like We're Just a Little Busy Here

It's not like we're just a little busy here were the exact words that fell out of the mouth of someone I know the other day. She was upset because other people weren't helping us with a project. You know they said they would help out, and we are so busy. We don't have time to do all of this was what she was saying. I thought to myself isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

You see she was right. The individuals she was talking about weren't doing their share. But what she forgot was all the times she hasn't pulled her weight in the project. The times she was late because of her house flooding. The times when she missed out on the project because her children were sick. The times when she just couldn't focus in because there was too much drama in her life. The times when she wanted to do the bare minimum that was required of her.

The entire incident made me think about how important it is to just do a little something extra when you can. And let's face it most of us have an extra two minutes to do something a little extra that will make somebody else's day a little easier. Don't we? So as I went through the next day I pushed myself a little harder to do things that make other people's life a little easier for that day because you never know when you're going to need someone to do a little something extra for you.

Music to blog by Bye Bye Pride by The Go-Betweens

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Moments

Each and every moment is new, it can never be repeated.
Music to blog by Bossa Nova Baby by Elvis Presley

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Word of the Year

With the new year always comes some reflection on the past year, and some hope for the upcoming year. And of course there are resolutions. It seems like resolutions always get broken. So maybe I should just come up with a theme for the year. In essence can I boil down what I think is important for this year into a word for the year?

The word I've chosen for this year is complete. Many of you are asking why complete? The answer is I have the tendency to start things and not finish them. It kind of drives me crazy, but sometimes I don't feel like I can help it. I am just interested in so many things. So I start something, and well I then get interested in something else. It can make things a little chaotic. And well, I just don't complete tasks that I really want completed. Or I just take forever to do it.

So complete is the word of the year for me. Let's see how I do. And let me know what your word of the year is.

Music to blog by Mr. Noah by Panda Bear

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It Was a Cold Morning

It was a cold morning here in Indiana yesterday morning. I mean like one of those 9 degrees cold mornings. I knew when I woke up that I am going to have to go out and start my car early. I wish that I had an automatic car starter. But I know that you must go out and brave the cold morning air so that my car is warm when I get in.

I run out the door into the cold. I am thinking this won't take long, and I get to the car. I put the key in the lock and unlock the door. I go to open the door, and it won't open. I try again, because I know it's a mistake. It's just early in the morning, and I've not turned the key in the lock properly. I think, okay this is simple, I'll just try the passenger door. The same thing happens!
I think to myself this isn't good. Then a brilliant idea comes to me. I run to the back of the car and the hatch opens. I congratulate myself on my brilliance. I am a champion problem solver. As I begin to crawl through the back of the car I hope to myself that a police car doesn't drive by. How will I explain this? I'm breaking into my car because the doors won't open. I hope this doesn't happen, but it does seem like a possibility. I mean it is 3:00 am.
I continue to crawl over the backseat of the car into the front seat. I breathe a sigh of relief when the car starts. I look around the car and note to myself the windows seem a little frostier than before I came outside. I think to myself oh, yeah, the hatch is open.
Things are looking better. I know that I'll be able to open the driver's door from the inside. I try, and it doesn't happen. I think to myself why do I have to have this special kind of luck? I also think now I have to crawl through the hatch again. But then something tells me that I should try the passenger door. It opens, and I realize I really do have a special kind of luck because it all worked out in the end.
Hope everyone is staying warm this cold winter morning!
Music to blog by Sweeter Love by blue six

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Things That Have Made the Week Fantastic

Each week brings us great things. And this week was no exception. Here are some of the things that made this week fantastic.

The first thing that made this week was Starting the New Year. I did it the right way relaxing with friends and eating great food. It was exactly what I needed.

The next thing is my paycheck was bigger than I expected. So that's the reason I worked all of the overtime. I hated every minute of the overtime, but I was really happy when I got that paycheck.

(No that's not really my paycheck just a picture of one.)

Another thing that made this week great was watching the entire Moone Boy series again. And then discovering The IT Crowd on hulu. I love both of the shows they just make me laugh.

And of course it has been so great to spend some quality time with my beasties. The cats are happy and so am I.

And lastly, I started a new challenge this month to do five things a day for myself. They don't have to be big things, they can be little things. It's really fun to remind myself to do things that I truly enjoy each day instead of what I have to do.

Music to blog by Dirty Old Town by The Pogues

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Customer Service Nightmares

Recently I read on MSN about a man who taped his customer service nightmare phone call. As I read the article and listened to the phone call, I had flashbacks to my own personal experience with a large cable provider. I also thought about a friend of mine who had a similar experience. My friend's reactions are so extreme to the name of that cable provider that while we are in his presence. The cable provider in essence is like Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. It is the name that must not be spoken.

My experience was nearly as painful as the man in the call. He made several calls trying to change his internet service. In my experience I was trying to cancel a package deal. In fact at one point in my conversations with the cable provider customer service, I was told that what I wanted wasn't possible. Deep in my heart I knew that wasn't true.  I decided that I would solve the problem. I needed to speak to a person face to face. So I headed down to my local cable providers office. I was prepared for a long drawn out meeting involving an argument where I would be extremely frustrated.

What happened was quite the opposite. I went into the office ready for a verbal confrontation. I went to the desk. The customer representative asked me how he could help me. I told him I wanted to change my cable service. I told him what I wanted he said okay. I mean he literally said okay. I couldn't believe it. It lacked the drama of a call to customer service. I the customer was right. I was given the service that I provided. How could this be? It was so unlike other customer service experiences.

A couple of days later I received a phone call from a research company who wanted to ask questions about my experience with the cable provider. I thought to myself oh no I knew the experience I had at that office was too good to be true. But it really was a research call. The researcher told me that my experience was nothing new to him. And while he didn't say anything negative about the provider. I told him was my question was why was it so easy to get what I wanted when I went to the office? He said the answer was simple. The primary job of the customer service agents over the phone was sales. And the customer service agents in the office was to receive payments.

When I thought about the entire situation, I thought to myself I am part of the problem we have with customer service.  Instead of actually going to see a person face to face. In my experience I was trying to make a phone call to get what I wanted. I was trying to take the easy way out to solve a problem. And I ended up frustrated. But when I finally decided to do things the old fashioned way, I got the results I wanted. Instead of spending hours on the phone speaking with someone whose job wasn't really to help me. I actually went and spoke to someone whose job was to help me. So my advice to anyone who wants to solve a problem with their cable provider don't waste your time with a phone call. Go to the office in the end it will save you time, money, and frustration.

Music to blog by Dashboard by Modest Mouse

Friday, January 2, 2015

Starting the New Year

The past month I spent a great deal of time working. When I spend so much time working it doesn't always bring out the qualities I like the best about my personality. I get impatient, bossy, and at times grumpy. I also have the tendency to get very caught up in what needs to be done. I just have trouble slowing down. And so I don't really end up seeing the things that are really important to me that need to be done. And there is a little bit of transition time for me from the time that I am going non-stop to getting back to myself.

And this past week has been that transition back to the normal. I was winding down some. But I wasn't back to normal. And New Year's Day was the day that I was pretty much forced to slow down. I woke up thinking of all of the things I needed to accomplish during the day. I had to get a lot done before my friend picked me up so we could go visit some friends that live out of town.

My friend arrived a little early. And I thought to myself I didn't get everything finished that I needed to. I ran out to the car thinking I wish I could have accomplished one more thing. My friend began driving, and I found myself being that person that drives me crazy. I was being a backseat driver! The horror! I apologized to my friend. And every time I wanted to tell him where to turn I bit my tongue. I just needed to let go of the control I was trying to get control of. I mean really why did we need to go the way that I was pointing out? It didn't make a difference.

As the day went by I could feel myself winding down a little. I was able to have a day when I didn't have to get things completed by a certain time in the day. And well I was able to relax. I was able to joke and laugh with friends instead on focusing on the things I needed to complete I was able to focus on the moment.

So thanks to my friends for making me start the new year the right way by slowing down and enjoying the day.

Music to blog by Losing Faith by Backbeat Soundsystem