Friday Fragments Pre-Holiday Edition

Mommy's Idea

***I apparently have the slightest caffeine addiction. The other woman at work likes to make the coffee really, really weak, and I can’t stand it. Figured out that if I add one of those instant coffee packets from Starbucks to my travel mug, it helps considerably. Of course, it doesn’t really taste all that great, but who cares?

***We went bowling for our company Christmas party this week, and at one point Sam was doing this fabulous Michael Jackson dance, complete with the moonwalk and crotch grab. At the lane next to us, there were three teenaged boys and Sam turned around to find them all watching. Of course he was mortified, until one of them started dancing, too. It was very sweet.

***Also at the same party, the other women with us were laughing about how terribly spoiled Aubry is (and I am not EVEN going to go into my diatribe about how you can’t spoil a 3 month old baby!), yet they took turns holding her in between turns. Even after she was asleep.

***I filed a complain with the Better Business Bureau regarding the whole Kmart situation. Even after notifying them that I had, even after I got an email from the BBB letting me know they had notified Kmart that a complaint had been filed, the only response I got was a blank email.

***I am not going delve deeply into my money issues right now, and the only reason I say anything at all is that I got an email from Child Support Services letting me know that Sam’s dad quit his job, so the obviously can’t garnish his wages. Yes, right before Christmas. I sent him an email reminding him that quitting his job did not mean he was no longer responsible for paying child support. In return, he called me yesterday to tell me that I would be getting my “f*cking money” when he felt like sending it. He also told me that I had no right allowing Sam to talk to him “that way” in an email to him (remember months and months ago when Sam wrote his dad telling him that he was angry with him for, you know, DISAPPEARING out of his life for three years and that he didn’t trust him? Yeah, thatemail), and threw in the “You are such a f*cking c*nt” bit in several times. When I told him very gently (for me) that it is perhaps time to talk about terminating his rights completely he said that he doesn’t care because then he won’t have to pay child support. Because, you know, he has paid so steadily and faithfully all these years. And isn’t it so nice that he has been visited by the holiday spirit (yes, that was sarcasm)?

***I think I have finally perfected my sourdough start AND two recipes, one for bread and the other for pancakes. Owen last night ate 4 pancakes and two fried eggs (“with the yellow stuff slimy, please). I am in charge of taking Dutch Oven Sourdough bread to a family party on Sunday; let’s hope my good luck with it lasts until then!

***I am not nearly ready for Christmas, and am in fact so stressed out about a variety of things that I am to the point where I wish I could climb in bed and keep my eyes closed until it is over. So if any of you have some extra thoughts, simply, of peace, please send them in my direction. I could sure use some of yours, since mine is gone.

For more Friday Fragments, please visit Half Past Kissin’ Time

Wal-Mart VS KMart-and Target Wins! ***UPDATED***

***I just wanted to let you all know what kind of a response I have had from Kmart. Anyone want to guess? If you guessed, “No response at all,” you would be absolutely correct. Not even the typical “We are so sorry, let’s get our ‘specialized team working on it!” So please share, comment, tweet, whatever, because now I am fighting on the principle alone. Maybe Kmart doesn’t care if they lose ME as a customer; after all, I don’t have a lot of money and therefore am not going to really put a dent in their business. But maybe they will take note if an entire GROUP of people stands up and says something? I don’t know-but it might be interesting to find out.***

Those of you who have been here for any length of time have heard my various diatribes about Wal-Mart, I am sure. I hate Wal-Mart; I *try* really hard to not ever shop there, although admittedly there are occasions where I am left with little choice. After all, I live in a rural area where Wal-Mart is the only store of its type nearby, and it isn’t exactly convenient or cost-effective for me to drive 45 miles to, say, Target.  That said, whenever I have to spend money there, it makes me feel slimy and ashamed and I try to avoid it if at all possible.

I have now, however, found a store that I hate even more than Wal-Mart, albeit for different reasons. Let’s talk a little bit about Kmart, shall we? I know nothing about Kmart’s business practices, don’t know what their employees make or how they are treated, none of that. No, my hatred is purely personal. See, I was watching The Television and saw that Kmart offered layaway, so I happily got online and read about it and thought, a-ha, this is a GREAT idea for Christmas. Initially, too, the process was pretty easy; I went through the items I wanted, chose the little “Layaway” Icon, and happily did the majority of my shopping.  The first snag came when I started the checkout process. First, you enter in your payment information, and it tells you how much your layaway downpayment is. No problem. However, as soon I hit the submit button, I found out that over half of the items in my cart were NOT, in fact, eligible for layaway (and yes, I DID check more than once to make sure I was shopping in the layaway section; I am not entirely stupid), and my card was debited for them immediately, PLUS the downpayment for my layaway order. Like, within minutes. Ok, I thought, I am not thrilled about THAT, but I can make it work somehow (reminding you all that it was debited out of my checking account).  $164.90 later…still, they were Christmas presents, right?

Then, three days later, I got an email from Kmart Customer Service telling me that part of my order had been canceled-not from my items on layaway, but the items for which I had paid. I called the customer service number and even though I was on hold for 20 minutes, I got to talk to someone who was very helpful. “Oh, we are sure sorry about that, but you will get the amount of the canceled items credited back to your account within four business days.” I gave them a week to credit my account back, giving them the benefit of a couple of business days, before contacting them again.

Now, it is December 8th (remember the initial order was placed AND PAID FOR on Novmeber 1st), and two phone calls (one where I was put on hold for so long that I ended up hanging up) and ELEVEN EMAILS LATER (it might actually be more-I think I inadvertently deleted a couple of them before realizing I might need them), I still have not been credited for the items canceled by Kmart and paid for by me. I have repeatedly asked for the contact information for the Customer Service Supervisor, as well as the corporate office, and that request has been ignored every single time. I have been told at least five times that this is NOT a typical Kmart shopping experience and they are so sorry AND that their “Specialized Team” will be contacting me, and that has not yet happened (Oh, I also asked them to cancel my layaway order, since clearly there were too many problems for me to trust that my payments would be applied to the order or that I would get them. They told me that I would have to go TO the store to cancel it. So I said I just wouldn’t make the payment, no biggie. Turns out it is a good thing I didn’t, as I got another email saying that some of the items on my layaway order were no longer available).

The thing about this that pisses me off so much is that I am being placated (unsuccessfully) and now ignored. I have invested a considerable amount of time and energy attempting, quite simply, to get back that which I am owed. No more, no less. Why is this so difficult? I feel, to put it bluntly, screwed. I can see that during the holiday season, maybe they are a little behind and can be forgiven a day or two delay, but this to me is unnacceptable-and no matter how many times I TELL Kmart this, I am still not being given my money back.  Maybe to them it isn’t that big a deal, but to me, it certainly is. I don’t care if this is not a typical Kmart shopping experience, this is MY Kmart shopping experience, and frankly, it is THE worst experience with online shopping I have ever had, hands down.

Now, why I am I telling you all this, you might ask? Because I need a favor. I know I have a lot of readers who never comment, and I generally would not ever ask them to comment-doesn’t matter to me either way. But all of you who read and don’t comment, could you make a comment today, wherever you are, just so you can be counted? I am going to send Kmart Customer Service a link to my blog letting them know how many people are aware of this particular experience and who might then think twice about patronizing their store. Maybe they don’t care about one little person in poduck Idaho, but bad publicity has a way of getting around, right?

So make a comment, please. Share this with your friends and ask THEM to make a comment. If any of you are so inclined, you can also email Kmart customer service on my behalf; their email address is help@customerservice.kmart.com, and my order number is 175285915.  I am not sure what I hope to accomplish; at this point, I think I should be given all of the items originally ordered for FREE, or be given a gift card or something, but really, if I am lucky I am going to get my money back. Still, I just want them to know that we little people kind of need our money back if we don’t get the item(s) for which we paid. That’s it.

So; thanks in advance! And hey, long live Target!

Friday Fragments-the Grumbly Edition

 Mommy's Idea

***Today is Hannah’s birthday! The big 18. I can’t believe that not only is she a legal adult but is also a mom. She passed her written driving test yesterday, has her driving test scheduled for tomorrow, so assuming she passes it, she will have her license on Monday afternoon. Can anyone say “Yikes!?”

***J. called and the ultrasound results were normal. Now, this is a good thing, right? Only now we don’t know what is wrong, which is kind of frustrating. VERY frustrating, because now she wants to send me to another doctor (she is an FNP, not a “real” doctor, as she says), and then he will *try* to figure out what the deal is. I hate these things, and I know myself; I know that if I am feeling better by Monday I won’t go. For one thing, I don’t have the money for all sorts of tests to rule things out. For another, if the ultrasound was normal, what is the point? I feel like the implication is that it is all in my head, and I am NOT going to go to another doctor and pay him to tell me he doesn’t know what is wrong.

***I still feel grouchy these days, and I am not sure I can pin-point exactly what is wrong. Maybe lots of things all together, with Christmas coming up and all these mounting fears, I don’t know. I just don’t like where I am right now, emotionally. Seems like I am barely keeping my head above water on all fronts, and I am not entirely sure why. I know that happiness is a choice, meaning I can choose how to react to certain things and change my perspective and all of that, but fuck oh dear, why does it have to be so hard to do that?

***I know that some funny, good things happened over the week, but I am damned if I can remember a single one. On top of everything, perhaps I really am losing my mind?

For more (hopefully) lighthearted Friday Fragments, check out Half Past Kissin’ time.  There are bound to be some better ones, I am sure of it!

Waiting

Not much to say today, other than that I am back at work today. Sore, but not in dire pain anymore, so that is good. Eating a NO-fat diet really bites, but if the alternative is major pain, well, sign me up. I found out that I DON’T have gallstones, which is something, BUT I probably have gallbladder disease, which ultimately means surgery. There is another test I might have to do called a HIDA scan, but I am still waiting for the doc to call back. I hate waiting. I don’t wait well. But at least I am not feeling like I am going to die, so maybe the waiting isn’t so terrible in comparison.

In the meantime, the rest of life goes on, and already my calendar is filling up with various Christmas activities. We went to Breakfast with Santa last Saturday, which is always neat. Owen wouldn’t go sit on Santa’s lap, even though I even went so far as to bribe him-but he did finally go stand next to Santa while he was holding Aubry, so at least we got a cute picture of the two of them with Santa. The work Christmas party is being planned, the AA party is next week, various family parties are beginning to crop up, so I say the stress begins. As always, worried about money, even though I know there is nothing I can do to change it. Being ill has put a serious dent in my finances already, but what do you do? Roll with it, right?

Since I like to vomit out all my personal information here on the old blog, of course you will all be kept abreast of the situation. Would you expcet anything else of me?

Fears

It’s funny; due to the pain and the nausea and vomiting and the chills, I haven’t been able to eat, but being told I CAN’T eat or drink anything somehow makes me feel like I am starving to death and dying of thirst all at the same time. The general consensus at this point is that I am having trouble with my gall bladder, and I was scheduled for an ulstrasound Friday morning but due to my extreme, fall-on-my-knees-and-cry pain, J. was able to get it changed to today at noon.

This is a strange place for me to be. Can I tell you here that I am terrified? One, I have never had that kind of pain before, EVER. Two, I was given a prescription for narcotic pain killers which is necessary but also scary for me. I am an alcoholic, with an alcoholic/addict mindset. Now, I have never had an issue with drugs, per se, but still, the potential for abuse is there for me. Three, I very well may be looling at surgery, which in and of itself is frightening, whether it’s out-patient surgery or not. Four, the whole financial aspect of it terrifies me. So I am trying to turn this all over to God, but still, I have no real serenity right now and I am having a hard time simply allowing myself to be afraid, to sit with those feelings and work through them one step at a time.

So I sit, trying NOT to think about how thirsty I am, trying to find my center and stay there, trying to stop projecting the outcome and instead simply accept that this right now is where I am. I can either let the fear spiral into something black and ugly that will chew me apart, or I can simply wait to see what happens. That is much harder to do than it sounds, but that is what I am working toward. Normal people maybe don’t panic at the idea of taking pain pills and having tests done, but we all know that normal is not one of the most common used words to describe me. It is what it is, I am where I am, and I am afraid.