Much like the Glee Club, I’m heading to New York.
Yes, less than a year after I was there for BlogHer I’m going back - to take part in Swim Suit Confidence Week.
I know, right? It involves television cameras so for an pseudo-anonymous blogger like myself this is a pretty big deal.
I’m nervous, scared, excited and overwhelmed. I’m packing my swim suit, trying to find that extra dose of confidence and hoping I don’t trip on national television. I uninvited my Fire Ears, as they are not considered in style.
That said, I’m not doing it alone. Five of my friends from the Curvy Girl Guide are going as well and I expect there will be shenanigans aplenty.
But…I could use your support and involvement to. I hope you join in.
Are you on Pinterest? I didn’t really “get” it at first but now that I do..well…..I’m addicted. Generally speaking with a Pinterest account you can “pin” anything you see online into a virtual pinboard(s) to organize or group as you wish. I’ve seen pinboards for anything visual- tattoo ideas, weddings, flowers, style, graphic arts, home decor, home building, cooking, children’s clothes and everything in between.
For instance, this is a snippet of my pinboard of things I’d like to cook….
In other (groundbreaking) visual news I’ve finally decided to embrace the fact that my previously naturally dark blonde hair is growing in much…darker…and I’m going whole-hog brunette on Friday afternoon. This is what I’m going to show my colorist:
I’m sure you will hear considerably more about this from me because I hear it is an awesome idea to make drastic hair color decisions directly before heading off to NYC to be filmed for television. I mean, that is what I read anyway….but in the interim how handy is this pinboard? No magazine clippings or vague descriptions. I’ll just whip out my phone and show her my board!
I also have a pin board for my wishlist should anyone (ahem, B) need any birthday gift ideas for me (it contains a few fun kitchen items as well):
That said, I think my most favorite pinboard is one that I contribute to for the Curvy Girl Guide called “motivators” filled with gems like these:
But at the end of the day the ones I keep going back to again and again come from one of my very favorite pieces of literature or its author:
I’d love to see what you’ve been pinning.
Disclaimer: any & all references to being “stabby” is creative license and is no way meant to suggest that I am or will be violent regarding this situation. I do not support violence in any form, although this chain of events has caused me to consider the merits of kicking the wall a few times. In the end I decided that was a bad idea, I’d probably break a toe. There has been and will be no physical violence in any form regarding this situation. But I sure do want my refund.
I’ve had this story brewing for a long time, but to be honest every time I sat down to tell it I’d get so angry that the post would morph into letters without meaning and lots of bold face and exclamation marks and swear words. At the end it resembled something like the floor of the cell in a padded room that had recently housed a pack of rabid tigers – a total mess. Full of stabbiness. (Stabbiness is totally a word.)
Anyway. Here goes. Please read on, you can actually watch my blood boil with each paragraph. Until (POP!) I explode. Into a million pieces.
On March 3rd the electric company (CE) issued us our monthly bill to the tune of $70. Nothing out the ordinary. I invite you to imagine what our surprise was like at the end of the month when CE debited $814 out of my husband’s checking account, precisely as I was being released from the hospital, Milly was in surgery and it was 4:55 in the afternoon on a Friday.
It wasn’t awesome.
But it was SUCH a gigantic mistake that we laughed and assumed that obviously this would be sorted out by Wednesday because, well, someone moved some decimals around. $814! Haha! WHAT AN EPIC MISTAKE.
(This is where Daisy begins to get prickles.)
When I called CE the next week, after spending 3 hours listen to their hold “music” which is really a repeat of about 5 commercials for the electric company, I was told that no, sorry. You see between the 3rd and the 18th an internal decision was made and some credits from 2009 (TWO THOUSAND AND NINE) were reversed and we did, in fact, owe that money. Or so they said. At this point I became unglued, my arms started to fall off and my voice reached a level akin to the Chipmunks when they are attempting to break glass on a quiet starry night in the desert.
(Daisy has moved past prickly, Daisy is now edgy and sharp and bordering on STABBY.)
I might have used some choice words and demanded a little more information about this “credit reversal” and this “internal decision” and oh by the way I’D LIKE TO SPEAK WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR. NOW.
The bad news was that we did, in fact, owe the random extra $750 give or take. We’d been issued a series of credits in 2009 that we attributed to the resolution of many, many phone calls when we discovered that we were paying for the electricity of a larger unit in our building for a long period of time. That was an equally special time, let me tell you. All of these credits eventually added up to a grand total of $750-ish but as it turns out, they were not for us, they were for someone who didn’t know how to write their account number down properly and had only now gotten around to fixing that. I wish I was that person, except that person seems rather dumb – writing the wrong account number on their checks for five months. Don’t you think they might have noticed their balance was simply growing? No? (I know, we could be considered dumb too, but uh, we had an explanation for our shrinking balance. OR SO WE THOUGHT.)
This is where things get…crazy. You see, according to policy CE should have called and told us about what happened, sent us the confirming paper work and set up a 12 month interest free payment plan. Instead they just took the money from our checking account. Something about how this had never happened before what, with auto-pay and what not, but that they were now creating a system to ensure it didn’t happen again. They thanked me for alerting them to this glitch.
So I told them I wanted a check for $750 and a 12 month interest free payment plan.
And they told me that they had no way of issuing a customer refund. It simply isn’t done.
And that is where I called bullshit. And asked to speak to another supervisor.
(FULL ON STABBY.)
AND ANOTHER SUPERVISOR.
Oh, yes, please. I’D LIKE TO SPEAK TO YOUR SUPERVISOR NOW.
They kept saying no, and I kept reminding them that they sent us a bill for $70 and took $814, which is like, not even remotely the same. So no, I was going to keep calling. And calling. And calling. I’m pretty sure they got sick of me calling so finally they held a meeting and told me they would issue us a refund for $340 and we could pay that off over the next 12 months. It wasn’t what I wanted but at this point I was out of supervisors so I said ok. They said the check had to be processed from their bank in Iowa and it would be here in 10 days.
THE CHECK IS IN THE MAIL. Famous last words really.
So I waited.
And I waited some more. And then I called back and they said that I misunderstood! They were not issuing me a refund! Where would I get that idea? They were giving us a credit! To our account!
(STAB STAB STAB RAGE STAB.)
(Which, um, I don’t really know how that solves the problem? It doesn’t return the missing money to my checking account or address the fact that this is already about a credit they decided to take away without telling us……)
I’m going to give you 2 guesses as to whether or not they credited our account.
I hope you guessed no.
This is where I simply ceased being. I mean my head literally floated to the ceiling and bounced around like a helium balloon while illegible sounds came out of my mouth and all I did was swear for ten minutes straight. I’d have put a sailor to shame. THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH WORDS FOR MY RAGE. Or my dislike of the man who told me, in a snotty tone, that I must have not understood the difference between a credit and a refund. YES. THEY DID NOT TEACH ME THAT IN LAW SCHOOL OR COLLEGE OR HIGH SCHOOL OR ANY SCHOOL OR LIFE. THEY ONLY TEACH THAT SUBTLE DIFFERENCE TO THOSE WITH PHD’S IN ECONOMICS. Asswipe. Anyone who has ever purchased an item, ever, in their life, waited around a month and tried to return it only to get store credit knows the difference between a credit and refund. Which means every woman ever in America knows the difference between a credit and a refund.
I asked if credits were routed through a bank in Iowa. They said obviously not. And I asked where on earth I’d have that information unless someone told me they were send me a refund check and that is when they told me someone was going to have to call me back.
And they didn’t, call me back. Again.
So today I waved my white flag and I called the “consumer protection” division at every single news agency in the city. Then I called my Alderman. Then I called the Citizen’s Utility Board. And then I called the Illinois Commerce Commission. I’m toying with calling the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office. AT THIS POINT I AM JUST FULL OF RAGE. My telephone skills are out of this world and I can recite the facts of our situation from memory with no prompts.
In the immortal words of Top Gun, I WANT SOME BUTTS.
A few weeks ago my parents decided they were going to come to Chicago for a night on their way to the East coast. We made plans to hit up the casual Rick Bayless joint Xoco, where you wait in line for (delicious) tortas and wash it down with limeade. It was going to be awesome. Casual but awesome.
Fast forward a week or two and suddenly I realize I’m going to New York for a week (wooooooot) but my parents are still coming to town.
Please, imagine my surprise when I discover Dad and B have made reservations at our favorite steak house.
No really. Imagine my surprise. Because I think my chin has a bruise on it from hitting the floor so hard.
I mean really now, tortas to steak and cabernet. Say what? This is normally where I’d make (empty) threats about using their credit cards while wining and dining in New York but…then I remembered….that I’m pretty much wearing a swim suit the entire time I’m there. So.
Lettuce it is. Lettuce is for winners.