A weblog about all the inconveniences we encounter in everyday life. Diapers, junk food, cruelty to animals, hostile people, rude cell phone behavior, cancer, terrible customer service (also known as "why the hell am I giving this company my money?"), ignorance, parking, bad spelling, family disturbances, office politics, death (the biggest inconvenience of all) and more. Thanks for saving me thousands of dollars in therapy by reading my blog. It might even make you laugh.

Friday, April 29, 2005

No Sleep Makes Lori a Crabby Girl

I haven't slept in over 24 hours. A robot just called me to tell me I can watch the Yankees on Cablevision if I get a new (presumably more expensive) cable box. Or maybe I'm hallucinating and I just hung up on a real person. It sounded like a robot to me, but the robot's name was Judy.

I was going to take a picture of myself in my current state of not having slept in over 24 hours, then I decided I'm too vain. So you get to see another picture of Katie. And me on plenty of sleep. I know I had gotten plenty of sleep at the time because I was taking care of Katie and I was sleeping whenever she slept - 12 hours at night, a 2-hour nap during the day. Otherwise neither one of us would have been smiling in this picture.

I didn't make a conscious decision not to sleep, so I'll blame it on the Swiss florist. Late last night Fredi and I were trying to send flowers to his godmother Elisabeth in Switzerland who is very ill. We wanted to send the flowers from a Swiss site because it seemed to be less expensive that way. We could not get the web site to work properly, so I sent through a dummy message to test it, but with real address information in case that mattered. When it got to the credit card payment page, I simply closed the browser.

When we sent through the correct information it seemed to work and said we would get an e-mail confirmation for our order. We never did. So this morning, very early here, about 10 a.m. in Suisse, I called and spoke with Stefan in a trilingual conservation that made little sense to either of us. What I gathered was he would check on the order and call me back later in the day. When I received no return call from Stefan, I begged Fredi to call because I thought they'd have an easier time communicating.

During their conversation Stefan said he would call Fredi back in a few minutes, but when he did, Fredi was downstairs at the offices of the building management, playing his role in an unrelated episode of "Life's Inconveniences," and I again had to speak with Stefan. Stefan told me in German that the credit card had not gone through and he needed another number. It struck me as strange, because the card we used is an American Express which has no balance and, as far as I understand, no real credit limit either. Besides, how expensive could a get well bouquet be?

Unfortunately Fredi had all of the credit cards with him and so I called Fredi on his cell phone and again begged him to call Stefan. Fredi reluctantly returned to the apartment, called Stefan and gave him the credit card information. Fredi left for work, and apparently all was fine in floral land. Apparently not.

A few minutes later I checked my e-mail and received the confirmation e-mail from the Swiss flower dudes. Just for kicks I clicked on the "view" button to see my order, and I noticed something was horribly wrong. The flowers were not being sent to Elisabeth, but instead to me, at Fredi's parents address in Switzerland. The dummy order I had sent, sans credit card, now was coming back to haunt me.

Fredi could not make an international call from work, so I called from home. This time Stefan was not quite so polite and patient in his nice Swiss-French way. After I struggled valiantly through a couple of sentences, first in chopped baby-French, then in somewhat smoother German, he finally sighed (loudly) and said, in pretty close to perfect English, "Can you speak English? I can't understand a word you are saying."

I think it's resolved now, although I won't know for sure until we see the credit card statement and we hear that our spring bonfire bouquet made it safely to Elisabeth's hospital bedside.

So would I use swissflowers.ch again? Yes, I would. Despite this mildly frustrating experience that gave me enough adrenaline to keep me up all day, I was so relieved that I actually called the number of a company and got the same person each time I called. That's probably because Stefan was the only one working there, or one of two or three, and I love that. I love small business. I love that "on-line chat" was not the "recommended way to contact customer service" and that each time I called Stefan picked up the phone right away. I love that there was no low quality voice recognition technology trying to guess what department I needed to get to or what I wanted, and I love that Stefan spoke no less than three languages.

Most of all, I loved that he put up with my mediocre German the first two times I spoke with him, not letting on until it was absolutely necessary that he couldn't understand me. Fredi graciously said it was because Stefan was Swiss French, and therefore his German wasn't up to snuff. But I know the truth. Anyway, how good could my German be with so little sleep? Note to self: speaking a foreign language well requires rest.

Little Love Bug

I present to you my niece, Katie. Yes, that's a roller in her hair. No, she never saw anyone wearing one before she stuck it on her head. Well, what else would it be used for?

My Tiny Heroine

If you ever feel like weeping uncontrollably but want to remind yourself that there is hope for humanity after all, take a visit to this web site and read about Alex Scott, my tiny heroine.


Especially read this:


Toilet Paper for a Cause

I want this bag. But I don't want to buy Quilted Northern toilet tissue. So I can't get the bag. Unless YOU buy Quilted Northern toilet tissue and send me the receipt so I can send them 15 bucks and get this bag. At least five bucks from every bag goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. What do you say? Can you buy Quilted Northern toilet tissue and send me the receipt? Please? Pretty please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

Has Anyone Seen These People?

This is not me. In fact, I don't even know who these people are. The last time I used Walgreens photo finishing to develop my photos, I got this picture along with my own photos. My husband wants me to throw it in the trash, but I like it. If this is you in the picture, e-mail me. I'd love to hear from you. If you know these people, tell 'em "Hey" for me. I'm never going to Walgreens for photo developing again. What if they gave those topless pictures of me on the rock by the lake in Portugal to someone else?