Well, title to this post, because I’ve been super duper busy. That has not changed, but I’m still waiting for the coffee to take effect this morning, so I thought I’d jump start my synapses by getting a little blogging time in with STW.
As you may recall, I have a new job. I’m loving it. (Actually, while looking for that post on Jason’s site, I tripped across this video that I somehow missed the first time around; It’s great seeing someone other than myselfâ€”someone that I know and work with on a daily basisâ€”get really angry about how stupid DRM is in all its forms).
Last weekend, we went to dinner with Marian and Curt to celebrate Marian’s 87th birthday (lol, just kidding, Marian!) and a good time was had by all.
Everything else that is new is mostly stuff: I got a Mac mini that’s hooked up to my TV. I also got a DVD+RW set top player recorder by Cyberhome that I spotted at Best Buy for under $100. I just ordered a new cellphone from Cingular and paid nosebleed prices for the thing, b/c I had just upgraded back in August. It couldn’t be helped though. With my new job, I need a better smarter phone with better handling of email and chat, and the Razr, while I enjoy it as a phone, just isn’t smart enough. I thought about going for the new hot Nokia Symbian phone that Matt Croydon was telling me about a while back, but ultimately, I need a little laptop type thing with a manageable keyboard. I had been thinking the Sidekick 2, but that would have meant switching over to T-Mobile, and would have cost more b/c of the Cingular cancellation fees + cost of getting set up. Ultimately, at dinner one night, Ryan Block of Engadget fame let me fiddle around with a Cingular 8125 he had on hand. The keyboard was manageable and it had all the features I need, so that’s what I ordered. Should be here on Monday, which will be good, as I have to travel to Santa Monica soon and could use something more connected than my Razr by then.
I ended up upgrading to an Aeron for my home office, and it is much better than the Chadwick, which I sent back after both of the ones sent to me proved to be defective. I have been meaning to say this, however: the people at Home Office Solutions are great. I highly recommend them if you are looking for some furniture and/or nice chairs for your home office. I called with problems and they fixed them nicely with no complaints or no unwarranted questions. They shipped both replacement chairs to me quickly, and they even gave me a slight discount on the Aeron for all my trouble. That’s the way customer service should be handled everywhere. Nice accommodating people.
The headache with the chairs, however, had nothing to do with them, but with FedEx. I love FedEx for deliveries, but FedEx picking up packages has been a nightmare for me over the past month and their customer service has been completely and totally incompetent. When we scheduled the first pick up to return the first chair, I was here all day on a Friday, waiting for them to come pick it up; I called several times. “Yes, they’re coming, be patient, ground pickups can come anytime during the day.” As evening creeped on, I called again, and was told that they had my zip code as 10108 instead of 10708 and the pickup had been rescheduled for the following Monday. That was bad enough, because it meant I had a large box sitting in my smallish apartment all weekend, but…
Fast forward two weeks… I set up the pickup for the 2nd chair being returned. Knowing what had gone wrong before, I double check with the woman I spoke with on the phone to make sure all the address details are correct, including the zip code. Yes, they’ll be there tomorrow (another Friday; this was a week ago). So Friday comes and I cannot go out and run any errands, because I am waiting for the FedEx person to come pick up my package. When it hits early afternoon, I start to become concerned again. I call at 3pm. It’s on it’s way. Yes, the zip is correct, it is coming. I call at 4ish. Same thing. If it doesn’t come by 5, I am told, I should call again. I call at 5ish, Oh, no sir, they can pick it up as late as 6, call back after then if it hasn’t come. Yes, the address is correct. After 6, I called again, Oh, no sir, they can come anytime as late as 8pm tonight since it is a ground pickup. Yep, the address is right. Around 7:30, I called again, and this time, I was told, it’s still on it’s way sir. It says here delivery to New York, New York 10108. I absolutely hit the fan. 6 people flat out lied to me and told me that they double-checked the zip. They didn’t. It was still wrong. I asked to speak with a manager. I was passed off to someone who apologized for all this, who gave me the names of every person I had spoken with and who assured me that I would receive a call from dispatch on Monday morning telling me exactly what time they would come for pickup. Monday rolled around. No one called. So I called FedEx. They told me they had no record to call me about anything and that they didn’t do that sort of thing anyway. The man I spoke with said, let me contact the dispatcher and try to get a timeframe for you. He told me they should be coming around noon. No one came at noon. I called back early afternoon around 2 or 3, the person I spoke with said there is no way to tell what time the pickup will happen and the person I spoke with had clearly lied. What the hell is wrong with the phone support for this company? I lost it again, was escalated to a customer service representative, who apologized for everything and all the lies. I listed off the names of all the people who had lied to me and told her they should all be fired, and she sent me a $20 FedEx gift certificate for my troubles.
The guy finally came to pick up the chair at about 4pm that day. Unbelievable…
In other, non-ranting news, I’m also working on my dissertation proposal again with a new advisor. Evidently, there’s a format for dissertation proposals that I’m supposed to be following that no one bothered to tell me about in the two + years before I switched advisors. Isn’t that wonderful?! (Okay, so I still managed to slightly rant). Anyway, I’m happy that things are finally progressing again with that, and I am not nearly as stressed about it all, as it is really, at this point, more of a hobby than anything else.
I’m not going to be Professor Sample. I’m not going to be stuck in Academia making less starting out than I’ve been making over the past 5 years, feeling that I’m earning less than my worth, and I’m not going to have to climb the tenure-track ladder. I’m in a new writing-oriented career that nicely meshes my business, technical, and writing and blogging skills and interests, and I’m happy, as are 99% of the people with which I am working.
It’s very, very refreshing.