Friday, March 16, 2012

Brain Dumping Alert

First off, let's go with something NICE.
I get to show off what arrived in the mail earlier this week.....

It's the little wallet CARLA made me for winning the drawing in Week #3 of her Feb. Double Challenge.  Isn't it cute??!!  And she did it in my favorite colors of purple and green.  I haven't had a chance to figure out how I will utilize this(aka what crap I'll put in it)but I am sure I can find the PERFECT way to use it.   Toting coupons to the store comes to mind as an option...... 8-)
Thank you Carla!  I DO appreciate it.

Now everybody go click on the link(which is her name)and read her blog, ok?

Back to my Dumping.....

* Remember back last month when I went on a tirade about those Living Social(boo hiss!)coupons for McDonald's(boo hiss!) that #2 Son was charged to use, even though the items they were for were already paid for?  Go HERE-Social Coupons Suck-to read up on what the heck I am talking about.

Anyway, I had contacted via email both the local owner/franchisee and Mickey D's Corporate in IL.
And I got responses from both within a week.....so they get points for customer service AFTER they gave us BAD Customer Service.  I guess I should give them bonus points for that, huh?

The local owner's mouthpiece(aka some lackey in their business office who gets paid to deal with unhappy customers)emailed back and apologized profusely, saying not that they were at fault, but that this particular employee must not have been trained in how to deal with these social coupons.  So they passed the buck and put the blame on some kid making minimum wage being a grease monkey/burger flipper/register jockey, never mentioning that ultimately it is a failure of the system the owner put into place and the kids MANAGER, thus the owner didn't take responsibility.
So I get a "sorry" but no mention that they cheated my son out of his money(which he had to pay for these FREE items)NOR was their a mention of them SENDING HIM A CHECK TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR THE CASH THEY TOOK FROM HIM!
Basically it's a "Gee Kid, sorry we screwed you over and we'll try harder not to screw the next kid out of their money but we are not going to pay you back, even though we agree that we were wrong." response.
Nice huh?

So then a bit later we get an envelope in the mail......

 A letter from Corporate "Customer Satisfaction Department" with a $5 Arch Card inside.
The letter was all...."thank you for contacting us.....we appreciate hearing from our valued customers blah blah.....it's our pleasure to send you the enclosed blah blah blah....if you have any additional comments please call or write blah blah....etc."
Not a mention of "sorry we screwed up" or "sorry we didn't live up to your standards" etc.  I bet this is a standard form letter they send out whether you write them and say you are the best thing that happened in their lives or that you say you gave them food poisoning.
Just a plain unadulterated BULLSHIT Letter!
With a bribe inside.

Can you tell this did NOT please me?
I want my money back, not scrip worth more of their nasty food!!

But at this point, I am taking a big old cleansing breath and letting the stench of rancid grease leave my nostrils.
Besides......it's March and

......Shamrock Shakes are back!

Yah, I am a hardass but crumble at the mention of frozen minty vanilla dairy-like substances.


*  While we are on the subject of BULLSHIT.....
I love how much Colleges and other Higher Institutions of Learning have become snake oil salesmen!
Not really, I am being sarcastic. ;-)

So here are 2 pieces of mail we received a couple of weeks ago....

One from each of our kids colleges, made out to the "Parents of XXXX".
Look at the top envie and you might be able to make out the last line under the return address.
It says...."Final Exams Information Enclosed".

This is how they get your attention and get you to open. this. envelope.  (Unless you have gotten more than one at this point.)
If you are a parent and haven't gotten one of these yet, you are thinking, "Gee, this must be important!?  It's about my kid and their final exams this semester.....is something wrong?.....are they flunking out?......are their grades bad and they are on academic probation?.....this can't be good news, so I must read this and ASAP!"
And if you don't know any better, your blood pressure shoots up, you tear into the letter and your heart starts pounding double time.

And then you see what this Urgent Information really is.....
It's an "offer" to send your kid a "Final Exam Care Package"......a box of snacks and crap, that this company that has a "deal" with your kid's school offers to send to your kid, for the current low discount price of $55.

Yes, the school is selling you a box of Twinkies, Chips, and cheap novelty toys worth about $15 via this Care Package business they get a kickback from.  Ok, call it a commission, it's still shady for a school, a STATE FUNDED SCHOOL, to be using their student body's parents to make a quick buck(What? they don't already get enough money out of the parents??!!) because, there are parents out there who either don't have the time or just feel plain guilty because they don't personally hand pick and mail a box of snacks and novelties to their kid(s) at college during final exam time.

The literature in the sales pitch leans very heavily on "not having your kid be left out when all his friends in the dorm get THEIR cool $55 dollar box"......of junk.
Oh the shame! of having parents that don't love me enough to waste 55 of their hard earned dollars on $15 worth of ho-hos, candy bars, salty snacks, yo-yos and party hats.
All very essential requirements in order to be able to pass your final exams no doubt!  Why not just send them gift cards to Starbucks, 7-11 and Dunkin Donuts, that way they can go get 2 Ginormous Double Expressos, a 6 pack of Red Bull and a dozen Chocolate glazed donuts!

I can buy toiletries for a family of 5 for 4 MONTHS on that $55....not plunk it down on a little box of crap that will be consumed or in the trash within 3 days.

Good Lord!.....talk about treating your almost adult children like 5 year olds.....


* Thank you and love to everyone who wished me luck/prayers/advice in regards to my daughter and her "what am I doing with my life?" angst.
It's been a rough week emotionally- full of talking, yelling, planning, eye rolling, money finagling, crying, sighing, storming out of the room, and frustration.

And that was just how I was this week....

And we have come to a consensus--Daughter will finish up the semester/year where she is.  And if she still feels that what she wants to do is what we are hearing now(hey, a LOT can change in 2 months, especially when they are 19!), then she will let her current school know that she won't be coming back and she'll come home and go to school locally.  Because NOT going to school is NOT on the table as an option.
She's explored 2 local college's programs and between them, she can become what will make her happy.
The 1st one has already accepted her into the upcoming Fall semester and she is still on the fence whether to go with this one or finish the application for the 2nd school's program.

And now for my Saga Words of Wisdom when it comes to kids......
In the end, as far as your kids go, you can't live their lives for them.  You have to let them go down the road they choose.  But you can make sure they make the best choices that affect that journey by helping them explore all the options and possible scenarios each of these little decisions affects who they become, where they go and what the journey through life will be like for them.

I am more confident today that the Daughter has opened her eyes to what life can be/will be/is like after school if she stays on the road she wants to go down.  She is making more informed decisions and we have to let her make them.

She knows we have her back but we expect her to do for herself at a certain point in the future and there is no living in mom and dad's basement until you are 30 if you keep changing your mind and don't stick to something.
At least I know she won't end up like her cousin who is suppose to graduate high school this Spring, who still doesn't have his learner's permit, let alone a driver's license, nor has he gone out to get some kind of part time job even though he turns 18 very shortly, and now has decided he needs to take a year off in between high school and going to college(though he has yet to take the SATs or anything), because high school has been just so so stressful and he needs to take some time off. (Ok, I am stopping now, because I don't know how to make the Emoticon Face for WHAT I am feeling toward him, nor do you want to see what will begin spilling from my fingertips from this point on regarding this subject.)

So like Forrest Gump, that is all I will say on that subject, for now. '-)
Except to put my "view of life in a humorous light" spin on it and say I can't help feeling that given her career path now, Daughter is going to be Homer Simpson when she grows up.....




*  As for the Genealogy I have hooked up with someone(still alive)who is a cousin of my father and she has lots of family history/information for me!  I am so grateful since this line is one I have very little information for in these generations.  I have family stuff from earlier and later so this fills in info I am missing and plugs up some of the many holes.
This is the line that has the most interesting skeletons in the closet....but not in a good way, so it will be interesting to see what her "spin" of this family stuff is.
I'll just say that people and information was kept from me or lied about growing up and I didn't learn/hear the correct details until I was a 37 year old woman.
Oh heck, maybe I should save all this for the book.... 8-)

*  As for the money stuff, we are on track this month with the money.  One paycheck in with another one coming next Friday.  Bills are being paid as they come in. No unexpected expenses so far and we'll have plenty to save and put a piece of that toward the local volunteer fire dept. fundraiser too.

Ok, I lied about no unexpected expenses....
Remember the sink full of dishes yesterday?

Well I ended up loading the dishwasher for #2 Son, popping the gel tab into the door compartment and closing the door and turning the thing on.
Only the computer doesn't recognize that the door is shut.....and the latch is loose.
Since Hubs is NOT handy, we will be paying for at least a repair person and possibly a repair.
If it's the computer board, it's possible we'll be paying for a new dishwasher.
Ugh.

But at least we have ca$h to pay for that and not have to use a credit card.
And the reason we have spare cash is......
*We have a very big SHOVEL aka Hubs salary.
*We have had a fair share of luck in keeping a job(not that this doesn't involve a bit of hard work too)
*We don't spend our money on a lot of "wants".

No we aren't perfect on avoiding the unnecessary spending in life.  Goodness knows, we've had our fair share of slip ups in that department, plus our kids are always at the ready to fritter away our money!lol
But at the end of the day, we exert a good amount of mastery(aka control)over our piece of wealth.

And by combining the income with the control we were able to pay off our house in 2007.
Before the financial world around us went a little bit nuts.
And actually I dug out the paperwork and remembered that we paid the house off on March 15, 2007.
That was yesterday!
So Happy Mortgage Burning Anniversary to US!
And I am just realizing we became totally Debt-Free on the Ides of March.  Spoooooooky!!lol

Ok, my brain is emptied for now.
So what's on your mind lately?


Sluggy


2 comments:

  1. Oh, Sluggy, wait until your kids are close to graduation...Then you'll be getting envelopes like this every with them trying to sell you crap that you HAVE to have in order to graduate...Oh, and if you have an old mortgage bill somewhere, I would totally burn it!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats on the mortgage anniversary!
    Kids will make ya nuts I tell you! I always like that you are completely honest about it. It makes me feel like I'm not the only person that wants to choke one of them. It took me 3 DAYS to get Anna to sit down with me so I could help her pay her ticket!!!!I know that I should have let her do it herself but if I didn't do it the insurance could have gone up. And the BRAT had the nerve to roll her eyes at me!!!! Then we had to do FAFSA crap. Someone my get hit.
    Just drink honey.

    ReplyDelete

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