Looking For Customer Service

What ever happened to the days when people went to work, and did the job they were paid to do regardless if it is your dream job, or a job you are doing until you find your dream job? What happened to showing up to work everyday and providing the best customer service you can provide, because you signed on to give your best when you took the job you have now?

If you follow my blog, you know my husband, Bill, and I, have a daughter, Shantel, that is totally blind, but she has never let that get in the way of her living her life to the best of her ability each and everyday. She has a job in a call center, that just so happens to be in the customer service field, and she shows up everyday anxious to do her best to provide the best service she can for each and every call she takes.

The past two weeks Shantel has been working a lot of overtime, because the main call center for the company she works for is located back east, and they have been hit with extreme cold weather, that caused a lot of folks to not be able to make it into their jobs. So, all the east coast calls were rerouted to the Phoenix based call center where Shantel works. This caused Shantel to have to work ten-hour days, then deal with the two-hour Dial-a-Ride ride service two and from work. Dial-a-Ride is another whole nightmare story, in regards to customer service, but that will have to wait for another blog posting.

When I talked to Shantel today, she told me that last night she decided to treat herself when she finally got home from work, and use Uber Eats, to order her food and have it delivered to her.  I Googled Uber Eats and found the following information. “Uber Eats is a food delivery platform that makes getting great food from your favorite local restaurants as easy as requesting a ride. Uber Eats is the easy way to get the food you love delivered” Shantel has used Uber Eats several times in the past with no problems. So, because she was tired, and just wanted to order her food, eat, take a shower, and go to bed so she could get up and do her job well again the next day, she called Uber Eats and placed her order. She told me she always tells them she is visually impaired, and needs to have her order delivered to her door. In the past, this has never been a problem. However, last night, the driver called her when she was in the parking lot of Shantel’s apartment complex, and told her she didn’t want to walk to Shantel’s door with the food because it was too dark… She told Shantel she would leave her food order in the parking lot and left!! There is no way Shantel could have ever found her food order in the parking lot, and there is no way she should ever have to do that. Shantel called and made a complaint to the Uber Eats customer service line but they just told her “they will look into it”. I am beyond appalled at the lack of not only customer service by Uber Eats, but also the lack of common decency, for our fellow human beings ,by the Uber Eats delivery driver that told Shantel she would leave her food order in the parking lot and left, even though she knew Shantel is blind. If that woman was afraid to deliver the food order to Shantel’s door in the dark, perhaps she shouldn’t be working for a delivery service at night!

Shantel has also used Grubhub, which is another food deliver service, and found them to have excellent door delivery service. However, Grubhub doesn’t deliver from some of Shantel’s favorite restaurants.

Of course as her mother, I’m always upset when I hear about some of the obstacles Shantel has to deal with in her daily life. I know we all face obstacles in our lives, but sometimes I just think Shantel gets her share, and then some… However, being the beautiful, old soul ,that she is, Shantel never lets any of it get her down. She just keeps on going ,and makes the very best of what she has to work with… I asked her what she did for dinner last night since it was late, and her food order (that was already paid for) was left somewhere in the parking lot, and it was too late to start cooking dinner…? She laughed, and said “lucky for me, I found a can of soup in the cupboard”.

That’s our girl! We love you Shantel.

Stay Tuned!

 

 

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Unmarked

I’m not one to visit gravesites of the deceased. I don’t believe they are there in the grave so I see no reason to visit the gravesite. When my father died in 2006, I took my mother to visit his grave, and she would always take flowers to place on the grave. When my mother died, in 2016, and the graveside service was over, I never went back to visit her gravesite again. Again, I don’t believe she is there so what is the purpose of visiting the gravesite…? However, for the past few months, I’ve had a nagging feeling urging me to go and visit my mother’s gravesite. I shared my feeling with my husband, Bill, but again I reminded him that I don’t believe in visiting the gravesites of the deceased because they are not there…  But today, Bill, suggested we take a ride to the cemetery to visit my mother’s grave. I agreed, and off we went.

Before my parents died, they made arrangements for all their cemetery needs, from the gravesite to the grave markers, and everything was pre-paid in full. When my father died there was no problem getting his grave marker installed in a timely manner. His name and proper dates were all correctly installed on his grave marker, and there was a blank space at the bottom of his grave marker where my mother’s name and dates were to be installed…

 

When my mother died on 3/10/2016, and we met with the folks at the cemetery office, they assured us that everything was in order, and pre-paid, for my mother’s information to be installed in her space of the grave marker she would share with my father. They were both buried in the same grave as a double-decker type of grave…

Well, imagine my surprise when we arrived at the gravesite of my parents, and my mother’s information was not on the grave marker, three years after she has been dead!

 

You can see the holes in the stone where the information marker is to be placed, but no marker is there. So off we go to the office to find out what happened. Why was my mother’s information not on her gravesite stone?

After talking to the “family service counselor” on duty and explaining that my mother has been dead almost three years, and there is still no name or dates on her gravesite stone, and that all of that was pre-paid and was supposed to have been taken care of within weeks after she died… we were asked to wait in a room while the “family service counselor” went to speak with her manager. A short while later the manager came into the room and tried to tell me that the gravesite marker had never been ordered and had not been paid for. By now I’m doing all I can to try to keep some zen in my voice as I explain to him that everything had been pre-paid, and I was witness to when my parents paid for everything. I told him I could go home and get my papers (I never thought I would need to take them with me today because I never thought in my wildest dreams that her gravesite marker wouldn’t have been installed). I described the man that we met with, and the manager told us that man was no longer employed there, and there was a reason why he was no longer employed there. I continued to insist that the gravesite marker for my mother had been paid for, and at that point the manager said he was going to go back and reread the original contract and excused himself from the room. When he came back, he looked at me and asked if I’m a patient person? I mustered up a smile and said yes, but I wanted to scream I can be, but your making it very difficult!!! Then the manager said he found in the original contract where everything was pre-paid and it was their mistake and he just couldn’t be more sorry…

The manager showed us on the paperwork where the person (that was no longer working at the cemetery office) wrote on the paperwork when we met with him the day after my mother died which was 3/11/2016, “pre-paid final date (shown in the middle of the next photo. The manager said perhaps he was waiting for the final date to put on the gravesite marker.. Well I might not be the sharpest tool in the toolbox, but I know that the final date would be the date of death which for my mother was 3/10/2016, which is also listed on the paperwork. So instead of anyone picking up the phone to call and clarify, they just did nothing, and so my mother’s gravesite has gone unmarked for three years and counting… Had Bill and I not gone to visit the gravesite today, her gravesite might have stayed unmarked forever!

After a lame attempt to try to explain what might have happened, the manager looked at me, and most likely saw I was not buying any of it so he finally said “there is no excuse, this is entirely our fault, and we are going to order the gravesite marker with your mother’s information today. We will email you the proof for you to approve, and we will install it as soon as it comes back to us. He even offered to give us a memorial inscription free. I told him I wasn’t looking for anything free, I just wanted them to make her gravesite marker as we agreed upon in the first place which was to have her name, date of birth, date of death, and a cross to match my father’s marker.

So now we wait… it can take a couple of weeks to get the proof to approve, then 8-10 weeks to get the gravesite marker back and installed on her grave. That will put Bill and I into our time to leave Arizona, and make our way to South Dakota. So, because I have been reminded yet again that we have to follow-up on everything, and leave nothing to chance ,and hope good, quality, customer service will prevail… I asked them to take a picture of the gravesite marker when it is installed on my mother’s grave, and email it to me so I know it actually got properly installed this time.

When we left the cemetery, it was lunch time so we went to one of our favorite places, to get great, fast, food, Pei Wei. The next photo shows what my fortune cookie said…

 

I guess we will just have to wait and see…

Stay Tuned!

Home At Last

In my last post, I wrote about taking our motorhome into the shop to have carpet replaced in the bedroom and on one of the slide-outs (dining area). The rest of our rig has tile. We were told when we first made the arrangements to have this project done that it would take two days to complete the job. However, as with most home improvement projects, we’ve learned to hope for the best, and expect the worst… While it wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened with our home improvement projects, our two-day commitment to complete the job, quickly started turning into three days. I thought this posting would be a good time to let you know what we did for two and a half days without our home, after we spent the first trying to get our laundry done.

On day two, we decided we would go see the movie The Mule, staring Clint Eastwood. Both Bill and I enjoyed the movie and it gave us a couple of hours to sit and relax, and it took our minds off of thinking about when we were going to get our motor home back. We really were not too worried at that point because we knew we still had another day  off before we need to go back to our hosting jobs at the Visitor Center at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. After the movie, we enjoyed a lovely lunch at PF Chang’s. Then off we went back to our room at the hotel still thinking all is going well with our carpet replacement project. We decided we would make a call to get a status on where they are in regards to getting our carpet replacement completed. That’s when we were told that it was not going to be ready until Thursday,  the day we needed to go back to work.  That was NOT the answer we wanted to hear. If we would have been able to get our motor home back on Wednesday, it would have given us time to get it set up, and put back all of our belongings that we had to store in order for them to take the bed and dining area booths out to replace the carpet. In addition, we had to get our bed made up again, and get groceries for the upcoming week. We were both scheduled to work our half shift day Thursday. Now, this put us into putting the plan (B) in place. I am a big believer in always having a plan (B). Plan (B) was that I would drop Bill off at RV Renovators the next morning at 7 A.M. and I would go on to open the Visitor Center at 8:00. We were hoping  that Bill would be able to take possession of our home first thing that morning, get it back to the park and set up, and come to relieve me from the Visitor Center by 12:00 noon so I could go get the groceries (we had to really limit, and store the few groceries we had, because we knew we would be unplugged for the time our motorhome was in the shop) and try to put our home back together again so we can live comfortably once again…

On the morning of day three, we notified the morning desk clerk, at La Quinta Inn, of our situation and asked if we reserve our room for another night, and we get notified our motor home is ready, can we cancel without fees. She assured us we had until 6:00 P.M. to cancel without a fee. Good news to us. So in an effort to pass more time, and take our minds off our current situation, we went back to the movies, and saw Ben Is Back staring Julia Roberts. Seems like we had a little drug theme movie thing going on… Again, we both thought that was a good movie. Julia Roberts always delivers a great performance in my opinion.

When we returned to our hotel around 2:00 that afternoon, and were “patiently” waiting in the lobby of our hotel for our room to be cleaned, we received a call from RV Renovators letting us know our motorhome was ready. We were very excited to know we would be back in our home that day, but as a result, it cost us $50.00 to cancel the room we reserved earlier in the day. We would not have had a problem with that except for the fact that in the morning, before we went out to the movie, we told the girl at the front desk about our situation. We  explained that we are full-time RV, that we were having our motorhome carpet replaced, and that we were not sure if it would be done later that day or if we would need to stay another night. She assured us if we reserved our room that morning , for another night, we would have until 6:00 P.M. to cancel without any cancellation fees…However, when the call came in at about 2::00 p.m.  (check-in is 3:00 P.M.) and we told by the new, change of shift person at the front desk, that we needed to cancel our room for that night, we were told it was too late to cancel ,and we needed to pay for the night. We explained what the morning person told us, and were told to wait while this afternoon person checked with her manager… Finally, she came back and told us we wound need to pay $50.00 even though we never even stayed in that room at all… We just chalked it up to another case of the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing…

In the end, both Bill and I are very happy with how our carpet replacement looks, and we are VERY happy to have our home back, because there really is no place like home…

 

As a final thought, I have to say, through all of this home improvement “adventure”, both Bill and I were able to laugh, and keep our spirits up. Bill and I contribute that to some very positive changes we’ve made in our lives this year that are working very well for us.

Stay Tuned!

Where’s The Heat?

I’m an Arizona desert rat through and through, and it’s no secret that I do not like to be cold. So imagine my surprise when I heard on the news that our usually sunny, warm, Arizona winter temperatures were going to dip down to an overnight low of 28 degrees! I know it’s much colder in many other parts of the country, but those folks must like, and be able to tolerate bitter cold weather better than I. Then when I woke up and looked out our window, I see snow on the surrounding mountains…

 

What’s happening here, and who turned off the heat? I heard on the news it was warmer in Anchorage Alaska yesterday than it was in some areas of Arizona. What’s up with that?

I need to get bundled up and go for my daily walk, but ” baby, it’s cold outside…” I’ve been told I need to dress in layers when it’s cold… I don’t think there are enough layers for me to put on to get warm enough to venture out in this cold. It’s so cold, I’d rather stay inside and do the ironing until it warms up again… That’s how much I do not like to be cold.

I hope if you love cold weather you are having fun and continue to enjoy many winter activities… I, on the other hand, just want to know… where’s the HEAT… Ha! 🙂 🙂

Happy New Year

I’ve never been one to make New Year resolutions. I prefer to make positive changes in my life anytime I feel the need to do so. Throughout this year, and especially in the last few months of this year, I’ve made several changes in my life that are bringing a lot more positive energy around me, and into my life.

I’ve always been dedicated to my Catholic Faith, but this year I started dedicating even more time to my prayer life by dedicating a time of day as my prayer hour. This is in addition to my regular morning and evening prayers. I’m amazed at the difference a dedicated prayer hour has made in my life. It has sharpened my focus on what is really important, and meaningful in my life. It has allowed me to look for things in my life that tend to drain my energy, and replace those things with things that bring me positive energy. Did you know there is actually a list of “Everyday habits that drain your energy”? Well, there is, and this is what it says:

  1. Taking things personally
  2. Holding on to the past
  3. Always checking Facebook
  4. Sleeping in late
  5. Fueling drama
  6. Over stressing
  7. Having a poor diet
  8. Complaining all the time
  9. Overthinking
  10. Gossiping
  11. Not living in the moment
  12. Trying to please everyone
  13. Worrying about what others think

Some folks get so caught up in the things on the list, they don’t even realize that is what is draining their energy and causing so much negativity in their lives. Another big change both Bill and I have made in our lives is deactivating our Facebook accounts. We had a conversation one evening and discussed how much negativity is out on Facebook, and asked ourselves why we were allowing that to come into our home and our lives. Then we simply made the decision to drop Facebook from our lives, and for us, it has been wonderful. We want our friends to feel comfortable to stop by and visit us, call or text us, instead of being virtual friends on Facebook that might read a posting and hit the like button or send a heart…

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine gave me a small friendship banner. The words on that banner resonated so much with me that I have it hanging on a door in our home to remind me every day what genuine friendship is based on. This is what the friendship banner says:

“Friendship

We have genuine friendship when it is based on true human feeling, a feeling of closeness in which there is a sense of sharing and connectedness. I would call this type of friendship genuine because it is not affected by the increase or decrease of the individual’s wealth, status, or power. The factor that sustains that friendship is whether or not the two people will have mutual feelings of love and affection, genuine human friendship is on the basis of human affection, irrespective of your position. Therefore, the more you show concern about the welfare and rights of others, the more  you are a genuine friend. The more you remain open and sincere, then ultimately more benefits will come to you. If you forget or do not bother about others, then eventually you will lose your own benefit.”

H.H. The XIV Dalai Lama

That is what I want my friendship with others to be, and what I want from others as my friend. And, for me, that just doesn’t happen on Facebook.

I will continue to work on myself, my goals, and doing me throughout 2019.

I wish all of you the very best.

Happy New Year!

 

 

The Grand Mesa Colorado

Yesterday our daughter Katie Roden, took us on a lovely drive to visit the Grand Mesa. This was our second weekend out and about seeing all the beautiful fall colors,

and we were amazed at how much the colors have changed in just one week.

The Grand Mesa is “known as the largest flattop mountain in the world, encompassing hundreds of square miles and standing more than 10,000 feet above sea level. The Grand Mesa scenic byway leads through old-growth forests, aspens, meadows and so many lakes you’ll lose track”.

We drove out to what is called Lands End Observatory, a ranger observatory on the rim of the Grand Mesa. The views from Lands End Observatory are spectacular, and there are lots of little critters running all over the rocks (look closely in the middle of the rock below) looking for special treats that visitors might put out for them.

Some visitors bring huge sunflower pods filled with sunflower seeds, and leave them out for the critters to find and enjoy.

We had a special treat at Lands End Observatory too. Katie packed a wonderful picnic lunch that we all enjoyed while taking in the million dollar views.

Thank-you Katie Roden, for treating us to such a beautiful, fun-filled day.

Our time here in Colorado is quickly coming to an end. We leave Saturday to make our way back to Arizona, where we are excited to see our family and friends there, and enjoy another exciting season hosting at the Visitor Center at McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

Stay Tuned!

Colors Of Fall

This week our son Pat, and daughter-in-law Celina, took us on a spectacular drive to see the fall colors on our way to visit Crested Butte, Colorado. About an hour into our drive, we started seeing the beginning of the leaves changing colors.

For our daughter Shantel, remember when you were a little girl, and you asked me what its like to see color? And I started teaching you what colors might feel like if you could feel color? I told you colors like red, orange, and yellow might feel warm to the touch, while green and blue might feel cool to the touch. Well, the leaves on many of the trees along our drive were changing from green,

to yellow,

and in some areas, we even saw hints of red.

Before we made our way into Crested Butte, we stopped at a beautiful lake named Lost Lake. Oh, Shantel, all the beautiful colors of the changing leaves were also being reflected off the still water of the lake. So as we were looking at the leaves on the trees around the lake, we were also seeing their image reflected on the water. Even the clouds in the sky were reflecting on the water. All of these images created a peaceful, calming, feeling.

We took a short hike around part of the lake,

and around every curve of the trail was a scene more beautiful than the last. In the next picture, we were looking across the lake at trees displaying every shade of color.

And in this next picture the clouds were moving across the lake creating shadows that reflected off the water.

We left the lake and made our way into Crested Butte. What an adorable, colorful, little town. Every building in the town is painted a different color. Orange, red, blue, and green, just like the colorful leaves on the trees.

And they have the most beautiful flowers planted in big flower beds and hanging pots all along the street and sidewalks.

Aside from the magnificent colors we saw in the fall colors of the trees, the highlight of the trip for me, was when we visited a little mini donut shop where they make mini donuts fresh right in front of you, and they come with hot toppings of your choice. Papa and Pat bought six of the donuts with a variety of toppings, like hot caramel/bacon to name just one. Then, they sat outside the donut shop on a bench and ate all the donuts. But the look on their faces as they enjoyed their sweet treats just made my day. As you know I don’t eat sweets, and Celina didn’t have any either, but she stood close by and kept handing Papa and Pat napkins to wipe their hands and face after they finished each of the six donuts. I got so tickled watching them, I could hardly hold the camera straight to take some pictures.

Just before we arrived in Crested Butte, we passed a grave site and stopped to make a visit. The headstone said the person died in 1881. But there was a message engraved into the bottom of the headstone that read,

“My good people as you pass by, as you are now so once was I. As I am now you soon must be, prepare yourselves to follow me.” I thought that was a profound message on a gravesite headstone, so I included a picture of it here on my blog as a reminder to enjoy every minute of your life, and especially enjoy the donuts!

Big thanks to Pat and Celina for taking us on such a beautiful drive and spending their day showing us around Crested Butte, Colorado.

Stay Tuned!

Previous Older Entries

Wheeling It

On the Road Since 2010, Traveling Across USA & Europe With 12 Paws

The Brantley Blog

In the eyes of the law, we reach adulthood the day we turn 18 years old. God help anyone who actually believes that.

the next few years

family life..with a unique perspective of motherhood

Gotham Girl Chronicles

a mixture of random musings...life in NYC...travel...photography...cycling

Blooming Burgh Boomer

Living An Active Full Life

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