Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Travel...

So I know what you are all thinking. This post is about the woes of airline travel on the 2nd most busy time of the year. The news people are going bananas on how the airports are madness, parking is nightmarish, crowds at the security checkpoints are out the terminal, blah...blah....blah....

So Sharkey and I started our travels to the Mid West yesterday. We also took my Mom to the airport who was traveling to NC to see my brother and his family. So we started off to get to the airport 3 hours before all of our flights. Here's how MADDENING Thanksgiving travel went for us ON THE 2ND BUSIEST TRAVEL DAY OF THE YEAR!!!!

1. We get to the airport and use the off site parking service total elapsed time 15 minutes.

2. We arrive at the terminal and check our bags. Humm... not too many people here yet, total elapsed time 10 minutes.

3. We get to security, hey look the line isn't so bad again, total time through security 10 minutes

So we now have 2 hours and 25 minutes before our flight. We have some Sabarro pizza, I finish my graduate paper that's due Monday, and we just sit around before our flight.

So the plane takes off, on time, we land, we get to baggage claim and our bag arrive in, no joke, 5 minutes. So at this point I'm thinking "do I say out loud this was the most non-problematic travel ever, naahhh better not, still have to pick up the rental car." So we pick up the rental car, (Saturn Aura, hey it's not bad, pretty sweet ride actually) total time 5 minutes, and here we are driving in the frozen land known as Minnesota.

So Happy Turkey Day to all!!! Wear your fat pants!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

You Know You Are In Trouble When....

1. You are mentoring with someone who says, "I don't know what to do. I'm at a loss" then asks you what you think he should do...

2. You go to sip your brewed tea and the thermal mug is too hot to hold, but you foolishly decide to take a sip anyway...

3. You pick up your wife's camera bag and her Nikon D70 falls 4 feet to the floor lens first...

4. You bite into your sweet & sour chicken lunch plate and it has neither sweet nor sour taste...

5. You install the Apple MacBook automatic update and are no longer able to use your HP Multifunction printer...

Sad but true... All of these things happened to me in the past two weeks. You really cannot make this stuff up. I think that's why Seinfeld is so funny, he points out that things are CRAZY for real!!

So of course after all this stuff happens you have no choice but to drown your sorrows with a milkshake.... A Wawa milkshake:


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

One of the Best Gifts Ever

This year for my birthday Sharkey gave me these:


You Follow Your Dreams

You Laugh At My Jokes

You Give Great Hugs

You Keep My Secrets

You Keep Me Warm

Just to name a few. See almost every day I have to wear a dress shirt, and this gift reminds me how much Sharkey loves me without anyone else really knowing. Pretty cool, no?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Customer Service, a Golden Apple

If you remember, JP is a stickler for good customer service. I have found that good service today does not come around very often. So when it does you have to tell other people about it.

So recently to support Sharkey's photography hobby which is quickly becoming a side business, we purchased her an Apple MacBook Pro.

Since I go to Graduate School, I get a discount on Apple equipment, also nabbed her the new Adobe Photoshop CS3 suite at like 1/5 the actual price (thank you academic software discount!!!),

and a free iPod through a rebate deal.

So here's where my awesome purchase took a turn. The order was hosed up because my wonderful credit card company "protected" me from fraud by denying the entire Apple purchase, which they perceived to be a red flag, out of the ordinary spending profile for JP, purchase. So I straighten things out with the credit company telling them, "Um, guys I really am purchasing that much equipment," and then call Apple to have them retry the authorization. So the iPod and Adobe software shipped, but the MacBook Pro was held up and the customer service guy couldn't reauthorize my card, but had to issue another order for the MacBook Pro and assured me it would not invalidate the iPod rebate.

So today of course my rebate was denied. I called the rebate service and they told me because of the legality of the offer, they couldn't give me the rebate and asked if I'd like to be transferred to Apple Customer Relations to file a complaint. So I'm like "You better believe it, this totally sucks that your guy told me incorrect information." So I talk to Customer Relations and they put me on hold for 10 minutes while they investigate my options. So on hold, I'm figuring out which appropriate response I'll use next:

1. I need to talk to a manager (with strong voice)
2. I'm returning the iPod and want my money back (with annoyed/strong voice)
3. I'm going to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (with pissed off, bat you in the crotch voice)
4. So wait, because I listened to your rep, which invalidated my rebate I have to eat the iPod (with determined, logical, come on see it my way, nice voice)

So the rep gets on the phone and says, "I cannot give you the rebate due to legal reasons, but I talked with our sales division and hey agreed to credit your card the amount of the rebate." And here I was getting ready to use response 4, and she cut me off. But I was impressed that they did give me what I wanted. And let's face it, in the end, isn't that what it is all about?