For Your Protection

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credit card   Technology has beat me down again; this time in the form of my credit and debit cards. Lucky me, all of my cards expired at the end of January. Yes, ALL of them. So now I am a hobo with no cash (pretty much the same thing I was before). But now, I have no identity either. My debit card never arrived even though I remember filling out a change of address form last year. I didn’t sweat it too much. But when two other cards never arrived either, I had to start wondering what the hell is going on? I don’t know if it is the fault of the companies or the fault of the fabulous U. S. Postal service but something isn’t right. How can 3 different cards NEVER arrive? We have a locked mailbox. We also have a mailwoman who I am convinced is a binge drinker (often on the job). You do the math.

I first called the card company for the card with the most money on it. So, I call and wait for 30 minutes to talk to a human. I have entered all of my personal information already and answered security questions. A woman who speaks very little English comes on the line. She asks me a series of more questions for “security purposes”. I answer those as well. I explain the situation and finally get her to understand. She looks up the address on file and it is in fact the address I currently live at. She tells me that they mailed my new card on Dec. 15th. I said ok, but I never received it! She tells me I will have to file for a replacement. Why do I have to file for anything? You messed up, not me. In order to file for a replacement, you need to have a driver’s license with your current address. Well, of course my license has my old address on it. I ask if there is another way. She said if I had 3 forms of another kind of ID and a current bill that I could fax those in but only after a 5 day waiting period. I start getting a bit irritated because now this sounds like work. She gets snippy with me and says this is to ensure MY safety. Well congratulations morons, you have ensured that the authorized user of the account can’t gain access to it. I feel so much better now.

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The Value Of A Dollar

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money   I find it humorous that some forms of money are more acceptable than others. Money is money, right? Sorry if it isn’t convenient for you but it’s all I’ve got! We seem to have become a society where cold hard cash is frowned upon. Is that because people are unable to count change back (they are)? If you are at the grocery store and pay with cash, people stare at you like you are some sort of freak. Yes, I still carry cash (if I have any). I am a fan. If you have the nerve to try writing a check, watch out! It is frowned upon for sure. Even the 80 year old grandmas get snubbed with a move like that. Swipe your card and keep the cattle line moving.

I am trying to teach my daughter the value of money. She has been saving for a few months to go on a Dollar Store outing. Today was the day. She had saved $25 so she was all excited. She carefully picked out her items. We went to the checkout and I let her handle everything herself. The cashier was one of the rudest people I have ever dealt with. She wouldn’t even address my daughter even though she is the one making the purchase. My daughter went to pay and the cashier really started in. Sure, the money is a bit crumpled, a lot of it is ones and it isn’t all facing the same direction. She has been carrying it around in a little mermaid purse. Who cares? Humor the kid. Nope, she was rolling her eyes and let out several heavy sighs. I get that being a cashier sucks, I have been there. But, it is in fact your job so don’t take it out on my girl. The cashier finally says “Is there anything ELSE I can do for you?!” I said “No, you have done quite enough.” My daughter asked if she had done something wrong. I assured her that not all people are like that (I hope that’s true) and maybe this woman was just having a bad day. In the end, we came home with a huge bag of crap. I can’t wait until the heads and arms start falling off the Barbie dolls. Maybe next time we will opt for more quality (product and customer service). I wonder where we could find that.

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Chaos At The Carnival

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signature pic     Cake walks, fishing with a clothespin on a string, face painting and ring toss. Yep, tonight was the school carnival. And yes, it all costs money. Then, there’s the added bonus of paying for photos, cotton candy, popcorn and whatever else they can think of to soak us with (we had to pay to duct tape the teachers too). I have no problem supporting the school but with all the book fairs, field trips, and bake sales throughout the year I am about broke. But, I took my daughter and her friend to celebrate the cause and of course they had a great time. I however am now sitting in the recliner tending to my aching feet and back.

With hundreds of parents, their kids, teachers, volunteers and babies filling up the school it was about 100 degrees in there. Sticky stuff was all over the floors, kids were throwing fits and tensions were running high. Parents were getting a bit cranky to say the least. People were slamming into each other and stepping on each other’s feet. Lines were long and kids were hopped up on sugar and running wild. Tantrums were everywhere you turned. I don’t understand why parents don’t stand up to their bratty children and tell them “Fine, we are going home if you can’t act decent!” They don’t though, they try to reason with a screaming kid. Has this ever worked??

As I stood there watching the cake walk, I was entertained by one mother who was making a complete fool of herself dancing around John Travolta style. When the music stopped, of course she was on the winning number. With 19 other children dying to win a cake, couldn’t you give it to one of them?? Not her, she grabbed the first cake she could find and starting biting right into it then and there. She walked past me and said “Oh, I saw you behind me in line and I thought there is another mom. But then, you didn’t even participate!!” And gave me a dirty look. I said “Well, I try to refrain from being an asshole.” I thought this was about the kids already. Just when I thought I had about all I could stand, I saw the sign in the picture up above that explains to the kids how to write a letter. Now, I am no grammar Nazi but if you can’t even spell signature, don’t try to teach how to use it. And of course, it is posted up in my child’s classroom. I guess we better have a few more bake sales to buy some dictionaries.

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The Inflation of the Green Bean

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small school lunch     This school lunch thing has my undies in a bunch. Why the heck does it cost so much?? The portions are miniscule. And, it is still the same old slop it has always been. We used to get mounds of it but now the kids are practically starving to death. I pack my daughter a lunch almost daily. There are only a few things on the menu that she has any interest in eating. And, I can’t blame her. Now that we are striving for diversity, I don’t even know what some of the stuff is. No matter what you get, there is never enough of it. So, on days when she does eat, she always wants seconds. Here is the latest scam: she went up for seconds and was told that she couldn’t have any. When she asked why, she was told that she only had enough money for vegetables. 4 kernels of corn or 3 string beans now costs $2.00?? If she wanted a second piece of pizza, that would require $4.00. Can I just order a big ass pizza from Domino’s for $5.00 and have it delivered to her at school? Or, can I send in a few cans of Veg-All and earn her some credit?? If my kid is hungry, feed her. I will square up with you. I am sending a 5 dollar bill with her tomorrow for 2 chicken nuggets. I wonder if that will cover it? I better pack her a snack just in case. I look forward to the end of the school year!

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Does Anyone PAY In This Business?

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no money   So, I worked my butt off to earn my degree with honors. I searched for work until I came to the realization that with the high cost of daycare and the low wages my field has to offer, I would actually be PAYING to go to work. I started Plan B; becoming a Freelance Writer. Little did I know, that actually meant writing for FREE.

It isn’t easy for me to accomplish something during a typical day. I have a small child at home who is quite demanding. If you don’t respond promptly, she WILL throw something at you. She is a total monster and the sweetest thing simultaneously. It is wonderful to be home raising her. But, my day consists of cooking, cleaning, serving my family; repeat. I am a good multi-tasker but some days are a challenge even for me.

With all of that going on, deadlines are tough to meet. But, I do it. Even if it means I am working one handed with a kid asleep on my lap or at 4am when the house is finally quiet. I have done my part. I have produced many articles that have been published and have been very popular. But, the companies still won’t pay! Even the ones I have contracts with. Each place claims they are a month behind with billing, they are going through some managerial changes, blah, blah, blah. It has now been three months in some cases and I am still sitting here empty handed. I don’t mind volunteering to write some articles but that agreement needs to be understood by both parties. Not, Surprise! We decided we don’t want to pay you. Maybe it is time to move on to Plan C…

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Blindly Agreeing to Anything

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terms of agreementHow often have you fallen victim to these Terms of Agreement? Of course we are going to accept them because we want whatever the product is and we want it now. Nobody reads these things. Could you imagine how much of your life you would spend scouring over legal mumbo jumbo? But, it will come back to bite you in the ass. I have found myself arguing with many “Customer Service Specialists” only to discover that yes, I DID agree to those terms. They can and do put anything in there.

One scam I suckered in for lately was a shiny new credit card. I was already “pre-approved” and just had to go online and accept the offer. So, I did and checked the little box that said: Accept Terms. When the card arrived, I found out that I had been charged $100 just to activate the card in order to use it. What kind of deal is that? Turns out, a pretty good one…for the credit card company.

It seems like every corporation is out to get you. Another thing that kills me is the interest we are all getting charged. It will already be a miracle if I manage to get my student loans paid off in my lifetime. Then, I find out I owe thousands on top of that total in interest. And, it just keeps adding up. It is a pretty daunting thought. Get ready world, I am going to come up with my own “Terms of Agreement” and present them to anyone I come in contact with. Maybe I should reconsider getting that hermit pad in the mountains…

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Selling Stupid

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consumers I wish I had enough sense to come up with a completely useless product that would make me millions of dollars. Putting googly eyes on a rock and calling it a “pet”. Why didn’t I think of that?? I guess maybe I was giving consumers too much credit. But, after seeing the snuggie craze where grown adults are wearing a blankie with sleeves, anything goes.

People will buy anything! Antenna balls? Not only did it look stupid, people were paying 5 bucks for those things. What about that damn singing fish? Annoying, redneck and could it possibly fit in with any décor? I know we all love our pets but what’s up with the complete wardrobe for our dog? He looks like an ass and you know all the other pooches are making fun of him. I could understand a sweater for one of those rat looking dogs who has no other means of keeping warm. But, the tutus, rhinestone collars, rain boots and leather jackets have to go. The last ridiculous thing I must mention are Nikes in a size 0-3 months for $50. Does baby really need a new pair of kicks? She doesn’t go anywhere. She can’t even walk. I just can’t justify it.

Maybe I have been going at this all wrong. My time has been spent making other people money when I should have been at home dreaming up the next piece of junk. It’s not too late…Keep your eyes open for great new products in 2015 that you just can’t live without! 😉

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Let’s Party!

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school party  It sure is getting expensive to be a fourth grader these days. I’m not talking about the skinny jeans and the hoodies either. I’m just referring to the endless parties and activities. Every week there are 2 or 3 money sucking events that they get the kids all riled up about. I am all for supporting my kids’ education but public school is breaking the bank.

It’s picture day ($50), pizza night ($40), book club ($30), field trip time ($40), someone’s birthday ($20), a school program ($40), or time for more lunch money ($30). I really can’t take it. They have a party for everything and it’s always play time. Where is the math, reading or social studies? I am glad we are teaching our kids to be social butterflies, but, can’t we move on to a new lesson? Should I be concerned that my daughter’s 4th grade teacher can’t spell fourth? I guess you can’t really blame her. With all of these fun things going on, who has time for a spelling lesson?