Category Archives: ways to piss me off

So?

We sold a bunch o’ stuff and donated a bunch more. My biggest frustration is that I either 1)donated the accounting with the things we donated or 2)put it into the storage unit with the items we returned there. At any rate, it isn’t in the cars. Fortunately, I DO know exactly what I took in money-wise, as I was doing a running tally with every sold item. I had $x until just before we packed and I thought that was it, and sold another item for $5 last thing. The money checked out the way it should (start cash + sales = expected $) and I would have been very surprised if it hadn’t.

But it’s annoying in the extreme that I don’t have the actual tally. I can only recreate about 1/3 of it out of my head, what sold and for what, and I’ve done that. Hopefully the stupid piece of paper is in the storage and I’ll find it tomorrow. Otherwise I have the partial tally and I’ll have to put something like (unknown qty/items) sold for $xx.xx in my accounting, and I really don’t want to do that.

The flea market was a success, both in terms of selling things and doing a major cull o’ stuff.

receipt book

Obviously, however, I have some work to do yet on actually getting organized. Or, more accurately, getting organized for not in a store event. I will probably just go buy another receipt book as that always worked before. It isn’t records I have a problem with, it’s when they’re on odd sheets of paper. I’ll fix it.

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Zero Waste?

We have always recycled. That is for nearly 40 years now. Before you get on me about recycling and its virtues: in college my husband (then roommate) and I recycled our glass bottles at our college’s glass blowing program, had the local boy scouts cued in that whenever they had a paper drive we’d contribute, etc. Later we drove to the base recycling, because it was the only one available to us, it wasn’t the town’s dump. So, okay? I believe in recycling and have always practiced it, for for 39+ years now.

So, zero waste as a concept isn’t new to me. The “movement” I see is new. I agree with it, but I think the ludicrous “posts” I see of a family of 4 having only a quart jar of waste a year to be a cheat. Why? Because if you read these blogs, etc. a lot of what you see is what you’d expect: use vinegar, home-made cleaners, permanent cleaning tools rather than paper towels, etc. But you also see things like the cheat (well, I consider it a cheat) I found which turned me off of all such blogs.

The cheat? The person bought a pair of shoes and left the shoe box with the store. That ISN’T zero waste, it’s just being nasty, giving someone else your garbage. You might just as easily take all your other waste in a plastic bag and stuff it in a municipal trash can.

recycling process

Yes, there are things you can do to lower your waste. You can deliberately find a use for something you might otherwise discard. You can buy big packages of supplies (food and otherwise) and make smaller, more convenient collections of those things yourself (preferably in something other than disposable bags). You can use rags instead of paper towels. You can not buy things with pieces which are trashed every time they’re used. You can pay attention to what you buy and what winds up in the trash. How many bags of garbage does your household generate? Can you do better? (We use 1 a week, plus recycling.)

You can also save money and avoid a huge amount of waste if you just use more of your food. Or learn how to cook, right? Prefab food generates container and packaging you don’t have if you cook yourself. Think about it: when I buy a package of ground meat at my local green market, it’s wrapped in 2 pieces of paper. [I admit, if I’d remembered, I could take a lidded, freezer-safe container with me and use that. I didn’t last time, hopefully I will next time.] Anyway, because we make our own bread, the packaging for us to get hamburgers on the table is the wrapping around the meat. Everything else comes in a big package (like a head of lettuce or bottle of catsup) and is used multiple times. Contrast that with the paper napkins, wrappers, receipt, salt, pepper, catsup packets and bag which make up a bag of 2 hamburgers from your local Mac’s. Is it cheaper? No. Is it faster? Well, my local Mac’s is 25+ minutes away, so yes it is.

food waste

But don’t tell me you’re zero waste and go to a store, buy a pair of shoes and leave the packaging. Get your shoes repaired rather than buying a new pair. Buy a used pair? Donate TWO pairs to a charity when you buy that new pair? Try making it a policy to have minimal shoes. For me that’s 5 pairs: daily shoes, snow boots, fancy shoes, sandals, house shoes. My fancy shoes, if I have them, (I don’t at the moment.) are usually either solid white or black. My daily shoes are shoes I wear when I’m going out, they tend to be walking shoes. The house shoes are slippers or slip ons I use in the house, sometimes I use socks. Honestly? If I wasn’t in a snowy climate, I could manage without the boots and could use the sandals as house shoes and for the fancy shoes too, I have previously. That would leave me with daily shoes and sandals.

For restaurant take out, you can do what a friend of mine has done for decades: put a picnic basket in your car with real plates, cloth napkins, food containers, etc. in it and ask the restaurant to package your food that way. Some fast foods may not be able to cope with that, but some can. Pay attention, do what you can, and keep looking for new ways to lower your impact on the world.

I’m not zero waste, but I admit what I do and don’t foist my garbage off on others as if that somehow makes it “vanish.” It doesn’t. The idea that the things we discard don’t count or will vanish is a lot of the reason we got where we are. So, don’t tell me you’re zero waste and foist your garbage off on someone else. If it comes with the goods you buy, it’s yours. Deal (and be honest).

I Assume This Counts!

I had 89,000 unread emails acc. to my phone.  My phone wouldn’t pick up new mail. So I started deleting the unread emails/spam and getting myself off email lists.

I’m down to just over 86,000 32,000 this morning, I think.

Tonight I removed emails and my subscription from 3 more mailing lists. Should be several hundred less unread emails, if not another thousand now.

spam folder

This is just crazy! I don’t have time to read them, but the way my email account handles it, all these emails are put into either an in box called “promotions” or “social.” I almost never look at either category. Maybe I look 1 day out of 100 — which is how I got into this mess to begin with.

Be mindful when/where you subscribe. It can create a completely different type of clutter!

J

 

 

 

What To Do?

I got the runners I’d intended to use for the stairs, yesterday. The pieces visible thru the clear plastic they were shipped in didn’t resemble what I thought I’d ordered. Looked like stripes instead of checks. I opened one.

The jute in at least one place was dark and unattractive, but the piece was sound, and striped. DH and I talked about it. It was cheap. What to do? We decided to return it. If the image had resembled what’s here, I never would have ordered it. I cannot imagine using striped anything on a staircase, good way to set yourself up to fall. I do NOT want an optical illusion on my staircase or anything which might confuse us about where the edges are.

During the talk with their customer service person I said it wasn’t defective, it isn’t, it’s whole and sound. Looks like hell, but it’s sound. They wanted $33+ (on a $60 order) to return the 3 pieces. I arranged, finally, to pay to ship the things back to them, without them charging me 1/2 of the cost in a shipping charge. (Shipping had been free.)

So, after all of this, I am feeling rather like I’ve just been ripped off. The image, although it’s the right colors and materials and says it’s the right line, only vaguely looks like what arrived. Because of the conversation about the  insane shipping return fee, I went looking for reviews.

What has happened to me has happened to others. Apparently, they are a thinly veiled bait & switch company. They buy up goods from other companies, sell the best stuff, and the worst they don’t change the image, and make it difficult/impossible to return.

When I got up this  morning, I had all but resolved not to return the stuff, as I can probably get about 1/3- 1/2 of my $ back selling them thru the booth. But I have since decided against that too. Even if they charge me for the package I opened with the dark jute (arrived that way, as I said, I had the package open < 1 hour before I asked for a return authorization), it’s $20. If they try to charge me for the 2 packages I never opened? The easy answer for that is to take pictures, lots of pictures, before I ship the return, today.

Is it worth it? At this point, the way I feel is that either:1) they’re a legit company and they’ll do it right or 2)they’re creeps and even if I only get $20 back, I do, and it will cost them more to process it and deal with me and 3)Whether I get all my $ back or none of it, I will tell my friends, however it works out. I know how retail and mail order work and are supposed to work. I ran a mail order business for 10 years. I will make noise, a lot of it, file a complaint with the BBB, etc.

They sent me a customer service survey right after I talked to whoever to get the authorization. I won’t fill it out until I find out what they’re going to do.

First time I’ve really regretted closing my FB account. Having 500 “friends” online to post about this might just have guaranteed my getting all the $ back.

We’ll see. Continue reading

We Got Our Second

gallon of paint today! We might have had enough, but it was going to be really tight, so we ordered another gallon. DH has a reason to be in the same town as the only dealer selling this paint in our state. We bought the last gallon of this color/finish they had a month ago or so. We called, twice, to see if they would have it in stock when he went next week. They couldn’t be bothered to talk to me when I called or call back when I left a message the next day. So much for them.

Their FB page says they “treat their customers like family.” Yes, I had a family like that. I got rid of them. They could have, if nothing else, asked for my email and said we’ll send you a note after hours. Would have taken about 4 minutes. Or asked me if I was on FB and said “Send us a note there, okay?”

We ordered the new paint from the manufacturer, overseas. Between mileage and wear and tear on the car, not to mention the 2 hour drive time each way, we figure the $20 extra it cost us we saved in time, wear on the car, and gas — so it’s probably a break-even proposition.

My only regret is that I gave them a 5 star rating on FB when we first bought the paint. I tried and FB won’t let me delete it. However, I intend to put up a 2nd rating. I’m going to wait until I’m not quite so mad. I get that you have to deal with the customer in front of you — I did retail for 30 years! I get that there’s a point where it isn’t worth your time to deal with a  small order, or so it appears at the time. However, not everyone is a big-ticket customer and small customers in sufficient quantity can be better than a few really big ones. You lose one of the big ones and you’re in deep trouble. You lose one small customer? It’s probably not so bad.

I had been talking these people up to anyone and everyone. And I’ll continue to talk about them, but not the same way. There’s a few really true things said about retail: location is everything, 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers, and a happy customer usually tells 3 people, an unhappy one tells 10.

You’re my 10, or more. . . .

 

Dear Pollsters:

  1. Yes I am registered to vote.
  2. Nothing you say, no matter how you load your wording, is likely to change my vote. (I’m a writer/editor, I play with words for effect too!)
  3. I will NOT watch the debate tonight. Why? I don’t have a TV.
  4. You do not know what 2 minutes is, or 4, for that matter. You really ought to buy a stopwatch, or use that function in your cell phone.
  5. I will vote, if I have to do it from my death bed.

 

Annoyances

 

I’m getting a shortish fuse.

Hm.

Last time this happened I was seeing my therapist and working on the house. This time, it really doesn’t feel like it’s about the house. It feels like it’s because I haven’t been able to “let my hair down” since June when my therapist retired.

The funny thing that resulted from my being more easily annoyed is related to a method I found to categorize chores. I’d already broken them down into “shorts” and “longs,” that is things which had to happen in the next few days or longer than that. Decided that I wanted to be more specific and a graphical representation, so I replaced shorts with “rabbit” tasks and longs with “kangaroo” tasks. Kind of cutesy, but okay. Today I was thinking about how to further divide this and deal with the annoying things I have to do almost every day, and I came up with an entire scale:

  • flea (annoying — has to be done today!)
  • rabbit (the coming week)
  • kangaroo (the coming month)
  • 7 league boots (the current quarter)
  • herding continents (the general direction I want to go)

I could see how dividing things this way might lead to my actually being organized, accomplishing my goals, both short and long. Pretty bizarre if you’re me! It could be something like this. . .

Month Week 1: Review day and week chores. Week 2: Review daily, weekly and monthly chores. Week 3: Review those and add quarterly chores. Week 4: Review everything, Alter or change as needed.

Not complicated, but forward thinking. I don’t think I can do this; I’ve never been able to before  — and has that ever stopped me from trying another approach?

Never.

So it may be one more futile attempt to do an end-run around the PTSD which is terrified that if I’m actually finishing things or accomplishing something people will see my fatal flaws, or it won’t, because I’ve finally, finally done enough work to get past it.

I have no idea.

I also have no idea about why I’m getting mad so much. The only thing I can think to do to counter it, aside from start with a new therapist (not really an option) is to start swimming again — dopamine is my friend!

We’ll see. But I’ve spent a large part of today being annoyed at somebody or something. Not my normal and a usual indicator that something is brewing down in the PTSD pit. First time this has happened since the therapy ended.

Wow I made it a whole 2 months — how’s that for sterling mental health? Only cost probably about $1,000,000 and took me 55 or so years. Terrif.