Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Version

Ok, just for this post I am dispensing with the "new" version of myself. The more calm, relaxed, attempting-to-look-for-the-positive in the situation type of person I have attempted to become as I've been growing up...

For this blog, I am completely (minus the gratutious profanity) reverting back to my college-age, semi-rage-infused, punk-rock quoting, bleached mohawk toting, screaming-metal-listening, ranting-at-the-world version of myself.

What you ask could possibly bring me back to this state of mind?

Dell. Customer. Service.

I use the word "service" loosely.

This has not been a good week. I am finally recovering from the plague that hit our family over the Christmas holiday - the good thing is that I work from home, so I didn't have to miss any work...until my hard drive crashed. Thankfully Aaron and I just recently backed up all of our files on our external drive, so I wasn't worried about data being lost.

However it meant that we needed to buy a new hard drive (about $70) and because for some reason Dell doesn't give you the re-install Windows discs when you buy their computers anymore, we had to call Dell and get them to send them to us.

So I called.

First of all let me tell you how insane it is that if your warranty is expired with Dell, you can't use any of the technical service features on their website - you have to call them and get routed to Bangaloor.

I understand large companies trying to cut costs by outsourcing, but I take issue with the fact that they don't TRAIN their customer service reps in other countries well! This guy had no clue how to even abbreviate or spell the state I am in! Honestly, if I hadn't had a pediatrician from India when I was a kid, there's no way I'd be able to understand any of the reps I talked to this morning.

That's right.



The first time I called I was routed to four different people, all of whom took my name (using the "I as in India" method of spelling), the service tag ID number from my laptop and my phone number. I explained my simple problem and was promptly sent to the next person with an inexplicably thick accent to deal with. The fourth and final guy I spoke with was in the sales department and tried to get me to spend $150+ for a new Windows 7 system.

Up until this point I had been very calm. That was the last straw.

Dell Rep #4 - "So if you give me your credit card number I can get this new system sent to you."

Me - "That's not happening. I don't need the system. What I need is the re-install discs for Windows Vista."

Dell Rep #4 - "We don't sell Windows Vista anymore, only Windows 7."

Me : (pausing to reflect on the genius that is Microsoft) "That's great because I don't need to buy Windows Vista, I just need the RE-INSTALL disc."

Dell Rep #4 - "So I am ready to take your credit card information to pay for your new Windows 7 operating system."

Me: (now seeing red, my nice calm tone gone) "FOR THE LAST TIME I DON'T WANT WINDOWS 7!"

Dell Rep #4 - "If you don't want to purchase a new operating system, why did you call this number."

Me: "I DIDN'T CALL THIS NUMBER - I WAS know what, screw this!" (click)

I took a moment, got a glass of water, chewed some gum and tried again.

Phone call #2

They only routed me to two different techs this time before I got to someone who might have a shot at helping me.

I explained my problem, what I needed and proceeded to repeat it to this guy at least 6 times. I was rapidly running out of ways to say, "Send me the Windows re-install discs I need."

Me: "Ok, so you understand? I don't need new software, I don't need a new computer. My hard drive crashed. I bought a new hard drive and need the RE-INSTALL disc for Windows Vista - the operating system that was previously installed on the computer I bought from you. Got it?"

Dell Rep #6: "Ok ma'am (don't even get me started on THAT), I just need to charge you $59 for this phone call to technical support since your laptop is no longer under warranty."

**I contemplate throwing the phone down the hall, but instead take a breath and...**

Me: "Don't you DARE try to charge me $59 for technical support on this worthless phone call! The last thing I need is your so-called technical support! I need you to take 5 minutes and wrap up the RE-INSTALL DISCS FOR WINDOWS VISTA THAT SHOULD HAVE COME WITH THE COMPUTER I PURCHASED and mail them to me immediately!"


Dell Rep #6: "Ok, yes, thank you ma'am I will send them to you right away. I just need your mailing address.

So after another 30 minutes of me spelling out my mailing address at least 5 times using the D as in Dumb and W as in Waste of Time method, he finally got me the dispatch confirmation # for the cds. They should be here in 3-5 days. Oh and they didn't charge me anything for the call or for the discs.
If those discs are not in my hands by mid-day Thursday of next week, I'm calling Dell and going on a rampage the likes of which have never before been witnessed. Except maybe that one time I went off on an R.A. at Grace my Freshman year.

Now that my morning has been taken up with being on speakerphone while working at the office since I can't work at home...I'll leave you with this final image.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The First Two Months...

This weekend marks our 2 month anniversary...we've been married 2 months already...I know to some of you who read this blog and have been married for years or even decades, that seems so miniscule and almost insignificant.

Well it isn't to me! And since this is my blog, I'm going to revel in the fact that I've been marrierd to my best friend in the world for 2 whole months...that being said...

It hasn't been an easy 2 months - Aaron still isn't getting anywhere near full time hours at work and I'm not getting full time hours either, so its a struggle to patch together the hours and balance out the bills each month. We are still living with my faboulous in-laws, we have the entire upstairs 'apartment' area to ourselves (minus only a kitchen), so it is definitely do-able, but not what we imagined our life together would be like when he proposed this past January...

I'm finding it a struggle to reconcile what I want with what is and not only that, but to be okay with the fact that life isn't matching up with the picture in my head. Focusing on the positive has been harder for us this particular Christmas season than it has in the past, and so I am constantly trying to remind myself of what we are thankful for:

  • A place to live, even though it isn't our own

  • Family who cares enough about us to help and make sure we have that aforementioned place to live!

  • We are both employed, even if it is part-time and are amazingly doing what we love in our professions

  • We're learning to delight in the small things, the simple things like weekly coffee dates and classic movie dates at home - spending time together and finding ways to laugh and enjoy the season despite the worry and stress over jobs and bills

  • Our church family who is so encouraging and has opened their arms to us allowing us to minister in ways we love (Aaron leading worship and me teaching pre-schoolers)

  • Creativity...we both have it in spades and it has helped us out so many times these past few months as we worked with a Christmas budget, weekly food budgets (thanks Mom for teaching me how to shop for groceries on a tight budget!) and other unexpected expenses (like 4 new tires for the car).

Most of all I am thankful for those daily reminders God puts in front of me, constantly telling me that this is temporary, He knows that we're struggling and we do have so much to be thankful for even during those times I just want to give up.

Today I was reminded of exactly what Christmas is all about and how simple family traiditons can mean so much by reading one of my favorite blogger's recent updates. You can find her blog at: Her blog today was all about a new tradition she started with her family: The Jesse Tree. It was a beautiful reminder of what our view of Christmas should be.