Friday Reflections…Exhaustion…And How To Cope In A World Of Stress

Dearest Readers:

Today is Friday…a day of looking forward to the weekend. As for me, it is another day of exhaustion.

Why? Allow me to explain…Undoubtedly, this week has pushed me to the limit, starting with Tuesday. Early Tuesday morning, my husband and I had to be at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Hubby was scheduled for an eye lift. We arrived on time. Checked in at the kiosk and waited…like everyone does for their name to be called for prep. The waiting area was packed! Hubby was scheduled to arrive at 9:00 am. We were early. Parking was an issue, so we used the valet for parking. After check-in, hubby waited impatiently for his name to be called. The procedure was scheduled for 11 am. And so, we waited…and waited…and WAITED!

I don’t recall the time when his name was called, although by the time, I made a few friends, chatting with the ladies in attendance, checking my phone for e-mails, calls and of course, dearly beloved(???) Facebook.

About two hours after the procedure began, the doctors spoke with me, letting me know the surgery was successful and he might have a bit of bruising. The bruising arrived later! After he was cleared for dismissal, we gathered our things and left. On the way home, Phil’s eyes began gushing a ‘bit of fluid…’ AKA — BLOOD!

When he got home, I encouraged him to rest, relax, keep his head back and let the ice pack ease his discomfort. By now, the fluid is streaming down his face. I checked the list of instructions from the hospital, dialed the number for an emergency…having much difficulty getting through. About 15 minutes later, with his face streaked with blood, we were told to get back to the hospital at E-R. Phil did not wish to go back. I stood firm. “This isn’t open for negotiations…Get in the car.”

Reluctantly, he followed me, telling me I was “really being bossy!”

Perhaps! I suppose I don’t deal with a grown man behaving like a two-year-old! Upon arrival, Phil was rushed back to E-R…the doctors and nurses settled him in bed and the eye doctor was called. The eye clinic closes at 4:30. Fortunately, the doctors were still at the eye clinic, so they rushed down. I must compliment Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, their staff and volunteers…what a difference they are from another time and visit where I wanted to claw the eyes of a nurse out…but I am not a violent person. [Incidentally, that experience is posted on my blog, if you care to read it.] I believe in diplomacy…or “killing with kindness…” Never did I have to invite my Julia Sugarbaker style to kick in. Everyone at the hospital was kind, courteous and helpful to us. Never did I have to request anything. Such a difference! Maybe the hospital, along with the VA, is getting their act together now. Thank you, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center…I do believe Ralph H. Johnson would be proud of you!

The complication with the bleeding was a result of Phil taking his blood thinners a few days before surgery. After the doctor cleared the blood and got it to stop, his eyes were severely swollen and as black as midnight. He reminded me of a raccoon…or someone who was in a violent fight — and lost. Everyone who has seen Phil has joked about me finally getting my revenge with him and beating the H— out of him. Rest assured…I am not a violent person. Even though I grew up in a family of domestic violence and severe child abuse…where shouting, beating, cursing and knocking each other around was almost a daily ritual, I have never been a violent person. Even when my youngest sister slapped me, I simply wiped my face and walked away. I refuse to become another domestic violence statistic. Whenever I am mistreated, I crawl inside myself, a tactic I learned as a child, and I walk away…so the black eyes are simply a result of surgery.

Phil has been at home the remainder of this week. I must say, having to take care of him, making certain he applies the ointment, rests…applies the ice pack…and doesn’t bend down…has been quite a chore. Tuesday evening I was too exhausted to open my mail. Now, I have four days of mail stacked high. I haven’t opened any of it. Most of it will be shredded, including the never-ending catalogs I did not request. The usual clutter of mail many of us get…so no doubt, my starving shredder will be stuffed with the junk mail I will shred. I do recall getting a catalog from Montgomery Ward’s…didn’t they go out of business years ago?

Sleep has been a major issue for me this week. Monday night — no sleep. Too afraid of what I might have to face on Tuesday, especially since Phil is a heart patient, having the tendency to do what he wants and not what the doctor advises. Tuesday night, I carried my cell phone to the bedroom — something I NEVER do, in the event Phil needed me. His doctor advised him to sleep in the recliner, so I placed his cell phone on the table next to the recliner, with instructions to phone me if he needed me. On Wednesday — now sleep deprived for two if not three days — I was a total B—-! Compared to Julia Sugarbaker, I was truly the wicked witch of the Southeast! Not a Southern Belle…not a Steel Magnolia…just an exhausted, raving B—-! I was so physically exhausted that I wanted to run away from myself.

Wednesday afternoon I managed to go grocery shopping. Since I am doing Weight Watchers, I needed fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, almond milk and bread. How I prayed that no one would get in my way! While driving home, I had a serious discussion with myself, realizing that I was so grouchy — actually BITCHY — because of fear. The last time Phil had a procedure at the VA Hospital, he had a problem with his breathing. I suppose I have learned to keep these fears within myself while recognizing I needed to relax and say a prayer to God, thanking Him for keeping Phil safe. I suppose the gushing blood from his eyes horrified me. He absolutely looked like a monster from a horror movie. I needed to breathe…inhale…exhale…relax…and SLEEP!

Wednesday night I managed to sleep – finally. Thursday morning I awoke at 9:15 — too late to attend a Weight Watchers meeting. Refreshed, but still a bit tired I decided I needed to exercise. I worked out on the treadmill for 31 minutes, aerobics for 35 minutes. Much to my surprise, I felt amazing after my workout!

Today is Friday. A day to reflect. No doubt I haven’t lost weight this week, but on a positive note, I’ve discovered ways to make one of the “two B’s in my name,” recover and relax. I must remember to appreciate the little things in life. The warmth of sunshine. A warm lick from my precious, beloved animals…and mostly, I must appreciate that my husband came through the procedure with only a mild complication that the staff at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center worked quickly and extremely professional to resolve.

Now, I must get on the treadmill…afterwards, I will tackle the mountain of laundry I must fold after doing laundry yesterday…and I must attack that stack of mail. My shredder will be so full and happy as it gobbles the stack of unwanted mail.

Hopefully, next week will be a better week…more relaxed and quiet…with a weight loss!

My Friday Reflections…I hope your week was much better!

Sears Continues To Call — Renewal of Warranty???

Dearest Readers:

Those of you who read my posts on a regular basis will recall the saga of my Sears issues…remember the issues I had with getting my washing machine repaired. It took over three weeks — almost two weeks JUST to get a technician out to check it to determine I needed a computer board….and then, it took over one week to get the part sent to us for the repair. What a joyous three weeks that was!

Moving on…Sears phoned me moments ago. This is at least the third time someone has called to remind me I need to purchase a new warranty for my refrigerator.

DUH!?! I asked the kind telemarketer on the phone what type of IDIOT would I be to purchase a new warranty when it takes Sears over three weeks to repair something? My Julia Sugarbaker demeanor kicked in… I reminded her that IF my refrigerator died, I would probably be told it will be ‘three weeks before we can schedule a technician to check your appliance…– due to the holidays????” That seems to be the apparently scripted response when I call the toll-free number to schedule repairs. I’ve had this history with Sears from the beginning – I’m thinking it could be about two years ago when I first used the Sears appliance repair center.

I thanked the kind lady for calling but I told her I would be a complete and total idiot to agree to buy another warranty from Sears.

Can’t help being curious WHEN they will phone me again.

“Yes…this is Julia Sugarbaker styled “Barbie” and I am so not interested in any warranties from Sears. I’ll take my chances. Besides, I can’t help being a bit curious — IF it takes three weeks to get service on a washing machine, TWICE — just HOW long would it take to get service for a refrigerator. I imagine the entire fridge would smell oh so delightful by the time they arrived. Now I ask you, Sears — why would I be so stupid as to spend my hard-earned money to waste it on Sears Warranties!”

To quote Julia Sugarbaker — I DON’T THINK SO!

The Saga of Laundry Day at Sears…

Making certain I am posting this on my site, and not Sears. After I posted on their site, they responded — almost immediately — giving me a case number, saying someone would get back with me and they reprimanded me a bit. Oh well. I shall be nice! Yes, I received a phone call about 45 minutes ago while working out. Someone from Sears (and I am writing their names down now) is checking to see IF they can get someone out here earlier — before July 8. Now tell me, why does it take becoming a bit of a ‘nasty girl’ to get your point across in the USA to get decent customer service? Why must I activate my Julia Sugarbaker style just to get a bit of customer service? I ask you — WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE IN AMERICA? I remember as a child, my grandparents only purchased appliances, tools, sewing machines and other items at Sears. When Papa’s Craftsman tools broke, he simply walked into the store and got a brand new one. No questions asked. No receipts necessary. Shouldn’t stores, such as Sears practice those habits now, or has Corporate America REALLY TAKEN OVER? It shall be interesting just to see how long it takes to get my washer repaired. I have a stack of laundry piling up — one weeks worth to be exact. By July 8, it will be three weeks of laundry. So unbelievable. Whatever happened to customer service in the country of the United States of America? — feeling determined.

Don’t Buy Appliances From Sears!!!!!!!

Dearest Readers:

Yes, I need to vent — BEFORE I EXPLODE! My washing machine is a Kenmore front loader. Today, it is not working at all. No power, cannot do diagnostic testing — like THEY suggested because — duh! There isn’t any power. When I phoned the service department I was told the earliest they could schedule service — because they are booked solid is Tuesday — July 8. I have spoken with three departments – getting no where — and to a supervisor — STILL GETTING NO WHERE.

So, the bottom line readers. When you are in the market for appliances STAY AWAY FROM SEARS!

Their service SUCKS!

Even my Julia Sugarbaker demeanor could not get anywhere with them.

Let’s see if the world wide web does.

Ooooooohhhhhh! I am so furious!

Reportedly, they will compensate me for laundry inconvenience with a $25.00 weekly voucher. I suppose none of them have ever gone to a laundromat in Charleston, SC. Let’s just say, you see interesting characters when you do laundry at them — at least the last time I had to use a laundromat — that was my experience. I left!

More details later, but I will never buy appliances from Sears again!


Hello, Readers:

Yes, it is me. Barbie Perkins-Cooper –once again stepping into the shoes of Julia Sugarbaker to inform my reading public about AT&T UVerse!

IF you are even considering ‘hooking up’ with AT&T for ‘bundling’ or UVerse think twice. I have been on the phone with them AGAIN after my landline UVerse went out again.

Now, I have an additional credit on my phone. Whoopee!

Tomorrow, dispatch is scheduled to visit my home again — oh joy — just like they were scheduled last week and failed to show because “Dispatch was cancelled since AT&T is having technical problems.” I let them know they better show this time, or they will deal with me once again, and this time — well, Hell have no fury like a woman scorned! And Yes, I have caps on in this paragraph for a reason — I am so annoyed.

How I wish my husband had not decided to switch to the ‘bundling with AT&T while I was so sick. That is something I can’t change, but I can certainly let my readers know about my experience.

Hello, AT&T — yes, this is Barbie Perkins-Cooper, reporting once again about the disservice I am getting with your new toy — UVerse! Why don’t you fix it? I am sick of calling you daily to report “my phone or Internet doesn’t work — AGAIN!

What ever happened to customer service in America? At least AT&T customer service reps handle the situation well.

Let’s just say — the Julia Sugarbaker in me kicked in again — and this time, she is ramming the newsstand just to get her point across!

I can only imagine how many landline business calls I am missing since UVerse chose to have these ridiculous problems again. This is getting to be a daily adventure for me.

Readers, stay tuned! The adventures of UVerse is coming to a city near you. Let us hope and pray you have a landline and an Internet that really works! I don’t like working or playing with ‘big boy toys,’ and that is all that UVerse is. If I had to critique it or grade it — it would get a BIG F. On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the absolutely worst — AT&T gets 10, and that is not good!

AT&T are you listening?

Hello, AT&T UVerse — Are You Listening???

How am I doing this morning, questions Facebook. Are you certain you want an answer, FB? OK — here goes. Got up early after battling sleep – tired, but ready to check e-mail and surf the net for research purposes. You’ll never guess what I discovered! The wonderful — ever so dependable (NOT) DEPENDABLE — more like Pony Express dependability— UVERSE is not working AGAIN! I did all the diagnostic testing I could do. I phoned the catalog of phone numbers I am collecting — using my IPhone since the ever dependable land line is NOT WORKING AGAIN!

By the time I connect with a rep, I am touched by her professional mannerism and ability to assist someone who is more like a displeased Julia Sugarbaker than the classy lady I always prefer being. You must understand — this is at least the sixth or seventh time I’ve dealt with these issues in the past week, and that does not include the days of no phone service when I was so sick — during December and early January. During those weeks, my head was a fog of illness and no one wanted to speak with me! Trust me, I am not a nice Steel Magnolia when I’m sick! Just don’t cross my path!

Since we’ve had so many issues with UVerse, I supposedly have a credit on my UVerse bill, although I haven’t received the bill yet. Shouldn’t I be compensated for my time. Aren’t my skills, frustrations and professionalism worthy? Maybe not. I’m still just a bit P-O’d!

For now, if someone asked me how I liked the ‘bundling plan’ with AT&T, I would say — RUN don’t walk away, and don’t EVEN consider bundling. Just cancel your landline and be thankful for cell phones!

If someone asked me how I liked UVerse…I would probably step into the shoes of Julia Sugarbaker and say —

“How do I like UVerse? You are truly asking me for my opinion of how I like UVerse?”

“Well…let’s just say, UVerse appears to take a landline to a part of the Universe that has only barbarian lifestyles and not the lifestyle I am accustomed to living in the Twenty-first Century! UVerse appears to not work, more than it works…and when you book an appointment for dispatch to come to your home, while you wait…and Wait…anD WAIT…when you finally call them after waiting for four hours, you are told that “there have been a few problems within the Southeast, and all dispatch was cancelled for today…”

Not even the courtesy of a phone call? No one had the decency to phone? “Not even an intern? Excuse me, I thought this was the computer era, where computers generate telephone calls to us during intimate hours…during hours where we are sitting with our families having dinner…during additional hours where we are attempting to relax, take a refreshing bath, or during times when we simply want privacy…and now you tell me that no one had the decency to phone my cell phone to let me know that NO ONE is coming to my home today, to repair these issues? My phone is still dead. Thank God I have a cell phone…Do I make myself clear, AT&T?”

This morning, I was so ready for them, but when the nice, courteous, professional customer service rep spoke, my demeanor changed — immediately. I suppose it is true, and I have practiced this all of my life — “Kill with kindness.”

AT&T has truly pushed my buttons lately, while I still collect e-mails with instructions of what to do — those e-mails failed to work this morning. Resetting the modem three times before calling failed to work…and I am supposed to be kind?

And I ask you, UVerse, how is it that when I finally get the right person to speak with, she directs me to ‘reset the modem…’

My reply, “I’ve done that three times so far. It hasn’t worked.”

“Let’s try it once more.”

OK — I place the cell phone down. Disconnect the modem, count to ten, and then to fifteen, reconnect the modem, and the bloody thing decides to work. I check the speaker of my land line…It works.

OK — so let’s face it. Phones were created by Alexander Graham Bell — a man. Computers were created by a male dominated population, and of course, if you ask “Gore” the Internet was created by him. So, it’s obvious…this type of technology doesn’t like women!

Who cares, I say — at least the stupid technology is working for now. How Long? Good question…maybe I’ll ask a man to respond, just to see how he will react.

On second thought –maybe I’ll get a nice cup of coffee, read the local newspaper — The Post and Courier, and look for the typos and grammar imperfections! Now, that’s an idea!


What is The Deal With the Do Not Call List???

I suppose I will start writing all of these phone calls down…I am definitely getting tired of my phone ringing, almost off the hook. Yesterday, we had about six phone calls from telemarketers. Today, I have answered the phone four times at 10am Eastern Time. Only one call was from my husband, the rest — the bloody telemarketers.

I’ve won a free cruise. Joy! I’ve won a free alarm system for my home. Joy Two! I’ve won a free recipe book. Joy Three! I have a library filled with cook books. Don’t need anymore! Another phone call was from a fraternity for police officers. They are non-profit, so they are exempt from the Do Not Call List.

We signed up for the Do Not Call List when it was developed. Every year, I upgrade our phone numbers on the list, and still I get this idiotic phone calls. I’ve been diplomatic. I’ve been firm, and on many occasions, my Julia Sugarbaker style kicks in. Oh, and I must not forget the thousands of phone calls from “Rachel.” The conversation is an automated one where she states something to the effect of:

“Hi this is Rachel. This is my final phone call to you to let you know you can save money on your credit cards. Now don’t hang up…”

I’ve blocked her number. What does idiotic Rachel do? She uses a different number and almost daily I get a phone call from Rachel! I want to choke Rachel!

Just what do we, as consumers who are sick and damned tired of these revolting, annoying phone calls do? Yesterday, when I answered a friendly voice responded, “Hi. My name is…”

I interrupted her. “Oh, let me guess. You are a telemarketer telling me about an exciting cruise, or an alarm system, or a lower credit card rate…So tell me…not that I really care, but WHAT IS YOUR NAME?”

She hung up. I suppose she got the message. My husband heard that conversation, telling me I was so rude. I turned towards him.

“That’s it. Next time the phone rings, you can answer it! I’m done with these idiotic, rude, and just a little too friendly and pushy telemarketers! Have at it, Phil. You can fall for their tricks of the trade.”

The phone rang six times that day. I think Phil got the message…He doesn’t jump to answer the phone anymore and neither do I!

Hello, Rachel…I’m certain I’ll hear from you again, only this time — I have a nice message for you! May the sun set and may you lose the ability to ever speak or dial a phone number ever again! Of course, I’m not stupid or naive enough to believe that Rachel is a real person. She is an automated voice recording and I hope and pray that soon Rachel will be retired — FOREVER!

So much for the Do Not Call List!