Thursday, March 12, 2015

Waiting For The Other Boot To Drop

Don't you love it when you have to take time out of your busy day to do someone else's job?  This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves, right up there along with mismatched Christmas lights and when people mistakenly say, "I could care less". 

So... you care?

It took me several years, but after losing some baby weight I finally built up the courage to buy and wear skinny jeans, which opened up a whole new world of shoes that had been previously unavailable to me and my regularly shaped pants.  I had been so slow to latch on to trends, however, that all of the leather mid-calf boots I liked were sold out for the season.  I did find a pair of canvas boots with great reviews on, and despite them not being leather, I liked the price and made the order.

As soon as I got the email explaining that the boots had shipped, I began using the tracking link to monitor the package's progress from the warehouse to my front door.  A few days into the process, however, I noticed that, instead of heading to Iowa, the package was "out for delivery" in Kansas City, MO, and that my incessant tracking checks hadn't prevented someone from making a shipping error.  But as quickly as things went south, an alert shone on the screen that said, "Delivery Exeption" in red lettering, and explained that the boots had been "rerouted to correct delivery address". 

Whew.  I thought the crisis was averted until the mailman rang my doorbell two days later and handed me... a JustFab box?  It seemed strange, but I knew that JustFab sold shoes, so I though that perhaps Kohl's had outsourced my Rocket Dogs.  I dug into the box, excited to have something to wear with my new jeans, only to find a pair of cowboy boots and some purple slippers.  I checked the receipt and found that the shoes were intended for a woman named Rosa, who lives in Kansas City, MO, complete with all of her contact and personal information.

Someone hadn't done their job.  But was it Kohl's or Fedex?  Was it JustFab, even?  After my first call, I didn't get many answers.

"Thank you for calling Kohls, how may I help you?"

"Hi, I ordered some boots on, and what arrived today was a box from JustFab with an order for a woman named Rosa.  How can I return these to Rosa and get MY boots?"

"Excuse me ma'am, and thank you and I will help you.  So to understand, you received two pairs of the boots you ordered instead of one?"

"No, I didn't receive any of my order.  I got someone else's from a totally different store."

"Okay, well thank you for your call and I will assist you.  You are speaking with Kohl's and not JustFab.  We sell Kohl's products, not JustFab products."

"I understand that.  This was not intended for me-- it has someone else's information."

"I am happy to work with you about this issue.  It sounds like Fedex has sent you someone else's package."

Gee, thanks.
  "I know that, but how do I get the boots I ordered?"

"Okay, thank you for your telephone call and I will help you with this matter and do what I can to fix this issue.  Your boots were to be delivered between the 18th and the 23rd.  Your boots should arrive by the 23rd."

Not as much assistance as he had promised.  What I could not get the customer service man to understand was that the tracking information I was emailed was tracking this package, and only one hour after receiving it, the tracking email said "delivered", and the link went dead.

 I called JustFab, who wouldn't let me send the package directly to Rosa without paying for the most expensive insured shipping option possible, and I was finally forced to print a label to ship Rosa's shoes back to JustFab.

On the 23rd, a second call to Kohl's went like this:

"Thank you for calling Kohls, how may I help you?"

"Hi, I called a few days ago because I received the wrong package when I ordered some boots from your website.  The person I talked to said he couldn't help me until the shipping window had passed, which it now has.  I want to know what can be done to get my boots."

"Okay, thank you, and I can assist you today."

Here we go again.  

"I have reviewed your order number and it says here that your shipment was received on the 19th.  We hope you enjoy your purchase!"

Oh, hell no.  It took getting pretty forceful with a second customer service technician for them to finally listen and understand how bizarre this situation had become.  We discovered together that the package itself had two shipping labels- one for Rosa and one for me, and we concluded that somewhere in transit, someone had removed the label from my box, pocketed my boots and slapped the sticker on a different box.  The very helpful woman ordered me another pair at no cost, and my faith in Kohl's was renewed.

There was one more call to make, and it went like this:

"Hi, is this Rosa?"


"My name is Mary Foreman, and I know this may sound really strange, but I live in Iowa and I have your JustFab order.  I have no idea how it was sent to me, but I have made arrangements with JustFab to get it returned to you.  I know how frustrating this mix-up has been for me, and I thought you might want to know, since you're probably wondering where your shoes are."

What followed was three days of texting with my new friend, Rosa, in Kansas City, who stayed in touch until her package was on the way and I had finally seen a boot-sized Kohl's box on my front step.  After spending a week doing the leg work for Kohl's, JustFab and Fedex, I finally got to slide my foot into my new boots.

And guess what?  They.  Don't.  Fit.

But at this point, I couldn't care less.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Foggy Headed

We are in the middle of an unseasonably warm streak, and I have no complaints.  In fact, I have found myself feeling immeasurably happier after opening the windows and sending the kids out to play in the yard. 

I didn't feel great when they came back in with what turned out to be dog poop soaked into their wet jeans, but some things are worth it for 20 quiet minutes when no one wants a snack or challenges me to a Pokemon battle.

One minor side effect of this warming trend has been the stubborn fog that hung around (yesterday in particular) late into the day, and has put a serious damper on Graham's enjoyment of the weather.

"Mom, it was so foggy that I couldn't see our house when I played outside at school."

"Can you usually see our house from school?"


I figured that a simple science lesson about fog would clear up any misunderstanding.  So while we drive in the car, I shared my extensive scientific knowledge on the subject.

Graham after the first snow of the season.
"You see Graham, there is moisture in the air just like steam- like a vapor, but more like a cloud because it's not super hot water.  So the fog is like coolish, cloud steam.  But on the ground.  It's because the weather is so back and forth between warm and cold, so weird stuff happens.  But it won't help you see our house."

Yeah, that ought to clear things up.

"So Mom, can I see Bampa's house in Washington?"

"No, dude.  Fog will only make it harder to see."

"But I can see you."

"Yes, it doesn't make it hard to see everything, and I'm very close to you."

"Then I'm ready for it to stay warm and for the fog to go away so I can start seeing new things, like Bampa's house, and Mexico."

Me too, buddy. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Great Vaccine Debate

It is so good to be back among the living.  My unexpected absence came courtesy of an ear infection that struck Adler first, then me, then Adler again, then me again, and when it became clear that neither one of us was improving, it took four doctor appointments and a combination of three different antibiotics, an over the counter decongestant, prescription pain killers, probiotics and ibuprofen to keep us among the living. 

 While I was out of commission, I was struck by the number of high-profile issues that took the internet by storm.  My understanding of these topics was limited by my completely clogged and closed off right ear, but from what I can understand, two llamas got spooked by John Travolta's weird behavior at the Academy Awards and ran all over California looking for tickets to see Fifty Shades of Grey.

Photo credit.
Or was it Fifty Shades of White and Gold?  Not sure. 

But by far the biggest hot button issue has been the question of whether or not to vaccinate.  Now, I'm an incredibly non-confrontational person, so I am not interested in pointing fingers and whipping up a frenzy among people that I consider to be friends, so I will leave it at this:

My kids are vaccinated.  I will continue to vaccinate. 

That being said, put away your pitchforks, "anti-vaxxers".  I think what we need is to find some common ground on which we can agree, and I think I have it.  While you may not agree with vaccinating against preventable diseases, would you be willing to vaccinate against other undesirable things?

Jury Duty.  I've been called for jury duty twice and thankfully was excused because I was nursing babies, but I think it is safe to say I would rather let a whining, ear infected child gnaw on my danglers than commit my limited time to analyzing criminal behavior.

Dirty Laundry.  I'm referring to literal laundry, not the figurative airing of one's private business, which I obviously condone since I have a blog dedicated to sharing just that.  No, I hate cleaning my family's cloth0es.  Hate.  Wouldn't it be convenient if there were a quick injection that would immunize us from the dirty laundry?  I, for one, would be happy to subject myself to additional vaccinations if it meant no longer having to scrape crusted play-doh from the knees of jeans or play the "is it chocolate or is it poop" laundry edition of Russian roulette.       

Photo credit.
Calliou.  I suppose I could change this to "children's programming" in general.  There are few more mind-numbing things than watching Dora blink creepily as she waits for your child's response or listening to Calliou throw an Oscar-worthy conniption fit and get immediately rewarded by his wimpy parents.  Wouldn't a quick shot be worth it to sit down to the evening news with your seven year-old?

Polio.  Because seriously, people.  Let's just not revisit that one.

Home Renovation/Light Installation/Wallpaper Removal.  There are a lot of tasks that fall under this heading, but it is safe to say that making your home prettier isn't worth it if you actually find yourself contemplating divorce and/or shiv construction.

Public Controversy.  I'm all for free speech, but wouldn't the world be a kinder place if we could quit arguing over vaccines and dresses and global warming, and concentrate on the really important issues, like Kanye West's obsession with BeyoncĂ©

Photo credit.
Glad we could all agree.  Next up, the Middle East.