Thursday, December 30, 2010


I had the joy of interacting with 4 different customer service agents today. None of them were particularly enjoyable and all have left me not wanting to dial a 800 number any time soon.
The first was a guy from Shutterfly who was excessively rude. I get it, I'm an idiot, but he really didn't need to make me feel like the idiot I am. Thank you sir. He informed me that I was not able to order 4x6 prints and pick them up at Target because Target only printed 4x8 prints. Really? Because I now have them in my hot little hands. After he laughed at me and put me on hold, I hung up on him. Someone who makes me feel bad about myself is not needed in my life. I can figure it out on my own. And I did.
I then returned a call to United who left me an automated voice message before I woke up. Upon calling them I learned that my return flight from Ibiza to Madrid had been pushed back three hours making my connection from Madrid to Washington, D.C. impossible. Yay!(sarcasm) Ms. Brown put me on hold for several minutes while she tried to find me an alternate flight that would accommodate my connection back to the states. No luck. The only other flight is a whole 24 hours before which would mean quality time with Ryan in the Madrid airport. Sorry, but spending 24 hours in an airport does not sound like fun no matter who I am with. But Ms. Brown was quick to point out that my entire trip could be refunded and I could start my itinerary over again. This was not a good option considering my father and I spent a couple hours planning, booking, and paying for the multi-city airline travel. I decided to discuss with the father figure and call back later.
For round two I got to speak with Pam. I told her about my situation and how my dad found an identical flight to the one that got canceled, but with another airline. To this she got overly defensive as if I had blamed her for all of my life struggles. She reassured me that United was not to blame, but the problem was SpanAir because they were the ones who canceled the flight. Ya okay, I got it, I'm not trying to point blame, I'm just trying to get my butt back from Spain in June. If I remember correctly UNITED called my phone in the wee hours of the morning NOT SpanAir. Anywho, after being on hold for 18 minutes she informed me that I could cancel that one flight from my itinerary, but I would not receive any money back for this cancellation. They would however, waive the $250 fee for changing my itinerary. It was the least the could do. Really. Thank you Pam. The only plus to this is that from being on hold with United so many times over the past couple weeks, I am starting to really like their music.
Final customer service agent of the day brings us back to Shutterfly. I went into Target with my printed receipt that I received through email as instructed and handed it to the lady at customer service. She looked at it as though it was on fire and handed it back to me. She looked through the photos that were on the counter and didn't find any that belonged to me. She looked through the drawer and still did not find any. She looked through the computer system and still no luck. She said that she didn't have them and I walked away. When I was almost out of ear shot she called me back and handed me my photos. Apparently she had been looking for H for Hannah instead of P for Peck. Ummm wow. okay. I thought it was common sense that it would be alphabetized by last name, but alas I did not work at Target so I wouldn't know how they organize their system.
Normally I never have a problem with this kind of interaction, but today I got four strikes against me. Oh well. I finally received my photos via Shutterfly and canceled a flight via United and both are squared away. Hopefully nothing goes wrong with anything else I have to do before I leave. Customer service and I are not on good terms.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

my poor baby....

My dog Violet is sick. :( She gets sick more than a dog should and it happens the same way every time. Normally she's pretty sassy like her human mommy, but her personality quickly changes when she is not feeling well. She gets overly clingy and follows you around everywhere and when you stop moving she will sit down on your feet. Her entire body trembles even when she is calm enough to sleep. She moans and cries and is almost inconsolable. Her breathing is heavy and desperate like she is overheated and just ran a marathon. And this always happens at night. Dinner time she is running around like normal, but as soon as it hits the time where everyone wants to go to bed, the sickness kicks in. Normally the cause is her ears. She has terrible ear infections and they pop up even when we are taking care of them(cleaning them out, putting antibiotic in on a regular basis). I remember one time she had such bad ear infections that she would cock her head to one side and shake her head up and down and whimper as she did it. It was heartbreaking to watch.
Tonight she wasn't showing us any signs that her ears were the source of her misery, but when I went to put medicine in one of them tonight, she flinched, ran away, and flinched some more after I pinned her to the ground to put it in. I held her in my lap for a long time during this evening's bowl game and I got her to stop shaking for a little while once she fell asleep, but her breathing was still stronger than it should be. When I went to put her to bed, she did not want to go. She wrapped herself around my ankles and did not want to sleep by herself. I finally convinced her to sleep in Peanut's cage, but she was not all that happy about it. A trip to the vet is in order for tomorrow morning, if she lasts that long. Usually her behavior gets so concerning that we end up taking her to a 24 hour vet clinic late in the night. Tonight was not all that bad, but I still feel awful for her. The good thing is she will let us know if she feels any worse. She will loudly voice her opinion and we will wake up at any hour and take her to the vet. For now we are just letting her sleep and rest and will see what she's like in the morning. Until then we are keeping an ear out for her whimpers and cries tonight. She's been in bed for about 15 minutes and so far, so good. Poor little Vi.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Manateez 12/27

Today was another bout of wonderful family time. I had spent the morning running errands with my dad in order to send my application for a visa to the Galapagos out to the embassy. This involved pictures at CVS, obtaining a money order from B of A, and an always important stop to get more dog food at PetCo. The final stop in this journey once again proved to me that some people really are not cultured. (is this really possible?) The woman at FedEx didn't know how to spell Ecuador! (really?) Even after we spelled it out for her numerous times, I glanced at the envelope and it was addressed to "The Embassy of EQECUADOR. (really?) What a joyous occasion. When my father and I arrived home I found that my sisters and my mother had gone to Whole Foods and brought home soup for lunch. for themselves. only themselves. I'm still bitter and craving corn chowder. A trip to Whole Foods is in order before I fly away to the Galapagos.
Now to the highlight of the day! Manatee Park! Sounds like a huge tourist trap right? And it was in a way. There is a power plant with a canal next to it. When some very smart people figured out that the manatees liked to congregate in this area, they built a park and charged for parking. Ahh the cost of enjoying nature. Manatee park is rightly named for there were A TON of manatees, possibly more. We overheard that there were 500 in the canal today, but that seems a bit overestimated. As much as I love marine mammals, I was almost disgusted today. There was one area off of the main canal were there were many, many, manatees. On top of each other, rolling over each other, climbing over each other to breathe. I had never seen so many fat mammals in one place. It was a little nauseating. As always with nature, pictures don't do it justice, but here is an attempt at the "manatee pit" which I have now dubbed it.Of course the Peck girls were able to find cute statues of manatees to take face pictures with. It's pretty much our favorite thing to do- take stupid pictures of ourselves doing uninteresting things and post them on facebook. Joy to the world.
After dinner we went over to our neighbors house, which I thought was going to be an awful, awkward experience, but once again I am proven wrong. They gave us a tour of their house(+2), offered us wine(+11), and had David Crowder playing(+6), and they weren't old(+8). Which gives them an arbitrary score of 27 for the evening. The numbers mean nothing. I'm just happy my parents are meeting friends in this area. Ones that seem pretty similar to themselves. And at the end of the day isn't that really what matters? Having someone there to connect with and who understands you, even if it's only a manatee?