Just an average week

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. What the hell is wrong with people? What the hell is wrong with businesses? What the hell is wrong with government?

Here’s how today went:

1. Call Lowe’s corporate to confirm that they will price match Amazon. It’s not in their policy, but the internet says there are countless people who have successfully had Lowe’s price match Amazon. First guy was extremely uninterested in helping me, and said no, they don’t price match. I called back, and think I got the same guy– I heard office sounds, and then was disconnected. I called back again, and got a nice lady. She enthusiastically said, “Of course we’ll match Amazon on the same item.” I asked what documentation I needed (a printout), got her name, and headed to Lowe’s. Grabbed what I wanted (a vacuum), headed to customer service, and was shot down on the price match. I was polite, but firm, and asked them to contact the person in Corporate Customer Care who told me that Lowe’s would match Amazon. Eventually, they called the manager, and my price match was approved over the phone. Hey Lowe’s– solidify your policy. I don’t care which it is, but if different employees in the same location are not on the same page in terms of company policy, then your trainers have failed.

2. Go to Harbor Freight. I just needed a couple of things. No problems at all. In fact, Harbor Freight has been a great place to shop for quite some time.

3. Head to Sam’s Club for cat litter. I get to where they have been storing the cat litter for several years, and see dog food in its place. I look behind the rack for the tag– a neat little trick I picked up from one of their employees– and see it sitting there. I go to customer service, and ask if they have any more or know when they will be in stock. Apparently, with billions of dollars, Sam’s Club only has one computer capable of checking stock. And that computer seems to be in use by all of their employees, all the time. Turns out that it is discontinued (not cool, Sam’s), but they had 76 (or was it 78) in the store. After a half hour of them searching, and a half hour of me waiting, they admitted defeat. They lost 3,200lbs of cat litter somewhere in their store.

I grab the only other option– over 25% more expensive– and head to the checkout. Four open lanes, 5 people in each lane. I pay for this? I ask the floor manager if they will open more lanes, and they say no, they are short staffed. So I head to customer service to pay– I only had 2 items– but the line was also extremely long. I placed my cart next to the manager, and let them know that I wouldn’t be buying anything today. The manager then offers to check me out right away. And then I get to wait in line to leave, like a kindergartener waiting for the bus to take them home on the first day of school. At least the receipt checkers were fast.

I only buy about 5 regularly items at Sam’s: dry cat food, cat litter, coffee, deodorant, and soap. I buy a bunch of other stuff, of course, but those are the 5 items that pay for my membership. I used to buy half and half there, but it is less expensive to buy it at the public Walmart than the paid-membership Sam’s Club. When I take the cat litter out of the equation, and add up how much I save on those items, it is less than I pay for my Sam’s Club membership. If they don’t provide a pleasant shopping experience, and they don’t stock products I need, and they can’t find products that are supposedly in the store, then what exactly am I getting for my money? My membership expires at the end of this month, and I don’t plan on renewing it.

4. Five o’clock rolls around, and I head downtown to pickup my (much) better half. She and I do our normal drive through the squares, but today we were treated to a first class, grade A ass riding by a City of Savannah employee. He was mere feet from our bumper through the squares, then followed onto Broad, and then onto President Street. I don’t think there was more than 6 feet between our bumpers the whole time. Once we get onto President, our lane ends, so I put on my signal and started moving over. This guy, no signal, yanks it over and fills in the gap so I can’t get over. Obviously, this guy got off at 5, and wasn’t happy that he was still on the clock at 5:05.

Come on, though. You’re in a white truck with a City of Savannah logo and a big 4-digit number on the side. You are tailgating hard (probably why your breaks were squeaking), and changing lanes recklessly. Do you think I won’t call your boss? Well, if he initially didn’t think I would call his boss, he sure got the hint when my wife lifted her tablet and aimed it at him. He backed off and inserted himself (legally) between two cars so she couldn’t film him, and then turned off into the water treatment facility. When I got home, I called and complained. There is no need to be driving like a maniac in rush hour (hah!) traffic, treating vehicles that our tax dollars bought and maintain like rental cars.

I don’t want the guy to get punished unless this is a common thing, but city workers need to keep in mind that they are the ambassadors of our city. The several tourists who were in our little pack of traffic know that it is the City of Savannah who employs the crazy driver who rode their ass or cut them off. Also, cars aren’t cheap, gas isn’t cheap, and insurance isn’t cheap. Take care of the taxpayers’ vehicles, drive them reasonably, and do everything possible to avoid contributing to higher insurance premiums. Heck, one false move today and there could have been an accident with the $200,000 Bentley that was 3 cars back.

By the way, I chose to remain anonymous. This is for two reasons. 1. Anonymous complaints are taken less seriously. Maybe this guy was just having a bad day, and needed a reminder to behave like an adult. 2. Our city is corrupt from top to bottom. Our police force is a bastion of corruption, and a 10-second Google search will reveal enough recent news articles to show that is the case. If I complain today, I could be a target tomorrow.

And here are the honorable mentions from within the last week:

1. City of Savannah, specifically Alderman John Hall and Alderwoman Carolyn Bell. The city, on behalf of these two elected officials, called me last week. The caller ID said EMERGENCY COMMU. I thought maybe there was an Amber alert, or maybe it was a public welfare notice about the extreme heat that day. Nope, no such luck. It was a pre-recorded message telling me that these two elected officials were having a town hall meeting. Seriously? That is an EMERGENCY COMMU? I contacted Mr. Bell, and got a voicemail. I reminded him that the city should not cry wolf, and that voters don’t vote for people who bother them at home to advertise a political event under the guise of an emergency. I called Ms. Bell, and spoke with her. She agreed that they shouldn’t be using the emergency system for a town hall meeting, but she was out of town and said she would address it when she returned. Seriously? No way. I explained that when the city calls with EMERGENCY COMMU, and it isn’t an emergency, it is misappropriation of the EMERGENCY COMMU system, and is of questionable legality. I explained that many people are rushing to their phone to learn about the emergency, only to find an advertisement for a political event. She said she would take care of it. I also notified the police department that the city had commandeered the emergency system for political use, and that they should be aware that future messages may be disregarded by citizens who now identify calls from EMERGENCY COMMU as political advertisements.

2. Musician’s Friend. While typing this, UPS delivered my Squier Jaguar. This is the third one MF has sent me. The first one was clearly opened and used. It was accompanied by an opened and used Superego pedal (with velcro residue on the back!). I bought new gear, so I expect new gear. I expect the box to be factory-sealed, and if it is not, it is used. The FTC agrees with me. So I sent it all back, and had them send me a new guitar and pedal. The replacement pedal is likely new, but the guitar was again used. New guitars don’t come with buckle rash on the back, or with key factory packing components missing. Again, I sent the used guitar back. I now have a third guitar sitting downstairs, waiting to be opened. If it isn’t new, I will not be pleased. There are at least a dozen instances online where MF has sent used gear as new. They say it isn’t their policy, but it seems to happen too frequently to not be their policy. The simple solution is a rubber stamp with black ink that is used by an accountable member of their warehouse to stamp “RETURNED” on every single product that is returned.

That is all for now. Sorry so long. Thanks for making it to the end!