Sunday, October 31, 2004

Halloween more available at htp:// Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Explain That To Me One More Time

The phone rings and:
Me: Hello
Them: Hi, is this Gretchen Gerth?
Who is this?
My name is Danielle is Gretchen there?
Danielle from what company?
The publishing company, is this Gretchen?
The publishing company? What publishing company?
Is this Gretchen?
Now I want to know what is going on
Yes, what publishing company?
Oh hi, my name is Danielle and I'm with the publishing company, were really sorry about your magazines not arriving on time and we want you to know that we will make sure that you receive every issue on your subscription and we want to continue your subscription for an additional 60 months free of charge.
I did have a problem a few months ago with Entertainment Weekly getting here late and I called them, they corrected it.
What publishing company?
The one for your magazine.
Which magazine?
All the magazines your get at your house.
And which magazines would those be?
Correct Answer: TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Discover, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, Parenting, Good Housekeeping
Oh I don’t have that list here, but even if you want to change your magazines you can. I just need to get…
You don't know what magazines I get, but you are going to give me a free 60 month subscription to all of them.
Yeah, if you'll just answer a few questions.
What kind of questions
Like what is my credit card number?
Do you still live at 128 N. Valley?
And are you happily married or happily single?
What is this happily crap?
I'm married
Oh congratulations
Even though I left off the happily, I am still congratulated. I should have told her I was widowed yesterday, but they probably have a line there for widowed.
And what is your occupation right now?
I don't see what this has to do with my magazines
I just need to fill out this survey first, what is your occupation right now
Okay, well right now I am unemployed
Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,
Thought maybe I'd blown it and didn't qualify for their free offer
What does your husband do?
He does General Labor
Oh, that's hard my husband does that too,
I thought maybe for a second that I had said drugs out loud.
Ok somebody's going to call you back to confirm the answers on the survey and then you'll get the paperwork in the mail, you just need to send it back with $4.99 per week
What - $5.00 a week
No ma'am it's only $4.99 per week
For what
For this service to keep your subscriptions going and if you want to change magazines you can - say you don't want to get Glamour any more you can change it to Vogue.
OK so I'm supposed to pay you $260 per year for
I don't know about the year, it's only $4.99 per week for all of your subscriptions.
Well that's $260 per year, for subscriptions I already paid for.
Yeah but say you don't want Glamour anymore
I never wanted Glamour to start with. You tell me that you're going to send me 60 months at no charge, except for the $4.99 per week.
Yes that's right.
That's not right that's ludicrous, you want me to pay $4.99 per week for subscriptions that I have already paid for, and can cancel at anytime all by myself if I so choose and then subscribe to another if I so choose.
At some point Danielle hung up

Totally non related there is a Chocolate Festival show on Food channel right now, one line I really liked was the 12 Step Chocolate Program - make sure you are never more than 12 steps away from something chocolate. Of course then one of the facts they flashed before commercial was that a single chocolate chip provides the average adult enough energy to walk 150 feet. The other thing they had was international chocolate delicacies, the one from India was naan covered in chocolate syrup. If I remember correctly Jackson didn't care for the naan, but I'm willing to bet you didn't put any chocolate syrup on it.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Time to Think Green

Those of you who know me, and I'm not sure anyone reading this does, know that I would never root for the Green Bay Packers. Especially not against the Washington Redskins. But folks I beg you turn your think red off and begin to think green. For, in election years when the Washington Redskins play at home on the Sunday before the election a Redskin win also meant an incumbent win for the party in the White House. Superstition, undoubtedly so. But a chance I would not like to take in an election this close, with the solicitation of more and more dumb voters. Fortunately most of the people I know, who spout how Kerry will raise taxes and put Suddam back in charge are good at pretending they know everything based on the few commercials shown on Nick at Night, don't even know if they are registered to vote much less where to go or how to do it. I am planning on driving down to Mom's to vote on Tuesday depending on the work situation.

Work - I have no idea what happened with the Kelly job, the only thing that I can figure is that I was too smart. I did spend a lot of time fooling around on line, because I got the feeling they were tired of me standing in the door of their office saying "OK what's next". But Kelly had originally told me that it was a long term to permanent position, and when I first talked with my supervisor there she told me they were looking for someone permanent. Kelly will tell me nothing other than the assignment has ended. Oh well, live and learn. I regret giving up the other position, but I did what I could with the information I had at the time. I have scheduled three interviews tomorrow with temp agencies in Saginaw, Snelling (which is not affiliated with the Snelling downstate who will not work with me now), Kelly (which is affiliated but is separate) and American Personnel Services which has a position listed on a job web site that I use. So we will see how those go.

In other news, my bank statement this month reflected that they had closed my account due to a long term negative balance. I received a letter today that they have finally resolved my disputed charges and agree with me that the charges were fraudulent. I should now be able to go and clear out that account, although I have checks for that account and not for the other. Decisions, decisions, if I postpone them long enough they tend to work themselves out.

Megan had a band concert last night and it went very well. Each grade (6, 7, 8) played one song, and then the high school marching band played a few, and then the high school jazz band played. They were all good in their own way, (6th played the best darn twinkle twinkle little star I have ever heard.) The only real boring part was the teacher carrying on in between each session. Did you know that a study in 2000 showed that students exposed to music scored 98 points higher on their SATs? He told us (read it to us) over and over again, I guess he felt that his audience had never been exposed to music and as such were dummies. The gym was packed and he was ecstactic at the turn out of parents he'd had never seen so many come to one event. Having been exposed to music (I think Neil Diamond and Simon & Garfunkel count) as a child I was able to determine that this was the first time all of the towns band's played on the same night at the same place, bound to improve the gate. But I try really hard not to talk derisively about Megan's teachers.

That's all from the WB.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Easy come easy go

Not quite sure why, but Kelly Services called me on my way home tonight and told me no to report tomorrow, that the assignment had ended. They told me to call in the morning and I will, and will let you know more when I do.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sabrina and Chelyn more available at Yahoo. Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Bryan turns 6. More pictures available at Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Jumping Ship

So the job is going along fine, getting used to it and they to me. When Tuesday morning there is an accident on 275 so I am late for work, while sitting in the traffic jam Kelly Services calls and offers me a temp to perm administrative assistant position paying the same I am making with Snelling (well maybe slightly less as it is a 37.5 hour work week). Since it s administration, which is really what I want to do, in Romulus, I tell them yes. I call Snelling on my first smoke break around 10, and they are not happy at all. And tell me that should I ever need their services they will not be available to me. Oh well. I had also called them earlier that morning to tell them that I was going to be late, as is their policy, do not call the client that you are working for call them and they will. Well they didn’t. It took them until around 4 to call the client and tell them that I would not be back, and they had told me not to say anything, not that I was having chats with anybody there anyway. But the folks I was working with gave me their phone numbers and told me I could use them as a reference.

For this new job I first had to take a drug test, I am assuming I passed as I know a lot about drugs. The new job is from 9-5, so I went first thing this morning to Kelly for the drug test. They gave me a paper and sent me to Quest Diagnostics. Now Kelly is on Hubbard just east of Southfield. The directions for Quest said to take Mercury to Michigan, go right on Michigan to Monroe, left on Monroe and start looking for Quest. Mercury sounded familiar but I didn’t remember where it was, so I asked the person at Kelly who replied, “I don’t know, but you can take Southfield down.” Which is what I would have done in the first place if their directions hadn’t said take Mercury. So I get to Michigan and then to Monroe, make my left on very busy, very congested roads, and putz along looking for Quest Diagnostics, which is about 2 or so miles down the road past Outer Drive between Carlysle and Darthmouth, (Their directions for getting to the job had me go back to Kelly and start from there, they are such fun people.) I get in for the drug test about 8:30, of course they don’t do drug tests until 9:00, but the person who does them arrived about 8:45 and took me in. Never having taken a drug test before I wasn’t aware of the security involved. They pat you down to make sure you don’t have anything under your clothes, lock up any belongs in a safe in the bathroom with you, give you a cup with stern instructions not to flush or wash your hands or in any way run any water while taking the test. Pee and open the door. Once the door is open the guard on the outside can stop listening (now there’s another job I don’t want), comes in dressed in full bio-hazard gear, pours the pee into a smaller jar sticking labels over the top for me to initial that it is indeed my pee.

I get out of there and head out to Romulus. Between Middlebelt and Inkster, between Goddard and Wick, the company is DHL Smart and Global Mail. The directions from Kelly tell me to look for a green and white sign that says Airport Complex. There’s Airport Plaza, Airport Business Center, Airport Industries, all in various colors, but I have never been good with colors. I see colors differently than a lot of people. So when I get to Goddard I turn around and try again. There is a sign that could be called green and white that says Airport something. Go to the second building and into the door between truck bays 7&8, sure enough the second building has a door between truck bays 7&8 that says Smart Mail on it. The door also has big signs saying “Please use other door” fortunately I can figure out which other door. I walk into a huge warehouse full of mail buckets and people standing around. Nobody pays any attention to me so I go over to an area that has a desk and ask for Lisa Johnson. Someone is kind enough to lead me around the warehouse to the front offices. Apparently the back door is where Kelly is supposed to send the warehouse staff, I however get to use the front door from now on! (Except for cigarette breaks.)

I am now sitting at the front desk the phone has rang a total of 6 times today, I have gone over everything on the daily checklist and am bored to tears. But at least I have access to the internet so I can type this in word and email it to myself and then post it when I get home.
(or before as the case seems to be)

Gordon called and left me a voice mail earlier saying that the couch was now permanently in the house. I haven’t heard the details, but I know the plan entailed taking out windows. Good to know it all happened without me having to get involved. I love it when things work out that way.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Okay I’m back.

Working – The first week I hated it, last week I could barely tolerate it, hopefully this week it will move up to tolerable. One it is temp work, so there are no benefits involved and not a lot of pay. Two, it is accounts payable entry, which is pretty mind numbing work. The first few days were straight out of my nightmares, come in there’s a stack of invoices on your desk, enter invoices, come back a new stack of invoices on your desk. The third day was more challenging since I had completely caught them up on all of their invoices and they were not sure what to do with me on Friday and oh yeah before the mail comes on Monday with new invoices. So I started working on clearing up old invoices that had problems and could not be entered (by someone other than me). Most of the problems occurred because this stuff could be done by a monkey and they were out of monkeys so they ended up with the person who thought they needed to think about it. The basic process is a PO is created when something is ordered, when it is received a Receipt is entered against the PO, when the invoice is entered it needs to match to a Receipt. Sometimes there may be discrepancies, for example a lot of what is ordered has fluctuating pricing (metals, gases, etc) and the price may be up or down, I was told 10% above is okay anything over needs to be approved. Some of the problems I had to solve were: PO number was not clearly identified as such, instead of putting POXXX on the invoice they just put the number in a box labeled customer PO number (invoice has handwritten on NO PO NUMBER); quantity received on Receipt is 680.388 KG @ .45 per unit and the invoice is for 1500 LBS @ .20 although both the receipt and invoice have an equal dollar value handwritten on invoice NO MATCHING RECEIPT; quantity on Receipt is 59,756 @ .00035 invoice is for 59,758 @ .00035 again NO MATCHING RECEIPT. In some sense it reminds me of raising children, they spend more time figuring out why they can’t do something than it would take to just do it. But I have cleared up all the easy ones, and am now working on the more complicated ones and it is at least a little challenging. Of course there is still a stack of new invoices on my desk most mornings (not tomorrow as today was a holiday for postal workers). They have someone that opens the mail (imagine having a job where all you do is open mail, thinking about that just made what I’m doing more tolerable), takes it out of the envelope and stamps it received. Then (I believe) proceeds to shuffle it so that if an original and duplicate invoice came together they end up at opposite ends of the stack to allow you time to forget that you entered one already when you run into problems entering the duplicate. The dress code is professional which means my feet hurt most days. But for now it works, and is most likely for as long as I want it.

I spent all day Sunday just watching football, a lot of great games. None better though than the awesome Lions. Gordon, of course, bet against them on his football card, that is pretty much all it takes for the Lions to kick ass. A lot of good games though.

I have cut down on TV considerably, gave up on Survivor, never tried Housewives, Boston Legal was too flaky for me, tired of Without a Trace, didn’t care for Joey, missed Savages when the taping screwed up the first week and then just didn’t try again, was glad to see Steve and Nicole win on Malibu, but was disappointed that Sam and Scotty’s went for less than Rose and Barney’s. I would like to see that again in a different city. I really like the Apprentice this season. And I like the new mommy show just as much as the old one, I can’t believe they are doing it for no money though, I do like the way the couples get together at the end to discuss the switch.