Friday, August 24, 2007

"It's just a FANASTY (whoa-oh-oh-oh)... it's not the real thing..."

This has not been a good week (relatively speaking, of course). From dealing with billing issues with a major shipping company (I won't use any names, but their favorite color is brown), who suddenly decided three weeks ago to start "dimensionally weighting" their own boxes on my employer's invoices. What this means is that if a box's dimensions are larger than a certain size then the minimum weight of box will be set to a predetermined value. Makes sense when you're using over-sized plain brown boxes since it takes up so much space. But when you're using the shipper's own boxes, with their company logo plastered all over it, it could be a problem.

For instance, most of what we ship weighs less than three pounds. The shipping company supplies us with "free" boxes for 2-Day and Next Day shipping. But the dimensions of these boxes are such that the three smallest boxes have automatic minimum "weights" of 2, 3, and 4 pounds, respectively. Which causes a problem if you've already billed a customer a set dollar amount for shipping, and then a week later you get your shipping bill with extra "weight" charges. Which means that you end up essentially paying for advertising the shipper's company by using these "free" boxes.

ALL of the major shipping companies do this to some degree or other. Sometimes (like this time) they just decide to do it without telling you, hoping that you won't audit your bill and catch what they're doing.

In other words............. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Then I had problems with my satellite dish losing its signal, and tussling with the darned thing for almost an hour before finally getting the signal back. How'd I lose the signal to begin with, you might ask? Apartment complexes don't allow you to "permanently" attach the dish to the building. Now, even though I can count at least a half dozen satellite dishes that are permanently attached to other apartments, even as I look out the window as I type this very post... I, being the nice guy that I am, followed the rules, and have my dish by my front door, on a pole, against the railing, held in place by plastic zip ties.

Problem is, any robust gust of window will sometimes shift it just slightly enough to lose the signal. What else causes it to lose the signal? Why, the neighbors downstairs who have a tendency to slam their Fort Knox-like screen door every 20 minutes, thereby shaking the building like a nice 5.8 earthquake. This pleasant sound is rivaled only by the periodic wailing of one of their children, a colicky little 3-year-old who seems to cry on cue..... oh, every 10 minutes or so. Uh-oh, their she goes right now! See??? *sigh*

Add to this the fact that they seem to like cooking their meals at around 10:30 at night... outside... on the barbecue... exotic, ethnic fragrances wafting its way up to and through my bedroom window, which happens to be only a few yards from whatever may be brewing below.

I'd be more than happy to (in a nice, calm, respectful tone and composure) mention these issues with the nice young couple below me. But it wouldn't do me any good, seeing as they can barely speak a word of English. *sigh - again*

Next? Well, for the last couple days everyone in the office was rushing to get things ready for this major in-house event on Sunday - an all-day seminar to demonstrate our software products to high-level clientèle. I'm designing a 24"x36" poster for this event. I finish it, proof it at least a half a dozen times (I'm the guy who checks our ads and emails for typos and such), and then dash off to Kinko's.

Today, I pick up the poster, along with 20 letter-sized color glossies. I get back to the office. I show it to our sales manager. And...

... wait for it...

The phrase "Keyboard Fantasies" is spelled... "Keyboard Fanasties". (D'OH!) And, like that, $86 worth of printing just got 86'ed in a matter of 10 seconds flat. So, I go back to the computer to fix the typo, burn the file to disk, and fly off to Kinko's for "Poster Printing - Take 2".

It just has not been my week. I don't know about you, but I'm getting a pizza for dinner. Maybe I'll save a slice for just before bedtime, and I'll ask my neighbors if they wouldn't mind plopping on top of it some of whatever it is they're sure to be cooking tonight.

Tomorrow night? Relaxing to some great music at the Crowded House concert. That'll get me in a better mood.

P.S. Don't be surprised if their are any typos in this post. I'm sure there are.

And I don't care.

'Til next time...


Anonymous said...

Thank your lucky stars that the cooking smells from your "can't speak English" neighbors seem appealing enough to put on your pizza.

Years and years ago, I made a home visit to a refugee family, recently here from an Asian country. What I smelled, as I approached the house, seemed to me to be in immediate need of burial. As I tried through an interpretor to find out what the smell was so I could protect them from possible contamination, it turned out that the smell was their supper cooking! I never wanted to find out what it was. I finished the visit outside, where breathing - while still difficult - was at least possible.

Trubador said...

Oh, that's just classic!