Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Then the fireworks

It's been a busy day. We put together a piece of furniture. We took the girls out to It'z for pizza and games. Then we bought some fireworks. We had some fun with them earlier tonight. Now Isa and Gabe are watching Wall-E. Paula is doing an end-of-year ritual (writing all the bad things that happened to her in a piece of paper and burning it), and I came here for my last post of 2008.

I wish everybody a happy new year. The year 2009 will be a challenging one in many respects. Let us hope it will be a rewarding one as well. See you on the other side.

Adios, 2008

What a tumultuous year it was. Let's hope that things improve in the coming years.

In terms of this blog, 2008 was not as active as the previous year. I have posted about half of what I posted in 2007, and the last few entries have been photo and video postings. This year I did not participate in many writing challenges. The stresses of work occupied a bigger chunk of my time this year, and left me with little energy to attempt any creative endeavors, ruminations about life, or explorations of my feelings.

I do not know what will happen with the blog going forward. I have no intention to end it, but I have to find the spark again. I do not want my blog to be another chore I dread.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 3, in which I am pissed off at Sprint

I am in a much better mood this morning. Sometimes, when I get frustrated with something, I assume a gloom-and-doom view of life. I think that was the case yesterday.

My frustration today is not directed at my life, or my husband, or my kids. It is rather directed at my stupid cell phone company, Sprint. I just got hit with a $200 early termination fee for a phone line that I did not terminate. My daughter Paula lost her purse, with the cell phone in it. As a protection, I called Sprint last week to request that a block be put on her phone. How did that translate into a cancellation of the extra line we have in our account is beyond me.

Because I have my payments set up to come automatically out of my bank account, they hit me with the incorrect charge before I even had time to review my bill. And when I called them to get it fixed, I had to talk to 3 different people without the issue coming to a full resolution. As it stands, the account services people requested a credit and placed a request for their finance dept. to process the refund quickly, but I have absolutely no confirmation that they will, and it takes 24 to 72 hours before the finance people get back to me.

Customers should not be made to suffer because of how a company is organized internally. The three people I spoke to at customer service all put me on hold for several minutes while they found out how to deal with the matter or searched for the next person to transfer me to. They did not even know that I had already been hit with the charge in my bank account.

It is not unreasonable to expect to deal with just one person, who has access to my full history (including payment history) and is empowered enough to request a refund and confirm to me when I will get it. Why can't Sprint get it? I have been a customer for a long time, for the sole reason that Puerto Rico was part of their network before other carriers. But AT&T and Verizon offer coverage now, so that is no longer a reason. And I have been very dissatisfied with Sprint's coverage and customer service for a long time, so there is no love lost there.

This is not the first time I get hit with an early termination fee for a line I have not cancelled. Earlier this year I got new phones shipped to me, and one of them was not what I requested. They sent a replacement and when I sent back the first phone, they cancelled my husband's phone (which was not tied to the returned phone) and hit me with an early termination fee. WTF? Are their systems really that obtuse, or do they just employ a bunch of yahoos who don't know what the hell they are doing?

I will wait until my contract expires, and then I am changing providers. After eight years as a customer, I am officially sick and tired of Sprint.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December Vacation, Day 2

Day one of my vacation is under my belt, but I do not have much to show for it. My biggest accomplishment yesterday was gift-wrapping some of the girl's Christmas presents. No progress on the mountain of dishes, or the piles of papers and unread mail. Gabe and I talked about him maybe coming early from work so we could spend some (much needed) time alone, but he got caught up with work and it did not happen. This bugged me more than anything else, and I spent last night acting all cranky and sulky, even though I had earlier said it was fine and not to worry about it. I had never considered myself a passive-aggressive person, I guess I learn something new about myself every day.

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, my chest tight. I had to do an asthma treatment and take an expectorant. I hate living in a place with poor air quality. But it is the cold that affects me the most. As soon as the temperature drops, I start wheezing. Every year I get a bad cold, bronchitis or a walking pneumonia.

Today I have lunch with my friend Amanda. I am looking forward to that. Maybe afterwards I will get a massage. I would have expected to be relaxed today, this being my second day away from work. But my shoulders are stiff and I have a knot in my stomach. For someone so quick to anger, so expressive in my emotions, I am wound up surprisingly tight.

I am on a reflective mood this morning. I think of where I am now, and try to recall if I ever had a life plan, a place where I envisioned myself at forty. I don't think I ever did. I have lived most of my life on an accidental basis, driving without a map. Despite this, I think things have turned out okay for me. Why, then, am I so restless? I think of trade-offs, the things I have given up and the things that I have; I am not sure that I have made the right decisions in that area. I am not sure that I value what I have more than what I wish I had. That is a terrible thing to think. It makes me feel selfish and greedy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow flurries!

It NEVER snows where I live, so when we had wispy flurries falling upon us this afternoon, I could not resist taking a few pictures. Click on the pics to better see the flurries.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Another Tuesday

California was OK. We were very busy, doing nine training sessions in all. I think they went OK, since this was the first time our group presented.

I am not part of the group anymore, though. As soon as I got back to work on Monday, my boss sent me a message saying that effective yesterday, I am no longer under him and I now report to his boss. That means that my duties are considered outside the charter of what he is currently doing. We knew this was coming as a result of the reorganization. I am still mentally processing that and wondering how the change will affect my day to day operations.

I am planning to take vacation starting next week until the end of the year. I have a lot of vacation hours accrued, so I think I will take a good, long rest.

My birthday is this weekend. Tick, tock, you're getting old. Yikes!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I am in Anaheim California. I landed at the OC Airport yesterday. I am not impressed at all by what I have seen so far. There is a thick blanket of smog/smoke covering everything. I saw it from the sky as the plane made its descent. Yuck. I hope my asthma does not flare up.

Yesterday Gabe and I have talked on the phone several times. I also talked to Paula, who told me she missed me, and to Isabel, who said she wanted me to come home and sleep on my bed next to daddy. I miss them all.

I am on Houston time still. I woke up at 4 AM. Today I do four training sessions. I have stage fright.