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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Dear Vogel State Park Employees:

My son and I needed to get some fresh air, so we booked one of your efficiency cabins for two nights.

The reservation process was easy.

Getting into the actual cabin was not.

We stopped at the visitors center to check in. It was locked, but there were two signs on the door.

I called both numbers and had to leave messages. Messages!

I opened the app. Checked my reservation. Yep: Everything was in order.

We went to the cabin. Saw this:

Great idea, if only the code came with the confirmation email.

It did not.

Me to Gideon: Well, it’s 3:30, and check in is at 4. Maybe I’ll get the code when I check in on the app then.
Gideon (skeptically): Maybe.

We went to the store to buy supplies. At 4, I checked in on the app.

Checked in — great! No door code — not great.

The beleaguered old man at the front gate when we returned was no help.

Just keep calling! You’re not the only one trying to check in.

We went back to the visitors center. Called the numbers. Left two more messages.

I was about to go FULL KAREN.

Suddenly, I see a Georgia State Parks official truck whizz by.

Gideon: Mama! Look!
Me: I see it!

I take off in hot pursuit. And by “hot pursuit,” I mean 20 mph. The speed limit is 15.

The truck stops at the boathouse. A harassed woman gets out. Looks at me in surprise as I pull up behind her.

Me: We’re trying to get into our cottage and have been calling the numbers.
Her: No one has time to answer the phone.
Me: So how do we get in?
Her: Knock on the back door of the visitors center.
Me (gaping in shock): Ok. Thanks.
Her: And slow down!

Back at the visitors center, we go around back. It’s clear that members of the public are not supposed to be back there.

Gideon knocks. We hear scuffling. The door opens a crack. A youngish blonde woman peers out like this is a damn speakeasy!

Center dweller: Yes?
Me: We would like to check into our cabin.
Her: One moment. (Shuts door.)

In a couple of minutes, she returns with a code written on a sticky note.

Me: Thank you. We’ve been trying to call.
Her: Yeah, we’re not answering the phone. We’re doing inventory.

Inventory! WHY? When people are trying to check in?!

FFS.

Anyway.

The code works. The cottage is great. All is well.

The lake and grounds are beautiful. But your check-in process sucks.

Please get it together.

Thank you,
Beth, a Georgia resident and state park consumer

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Dear Royal Caribbean,

The travel industry has been hit hard. I don’t have to tell you that, as cruise companies such as yourself have experienced catastrophic losses.

So I would think you would be upping your customer service game.

I’d be wrong. Clearly.

You still suck.

After the first time we traveled with you, I vowed it would be the last.

But sometimes you have to go along with the group, and my group decided to give you another go.

We were supposed to go in June, but PANDEMIC. So we got a credit toward a future cruise.

On Tuesday, the group bat signal went up that it was TIME TO BOOK said cruise.

It is fairly easy to book a cruise (i.e., spend money) on your site.

You know what is not easy to do? ANYTHING ELSE.

  • Link reservations with the others in the group? No. I have to call.
  • See my credit? Nope. Call.
  • Use my credit? Hell no. Call.

Sigh.

So I called, and got the very snippy Miguel. Here’s how part of the conversation went down:

Me: I’d like to use the credit from my cancelled cruise.
Miguel: I see that you spoke to a representative March 9 and were promised a credit.
Me: Yes.
Miguel: You want to use that credit toward the cruise you just booked.
Me: Yes.
Miguel: That credit has not been processed yet.
Me: Not processed? It’s been two months.
Miguel: Yes. I see that you called March 9. May I put you on a brief hold?
(Brief hold commences. Miguel returns.)
Miguel: You will receive an email next week with a confirmation code for the credit. You will then need to call back to ask to have the credit applied.
Me: So let me get this straight: I had to call to cancel to get a credit. Then call to get the credit processed. Then I have to CALL once I receive an EMAIL that my credit is ready so that I can have my credit applied.
Miguel: Yes.
Me: You know that’s insane, right?
Miguel (at his snippy summit): This is our process.

The next step is to link reservations so that we can all sit together at dinner. Miguel is aghast that I would want something else from him. He informs me that both Sophia and Petra have to put in their reservation notes that they want to link with me, and I have to do the same.

MY GOD.

I text both Sophia and Petra about this situation. We are the ones in our families who HANDLE THINGS. So we are handling things like the Tracy Flicks we are. All three of us are on the phone independently with you, Royal Caribbean. It is NO WONDER the wait time to speak to a representative is so long.

Sophia goes FULL KAREN and asks to speak to a manager. I’m so glad she did.

Sophia’s method was so effective that I actually got a confirmation from her, Sophia, via text. Not from you, RC.

Ignore my dark humor. It’s how I cope.

Unbelievable.

So. We will see you in December, COVID willing. But I know I’ll be on the phone with you sooner.

And you know how much I love talking on the phone (sarcasm alert).

Hoping you see my point,
Beth

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This meme … so accurate.

Dear Friends and Family:

It’s Day 16 of captivity. I’m finding ways to amuse myself.

For example, I created a pandemic playlist. Y’all know I love a good playlist, and there’s something for everyone here.

I watched Tiger King, along with most of America, it seems.

Yes, it’s really the batshit crazy train wreck everyone says it is.

Someone posted a genius Bingo card for it.

This is what my card looked like after 30 minutes into JUST ONE EPISODE.

I had a virtual happy hour with Goat Yoga Lisa. And 36-hour Tina has planned one for Wednesday. During our chat, Lisa mentioned that her photos from St. Patrick’s Day 2019 showed up in her Facebook feed.

Lisa: There I was, in crowds! Standing close to people! Drinking other peoples drinks!
Me: Those halcyon days.

The family has laughed plenty playing board games.

I wish I could remember what the answer was for this Sensosketch.

I’ve done my spring (and summer and fall) cleaning plus all the laundry. I’ve been cooking nonstop. I even made egg salad — something I don’t often make because I hate peeling eggs.

The pollen has given me a headache and sore throat, but I’m still obsessively taking my temperature just to be sure.

Weird times, friends. Weird times.

Stay safe. Keep busy. Watch Joe Exotic.

Love,
Beth

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Dear COVID-19,

Pack your knives and go.

One day you’re in; the next day you’re out.

You’ve been chopped.

But yet you’re still here. And where am I?

Trapped on the couch watching way too much Reality TV. Clearly.

I even managed to get through some of my “Ridiculousness” backlog.

I still have a ways to go.

It’s only been a week of intense social distancing, but it has taken a toll on this extrovert who loves nothing better than to be out of the house.

I remember my mother and father always being aggravated with me:

Mom: Why can’t you sit still?
Me: I just can’t.

Dad: You are going out AGAIN?
Me: YES!

My boss told me I could work from home.

I said I had two teenage boys at home. No WAY I want to be there.

So I’ve been splitting my time.

Answer emails. Walk to work. Answer more emails. Advise students via Zoom. Talk to whoever might be around at a safe distance. Walk home. Answer more emails. Read industry reports.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

On Friday, I spoke to two people. It was a big day.

I’ve been doing plenty of cooking and cleaning. Talking to people ON THE PHONE (!). And drinking. So much for the good done via Dry January.

I just read a horrifying article that indicates this could go on for 10-12 WEEKS.

If that is what it takes to keep more people from getting you, COVID-19, then I understand, and will try not to complain.

But I really wish you would take the hint and LEAVE.

The tribe has spoken.

Impatient and unhappily housebound,
Beth

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Dear Santa,

Though you didn’t come through with anything on my previous list (in fact, my eye is worse), you worked through my family to ensure I had a great Christmas.

Just look:

I coveted this shirt. Eddie has one from his pals at CrossFit Steadfast in Savannah. I donate to Goat Yoga Lisa‘s fundraising campaign every year. Now I have a shirt of my own!

This is the gift that will keep on giving. Not only am I excited about learning how to do this art at the February class, but I can write about it. I’m going with Revell, the guy who cuts my hair. So that should be a hoot.

Behold a perfect gift for any Murderino.

That gift is from the kids. They know I listen to “My Favorite Murder” as I walk to work. Eddie reports the following conversation.

Him: Those are really expensive.
Dominic: They are for someone who deserves it. She deserves it. Plus, I’ve been a jerk.

And suddenly both my eyes had issues.

So thank you, Santa. Like Bono’s girl, you move in mysterious ways.

Love and kisses to you and the missus,
Beth

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Dear Students,

I love many parts of my job, but I like teaching you the most. When the semester is over, I’m actually sad (not relieved as many academic types are).

Public Speaking may be my favorite course to teach for three reasons:

  1. I get to know you extremely well through the topics you choose.
  2. You show a large amount of growth in a short amount of time. Each of you improves.
  3. I end up learning plenty.

In fact, this semester, I learned about child labor in smartphone construction, conspiracy theories about Kurt Cobain’s death, the House of Chanel, Chris Jericho’s career, and why you should exercise 5-6 times a week for 30 minutes (as opposed to 3 times a week for an hour, which is my routine at the moment).

I’ve written about student evaluations before, but here’s a recap: It is a little scary for me. There’s always someone who hates me and/or the class. But then I get feedback like this, and it takes out the sting:

(And her heart grew three sizes that day.)

Remember that I’m here for you long after the class ends. Yes, you have to climb a few flights of stairs to see me, but I’m also just a quick email away.

Best wishes,
Dr. Beth

 

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Dear Beer and Wine:

I know I’ve been MIA. There was no inciting incident; I just thought we needed a break.

It was a real break — a Ross break not a Rachel one.

Just look at this screenshot of my Dry January app.

Yeah. It’s called Dry January, but it tracks drinking for the whole year. My wino friend Goat Yoga Lisa suggested it. (The icon is a cup of tea, not a duck. British developers, I guess.)

It wasn’t just last month, though. Here’s October:

  • Oct. 5 was an ill-advised night out.
  • Oct. 19 was the Decatur Brew Fest.
  • Oct. 24 was the Big Freedia concert (one beer).
  • Oct. 28 was a glass of wine after a spectacularly difficult day at work.

My life has been kind of great without you.

Coffee and water are good company.

I’m not sure how long I’ll want to stay away from you and your friend liquor, though. Christmas is coming up, and I love a good spiked eggnog.

So maybe I’ll see you soon.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Obnoxious Man in 10D,

Why can’t you just be a d-bag in private? Why must you let your fool flag fly on this plane?

I’ve been sitting next to you for 10 minutes and you’ve made three loud-as-hell calls.

I don’t care about Kevin or his long-term goals. I’m not interested in the project that’s six months away. And I am not impressed that you need to spell out the timeline to people who don’t get it.

I need you to shut up.

Sit quietly in your middle seat.

Read a damn book.

Or maybe read this post where I talk about having manners in a public place.

Please let me enjoy this flight to a leadership conference in peace.

Thank you,
10E

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Dear Friends:

It’s the rare time of year in the South where I can put down the top on my convertible and be comfortable.

One of my favorite things to do is play music REALLY LOUD and (possibly) torture those around me.

I’ve been in a serious metal and rock phase lately: Think Halestorm, Drowning Pool, Rage Against the Machine, Disturbed, Metallica, etc.

But I do have eclectic taste. See this recent screenshot from my Ticketmaster app:

I’m looking for suggestions. What’s your favorite song? Though I will listen to almost anything, note that I’m not a huge fan of rap, trap, jazz and classical music.

And please don’t send me video game theme songs. The 14 year old has the lock on that. And he is persistent. (Read: annoying when he wants me to do something.)

(Yes, this is what I have to live with every day.)

Looking forward to your suggestions!

Sincerely,
Beth

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Dear Ca Phe Viet (that’s clever, btw),

In America, businesses typically have one focus. The Container Store sells containers. Publix sells groceries. Popeye’s sells (fight-inducing) chicken.

Not you.

I visited your Manchester establishment because you had a half-star rating higher than the other Vietnamese restaurant within walking distance.

Little did I know I would get so much bang for my buck.

I had no idea I’d be able to shop for Asian specialties from the comfort of my chair while slurping up savory Ph. How handy!

See, when I walked up, I thought these three awnings represented three distinct shops.

But no. I could eat lunch, do my grocery shopping AND buy a mobile phone/change my service.

You know what I was surprised I couldn’t get? A glass of water. You know, like regular water with ice in it.

When I asked for water, the server blinked a few times like she was trying to process the word. Then she brought me a mug of hot water.

But I guess you’re great at multitasking: selling calling plans, restocking sriracha, putting the kettle on.

So thanks for forcing me to try new things, such as hot water as a beverage with hot soup. Like you, I’ve branched out.

Kính thư,
Beth

* Thanks, Rick Ross.

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