Monday, October 27, 2008

The weekend - in point form

So, I didn't get to Surrey. I don't know that I ever will. And it's all right, I wouldn't have wanted to miss this weekend at home, anyway.

After work Saturday, went to the local Farmer Clem's with DH and Pebbles and bought some Honey Crisp apples (yum) and a big fat pumpkin.

Went from there to a local hobby farm, to pick up BamBam from a birthday party. The kids both had pony rides, and we spent a while hanging out in the petting pen with some baby goats, a turkey and a couple of Llamas. Also had some interesting face time with a pot-bellied pig. He was cool.

Went home, and took some pictures of the kids playing in the leaves.

Ate pork roast rubbed with garlic, rosemary and pepper, and then glazed with a honey-soya marmalade mix. Mashed potatoes with mayo and green onion, too.

Made sugar cookies with the kids - we made a helluva mess but it was worth it.

Sunday, carved the pumpkin. Played play-dough. Made cream of broccoli soup for lunch, it was really good.

1 medium onion
2T butter
2c finely chopped fresh broccoli (I had about 1" pieces)
2 1/2 cups milk
2T chicken oxo
1c shredded cheddar cheese
3-4 drops hot pepper sauce

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add onion and cook until tender. Add broccoli, stir and cook 2-3 more minutes. Add milk, OXO powder and hot sauce, stir occasionally until broccoli is tender. Add cheese, stir until melted. Serve.

Went to bed early in fresh sheets, and slept like a log.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Peel my banana - it's comportant!!!

I love living with a toddler. Pebbles says the most incredible things these days, and at not quite two-and-a-half, we are suitably impressed.

Me: "Eat your spaghetties, Pebbles."
Pebbles: (long-suffering sigh) "It's spaghetti, Mom. Only one."

I guess she has my grammar thing. She also has my sweet tooth:

Pebbles: "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Me: "I don't know. What are you thinking?"
Pebbles: "I'm thinking....cookie."

Speaking of cookies, this week has been really crummy as far as customers and work goes (ok, except for the bread and honey. That was incredible.) And if anyone ever says to you that mercury is in retrograde, don't laugh. I tell you: people lose their minds, and nothing goes right for two weeks solid. I work in retail, just trust me.

I did make my wordcount goal the other day, and I've been developing the habit of writing a page or two in bed at night. It's working!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Yummy

And this is what happens. Make fun of some guy, and the Universe promptly smacks me on the Proverbial.

Remember Angry Customer from the last post? Well, she called me yesterday. She wanted her money back from the one hour labour she paid for our assessment of her computer (including the part where we said Duh, lady there's no freakin' fan in here) and the 8 viruses that we did, in fact remove, because we have Skills. Secret Ninja-Computer-Technician Mind Tricks, indeed. And a set of screwdrivers.

Her argument seemed to revolve around the fact that our assessment didn't jive with what the Other Guy said (yes, the one who called me - He of No Skills or Secret Ninja Tricks.) And since she didn't know which one of us to believe, someone must be Fibbing Big Time, and she didn't want to pay anybody any money until she got to the bottom of it. She would take it farther, she assured me. As in, to court.

This is Canada. To us, this qualifies as Truly Bizarre Behaviour.

So we replied that our charges were fair and honest, and being Without A Clue does not entitle one to a refund. If it did, I'd be waaay out of business. My husband had a long talk with her, during which he explained that we did the work that we were hired to do, to the greatest extent possible. We did not take her fan, (she was not accusing us of doing so) and hence we were not responsible - morally or financially - for any distress she may be experiencing. He welcomed her to find any person, anywhere, with grounds to suggest that we had ever been dishonest in our dealings.

At the end of the conversation, she said "So, I'm not getting my money back?"

Um, no. You're not.

And thankyouverymuch, Universe, for the reminder.

In other news, a week or so ago, an older lady came in and said she had all kinds of porn on her computer. (Put there by viruses, I assure you!) She was just the tiniest little bit upset and embarassed, so I leaned across the counter, touched her on the wrist and said...

"That's a very bad habit, you know."

She laughed. And yesterday when her computer was fixed, she brought me some lovely fresh bread - rustic and crunchy - from her daughter's bakery.

Today, another customer brought us some fresh honey from his very own bees. I'm thinking the two are going to be very tasty together. Aren't we lucky, to be so blessed with thoughtful, appreciative and caring customers?

This is a very funny world we live in.

Now, who makes fresh butter?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

On working with boys

A few weeks ago, a woman brought us a laptop for repair. In addition to a smattering of viruses, it seemed to have a heat issue, so my technician flipped it over, opened it up and fan. The whole cpu/heatsink assembly was missing. Gone.

Of course the customer had no idea where the fan went. She said the thing had nevah evah been taken apart since she bought it from a store down on the South Shore last Christmas.

I had my doubts as to whether the thing could actually go that long without a fan, but I hestitated over telling her that either a) she was wrong or b) someone in the house is lying or c) both.

(Aside: The thing is pink. It's been spray-painted pink, and the guy who sold it to her is the one who painted it. Professional, hunh?)

So Angry Customer now called the original vendor to complain about lack of fan, and he offered - right then, sight unseen - to go ahead and install the $130 fan for her. (Ok, buddy, it's your money.)

So this guy called me on the phone today. Right away, he had The Tone. The "I'm about to make you look stupid" tone. He was probably aggravated by the fact that he was out a sizeable chunk of green, and looking - and feeling - kinda dumb himself.

"It says here on your invoice that you charged her for an hour's labour, which was supposed to include virus scanning and removing 8 viruses from her data?"

"Yes, that's right." wait for it.....

"Well, I'm just curious, how could you POSSIBLY scan this thing in the two minutes it takes for it to overheat and shut down?" TaDAAA!

"Well, we took the drive out of the laptop and scanned it in our shop machine. We do that to prevent the viruses loading into memory so we can clean them properly." How the heck do YOU do a virus scan?


This sort of pissing contest happens, because this is an industry mainly operated by boys. I can't help but feel a little smug when one of them slips in his own piddle. I know it's wrong. It's just

Plans for today

In the interest of making myself accountable, I thought I'd pop in here and think out loud for a few minutes.

There are work things that need doing today - the usual customer care - be it telephone, counter or email - plus reconciling the transac account, finishing my October Mailout and getting that gone, and following up on the last month of repairs. (Thassa lotta phone calls!) I need to find out what happened to the renewal of my Trend license, and pay some bills.

In betwixt all this most excellent computer-store-lady behaviour, I am also determined to get down a scene that has been hanging around for a few days now. It's actually a rewrite of a section that I knew was wrong, and now I know how to fix it. I've given Carrie my horsey background, and this actually will help to cement the bond between her and Luke-the sexy-veterinarian. I'd like to see seven hundred words of that today. And I need to update my word meter, too!

So, off I go. First things first, though - coffee!