Thursday, February 19, 2009

My light

With the way I've blogged the last two months you'd never guess Gray celebrated his first Christmas and sampled his first birthday cake. You wouldn't know that he walks like it's nobody's business, dances a serious jig, sleeps through the night, takes semi-regular naps, opens every drawer and cupboard in the house that isn't glued shut, and has become feistily independent. The lack of blogging doesn't mean I don't love him, though. It just means he keeps me on my toes and I'd rather spend my time dancing alongside him than perched in front of my computer screen. He is the best part about my day. Grayson, I love being your mommy more than you'll ever know. I love you!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Future hygienist?

I know I've been out of commission since February began, but it's been for good reason. First, I threw two birthday parties for Grayson which resulted in a total of three thorough house cleanings and a steady stream of dishes for days afterward. Second, my Microbiology class this semester is extremely difficult and I've been spending a lot of my free time studying and on my labs. Sadly, I only got an 89 on our first test, but the class average was a mere 67 so I must still be a good student. The high score on the test was a 95 so it's not impossible to ace his tests - I just need to study a little bit harder next time.

In the middle of everything, I needed to take the HOAE
by February 13 to finish my application to this year's dental hygiene program. Taking that test turned out to be a bigger hassle than everything else combined. It takes nearly 2 1/2 hours to take the test and of course it's only offered during day hours. Couple that with an hour's drive round trip to the campus and back and either Josh needed to stay home from work one day or I'd have to get a babysitter for four long hours.

After several failed attempts of arranging my free time with my class, with Josh's work schedule, and with our other obligations, I finally made it down to take the test on Friday - the last day the test was available. I must be one of the freaks that has good luck instead of bad luck on Friday the 13th because I scored in the 90th percentile for nonverbal and the 99th percentile in all the remaining subjects - verbal, arithmetic, academic aptitude, spelling, reading comprehension, the natural sciences, and the vocational adjustment index. As it turns out, no one is placed in the 100th percentile, even if they miss no questions (like me). Yay!

So it looks like I'll have an excellent chance at getting into the 2009 program. Which is what I was told last year when I got denied for taking the wrong Chemistry class. I should know by mid-April what the next couple of years hold for me. If I don't get in this year we've decided we're going to scrap the whole thing and just focus on family. Josh and I aren't spring chickens anymore and we don't necessarily want Grayson to be an only child. We know that our ultimate goal of furthering Josh's education will work out when it's supposed to.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dear Wells Fargo

So you all probably think I'm quick to complain and not as quick to compliment, but I promise that's completely contrary to the way I operate. I actually love giving praise to a person or company moreso than giving criticism (but you'd better believe that life is much more pleasant for you if you stay on my good side). In fact, it should be stated that during my call to Albertson's 877 number Monday night, I told LaTonya that I wanted to make it very clear that I have never been mistreated by anyone at that Albertson's store before that evening, and she actually let me file two compliment reports (if you want to call them that) about other workers. Brandon and Braydon, you are the most helpful grocery store workers ever!

But let's rewind to last week - or rather, a few years ago. When Josh and I married, we added my name to his banking accounts at America First Credit Union for a variety of reasons, but I never closed my Wells Fargo accounts because I'm lazy and there are many more WF branches lurking around than AFCU branches. I've had my WF
accounts since 1996 - back when it was a First Security account (before WF bought them out).

When we moved to Las Vegas, we figured we'd have to go with WF because AFCU is only in
Utah. It just so happened that there was a WF in a shopping complex less than a mile from our house - perfect, except that every single person at that branch was terribly rude. I've never known any customer service personnel more focused on making things as difficult as possible for their customers as that entire branch. It was absolute torture to do the simplest of tasks there, and I didn't go in more than 1-2 times per month. Luckily for us, a few months later we embraced the beauty that is ING Direct and linked our WF and AFCU checking accounts to our ING accounts. We dumbed down the WF account as much as possible and only kept the checking account out of the necessity of having a local branch to make deposits to. But as quickly as those deposits posted, we transferred them to ING, so we've not kept a balance of more than $25 in WF since June 2006.

Anyway, when we moved back to Utah, we planned to close the WF account completely, use AFCU for our deposits and keep ING for everything else. But once again, there is a WF branch much closer to my house (same shopping plaza as the Albertson's), and the nearest AFCU is almost 2 miles away, so I haven't closed the account. And I'm glad, because as I've made sporadic deposits here and there over the last 16 months, I've learned that...

My new Wells Fargo branch is full of nice people. REALLY nice people. Almost sickeningly nice. They want my business and they'll go out of their way to make sure I'm always taken care of and promptly. I love it. They coo over Grayson and always offer me a pen and a sucker when I use the drive-up window. I ♥ them.

Ironically, I told them these things just last week. An exceptionally nice girl helped me at the window and when my transaction was complete I asked her if the manager was available. After noting her deer-in-headlights look, I assured her it wasn't anything bad, I just wanted to pay her a compliment. And I did. A big one. I told the manager about my branch in Vegas and suggested that she take her staff down there and teach them how to treat their customers. I told her I don't expect the red carpet considering I don't really use any of their services and only keep a very small amount of money in my account, but I appreciate it anyway. After referring to myself as an 'unimportant customer' she quickly interrupted me and assured me I was NOT unimportant. Then she apologized for interrupting.

Fast forward one week and lookit what arrived in the mail today (no, not Grayson, the card he's holding): It's a card from Wells Fargo thanking me for my business. It says, "Thank you so much for your feedback today. We wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your business. Thank you again." Jodi signed it. Melissa signed it. Crystal Hanson signed it. Somebody Campbell signed it. Even a doctor signed it! And most of them also included their own little diddy to me. So in summary I just want to say that Wells Fargo, although I won't be making you my primary banking institution any time soon, you just scored some really big points with me. I'm going to remember this.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dear Allie at Albertson's

Remember me from last night? The woman you were short with when I asked about more frozen potatoes? Remember that? How stupid you tried to make me feel by sending me to look for a sale item amongst the regularly-priced items when you knew they were out of stock? That wasn't very nice, but I would have let it slide had our evening ended there.

But remember how after I checked out and started looking at my receipt, you were very rude and condescending when I asked you to refund me the $2.00 difference from the two cans of Enfamil I purchased for my son? Remember how the shelf tag said $21.99 for the 24-ounce can but I was charged $22.99 for the 20% more free (28.8-ounce) can? Remember how I explained to you that 20% of 24 ounces is 4.8 ounces, so the 28.8-ounce cans perched in that spot on the shelf were obviously supposed to be the same price as the 24-ounce cans? Remember how you couldn't find a separate shelf tag for the 28.8-ounce cans? Remember when I showed you that the can said "20% more free" and not "20% more for one more dollar"? Remember how you kept saying over and over again that the UPC code was different, and I acknowledged that, but I just wanted you to stop and think about some simple math for a minute? Remember how I just wanted my two bucks back, but you were completely unhelpful and started walking away from me when our conversation wasn't finished?

Well, I went in today to talk to a REAL manager and guess who was right? I was. Are you surprised? I sure as hell wasn't. The REAL manager mentioned you'll be getting a private lesson from the big wigs on using some common sense. Well, that is, if you're around long enough to get it. When I told her that I called the 877 number last night to complain about my experiences with you, the REAL manager mentioned that means you might be gone before they'll get a chance to educate you on properly interpreting shelf tags. Oops - sorry about that! And as a bonus, seems Albertson's has a policy that if something rings up incorrectly, it's free. In this case, one can of formula was free, and the other was just price-matched to the shelf tag.

So to summarize...I paid $22.99 each for two cans of formula, used 2 $3.00 manufacturer coupons plus an Albertson's matching coupon of another $1.00 off each, plus I did a partial payment with two $5.00 Enfamil checks. The total refunded to me was $24.75, so when all was said and done, I spent $4.61 on 56.6 ounces of formula powder, plus about 10 minutes on the phone last night and maybe another 15 minutes in the store today. Not too shabby, eh?

What cost me very little may end up costing you your job. Gees, that's too bad. Or not. It's your fault, so you should be held accountable for your actions. All I wanted was two dollars refunded to me. Why wouldn't you just do it? You knew I was right, but I guess the thought of caving to another couponing mother was just too much. Maybe next time you see a mother shopping only the ad items you'll be a little nicer to her instead of dismissing her as irrelevant. My two primary jobs are (listed in order of importance) 1) Taking excellent care of my son; and 2) Stretching my husband's hard-earned dollars as far as possible. Guess what? I'm really good at both of them, thank you very much.

And dare I say that you can have an opinion about how I spend my money when you start paying my bills? Fair enough? Good. Glad to see we've come to an understanding.

Daisy Paige