February 27, 2010

Yeah, that apology seems pretty genuine.

Because I was getting nowhere, the other day I sent an email to American TV and Appliance the complaining about the service response we've received to our ripped couch debacle. This was my message: In early December, I purchased a couch. We were told that it would be up to a 3 month waiting period because we were gettinga color that wasn't on the sales floor. So we waited. Finally, after 3 months, it was delivered. The couch came, it was set down in my living room, and the two delivery men raced out of the house. Before they were even out of the driveway I moved a precariously perched throw pillow that was placed in a weird spot, only to notice a 1" x 1" L-shaped rip in the middle of the back-right couch cushion. I immediately called your office, understanding that sometimes these things happen, and companies fix them. I quickly learned this was not to be the case. I was informed that I'd have to take another day off work at the day and time convenient of a service tech who would have to come and look at it or I'd be charged a restocking fee. (Remember, this was for a 5-minute old couch delivered ripped). When I said that was unacceptable, that I couldn't take yet another day off work for this, I was told someone would call me back the next day to see what could be done. No one called. 3 days later, I received an automated message, informing me that a service tech would be at my house on Monday between the hours of 8 - 5. I called again to cancel the appointment and follow-up on the phone calls I'd never received. I was told someone would call me the following day. I got another automated message confirming an appointment I hadn't made. A real person never called. So on the second day, I called again, with more excuses and promises of a call-back. Finally, later that day, I received a call from a technician who told me he'd order another cushion, but it would be quite a while before it came in. A week later, I receive a voice mail on my home phone informing me that the cushion would be in on March 5th and I'd have to take another day off work to let the tech in to repair it. And to this, I have to honestly ask, "Are you kidding me?" I paid for a couch that I then waited 3 months for, to have it delivered ripped, to then turn around and have to wait yet another month for the cushion to come in so I can take a day off work for it to be repaired? And to even get to that point, it took countless phone calls and days of badgering people who had promised to get back to me and never did. This has been the worst customer service experience I've had in my life. I've received empty promises, unreturned phone calls, and not a single "I'm sorry" in the entire process. To say that I'm disgusted by the service I've received would be an understatement. The only good part is that after this, I'll never deal with it again. In the meantime, I'll continue to share my story with anyone who will listen in the hopes of preventing another mishap with your company. *************
And the response via email:
Mrs. Rysewyk,
I am in receipt of your email from earlier this afternoon describing yourrecent delivery issues. Please accept this email as a response to your concerns.
I would like to start by offering my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this situation may have caused you. It is certainly never our intention to inconvenience our customers, and I apologize if this situation has caused you to be frustrated.
I'm assuming you were initially pleased with your furniture purchase and can only imagine the disappointment you must have felt in noticing the damage to your product. Although our delivery and warehouse crews attempt to avoid damage by carefully prepping and handling the products, sometimes despite their best efforts, damage does occur.
Mrs. Rysewyk, although I understand your frustration with the damage to your product, as stipulated under the terms of American's Special Order Agreement(an agreement you signed prior to the ordering of these products):
"Special Order product in need of repair due to damage or defect will be repaired. Products will be replaced only if they cannot be repaired as determined by American."
With the above-information in mind, we believe that we are correctly responding to your furniture concerns in accordance with the Special OrderAgreement. Our records indicate that the necessary part for repair has beenordered, with an estimated arrival date of March 5th. In addition to this information, I have requested that our service center look into the possibility of expediting the part order with the manufacturer. However, as the part is being shipped from the manufacturer, we are subject to their production and shipping schedule, and expediting the order may not be a possibility. Rest assured that you will be contacted promptly with the results of our request. After how many of my phone calls this time?
Again, I sincerely the more you say sincerely, the less apt I am to believe you apologize for any inconvenience this situation may havecaused you. If you have any further questions, comments or concerns, or wish to discuss the matter further, I can be reached at (608) 275-7474 (608) 275-7474 or via email at
Rachel Willadsen
Corporate Consumer Relations
I don't know what's the worst: that she referred to me as "Mrs", that she essentially did nothing but quote their policy to me, that there's absolutely no mention of the lack of response I got over and over again or that their policies are ridiculous enough to set your hair on fire, or that I still had to pay the $50 delivery fee!
So now I do the one little thing I can do, and that's tell everyone I know. So thank you for reading. And feel absolutely free to share the my experience with your friends, either via word of mouth or a link to this post. Because American TV and Appliance is about the most unfriendly customer service I've ever experienced, and if I can prevent one more person from going there, then it would soften the blow just a little.

February 26, 2010

Morning views

I have to say that waking up with this sweet red-cheeked face next to me, just staring at me, waiting with a stifled giggle for me to wake up, just might be the sweetest thing ever. And yes, my camera was by my bed stand. Deal with it.

February 25, 2010

Thank you

C-man came home last night wanting to write a thank you note to Case (K5), because he stood up for him when Mary Grace (1st grade) was teasing him at the lunch table. It made me pretty happy to see him wanting to let someone else know how important their actions were to him. But it also made me think that there are people in my life that I haven't thanked recently.
Who haven't you thanked or recognized today? Let's go tell them.
The note says: Thank you Case for being nice to me at lunch. He wanted it to then say: when Mary Grace was taunting me, but I told him we probably didn't need to include that part.

February 24, 2010

When I grow up

And to think all I could come up with at that age was "nurse".

February 23, 2010

Doesn't it mean Saint Diego?

San Diego! So it's official. After a solid week of listening to the short one cry, "I really, really, really want to see Shamu too!" we're heading to San Diego over Easter as his birthday present. It's one of the many perks of being an only child, I guess. Now the trick is to keep it a secret for a whole month until his birthday!

February 22, 2010

Credit earned where credit is due

So my husband was named one of Milwaukee's Forty Under 40 this year. It's a pretty cool thing, and I'm quite proud of him. Even if he's all "meh, it's a free dinner". Anyhow, it's well deserved, and I think it's super cool, and wanted to brag a little. And on a totally unrelated note, here's a shot I like of something green I saw last week.

February 20, 2010

My weekend to-do list

Apparently someone in our house who is learning to write has a definite opinion about getting his hair cut this weekend.

February 19, 2010


But he that dares not grasp the thorn Should never crave the rose. ~Bronte

February 9, 2010

What's in a blog

I've had this blog for a few years now. And it has been a fun place to write about little pieces of my life, leave some funny anecdotes, and share some of my creativity. After all, I really enjoy writing and sharing my photos. And an unintended consequence has been that I've met some really interesting, fun people with whom I have a lot in common. But in spite of all that, lately it's become more of a downer for me than anything.
For some reason, the things I post have become fodder for those closest to me to critique or criticize. Or worse, it has been a way for friends or family to check in on me, despite never contacting me any other way. And why would they? I mean, after all, they already know ALL there is to know about my life, right? And that, I just find totally depressing.
Admittedly, I've been dealing with a lot of heavy shit lately. Things that I would never put in this blog. One, because it's not what I want my blog to be about. But also, because right now it's just too much for me to honestly put myself out there just to get smacked alongside the head by those who are supposed to be my support system.
So I'm going on hiatus. Consider it a blog vacation. I don't know when I'll be back. Hell, maybe tomorrow after I get a decent night's sleep and this low front passes. But until then, you can find me around my usual hangouts.

Who can resist this little gem?

February 8, 2010

Happy Monday: The TV was hung on the chimney with care

This weekend we went to town on the living room. The couch is in position, the shelves and books dusted (holy balls, where did all THAT come from?), and most importantly, the TV is hung on the chimney, thereby realizing one of my dreams for 2010. (I really dream big, don't I?) It was a way bigger project than either of us had expected. But we now have a flat screen high-def TV with a high-def DVD player, on rabbit ears. Pure happiness. Swa-eet! (And yes, we'll get the cords tied up. One thing at at time) And C-man is in heaven, because now he has his own room set up with all his toys, a love seat and his own TV, DVD, and game system. What more could an almost 5 year old dream for?
In ripped couch news, I finally got a call from the repair tech today. I emailed him the photos of the offense. He's ordering me a new cushion. And while it'll take some time to get a new one, at least I didn't have to take a day off work for them to tell me that! Nonetheless, I'm crossing American off my list. This service and lack of a discount for my pain and suffering sucks.

February 7, 2010

Holy productivity!

We've been painting and shopping and furniture rearranging until watching Karate Kid X actually looked good. But the good news is the livingroom is mostly set, with the TV on the wall and the (ripped) couch in place. Cman has his own area now with a TV and toys. We just have to get rid of the old couch now and figure out what to do with all these books. Then it's back full-time on the bathroom until it's finished. After that, it's kitchentime.

Now I'm going to watch the Colts win with a box of Kleenex while I try to endure my allergies that have gone into high gear from having dusted so much today. Sad, but true. Thank God the cleaners are here on Wednesday.

February 5, 2010


Some weeks I'm on my game. And then other weeks are just a slippery downhill slope from the minute they start. The latter was most definitely was this week for me. But, as EB White said: Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than a whole one.

February 4, 2010

Random Thursday Thirteen

  1. I went to the rheumatologist on Tuesday. I still have arthritis and if it is left untreated will cause me to get heart disease.
  2. If I do "treat" it, those drugs will most likely give me cancer.
  3. My rheumatologist asked me why I was not smiling and seemed so depressed.
  4. If I didn't hurt so much, I would have slapped him. Hard.
  5. I once went to a therapist about all this crap because somehow I figured that's what I was supposed to do to make it all better.
  6. I stopped going after visit #3 when he told me I needed to go on an antidepressant, which was a typical need for Tauruses. Yes, as in, my zodiac sign because I was born in May was determining my mental health and pharmacological needs.
  7. I now firmly believe most therapists are much crazier than I am, which is why they go into the profession in the first place.
  8. I've decided to use knitting in front of my SAD light as my therapy instead.
  9. This past weekend I finally finished knitting the front of my sweater in the entrelac pattern I'd just learned how to do.
  10. The dimensions were supposed to be 19" x 23".
  11. Even though I cast on EXACTLY to the pattern with the RIGHT YARN it called for, mine came out 34" x 23". It could be a front of a dress. Or as Beerman pointed out, a sweater for him.
  12. I swore. A lot. Because there's no fixing it.
  13. I'm starting the front over again, but with my own dimensions to make it 19" x 23". It should go much quicker this time.

February 3, 2010

My couch is here

After too much money and 3 months of waiting, last night, my couch FINALLY got delivered. And I love my red cushions.About 5 minutes after the ridiculously quick "goodbye" as the 2 delivery guys ran out the door, and C-man got on the couch, dislodging one of the red pillows they'd perfectly placed, I noticed this. Seriously, are you catching that 1"x1" L-shaped rip right in the middle of the couch cushion that looks suspiciously like where a thumb would go when carrying it in and the delivery guy deliberately covered up and got the eff out of dodge in about 3 seconds flat?!? So I called up American TV and Appliance. The woman was calm and courteous, but informed me that they'd have to send someone out to see if it could be repaired or I'D BE CHARGED A RESTOCKING FEE! And then it got even BETTER. The only time they could send someone out to do this would be on a week day from 8 - 5. I told her that was outrageous, since I wasn't taking a day off work so they could fix their screw-up. After a serious back and forth where I almost threw the phone through the window at least twice, she said she'd call me back.
About 10 minutes later, the sales guy called me back, was super apologetic, and said they'd call today because they needed to fix it without me driving 40 minutes from work to let them look at something they delivered damaged. So we'll see how this goes. There's no way they're going to be able to repair this. And if I have to wait another 3 months for the right, unripped couch, I might lose it. But service is king, so I'm reserving official and final judgment on them until I see how this gets resolved.
In the meantime, I'll be over here, muttering and swearing to myself with a pen poised to cross American off my list.

February 2, 2010

Deep cleansing breaths

It started snowing overnight. That really nice, giant flake, fluffy kind of snow. The kind that silences everything, all the car noise and sirens and clatter of the world, and leaves behind all the good things, like chirping birds and a woodpecker hammering away at the tree.So Harry and I went to the park first thing before anyone else had messed it up with tracks.We gave the bunnies a pass on messing with our pristine snow. (The squirrels were a different matter entirely; Harry was not all all forgiving of them.) I have a rheumatologist appointment later today, and I never like what I hear, even though I know what it's going to be. So it was a real blessing to be able to head out into the snow this morning and have a rare moment of silence to myself.

February 1, 2010

Happiness Monday: Hell might have just frozen over

Every marriage has its ups and downs. Every marriage has a sticking point - that one thing that IF it gets discussed, starts a fight or hurts feelings. And sometimes it doesn't get discussed at all. And sometimes, quite unfortunately, it doesn't come out until divorce court. If you're sitting there right now thinking, "Not me," I'm going to have to ask you to have a frank conversation with your spouse. Because there's ALWAYS something.
For example, we have our master bathroom. The room that has been left in some state of disrepair/remodel for 5 years. Yes, not a typo. 5.Friggen.Years. We make progress, then we disagree, and then we, quite literally, just shut the door. Yes, Oprah, I know we haven't been fighting just about the bathroom. There's been a lot of pride involved. Yet the door remained shut.
So what does this have to do with Happiness Monday? That's because this past week, the door opened. Because we're both doing a little lot of pride swallowing, and we're going to get this done, even if it's not the exact way either of us want it. (Now isn't that a nice metaphor for the difficulties in marriage?)
So the tile and walls are painted. The shower is caulked. (I even had a glorious inaugural shower in it last night.) And while the trim still needs a second coat, the ceiling needs new lights, and we need a new toilet seat, (not to mention window treatment and wall stuff) the fact that there is some serious tangible progress says something pretty important.
So if you felt the earth move this weekend, that wasn't an earthquake, it was hell freezing over. Because I swear, it WILL be complete by the end of February.