Thursday, April 26, 2018

Day 3045

Dealing with customer service is becoming increasingly difficult. It is a challenge to bypass the automated response systems and the offshore help desks to reach a knowledgable person who can actually help you. If you persist, occasionally you succeed. I was determined to get the illusive Fedex Ground package delivered today. The first person I talked to was out of the country. I asked this person to transfer me to someone who could actually make something happen and ended up talking to someone in Pennsylvania. This person transferred me to a supervisor in Texas and after about 45 minutes I finally ended up talking to the manager of the local shipping terminal about ten miles from my house.

When I finally reached someone locally who had the ability to call the delivery driver on his cell phone, I was able to provide detailed directions to my house and the package eventually got delivered. It shouldn't be this hard to get a company who's entire business is dedicated to delivering packages to actually deliver something. While I was going through customer service hell, I learned something I didn't really want to hear. Fedex Ground doesn't use their own uniformed drivers anymore. They farm out their deliveries to independent contractors. The whole setup sounded a lot like Uber for packages. Jeez. No wonder service has deteriorated. Why are so many companies determined to cut costs to the bone, no matter what happens to quality or service? The local terminal manager I talked with admitted that this new system didn't always work very well, but that there was nothing she could do about it. Corporate had decided that subcontracting their business to a third party was more profitable.

When I got one problem solved, I discovered that I had another. Several days ago, I bought a replacement for my broken activity tracker from a third-part reseller. Unfortunately, when I opened the box and plugged the thing into a charger, it wouldn't hold a charge. The battery was completely dead. In retrospect this makes sense. Jawbone has been on the verge of bankruptcy for several years now. They stopped manufacturing fitness trackers in 2016 and any remaining products have been sitting on the shelves for a long, long time. A quick Google search revealed that I had bought a brick. It was impossible to fix or replace the dead battery and equally impossible to get a replacement from a company that doesn't exist anymore. I'm going to try to return this piece of junk to the reseller, but I doubt that the want to see it again. No wonder I got such a good price. They've probably got a boatload of these things with completely dead batteries.

There was a bit of good news today. Dash slept peacefully last night and didn't have any coughing or breathing problems. I heard from Dash's doctor at the cancer center and he said that as long as the condition doesn't get worse, we don't need to do anything immediately. He wants to make sure that Dash is completely free of blood clots before we attempt to deal with the enlarged heart. I wonder if Dash knows how fragile he is? Despite his many problems, he still seems like a happy camper.

I saw a hawk catch and eat a mouse today. The mouse didn't have a chance. A little further down the road I noticed that the Purple Martins have driven the Sparrows out of the Martin Houses in the park. It was an ongoing battle for a while, but apparently the Purple Martins won. The animal world can be ruthless, but our own world is far worse. Two police officers were shot yesterday at a Home Depot where I frequently shop. They didn't have any more of a chance than that mouse.

Brady is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day