Windows, windows, windows

The window installation was finished, supposedly on time, but in my book late. If you are supposed to start a 2 day job on Monday and don’t bother to start until Tuesday, it is impossible for you to finish on time.
Add to it we were supposed to have a Project Manager who would be our ‘go to’ for everything. We were told he would be here everyday the workers were and that he would be responsive to any of our questions. LIES! All lies!
To begin with, he never came to the house prior to the job start to see what the job really was all about. Bad practice dude! The first time we heard from him was a half an hour after they were supposed to be here for the job when he was calling to tell us they wouldn’t be showing up because of the inclement weather. Ironic is the fact it wasn’t inclement at our house. The weather was bad at their office which is almost 50 miles south of our house. I was upset. I called his boss, I logged a yelp review and provided them with a google review letting the world know how lousy this experience was becoming.
Fine, that is water under the bridge. The crew showed up on Tuesday morning. If I were in charge, they would have been here earlier to show a good faith effort to please the customer. They showed up, but it was after 9:00 am! To add to my frustration, this fictitious PM wasn’t with them. Really? That is not how you provide good customer service. The PM finally showed his face around 1:00 PM, but not until the lead called telling him he needed him to make an appearance.
This PM was here a total of 30 minutes. Okay, I will bump that to 31 so that I can say he was here for 1 minute per window we were having installed. This PM should be FIRED!!!
Day 2, the crew shows up around 9:00 am. Again it caught my attention that they really don’t start very early, even if they knocked off mid-day the day before. Not impressed with the work ethic exhibited here. To be honest, the slippage and the lackadaisical approach to the schedule screwed them out of a tip, which I had budgeted to give them if I were impressed. As frequently happens when you have a set of tasks that must be accomplished before a job is done, they ended up working into the night to complete all of the windows. They got it done, but it was definitely cold and dark before they were finished with the install.
Now comes the time for us to sign off on the work. Well, first, it is dark outside, we cannot possibly see. We refused. We liked the crew and the lead was a reasonable guy, so we negotiated to sign off enough that they could go home. If we had insisted on waiting for the PM, they would have wound up staying overnight for a lot of nights because as of this writing I still haven’t seen the assigned PM again since the day we started. Again, this PM should be FIRED!!!
As happens, eventually the office is going to want to be paid. It took about a week, but the office realized that we had not signed off on the install and were still waiting on the PM to get his lazy ass butt to our house to do a walk through. These guys did a decent job of installing the product, but I had noticed a couple of things that weren’t right and I expect them to be fixed before we sign off and pay. I have left my house torn up so I can show someone who cares the things that need to be fixed. I have forged ahead with ordering new window coverings as I knew there would be a lead time before delivery and I would really like to have all of this done before Christmas. Crazy talk to have a project that I started in June done by December!
I have other things to do in my life than wait around for a non-responsive PM to schedule to walk-through. Wednesday morning I went for a pedicure. Trust me when I tell you I needed on. No way could I wear winter boots without getting this done. I guess since a week had passed we triggered something in their system as lo and behold, all of a sudden the elusive PM started calling both my landline and my cell phone every 10 minutes. So glad I was having a pedicure and I always, always, turn my ringer off for my personal appointments. Saved this jackass a ton of grief as if I had picked up the phone, he would have gotten a piece of my mind and some serious instructions on how to do his job better.
Later Wednesday afternoon, I was at home working on things for a party I have wound up doing this weekend and here comes a knock at my front door. It was Ben from the company who we hired to do all of these windows. (For the record, I really like Ben! Ben has the kind of customer service skills that I appreciate.) I was thrilled to see him. For the first time in a week I felt like we might actually get something done!
Somehow, someway Ben had found out we hadn’t signed off on the contract and since he was in the area to do another measurement job, he thought he would stop by and see if there was something he could do to help. God bless Ben! He spent two and a half hours walking through the house with me. Taking pictures of every little nit and damage we had identified. Ben is a man of action. By the time he left, I had a date and time that the correction crew will be here to fix things. The job is not completed, but at least we have a date and Ben was smart enough to not try and push me for payment. Stay tuned.

Capital One epic fail!

Change is inevitable. It is kind of like death and taxes. No matter how well planned and organized you might think something is, give it time, it will change. Today’s rant is brought to you by my latest disappointment in banking and life upheaval 101.

I am so disappointed in Capital One!
They bought my favorite banking institution a number of years ago, but it wasn’t until recently I actually started paying attention. [New goal in life: Be in a position where I can fire and forget a ‘stash’ account!]
This is a wee bit of a tale of woe. Years ago, I opened an account with ING Direct! This was ‘bleeding edge’ banking and I gave it a try, not to mention they were offering the highest rates of return for savings. I LOVED it. This was the BEST banking UI and experience I had ever encountered! It was better than my brick and mortar experiences, hands down! Mind you, this was all before the whole “Mobile First” approach and we back-office types were still trying to figure out how to plumb the system, not to mention how unsettling this completely virtual banking relationship seemed to many of us, BUT they offered a high-yield alternative to traditional banks.
The timing was opportune for ING Direct – they were already offering decent rates for minimal deposits. (Probably the incentive that got my attention…but we are talking about a decade ago…) I locked in a 5% rate on a traditional CD for as little as $1,000. Sure do wish I would have had more to risk!
The onboarding for ING Direct was old school. It was multi-factored authentication, but it required the end-user to jump through a few hoops. I actually liked it. I remember telling my fellow product designers about how ‘comfortable’ I felt every time I logged into that account.
Fast forward to today. A lot of time has passed. My cd matured. I rolled it over, but am not getting anywhere near as much interest! Capital One said they were going to make this new account the ‘best of both worlds‘ I am here to tell you they failed – epically! Dear heavens why did you have to make this so painful, to do the same things ING Direct was doing so successfully?

I hate resumes

Naively I assumed that the ability to survive and thrive for over 6 years in a turbulent, ‘fast-paced’ information technology organization delivering the tools that facilitated the ‘un-carrier’ revolution.

Maybe that is where I need to start. Instead of formatting a resume as a brochure to get the conversation started, I need to create the ‘roadmap’ that takes the reader through my experiences.

Connect the dots for the reader!

How I know I am old!

Ever take a step back and think about how far we have come in just the past few years? I do. The bulk of my life has been in telecommunications.  When I was a kid, I was pricing out the cost to make phone calls so I could call my favorite auntie.

There was no such thing as ‘unlimited’ anything. You were lucky if you had a private line. There was one phone company period. It was illegal to own your telephone. You had to lease it from ‘Ma Bell’.

All of that changed, as I was coming of age. BAM!  Let’s break up Ma Bell! It will be good for the consumer. That changed the industry. That changed the world. I have a full-blown theory about how breaking up Ma Bell into the baby bells delayed expansion of communications fully into the western half of the country, but I digress. In today’s world all of those discussions are moot. What is frightening is the realization about how recent those events are in my mind, while those around me were learning to read.

Okay, those events were almost 40 years ago.  But the MCI/Worldcom debacle didn’t meet its final bitter-end until early 2005 when Verizon ultimately took them out of their misery.

I think I am the only one old enough to have had to calculate their landline, phone bill this way!

Old_MCI_Site

ERROR

Not doing so well with my resolution to post more than last year – so much has happened since I last wrote.

Personality style – I am typically a laggard.  Rarely do I ever pre-order anything, except maybe an old-fashioned book, the hard-cover type for my collection.  Yep, another place technology has me trapped.  Now I not only order the flipping hard-cover version, but I also now purchase an electronic copy.  Really, WTF am I thinking?!?

This year, I stepped out of my ‘slow and steady adoption’ philosophy and I jumped on the bandwagon and pre-ordered the Samsung Note 7.  ERROR.  This was really a stupid move on my part.  I am still trying to get my pre-ordered, delivered-on-time, amazing device replaced.  There you go I have plenty of fodder for entries if I use this space to jot down my drama trying to replace my beloved, potentially explosive, phablet.

To date, I have responded to every, single warning message.  I have physically been to numerous stores attempting to do a ‘ship-to-store’ replacement device.  I have talked to the support people multiple times for both my carrier and Samsung.  I have downloaded the update which turned my battery from green to grey and tells me constantly to replace my device.  I am at my wits end!  I am seriously considering buying an unlocked Samsung Note 4, like my sons and obtaining a refund.  There are multiple good reasons for considering this move and I am damn near done waiting for the powers that be to get their act together.  Stay tuned….

Something new is never a benefit until you use it…..

In the past week I have finally appreciated what I actually do!  I enable people to do stuff with what they already have!   I am not an early adopter, I am a laggard!

When I started in this business, bluetooth was prohibitively expensive, so I was never going to need it.  WRONG!  Bluetooth is everywhere now.  It is becoming as common as electricity, so I better know how to use it, regardless of my location.   (I could so insert a rant on the topic of our abuse of terminology, but I will resist.)

Here’s where I made the connection.  I bought a new car, my last one was old enough to be on the cusp of the wireless enablement revolution, I didn’t even have a port.  I am cheap and take good care of my things, so there was no need to do anything.   If I had to do it, I found inexpensive workarounds, and it got done.

T-Mobile is my cell phone provider and they have been giving me more stuff all the time, I just didn’t need it — yet.  I didn’t understand the appeal of some of the benefits of these programs that keep getting added to my account.  I am getting a better understanding for the value of these things.

I called the only person I knew who actually used these services I am setting up in my new car as I was excited to get her thoughts on the satellite radio.  I told how awesome it was for the car salesman to show me how to navigate to the menus on the user interface, but it was unsettling when we finally popped up my Pandora login displaying my playlists:   one Billy Joel soundtrack and the rest children’s songs.  I guess I only listen to music with my grandchildren.

We both laughed.  She warned me to keep track of my data usage as Pandora will use your wireless data plan to deliver the signal.  Then she reminded me, I don’t have to worry about that because I am on T-Mobile. I finally got it!   http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/free-music-streaming.html