Me, Myself, and the Voices in My Head

A place to ramble and maybe make some sense about a thing or two.

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

When did eBay think it could be my parent??

Well, maybe the title is a bit unfair.  I have been away from selling on eBay for a while because (1) I’ve either been deployed away working for my former job and making a decent salary or (2) the items I’ve found that would have gone for sale on eBay either sold quickly on my website or at a gun/militaria show.  And Husband has been fabulous at keeping items listed on eBay when I’m not available and there’s something that we know we can make a decent amount of money on if we can just find the right audience.  Like, say, the entire eBay-ing world!

But today was just annoying!  I’ve got a few items and some books that I want to list and figured that since I still have all of my templates saved it would be a breeze!  When did eBay decide they can tell me what I can and can’t say and how I can and can’t say it?

For example, I have strict shipping requirements.  The reason for that is because I’ve sold many items to people overseas and they’ve received their items within the usual shipping period and have let me know that they’ve arrived safely.  I’ve also had many items shipped to people here in the United States — some in states bordering my own — and been told that either the item was never received or that it was extremely damaged and they wanted their money back.  When I’d ask for photographic proof of the damages to the item and shipping container, they would have an excuse for not being able to provide it.  And they always picked the cheapest route with no insurance or tracking capabilities so there was never any way to determine if the item had or hadn’t arrived.  So, I changed all of my shipping to a commercial shipping organization in brown uniforms because they offered free insurance (up to $100) for the value of the item and I as well as the buyer could track the shipment all the way to their door.  My attitude became, “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy from me.  I’m protecting myself and my company from idiots who just want something for free.”

So, I would list in my eBay auctions to “Be sure to read all shipping policy information and if you’re not willing to pay the extra expense, do not bid on my items!”  Straight and to the point.  No wishy-washy customer-servicey happy namby-pamby phrasing.  I prefer to tell it like it is.  Make it clear and plain so that it translates into any language easily (even stupid) and, no, the customer is not always right.

You would have thought that I’d tried to incite a war with the way eBay reacted!  I had my template completed for the first item I wanted to list and big, bold “warning” boxes popped up on my screen telling me that I needed to review my return policy before they’d let me list the item.  I’d said in my description that the buyer would need to read my policy information and even provided a link for it.  That wasn’t good enough.  I’d have to fill out a form to make it simple.  So I clicked back to fill in the form and they didn’t offer anything like what I offer.  In my business, photographs and printed materials are not allowed to be returned because it doesn’t take a genius to know that some unscrupulous person will just scan it and make all of the copies they want and claim they’re originals and sell them.  The eBay form had nowhere I could specify that.  So, I stated it in the little box they give you for additional information.

Then another pop-up box appeared.  It didn’t like the fact that I said I wouldn’t accept money orders as payment.  It also informed me that money orders were no longer allowed as payment through eBay except in certain categories (mostly eBay Motors).  It wouldn’t let me post my item because I said I wouldn’t accept something that it won’t allow me to accept in the first place.  Ahhh….someone in programming figured out how to make the system recognize words but not the context of them.  If I don’t have the option to accept money orders checked in the payment box, what difference does it make if I say I won’t accept them in the description?  But, it wouldn’t allow me to list my item until I went back and removed the offending sentence.

Finally, just when I thought I’d get my item listed, the shipping payment information I included caused the largest box to pop-up on the screen.  It basically said that the way I phrased my listing by stating that if someone didn’t want to pay for something that they shouldn’t bid was wrong and I could drive away customers.

Um….that’s kind of the point!!  If they’re not willing to pay extra for the shipping services to ensure that it arrives at their residence/office/deserted island, then I don’t want to fool with someone trying to argue with me that they “really want to complete the auction and pay the money due but the shipping is just too expensive and [they] had no idea whatsoever that [I] would charge such an extravagant amount and how dare [I] not know that [they] are always good for their word and that [I] am insulting [them] by not just slapping a stamp on the item or, in [their] opinion, sending it for free.”  I’ve gotten so frustrated and people trying to argue about shipping at times I’ve told them I’ll just stick their item in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and wish them the best of luck ’cause what they want to pay isn’t going to get their item to them.

The pop-up box continued to chastise me on being “unprofessional” and how it could hurt me from becoming one of their Top Sellers.  I don’t list enough stuff to be a “Top Seller” and if I was operating a storefront instead of an online business (which I’ve done), my attitude would be exactly the same.  It’s not being “unprofessional” — it’s being honest.  And, as I said earlier, the customer is not always right.

After over an hour of changing and adding and subtracting things from the listing, it finally let me post my item.  All that work for something that’s got a starting bid of $5.  AND, I got a notice that they’re changing the rules/regulations on listing items again May 1st (tomorrow).

I’ll wait until the 2nd to list more items, if it will let me.  Hopefully they will have made their minds up on what those of us who list our items for sale (and are the ones who’ve made them successful) will be allowed to do.  It’s sad when a company gets too big for its britches.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Stupid not-feeling-well kind of day

I hate it when I wake up to crummy weather.  I hate it even more when from out of nowhere I have a sore throat, horrible headache, and crummy weather.  Add a low-grade fever and you’ve got a great snapshot of me today.

I do have to give a big “THANK YOU!” to Husband and Youngest Son for straightening up the house and running errands while I was in my medically-induced semi-coma this morning.  Husband and I thought we could stay up late on Friday night like we did when we were younger while Youngest Son was at his friend’s sleepover.  Both of us are feeling the ill effects of trying to be “young” again today.  And, yes, the evil couch has been taking its turns on the guys — each of them having a moment or two to drift off to sleep.  I’ve been staying on the loveseat but the curse is beginning to spread.

Anyway, EPIX is showing Iron Man 2 at the moment.  It will be followed by Thor (which Youngest Son hasn’t seen yet) and then the evening will be capped-off by Captain America.  Yes, we’re getting our Avengers prepping done tonight.

So, back to the living room and my attempts at keeping my own personal global warming in check.  It’s not terribly warm or humid but I feel like I’m in a sauna.  Iced tea, anyone?

Another speedy post!

Yup, still watching television.  Oh, I’ve slept since my last post and now, but the weather outside is crummy and I’m not in the mood to go anywhere.  Youngest Son had a blast at his friend’s birthday party/sleepover last night.  Watching the St. Louis Cardinals’ game at the moment, and will probably watch Iron Man 2 tonight.  Yes, I’ve already seen it and have it on DVD, but Robert Downey Jr. is just perfect for the role!  He’s had problems with alcohol; he looks like Tony Stark; and he’s got a quick wit and good timing which makes him perfect, in my opinion, as a fan of the Iron Man comics.

So, back to the loveseat!! (The cursed couch has already claimed Husband today.)

Quickie post tonight

Youngest Son is away at a birthday party/sleepover.  Tonight Husband and I went out to dinner and watched the Stan Lee special and Thor on EPIX.  It’s the free weekend to try that channel on satellite and they have neat shows.  Now I’m watching/listening to The Secret Policeman’s’ Ball ’cause Eddie Izzard is hosting it along with a bunch of other comedians and musicians.  I usually never get to watch it live and since it’s on, I figured I might as well.

So, don’t be surprised if all of my posts are short this weekend.  With EPIX channels 1, 2, 3, and Drive-In free, I plan to watch a lot of good (and bad) movies!

“I always take that way sometimes”

Okay….I just couldn’t resist.  I love Husband dearly and he is a very intelligent person.  But there are times that he says things that just make me scratch my head.  It’s not that what he says is terribly wrong; it’s that what he says, once you think about it, doesn’t make any sense.

Everyone’s heard about oxymorons like “jumbo shrimp” and “government intelligence.”  But Husband goes way beyond that at times.  Unfortunately, I do have to admit some blame for this because of my English courses in college combined with my OCD that makes me a “grammar nazi” at times.  And I’m also the one that moved him from “civilization” to a very rural area where proper English is just a passing fancy.  Now he’s learned a bit of slang and also repeats things that people have said to him without realizing it.

Today’s little gem is the title of this post.  I’d heard over the police scanner that there was a three-car accident at the intersection of our street and the main road that he takes from the Interstate on his way home from work.  I knew he was on his way home because he had called to see if I needed for him to pick anything up from the store on his way.  I called him to see how far away from home he was and he had just left work, so I told him that there’s an accident at our intersection and it would probably be cleared before he arrived but that he might want to think about taking another route to our house.  At first he didn’t understand why I was talking about going another way because he didn’t recognize the street names as being the big intersection at the end of our road.  Then when I repeated my suggestion he said, “I always take that way sometimes.”  I asked him how that was possible and, of course, I could hear the frustration in his voice because he knows I’m not going to let him forget it.

It’s like the time years ago that we were going to go shopping at the mall and he said that there was a video that he wanted to buy.  I was trying to watch the budget, as was he, and he suggested a store where they sold VHS tapes (yes, it was a long time ago) rather inexpensively.  I asked him which movie he wanted and it wasn’t one that I really had at the top of my list to watch.  But, to placate me and reassure me that he wouldn’t spend too much, he said, “I’ll go look and if I don’t see one, I won’t buy it.”  “Obviously,” I replied, which only received a confused look from him.  Then I had to explain what he said and why it didn’t make sense.  It still doesn’t, but it’s also our inside joke on when we go shopping and how we’ll decide what to get.

I’m sure I can think of many more that have been said over the years we’ve been together, but all of the voices in my head are trying to remind me of a thousand things (many which are irrelevant and unimportant) while they’re laughing over this latest phrase.  Yup, it will be in the memory banks for years.

Busy day makes for tired gal

Today’s been busier than I expected.  Woke up at 5 a.m. (as usual) and smelled something awful outside when I let the dogs out to go “walkies.”  Only Celeste came back stinking like she’d rolled on a skunk or something.  Had to give her a bath quickly because she was stinking-up the house in record time.  Husband went outside to look for whatever it was she got the smell from but there wasn’t anything and the smell had left.

So, I crammed her in our small bathtub and tried to get her clean as quickly as I could.  Not as easy as it sounds.  She’s in the process of shedding her winter coat, so there’s lots of hair that liked coating the walls, the tub, the floor, me, and the drains.  I was finally able to get the stink down to a tolerable level (just barely noticeable if you stick your face into her fur).  Then I spent about 30 minutes trying to get all of the hair into the trash and off of everything to which it was sticking.  I still have no idea what caused it but I’ve never wanted to own my own professional dog wash so much as I did this morning!  There’s one self-serve dog wash table in town but they’re not open at 0-Christ-Hundred in the morning.  If I had my own, it would be open when I need it!

Then I went to my therapist appointment today.  I took her the three page list of things I can and can’t do at work and what makes things easier and harder for me to work.  She asked if I’d applied for disability benefits.  I said I hadn’t because I didn’t believe I needed them.  She held up the list and said that if I had that many things I should have applied years ago.  That’s something I’ll wait and see what happens as I continue to look for answers on why I wasn’t rehired from my old job.

Tonight I watched a neat show on PBS called Radioactive Wolves.  It’s about the wildlife that has returned to the area around Pripyat (outside of Chernobyl) and how the radiation has affected them.  Very interesting show.  I know it’s kind of weird but I’ve always wanted to go to Pripyat and see the ruins left behind after the 1986 explosion.  It’s amazing how nature is taking back the area where people lived for so many years and doing so even after all of the damage done.

I then watched a segment on NBC’s Rock Center about how Big Box Marts (like Costco) trick people into overspending on items and buying things they never meant to buy before they went into the store.  And that’s a reason why I don’t have a membership card to any of these places.  The lure of buying something you’ve never seen before but just have to have is too strong at times.  I don’t need 5 pounds of mayonnaise but I guarantee that if the price is right, I know people who will find a reason to make more egg or tuna salad sandwiches than could ever be eaten at one picnic.

Now, I’m tired and I’ve kept to my rule about posting each day, so I’m gonna relax and probably watch more television.  And check the dog.  And maybe think about taking her for another bath tomorrow.  And making sure I’ve got something with me before I let them out in the morning to make sure that if there’s an animal making the stink that it doesn’t anymore.

Persistent little buggers….

Today I discovered that the birds who’ve decided to take up residence in the cover on my propane tank outside have finally hatched their chicks.  And it must have been very recently because just the other day I checked and there were still eggs and today I saw a nearly naked bird.

I didn’t really want them in there.  When the weather began to get warmer and the birds returned from their winter migration, a lot were hopping around the backyard munching on the bugs that were disturbed after we had it mowed.  Husband and our lawn guy noticed a few pieces of dried grass and sticks coming out from under the cover where the gauges and fill valves are.  They opened it and found the very beginnings of a nest.  Not much there so they swept away the debris in hopes that the birds would find somewhere else to live.

A few days later I was outside playing with the dogs and noticed more bits of dried grass and feathers sticking out of the space between the tank and the cover.  I went over and opened it to find an incomplete nest but with more debris than had been there previously.  I figured since there weren’t any eggs I’d get rid of it and come back with some mesh to put over the hole on the top of the cover so they couldn’t return.

They knew they needed to get the eggs laid and were faster than I was.  The next time I went to the tank, not only was there a much bigger nest built but also four small blue eggs resting in a small space next to the cover.  I carefully closed it because I didn’t want to disturb the eggs or have any fall from the nest.  I waited a couple of days to make sure that they’d not abandoned the nest and opened the cover again.  That time I found the eggs in the same space but the birds had found a small square of cling film and placed it under their eggs.  They meant business and they weren’t going to be leaving.  So, I informed the family to leave the nest alone and we would wait to see if the birds would continue incubating there.

I checked on them again and the eggs had not yet hatched but one of the parent birds flew out of the cover as I opened it.  I’m really surprised it didn’t try to peck at me or defend the nest.  I’d made a lot of noise on the cover in hopes of shooing it away before I opened it.  But, it just flew away and I saw the four eggs still in their little space.  Today, however, I made noise and tried to make sure to shoo away any adult birds and thought I heard a bird above me in the tree giving something like a distress call.  Nope, what I heard was coming from inside the cover and that’s when I opened it a little and found the backside of the chick facing me.

So, I slowly lowered the cover and made sure not to disturb the nest.  I don’t know if all four have hatched or just the one I saw because I was too afraid to open it any wider for fear the naked chick I saw would topple out of the nest.  I’m sure sooner or later we’ll be seeing the little ones trying to get out of the hole in the top of the cover as their parents bring more food back to them.

And while it’s cute and neat to see nature up-close, I’m still putting that mesh up after these are gone.  Don’t want a repeat every year and I’m just really glad I don’t have to get my tank filled in the warmer months!

Three pages too much?

Last week my therapist gave me “homework” to do.  I was supposed to sit down and come up with a list of things I can and can’t do at work.  Things that make work easy for me.  Things that make work very difficult for me.  Personality traits.  Observations from others who’ve seen me work or actually worked with me.

I discussed this with Husband over the weekend and wanted his opinions as well because he (1) sees me every day and knows my moods/emotions sometimes better than I do and (2) we’ve worked together in “regular” jobs and have owned a business together.  And I told him to be unbiased and be very direct and blunt about what he thinks could be an asset or a liability.  Taking the easy way out, he told me to make my list and he’d read it, adding anything he thought I’d forgotten.

So, I did.  I sat down and looked at a list of mental and physical traits considered good and negative for people in the workforce as determined by the Social Security Administration.  I figured I’d use their employment/unemployment information because they’re not out to make money by trying to sell anyone a book or set of CDs on how to improve your attitude and have their lists based on that.  Kind of the way some of the online medical sites word things to make you think that you have every disease you’re looking-up so that you’ll buy a subscription to whatever it is they’re selling.

At the end of my self-assessment, I had almost three pages (typed) full of mental, physical, and behavioral traits I see in myself or have heard others tell me (either through “self-assessment tests” or just them venting at me).  So, I grabbed Husband and had him sit down to read the list as he said he would do.  He didn’t add anything.  He didn’t want to take anything away, either.  I began to wonder about myself.  Did I really get the list correct and think that highly and lowly of myself, or was Husband just too afraid to make any changes to the list because he knows that at times I can be very obstinate and resistant to change when I think I’m right?

I guess we’ll find out when I take the list back on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, I’m not going to worry about it too much.  That’s one of the things I said that I did on the list.  And if I worry about it too much I’ll end up posting about it, and I’m pretty sure no one wants to read about that.

More Mythbusters tonight

Tonight there will be a rerun of the “Duct Tape Island” episode of Mythbusters on Discovery Channel.  I’ve already written a review of it and it still gets lots of hits every day.  I keep seeing strange questions in the “Search Engine Terms” on my Stats page that refer readers to my blog.

IMPORTANT NOTE — If you’re looking for answers about something in the show but I don’t already have it in the body of the post, feel free to post a question in the Comments section!  Then I’ll let you know if I have any information about it and/or get the answer for you!  I don’t mind answering questions!!

The rerun of the popular episode will be right after the premiere of their “Men vs. Women” episode.  No idea how that one is going to turn out but I’m sure it will be interesting.  And controversial.  I know there’s a lot things considered easier for men that I’m able to do than most of the males I know.  And I know some guys who can do a lot of the “lady-type” things better than me (laundry, housekeeping, etc.).  If the episode is decent, I might post a review tomorrow.

That’s all for today.  It’s been cold and dreary outside so I’ve decided to curl up on the couch (yes, the cursed couch!) and let myself fall asleep.  Hasn’t happened yet.  Will have to change spaces before the shows air tonight.

Couch potato time: Redux

St. Louis Cardinals game on television.  St. Louis Blues game also on television.  Family wants to get caught-up on the episodes ofCommunitythey haven’t seen.

I shall become one with the loveseat (y’all know about the couch) and try to avoid junk food.  No guarantees, though….

Update: Cardinals lost but the Blues won in the 3rd period and clinched won their playoff series 4-1.  Just FYI….y’know….in case you were wondering….

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