Monday, 22 February 2016

Just Ask

Husband buying very boring office supplies, lets call them sealant valves (which do not really exist, I have made them up because I don't remember what he was actually buying and it is not salient to this story).

On-line price list says:

  1. Buy 1-100 for $11.80
  2. Buy 101-499 for $11.79
  3. Buy 500-999 for $11.78
  4. Orders over 1000 for $11.77
Husband picks up phone and calls company.

There is not a lot of variance in your pricing. I need to buy a bunch of sealant valves. Is there anything you can do?

First, we need to know what sealant valves are. I don't see them here in the catalogue.

Oh, it's a term my wife made up. She means the boring office supplies that I need to fix dishwashers.

Sure, that makes sense. Ok, I will speak to my manager.

*Husband waits 30 seconds*

Yes. My manager says we can take 20% off the list price.

Complaint Lessons Learned
1. Sometimes you get stuff just by asking for it
2. Not everyone likes the phone, but for saving money it can work better than e-mail
3. Wonder what mark-up is since they can take 20 points off without missing a beat
4. Husband not only makes the best coffee but is also a fantastic complainer

Monday, 15 February 2016

Knitting Complaint

Let me preface this by saying how much I appreciate all of your charity knitting and support for all of my projects.

Today's post may possibly be a slight exaggeration just to have something to blog about on this freezing Monday to strike a mirthful note in the hearts of many while gingerly making a point.

Now, for the Knitting Complaint

(Not that I would ever complain about knitting)

Was asked to provide 20 hand knit hats for homeless men for local charity project.

Sounded the siren call of all knitters and six days later was sitting on N's couch with popcorn in one hand, a diet coke in the other and a half a homeless man's hat on my #7 circulars in the other. (Yes that's one hand too many. Maybe explains difficulty in completing project.)

What (Some) Knitters Said 
1. Here's a neck warmer. I didn't feel like knitting a hat but homeless men need neck warmers too, right?

2. Here are slippers. I made them for myself but they are kind of baggy. I guess the homeless men can use slippers too?

3. Here's a pink and yellow striped hat. Maybe there are some homeless women? Or homeless men who are secure in their masculinity and want to make a fashion statement? You know like hetero men who wear skirts? Or nail polish?

4. Here's the hat I was supposed to give you for the charity project you supported in 2012.

5. Can I have an extension? I'm sure the homeless men can use hats in summer, too.

What I Responded
Sure, of course and no problem.  Any hat, scarf or cat sweater that you would like to donate will no doubt be appreciated by the under-housed community of our great urban centre.

So, Where's The Complaint
I think it's interesting that when asked to give charity so many of us want to give what WE want, not necessarily what the CHARITY needs. 

When someone calls and asks for help - and it can't be easy to make that call - let's at least give them what they want.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Exams, Complaints and a Pasta Recipe

Click here to read my latest post for about why grocery shopping on an empty stomach is wrong.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Easy Cinnamon Chocolate Cake Not So Easy After All

Friday night had company for supper and baked Easy Chocolate Cinnamon cake, double recipe, in XL pyrex.

Company did not finish cake.

OMG Is that your complaint? I agree. I hate being stuck with leftover cake. Who wants to have cake lying around. Especially chocolate. That's the worst.

Saturday morning I wake up and thugs my teenagers and their friends have eaten the entire middle of the cake leaving only a narrow strip of crusty cake pieces on either side.

OH Man. No wonder you are complaining. I feel your pain. Crusty chocolate is just not worthy. Need more gooey chocolate.

Later that same day am making conversation with Almost Complete Stranger who mentions that she has two older teenage boys still living at home plus a daughter who is a serious athlete.

It must be IMPOSSIBLE to keep them fed, I say sympathetically thinking about my chocolate cake crust. My kids and their friends eat every piece of chicken that isn't nailed down. (Not that we nail chicken down, it's an expression.)

Well, says Almost Complete Stranger. I used to have four boys. One died during open heart surgery when he was 17 almost 18.


And the other was murdered. Shot and killed in an alley. Wrong place at the wrong time.


So I guess keeping the other ones fed is the least of your problems then? I actually said. And we both laughed.

Sunday morning I wake up and XL pyrex is in fridge, covered in tin foil, but completely empty. All the cake was gone.

Never felt so lucky in my life.

Morals of the Story (Choose One)

1. Yes, complaining is fun, but never forget how lucky you have it.

2. Even when faced with the dark tragedy of a complete stranger, a joke may be appropriate.

3. Just because Complete Stranger gets shot in gun fight doesn't mean you can't put finished cake pan in the sink.