Hawks & Wasted Mornings

I'm late posting today. I have been on the phone with an insurance company for three hours. Waiting, listening to bad music. Finally getting someone on the phone who has not been trained and cannot help me. 

I try to pay my bill online. Oops! It won't take my username. 

Then I call insurance company and instead of customer service, I call online help. I tell them my problem. "Oh, you have to use all caps."

"Well, if you have to use all caps, why doesn't it say this somewhere on the policy or online?"

"Don't know, ma'am. Just always been caps."

I then tell her that if you call customer service and wait and listen to bad music till you want to scream, they should have someone there that has been trained to do what it says on your documentation they are supposed to help you with. 

"Well, not everyone has been trained fully."

I want very badly to ask her if she's one of them, but I refrain. I have not gone to the bathroom in hours and the dogs want out and are hungry, and I am hungry, and my patience is quickly waning.

Before I forget in this rant of mine, look what I got a photo of the other day. I saw this huge bird go overhead, and grabbed my camera. It landed in a tree two doors down. It was a speck. I took about five photos of the speck with my zoom lens. 

I go inside and hurriedly download the photos to see if my specks are of any worth and are clear.

I don't have a lot of knowledge of big birds, but am assuming this is a hawk of some kind. Does anyone know more? Big boy/girl, isn't it? Just look at those eyes. They don't look "bird like."

Back to my rant. I do recall a time when you picked up the phone and pecked out a number and a person actually answered. We did not know how fortunate we were! Those days are gone. 

You must listen closely and answer with the right digits and remember to hit # each time, or you will have to dial again and listen to ugly music. (Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Or was it $100?)

My help for my online problem is a girl I can barely understand. I tell her a good amount of times that I can't hear her. But it is not just that. I can't understand her either. I say, "you have an accent."

She says: "Yes, I am from Columbia."

That is fine. I will listen closer. Then I can't hear her. I repeatedly ask her why it is that after a few minutes her voice gets more distant. Oh, it is her head phone.

Oh my.

I look at the clock and realize I have done little today. I have not posted on any of my blogs. All I've done is answer emails, which I can do during bad music with the phone held to my ear with my shoulder.

Three hours later and I am somewhat satisfied that things are okay and my account is adequately paid up. 

I remember when I was young I thought old people did not handle stressful situations well, aside from the fact that they couldn't hear either. I use to think of them as "cranky." 

Well, I realize, I am somewhat old now and I am most definitely cranky when it comes to long phone calls where little is accomplished. And my precious morning hours, when I am at the top of my game, are gone.

One thing that really winds my watch too tight is when hours pass (did I say I am a morning person?) and my most useful hours have vanished right before my eyes. 

Come afternoon, which would be starting about now, I start to unravel a bit. My memory is not as good. My brain goes on a siesta whether I want it to or not. 

It is the time when words elude me. It is like trying to catch a bubble word with a net. I almost catch the word and process it through my brain and then transfer it to computer, but then it's gone like a whisper. And that sort of makes me cranky too. 

I'm on a roll, and only occasionally at a loss for words, so I might as well get a little more out of my system. I also hate that companies think every single person on this earth has a cell phone. 

How many times am I doing something and it asks for a mobile number? I don't have one. But there is no place to put that information down. They wish to text me the answer. I DON'T HAVE A CELL PHONE. 

I hate cell phones. 

I hate that they are at everyone's ear or they are looking down at them as they walk along just before they walk right into you. Oops. And they are so immersed in whatever is on their little screen that they scarcely take the time to look up. Uh-oh, reading and talking must be from two different places in the brain because they cannot absorb what's on the screen and say, "Oh, I'm so sorry." 

I guess everyone has a cell phone but me. I threw mine in the trash, when, after an entire year had passed while paying for it, I still could not tell anyone the phone number because I had never memorized it. 

In school as a child, memorizing was not my forte. Thus I could not participate in school plays. Now put me in front of a podium and ask me to spell a word and I was great. Now we have spell check.

This problem with not memorizing should have helped me escape marriage three times. I recall each time (and I never had a wedding; just a few moments in front of a judge) being scared to death I would not be able to recall the words he/she was speaking, and repeat them for my marriage vows to be lawful.

That should have been a sign to me that if I could barely remember how to say the vows, then perhaps I was not marriage material. 

One thing I'll say about "getting older." You become much more wise. You have sage wisdom that only comes with having been planted on this earth for a certain amount of time. 

When I was young, I marched into calamity at a forceful speed, and did not have the sense to think ahead to what might happen next. 

So now, three divorces later, I have a lot more wisdom than I had when first I wed, which was when I was 20 years old. But that wisdom came too late to prevent the futile years of trying to be a wife when clearly I was not very good at it. Or maybe I just picked the wrong men...

Well, I suppose in my hungered state I have rattled and prattled off long enough. When I am this hungry I doubt I make any sense anyway. And my wisdom tells me I must eat lunch.

I do want to let you know that thankfully I awoke this morning without The Black List song (Gordon Lightfoot's Sundown) in my head. But somehow it has managed to crawl back into my head and repeat itself ad infinitum.

   "I can see her lyin' back in her satin dress
In a room where ya do what ya don't confess
Sundown ya better take care..."

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  1. Yes, that is a hawk.. It's the same kind that was sitting on my fence last week.. I don't like hawks.. They want to eat my little birds that I'm feeding in my driveway. I chase them anytime I see them in or anywhere near my yard..
    I'm sorry you had a bad day.. I hope you feel better now.. Hoping tomorrow will be a better day for you.
    Charlotte in Virginia

  2. Brenda, being one of the emails that you answered I can only say thank you so very much for helping me out with my problem. I appreciate it more then you know! So although you might consider the morning not full of accomplishments, you did do something really nice by helping me.

    It's a lovely hawk, you got some great shots, they are not easy to catch.

    Here's to a lot better afternoon, and more productive mornings for you. I know that my morning would have been a lot worse if not for the reply email that you sent me. I was totally freaked, thought it was something worse then just a ad on the blog image.


  3. It is not the cell phones at fault, it is the users. People are so inconsiderate, sometimes I can't believe it!

  4. It probably is a Falcon, very similar to a Hawk. I had one that liked to sit on my grill and pick out which Koi he was going to eat that day out of my pond. He finally went away when all the fish were gone out of my pond. Thankfully, he didn't come back when we restocked. I live in a Tulsa neighborhood at 27th and Yale. I see young Bald Eagles occasionally. We live close to a Bald Eagle sanctuary, did you know that?
    As for memorizing your cell phone number-I had my number written on a piece of paper taped to the back of the phone for almost a year before I decided to memorize it. LOL,

  5. It's a red tailed hawk, from what I can tell.

    You might want to try an afternoon nap. I know several people who can't get through the day without one.

  6. Thank you for sharing your day and thoughts with us, Brenda. Very beautifully written and insightful. I feel bad you had to experience such an ordeal. Poor customer service is one of my pet peeves.

    The hawk photo is so incredible! Wonderfully done...

  7. My husband hates cell phones and didn't have one until a few months ago- Tracphone = no contract. Has it for emergency purposes - when internet goes down. I don't do any online pay bill - I have no issues, my DH does and he is on the phone especially when a holiday happens the week of his payment; it messes it all up.

    How is the book going? I just got it.

  8. I remember once a few years back on the phone with the cable / Internet company. I'd had a long day at work, I had the phone to my ear as I was trying to get some dinner together, and I was on the phone for over half of an hour listening to back music and then every once in a while a robot came on and said "THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE" and at some point I stopped cutting the vegetables for salad and just began to STAB the cutting board. And then I hung up. Had to go through it all again the next morning but at least I quit at that time / I was so ticked off !!!! :)

    I had a similar hawk show up on my back yard fence once or twice recently ...probably wanting to catch one of my birds at the feeders...I assumed mine was what they call a "chicken hawk' around here but not sure if yours is the same. He appeared to be small ( as in, much bigger than the other birds, of course, but not as big as a red shouldered hawk or anything ) I could not get a picture...as soon as I came to door away he flew...

  9. I miss the good ole days too Brenda! Customer service is a forgotten art ! Companies do not care - it's crazy! But I love your post - Old school is more polite than modern ways of today :)

  10. Sorry for the awful morning, and you have so hit the nail on the head with the phone help situation. I wonder if any of these big executives ever have to wait and see what other people endure? What really drives me mad is when there's no # to press to speak to a human! Then my other favorite is being rudely disconnected maybe 20 mins into the call and having to start all over. I'm glad you finally got it straightened out. It shouldn't be that difficult to talk to somebody.

  11. I remember the "Sundown" song from high school. We thought it was sooooo naughty and sexual. lol Between "Sundown" and "Maggie May" we were amazed our parents weren't screaming.

  12. Went through the same thing. Needed acct number. Didn't have one. They gave me one via email. Called again. Needed a pin. Didn't have one. No one could give me one. How do you expect me to pay on line? Crazy!

  13. Oy, just reading about your experience and time spent on the phone with the insurance company made me cuckoo! That is one thing in life that drives me up a wall. I think that bird is a hawk. Great shots. I love my cell phone but I AM very conscious of where and when I use it. I will not use it when I'm shopping in a store, not even grocery shopping - unless it's absolutely necessary. I find that I can't concentrate on what I'm looking for, plus I think it's just downright rude. A few days ago when I went into Trader Joes, every single woman that I saw as soon as I walked into the store was on her cell phone. *groan*

  14. I hate having to call for help with something local and they send you to India and you cannot understand half of what is said to you because of the different pronunciation of words. DRIVES me nuts! I hate when my day gets wasted waiting on service men-or service calls-or lack thereof. I'd say you survived in rare good humor, Brenda.

    A bad memory can be a curse OR a blessing. I have a really good memory- way too good. I remember the dates of some horrible things that have happened in my life- I remember the scents and sights that surround the death of a loved one. When the day comes, I relive it. I remember the date we bought a TV, the date the oven quit working, the date we buried a grandchild. I remember the hurtful things people have said to me in my life , or done to me, and wish I could forget them. There is a peace sometimes in being able to let go of old hurtful memories. I wish we could both change and find a happy medium!
    Bless you- I LOVE coming here and I love you! xo Diana oh..and James Spader-I love James Spader, too.....

  15. Chicken hawk. Beautiful bird. They can pick up cats. Another reason to keep cats inside.

  16. Sorry you had a bad morning. It can be so stressful trying to resolve issues over the phone. I had to deal with my insurance company last week after realizing they had been charging us a full coverage rate for an undriveable vehicle that sits in our garage. I was so upset that I didn't catch it sooner, but thankfully they handled it well and refunded us the overcharges!

  17. You had me giggling about the phone tossed purposely into the trash, and then frustrated with you over not understanding the speaker on the other end!

    Great photos of the birds. And I love Gordon Lightfoot, and I miss lyrical, folk music. That's something children miss out on today, unless we play it for them.

  18. We seem to spend way too much of our time waiting for service. It's as if the word service has lost its meaning, and I hate that when we do reach someone they are often in another country,

    I love reading what Nana Diana said because like her I am able to remember way too many things. It is not a good thing.

    We have a lot of hawks around here. They are very large and majestic birds, but probably not what you want near the bird feeders.


  19. I'm not good with birds...I would love to get a zoom lens but I think I need to learn a lot more about my camera basics before I move on.

    I think we all get crazy with automated phone services. I read on FB once, why do they ask you if you want to use English or not when the person you talk to can't speak it? I have a terrible time with accents, and hearing in general and dread making these calls. The nice thing about a cell phone is you can put on speakerphone and walk away.

    Sorry about your day.

    Memory. What memory?


  20. Looks like a red tail hawk, but would have to see the tail. I spot them in my yard from time to time. I panic a bit when I do see them because I have a really tiny little cat. She is about the size of a little cotton tail rabbit. She is only let out in the spring and summer. I have a pet door in the screen door so she can get in when she needs to and thankfully she doesn't wander to far from the patio. My friend lives a few miles up the road. She has eagles to contend with. She has to stand guard when she lets her dogs out.

  21. Glad I'm not the only one with cell phone issues and don't get me started on automated answering systems. It feels good to not be alone.

  22. You always make my day! I thought I was the only one who gets so frustrated with "Customer Service"!...especially when they don't understand a word I'm saying....It seems you have a hawk visiting you....beautiful bird but dangerous for little pets....I have several and I won't let my Elvis (Yorkie) out by himself....For the first time this past September I caught a glimpse of a Bobcat in the yard! Taking a nap sounds like a good idea!
    Have a wonderful day!

  23. Can you put your phone on speaker phone so u don't have to see a chiropractor? I've had similar mornings and they are horrible. I also love the Blacklist but I'm terrible at remembering names:) Will Red's daughter end up with The red chaired young handsome agent?

  24. Your rattling and prattling has been very entertaining with my afternoon coffee, thank you!


  25. Your beautiful bird has predator eyes, Brenda. Intimidating, aren't they? I am older than you and have zero tolerance for lousy customer service. I like companies that offer a live chat option - at least thick accents don't get in the way. If you're talking to someone who just doesn't get it, ask to speak to a supervisor. But don't forget the people on the other end of the call. Customer service can be a frustrating, low-paying job and many companies don't offer adequate training (obviously). Wouldn't it be nice if the CEO of every company had to call their own CS department? I'll bet changes would be made in a hurry!

  26. I agree with all your frustration over customer service. And no, you aren't the only one that doesn't want a cell phone. As you know, I hate phones. I had to answer multi phone lines for over 35 years and it left me with not wanting to have long conversations on the phone, even with friends. I find cell phones to be a long leash and only have a basic flip type to keep in touch with my elderly mother while on errands. I get so mad lately at Google for constantly bringing up a screen when I want to log in to my blog asking for my cell number. Only my mother has my cell number so no one else can call me on that thing.

  27. Hi Brenda, nothing drives me more nuts then talking to a help desk in a faraway land, can't hear them, can't understand them and can't get answers. So glad in the end after hours of wasted time, you had some results. The bird is a hawk and not known to be a friendly one. They can pick up small dogs so be very careful.
    Hope you have a better day. Hugs

  28. The first thing I thought when I saw the pictures were the hawk's eyes. They were too human like.
    Oh being on the phone is so flustrating. I remember once I wanted a quick answer to something very important and I told my husband, "Watch they will send me to India." Sure enough the music came on and it was Indian. Nothing against that country just that we are in the US and it would be nice to speak to someone else from the same place. I usually put my phone on speaker and carry it where I go. I can't stand it being on my ear for so long. I agree, take a nap and maybe that will help. (((((HUGS)))) Great pictures from so far away.

  29. Your post is funny, but the situations certainly are not. I absolutely have to talk face to face, and it's done in minutes. People and businesses ASSUME everyone has one. I kept mine a while and finally tossed it! How cam someone in a foreign country fix it. I do think they have a few buttons to push for complaints that are repetitive, but I wish the country would wake up and hire people in their own countryl! Can't understand what they are saying - Look at the generation coming up here now ..... they can't communicate face to face. Never send thank you notes - - very sad we are a country with out any sign of manners. Looking back, I thing our parents thought we were headed the wrong way, too. Sigh.....

  30. I agree - red tailed hawk. There are no falcons in Oklahoma. I read with amusement your trials and tribulations with the service people on the phone and then realized it is not the least bit funny. It is the norm, these days, to have people that aren't trained and don't speak English waiting on us. Ugh!


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