I swear to god the older I get, the more I uncover incompetence all around. For reals, how are these people holding jobs??? Sure, maybe I’m misdirecting the blame: after all, line staff are at the bottom of the totem pole. Maybe it’s the executives and company leadership who are the real culprits. Either way, where is the fucking accountability?
There have been so many examples these last several months, from the scammers at Verizon who charged me for a data plan after I canceled my phone service, to the crooks at T-Mobile who charged me for a piece of equipment they claim I didn’t return (until I provided the tracking number) to Upromise dilly-dallying on my cashback rewards to this. Last month, I booked my trip home using reward points on John’s Virgin America account. Within 24 hrs, I called to cancel the itinerary (free to cancel/change within 24 hrs.). Since forever, the VA website has been buggy as hell. Seriously, how many times has the damn site gone down when there’s a fare sale? Anyway, when I cancelled the trip online, I got a generic error. So I called, was on hold for fucking ever, and then the agent assured me the itinerary was cancelled and said John’s reward points would redeposit in a few days. In the end, I booked a new reservation on Southwest, but today, when I checked his VA points balance, 26000 points were STILL missing. That’s about $600 worth of airfare.
Meanwhile, when I log into his account and my account, clicking on the itinerary code in either case gives another site error. Fine, so I email customer service: once at the start of last week and another time at the end of last week. No reply. Today, I call customer service. The agent says the points will redeposit by end of day. This evening I log in, and only HALF of the points were redeposited. When I click on the “view receipt,” another goddamn error. Hel-lo people, wake the fuck up! I mean seriously, does every damn transaction require this much check in??? The reservation was roundtrip (under ONE itinerary code, which I provided), and it was cancelled. So this evening I fucking call again!! I was on hold forever and then they gave me the callback option. Basically, up until now, still no call back. After waiting 90 minutes for the callback, I call again and now the agent says the points department is closed. To date, I have wasted time online clicking to a gazillion error messages, emailed customer service twice, and called the Elevate Silver line multiple times, each time waiting on hold for 25+ minutes. Is this a game of attrition, bc I will fucking school your ass! I’m calling first thing tomorrow morning. Assholes.
In other news, after a couple of weeks of inactivity, I finally got another Rover bite: an older lady with a 14 y/o Schnoodle. In typical fashion, I moved fast and we scheduled a meet/greet this evening. Booked for a week in July (after the corgi!). Yay, old doggies make me so happy!
On the family front, I texted dad today to check his email, and he called saying the wifi at home wasn’t working again. He went to Comcast, they gave him a serial number, that number didn’t match anything, so they issued a new cable modem, but it still doesn’t work. Blah, blah, blah, same old story. He thinks he can just wait until I get home (Saturday) to handle it. Yeah, along with selling grandpa’s car, meeting with the agent to discuss the townhouse reno plus sale of the family home, meeting with an estate sale lady, cleaning out junk, dealing with iPhone issues, cable tv issues, and now this. Then he started verbally beating himself up about being such a Luddite and being so useless and having to always bother me… The negative self talk, while extremely familiar, is exhausting. I was like, look, the CEO doesn’t have to clean the toilets or order the office supplies. I don’t expect you to know or even do that low level shit. And you’re not bothering me: I can help you, but you have to be able to hire help. I will research what I can ahead of time so I can schedule meetings with vendors while I’m back, but I can’t troubleshoot your tech issues if you no longer have wifi! You have to get Comcast to come out and fix the issue instead of you trying to randomly connect cables on the phone with tech support! Ugh!
Earlier this week, he had called to report that the grandparents are not doing well in Taiwan. Then my father, being the retired doc that he is, proceeded to explain in excruciating detail my paternal grandfather’s bowel movement issues. Apparently, gramps will go for days unable to pass stool. So I’m thinking, whatever, if he can’t shit, just keep going. NBD. Turns out, it IS a big deal bc all kinds of things get backed up. Needless to say, it is a fucking MANUAL process (literally!) breaking up the blockage. And it’s not even a sickness or anything: the colon muscles are just old as fuck, and they can’t push things down like they used to. To my own surprise, even my background in solid waste couldn’t prevent me from getting really fricking grossed out. Mind you, my dad was doing this procedure, and then he had to train the caretaker to do this… Who has the stomach for this? WHO???
As for my mother’s parents, who are currently living in the same residence as my dad’s dad, they are also starting to require more care. Grandma is sleeping more and more and grandpa broke the chair and fell while in the shower. Dad says the next time he goes back, he’ll need to ask them to move into a senior care facility… of course, the nearest one that meets decent standards is in Taipei, 5 hours north (where my brother lives). So yet again, my 90+ y/o grandparents are gonna be on the move, led by my 72 y/o father. OMFG, who has the stamina for this?
Oddly, these days I hear less and less about my mom. Today I asked Dad if I could have her (instead of him) help me with the online troubleshooting, and he said she is getting more and more forgetful. WTF? I mean, granted my maternal grandmother has Alzheimer’s but shit, is this all really happening now? I’m feeling pretty stressed out about everything there is to do, and I can hear the weariness in my father’s voice. I don’t know if he’s an ESTJ, but he’s definitely a doer and this is the doer’s curse for sure: you take on responsibilities bc you want to help and you want to get shit done. But after doing so much for so many years, other people just come to rely on you more and more for every. little. thing. Ultimately, you’re the last one standing, completely exhausted and yet there is no fucking way out. So many times, I think about how to offload his burdens. Surely, something can be delegated. Yet when I sit down with all of this, realistically, you still need someone to research and identify the right person to delegate shit to. For example, I still had to research a bunch of estate sale people or real estate agents or even like tech support people… I know Frederick is the second largest city in Maryland and all, but I can’t even find an onsite tech support service other than bullshit, crappy GeekSquad!! For real!
And then on the Taiwan side, let’s give Johnny something to handle. What? He can’t even pay his bills on time. Can we possibly ask him to scout out senior care facilities in Taipei, his home city? Nope. I can’t trust that shit to him. So fine, book airline tickets for my parents? Nope, he messed that up before too. Tech help? Totally useless. I asked him once about using a printer/scanner to get documents to my parents. NO ACCESS TO A SCANNER. For fucking real, people. He teaches at a university but says they don’t use scanners. How do you people live under these conditions?
Same problem with my mother. What can she do? I think about hiring my parents a personal assistant. A few months ago, I researched profiles on Care.com. But my family has trust issues. Do I try and hire my nephews? Fuck. See? Even delegation has its roadblocks. I’m trying to just take it one step at a time. You know, go out this next week, hire people wherever possible, but thinking ahead, I have a feeling I’m going to have to get to Taiwan sooner than later to help my dad shuttle the grandparents. And when I go back, I’m taking a goddamn multi-function machine. Yes, I could buy it there, but then I’d have to decipher the Chinese software and buttons.