Good morning all:

Weekly Wisdom, from deep within the depths of the city:

“The term ‘back door friends’ has a much more innocent meaning than I imagined.” — our local everywoman, a fast-paced urbanista we’ll name Henrietta Rose

I slept in a wee bit this morning and Marcia ended up making the coffee. I’ll key a bit before the batch finishes perking—hope that is soon.

Flushing (and I don’t mean NY) -I don’t want to get too personal, but why does it take multiple flushes to complete the job on the mandatory “low-volume” toilets? With “low-volume” maybe I misunderstood when I assumed they meant water. Aren’t these things tested before they unleash them on Lowe’s and the Home Depot? Apparently Lowe’s and the Home Depot have buyers who are ‘pure’ and don’t need to first test—understand that any yokel buying even a used car will first test drive. Hey folks, heads up, households are comprised of more than just two and three year old.

Customer Service – We’re settling back into the pace of urban living. Slowly. The faster pace, as that which we experienced in the North Woods, suits on occasion. The variety of available activities available now have a newness to them. Other portions are just a pain.

This week just paying a bill generated way too much pain, i.e. it was not a stellar customer service experience. Last Tuesday I paid Cincinnati Bell Wireless, on line, with an electronic check. So far so good. Yesterday I received an email starting; “Your payment for $XXX.XX was returned to us by the bank on 10/1/2010.” Then went on with more dire news about incurring fees and penalties.

Since online my bank balance and activity showed as being just fine I felt I needed to know if something ‘squirrelly’ was going on with my account. A trip to a nearby branch confirmed that all was A-OK and that the questioned electronic check had never been presented to my bank.

My mistake came as I dialed the 888 number, realized by connect time that I was now rooting around Mumbai, India in the middle of the night, and then that I continued to stay on the line. “Joshua” answered and assured me that he could answer all billing issues and questions – twice over. Two misinterpretations later he shoveled me off to “Accounts Receivable”. Mind you, all this was done in a most kindly fashion, he was well trained.

Foolish me now assumed I would be back in the USA talking to a ‘hausfrau’ with 27 years experience. Someone who was battle hardened, but who would understand and eventually admit that Cincinnati Bell Wireless had made an error. Instead I was once again talking with a six-option recorded message. Eventually discovering the Accounts Receivable queue to be 30 to 50 minutes long. Here is where technology really shines. I was given a new option. By just keying in my phone number (which, by then, I’d given verbally twice over) and punching #1 I would get a call back in less than an hour-and-a-half. It’s Saturday and I am waiting patiently. At least I did get an early release from the Voice Mail prison system.

Growing up – Shortly I’ll be heading for Marin’s soccer game. Unlike last year when the ‘team’ ran around the field like a hornets nest following the ball (everyone that is, except for the two kids whose sole purpose on the field is to study the wide variety of ground cover). This year the team has gelled. Second graders know how to pass, how to follow-up on the ball, how to score. They are playing like a real team. Since we’ve been back we’ve seen one game, heard about the first two we missed, and now can’t wait for today’s game to start.

Animal Planet – is on hiatus. Unless you want to count this afternoon’s planned trip to Columbus to watch the Columbus Crew play San Jose. This franchise is part of the fledgling Major League Soccer operation. Rather than being solely a start-up operation each team does have a ‘ringer’; an overseas star-quality player combined with great national talent. Should be fun, a little trip up the road, some tailgating, and – hopefully – an exciting game.

Closing – The ‘Nati is currently abuzz with the fact that the Reds (Baseball’s oldest professional team) won the National League Central Division. This makes it the first time in 15 years that they’ve been in the playoffs. I guess that waiting this long and being “up there” that infrequently also means that no one is jaded by the occurrence. Go Reds!

Make it a great week everyone.



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