Thursday, October 02, 2014

Sears Has Horrible Customer Service

Other than one time, we have always bought our appliances from Sears. They usually have good customer service, they price match and they have always had a good warranty, which is the main reason we use them.

Not only will I never buy another appliance from Sears, I will never step foot in Sears again.

On September 15th my dryer stopped working. The morning of the 16th I called the Sears warranty number. After getting my information they transferred me to Residential Maintenance, who they contract the repair out to. An appointment was made for the 22nd with a four hour (8-12) wait window. I rescheduled everything I had going on that day to wait. At 11:00 on the 22nd I get a phone call saying the technician called in sick. I was frustrated, but we rescheduled for Thursday the 24th, with an 8-12 window again. I cancelled/rescheduled/changed all my plans for Thursday so I could sit and wait.

Thursday the tech comes. He spends maybe 10 minutes in with the dryer. He does not take anything apart or look at the inside of the dryer. He comes and says the belt broke. He told me that they would order the belt that day and he would be back on Monday to install it. He also said that I would be called to have an appointment set up for Monday.

Friday afternoon (the 25th) no one had called. I call and leave a message that is never returned. Monday I call again. After getting my information she puts me on hold for 15 minutes. She comes back and says that the belt was ordered priority, but it will not arrive until Wednesday. (I can order priority from anywhere and it won't take a week to get here, so my guess is that the 15 minutes I was on hold she was ordering the belt. And so far no one I have talked to has said other wise when I make that comment). I am told that a second technician will have to come out with the guy because my washer and dryer are mounted together. I tell her they aren't. She says he said they are and two people have to come. She schedules an appointment for Thursday, October 2nd.

On the 30th I contacted Sears through Facebook. I sent them a private message, trying to give them an opportunity to make things right. I told them what had happened. They assigned a Sears Member Experience Manager to this and gave me a case number. The point of me contacting Sears was because I bought this warranty through Sears, not Residential Maintenance. Sears name is on the paperwork and they are ultimately the responsible one for fulfilling the warranty. I hoped having them involved would expedite the repair and also allow Sears to know that this company has horrible customer service and do not come to appointments. What I got instead is basically a person that calls the company they contracted the work out to and accept the excuses they are given and then relays those excuses to me.

So, today, after all of my schedules and plans have been changed again, I sat and waited. After sending an email yesterday to the Sears manager asking if I had an appointment today and never getting a response, I emailed again at around 9 this morning. She emailed me back a short time later to tell me that she contacted the repair company and their technician called in sick. AGAIN. I CONTACTED THEM AND FOUND THAT OUT. No one called on their own to inform me the tech called in sick. The repair company told her she was unable to get through to me this morning on my phone. However, I received no voicemail and show no missed calls. Amazingly, they were able to get through to Paul immediately after Sears called them to check on the appointment. She told them they were working to get another technician out today (which is the same line I was given the last time this excuse was used and no one called to tell me there was not another tech available. I was left sitting and waiting).

At this point I have spent more than SIXTEEN HOURS of my time sitting and waiting on appointment windows. Not to mention the numerous schedule changes, the time and gas and money to try and have laundry for my family and the amount of time trying to get someone here. I was asked to continue to wait today, past my four hours, because they were trying to get someone here. I told her this was unacceptable and I HAD to leave by 2 to pick up kids. I asked the Sears manager to give me the contact info of someone above her. Her response:

We are an escalated group and I am a manager. We are working with the service provider to ensure that someone does come out today. Once I have any further information I will be in contact with you.

At 9:41 she said they were working with the repair company to get confirmation that someone would be out today and at what time. Four hours later at 12:26 I asked if there was an appointment for today. At 1:32 I had not received an answer or a phone call. I sent a message saying that I was again requesting the contact info for someone over her. I then called Sears corporate number. I was immediately transferred to the department I had already been dealing with through email. While on the phone with this lady the manager I had been talking to responded the same response as above and added that no other technician was available today (this is at 1:55 for an 8-12 appointment) and told me that they had scheduled an appointment for tomorrow morning between 8-12.

Neither of these ladies are a CEO. Neither are on the board at Sears. Do not tell me there is no one above you to handle problems. Everyone has someone to answer to.

At this point it is obvious that my time is not at all important to them. They will not allow me to have someone else repair it at their expense. They will not reimburse lost wages for hours of sitting for no shows. They will not reimburse gas or laundry expenses. They obviously are not concerned about my schedule since they are scheduling appointments without even asking (which, by the way, I have an appt that can not be rescheduled tomorrow at the time they chose to reschedule for). When the lady on the phone made a comment about "Well you could try to get a new dryer because of all of the missed appointments, but they won't even consider it at this point because there is an open work order." When I yelled (I admit, I yelled) "CLOSE THE WORKORDER!!!!!" She calmly says "I can't do that." Then why the @#(*$&@(*#&$()*@U#$% did you even mention it???????

After talking to the repair company and two different Customer Experience Managers with Sears, I am no closer on October 2nd to having a working dryer than I was on September 15th when my dryer stopped working.

My children do not like their sun-starched clothes. I don't blame them, I don't either. The towels are scratchy when you dry off. Their pants can stand on their own. And we won't even start with the wrinkles. Finding time to sit at a sketchy-area laundry mat, alone, is not easy.

Ultimately, I paid Sears $280 for a warranty to cover my appliance should it break down. I did not pay Repair Maintenance. I was not informed at the time that this is an "overflow area" meaning that they don't have enough Sears techs and have to contract out repairs.

The Customer Experience Managers do nothing to get the problem taken care of any quicker. They are simply a middle person. They took over making the calls I was making and they didn't get me any where closer to having my dryer repaired. Three weeks without a dryer because of something as simple as a broken belt is beyond ridiculous. Sears is not concerned with me at all, and most definitely not their reputation. I got online and found complaint after complaint about broken appliances and having to fight to get them fixed.

I will no longer shop at Sears for my appliances. Or anything else. I also will not shop Lands End, Kmart or any of their other shops. I know they won't even notice the loss of me as a customer and that is okay. The way they treat their customers after the money is in their pockets is NOT okay. My mistake was in thinking they still thought customers mattered.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Bon-Bon Eating Life

As a stay-at-home mom, especially now since all of the kids are in school, everyone knows I sit around all day eating bon-bons and watching soaps (and according to my son live videos of tiger cubs). You know, like EVERY SAHM. This is how I have spent the last 13+ years of my life.

I won't bore you with the details of my day before or since this photo. But, here is my take on my five minutes (which was mostly finding something on television and getting that tiger cam pulled up) as a "typical" SAHM.

First off, there is NOTHING on television during the day. Not for those without cable anyway. I haven’t missed anything!

Secondly, if those tigers chest were not raising up and lowering back down with their every breath, I would think it was a still shot. Or they were dead. I could still easily believe the video is looped. SNORE!

Finally, because we save the best, or maybe the worst, for last. THAT ICE CREAM. Y’all, it is straight from the devil. When you take the lid off you can taste the ice cream before it even touches your lips! If you like Bananas Foster, here is the best of both worlds. It taste just like the sinful dessert. I put it away after a couple of knock-you-off-your-feet (and on to the couch to watch soaps and baby tigers video) bites. I can still taste it. 20 minutes later. The small, but pricey, pint is in my freezer screaming out my name. You have been warned - bon-bons have nothing on this (I am guessing this, of course, since I have never actually had bon-bons).

As a side note, if stay at home mom’s eat bon-bons all the time they either sell out before they hit the shelves or more people need to be selling them. I went to the three grocery stores in town and NONE of them even have a place for them!

Now, back to REAL life (and maybe a few more bites of ice cream). I think I like the real version better!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

To the Mom who fell asleep in front of me in carpool today....

I wish I had driven the Jeep today so I could go over the curb and around you.

I wish that everyone behind me would have patiently waited and moved over to go around you.

If it were at all possible, I would have left you there sleeping until your child was the only child left in front of the school.


The mom next to you, she gets it too. She lightly tapped her horn a couple of times when you didn't play along in the daily follow the leader routine. I could see you in your mirror. You did not budge. She saw you too. She quickly pulled forward to keep the game going. I sat there as many cars passed us by and I wrestled with what to do. You need sleep. You deserve sleep. I felt guilty as I honked my horn at you when I saw the teacher getting slightly irritated. I felt really guilty when you jumped out of your seat.

Every day carpool forces me to sit and....well, sit. I know for me, if I get the chance to just sit, I will quickly be sleeping. I try to read - my eyes get heavy. I try to people watch - I get sleepy. I have brought coffee, soda, etc. Nothing helps. Down time equals nap time!

Here is my request: When it is ME snoozing in the carpool line (I am fairly certain that this will occur at least once this year), please give me a patient and understanding honk and remind me that the game must go on!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Put My Son on the Bus In One Shoe

I am no longer in the running for Mom-of-the-Year Award. Okay, let's be realistic, I never was.

This morning, I let the three younger kids sleep as long as possible. Yesterday was a long and busy day! After I got them up, Andrew came in just crying with a shoe in his hand. I asked what was wrong and he said someone put his shoe in the bathtub. While this IS a very possible scenario, I think what happened was the shoe was an innocent bystander in the Great Flood of 3/27/2014 (which was preceded by The Great Flood of 3/26/2014 and will be followed by The Great Flood of 3/28/2014). Luckily, THIS great flood was caused by shower water and not any other kind of "water" that is so often found in that room!

I told him it was okay, we would put it in the dryer and all would be good in the world. Then we got busy doing our morning routines. Usually, the boys are standing at the window watching for the bus before it is time for the bus, but not this morning. I heard a bus and frantically started calling for Andrew to come on. The bus stops at one house before our house so he REALLY needed to COME ON! As he reaches the door he says something and I tell him he needs to get outside before the bus leaves him (it is stopped in front of our house at this point). He mumbles something again, but this time I HEARD him and what he said registered in my brain. "But, I only have one shoe on!"

I go running to the dryer while telling him to get to the door so the bus doesn't leave him. When I get the shoe to him he starts to sit down to put it on. "NOOOOO!!! You are going to have to do that on the bus! You need to go before she leaves you!!!" He looks at me like I have lost my mind and starts his uneven walk out to the bus as I wave and apologize to the bus driver.

Yep, I put my son on the bus with one shoe on - but at least he had the other one in his hand!

A Lesson in Working Together

Yesterday I went on a field trip with Andrew. It has been planned out for a while, but we all know what that means. I had paid for the trip and was ready but the week and a half leading up to the day of the trip, life started getting in the way, as is it seems to do when I make plans ahead of time. Paul was a key part of this plan working. I was going to take Mady to a friends house on the way to the school. Paul was going to pick her up on his way home and go home to the boys.

Paul found out he had to go out of town. Well, great. That makes things more difficult! At the end of last week Caleb comes home and tells me he has band practice at 5 (I wasn't going to be home until 5:30). Hmmm.....somehow we will make it work. My biggest concern wasn't how Caleb was going to get there, but more that Isaac and Bryce would be home alone for a little while. This was a first experience for me. Caleb is always here to keep an eye on things. We talked to the boys and they said they could handle it. They had phone numbers by the phone and promised they were going to prove themselves responsible. So, I decided since we have friends in the neighborhood that could help out if need be, we would go for it.

The field trip was fun. Exhausting, but I enjoyed getting to go on a field trip with a child that still wanted me to go with him! At 3, while on our way home, I called the house. No one answered. I called many times. No answer. We just recently got this new invention called a house phone. We had done away with it a couple of years ago when Caleb got his cell phone. When that did not work out, we decided we needed to have a phone available to ALL of the kids in case of an emergency. I thought maybe Isaac just didn't know if he should answer it or something. I was trying to keep myself calm and decide if I should try to get someone to go check on him. About that time my phone, which has a very low battery at this point because a little boy wanted to take pictures at every rock on the field trip, rings. It is a strange phone number but I thought I should answer it under the circumstances. It was Caleb.

Isaac had gone in the house, put his ID away as he always does and took the dog out to potty. Our doorknobs can be opened from the inside when they are locked. He locked himself out of the house in the backyard. Caleb had gone to a friends house to call hoping there was a key outside somewhere. There wasn't. I told him they were going to have to sit outside and wait for me to get home.

I come close to panic-mode. I am sitting on a bus coming back from New Orleans, still over an hour away from the school. Not only are the two kids going to be home alone, but they are locked OUTSIDE! A friend in the neighborhood helped Bryce get in the backyard (our backyard is completely fenced in, over the driveway, and the gate has to have an opener to open), gave them strict instructions that no one is to enter or exit the backyard and takes Caleb to the school.

I get a text from Paul after a while that says the boys got in the house. I call the house and ask how they got in, scared of what I am about to have to replace or fix (I am thinking broken window).

"We worked together and got in the house!"
"And, how did you do that?"
(I am not going to put on here how they did it because I don't want to help anyone else in to my house)
"Is anything broken?"
"No ma'am."
"So, y'all worked together without fighting or arguing?"
"Yes ma'am."
"And a crisis was resolved. Isn't it amazing how that works?" (we have this conversation a LOT in our house with the frequent arguments and fights).

Mom was able to breath much better for the last 20-30 minutes of the ride. I am very proud of them for working together and coming up with a solution by themselves. I am not ready to make them coming home alone a regular occurrence but I will feel much better next time they have to. After we got back, I picked the boys up at home, went to get Caleb from band, dropped off the boys at home, took Andrew to Cub Scouts and went to get Mady. It was a LOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG day for this Momma!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why Homework is Important

Written by a student who refuses to do homework but expects to be a millionaire, typed as written.

Homework is despised by practically everybody. Whether people do it or not is a different story.

Homework is an assignment from school or work that you have obligations to complete at a different time, so you can comprehend the material reviewed that particular day. Sometimes it might be collected for a grade based on participation, or it might be meant solely for individual recollection of the day's studies. Because this activity cuts into people's time and many do not possess the patience to deal with more stuff from the place they have spent 8 hours of their day, and 40 hours per week and do not wish to waste anymore precious time on a government-mandated "time-hole," therefore the homework assignment is not completed. On the contrary, many people, also assigned homework, complete the activity in hopes of a better grade in class, avoidance of detention or other disciplinary actions, understanding of the class topic, or "just because."

Although all students will recieve homework, nearly one hundred percent of them dislike homework or even hate it with a passion, the necessity of it goes undermined typically. If a class, such as Science, for example, carried out all experiments and projects the class needs in class time, there would not be anywhere near as much time to learn new material for the next assignment or understand their current one because they would be preoccupied with an experiment constantly. Proof of this can come from the fact in that Science class, you have 5 hours a week for the class altogther. In the one hour a student spends in the class, they tend to write on average about 2 pages of notes. The background of lab report in high school can usually take 3-5 hours to complete. That means if the student spent the school week doing the assignment, they would miss 10 pages equivalent of notes on how the assignment's principles and fundamentals make it work. Even if the class only made the pupils do one project a month it'd still amount to roughly 40 hours of 80 pages of notes not taken over the 9-month school year. Thus, homework is important in one way, through in-class time efficiency.

An additional reason homework is important, is because it teaches pupils responsibility. Normally, unless someone is taught the good habit, they will develope the wrong one. One example of this is a student who learned early on to do their homework properly, graduating, and looking for a job. First, the student would most likely have good grades from understanding work better, and possibly have a more potential dwelling work transcript. So he would get hired easier than if he'd gotten bad grades. Second, after landing a job, he would be more likely to put better quality in his service because he'd be more built for the extra effort of accomplishing unfinished tasks at home than someone who never did homework. Third, because of constant efforts and high service quality, the graduate would be promoted sooner and entrusted with the business more. On the opposal, you can compare this to someone's future, who never does homework. They would probably have poorer grades from lack of comprehension and knowledge retainment and lack of homework point; and have a poorer job transcript. The pupil would have a harder time finding a job that will accept him and the one he does get may be a monstrosity of boredom. If he acctually keeps the job, he would have a much harder time trying to put quality into his work because he lacks the mental stamina, and thus have a harder time being promoted and not as trusted with the business which could lead to being easily demoted.

As said through the essay, to conclude, homework is essential because of its ability to hide you from disciplinary actions and a bad future, making classes more efficient, helping retain information easier, and land a better job. All of these are how something as small as homework can impact a person's life. And as the final conclusion, if you have to take a class, why not put the effort to make it go smoother and end nicer?

Friday, August 30, 2013


The differences between boys and girls never cease to amaze me. When you tell the boys a secret, they MIGHT wait until they are out of your sight before they tell one of their siblings. At Christmas they have been known to say something like "I am not going to tell you that you are getting......for Christmas." Yes, we have stopped Christmas shopping for others with them!

Of course, none of these are serious secrets. Usually it is just goofiness. Like, yesterday Mady asked if she could go out for lunch. I said no but told her we probably would tomorrow because we had errands to run all morning. She began planning tomorrow's lunch. Last night, she came in to talk about it and I told her it was a secret and we couldn't talk about it around her brothers. Basically, I just didn't want to hear how unfair life was because Mady was going to out to eat and they had to go to school. Mady got a big smile and put her finger over her mouth.

Her brothers would have immediately gone to their bedrooms and spread the word. Any time Mady needs to talk about her secret, she comes to me, pulls me down to her level and whispers in my ear "Don't forget - Chili's or Raising Canes!" Then she puts her finger back over her huge smile and says "SHHHH!"

Today I love it. But, as she grows older I can only hope that I am still the one she wants to tell her secrets to. I don't want to be her best friend. First and foremost I am her mother. I will make her mad. I will make her life unfair and miserable and all of those other irritating things that parents "do" to their children. I will do it with the utmost love and always with her best interest at heart. If, in the midst of doing my best to parent her, she decides that I am still who she wants to share her secrets with then I am one blessed Momma! If she decides that she wants to share her secrets with someone else, well I am STILL one blessed Momma. And this blessed Momma will be praying hard that she has a great friend that will know when to keep her secrets tucked tight in her heart and when to take her secrets to the proper person if it is necessary for her safety or well-being.

Us going to lunch doesn't need national security. But that does not matter. I want her to learn that trust is a very important thing in a relationship. Any relationship. If someone tells her something and says it is a secret, no matter how trivial it seems to her, for whatever reason, her friend does not want the information shared with anyone else and she should respect that. It might be a test or it might be that that friend knows the whole story and Mady doesn't. There will be times when a girl-friend will break her heart and her trust, but I hope through all the pain that will come from that she learns that you have to choose your friends carefully and the importance of NOT doing the same thing to someone else.

As much as I hope and pray that Mady (and all of the kids) have a great friend like that in her life, most importantly I hope Mady learns to BE that kind of friend.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

A Social Experiment

Right before our 15th wedding anniversary this year, I started posting “I love Paul because.....” on Facebook. Every day I would choose one reason that makes me fall completely in love with my husband every day. I did this for many reasons. However, it ended up being kind of a social experiment after hearing the reactions to it.

An important reason was that I wanted my husband to know that there are infinite reasons why I love him. I can tell him, but sometimes the words just get lost in the thousands of words spoken a day amidst the craziness and chaos of our busy life. There is also the fact that between Paul’s work schedule and frequent travels, the kids schedules and the tag-teaming we sometimes have to do, we don’t always have a chance to spend a lot of time talking. On top of it all we have friends and family that had just gotten married, a few that were planning weddings, along with some struggling in their marriages and some divorces.

Pretty early on with the post we started getting comments. Comments like “No one can ever be as good as he is!” or “You are making the rest of us look very bad.” Sometimes, it was just a “You are blessed with a great man!” or “He sure is wonderful.”

The comments were in good fun. But what really bothered me were the “He never does anything wrong, does he?” or “You must have gotten the only perfect man around.” or “What did you do that you are trying to make up for?” or “Are you trying to get something from him?”

I never said he was perfect. He isn’t. Neither am I. Neither is anyone else on Earth. My question is why would I ever criticize my husband, especially on a public site? The point was to build him up. To let him know that I am, and always will be, in his corner. To remind him that as stressed as he is, we will always get through it together. To encourage him and show him that I see and appreciate his struggle to find that fine line between work and family. To let him know that I am PROUD of him, his hard work and how seriously he takes his responsibilities. I also want him to know that I appreciate the little things that make him who he is.

(And, just to be clear, I do not know of anything I have done to hurt him. I am not trying to redeem myself for any reason. I am not “sucking up” or “buttering him up” for anything.)

If I spend my time pointing out his weaknesses or failures then I am spending my time focusing on his weaknesses and failures. Soon, that is all I will see in him. That certainly is not what I want people to focus on in me.

If I spend a little bit of time every day saying what I love about him and what I am proud of, then that is what I focus on. When you go out of your way to focus on the good in someone, it leaves little time to dwell in the weaknesses or annoyances of that person.

He is going to fail. He is SUPPOSED to fail sometimes. He has weaknesses. He is SUPPOSED to have weaknesses. Even Superman had his kryptonite. If he didn’t have weaknesses and failures he would BE God and would never have to TURN to God. If he didn’t have weaknesses and failures he would never have anything to grow and learn from.

We don’t have a “perfect” marriage. We have bad days. We argue sometimes. He drives me crazy often. I drive him crazy more often. But, we look for the best in each other.

In our society divorce has become the norm. No one is shocked when they hear another marriage fell apart. To the point where I have had a child come home upset that his parents have never been divorced. “All of my friends parents are divorced. Most of them live in two houses and have two of everything and their parents get them whatever they want.” It broke my heart!

The main reason I was posting the “I love Paul because” and continue to post the encouraging marriage statuses is because I want my children to see why I love their father. We hold hands, we kiss, we call each other by nicknames, in front of our children, and sometimes their friends (even though they think it is “like, totally disgusting!”)

Often, the words from my mouth seem to mean little to my children. I want to meet them where they are. I will do anything I can to teach them how to love and be loved and to teach them that it is worth the hard work it takes.

If in the midst of my encouraging my husband, reminding him what he means to me and showing my children how to love and be loved, I am able to encourage someone that needs encouragement or offer support to someone struggling, then that is just an added bonus.