We Did Go On Vacation…honestly…

So towards the end of last year we decided to take a road trip to Cape Town with my brother and sister-in-law. Awesome. We were looking forward to just getting away. Believe me I needed to just get away.
And so the planning began.

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We were looking for self-catering accommodation as with kids it’s kind of difficult to go to a hotel. We clearly under estimated how difficult it would be to find a place. We needed one overnight stay halfway to Cape Town and then 5 nights in Cape Town.
Tirelessly we sent off requests and just when there seemed that there was no hope, I managed to secure a place for the one night. Cape Town was looking rather difficult.
My brother then stated that he had found a lovely place and the owner had available. We were relieved. Finally, something!

Move forward to the day we depart and it is one of those blistering hot days which makes you want to hide under a rock for shade. Since my brother was leading the way, we assumed he would know the directions to our overnight stay that I had booked. He didn’t. We drove in circles. I eventually called the owner and we managed to arrive there. It was HOT. And we were all grumpy.
However, the place was lovely and we very much enjoyed our stay.

Our plan was to go past Oudtshoorn and take the kids to the crocodile park and then head off to Cape Town. We heard that the temperature was a “wonderful” 38 degrees celcius there. Needless to say we headed straight for our main destination. It would have just been cruel to subject the kids (and us) to that kind of heat.
We eventually arrived in Cape Town and were looking forward to just relaxing at our accommodation. What the owner did not tell us is that her nice venue was booked and she was taking us somewhere else! This “somewhere else” turned out to be a last minute favour to a friend who would rent us his student digs for our stay in Cape Town. Some service delivery right there folks! Seriously? We walked into this accommodation and…
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and if we were eating it would have been….
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Needless to say that after one night there that was it. No ways would we spend another second there. After much negotiation we ended up at my aunt’s place. Crowded, but manageable.

We took the kids to Canal Walk and out to Kirstenbosch Gardens. I will post pics, soon.
It was a short but ultimately good stay. Hopefully should we do this kinda trip again, lesson is to book waaaay early!

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Murphy, Thou Art A Heatless One…

Ok, I am going to say it.

I. Hate. Appliances.

There. I said it. I feel better.

Appliances have the ability to screw us over at every turn. It’s like it is planned! It must be or I am going to go on an ass whipping expedition to locate Murphy. You have all (hopefully) read about the experience I had not so long ago about our TV tendering its “notice”. You will also have read about the mission it was to get a new TV. If not, read here and here

Folks, this is the way Murphy lulls you into that false sense of security. You know, that period where you eventually sigh in relief and think that that will be the last appliance hassle for at least this year? Yeah, about that…

Yesterday morning I was in the process of making breakfast when I head off to the fridge to get the milk for that all important first coffee of the morning. I open her up and wooosh!! It is fucking (excuse the language here) like an oven in there!! Yup, my fridge had decided, while we were blissfully sleeping to tender its “notice”.

In its “gracious” departure it had made sure to only let half everything that was occupying it go off. I was thankful. And pissed. Like fucking money grows on bloody trees!

And so today, we are off to purchase a new fridge. On account. Which essentially is more bills every month. For my sanity this expedition had better be hassle free or I swear the damage is going to be irreparable.

So,  how will you be spending your start to the weekend?

Is It Me? Or Is Today Just Crappy?

You know what urks me? (Yes, I said urks and I clearly am also not sure of the spelling.) When you are a good citizen and tax payer and you get treated like rubbish.

Honestly.

My morning was not a good one. Somewhere along the scale of “can we just give today a skip please?”

 The power went out at 04h30 this morning. I was not amused. I like electricity. I really do. I cannot live without it. I’m not designed too. Luckily we have a gas canister outside attached to a small two plate stove. Because I swear if I did not receive my morning coffee I would have lost it right there. I. Must. Always. Have. A. Morning. Coffee. Period.

 So trying to get ready for work was horrible and we had minimal torches. Then of course the kids woke up. Waaay too early. And this hampered getting ready. So we were running late. I hate being late. You think I would be used to this as trying to go anywhere these days and get there on time is a mission in itself. But no, I can’t let go. I hate being late.

 I got to work later than normal and wanting to phone the municipality to try and get an idea of when the power was coming back on. Also, obviously, to fight with them about service delivery and what the hell do I pay taxes for? And if this was a scheduled outage how the hell don’t they send out notifications of such and don’t they take into account people with small children and babies???? Only 5 minutes after getting to work my nanny texts me to say the power is back on. I’m deflated and I was amped for a fight.

 I wanted a fight actually. Fighting would have eased the pressure in my brain that is now giving me a rather shit headache. Also to appease the mind Gods, aka Karma, Inner Peace and Chi who got up and left me to deal with Irrational, Anger and Bitch. They got up and said “screw this, today is not happening” and just left me with the other three. Needless to say I shall be in a shitty mood all day.

Sunday Blues And…WTF?

So Sunday started out to be those days when you wish you didn’t get out of bed.

Promptly at 08h45 the power went out. It stayed out the whole damn day and came back on just before 6 in the evening. WTF? No warning notices were sent out by the municipality (like they should do if they are planning a power outage for that long), no communication what so ever! I was annoyed. Seems like since Friday I was destined to stay annoyed the whole weekend.

We are fortunate that we have a gas canister outside with a two plate thingy attached to it so we could at least boil water, make food etc. So everyone was ok. And the kids were sorted for food etc. But I had to feel sorry for those with little kids and no gas.

The other end of the scale was the fact that we had to entertain the kids for all that amount of time as there was no TV to periodically keep them entertained. We were completely knackered by the time the power came on. Like literally dead. We couldn’t really take them outside as it just so happened to be one of the coldest days we have had so far this winter. Great huh?

But we survived that ordeal fine enough. It’s what happened when I made a phone call yesterday morning and the subsequent dealings of today so far.

Ok, so here is the story.

Sunday morning I make the phone call to “well known furniture store that has THE WORST customer service I have ever come across”. The manager DID NOT call me the day before as was stated to me. So I call them back and tell them, again, that I want to cancel. The response is: “Oh the lady who deals with that is not in today but I will get your documentation ready and put in on her desk for her to attend to. Also you are going to have to come into the store to sign cancellation forms”. I try not to lose my temper for fear of another stroke inducing headache and agree that I will be there Monday (today) after work to come and sign.

I make a follow up call this morning to confirm that everything is ready for me to come and sign. They know nothing and put me through to “sales guy”. I have instantly gone from calm and serene to DEFCON 5. I let him have it and state that I will be in this afternoon to sign the cancellation paperwork. He agrees. I have simmered down again.

An hour later I get a call at work to ask for confirmation of employment. I have a suspicion and ask the person’s name. They give my name. I am back at DEFCON 5. I then for the 5th time since Saturday state that I am coming in to cancel this contract. The woman on the other end just says (in a rather rude tone) “Oh, why?” I say it is because I am disappointed in the service etc. etc. The woman on the other end then proceeds to just say “Ok, fine. Bye” and hangs up. I am furious, but manage to just go have a coffee and a smoke to settle me a bit. I come back and my landline rings again. It’s like they knew I left the office or something. The call is from “Sales Guy” to explain what happened with Sat blah, blah. He apparently didn’t know the warehouse did stock take on a Saturday and…I refused to listen further. I stated that I would not change my mind and I would be in this afternoon to cancel.

What happened next defies belief. “Sales Guy” goes ahead and calls A1 and explains the story to him and tries to convince him to change his mind! A1 stood fast and said we would be in later the afternoon to cancel. Once I found out that he had called him I was seeing red again. I mean really? REALLY?

I am going to try and calm down and finish my days’ work and will after go to said “well known furniture store that has THE WORST customer service I have ever come across” and calmly get this damn thing cancelled. I do however think I am sitting on the edge and one wrong move from those people will let me, no force me, to once again act like some irrational animalistic human being.

When Service Delivery Stinks

I don’t ask for much in this world (ok maybe sometimes I do, but that’s not the point I’m going to make here) but the one thing I would really like to receive, just once, it prompt service. I mean for heavens sake, I am paying taxes etc. so the least I could get is someone who can provide me with a service where I don’t end up acting like a complete bitch. Maybe it’s just that South Africa has a service delivery issue which has been going on for like forever and people just don’t care how customers are treated anymore. Is it really that bad? Really?
I reckon I should start at the beginning so I don’t sound completely nuts. I warn you, this is a long one. Grab a coffee or something and make yourself comfy.

 

Ok, so Thursday evening I get home to a power failure. Not just our house, but the whole neighborhood and half the town. Annoyed from a crap day already we proceeded to get candles out and sort out kids supper with the gas canister we have outside. It had already been off for close to two hours when I got home. Another hour and it popped on again. Relief! Not! It was on for two minutes and back off again. For like another hour! It eventually came on half an hour after the kids had finished with their supper.
I go towards the TV and notice or DSTV (Digital Satellite TV) decoder has a ‘be1’ on its display screen. It doesn’t work. Resetting it doesn’t work. Nothing bloody works. A1 then decides to check on the net to see if there is a remedy for this and he finds one. It’s supposed to work. It always works. Except for us. We tried 7 times. It did not work. Murphy, you bastard!

 

So we figure we are going to have to take it in. We do this Friday after work. They were “helpful”. When we told them of the problem all the service guy said was “oh shit”. You clearly know what this means right? He then proceeds to tell us what he is going to do. It happens to be the same thing we tried 7 times the night before. He gives us a look that says “yikes, you’re screwed”. We had to get a new one. LUCKILY it was not expensive in terms of replacing our damaged one. My blood pressure had already raised a level but I was still rational and calm.

 

We then decided that since we are in the vicinity and we are in desperate need of a new TV and wouldn’t be able to do it over the weekend that we would pop into three stores to scout if there was one that suited us (and would bloody last longer than the previous two we have gone through!).
We eventually settle on a well known furniture store as the price was reasonable and it looked really good. We were in there previously while scouting and the sales guy gave us his card. So naturally we go looking for him (to save time) to get this all settled. From here I must apologize as I will be using a couple of swear words. If you are sensitive to this, I advise you to stop reading.

 

So A1 asks that since they are on special are there any that are sealed in a box. Sales guy says “oh no sorry, we are out of stock in this store but we can organize it here and you are welcome to go and collect at one of our other branches”. I should have listened to the warning bells then already. I should’ve said “well, that’s it. We’re off”. But I didn’t. I didn’t listen to the slight pain above my eye as my blood pressure rose half a level. I just didn’t.
We then say there is no way we can go anywhere else now to go and collect, so he responds and says that they can arrange for delivery on a Saturday if that would suit us. My blood pressure dropped that half a level. We then say we want to pay on terms and he gets a look that says “ah right”. He responds by telling us that it would take a bit of time to fill out the necessary forms etc. I ask how long and he says no longer than about 10 minutes. I think that’s manageable and we go ahead.
We sit down and he gets the relevant documentation from us. He disappears to make the copies and this has already been 5 minutes. He comes back and I think “great we’re done”. We weren’t. He then whisks us off to one of the behind the counter service ladies and tells us to have a seat she will assist with the rest of the way. He then disappears again.
The lady behind the desk is facing her computer and peeling a naartjie (like an orange except smaller and softer and easier to eat than an orange). Sitting there, hasn’t said hello and is peeling and starts eating a fucking naartjie. Through chewing she mumbles something about the computer being slow and she will be with us in a second. It has now been over the supposed 10 minutes and my blood pressure has rocketed up 1 and a half levels.

 

We start the whole procedure. And I say procedure because it is a torturous one! Because of the new Credit Act that has been passed here you practically need to give your whole life story before you can get approval. And don’t think you can go and buy a surprise gift appliance or gadget for your spouse on credit because now your spouse has to be a co signer person on the documentation. Complete fuckover. Anyways, we carry on like this for the next 45 minutes!! By now my head is pounding, my stomach is churning like I am going to throw up right there and the pressure behind my eyes makes me want to gouge them out with a pencil. We sign enough forms that could have killed 50 trees and we are on our way.
But wait! As we stand another lady comes on the scene and says “Oh did they ask for a three month bank statement”. That is when I became completely fucking irrational. By now A1 would’ve had to stop me from climbing over the desk and bashing their heads in with the damn computer. She takes one look at me and says “oh not, but don’t worry that is our fault”. I respond and say as long as we get our TV tomorrow that is fine. She has a hesitant look and says that she will speak to manager and something will be arranged. I tell her that the sales guy needs to call me in the morning so I can speak to him (actually just rip him apart over the phone for his bullshitting from the second we walked in there). She said no problem she will pass on the message. I again should have listened to the alarms going off, but my head was pounding so bad I could barely here the alarms.

 

I walked out of there furious that we were misled about how long this would take (PS: sales guy had left to go home already) and I was sick and literally nauseated as my blood pressure was too high. I could’ve thrown up right there, but maintained some kind of decency. I recovered enough about two hours after we got home. I had calmed down and nausea and headache had subsided. Thankfully.

 

So this morning I see I had a missed call on my cell. A1 recognizes the number as being the store. I call back. The sales guy is busy with a customer and will call back. No problem. I get a call 10 minutes later from the lady who “assisted” us the day before and she then requests a three month bank statement. I saw red. I can’t even remember what I said to her but it wasn’t pretty. The one thing you must understand folks is that not once during our whole experience the day before was the issue of a bank statement mentioned. Except when we were done with the paperwork and then were told “not to worry it’s our fault”. I let her have it. I was told the TV would be delivered today and now you’re telling me no? Oh hell no. It does not work that way.

 

She promptly says she will find out when it will be delivered and call me back. Three hours goes by. I’m livid. I call back and find out the situation with the TV. She says it can only be next week. You know what I did then? I told her to cancel the contract. Cancel everything. I do not want your goods, I do not want your crap service and I do not want to deal with you ever again! Her response? “Oh ma’am, no. Let me get the manager to contact you”. I say to her that I am being serious and that even if the manager does call me I still want the contract cancelled. Ladies and gentleman, it is now 21h50 in the evening and I still have not received that call.

 

Tomorrow I go to war.