Saturday, August 25, 2007

Foiled Rants

As you know, we are trying to rent our townhome. While it's taking a little longer than we hoped, overall we've had quite a few inquiries and, for the most part, have been attracting the kind of renter we want.

Right now we're listed on line at and, the latter of which posts your listing on a bunch of other rental sites.

I checked my email this morning to see if we had any new inquiries and was excited to find that I did. However, this is what it said:

"don't show that staircase as your first shot, it's dreadful! paint it a nuetral color and show the patio first! you'll have a renter in no time!"

(Lack of capitalization hers, not mine.)

This 'pearl' of wisom came from a Karen Cresse, who was kind enough to provide her email and phone number.

Now, this just rubbed me up the wrong way. So, I decided to retort. I thought I would share my response with y'all.

Dear Karen,

Thank you for your advice on the color of the walls at our townhome.

Are you looking for a rental in our area or is your life just so empty that you feel it necessary to send disparaging emails to strangers?

Since we have had many inquiries on our townhome, have three applications in-hand, and many people who have welcomed the warm color vs. the soulless, apartment off-white, I think we will choose to ignore your subjective and insulting advice.

I wish you luck in finding a rental with apartment-cream walls (if in fact you are looking at all)… there’s plenty of them out there competing for the bottom-dollar renter.

So there!

Unfortunately, the woman didn't even have the guts to back up her remarks with a valid email address and my retort returned within seconds as undeliverable.

So, Karen Cresse with an 818 area-code, take your unwelcome remarks and stuff them where the sun don't shine.

This, by the way, is the shot of which she spoke. Honestly, it's ok with me if you don't like the color. Color is subjective anyway. I just thought it was ridiculous that she took the time to email a complete stranger to tell him/her that she didn't like the color of the wall. I mean, seriously, move-on. You don't like it, live somewhere else.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My blog travels well

I finally scrolled down to look at the little map of the world that is supposed to show where my visitors come from and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. Considering I get comments from only 2-3 people on any sort of basis, I'm covering a pretty wide expanse of the globe!

Who are you people? Why don't you comment? How did you find me?

Perhaps you reached me by accident, were bored to death and surfed on to my imminently more eloquent and interesting fellow bloggers, Hotel California babe, and The Gerli Life chick for instance.

Particularly, I would like to hear about those people who have visited from:
  • Ireland
  • Argentina
  • Iran
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • China (I think, Hong Kong specifically)

Oooooooooo... I've come over all multicultural all of a sudden.

Of course...

...I would like to clarify that ALL people are not rude and stupid. Sadly too large a number seem to be but I know all the polite, smart ones! :)

People are just rude... and stupid.

I've has this one sales prospect in Florida on the hook for a few months now and honestly, I hope they DON'T buy our product.

I gave them a free demo of our product and despite the fact that they are only a small account, spent 90 minutes providing them with a free webinar so they could understand how to use it. That time doesn't even include the countless emails and voicemails over 3-4 weeks we exchanged just trying to set up the webinar; emails where I would provide him with several dates that work for me and then he wouldn't get back to me until after those dates passed, so we'd have to start that process all over again. (We did that like 3 times.)

The webinar was akin to a bad migraine, by the way, as he disappeared down rabbit holes, asked stupid questions, went off on long tirades that demonstrated a basic lack of understanding about what the product even does, talked over everything I said, and then asked questions about things I had already explained but he had missed (because he liked the sound of his own voice better.)

After the demo, however, he said he was ready to go. "Send me a contract!" he said. So I did.

And then all went dark. I called but got no response. This was all before I left on my honeymoon in May. When I got back I checked back in with him and he said he just didn't understand the program and didn't think his agents would use it.

Ummm... huh?

Seriously, those of you who know the product I sell know that, while some people take longer than others to learn the ins-and-outs of it, it's essentially extremely easy to use and, for someone in the industry (which this guy is, he says), it's purpose is elementary. And I promise you, it wasn't my lack of sales training.

So, he wanted to schedule another webinar with me and some others in his organization, so I could explain it to them and get their agreement to purchase. Of course, I was reluctant, given how small the account is, how much time I had spent already with him, and how painful the last webinar was. But I agreed because, you know, this is my job and commission is my mortgage payment and every little counts.

We scheduled webinar #2 for last week. Two days before, he had his assistant call me to ask me if we can do it at another time on the same day. I agreed because I didn't have anything else scheduled. The day before, the assistant called and tried to reschedule again but this time asks for a time where I already had a scheduled call, so we decide to keep the second agreed-upon time. Then the morning of the webinar, she calls to cancel and says we'll try for next week (now this week.)

Today was the webinar, supposedly at 11am my time (he's on the east coast.) At 8:05 am Pacific my phone lights up like a Christmas tree. Unfortunately, I'm in the bathroom at that time and have to let it go to voicemail. By the time I get back to my phone 2-3 minutes later, I have FOUR curt voicemails and two emails from him asking me where I am. Yes, he misread 11am PACIFIC as 11am EASTERN. Because, you know, Pacific and Eastern look so similar in an email.

Like a true professional, despite being dressed in my sweaty workout gear, I throw my barking, yapping dogs in the back yard and jump online. I just wanted this guy out of my hair today so I can move forward into the weekend with positive vibes.

I just got off the webinar and I'm about ready to tear my hair out.

There was 5 people in the room with him and they proceeded to talk to each other the entire time I was talking, and not in whispters. Again, my contact frequently talked over me, asked rabbit-hole questions (that I had already provided that answer to if only he had been listening), and behaved like an insolent 5 year old.

What's worse, no one person was "at the helm" so everyone was talking to each other and asking questions of me at the same time. One person would ask me to show them something and then someone else would disagree and tell me to do something else. Then a third person would disagree with both of them or argue the basic validity of the point they were trying to make. Internal fighting would ensue, leaving me with my head in my hands at my desk.

It got to the point where, a couple of times, I just stopped talking and listened to them bicker amongst themselves. After about 2-3 minutes it would go quiet in the room as they realized that I wasn't talking anymore. I gave it a few seconds and then I said "Are you ready for me to continue now?" which illicited multiple responses and further back-and-forth banter.

At 9am I wrapped it up, having only skimmed 40% of what I would normally talk about, and told them I had another meeting to attend. I told them I would reactivate their demo so, again, they could play with it to their heart's content. At which point my contact asked me if I could do some of the custom programming we had discussed, before I sent the demo over. When I told him that I needed a signed contract to do any work on his behalf, he ignored me and continued to reiterate his point about why the programming needed to be done (a point which was not under dispute.) Again, in-fighting ensued.

"Ok guys, well, thanks for your time. I'll send you an email with your demo account details," I said and put the phone down.

I was nice but I was getting to the point where I couldn't be any longer.

I pray to god they dissapear off my prospect list. If they're like this BEFORE they sign up, can you imagine how much time they'll waste once they become a client.


Now I'm going to take a shower and attempt an attitude readjustment for the day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Here she is!

MaggieDay1 046
Originally uploaded by Travel Vixen
Here is our little Maggie, who had a pretty good first day. See more photos here.

While Frankie continues to be determined not to have anything to do with his new sister, lil sis is coming on in leaps and bounds.

We've had some accidents in the house but for the most part she has been doing her "business" in one spot on the yard - even, in a couple of instances, taking herself there!

She is a little time waster, though. Trying to get anything done while maintaining constant vigilance over her butt and mouth - both of which are equally a threat to house and home - is nigh-on impossible. I guess I forgot how hard this was the first time around, or perhaps only being 24 at the time I didn't care as much. Anyway, I can understand how mothers of new babies say they don't achieve very much in a day... after all this is just a puppy!

Despite this, she is a joy to watch. We bought her a little ball with a bell inside it and she chases it around the floor, pouncing on it whenever it gets out of her control. If she could speak I think she'd be saying "Gotcha!"

She hasn't given up on Frankie, either, even managing to follow him upstairs this afternoon (poor Frankie, his last private Idaho disappearing before his eyes.) Getting down wasn't as easy: a couple of times I thought her back legs were going to flip over her head!

So far so good... keep your fingers, toes, eyes, legs, arms and any other limb capable of moving, crossed for continued successes in the house of chaos and confusion...

Over and out.

A momentary truce

Puppy on seat beside me to the right, on couch. Dog on couch beside me to left, on couch. I am the Berlin Wall.

All this is based on Maggie's continued snoozing, of course. If only a third person were here to capture this.

New digs... new digger

We're in.


Finally, everything got pulled out of the townhouse on Saturday and thrown into the new house. Pull-and-throw pretty much sums up the process, since it's now Wednesday and, while we've definitely dug our way out of quite a bit, we're still mountain high in unpacked boxes and miscellaneous bits-and-bobs all over the place. About the only area fully functional is the kitchen, which gives you some idea of where my priorities lie!

Part of the problem is/was that none of our closets (aside from a small one in the guest room) have any kind of hardware in them to enable us to hang or stack anything in them. No rods, no shelves... nuttin'. So, Hubbie spent most of Sunday (bless him - this is why I love him) building closet-maid shelving and rails in one of our two master bedroom closets, just so I can hang some stuff. Of course, I haven't really had time to unpack anything to put in there; hopefully tonight.

Also, up until yesterday we didn't have an internet connection or landline phone. While AT&T had activated our new phone number, something was up with the wiring in the house and we couldn't get a dial tone out of any of the sockets. Fortunately for my working situation, a hapless neighbor had left their home wireless network without a security key, so I was able to jack their connection for a few days. Whoever you are, neighbor... THANK YOU! The AT&T guy came yesterday to rectify the situation and we're now full operational. I have to say that the DSL is super fast, so well worh the wait.

Also, to add to the situation of total chaos and confusion, we picked up our new puppy last night. Maggie is her name and she's another black cocker spaniel, just like my existing 8-year old dog, Frankie (Maggie and Frankie, for those of you who are curious, are the names of my maternal grandparents who I was very close to).

We bought her straight from the breeder (she's barely 8 wks old) and took Frankie with us to pick her up last night - Frankie in the back seat and Maggie in her crate next to him. Needless to say, much growling, howling, yapping, and barking accompanied us home, but in general we were impressed with Frankie's composure.

You see, Frankie is not really a dog-loving dog. (This is the part when you wonder why on earth, then, we would see fit to bring another dog into our house. What can I say? We're gluttons for punishment!) My sister-in-law has a dog and my mother-in-law had a dog that not so long ago passed away. They were/are both German Shepherds and every time Frankie is/was in close proximity with either of them, he would turn into his very own impersonation of Kujo - growling, baring teeth etc... I have no idea why. I exposed him to other people's dogs when he was a pup and he was fine. I don't know why or when his tolerance of other dogs changed but for some reason it did and I think the only way to "cure" or manage it at this point is with some very expensive one-on-one dog training with an expert.

My theory, however, was that a smaller dog (in this case a puppy) would pose less of a physical threat to him. By and large, I have so far been right. (I'm touching LOTS of wood at my desk right now.) His reaction has been one of, mostly, indifference and denial. He just doesn't want anything to do with her. She, however, is ready to be his BFF.

The resulting, entertaining spectacle is a puppy, as small as your arm from your wrist to elbow, falling over herself to chase a 35lb dog who, whenever she gets within 5 feet, turns tail and bolts in a completely different direction. Of course, Maggie thinks this is all a great game, and proceeds to pursue Frankie in earnest, often falling up or down the steps on our deck or in our family room in the process.

The cat-and-mouse game (or in this case pup-and-dog) basically continued last night until Frankie realized that he could go places Maggie couldn't... yet. So, Frankie has become an upstairs dog for now. Hubbie practically had to drag him down this morning!

Maggie had a good night overall, only waking up and yapping once from her little crate. We ignored her and she went back to sleep. Unfortunately, that yap probably had something to do with the poop that Hubbie found in there this morning when he came down to let her out. Otherwise, we've only had a couple of little pee-pees in the house; mostly we've been able to get her to 'go' on her training pad on the deck.

Right now I've blocked her off in the kitchen, just so I can shower and get some stuff done... something which she wasn't best pleased about. Unfortunately, I left my camera in the kitchen with photos of her on it. So, you'll have to wait for cute pup photos. She's currently sleeping; a state I'm in no hurry to get her out of.

So, basically, stay tuned for more hilarity in the house of chaos and confusion...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The HIGHS and lows of moving

Moving is a roller-coaster process.

HIGH: We get the house. YAY!
LOW: We haven't packed a thing. YIKES!

HIGH: Hubbie knows a contractor who is in need of work and will help us to do odd jobs before we move in; like adding a doggie-door in the laundry room. Hubbie secures him a week in advance.
LOW: The contractor gets a big gig and cancels our appt.

HIGH: I know an electrician who does work on the side and he agrees to help us with things like our clicking attic fan and a new ceiling fan in the bedroom that won't lop our head off.
LOW: The electrician screws up the time and leaves Hubbie high-and-dry.

HIGH: Hubbie knows a tile guy who can mend and reseal our tiles at the townhouse for a reasonable price. He's in a deal with the other buyer's agent in his realtor team.
LOW: The deal gets screwed up... who knows if he'll have the goodwill to help us now.

HIGH: We're going to be the modern-day Jetsons with integrated Cable, Telephone, and Internet... all for less than we're paying now.
LOW: They cut our DSL off at the old house 3 days early and leave me without internet connection (remembering I work from home.)

HIGH: I'm going to paint my office beautiful colors.
LOW: We find out in the process that we need new baseboard, the crown molding needs to come off, and the door needs re-painting.

HIGH: My hip's been doing GREAT!
LOW: ... that was until I started trying to lift boxes and run up-and-down stairs. Guess I didn't realize how much I have curbed my movements in regular, every-day life to accomodate my itsy-bitsy disability. Surgery definitely needed. I'm 32, not 82.

HIGH: A lady from San Francisco comes to see our townhome and fills out an application to rent it. She passes the credit and background check. She sends a cashiers check deposit FedEx. She's going to pay the full amount we wanted which will pretty much cover most of our expenses and move in on September 1st! We cancel our weekend ads.
LOW: Before the cashiers check arrives, she emails me to let me know she's changed her mind.

In the end it will all be worth it but when you're up and down like this within the course of a week, you start to feel a little seasick.

I work from the office on Thursdays and so this lunchtime I sped down the freeway to my new house and sat on the swing on my new deck for 15 minutes, just to remind myself why I'm putting myself through all this.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh crap!

In packing some items today during my lunch hour, I came across a tin of English minced beef in gravy. I love this stuff. Oooooooo, I thought, I'll have this for lunch.

And then I turned around to open the drawer to grab a can opener (one of about 4 we have in all different styles).... and found I had packed every last one.

Boooo hooooooo.

Trailer park wars: an update

Things have gone pretty quiet next door, which is a blessing because we're trying to show the townhouse to renters.

Hubbie got the full story from our neighbor (the husband) the other day and his wife did indeed cheat on him after 20 years of marriage. Hubbie said he looked gutted (understandable) and started crying while talking to him (the husband, not Joss - he's sensitive but not that sensitive.)

Despite the fact that we have not particularly enjoyed unavoidably eavesdropping on their drama, we do feel really sorry for him. He's not the most subtle or sophisticated of human beings, it doesn't change the fact that he's beligerant and very angry man at heart, but despite all this nobody deserves to be lied to by someone they love.

It sounded like he was trying to find it in his heart to stay with her... he was trying to try, so to speak. After 20 years I can't even imagine how it would feel; probably like the floor has just fallen out from beneath you.

We have too much stuff

It's not a new realization but it's one that definitely makes me groan at moving time.

As I open cupboards to pack, I see two, three, four, versions of the same thing... the one at the back forgotten about and a new one(s) purchased... none of them touched in months, if not years.

Once I'm into the new place I am going to have a brutal throwing out session. This is just plain ridiculous... nobody needs this much crap.


I seriously hope that one day I am rich enough to pay someone else to do this part of the moving process. I've moved 8 times now in 12 years and I'm soooo over it.

Monday, August 13, 2007


We started to move into the house this past weekend... bit by bit. Since everything came together within a matter of 2-3 days, we hadn't really packed anything, so we're trying to pack-and-move at the same time, getting the smaller stuff out before Saturday which will be the big move date.

And, as my hubbie says, I have to make things harder.

I was determined not to move my desk into a yucky gray-cream room and so I took it upon myself to paint my future office this past Sunday while hubbie was working. Heck, I'm an independent woman, I thought, I can do this on my own!

Ummm.... yep.

My ambitious plan was to have a two-tone room; a darker color on the bottom third of all the walls and a lighter color on the top two thirds.

I went over to the new house with all my supplies (which, I'll admit, hubbie staged at the back door for me - hey, he knew where all this stuff was!), my energy-infused Jamba Juice, and a stack of boppy CDs. I taped-off the baseboards (which are actually chair rails; don't ask me what they were thinking) and put down the drop-cloths.

I'm was feeling pretty smart. Who needed a man?

Then I set to taping-off the door frame.... only then did I realize I didn't have the step-ladder. Being five foot one and three quarters, the step ladder is not negotiable. Cripes. Ok, I thought, I'll just do whatever I can reach for now and then go home to get the step-ladder afterward.

So I continued taping, crawling on my hands and knees into the closet cubby. But as I taped, the chair-rail-base-board started to come away in my hands.

Who needs baseboard - especially chair-rail-baseboard - in the closet? I'll just pull it.

This got me looking a little harder at the makeshift baseboard and 'crown moulding' (pah!) throughout the room. Poor cuts, located half-way along the wall and shoddy nailing left it a few millimeters away from the wall in several spots.

I think we need new baseboard; how much can it be for a small room like this?

Resolved to spend the money on new baseboard, I continued on my merry way around the wall, painting the top two thirds of the room in my pretty, buttery yellow, as high as my five-foot frame would carry me - and a little higher with a nifty little jump-and-roll maneuvre I think I'm going to patent.

With Janet Jackson's Black Cat blasting away on my Bose stereo (how great to not worry about neighbors with a common wall!) I danced and painted my way three quarters of the way around the room, finally getting to the doorway.

This is going waaaaay good, I thought with renewed vigor. Hubbie is going to be soooo proud of me.

And then I closed the door to reach the wall behind.


In our fervor to purchase the house with all it's aesthetic defects, we had neglected to actually turn over every rock (or door, to be specific.) So, it was only then that I saw the nasty pinky-browny color on the back of the door. It is beyond hideous and there is no way it can stay. I think it actually made me nauseous.

The realization hit me as I looked around the room with new eyes.... the door trim was white, the 'baseboards' were cream, the chair-rail-come-crown-moulding was cream, and the door was poopy brown.

My list was going to have to grow:

  • The baseboards needed replacing.

  • The door needed re-painting.

  • The chair-rail-come-crown-moulding needed pulling

And thus began the domino effect.

I looked at the two tins of differently colored paint sitting side-by-side on the drop-cloth and asked the hard questions: How much do I really want a two-tone room?

To help me make up my mind, I decided to paint the darker beige color (which was to be the bottom of the wall) in one area, just to ensure that I liked it on the wall as much as I did in the swatches.

Oh boy, am I glad I did that!

Set against the bright-and-buttery yellow, the beige paint looked like smeared poop. Not good. A change of plan was definitely necessary.

So now all the walls are buttery except one. The wall by the window (which is a small area) I am going to paint a yummy bright tangerine orange. For those of you who saw my cube at work, you know the color I mean - the color of my chair. Since I brought all my work stuff home from the office this past week, I decided to take a cue from my bright yellow, orange, and red accessories and fit the room to the stuff. It's going to be bold but I'm pretty confident it will also be beautiful. (Although the guy at the paint counter at Home Depot raised his eyebrows and did a double-take when he saw the swatch I handed to him.)

I'll take pictures when it all comes together, so you'll be able to decide for yourself.

The other knock-on effect of this process was that we started opening and closing doors throughout the house and discovered similarly poopy colors on the back-side of the doors in other rooms.

Hubbie is kind of excited, however. My mum bought us a paint sprayer several years ago and we have never had the room to use it. He's now planning to luxuriate in all his new-found space by spray-painting all the trim and the doors in either the yard or the garage. Bless him. This is why I married him.

Friday, August 10, 2007

We HAVE a house!!!!

We closed yesterday at aroiund 4pm. We're really excited but there is just so much to do. Since everything really just came together on Tuesday of this week, we hadn't even started packing! Our goal is to be out of the townhouse a week from Saturday.

One of the cool things about moving is that we've been able to do some research on some new utilities, most importantly our satellite tv. Right now we have DirecTV, which we've been very happy with. However, in researching, we found that AT&T (our telephone and internet provider) has a relationship with Dish Network and they are practically giving away something called "iHome" (I think that's the name.) It's basically a central computer system for your house that links your satellite tv with your telephone with your internet access and home network. For those of you that are scratching your head about why the heck anyone would want to do that, the possibilities are literally endless. We'll be able to listen to our voicemails through email, read email on the tv, see CallerID on the tv etc... Their plans also include to link things like doorbells, garage doors, and mailboxes so you can control your whole hosue from one central hub. All of this at an overall cost reduction for packaging all the services.

Of course, we're doing it. Talk to us in a year and we may resemble the modern-day Jetsons.

This is just one of many things we need to set-up and achieve in the next week but it's an unexpected and unforeseen benefit

In addition to packing, I'll be painting this weekend. The first room I want to set-up is my office (since I work from home this room needs to be operational right away.) Painting is the most important first step since the walls are cream right now and, if you know anything about me at all, you know that cream walls give me an anxiety attack. (They're drab, unimaginative, and they make me feel like I'm in a rental.) I picked Ralph Lauren Cottonwood and Wicker Mat (if you've never used Ralph Lauren paint before you should - it goes on so easily and the coverage is amazing... only one coat needed!) and of course I will be decorating with my signature orange, yellow, and red accessories.

So, with that all said, I need to get to work (the money-making vs. spending type).

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We MAY have a house...

So, it looks like we have a new house by week's end.


I guess the sellers found the extra cash to make-up the difference on their loan and want to close by Friday. I signed loan docs this afternoon and, assuming they come up with the money they say they will be, we'll be proud owners of this property by the end of the week:

Of course we haven't even started packing and we don't have the condo rented yet, so there's a LOT to do.

Again... YIKES!

Trailer trash wars: Installment 2

And so it continues....

I just never knew that one person could yell this much without having a nervous breakdown. So much venom just can't be good for one person. Oh the horrid names he is calling her!

What's worse is that their argument is an unending circle... it's going nowhere. She claims she's done nothing, he doesn't believe her. He says it's over, she begs and pleads with him to see reason. He yells some more. And loop...

Personally, the whole thing is so alien to me. Firstly, I NEVER call names in an argument. I am a logical arguer, not an emotional one. Calling names gets you nowhere - those who sling mud lose ground and all that. Secondly, while I'm not immune to screaming once in a while when I'm frustrated and feeling like I'm not getting heard, I can't continue to scream about the same thing over-and-over-and-over again. I just don't have the patience. If I feel like I'm not getting anywhere I change tactics or I walk away to get some space and perspective. Arguments, while serving as an emotional release, also need to be productive and forward moving.

Not so for my next-door neighbors. Aparently they both took the day off work to have these pointless screaming matches with one another. Lucky me!

Trailer trash wars

Last night all hell erupted next door.

The yelling, banging, and cussing through the night seemed to be about the mother's aparant dalliance with another man. Between screamed insults we've managed to hear enough to form a theory that mom has been sharing sexy emails with another man, emails that have now been discovered by dad. Dad is now convinced - and won't hear otherwise - that mom has stepped out on him.

Thus, our evening (and even morning as I headed out to the gym) has been punctuated by the continual volley of

"Don't you tell me you didn't **ck him!"
"I didn't **ck him!"
"Don't you **cking tell me that!"

...or versions thereof.

Being as there was nothing worth watching on the tv last night, we turned it down and gained our free entertainment from the soap opera next door.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Looking this cute is thirsty work!

Adah visit 080507 005
Originally uploaded by Travel Vixen
Sunday Hubbie's sister, husband, and daughter came to visit. Adah is now ten months old and almost walking. She's also teething, hence the stuck-out tongue in the picture. Cute summer dress courtesy of her proud Aunty.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Mr. Buggy goes to the Doctor

And you know what the Doctor says?

Tough it out. It's a virus and there's nothing you can do.

See... I knew it all along. Pffft.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mr. Buggy and Hubbie's altercation

So, I finally succumbed yesterday and tried to make a doctor's appointment, much to Hubbie's elation. If it was up to Hubbie I would dash off to the doctor's office every time I had a sniffle; clearly this is not my M.O.

Have I ever mentioned before how utterly rude and surly my doctor's receptionists are? Well, they are. From the moment they pick up the phone you feel like you're a problem patient. The unsaid undertone in their voice is "Dear God, another patient. What the hell do you want?" Maybe it's the fact that they're Russion or Ukranian or whatever - it's kind of stereotypical of me but I can't imagine that doctor's offices in Russia are bastions of cheer and helpful customer service.

So, as a result, I pretty much take a deep breath whenever I call the doctor. Patience and humility are needed, qualities that are often in short supply when you're anxious, grouchy, iritable, or just plain tired as a result of whatever ailment you're calling them to try and fix.

The good news was that they actually picked up yesterday. It's pretty hit or miss with them as to whether they're actually open. (I did, in my defense, have Hubbie try to call them last Friday at 3pm but they were closed.) I've never quite been able to figure out my doctor's hours are. You can call at 1pm and an answering service picks up (and WTF with that? Who has an answering service any more? They're totally and utterly worthless. It's just a human telling you they're closed, they can't make an appointment, and you should call 911 if you need urgent care. I'd be less insulted if it was an answering machine.) Or you can try to make an appointment on a specific day of the week only to turn up and find out that you've been passed-off to the nurse practitioner (she who tells me with every pap-smear that I'm almost too late to have kids, provides helpful baby-making advice like "lay on your back with your legs against a wall after sex." and, when I requested malaria pills, pulls out an aging dictionary of medicines and flips to 'M' for malaria while asking me which pills I would like. )

After the usual "Doctor XXX's office, can you hold?", I finally get Helga (sorry, stereotypes again but I can't resist.) "Yes?" "I'd like to make an appointment to see the doctor." "Ok, please hold." Seriously? Why are you answering the phone if you're not able or prepared to take appointments? Now I get Ingrid. "Why are you coming in?" "I've had a cold for more than a week that won't go away, along with headaches and a preety bad cough." "Let me see, the earliest appointment we have is Thursday at 10am." "THURSDAY!?"

Ok, by Thursday I'm going to be better all by myself. At that point, I'm hardly going to subject myself to antibiotics that give me a bladder infection.

When I told Hubbie this, he went into action behind my back. He called Helga and Ingrid and tried to appeall to their "better" nature to squeeze me in a little earlier. Obviously, he was fighting a losing battle there. They didn't call it the iron curtain for nothing. He was told that if I wanted to see someone today I would need to go to the urgent care facility at the end of my road. Ok, now why would I sit for 2-3 hours in an urgent care facility with a bunch of people who sliced off their finger, or have a nail in their foot (ie: people with need for actual URGENT care) just to get some antibiotics? I'd feel like a real imposter and plus it's a colossal waste of my time.

So, I'm getting a new doctor. I did some research online and found a nice looking lady in a medical practice with more than one doctor on-hand and opening hours that resemble full-time. I have to wait until September 1st to see her because the HMO can't switch me before then. Ironic of course that I have to switch before I actually meet her. I hope she's as nice as she looks online. It occurs to me that this is just as sketchy as online dating.
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