Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Putter and Sputter

When I feel rough, rather than feel completely useless, I just start puttering and sputtering. Doing things by rote. Mindlessly sweeping or washing dishes or cleaning. Then I rest and smile. All day long I try to smile and pretend I feel terrific. Can I brainwash my brain?

This morning doggy and I dutifully went outside to enjoy the great outdoors before the heat and humidity rolls in. We managed to walk around the lake park cleaning up. Not a soul was around but garbage had appeared overnight thanks to the hooligans that are incapable of utilizing our numerous trash cans for their rubbish.

"Let's go somewhere beautiful and trash it!"

It's a mindset I will never understand.

It was windy and rainy last night, so the winds probably scattered the errant garbage even further. I couldn't even get to it all this morning but I made a serious dent in the mess. I hope I am leaving my anonymous mark on mother nature, that I respected her enough to clean up after thoughtless punks.

I wish we could get more volunteers willing to clean up our planet. I dream of fanciful things, like if every man, woman and child spent 10 minutes a day picking up anonymous litter, we could have nature pristine again and show pride in our work and play areas.  Blah blah blah... I might as well be speaking Klingon (language of the aliens on Star Trek).

Ha! We can all come up with excuses why we can't spend 10 minutes a day doing anonymous good deeds. Even charities are resorting to bribery. I was invited to a charitable event that is throwing a big party with the net proceeds going to their charity. It's not enough for folks to want to donate, they need a party in return for their good deeds. It's kind of funny in a way.

The cashier at the store the other day probably through I was deranged, but frankly I don't care. It seems every where I went "the computer" was blamed for the various errors I kept catching. Good grief. Life shouldn't be quite this complicated!

I've noticed it quite trendy now for nearly all stores to ask for a charitable donation at the conclusion of each transaction. I always say "No thanks!"

It's not because I am such a uncharitable person, but I don't trust their accounting.

I had trusted the store to charge me the correct prices, but at my very first stop, I realized I had been overcharged $4.00 before leaving the parking lot. Because I drive a motorhome, I have to park far away from the entrance, certainly not their fault, but it was a hot humid day. I hiked back to the store, dripping in sweat. I patiently waited in line, mopping my brow. Finally I reached the cashier to explain the overcharge. Another 10 minutes of the clerk banging around with the computer, then the manager had to be called. For 5 more minutes she fussed and fretted with the computer then suddenly demanded my name, address and signature to get the $4.00 error straightened out. Huh? I didn't make this error! My only sin was shopping in their store and catching their mistake. I hope they don't hunt me down because of this grave sin. They know where to find me now...

When I went shopping last week for basic monthly provisioning of the wheel estate, I stopped at 8 places (gas, food, health, repair parts, etc.) and had errors in the amount charged me at 6 of those places. In each case, I caught the booboo, the clerks did not. In each case, it was a huge ordeal to get their mistake straightened out again.


Then I flubbed up and caused my own $2.20 overcharge which was my fault and no refund forthcoming. I thought I was going to a Murphy gas station but I was at a Marathon station. My mistake. I used a credit card which is OK at Murphy but at Marathon causes a 10 cent per gallon surcharge. Oops! As I left the station, a tad mad at myself for making such a stupid mistake, I saw the Murphy station a block away. Well, that's what I get for believing in my GPS. It said turn and I saw a big M and I turned. But it was the wrong M. Now I felt like a fool. When did shopping become so complicated? I think I could have stayed home and dropped a hammer on my toe and had a lot more fun than the torture of my recent shopping trip.

Computers were supposed to make us more efficient not create more errors and havoc. I've noticed too, if I try to audit the bill while still at the cashier station, they ask me to move along. (Oh now I'm loitering?) But I hate getting home back to my campsite, then discovering when I post my receipts that I was "robbed" and overcharged at various places. It's maddening. I want a simpler life, so I avoid shopping until the list gets super long and the food choices from my pantry have become rather comical like trying to pair up a can of beets with some enchilada sauce to make a fun meal.

Ok, I digress... maybe it's the heat and illness has made me plumb silly.

Finally I got my $4.00 back, but now they spit out the well rehearsed donation appeal again. This time I spoke up and said "No I don't care to donate. I have no idea what your corporation does with these collected donations. You already made a $4.00 error on my $12.00 purchase you charged me $16.00 for  that I had to bring to your attention and it took 2 people 15 minutes just to clear that up. I'm not uncharitable but I have no idea how your company accounts for these donations, if it makes it to the final charity or a CEO bonus or to repave the parking lot. I donate my time and that is priceless!"


Not like me to rant and rave... I tried to be super nice the rest of the day and just grin like an idiot who has discovered a hole in my pocket and something else to play with...  It did noting to abate the errors I kept finding, but I at least felt happy and didn't rant at anyone else who asked me for donations (I was asked at 5 different places!)

Well, today I went around the park, grateful not to be out shopping (even if it means no phone). As the heat and humidity came rolling in, the dog who normally loves nature, was trying to drag me back to the dog house on wheels. Usually he wants to play outside, but today he stood at the door, looking at me like I was nuts, as I puttered around the patio, sweeping up the ten thousand pine needles that fell on the chairs and picnic table. Yep, we had a pine needle storm last night too!

Oh and if you're trying to call me, I accidentally broke the telephone cord to the landline phone. My crappy cell phone works randomly and the computer phone which is normally forwarded to the landline is now unforwarded and back on the computer, but I don't leave it on all day because I am on a super cheap plan. Even when I am not using the internet, it mysteriously eats up my bandwidth, so I turn the internet off whenever I leave the computer for more than one minute.

Life is goof!

So... my communications are a mess right now. I found a "backup" 3 foot cord to use with the landline phone, but that means it sits on a pole in the yard outside the motorhome on the wrong side away from the door and in full sun all day. At least I can run outside and dial 911 if there is a park emergency. I have to hide the phone on the pole, but under a wash tub so the rains don't ruin it, which it rained at 3am, so I am grateful I hid it under a wash tub.

Otherwise I am waiting for UPS to turn up in a day or two or three with a new 50 foot phone cord. I promise, I will try not to snap this one too. It was a stupid accident and well I am such a klutz lately.

I just couldn't face the prospect of driving the motorhome to a store when all I needed or wanted was a phone cord. My volunteer workamping situation is such that they provide the landline phone service, but I have to provide the connecting cord and the telephone. Being out here in the country, there just isn't anywhere to go borrow a cord and my only visitor (maintenance department) didn't have a cord either. Most folks don't drive around with one of those anyhow unless they are headed to be on the show "Let's Make a Deal".

My neighbors which have homes between here and where I walk to my mailbox are all gone as they are vacation homes used erratically and I am not sure I could have worked up my nerve to go ask to borrow a phone cord longer than 3 feet until UPS gets here. Most folks don't seem to even have landlines anymore.

Twice now I've actually heard the phone outside ringing, but by the time I found my shoes, ran out the door, around the motorhome, over to the pole, removed the wash tub and answered the phone, it was too late. The caller was gone. The phone is a cheap one that doesn't tell you who called or take messages.

Life is goofy all around and I am slowly baking into a fruitcake too, but I'd rather be just an innocent mermaid.


1 comment:

  1. That is a new trend here in Canada too, asking for donations to something or other. I always say I will match the stores donation and that ends the discussion pretty quickly. The store is taking the credit and the tax benefit, it is ridiculous that they even ask.


Life is goof!