Our sweetie pies

Our sweetie pies

Saturday, March 5, 2011

corned beef and phone lines

We had to run to costco tonight to return a corned beef brisket. why you ask? well...last night we (my teenage cohort and myself) came in with several bags of groceries and miscellaneous items from costco. we took turns bringing in the items with my husband. Then we all sat down or disappeared down the hallway to finish different tasks for the night.

Later I went back into the kitchen and realized that the milk, soymilk, and cheese were all left out on the kitchen table. I found room in the refrigerator and put them away. Then I sat down and watched some more of American Idol.

Fast forward to 7 am. I'm fixing a bowl of cereal for one of the kids and one of them brings me a grocery bag that was sitting on the floor next to our small coffee table. "what's this?", they ask. "well, I don't know," I say, "Let's see."

do you need help guessing? It was the corned beef that my mom had bought for us, for a nice dinner one night. As I looked at the package, I thought to myself, "I was unaware it didn't need to be refrigerated."

and now fast forward to our last minute drive to Costco to try to exchange our meat. My husband had just gotten home from work and costco was to close in half an hour. It cost $13.00. and why wouldn't they take it back? They take anything back. I'm an executive member. I have a black membership card.

I wait in the return line. I am holding my brisket concealed in a Gap store bag. receipt in one hand. black membership card in the other.

It's my turn for my return. "Hi, I need to return this brisket, it was left out on accident and I would just like to trade it for a new one." The Costco employee says, "That's not our problem, why should we take it back?" I say, "But that's $13.00. I'm gonna have to throw it away." She says, "so will we." "Okay, but I paid $13 for it (actually my mom did) and I would like a new one." She says, "alright, I'll do it, this time, but we don't have to, it's not our fault." "Alright, thank you. " I say. she says, "I'll put down another reason though, I can't say you just left it out and now you want a new one." "okay", I say, "thank you."

and then I proceed with cash in hand, down the aisle to retrieve my new corned beef brisket for $13.00.

My mom and daughter say, "how did they agree to take it back?"
I say, "I just told them that they needed to take it back, it cost me $13.00".

It's all about confidence, persistence and staying calm.

Similar situation with the phone company happened today too.

Yesterday, a very nice gentleman came to figure out what was wrong with our internet connection. the connection had been unreliable for several days now. If I unplugged our modem and plugged it back in and then restarted our computer, we would have internet access. then suddenly we wouldn't. So this gentleman began looking around at our phone wires outside of the house and soon declared that in fact it was not an internet connection problem, it was a phone problem. He said "have you had a dial tone recently?" I said "I don't know?" That's how often I use our home phone. That's why no one has called in a few days. He said "you don't have phone service, your wire is bad." So he began to tell me that more worker guys as my kids would say, would need to come to our home later today and replace wires outside that are underground. This may take a while and you may not have service for a few days.

The good news was, when he showed up at my house at 1230 pm, he greeted me with "hello, and I want to apologize for being late." He had just gotten my service order at 12 pm and then realized that I had been told by the phone company that a service technician would be at my home between the hours of 8 am and 12 pm. Had I waited with baited breath? no. But did I tell him, my disappointment that he was late? yes. He said that whatever the cost for fixing my phone problems today, would be free because he was late. fantastic! I welcomed him in.

So, after many hours of his first diagnosis and new workers arriving and working on my side yard and parking strip, our phone and internet service was declared good and in working order. and free. for the repairs, that is. we waved to them as they drove off in the sunset.

Fast forward to 10 pm as my husband leans over his shoulder while working on the computer and says, "did the phone company fix our internet problem today? It's not working"

so we make another phone call to the phone company and wait.

this morning, I have a new gentleman show up at my door. He was on time. He was not apologetic. I do not welcome him in. He goes to look at the wires outside and concludes that everything is working fine. I inform him that in fact, no it is not because we did not have internet service again last night. He runs a test and shows me that yes, indeed it is working. okay, then. He leaves me his cell phone number in case I have a problem later.

well after he leaves and I sit down at the computer again, there is no internet service. the game: marco, polo. comes to mind. I find the gentleman's cell phone number again and call him and inform him that no, indeed, we do not have service again. He comes back over. He runs some more tests and decided he needs to check the kitchen phone jack. As he is unscrewing the plate, he leans over his shoulder and says to me,"now you don't have the maintenance plan, do you?" "This is an indoor job and will cost you." That's what he thinks. I have my golden ticket from nice gentleman A from yesterday. "oh no", I explain. "the nice gentleman from yesterday, told me that whatever the problem, my service call would be free, because he was late, yesterday." This new worker B, kindly informs me, "that was yesterday, today is today. there will be a charge for this." again, I reiterate to the new gentleman that no, the other worker, gave me his word and this is free.

Worker B continues to lean over his shoulder and look at me, blinking, waiting to form his words to his response. I look back with informed confidence with my assurance from worker A.

Worker B finally says, "well, the ticket was closed yesterday because we thought the problem was fixed so I guess I can't charge you even if I wanted to."

like I said, this service call will be free.

Again, confidence and persistence.

with a little cockiness thrown in.

Is this how I look diabetes in the face and win this battle? with a little cockiness, stubborness, and persistence? Is this how I get through one day and start again the next day? I think becoming a mom of a child with diabetes has conversely given me an heir of entitlement. When the phone guy showed up to fix our phone line, I thought "do you really think this is important? my daughter has diabetes." I wanted to tell him how unimportant a broken phone or unreliable computer was at this stage in my life. I wanted to tell him how I barely sleep anymore because I have to check my daughter through the night and force feed her apple juice in her sleep when she drops too low. what does anything matter when your child has a chronic disease? A friend of mine that had a daughter being treated with cancer told me how she would step away from the hospital at times and look at all the families carrying on about their lives, walking to stores, fussing, or excited, driving to different places, carrying balloons, or toys, or just sitting and having ice cream together. She thought how unfair that they could carry on with their lives and she had a daughter in a hospital bed being treated for a terminal form of cancer. How can life go on when it doesn't for someone you love?

I remember that feeling the first morning I had to take a shower and get ready for the day after my dad had died. Suddenly a shower seemed so unimportant. what would I wear that day? who cares? why would I even bother to wash my hair and carry on as if this day was just like any other day in the past. It wasn't, it would never be the same. everything had changed. I remember being angry at the shower. How could something so mundane and unimportant need to be done anymore. something big just happened! who cares about a stupid shower!

that's kind of how I felt yesterday about the phone line. don't hassle me, just fix it. I have to check my daughter's blood sugar levels in half an hour. She might drop low again as she did last night. I might have to quickly give her smarties again while you look at phone wires and think that they are really important. they aren't! I wanted to scream. my daughter has diabetes!

phones and corned beef have become little problems that need to be fixed right now and no hassle involved. they are stupid little problems that don't need to be focused on or discussed or require managerial approvals for. just do it. in the great scheme of things, does it really matter? no. it doesn't.

we are all mortal and life has a greater meaning that material items. This is the lesson I have learned with my daughter's health being placed in my hands. A new facebook friend advised me among other things, "...to have a healthy respect for this disease, because it can be fatal if her insulin levels are misdosed." I know that. I can't walk away from that fact. It is a shadow that has engulfed me.

I finally asked the doctor to tell me what they didn't tell me the day they forced me to rush her to the hospital. "what would have happened?" "what could have happened?" yes, it could have been fatal, they admit to me now.

we all know that at some point we will meet mortality, but we don't want to admit it. who would? As I was reminded by my brother; my dad used to always say, "I'm going to live forever, and so far its going great!"

"And why do you worry about clothes? see how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, what shall we eat? or "what shall we drink?" or "what shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:28-33

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