TV Time…

I had a good plan. No, seriously. I really did have a good plan. The 42 inch TV currently in the living room was going to the basement “media room”. This new venue should be more conducive to reducing glare and cutting my cooling bill this summer. Hiding in the basement when it’s a gagillion degrees in July and August just seems to make more sense than running the 18,000 BTU window unit flat out for weeks on end. Moving the TV was easy enough and I had a small TV packed away that would be more than sufficient for background noise when I happened to be in the kitchen or fiddling around upstairs. What I didn’t account for was that nice little TV having only a single set of old school standard component cable connections, so I can plug in the cable box or the DVD player, but not both at the same time. And forget plugging in anything fancy like Apple TV or XBox. Apparently, this TV has been in storage for a while. I didn’t even know they made flat panels without HDMI ports.

This leaves me in a bit of a dilema. I can leave things as they are, with the TV in the basement and nothing in the upstairs living room. I can plug in the baby TV in the living room and try using it as what’s basically a radio with moving pictures. Or I can bight the bullet and head over to Delaware this afternoon and try finding a new TV that doesn’t send me screaming to the poor house.

The part of me that loves shiny new toys really wants to put the 42 inch TV back in the living room and bring home a 50 inch screen for the basement. The part of me that just finished paying the bill for moving here really, really wants to avoid doing that. The compromise might have to be finding a no-frills (read: cheap) 32 inch model for the living room and letting things in the basement be for the time being. It can’t hurt to stop in at Best Buy and have a look, right? I mean, since I have to go to Petsmart and pick up dog food anyway, it only makes sense to look around a bit.

Stupid poetic justice…

So, next time I am bitching about not having anything to blog, someone please remind me to shut the hell up, please. This afternoon, I was expecting to take delivery of 42-inches of plasma goodness. The delivery guys were on target (yes, the Best Buy truck knows how to get to my house even though there are no maps with my neighborhood in them yet). The minute they started pulling it out of the box, I knew something wasn’t right… of course they were behind it, looking at the connections and hadn’t noticed what I was looking at yet… A simply “uhhhh… guys…” was enough to get their attention and draw it to a screen that wasn’t just cracked. It was shattered. Like a baseball through a window kind of shattered…

No problem they say, we’ll call the warehouse and swing by and pick up a new one and be back in an hour or so. They were even nice enough to call ahead and make sure a new set was waiting for them. An hour and a half later, they call back… There’s a problem. The set is out of stock. Now I know a little something about supply operations and being out of an advertised special the day before Thanksgiving is not a good thing to be, but I digress. To make what could become a long and painful rant slightly shorter, I ended up at the store with the “TV manager” trying to reach an agreement. After some extensive haggling and instance on recompense for my inconvenience, we agree that they will just give me the next higher model at no additional cost. Problem solved.

Yeah… not so much. Turns out this model was out of stock too. By this point I asked the guy to just go back to the warehouse and bring me a list of what they actually do have in stock and we’ll work from that. More haggling ensues, with corresponding increases in blood pressure and vocal volume. Finally, after two hours of dickering, finding out what they don’t have on hand, and my generally being obstinate until I got what I wanted, they agreed to a considerable upgrade. Mainly, I think, to get me out of the television section. Of course by now it’s after 7PM and they won’t be able to deliver it after the Thanksgiving weekend. Sigh. Let’s just say the Jeep has more cargo space than you think it does.

So, yes, my TV is here and working beautifully. Of course the stand I ordered with it still has to be delivered. In the grand scheme of life, it’s a minor detail, but you know how I hate it when things don’t go like clockwork.

Twice as long…

Happily, I can report that my feud with Best Buy has been concluded satisfactorily. I have my appliances and a $25 gift card. I wasn’t actually trying to get a freebie from the corporate customer service office, but I’ll take it.

I am now the proud owner of a ridiculously large black refrigerator. The down side – and you knew there had to be one – is that the water dispenser in the door seems to have a slow and annoying leak. I’ve taken a deep breath and will hold on to see if it is something that will resolve itself as the seals and piping acclimatize to the cold. We’ll see…

Based on the experience so far, I’m not optimistic that will go according to plan. I may be a little jaded because as I picked up one end of the couch yesterday to move it out of the way, one of the legs fell off. Normally this is something I can fix myself, so I flipped the couch over to find that, in fact, the screws that are supposed to hold it to the frame were all stripped. I’m not going to go on a rant about using the right tool for the right job or anything here, but still. So, next Thursday, I’m going to loose another afternoon sitting around waiting on the furniture company to send out one of their “expert repairmen.” That should be interesting.

I have always heard the old saw that when it comes to home ownership everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as estimated. While I haven’t really been surprised by the cost of things, I have found that everything really does take at least twice as long as it seems it should. Actually, twice as long may be a bit of a low-ball estimate.

Still, with all that being said, I am incredibly grateful and fortunate to have this place. Somewhere along the line, perhaps I’ll learn patience and tolerance of the stupid… But don’t hold your breath.

Not-so-Best Buy…

It feels good to get back to the basic reason I started keeping this blog… Bitching and complaining about the stupid people and things that cross my path in the course of everyday life. Every so often it’s good to come back to your roots. 😉

Before heading back to Maryland for Christmas, I made a point of doing the vast majority of my major purchases ahead of time. I ordered blinds, new living room furniture, and a refrigerator, washer and dryer. Now, being a good steward of my own money, I did my due diligence by checking prices both locally and online. The best price on the washer, dryer, and refrigerator was actually from Best Buy. Good prices and points on my rewards card… Sweet.

I knew I would be in the house by this weekend and scheduled my delivery for today. I should have been prepared for a problem when I called the store yesterday to confirm the delivery time… I called the delivery department. There was no answer. I called the store’s main phone number. There was no answer. I waited an hour, repeated the process, and got the same result… and infuriating ring… ring… ring. By this point it was early evening and I needed to go out to get something for dinner, so I thought I would stop by the store to get an answer and critique their customer service. After waiting for 15 minutes for the customer service desk to actually find the manager, I explained the situation and the information I required. In response to my comment about not being able to reach anyone by phone, she mentioned that “oh, during the holidays, we don’t even bother answering the phone.” I’m fairly sure one of their forklifts could have driven into my mouth at that point. Did the store manager actually just say that they don’t answer their customer service line? Yes. Yes she did. Even if this were true, I think I would have come up with a better excuse.

And so, we come to this morning, with delivery scheduled between 8:00 and 11:00. The time is now 11:38 and I just got a call from the delivery driver. Apparently my street doesn’t exist and because he spent so much time driving around looking for it, he’ll have to move on to the next delivery and try to get me in later in the day. What the fuck?

Honest to God, I can’t believe anyone actually does business this way. If I don’t have a refrigerator, washer, and dryer sitting in this house by about 4:00, I’m cancelling the order and going to Home Depot.