Blog Archives for category Fails
I thought I had posted about this but looking back, I apparently didn’t.
About two weeks ago, our agent just sent us an unlisted listing—a client of hers who she happened to be sitting with. It looked really good…not perfect but good. A four bedroom/three bath, 3-car garage, ranch. Pets okay. Finished basement. On a dead end street. With a yard. In the approximate area we want. And he would hold it for us. And they’re military. And did I mention it had a THREE-CAR GARAGE? And it was a RANCH??!?!
But he wanted to start the rent at $2400 (already over budget) and raise it the next two years. We tried to tell ourselves the money would be fine. BECAUSE IT’S A RANCH WITH A 3-CAR GARAGE AND FINISHED BASEMENT.
We got more pictures that night (of course, her text came in at 11pm our time so there was no going to bed then) and our agent said she’d ask about the rent. But the more we looked at it and talked about it, it seemed really good. So of course we thought there has to be a catch because the odds of something good just dropping into our laps like this is not what happens to us. So we rushed to get a friend in to check out the house and take pics for us (our agent couldn’t be the one to do that because of stupid real estate rules so we HAD to have someone else do it). And there were some strange things about it, but overall they were all workable because DID I MENTION IT WAS A 3-CAR GARAGE RANCH?!?!
Well, it turns out the whole thing was a debacle and a big fat fail. I can’t even tell you all the details because I think I’m blocking it from my brain, but basically, they were total turds and apparently the wife didn’t know the husband was planning on renting it? Or they were just casually thinking of renting it when our situation popped up so they tried to make it work but it didn’t (we think they were going to move to something cheaper while trying to make money on us so they didn’t have anywhere planned to go). So when we ended up being serious and asking about a few minor things (an above-stove microwave instead of the countertop one, a garage door opener for the third garage, leaving the carpet they wanted to replace but replacing the kitchen linoleum instead) they freaked out and said they weren’t going to rent. GRRR. I’m sure that saved us from future nightmares (because OMG there was some freaky stuff in that house, but not freaky enough to overlook it being a ranch with a 3-car garage). So needless to say we were really bummed.
We knew we had house hunting time scheduled, but we were still getting paranoid about getting something decent because houses are literally only on the market for HOURS, maybe a few days at most. And rentals that take pets are, of course, rare. So we knew we may have to act quickly if something we really liked came up.
So, fast forward two weeks and we happen upon a listing in Zillow that is nowhere else. Long story short, it was somehow mislabeled as an apartment instead of a house and we still aren’t quite sure how we ran across it. Call our agent, get some details, get more pics, yada yada, looks great, but we have to rush because two other people are set to see it later that week so if we want it we have to MOVE. So we beg our lovely local friend Scott to give us a Facetime walkthrough…which he graciously did…and we really liked it. So rush rush rush to arrange everything, deal with the owner (through our agent) who is not using an agent himself so that’s SO MUCH FUN (not)…and a bunch of real estate drama later we have a house! YIKES! We will still go up later this month to actually see it in person (though it’s ours at this point regardless) and register the kids for school and all that fun stuff but we can breathe a sigh of relief now…
Google earth shots—look at that yard! And how flat it is! HEAVEN!!!!
The neighbor’s fence. We will have two sides of a fence.
This is a living area/dining room. If our table fits nicely in the eat-in kitchen this will all be living space. I’m also thinking this is where my new tall Christmas tree will be going…
Not quite the kitchen I was hoping for, though it is nice and I do like the wraparound counter and we will hopefully have room for at least two barstools and this will be the first time ever we’ve had a backsplash!
Look at all the natural light! And it looks out onto the back yard!
When we were watching the walk-through, Katie was sitting with us and when they got to the pink bedroom she exclaimed “That’s my room!!” There are four bedrooms (all upstairs). The basement has an office (or room without a closet), a HUGE storage room and separate utility room, and a decent sized finished area with room for a play area…and a pool table (!!) and big pool hall light that are staying. (I am sure we will end up using it, but Tom is already planning on building a cover for it to make me a craft table or something.) There was also a swing hanging from the ceiling, so Katie was VERY excited about that. Tom told her it would be going with them, but I said we could surely put one up now that we know where it can go! I don’t think there will be room for the bounce house, but at this house we can use it IN THE YARD!
So overall we’re happy. It’s a big house (2700sf) on a flat street with sidewalks and we have a long flat driveway. We have a big front yard, side yard, and back yard (Tom is already thinking about what mower he’s going to upgrade to since our little electric one won’t cut it—pun not intended but it was too good to edit out). We are under two miles from both the Primary (PK/K) and Elementary (1-3) schools and just under three miles from the Intermediate school (4-5). The schools will take some getting used to as they are HUGE! The PK/K alone is about 700 students (about the size of Owen’s entire elementary PK-5) and the Elementary is about 1700! YIKES. One small thing I’m bummed about is that Owen and Katie will never attend the same school—she will be in K when he’s in 3rd and then she will move to that building for 1st but he will be in the next building! GRRR! I guess that’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but right now I just envision it being an annoyance. Oh well, it will all be a new adventure for sure!
So, this happened:
Of course, it was the exact tire that had the last nail… And apparently since it was close to the edge, the guy said there was a chance the repair might not hold and it would split. GRRRRRREAT. How am I supposed to feel comfortable driving on that?!?!?! The tires are original and they are 2-3 years old…so we talked about getting new tires. And then as fate would have it, Costco was having a sale on Bridgestone tires, so off we went and $800+ later I feel safe driving again.
This is a combined post with four days of waiting and replies.
The next day they replied that they had found them and emailed them all to me free of charge. Except they were all of Katie! (Looking on the bright side, I now had like eight free photos of Katie instead of paying $5 a piece.) Soooo I emailed back and asked about them again, saying I hated to be such a pain about this but this was my bucket list experience and I had really wanted the photo. They replied with links to pictures…but they were the same photos of Katie they had already sent! So I fired off another email thanking them for all the pictures but explaining AGAIN that they were not pictures of ME.
Two days go by with no response so I email them again, casually asking if there was any update.
TWO DAYS LATER I get an email apologizing for the delayed response (she had been off work) and saying “Unfortunately I was unable to find your photos, but we would be happy to send you a voucher for you to come back and fly for free so that we may find your photos.”
I receive the email voucher for two free flights.
And then I proceeded to write this strongly-worded feedback for their survey—which I also emailed to their corporate office.
Our instructor was awesome and we all had an amazing time and I was thrilled to check something off my bucket list. I do, however, have two HUGE suggestions (I will also be writing corporate as I believe it would be beneficial company-wide).
One, kids under a certain age should be required to do a practice run on the bench in the classroom to get the feel of it. While there isn’t much to remember, even I (as a 42yo) kind of forgot everything the first moment I stepped into the chamber. So you can imagine what happens to an 8yo and 4yo! They did well and had fun, but my son had spaghetti legs one whole flight and the instructor spent an inordinate amount of time wrangling him. I think had he practiced on the table first, he may have had a better idea on what to do.
Two, guests with long hair should be strongly recommended or even required to have their hair braided, in a cap, or at the very least tucked up inside their helmet. You could even provide a cap (like you provide earplugs). I have long hair (to the middle of my back). I did ask the best way to deal with it and was briefly told a braid or a low ponytail. So I opted for the easy solution of a low ponytail. BIG MISTAKE. I didn’t realize until after we were done that my hair was a huge knotted mess. When I tried to deal with it the following morning, it was a nightmare trying to get 8″ of thick hair untangled. Granted I should have thought more about it and realized that wind was obviously going to mess up my hair and taken my own precautions—but with the excitement of the day and having asked and received a quick answer, I thought I’d be okay. I literally spent HOURS painstakingly trying to comb out all the mats and knots with a head full of conditioner, leave-in conditioner, detangling spray, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.—anything to help the process along. And eventually just gave up and used brute force and pulled out a ton of hair. This was a very disappointing end to an awesome experience which I believe could all have been easily prevented with a simple cap, helmet tuck, or requirement to braid.
Lastly, we had an issue with our videos and photos that we’re still trying to work out. We were a family of four and when we went to check out our media, my name was listed but the media was of my daughter (whose name wasn’t listed). A call to your staff had them researching the footage and I did eventually get my videos, but am still waiting to see if they can find my photos. I know mistakes happen but I have to say it was upsetting to realize I initially didn’t have any videos or pictures of my bucket list experience. I will say, though, that dealing with your staff regarding this has ended up better than I’d expected—emails were answered quickly and my issues thus far were solved efficiently. I am hoping to resolve the photo issue quickly as well. (I am wondering if there isn’t some way to scan your wrist band before each time you step in the chamber, which would trigger the recording with your name. It would seem you have some similar type system since the videos were mostly attached to the correct person…but then I’m not sure how my flights were all missing.)
All that said, I will say that overall we were very happy with our experience…and we will be back. But I would strongly suggest adding both the child-practice sessions and the long-hair issue to your pre-flight information and lessons.
So, while there were some bad parts (the hair thing and the missing media thing), overall I would still recommend it…plus I get two extra flights during which my hair will be tucked so far up in my helmet it won’t budge. And I will have Tom taking pictures and videos the whole time.
So we get home and I pretty much went straight to the computer to check out our photos and videos. If you recall, our iFly tickets each came with a free video and then Tom and I added on the High Flyer experience which came with a photo. So I login to get our videos and pictures…and guess what? There are exactly ZERO of either for me. Everyone else has a video (or two). Everyone else has a bunch of pics (Katie and Owen each had like 15). I HAD ZERO OF EITHER. The way their site is set you click on your location > date > flight time > name to see your associated media. Except Katie’s name wasn’t listed and my name showed all of Katie’s photos and videos! I flew right before her so had no idea how they could possibly have skipped me…twice? Including a high fly experience AND a double-length flight?!
I called them immediately and told them what was going on and they said they’d have to look into it and call me back. It didn’t sound terribly promising. They did call back within about 15 minutes to ask what color shoes I was wearing—I’m assuming so they could scrutinize the video feed and try and find my media. So I was a bit upset…but in a holding pattern hoping they would come through.
And what really gets me is that I didn’t take (or have Tom take) one single picture or video with my phone!! Why not you ask? Because I was thinking I didn’t want to keep it in my pocket while I was flying…but DUH I could have easily handed it off to Tom because we obviously weren’t flying at the same time. I was so pissed at myself about that for quite some time.
When we hadn’t heard anything back from them, Tom called to see what was going on. They assured him they were taking care of it.
I checked my email before bed and discovered they had sent the download links for two videos (so I actually got a free video!) but…they didn’t send any pics (!!) so I had to email them back about that. And after watching the videos…it’s two snippets from one flight and not a video from both flights! (Believe me, I’m very happy to have gotten the videos at all, but I am still very much hoping there’s a picture or two since they are much clearer than the video.)
Who doesn’t love a chewy chocolatey coconutty Girl Scout Samoa? But who wants to pay $4 a box? So when we saw these at Costco for $8 for three boxes, we were all over it.
Yeaaaahhh. Not so much.
They were similar but definitely not replacement quality. So the kids get the cheap ones and we’ll easy the good ones.
These? Suck. They’re horrible and not one of us liked them. They went straight into the trash.
These are what I hoped they were like—just a cheaper version. I was wrong.
The local pizza hut didn’t have good yelp reviews but Owen had a free personal pan pizza coupon for competing his February reading so we ordered. Yeah. Look at this pathetic Meat Lovers pizza.
Where’s the meat? Hell, where’s the cheese?!
Never again. If Owen gets another coupon it will be just his pizza.
This is what can happen when you ask your 8yo to switch his laundry (remove pants from dryer and move clothes from washer to dryer and start it). Keep in mind he’s successfully done this before.
You will notice that in addition to all the socks that never even made it into the dryer, the dryer door isn’t. even. shut. (so it never turned on). Yet he did remember to turn the dryer to permanent press and put in a dryer sheet.
Katie didn’t like dinner tonight (sloppy joes) but she wanted more chips and the M&Ms Owen got for dessert so we told her she had to finish her sandwich half. She didn’t HAVE to finish, though…just if she wanted the extras.
Guess how long she sat there eating her half a sandwich? Ten minutes? Twenty? Thirty? Ha! Try ONE HOUR. (And I think it only ended then because I told her it was getting ridiculous and I was setting a timer. So she had five minutes to finish or lose the extras.)
This is the first time she’s sat there/we’ve let her sit. Normally the table is cleared when dinner is over and if she’s hungry later she can eat her dinner then. This hour business won’t be happening again, that’s for damn sure.
Every once in awhile I try to teach Katie some basic language stuff like letter sounds or how to spell basic words. Today I was trying AT (since we just did it the other day at a friend’s house) so AT. BAT. CAT. She did AT but cannot (or most likely just won’t because she’s being stubborn) manage any other AT combinations. I quickly lose patience because she just squawks that she can’t do it but I know she can because she’s smart.
Me: At. A-T. Bat. B-A-T. Cat. C-A-T. Mat. How do you spell mat?
Me: Does W make the mmm sound?
Katie: Life is getting horrible for me.
She won’t even spell CAT immediately after I do.
Me: Cat. C-A-T.
And she gives up too easily:
Me: Katie, repeat after me. C-A-T.
Katie, whining: I can’t.
I posted to Facebook and there was a rousing set of comments, which basically consisted of “Yep, same here. That’s why I let the teachers deal with it” and “She’ll do it when she’s ready.”
Front lady is wasting like THREE spaces by not pulling forward. WHY?!?! I eventually pulled in front of her (directly behind that car to the very left that you can barely see). If you’re going to be stupid and waste that much space, you deserve to have someone pull in front of you. (Sidenote: she did the same damn thing the next day and I didn’t waste ANY time parking in front of her immediately upon arriving.)
Santa brought Katie a Frozen Cookie Mix kit so we had to do those IMMEDIATELY. The tiny snowflake pieces were a pain in the butt and they look like a total FAIL but they were delicious.
So, I had kept checking and checking and checking every few hours because I really wanted to get pre-check for my flight home if at all possible—and I did finally get it Friday afternoon!!! So, with all my worries about it, there were literally (LITERALLY) zero people in EITHER of the security lines this morning. I got through in about 12 seconds. Well, make that 23 seconds—I forgot my phone in my pocket so that took an extra bit.
So I’m not sure if that is considered a rave…or a fail?
I’m always a little anxious about flying—not the actual flying but the timing of things and getting through security and getting to the right place, etc. So I just really looked at my flight info so I could find my gate on the map (yes I’m that person) and I find out that I’m leaving from (apparently) THE MOST FUCKED UP GATE IN THE KNOWN WORLD: DCA 35X. Google it. Or read some of these FourSquare comments:
Down an escalator at which point there’s no room to sit and then hopefully you hear your announcement for your plane and then you are SHUTTLED out to one of the many commuter planes where hopefully there’s no weather happening because you’ll be outside.
My Facebook friends tried to assure me I’d be okay (though they admitted it was confusing) and I kept my fingers crossed and told myself I was an intelligent 43yo and I could surely manage an airport gate.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
P.S. I’m flying to Michigan because my dad is having an aortic valve replacement. It’s nothing we’re seriously worried about (it was planned and not an emergency procedure) but it is surgery so I want/need to be there.
We have a variety of fruit and snacks and treats and he usually takes a sandwich…but tonight Owen ended up with an orange on orange on orange on orange lunch…in his orange lunchbox!
Going out on Black Friday? Never again.
NEVER NEVER NEVER AGAIN.
I forgot how insanely awful it is. We tried to go to a movie and couldn’t even get IN the parking lot so we just came home. And then I got what I needed…
Dammit. I did it again. On a yellow plate even.
So, it was an interesting night to say the least.
It started with deciding at the very last minute to take Katie as well. We hadn’t been going to do that and she was a little bummed but then the mommy guilt got to me and I changed my mind. We had a minor fight with Owen about what costume he was wearing—we bought him Squirtle because he really wanted to be Squirtle…and instead he wanted to wear some random skeleton costume with a mask (they aren’t supposed to wear masks) so we said he needed to wear his new costume.
On our way…
Every year thus far, Owen has had a sudden onset of shyness or nervousness when we approach the school for the festival but it was never anything bad or lasting—we’d just walk in and he’d be glued to our sides for about three minutes until he saw all the fun going on and saw his friends…and all was forgotten and he had a great time.
Except this year. He COMPLETELY freaked out and wouldn’t even set foot in the building. At first we thought it was just his normal routine, but when we tried to coerce him in, he refused. REFUSED. And got visibly upset. We tried to be nice and loving and that didn’t work. We tried tough love and that didn’t work. After 10 minutes or so, I went in with Katie and Tom stayed in the hallway waiting to see if Owen would come in the building. I talked to his teacher and she tried to get him to come in. Nope. A few of his friends went out to try and get him to come in. Nope. I tried again. Nope. It was absolutely maddening. He had a whole litany of reasons he didn’t want to come in, the biggest of which was he hated his costume, it was stupid, and he knew everyone would laugh at him and he’d be embarrassed. It didn’t matter that everyone who saw him said they loved it (I mean, Pokemon is ALL the rage!) and people had heard about the Squirtle costume and were LOOKING FOR HIM.
He also said there were too many people and they’d all be looking at him. What? The kid who has no problems (anymore) of speaking in a group in front of an assembly? The kid that everyone seems to know and like? The kid who loves people? I was gobsmacked.
It didn’t matter what anyone said. He was NOT coming in and he was in full meltdown mode.
In the midst of this, I was with Katie playing the games and getting her face painted and she was having an absolute blast. (The face painter was Miss Anne, the assistant in Katie’s classroom that she also had last year and is a friend of ours.)
Putting her name on her treat bag!
Picking a sucker for a prize! (Bonus: notice that they reused my signs from last year?!)
With our neighbor, Jackson (first grade).
Getting her picture taken.
Then Tom texted me to say he was DONE because he had just had to chase Owen down because he ran off. What the hell?! So we went out again for me to try talking to Owen—at this point he was actually in the building quite a ways so I thought I would have more luck, but nope, he was still refusing to come in to the festival. And when I tried to coerce him in again, he literally turned and ran away down the hall. Some older kids saw his costume and came up and told him how awesome it was. Nope, still not moving. Still thought his costume was embarrassing. By this point I was just done (he’d been out there for almost an hour) and told him we were done—he was either going in or we were both going to sit in the car until daddy and Katie were done. Which is exactly what we ended up doing.
So, Tom had switched places with me and had taken Katie in to the cafeteria to dance…where she had even more fun! It would have been even more fun if we were all there together. Ugh.
A bunch of snippets of Katie dancing…and frolicking!
So, overall, Katie had an absolute blast, Tom and I had fun when we were each with Katie, and the rest was a hot failed mess dealing with Owen. We have NO idea where this all came from or why it was so traumatizing for him. Of course, now we’re worried that something else more serious is going on that we don’t know about or he hasn’t told us about…