I have no idea what, if anything, these three topics have to do with each other. But they’re what’s on my mind, so here goes.
Archive for the ‘Money’ Category
PayPal the Terrible
I won’t go into detail about how my PayPal account became overdrawn.* It was a mistake (not mine). The mistake-maker assured me the problem was resolved days ago. PayPal being PayPal, though, what’s “resolved” on one end may not be on the other. So there’s a $50 negative balance and nobody will fix it. That means I can’t use my account.
No problem. Hey, I’ll just add money. There’s a handy-dandy button for that. But suddenly, for me, the button yields only a variety of bizarre messages (“talk to the person responsible for setting permissions on your account”) that leave PayPal customer service reps as baffled as I am.
This became a four-hour customer service nightmare this lovely Sunday morning. I won’t go into detail about that, either.** Except to say that PayPal’s customer service makes the famously bad Comcast service look like a concierge operation at a fawncy hotel by comparison. And except to say that one rep told me (humiliatingly) that I’d have to deal with their collections department. Then he cheerfully transferred me to collections — without mentioning that they’re closed today.
And of course, PayPal being PayPal, they can’t be bothered with an automated “we’re closed today” message. So there went yet another half hour of my life, listening to endlessly repeated mini-lectures from a voice that sounded increasingly smug by the moment, until — for the second time today — I hung up without managing to speak to the human in some other department who was supposed to help.
Not only that, but the fifth PayPal rep I talked to — who I’d already told that story to — also tried to transfer me to collections.
I know Peter Thiel hasn’t run PayPal in more than a decade. But its service was hair-tearingly deplorable a decade ago, too. Hard to believe that a man the media lauds as a great libertarian created something that operates so much like the freakin’ DMV. Or the IRS.
If you ever need a reminder of how little you really matter to institutions, corporate or governor, just call up PayPal and ask them something really, really simple.
Oh, and the problem never did get resolved. You didn’t really think it would, didja? I get to call collections tomorrow and present myself as a deadbeat making amends.
Zelman Partisans the Good
On the brighter side of things, it’s wow time over at The Zelman Partisans.
Not only is it a place of some lively blogitude and comment. Not only have we had 4,000-some visitors in the 10 days since the Lovely Nicki put up a counter. Not only has social-media maven Nicki gotten us somewhere in the vicinity of 1,100 Twitter followers in a matter of days. But we’ve gotten our first interview request (which Sheila will handle), a couple of requests to join, our very first donation (a monthly commitment, yet!), and demands for logoed tee-shirts, fridge magnets, etc.
Whew! Workin’ on it, workin’ on it!
For a bunch of volunteers who are putting this thing together in their scarce spare time, this is awesome.
But then, so are the volunteers. And so are the hardcore rights advocates who won’t settle for compromise.
* In case you’re wondering, all those wonderful donations got moved out of PayPal almost as soon as they came in, thanks to PayPal’s other notorious habit of arbitrarily freezing accounts just when they have nice sums of money in them. PayPal: can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Someday — soon — they’ll lose their de facto monopoly, and on that day they’ll rue the fact that they treated their customers like crap all these years.
**Yeah, you’ve had experiences exactly like this, right? You don’t need to be told anything.
I am so grateful today.
I’m grateful to have a solid roof over my head (and Ava, Robbie, and Kitsu the cat would say the same if they could speak) as the rain pours down all week and the season’s first high-wind warnings go up.
This sense of security I owe to you.
I owe C-B, S.H., M.K., L.P., and especially Anonymous and the Mysterious Rockefeller for the latest round of help, which repaired the section of roof that collapsed while the rest of the roof was being refurbished. I also owe many of you, especially Paul Bonneau, for construction advice.
In case you’re wondering, I ended up not having the “Full Joe” repair.
Or so the envelope said. The return address (I looked it up) was the HQ of the Council on Foreign Relations.
My correspondent has a sense of humor.
Based on what was in the envelope, my correspondent can call him or herself Rockefeller, Gates, Buffett, Rothschild, Medici, Windsor or anything else great heart desires. It would fit!
In their own world, they must have Rockefeller-level pull. They somehow talked their local post office into sending the priority envelope without either a postmark or the required tracking sticker. (Hilariously, this put my postmaster into a high huff. She was ready to write a nastygram to the postmaster of “New York 10065,” informing them that they’d broken the law!)
So, with no means to identify Mr. or Ms Rockefeller, or even have a clue as to where in this vast land their secret Lair of Largess might be, I can only say an inadequate wow. An inadequate doublewow. And an inadequate thank you.
Up goes that last remaining, recalcitrant section of roof. And off my heart and shoulders comes that rather heavy burden.
Monday musings + the sort of dilemma nobody could really mind having, even though I have it and I still find it awkwardMonday, October 6th, 2014
Gads, it was 80 degrees yesterday. Eighty in October in the Great NorthWET. There are entire summers when we don’t see 80. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this warm this late in this corner of the world.
Not due to global warming. But oh man, what an amazing season it’s been!
Supposed to be “only” in the 70s for the rest of this week. Oh, poor us.
With construction catastrophes keeping the house in chaos, I’ve been trying to de-clutter to help deal with the fact that every time I organize stuff in one area, it immediately has to be moved back out because … oh, the roof falls in or somesuch.
So I’m whipping myself into a crusade to de-stuff.
Yeah. That tree.
Well, the tree and the incompetents who built the former porch (now entryway and sleeping nook) on this house.
I have a confession to make.
As confessions go, it’s a boring one, so don’t get excited. I’m not about to admit that I’m secretly an ATF agent or that I do strange things with lace-clad armadillos. But there’s definitely something I haven’t been telling you.
It’s about the very mundane (albeit often hair-raising) matter of home improvement.
Opportunities for monkeywrenching have sadly diminished in this age of omni-surveillance and can’t-take-a-joke fearmongering. But all is not lost!
John Richardson over at No Lawyers — Only Guns and Money, had an irresistible monkeywrench land right in his email box. And you, too, can take advantage of it without risk. (Until the antis figure out what’s happening, anyhow.)
UPDATE — Looks like the monkeywrench was working well enough that they caught on. Per Mark in comments: “The link leads to a page that says you must contribute at least $25 to get the book, so no more monkeywrench.” And no more “we know some people won’t contribute enough to cover the cost, but that’s okay …”
- Eric Holder,
peacemakerpatron saint of violent cops.
- Failed rescue of Foley. Seems Obama is even more like Carter than it appeared.
- An Ayn Rand dollar?
- Smart homes are stupid. Maybe it’s only because the tech is new and just developing. Maybe … some of it’s actually stupid. (Not to mention intrusive and insanely insecure.)
- I have no idea whether the cop in the Ferguson shooting was justified or not. This cop in Ferguson should be busted below the level of janitor. UPDATE: He has at least been taken off duty. It’s a start.
- This authoritarian creepazoid judge in Maryland, too.
- And beware of this guy and his thousands of thinkalikes.
- But here’s some good cheer about everyday wonders from Cornered Cat: “Illuminating.”
- It’s also encouraging that the Shaneen Allen defense fund is doing very, very well. (Via this article by Will Grigg)
- Why we get only idiotic reporting on guns from the MSM: one more data point. (And this from one of the reporters who was on the scene in Ferguson where rubber bullets were actually fired!)
- Craigslist: Roof Koreans for hire. :-) (H/T AG)
- MJR reminds me that it’s time to revisit Robert Peel’s nine rules for policing. Sort of encouraging that an MSM source ran that (even if a Canadian one).
- “Paper Boys.” Inside the dark, profitable world of consumer debt collection. Eeew!
- “Cigars, But Not Close.” Mark Steyn on U.S. police overkill.
- “The Low-Information Diet.” A classic from Mr. Money Moustache. Such things have been said in these parts before, but always need re-saying. (Maybe one of these days yours truly will actually listen.)
- The yellow dog project. Good idea beginning to gain worldwide traction: yellow ribbons to identify dogs who may be nervous, old, rambunctious, ill or otherwise not appropriate to approach.
It’s not spam. Jacquie Lawson cards will be going out today to roof-raiser donors. If you open yours, I can promise you won’t pick up any virii or have your mailbox hacked.
You might get an OD of cuteness, though.
ADDED: Whew! All cards have now been sent. If you donated and didn’t receive a card, please let me know. It could be because I don’t have a good email address for you or it could be
I’m an idiot I got overwhelmed and missed you. Smack me upside the head and I’ll make up for it.
While composing cards, I also did some counting, even though the job severely taxed my supply of fingers and toes:
Sixty wonderful people have donated (with a couple more gifts perhaps still to come). Twenty donors sent $100 — or more! Eleven sent between $50 and $100. Everybody donated generously. You made my days and you made the roof-raiser a roaring success. This fundraiser exceeded its goal in an extravagant manner and in just a hair over two weeks.
As a little Hungarian lady I used to know would say (when she was very moved and surprised): “I’m ‘STOUND!”