Series of everyday annoyances

change of policy

annoyancesI noticed a series of everyday annoyances. Some were small and brief, but still…

ITEM: I wrote this letter to a local newspaper to which I subscribe. I’ll call it Teeyou. 

I have been a subscriber for many years. Our family believes that supporting local media is important for the democratic process. And we like helping our delivery folks, who have been very amiable.

Still, I am quite irritated. The subscription price went up from X to X+$8 [per month]. I know this because my DISCOVER card email noted today, “Your recent recurring charge seems a little outside your normal spending with this merchant.”

I tried calling you folks… to see what other options are available, such as delivery for Sunday only, Sunday and Thursday only, or only online, but I couldn’t navigate that menu.

So I tried to access you on the website. I get to the Link Subscription. “Your print subscription includes unlimited digital access. To get started, set up a digital account below.”

[I explain how its portal sent me into an interminable loop] I go through this process AGAIN and AGAIN. You FIND my subscription, but I can’t get any more detail.

Given that I could cancel the thing for a month and then get my daughter to subscribe for $1 for six months, the processes are rather enraging.

PLEASE let me know what the other subscription options are.

But, but…

Here is the reply:

Thank you for contacting Teeyou. Reviewing the information provided, I noticed you had a rate change on 11/16/2022… Rate increases happen due to production and employee costs at least once a year as is on the back of your bill [I don’t receive a bill] or on the second page of your newspaper. However, for being one of our valued subscribers, the system allowed me to lower the rate to [slightly below the price before the increase]
Please confirm if you agree to the new rate so I can apply the changes to your account.  
Thank you for being a valued subscriber,
Customer Service Management
Note that they NEVER actually answered my question about options.
ITEM: As I noted, St. Peter’s Hospital and CDPHP, the insurance company that my wife and daughter have through my retirement, were at loggerheads over reimbursement. My former employer’s people assumed it would be resolved. The problem was that I had to decide by November 30, one way or another. I decided to change to another policy on that last day. And on December 3, the entities resolved their differences.
ITEM: Our mail was not delivered at least four times since Halloween. Thrice it was doubled up, with so much mail cascading from the mailbox that it looked like waterfalls.  The fourth time, our postal delivery person was delivering on Sunday. BTW, I recognize that our regular guy is fastidiously trying to get letters and packages delivered.
ITEM: The urgent care company I wanted my daughter to visit last month encourages going to their website. But I couldn’t use it after they closed for the day; one can’t even make an appointment for a future date. BTW, they also say one can just show up, but experience tells me that would be a three-hour wait.
ITEM: New York State law requires vehicles using their windshield wipers must have their lights on. But this black car heading towards us didn’t, and it wasn’t easy to see. As it turned out, it was an Albany police car. I hate when that happens.


Car lights and cloudy days

A calling

gray carMy wife and I were going to meet a couple of friends on Labor Day for ice cream at a local emporium. But her hybrid vehicle’s car failed to start. Why it didn’t is a bit of a mystery. If she had left the car lights on or failed to turn off the vehicle – much easier to do than with the cars I grew up with – the car would have “told” her.

In any case, our friends came to our house, armed with cups of frozen desserts. We sat and watched the AAA fellow recharge the vehicle. I keep forgetting that they now carry portable chargers rather than having to jump it using another car.

My wife with one of our friends drove off to make sure the car’s charge held. The other friend and I sat on the porch. The situation reminded me of something I used to do in Binghamton, NY growing up in the 1960s.

Binghamton is cloudy and sometimes rainy. So a lot of people would accidentally leave their car lights when they parked. I took it upon myself to open the driver’s side door and turn off the lights. I must have done this over a thousand times in my life. One day coming home from high school, I  turned off at least a dozen lights.

The open-door policy

Obviously, all of these cars were unlocked because that was the norm at the time. The number of cars I could not open because the door was locked was at most one in 20.

I don’t know what possessed me to do this. It was a calling, a mission. I’d cross the street to do it. Maybe my parents left their car lights on. But I have no specific memory of that. I even tried to do this in Jamaica, Queens in 1977, but the guy came back and thought I was trying to steal his car. Only rarely have I tried that since mostly because almost no one keeps their cars unlocked.

BTW, my friend had never done this. Have any of you?

Speaking of car lights, one of the things my wife and I agree upon is visibility. When it’s gray and overcast or raining, cars without their lights are difficult to see. But the ones that are silver/gray are the worst.

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