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Joshua Sharf

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The Weekend

Sunday was Chore Day. All day. For the first time since the sod went it, I cut it. Naturally, it was so high that the lawnmower kept cutting out. So I'd cut a few inches, back up, cut a few more inches, back up, etc. It was like cutting grass with a battering ram. Sometimes, I would restart the mower, and it would cut off just as I set it down. After 90 minutes out there in the sun, I can't begin to describe what a patience-building exercise that was. As for the grass, it's in good shape, but I can see where I'll want to fertilize as soon as I can.

After that, it was Back To The Tile. I've laid all the center tile, the tile I don't have to cut. Now, it was time to cut the edge tile. Break out the wet saw! Woohoo!

It was more tedious than hard. Since I was off just slightly from square to the walls, and since the walls themselves are off slightly from square, I had to measure each tile to cut separately. Down to measure, grab a tile, set the saw, and push it through. I will say that I've gotten pretty good at guiding a tile through by hand, without the guide, cutting along the pencil line. You have no idea how useful that is when you need to shave the tile down by 1/16", or just the width of the blade. And so, after four hours of turning all that tile back into clay (think ceramic dust + water), the edge tile is done, except for the pantry area. Not laid down permanenetly, but placed to measure. Pictures to follow soon.

Sunday evening was wall-to-wall wall-themed bumper music, in honor of our imported disingenuous lefty blogger, as opposed to the homegrown kind. My personal favorite was "Cry Me a River" by singer Kathy Wall, but there's plenty to choose from.

So what about Friday afternoon?


What happens when you naively believe that Sprint will simply do what they say, and exchange the phone at a store? Exactly what I should have expected from a company who only promised to exchange the phone in the first place to make up for lousy customer service. What should have been a 20 minute exercise turned into an hour ordeal.

I walked into the store, waited a few minutes for my turn, and then explained to the salesman that customer service had promised to exchange my phone. No dice, I was told. I needed to go to one of their newly consolidated Customer Service stores for that. And here's a handy map to help you find them!

I extended the salesman the courtesy of arguing with him briefly, then put the map back on the pile with all those other maps, and asked for his manager.

< Rod Serling Voice >Mr. Cole, sales manager of Store #506 at Cherry Creek North. Mr. Cole is a quiet, unassuming young man, just starting to make his way in the world. He earns a large portion of his compensation by making sure that no exchanges take place in his store. Little does he suspect that he is about to place a call to...the Twilight Zone.< /Rod Serling Voice >

In short order, I am told by Mr. Cole that, 1) he can't exchange the phone because he's not a service center, 2) he can't call customer service because 3) he won't have access to my account records, 4) there will be a $55 service charge at the service center for exchanging the phone, and that customer service won't be able to waive the charge.

That's four whoppers in only a few minutes. I informed Mr. Cole that I had no intention of arguing with him longer than it would take for me to drive to the Park Meadows service center, and that I had no intention of driving to the Park Meadows service center. No luck. As I was ready to walk out of the store, I went back, got his card, and called customer service from my phone.

Long story short - he called customer service himself (2), brought up my records on his computer (3), exchanged the phone (1), and had them reverse the service charge on my account (4). Short on time, I refrained from asking Mr. Cole what he had accomplished by stonewalling, since he did everything, anyway.

This is clearly the result of some insane incentive system that Sprint has set up. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but Omni magazine had a story about 25 years ago, maybe a little longer, about a game where government bureaucrats compete to see who can most frustrate and enrage the citizenry foolish enough to show up at their offices. Sprint must offer very large prizes to the winners.

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