Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Entitlement :Designs DriveWays and Attitudes

I've finally figured it out! The answer to all our woes, all our problems stem from entitlement. Well ok maybe not, but it does fit in with todays blog post.

I added a couple of our area news stations to my FB, it seems to be the fastest way to get severe weather info. They update their status's with the relevant info faster than they get it aired on tv. The problem is they also offer headline stories before fleshing out the details. The other day one of the stations offered up the story of a land owner having shot a cell tower worker - less than a paragraph of info, no facts to speak of. The people jumped on it ready to string this guy up without a single fact as to what happened. It was their right to see this guy punished so it doesn't breed more of the same behavior. He was on his own property, didn't know they were there, and shot one. These were the only facts provided and yet it was unforgivable he acted in this way. I don't know what happened that lead up to the shooting, maybe he was wrong, maybe he was right but when did it become wrong to protect yourself on your own property?

One of my biggest gripes is GPS and their constantly sending people up my driveway. For some unknown reason the fact GPS sent them seems to give them a sense of entitlement. It sends the cell tower people up my driveway just about every other month. They have caused more damage to my driveway driving as if they were Mario Andretti, rutting up freshly graded land, run over barrels, cut my fences, made my driveway inaccessible to our own vehicles and seem to generally believe because they need to be at that cell tower on the neighbor's property it's ok to act as if they own mine. Once you top the hill and find a fence, the driveway turns to reveal my house. It's pretty obvious at that moment GPS lied. There's a very generous turnaround right there, do people use it? Noooo they continue to drive around my house. Cell tower people, termite services, lawn services and cable people, even folks looking for cemeteries - we actually had a cable tv installer, who when told to get out of our back yard, told my hubs he had a bad attitude! We don't have cable nor do they have any of their cables crossing our property, so he had no standing to be there. What would he have done if we were in his backyard uninvited and unannounced? Offered lemonade? I think not! I think he'd have had the gun out and we'd have another story like the above. GPS does not entitle you to drive into my backyard, run over my cat, look in my windows or be on my property that is clearly marked no trespassing. (Yes all the above has happened, I no longer have a gate because it's been driven through while it was closed so many times. And yes, I have contacted Navteq, the mapping provider, they refuse to correct their info, even though their satellite image clearly shows my driveway ends at my house.)

So what does GPS gone wrong and shot cell tower people have to do with jewelry designs? Well it's the whole entitlement issue. I've been making jewelry for a lot of years. I bought my first set of pliers at 16. I learned by imitating or making my own versions of the pieces I liked and crafting the jewelry I couldn't find otherwise. I, like you, have grown up with the saying "Imitation is the Sincerest form of Flattery" Knowing this, when friends asked if they could borrow an idea or hearing I had inspired someone, was a real ego boost. Something we all need, but when you start finding your designs in magazines and around the web, written up as tutorials with your "friends" names on them, it crosses a line. Copy Right has now entered the picture and my "friend" now owns the copy right to my design - meaning if I use my own design and call it mine, I could get in trouble! We're no longer talking flattery here. This sense of entitlement, I like it, I want it, it's mine, and you can't stop me is wrong. It's stealing for a profit - with no intent to return it - Grand Larceny. Look it up, that's the definition. Oh but it's an idea, not tangible. That's why they created copy right. Something we artists earn the moment we create. When you steal the design, call it your own, and put your own copy right on it you've not only stolen the design you're stealing my right to choose what to do with it. What if it was a One Of A Kind gift? Suddenly I have the only one - turns into being sold across the country by countless burgeoning jewelers. That's not cool! What if I was in the process of writing the tutorial myself? Now you've stolen my income source. What does that say about you? That you treat your friends and acquaintances this way.

Some of you remember the anguish I felt when I first discovered that design in the magazine. That kicked in the teeth and punched in the stomach, reeling in disbelief that a friend would do this to me. No one ever talks about this side of it, they only talk of the legalities, because those who feel entitled don't care about the hurt they cause, only whether they can get away with it legally. You may be asking why bring it up now? Well, it took this long to find the words to express myself without fits of anger or tears of pain. It also seems I have more "entitled friends", and more designs floating around magazines and the web, where will it stop if I don't say something? I don't feel the need to out them at this point, they know who they are, and I know.

I've decided, it might be time to start submitting my designs myself. Since they seem to be getting submitted anyway, they might as well come with my name on them :) Now.........what to submit?

Til next time!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dear Alan

Wow! It's been awhile since I've updated. I've been keeping busy, making pretty things, working on the house, getting the kiddo graduated and ready for college. I was getting things listed and was almost all caught up and ooops the memory card is full. I'd been deleting the duplicate photos from the card to make room for awhile. Really I only need one good shot to show off since I haven't gotten a look book made up yet.

Prom photos and Graduation photos used up what was left of my free space. No way I'm deleting those! So I do a little online shopping, looking for a new card. Should be really easy to find. Bought the camera at Staples and Wally World has a photo dept too. If all else fails Amazon always has what I want.

We're merrily skipping along the internet not one single card. My little 4mp camera uses an xD why can't I find one? Ok wrong terminology, it's a picture card not a memory card - taadaaa! Wait what is this M+ arghh camera is old I'm not spending money for a card that is too new for my old camera. HEY! an xD! Wally World carries them! oh.........online only. hmmmmmm Well ok if I have a problem with it I can just take it back to the store. I'm out of ink, printable biz cards and low on bubble mailers will just add those to the cart. Woot! Took care of half my to do list!

Ship to - nothing big here we'll ship to the PO Box. Red flag! Can't ship to a PO Box. OK Fine street address. Paid Order confirmation. Should be here in just a couple days!

Next day. Wow! That was fast! Shipped via UPS Mail Innovations. aaah UPS explains the red flag. hmm never heard of Mail Innovations let's go look. OMG they're mailing it to my street address??? I don't live on the mail route, I don't get mail here! Quick shoot off an e-mail to customer service.

I'm a little worried, I don't live on the mail route. UPS Mail Innovations mails it USPS. It will get returned.
Thank you Dana

Dear Alan, We are sorry we cannot change your order once it has been sent. If you would like to return your items please follow the instructions below.

****?????What?????? Two more e-mails your items have shipped via FedEx. OK maybe I'm panicking maybe it will actually be UPS. The other two are Fed Ex. One more, your item has shipped via UPS Mail Innovations if you'd like to track your items click here.

Fed Ex delivers my bubble mailers - wow! OK let's click that tracking see where that card is! Happy face :) Info not available yet, ok check the other shipment. Item returned undeliverable. USPS cannot deliver to this address. ????What????? ARGHHH********

Copy/paste into an e-mail to Wally World Customer Service.
This is what I was afraid of when I contacted you. - now what?

Dear Alan, Thank you for contacting Walmart.com regarding your shipping address.
I sincerely apologize that your order is undeliverable to the address that you provided for your order. Unfortunately, we are unable to change your shipping address on your account. You will need to contact your local postal service in attempts to have your address changed. I certainly do apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you.

If we have not fully answered your question or you have additional questions, please reply to this email.

Walmart.com Customer Care

*****Change my house address? What? OMG really? Change my house address - what the?????*******

OK then, let's try this from the start. obviously I'm not making myself clear enough.

When I placed the order I used my PO Box BUT a little red warning popped up and said
I couldn't use the PO Box as a delivery destination. So I changed the address to my street address
wrongly assuming it meant you would ship Fed Ex or UPS NOT mail it.

You as in Wal Mart mailed that part of my order. You used TWO different delivery methods to
ship ONE order.

I understand breaking the order into smaller packages for faster delivery BUT when YOU require
only ONE shipping address YOU should use only ONE delivery method. It saves a lot of head aches.

My question was not how do I change my address, or how do I return the item. My question is simply
what happens next? What am I supposed to do? How do I get my order????

Thank you

Dear Alan,

Thank you for contacting Walmart.com regarding your item being received and returned. Alan, we apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you. Alan, the first information listed below address to whom will be responsible for delivering the rest of your items.

Your order xxxxxxx (xx's cause you don't really need my order# or address for the gist of this part) Unfortunately, USPS package tracking information is limited to the destination of your local post office.

However, you can estimate the arrival date by adding the longest processing time of an item in your order to the delivery method ship time (Standard, 2-to 3-Day, or 1-Day Shipping). "Processing Time" is located on the item page under "Delivery Options."

To get more information on shipping times, visit Walmart.com and click "Help." In "Shipping & Returns," click "Shipping Costs and Times".

Note: the below information listed addresses returns, if you wish to return items back to us.

You may return your online purchase at your local Walmart store or through the mail. The item must still be within the return policy time frame to qualify for a return. Please refer to our online return policy by following the link below.


Note: There are no returns or refunds on prepaid cellular phone cards & electronically fulfilled PINs or minutes.

To return in-store, take your item along with all packaging and your packing slip to the Customer Service desk for a refund or exchange.

To return via the mail, please log on to www.walmart.com and go to the "Return an Item" link at the bottom of the page. Follow the instructions to "Return an item by mail".

When returning an order by mail, please allow up to three weeks shipping and processing time for the order to reach our Return Center. When the order has been received, depending on your request, the order will either be credited or reordered.

If we have not fully answered your question or you have additional questions, please reply to this email.

Walmart.com Customer Care

*******My head hurts! why are they giving me return info for a package I can't even get delivered?? Why do they keep calling me ALAN?? It's like we're having two entirely different conversations.********

I really don't think you understand what I'm saying.

Yes (as per the voice mail) I received that part of my order that you sent via Fed Ex. No I do not want to return it.

I have not received that part of my order that you sent via the mail. I do not live ON the mail route.
That's why I have a PO Box.

The Avery part of my order has been returned undeliverable as noted by UPS Mail Innovations tracking.
Undeliverable because as I said I don't live on the mail route.

The Memory Card part of my order has no info available after Saturday the 11th.

I am not the one returning them, I don't want them returned, but since you mailed them via USPS to my physical
address I have no control over that.

All I want is for you to tell me is what I need to do. It will eventually make its way back to you. I need to know what I need to do to have it sent back to me. Do I need to have you issue a refund and I place a new order or can the address be corrected and sent back?

One final thing, I am Dana. I placed the order, I paid for it, I am talking to you. not Alan and I have signed my name to each correspondence to date. Take two seconds to read thoroughly, what I'm asking and my name - that's your job.


*******Remember kids customer service can make or break you - these idiots can't even get my name right. And I am fighting harder and harder to remain civil and to keep the words small and understandable. I am so frustrated I'm ready to fire off a letter to corporate or drive there and sit in the foyer until someone answers me as to why they keep calling me Alan, why they shipped one order using two shipping methods and why it's my fault I don't receive mail at my physical address. Mr. Sam Walton would be livid!*******

Think I'll leave it here for now. I'll update you as I have more info. Maybe I'll get around to making that look book ........

Til next time Alan (who am I kidding, I'm too short and my mustache is too thin!!)
see ya! Dana

update 6-16

Dear Alan,

Thank you for contacting Walmart.com regarding what do since the other product was return back to us.

Please contact us by phone to issue the refund for the product that you have not received

If we have not fully answered your question or you have additional questions, please reply to this email.

Walmart.com Customer Care

****Dear ALAN? aghhhhhhh HEAD-DESK*******