Just Call Me

leslie on phone revPeople used to rely on smoke signals and Morse code to communicate. Now we send each other text messages and emails and expect everything to be completely understood by the other person.

Let’s go back in time, shall we? Imagine someone sending “Thank you” via smoke to someone else across the tundra. It’s all good until a sudden little shift in air flow changes it to mean something completely different. Or, imagine someone accidentally using two dashes when he or she meant to use one. Think about it. Someone could be sending someone else the primitive version of a booty call and end up starting a war.

Texts and e mails are handy ways to keep in touch with my friends, but lately have also caused a few problems between us.

So, my dear, cherished friends, in an effort to avoid further misunderstandings caused by technical difficulties, if something is really important, please call me!

I’m obviously less tech savvy than you. I don’t have e mail on my phone and I don’t check it often on my computer. I’m sorry, but that’s how I roll. I write for (an eventual) living so, yes, I am on my computer. But that doesn’t mean I’m checking email and Facebook every five minutes. That would be too overwhelming for my “Oh look, there’s a squirrel” mentality. A phone call is the way to go.

But who has time to talk on the phone? I don’t either, but if you want to tell me something really important and you want me to understand what you’re saying, call me. Leave a voice mail if you have to. I will understand if you speak clearly on the phone and then return your call after I listen to my messages.

Or, text to let me know you’ve e mailed or called and left a message for me, if you need to tell me something important. I don’t have the “preview message” setting turned on because that would be another challenge to what equals a gnat’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand, but I do get generic notifications, and I periodically check my phone to see if I need to get back to someone posthaste.

It’s upsetting to me when friends become angry with me because I don’t understand a random text bubble they’ve sent from what appears to me to be out of the blue. They know they sent me an email an hour ago, didn’t hear back from me, got frustrated and then texted me. I know nothing! I check my e mail when it’s convenient for me to do so, which isn’t very frequently. And then, I still know nothing!

For example, one of my friends and I help each other out with editing sometimes. I received this text from him, “This is a DRAFT. How problematic is it?”

I responded,”Well, the only problem is there’s no attachment.”

Another friend texted, “I sent u two e mails and didn’t hear from u, all ok?” followed by another text bubble two hour later that read, “R u not getting my e mails?” No, because I hadn’t checked my e mail yet that day.

But last week was the misunderstanding of all times. I have been trying to get together with a friend for weeks so we could have tea and catch up. (Hey, If Billy Corgan’s Madame Zuzu’s Tea Room was five minutes away you’d be going there instead of Starbucks, too!) She was currently out of town. Richard and I were out and, as if she knew I was thinking about her, she sent a text that read, “Any interest in tues. breakfast? My treat if you come get me.”

I replied, “Sounds good. Let me get back to you tomorrow for sure.” I thought that she was back in town and offered to buy me breakfast if I drove, which was very nice but not necessary.

I wanted to go home to check my calendar, plus I needed to call my ENT first thing in the morning to try to get an appointment ASAP due to a persistent, painful ear infection, and if he/she/it could see me Tuesday morning, I was going to be seen. But I didn’t want to send a text that long.

My friend replied, “Ok. I let you know fit info if/when you know for sure.”
I replied, “Are you ok? Your text is hilarious.” It was. It didn’t make sense to me.

Apparently she did not agree and replied, “Huh?” in one text bubble, followed by another text bubble that read, “You said you would let me know. So, no reason to share ft info(flight) if you don’t need it.” Another incoming bubble followed that read, “Especially since I have to look it up,” followed by another text bubble that read “And I’m resting.”

If you’re resting, why are you texting me and getting upset with me because I am not comprehending what you’re trying to say, Lassie? (As in the dog.)

So I texted a few smiley face emoticons to let her know I had received the bubble that said she was resting and then I planned to call her when I got home.

Her next text bubble read, “Cool. I think we are on the same page now. I’ll be on the road all over this state (which I thought was Illinois, but was not) so just keep in touch and let me know if we are a go tues. otherwise I will have to make a diff plan at some point.”

Again, just to clarify, SHE began this text sequence. Out of the blue. Out of context. And definitely out of my realm of comprehension.

I thought about this “conversation” we were having and even asked Richard, who was driving, if it made any sense to him. Suddenly a thought occurred to me and I sent a text saying, “Oooooooooooh! Do you need a ride Tuesday from somewhere?”

She replied, “Ok. I would say check your hearing aids but everything we talked about was written. We discussed between e mail and text, the concept of you picking me up at the airport and going to bfast or coffee together to catch up.”

I replied, “This is Leslie Korengold. I never discussed picking you up at the airport although I would if you would stop yelling at me!”

Her next text bubble read, “Check your texts and e mail. I’m not yelling but unless someone has been posing as you, you told me that it sounds good and you would let me know tomorrow.”

Aha! She had e mailed me and assumed I’d read it. So, when she texted me about picking her up Tuesday she thought my reply, “Sounds good…” meant I had read it.

I think we are all aware of the old adage, “When you assume something, you make an ass out of you and me,” but I prefer the way Jenny McCarthy’s character said it in an episode of Two and a Half Men while talking to Alan and Charlie’s mother, “You know, Evelyn, when you assume, you’re just a bitch.”

P.S. I am not saying my friend is a bitch, because she’s not, and I was able to make an appointment with the ENT Tuesday morning so I would not have been able to pick her up at the airport anyway. She took a cab and we have plans next week for tea.

 

Here’s our video to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This”!

I know some people haven’t been able to watch it on YouTube, so I posted it here:

“U Can’t Touch This” is the sole property of MC Hammer, Rick James, and Alonso Miller. It s not the property of lesliejochase.com whatsoever.

 

My husband Richard craves neatness and order and thinks my idea of a comfy lived-in look should be reported to the local health department. His distaste for other people, including his family, touching his belongings gave me the idea to make this video.

Fun with Rebates, Part I

Dear Mr. CooperVision,

Thank you for offering me a $100 rebate for purchasing an entire year’s worth of daily contact lenses my ophthalmologist handed to me after my exam as I left her office. That was mighty swell of you.

What I think was less swell were the hoops of fire I had to jump through to mail everything required in order to receive said rebate.

It was a $100 rebate, so of course I was going to follow all of your commandments and do all that you asked of me. For a $99 rebate? Not so much.

In return, I’d like to share with you my experience of what can only be compared to navigating a corn maze at midnight on a foggy September night underneath a cloud-covered sky in my quest for the elusive rebate:

My pupils were still dilated and I couldn’t find my reading glasses which made it difficult for me to read the instructions printed in teeny tiny font on the forms that I was required to follow. (Please see Exhibit A-1 and A-2):

Exhibit A-1
Exhibit A-1

Exhibit A-2

Exhibit A-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Had I not been capable of understanding all the steps involved in the rebate process I would have had to hire a CPA, costing me more than the rebate itself.

As a college graduate and mother of two adult children, anxiety forced my pulse to quicken as I began to doubt my competence to fill out the information correctly.

Gasping for air I began to fear what could happen if I made a mistake. Would you refuse to send the rebate? Would you come to my house and repossess my contact lenses, including the ones in my eyes? (Please see exhibit B):

Exhibit B
Exhibit B

Between my lack of clear vision and the vagueness of the instructions on the paper with font so small a hawk would need to be clutching a magnifying glass in its talons to read them, it was difficult to decipher whether I was required to mail you the proof of purchase for only four boxes, or all eight. Lest I seem delinquent I sent all eight panels and prayed on my knees I wouldn’t be penalized for sending more end panels than necessary, but it was a chance I took. (Please see exhibit C):

 

Exhibit C
Exhibit C

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the boxes once the end panels have been removed and your customer, who by then has contracted a migraine and is attempting to keep a steady hand on the cool washcloth she has slapped onto her forehead and is seriously contemplating whether or not the $100 rebate is worth a panic attack, (Please see exhibit D):

 

Exhibit D
Exhibit D
 

 

Since I wear contact lenses with specific prescriptions for each eye I wouldn’t have been able to just throw all of those loose strips of lenses into one big, giant Ziploc bag all willy-nilly and call it a day. I knew I would not feel like playing a blurry game of “find the correct lenses” each morning.

In order to keep the two prescriptions separate, I devised two strategies from which to choose: I’d either have to use tape to seal the ends of all eight boxes back together which seemed like an arts & crafts project my brain was too exhausted by then to execute; or I could use two 2-gallon-sized Ziploc bags, labeled left and right, and carefully deposit the left lenses in one and the right lenses in another. (Pease see exhibits E and F):

 

 

Exhibit E
Exhibit E
Exhibit F
Exhibit F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After performing that Rubik’s Cube of a task, I began to wonder if the eight enclosed end panels combined with the War and Peace amount of paperwork would cause my envelope to be heavier than a regular piece of mail. I really didn’t feel like having to go to the post office to have the albatross of the envelopes weighed.

I thought it best to don my glow-in-the-dark Asics gym shoes (with prescribed, laser-cut orthotics) to help stabilize my stance. Then I slightly bent my knees and braced my core muscles, as I do in yoga and Pilates, and lifted the envelope that included all of the required paperwork, the coupon, and the end panels to see how heavy it was.

Just as the muscles in my arms began to shake, like they do when lifting a bar bell, I dropped the envelope like a body builder drops 300 pounds to the floor causing an unpleasant thud that ripples throughout the entire weight room.

The envelope obviously weighed much more than a typical bill, even more than the one I receive monthly from our often-visited orthopedic doctor’s office. No. This baby was going to receive the full home-remedy treatment: an entire roll of self-stick stamps. It probably didn’t require the whole roll, but the last thing I wanted was this anvil returned to me for lack of sufficient postage. (Please see exhibits G and H):

 

 

Exhibit G
Exhibit G

 

IMG_3111
Exhibit H

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most perplexing part of this entire exercise was that as I paid for the contact lenses at my ophthalmologist’s office a notification was sent to you containing all of my personal information, including proof that I paid for eight boxes of contact lenses. Please, Mr. CooperVision, what was the point of having me spend an entire afternoon chasing a rebate the company knew I was owed?

You know what, Mr. CooperVision, if that’s your real name? I don’t think you really want to give out $100 rebates. People with less tenacity might have given up, but not eye. I pushed myself to finish your pointless marathon; I filled out the information you asked for online; I tore off the end panels from all eight packages, thus destroying the boxes; and, yes, I combed my way through the sea of contact lenses strewn about my kitchen table to find the correct contact for each eye and place it in the proper Ziploc bag.

If you really wanted to be nice and give me the $100 rebate, why wasn’t confirmation from my doctor’s office enough? Or, why couldn’t they e mail you a picture of me standing at the doctor’s office holding up the boxes as if I’d won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes.

I realized that this wasn’t going to bode well for me in the rebate department, so I didn’t publish it on my website until I received the card credited with $100 you claimed would take at least six to eight weeks to process. Just a reminder: I did all of the processing in one afternoon.

Now, on to the next order of business: attempting to mail in a rebate for “Composure,” my dog’s anxiety medicine. I think I’ll chew on a few of them myself before getting started.