I Want to Be Unhappy

It’s Sunday in August, and we’ve got a guest column from Paul Curran from you. Even with a title like ‘I Want to Be Unhappy,’ I’ll go out on a limb and say that my life is perhaps tolerable in these moments when I’m reading the words from our friend from Canada. You’ll get what I mean in a moment.

Your Barrista -- Paul Curran

Your Barrista — Paul Curran

Welcome to the weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here at Mark Bialczak’s Little Bitty in Syracuse, New York. Please come in and go through to the living room. Mark, his wife Karen and their pooch Ellie B have prepared a nice, air-conditioned, comfy place for us so I can tend to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. There are high clouds this morning with a high just over 80 F. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our worldwide readership and adult beverages for those who wish something stronger. We can relax with a cuppa in the air-conditioning while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. Ellie likes to be patted, so please indulge her when she greets you. Have a piece of cake (or any of the sweets on the next table) – electronic sweets are all calorie-free! How has your week been? Are you enjoying the weekend? Any special activities?

Enjoy!

Web Site: http://entertaining.about.com/cs/coffeesandteas1/a/teaparty.htm

My week sucked, thank you for asking. And yet all that suckiness (see spellcheck insists this is not a word, when we all know it is) is fixable and is being fixed. In the process no one is willing to admit that this suckiness is normal and that just pisses me off. I had a bad week but all are cheerful and insist that nothing bad happened. As Victo over at Behind the White Coat said in her post yesterday at https://doctorly.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/comparing/comment-page-1/#comment-55234 – nowhere is it written that all must be cheerful and when we try to pretend it is, we are lying to ourselves and others and interfering with fixing the problems. That inspired this post, so here we go.

So, I’m on disability pension and I can meet my bills but everything must be carefully budgeted. I had paid my bills this month and I left enough money in my bank account to make my pre-authorized payment on a bank loan (a consolidation that happened when I was off work with cancer), and for some medications that I needed that were not covered by my prescription plan. Monday, Aug. 01 was a holiday here, so Tuesday morning I checked my bank account on my computer to make sure the payment had come out and I was unpleasantly surprised. There was a charge that morning for Amazon Prime that all but cleaned out the bank account. I had not ordered anything but I checked my Amazon account and there were no charges showing. I checked membership and it showed I was not a member – so no membership fees.

Using Unethical Tactics

Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon.com

I called my bank and told them there was a fraudulent charge on my account and explained. They did all the usual, canceled my debit card, and changed my passwords for electronic banking and for the account. Now came the tricky part. That charge had made my loan payment bounce and in all the years I have had that loan I had never once missed a payment. I was furious. The medication I will have to do without. It will cause some problems but I’ll survive.

I got transferred from attendant to attendant as I explained over and over what had happened and filed a fraud report and arranged to get a new debit card, etc. At one point I was actually speaking to someone who had English as a first language and did not have to repeat over and over for me to understand (I’m not prejudiced but if a skill required by the job – speaking clearly and concisely – is not met, then the person should not get the job, but we all know how much money it saves our banks, phone companies, etc., when customer service is outsourced to other countries and they so need the money.)

How can we “Enhance Our Relationship?”
If We Were Having Coffee
Website: http://logos.wikia.com/wiki/TD_Canada_Trust

As we finished up the attendant hesitatingly said: “What I am about to say may seem inappropriate or upset you at this time but I have to ask.” My response was: “What are you trying to sell now?” Whenever I call this bank they try to upsell services at every stage and with every phone call – always with a smile in their voice. She came back very seriously and told me that she wasn’t trying to sell anything but would like to know if I wanted to enhance my relationship with the bank by engaging in the use of a particular product which, she said, would be solely for purposes of making my life better and easier and more profitable. I laughed so hard that she started to laugh too. I wished her the best that her job never had the occasion to be “right-sized,” or be subject to “career alternative enhancement” or “early retirement opportunity.” I don’t think she got it when I told her I lost weight for the last week of every month because I didn’t have enough food, and that if I purchased her product I would have to lose weight for the last two weeks. I don’t think she got it because she thanked me very much for being positive and making her laugh and that she would remember our conversation as the most positive thing of her day. And the really funny part was that I wasn’t joking.

After many transfers and assurances that the bank would replace the funds, I was told that I had called too early to report as the NSF charge had not gone through yet, so phone back when that happened in order to make arrangements for the missed payment. So, Wednesday the NSF appeared and I called back. After telling my story three more times I eventually got the “Recovery Department” and they thanked me for being so proactive but said they had not received the file and couldn’t help me until they had. They told me to call back in about a week. Which is where I stand now, waiting for the bank’s computer to catch up to me and being very unhappy about it.

Oddly Appropriate Title

Website: http://thebloggess.com/furiously-happy/

All that was bad enough and I made sure to mention it to everyone with whom I made contact and this included, believe it or not, the bank teller who issued my new debit card. And every single one told me that exactly the same thing had happened to them and the bank teller even told me the exact amount. I was flabbergasted. What the hell happened? Each had done as I had done – ordered a book through Amazon in the last three months. In my case it was using a gift certificate I was honored to receive from The Bloggess to buy her new book “Furiously Happy.” (Excellent book by the way.) I am anal about reading the fine print on any Internet site, and so when I was asked by Amazon if I wanted to try its “Prime” delivery free of charge, I checked to make sure there was no obligation – and there was not.

After a wait of about two or three months, they then charged me a full yearly membership amount on my debit card. According to all others I spoke with from the bank teller to my para driver to my nurse, Amazon refunded when contacted. Oh, well, as far as I am concerned it is fraud as I was not notified, and I bet Amazon brushes it off as a mistake and I bet equally that many who are charged this fee just pay it and figure they made a mistake when it is actually Amazon trying to deliberately sham customers into their upcharge without permission.

That straightened out to the best of my ability until their computers caught up, I went about my weekly routine. Wednesday at dialysis, the venous dialysis needle was giving us trouble and the pressure was very unstable. As we watched it seemed to stabilize and the transfer speed was increased. It ran for about 10 minutes like that, and then suddenly it felt like someone had taken a Bowie knife and cut my arm off – the pain was intense. I screamed and the nurse shut down the machine but the pain continued. The nurse pulled out the needle and the pain lessened somewhat but still continued. In seven years this had only happened twice – the needle had come out of the blood vessel while the machine was running at speed, forcing blood and saline into the tissues and nerves in my arm, tearing, ripping and destroying them from the inside. The last time it happened, about three years ago we were running much slower speed as the pressures had not stabilized – so the pain and damage was accordingly lesser.

OUCHIE!

Website: http://www2.wdeptford.k12.nj.us/High_School/PEweb/HEALTH%20III.htm

I now have a black and blue arm that is swollen twice its size and very painful to the touch. The constant pain has faded. This is called a hematoma and I’ve had little ones before but this one is the grand-daddy of dialysis hematomas. We can and are doing dialysis with one needle only in the small part of the blood vessel that was not affected. The nurse and the nurse trainer and the access coordinator all checked this out. The nurse asked if the single needle access reduced efficiency and was told it did. She then suggested I come back daily until it healed and I gave her a glare, I told her that if they didn’t give me hematomas then this problem wouldn’t exist and that I would live with the reduced efficiency until it healed. I was not happy. Thank you very much.

Anyway life goes on and that is my rant for the week. It felt really good to be unhappy and write about it – I would encourage any reader to do the same. It is cathartic. Damn, here comes that happiness again – and I’m not ready for it yet. Ha! This morning I was scanning blog posts before writing this and I came across my friend Ned Hickson’s blog post https://nedhickson.com/2016/08/06/because-she-gives-me-crazy-love/ which is a celebration of his eighth year of marriage to a wonderful woman. He did a short video in celebration and I had no choice but be happy as I watched it. To even know that such love exists and see real people in such love is amazing. Here is the YouTube version – don’t watch it if you want to stay grumpy. I tried and it can’t be done. Happy anniversary Ned and Alicia.

Please join me in thanking Mark, Karen and Ellie B for their invitation to tea on this weekend. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Mark’s other posts while you’re here. Oh and roughseasinthemed, your bottle of chilled Muscadet will be on the table on ice every week now. Have a great week all and thanks to Victo for the inspiration..

Happy Anniversary Ned and Alicia

Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/11360682/How-to-throw-an-Alice-in-Wonderland-tea-party.html

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82 thoughts on “I Want to Be Unhappy

  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity to guest post Mark. I am honored. I realized that letting myself be angry actually drains out the anger and I become happy again. No way to win that one, Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OH! what a SHIT week you have had . You have to be very careful with Amazon Prime they offer you a month three then if you do not stop the free trial on they day they want ( so you need to investigate and you can set up a cancel on your account) they whack you for a year’s payment and will continue year after year until you stop it!! Crafty Buggers!
    As for the hospital gross negligence! The bank sound un- caring too!I I do hope things improve very soon!! I hope some of your friends will rally round and help you, you have helped many of your friends and neighbours!
    At least you were made happy by Ned’s Anniversary video so Happy Anniversary to Ned and Alicia .
    Now to close here is Bjork who is violently happy!! Any red wine here today I think I need a glass after all that!! Will you join me Paul?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for dropping by Willow. I’ll be fine,thank you – my neighbor is helping out until this is straightened out. He is a good man. That Amazon charge is ludicrous – they went beyond sneaky into fraudulent as far as I am concerned, they need to have their fingers rapped to teach them to stay out of customer’s bank accounts. That is the last I buy from them. Screw me once their fault, screw me twice my fault.

      The arm will heal and I leaned a lesson. There are about 70 dialysis nurses and they rotate so sometimes it can be months before i see the same one again. that said, I take it as my responsibility to allow/disallow any actions with the knowledge I have of my own fistula. Fluctuating pressures will no longer be allowed. It is simply a matter of reneedling when it happens. Live and learn.

      You have an amazingly broad knowledge of music Willow. Fascinating song and I’m really surprised you know the singer. Well Done.

      I believe I will join you in a glass of wine. My neighbor dropped off nice bottle of Merlot the other day – so I feel a glass coming on. ha! Great suggestion.

      Thanks again for dropping by Willow – I am honored.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love to drop in Paul I just wish I had more time and could host my own Sunday coffee/ tea event plus yours too but life will not allow that and I just snatch the moments that I can! I am glad your neighbour can help and next time refuse treatment from that nurse!! As for amazon !!!! 😦 Be well ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Business practices like that make me want to cancel my Amazon Prime membership! It is easy when you are looking at all of the dollar signs (or Canadian dollar signs in your case) to forget that there are real people hurt by it. That hematoma made me cringe. Yikes! Sending hugs and love your way.

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    • Thanks so much for the visit Victo and thank you for the inspiration – it felt great to rant. Indeed, Amazon`s practices are deceitful and I am sure they benefit from them. They are so careless – to them that small amount of money means nothing , so if they take it out and put it back they figure they have `fixed`it. But they created havoc that will damage my credit rating and have repercussions for months. That money is like a lifeline to me. If I cut off their company`s communications (lifeline) for a day and then gave it back a day later, would they still agree that was fair? after all they got it back – no harm done, right?

      Thanks so much for the Hugs Victo – I’ve had smaller hematomas in the past – it is a dialysis risk and it will heal. This one holds the record for biggest so far. When you figure that I get at least 6 needles a week and the average is closer to 8 or 9 – that is over 400 times a year and inevitably one or more creates a hematoma.

      Thanks for the visit and comment (and inspiration) Victo.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes you just need to be positively unhappy about the shitty times. It sucks amazon did that and sucks more that it would have such a drastic effect on your monthly budget. It does suck that they hooked you up to a faulty machine, they shouldn’t have subjected you to that risk and they should take responsibility for the damage/pain it caused. It’s unrealistic to expect people to only share the happy events, vent away good sir, vent away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Van! Great to see you here. Yeah, you know at 58 I know there is no such a thing as a free anything. That said I combed the fine print word for word and I saw no mention of charging. After all what does free mean? No Charge. Wrong again. Ha! You think I’d learn. I did not think Amazon, as a credible company with a reputation to preserve, would stoop to such shitty business practices. Ah well. I am sure that this week will go better – or eventually some week will go better. ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was on a plane, hoping against hope to get there in time to say goodbye to my dad. A man sitting next to me said, “Hey, smile! It’s a nice day.” There was a point in my life where I would probably have responded with an attempt at a smile. But something has changed—maybe I grew up or maybe just grew old— so I told him, “My smiles are my own business. I don’t need a total stranger to tell me when to be happy.” It was a very quiet flight.

    Of course I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had such a crap week. But I loved the way you put it all out there in this piece, as well as Victo’s post. And I think that being therapeutically UNhappy is quite possibly the best thing for you, as well as your complete right.

    But I also hope things get better. And I *really* hope that whatever Amazon MBA thought up that ‘promo’ rots in the lowest level of hell. One where people tell him/her nonstop to smile, and be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Thanks so much for dropping by Barb. love your story about the airport. It is so true – as I get more mature, I don’t feel the need to be happy all the time – or at least no happiness unless appropriate. It seems more natural and gets this fixed so they don’t happen again.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and happy you came to visit. ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Paul, there is no way to sugar coat your week! And probably the most positive thing you could have done is to write about it! 😉 Somehow writing does allow us to release things that otherwise would fester. I am so sorry for all that you went through… and for life’s struggles. The world is a better place for your approach to life… venting and all! This is real life after all!!! Thank you for sharing a little of your world with us today! It is a pleasure getting to know you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Blue sky! Welcome! There is no doubt that behind the scenes reading your posts have made it clear to me that putting the negative out there in the light of day in full view for all causes it to shrivel up and shrink or even disappear. Very cathartic. Thanks so much for dropping by for a read and comment. things will definitely get better – they always do, one way or another. Your posts about your life have been inspirational. Thank You.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a charming and delightful post, Paul! I am so sorry about your sucky week. I have had a hematoma myself on an ahem, part of my body where no woman should ever have one. They are probably far more painful where there is more muscle, but I still had to wear an ice pack, which promptly gave me a chest cold. Now of course doctors will tell you an ice pack on your chest does not cause a cold, but doctors be wrong and than you get to cough your way through a hematoma, which just adds insult to injury.

    As to Amazon prime,I assisted two people with that very problem just last week. I’m not sure if it’s an “error” or a sales tactic, but they did eventually fix it and remove all the overdraft charges. On line banking and the digital world makes me a bit nervous for this very reason.

    I hope you are much blessed in the week to come, and that if excitement comes your way, it is the good kind and not the stressful kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the visit and comment IB. I am sure I read the fine print and the more people I talk to the more I realize that no one knew there was a charge – that would suggest to me that there was no notification. Thanks for the compliment and listening to my rant. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It still amazes me how huge conglomerates who don’t need such practices because they are already pulling in money, millions by the seconds, turn to such ploys and trickery. I’m with you on all of that.

    I’m also one who believes in the be what you feel mind set. Years ago I learned about Reality/Control Theory. I loved the idea of ‘choice’ on our reactions. Yeah, feel that shitty mood. For as long as you need to feel it. If you don’t, you suffer more in the long run.

    I hope you are feeling better by the minute Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely Colleen – thank you so very much. I am honored you came for a visit and a comment . It feels great for a change to just be unhappy when things are not right. Much improved.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love your writing Paul. It’s truthful and entertaining in the way of life. We can’t avoid unhappiness. And sometimes we just need to exist with our friends without trying to fix everything. Glad you’re doing better.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Paul, I have definitely had weeks – even months and years – like that (identity theft; took me over 5 years to clear up). So, so sorry. And I know the most frustrating part is the bureaucratic, muddy morass you have to crawl through in order to get this straightened up.

    Praying for a shower of healing for your body and your finances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for dropping by Susan. That identity theft must have been a horror show. I feel bad for that. I’ll definitely improve with time – no permanent damage. It felt great to rant. Thanks for letting me bend your ear. Have a great week and may God bless. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for dropping by amusingword. It is an honor to have you here for a read and comment. Oh, I am sure my luck will change sooner or later – in time this too shall pass. Thanks for the compliment and please drop by again.

      Like

  10. Everyone has the right to rant once in awhile, especially after a week as sucky as yours. I also got fooled into Amazon Prime at one point, but when I complained, they reversed the charge. Hubby had his bank account hacked at one point, and believe me, I understand your frustration in that regard. But at least hubby was able to deal with personnel at the local branch, who were very helpful and managed to get the money back into his account asap (it was his entire paycheck, and we really needed that dough!).

    No one can be happy all the time, at least not without drugs. Ranting lets out some of those negative feelings in a way that doesn’t hurt others. Maybe next time, you can create a Not-Paul persona and come over to my mirror blog to vent. Wouldn’t that be fun?

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    • Ha! Welcome CM! Great idea to have a Not-Paul presence on Not CM. Would you like a Not-Paul guest post? Cool idea. Thanks so much for dropping by for a comment and read. It is always a pleasure to see you again. You are right, a rant feels good. ha!

      Like

      • We would all love a Not-Paul guest post! You’ll be amazed at how much fun it is to really just let yourself be a hateful person (although, believe it or not, there are readers who have grown to love Not CM, horrid as she is).

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh dear, what an absolutely horrible week! Amazon did something similar to me – I signed up for Prime and cancelled before the month was up just in case. Sure enough I was charged a month later. I assumed I had done something wrong when I cancelled, so I did it again and this time it stuck. I didn’t take any steps to get my money back, as it was only a twelfth of a year.
    Sorry to hear about your troubles at the hospital! I hope it heals soon.
    Take care, my friend. I’ll be here for you when you’re ready to be fully happy again. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • What?! You’re not there for me when I’m UnHappy? Sheesh! Bwahaha! I’d be insulted but I know better, having answered the door when not feeling well and found you standing there: “Linda? Linda who? Ohhhh, Word Press Linda.” Ha!

      I’ll be fine – just needed to get that rant off my chest – it feels good , and I would expect you of the professional rant to empathize. Ha! Have a great week Linda. Thanks so much for dropping by. – I am honored.

      Like

      • Well, yeah. I’ve already been there for you when you were UnHappy. Literally “been there.” 😉
        I feel a professional rant coming on soon. Stay tuned. 😀
        And you’re more than welcome. I enjoyed your rant, even though what caused it was such a pain in the butt!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Holy crap, Paul! Hell yeah, you have more than enough reason to be grumpy! I’m so sorry for so much BS and that pain – just wow! I’ve been very lucky with any of my IVs, but one, the picc line, which had a similar result as yours. I know you know it, but God, that looks horrible. Aw, my friend, I hate that you’re having to deal with utter bullshit on top of quite enough. Sending you huge cyberhugs, my friend. xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much fro dropping by for a read and comment Robyn! And super thanks for the cyber Hugs! None of this stuff is life changing – all fixable but annoying as heck – given most was avoidable and is a result of someone else’s actions on me. I needed a rant and it felt great! Ha! Back to normal next week. Talk about one of medical device failures – i’ve got a doozie to tell. Back when I first started on dialysis they installed a catheter in my neck that lead right into my jugular vein. There was a stitch or two that secured it to the skin. I was walking along one day – thankfully in the hospital- when the catheter fell out leaving my jugular open to the air. That was fun. Talk about nurses scrambling – whew. I had to lay down right away and keep pressure on the hole to keep most of the blood inside where it belonged. What I didn’t know – and the reason they use the jugular- is that this is the vein that returns the blood from the cranium to the heart and because it is down hill, very large, and after the brain, the pressure is very low – like a lazy river. On the other side of the neck are the carotid arteries from the heart to the face and cranium and they are pressurized like a fire hose. Not a good choice for a catheter.

      Anyway, thanks so much for the visit Robyn. I hope all is well with Caribou Legs.Have a great week!

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  13. ummmmm… first of all, I thought you Canadadadians got all the meds and drugs for free… and, while I am sorry you are having a bad week, I think the hematoma… which my spell checker says isn’t a rel thing… makes it look like you have huge muscles… so maybe you should get one in the other arm too… or, just for fun, get it in both forearms next time… you will look just like Popeye!!! Awesome post, buddy. Your upbeatedness … oh come on, that has to be a real word… always amazes me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Art! great to have you visit – Welcome! thanks for dropping by. We do get free medical care and we have prescription plans. Those plans have deductibles – mine is about $110 per quarter ($440 a year). Because I am on disability, I get a check for the deductible once a year. The year ends Sept and I am not past the deductible yet – so the money in the bank was actually 4th quarter deductible but cannot be replaced – I lost it, I can get it back. If the medication were life or death, I am sure I could get an emergency disbursement to cover it.

      Yeah, the huge muscle syndrome is funny but that will shrink soon enough as the swelling goes down.

      Spell check does not include medical or scientific terminology. I too was surprised when spell check nixed hematoma so I looked it up and it is correct. For instance the blood thinner warfarin is not recognized either.

      Thanks so much for the kind words Art. It is a pleasure to have you drop by. Thank You.

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  14. I’ve purposely stayed off the grid most of this weekend to spend time together with my wife, celebrating our anniversary. To come back and find that Alicia and I were mentioned here and, most importantly, able share our love and joy with your help — that means a lot, Paul. Thank you for that, and for always sharing your heart, my friend.

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    • Your video is the most loving , caring testament to a partner that I have ever seen Ned. Besides, I can use it as evidence – Ha! I believe in true love and trying to defend that position is difficult as so few have experienced it. To have a professional communicator like yourself who is living that life and chooses to share your joy publicly is one of the most heartening, uplifting, testaments that I have ever seen. Thank you and Alicia for allowing the glimpse into your private lives – may all your future days serve to deepen your love.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is one if the most meaningful comments I’ve ever had, Paul. Thank You so very much. I got halfway through reading it and stopped so I could read it together with Alica. That means lot, my friend. And it means a lot to be able to share with you what we are so thankful for.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Paul, so sorry to hear about your horrible week. I know what you mean about repeating over and over again – the banks here outsourced their customer service to countries like Philippines and India. Thank you for sharing your not-so-happy story. Take care, Paul! Hugz, ʕ ⊃・ ◡ ・ ʔ⊃ Good to see you again, Ellli! (pat! pat!) ヘ(= ̄∇ ̄)ノ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey NBC! Awesome to have you drop by for a read and comment. Loved your post the other day on Hell – Bwahaha! I’ve been telling everyone and showing them your post. ha! Yeah that business of saving money by having customer service agents who do not communicate clearly in the language of the customers is ludicrous. I’m not a nationalist – let business seek out the most cost effective way to operate – but for heaven’s sake, make sure the customer is served.

      i’ll be fine NBC – just wrting the above rant helped immensely. Thanks again for coming for a visit. Please drop by again. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so very much for dropping by Beth – glad you are back home safe and sound – your posts on Ireland were very memorable. My grandfather on my Dad’s side immigrated from County Cork. I’ll be fine after a bit – the rant definitely helped the healing process. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  16. “Wallowing in the misery” as old farm folks would say. When the misery is a real healthy ouchie instead of a wimpy imaginary one, a person has every right to wail a bit – besides that recognition whether writing, moaning or weeping does actually cause the body to release chemicals that helps you feel better…most of the time, anyway. Glad you’ve find a strategy for dealing with crummy situation. certainly looks like a painful balloon arm event. Hard to sleep or relax with that I imagine.
    You did have a difficult experience with Amazon which apparently is like magazine subscription companies – they offer a “free” trial period then if you don’t notify them to stop it, the pounce with big costs/automatic renewals and it’s next to impossible to untangle yourself from them. Prime is always offering free membersips and “special Black Friday” type deals to lure people in – even the news media here were warning people that you’d have to disengage ASAP or face yearly fees. Apparently lots of people get snagged. Not a good sales technique to me.
    I do love Amazon Prime, though – keeps me from having to use time and gas in traffic and head into the big city, or risk the big suburban malls (don’t get me started on the hazards of all kinds with that), and delivers heavy stuff like dog food bags so I don’t have to lift it in and out of my car. Gets all my Christmas shopping done quickly and saves money so the fee is OK. Amazon works for us. But everyone’s situation is not the same. You did have a terrible time.
    Do not get me started on banks. (Scowlie face) A total nightmare – everyone involved that you talk with is so disconnection and sees no sense of urgency if fraud is involved (which means automatic payments aren’t getting paid)…and you are passed from person to person and have to constantly what you just told the last person – and then they ask you questions that if they had been listening they would know the answer. They all have scripts. They get confused if you they get off scripts and that sequence. And as you say, then finally you are done and they want to sell you stuff. I want to go back to a local state bank where you walk in and people know you and you know them from seeing them in the community…and where they don’t charge you money for keeping your money or writing checks and taking money out of the bank. Yesterday’s notice listing their new fees are making me more than scowlie face.
    Gee, Paul, You brought up enough topics to let everyone wallow in the misery a bit. Feeling much better now – hope you are too ( and thanks for the link – there’s some issue with me getting blog notices – have for the 3rd time subscribed to Mark’s blog, so we’ll see)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for dropping by, especially since Word Press is doing its best to prevent it. Ha! I don’t usually wallow but every now and then I feel the urge. You know I hadn’t considered the positive impact a membership would have for someone like yourself with regular purchases from distant shops (time wise) or of heavy items. $99 would pay for itself pretty quickly wouldn’t it? I was thinking of book and such deliveries a few times a year. I just despise their tactics As you can see from above, they have done this to everyone who tries their Prime – and that is a pile of smart people, none of whom caught the fine print? Not likely – I’m sure the fine print is either ambiguous or not there – poor business practices. Think about it – if they do this to 10 million customers and 10% keep the charge because they feel guilty or whatever, that’s $100 million dollars of fees that are not balanced by value added deliveries. Nice little chunk of change for a bit of deceitfulness.

      By the way, I prefer to call my rant “lamenting”, a time honored and documented practice designed to make the Supreme Being feel bad for you – Bwahaha! – either that or philosophermouseofthehedge. To demonstrate just how well this works on a Supreme Being, I ended up scheduled for a totally unrelated procedure on the same arm today, and now my swollen abused arm includes a row of stitches right across the hematoma. ha! That was really fun – see how positive I am now that I’m all lamented out?

      Thanks so much for the read and the great comment Phil. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, Paul, that “lament” is a good choice. It elevates the feeling to an fine art – and who can complain about fine art? HA HA. (I used to get so mad at old people for that wallowing remark. )
        Really sorry you got caught in that “free trial” That’s a big news story on the local TV consumer segments here everytime they have one of those “Black Friday” events ( where I really did save a chunk of money on certain items I was watching – I never pay full price for anything. And the free 2 day deliveries are a plus and save money). We live on a tight budget and having spent time in marketing and big companies (which are not benign and are as sneaky as possible), we do tend to run from them as fast as possible. So many businesses are confrontational experiences now and they all collect and sell data as a sideline, too. Life is unnecessarily complicated. I’ll do without rather than play the game.
        Now stitches? What? they wouldn’t give you a row of cute cartoon bandaids? I guess they want it mess to heal neatly and maybe you’ll just forget the whole thing, right? Sending soothing energy to make sure the darn thing heal – and without all the stictches itches, too, please! Take care and get a bit of sun to help that healing. (Those old people would advise that HA HA)

        Liked by 1 person

  17. The only appropriate response seems $#@%!! Curse Amazon and hematomas. I had my first and largest one in 1990. I was getting a blood test and then I had to go straight to Subway afterward to make sandwiches. I noticed the purple blue color moving down my forearm until it was nearly a footlong itself. It made my arm stiff, and it was hard to cut subs in half the rest of the night. Of course, yours looks TERRIBLY painful. How will you not be worried next time that it will happen again? Sorry for your crappy weekend, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Kerbey! thanks so much for dropping by for a read and comment. that must have been painful getting a leaky vessel like that in your arm. Yikes! And it takes a long time for things to get back to normal – weeks at least. One thing they do in dialysis is put ice packs on it right away. That slows or stops the progression and really speeds up the healing time.

      I do worry that it will happen again so I’ll make sure we keep the speed low if the pressures are fluctuating. But even so I flinch every time that happens.Unfortunately it comes with the territory. 😀

      Thanks so much for the visit Kerbey. Please come by again.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I also tried out Amazon prime for free, but I got hooked when I was able to find things that I spent hours looking for at stores, and have them delivered to my home – and a lot of the time, what I need is cheaper there, so I’m pretty sure my Prime membership pays for itself.
    Maybe it could have been the same with the upsell of the bank service (which I also say no to) – there are some services that actually make things cheaper for you, but you have to be able to afford them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey X! Great to have you drop by for a read and comment. No doubt for some the Prime fee is a money saver – as you say, you have to have the money first I’m sure the service is worth kit, I just ate their tactics in hiding subscription fees. They have my e-mail, the very least they can do is autosend a warning to customers before removing money from their account. They certainly send enough e-mails when you have a shipment in progress. Their silence on the money end adds to the stink of deceit.

      Thanks again for the visit – I haven’t seen a post from you for a while – we miss your wit and cynicism.

      Like

      • I’m pretty sure that when you sign up for free trial, there was probably a few pages of fine print in terms and conditions you had to agree, explaining that Amazon will not notify you and charge you unless you make a cancellation exactly at sunrise of a fifth Wednesday of the month of February.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are quite possibly right X but I sure didn’t see any terms or conditions and I’m getting comments from people all over the world that had the exact same thing happen. In fact when I was making arrangements to make up the loan payment, the bank representative interjected: “Hey, exactly the same thing happened to my husband! Was he ever mad.” I’m anal about reading fine print and some of the others it happened to are doctors, lawyers and generally smart people, none of whom saw any terms either. It’s not enough money for anyone to take legal action, and Amazon returns the money if asked, so it will never end up in court but the standard litmus test is if a reasonable person with average education would be aware of the charges with the information supplied on the website. I think the clear answer to that is “No”. if you think about the numbers,you see the gain. Say Amazon has 10 million users and 10% activate the Prime membership fee with out intending to do so. If even 10% of those just accept the charges because they think they made a mistake or can’t be bothered to inquire , then that is $10 million revenue with little or no associated costs. Nice chunk of change.

        Like I said in another comment, Amazon sees fit to send an endless stream of e-mails when an order is in progress and yet they are strangely silent when they take money from your bank account The total lack of even an automated heads-up before money is removed, surely makes the whole subject have a bad smell -i.e. they are doing this deliberately to gain revenue and do not want any warnings or questions before the occurrence.

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  19. That just sucks, Paul. And you have every right to rant about it. I have a Prime subscription,that pays for itself (like X). But I am sick of everybody sticking their hands in my pockets. When I contact my doctor, who works out of a major medical center, they publicize their wares. “We have the best pancreatic treatment center …” Jeez. That’s not exactly impulse buying!

    Keep us posted on whether you get this sorted out. We’re all pulling for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the empathy and comment Elyse. Oh, I’ll get it worked out – I’ve done the dealings with banks as a company owner and as the manager of others’ companies for years before I retired. I’ll get it worked out. Bwahaha! Do it long enough and you get the opportunity to stick it to them occasionally. ha! I once borrowed $100,00 as a business loan and the following year I got a panicked call from my bank contact to please come in immediately – it was urgent. Turned out they had given me the money and had forgotten to get me to sign the actual loan agreement (it was in conjunction with a small business incentive sponsored by the gov’t so there was oddles of paperwork and we didn’t notice one document went unsigned – ha!) I made him sweat before i went to his office- asking him if I really had to repay the loan if there was no record of my getting it. ha!

      Thanks again for the visit Elyse – always such a treat. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Gah! What a week! I hope the next one’s kinder, and am glad for your being fine talking about this week being not-kind. We do horrible things to ourselves and others, I think, when we try to force everything into being something that it’s not (alllways happy all the time yaaaaaaaaay).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Deborah! Awesome that you came by to visit. I am honored. It is so unreal and untruthful to be happy all the time. I think we would all be better off if we were more honest with ourselves and others. After all how do you affect a behavior change or correction unless you admit when you are not happy with the present situation? Thanks again for dropping by – i knwo you are super busy with the L’ilers and work and commuting, etc. I appreciate the time you took to read and comment.Thank You

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for dropping by for a visit Linda. I am honored.Yeah, it was a hum-dinger. In fact it got worse. I had had an outpatient procedure scheduled from weeks ago for that same arm. I thought I could convince them to do it later but to no avail.I was in the table for 2 hrs Monday and now have a row of stitches across the hematoma. Oh Yum.

      Bank wise though we are making headway. The loan dept finally got my file this morning and I explained what had happened. The loan lady exclaimed:” They did exactly the same thing to my husband! Was he ever mad. He called them and gave them a blast and they put the money right back.” Ha! She put me on hold for a minute and when she came back she told me the NSF charge was reversed and the money was back in my account. I will make up the payment by doubling up at the end of the month. She was fine with that and it will not affect my credit rating.

      Anyway, thanks so much for dropping by – it is a pleasure to have you here. Take care and have a great week. 🙂

      Like

  21. An intriguing perspective.
    I think I kinda get what you are trying to say, though not sure really.
    Pointless hiding how we feel, but equally pointless holding on to crap feelings longer than we have too?
    I mean – you always give me some perspective on what your approach would be in certain situations to do with our sense of how we may feel on certain things that occur to us, or simply – just feelings we have that occur for no apparent reason…so I feel obliged here –
    Bad week, good week. What is the difference?
    It is just stuff happening around us right?
    Sometimes dealing with it is tiring and annoying – for sure – but surely, our mood, peace of mind, or even happiness, should not be dictated by the trivialities of the life that surrounds us? Hard for sure… but having that goal is cool and when you do get it right to not let the shit around you mess your peace of mind and – it feels quite relieving. (I fail most often but at times I do get it right as I am certain so do you!)

    I guess one persons meadow is anothers forest perhaps too?

    On the other hand – it is great to know how to stand up and say what you expect and need from others, and sometimes – if we are not true to our displeasure with something (well not sometimes – pretty often, unless we are being persnickety! 😉 ) we are doing those we are displeased with who may have caused the situation to arise a disservice, through the simple fact that they will be none the wiser that their actions have created a problem and therefore will have no incentive to alter the behaviour or action – or as with Amazon (yup they got me too! 😛 ) their policy.
    Perhaps we should start a petition to Amazon to stop that shit? 😀

    Here’s to a more peaceful and less trying time for you to follow your ordeal. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! I wanted to put the picture of the noodles in somewhere because every time I see them I remember that great rant – ha! That one was just for me – releasing the anger at the unprofessional mess left by whoever loaded the truck. And I think it goes well with the poem – please Lord, keep me away from noodles and the noodle heads who load them.. Bwahaha!

        Like

    • Intriguing comment Belinda. Well said and a good question – should we allow that which happens to us affect our perspective? I would have said you were right 20 years ago, but now I am not so sure. First of all, there is the obvious emotional reaction – it feels good to rant. For me it clears the air and afterwards feels like a summer shower has passed leaving a clean and nourished feeling. There are times when we rant and hold onto the bad feelings, not gaining anything from the rant, but that is not the case here. Second, good historical precedents – for instance the Bible calls it “lamenting” and it appears to have been socially acceptable 2,000 years ago and also, according to the writers of the Bible, acceptable by God. Both older and newer literature contains rant-like episodes. I once saw an interview of the Dalai Lama and the interviewer asked him how it was that he never got angry. His response was interesting, he said that he got just as angry as often as everyone else, except he stopped himself and dealt with it before he spoke.

      I was known by others at work as being unflappable, and when I got angry I stayed very focused on the reason and the outcome – using the anger to find a solution. Ha! In an odd twist of fate, I was laid off as a boss at a large warehouse and then while was doing part time work, I found myself delivering to that same warehouse. It was a very hard dock to back into with just inches clearance and I got it first shot. When I jumped onto the dock, the supervisor had a big grin and said he should have known it was me – he knew who I was working for and knew the delivery, just not who was doing it. He shook my hand and we got set up to unload. I had a full trailer load of Ramen dehydrated noodles and there were hundreds of little cases on each pallet. They had loaded them without wrapping and they were all over the place. I was upset and muttering when the supervisor came by and told me to just get really upset and have a good rant. I did that, perhaps for the first time deliberately in my life, and I gotta tell you it felt great. Made the unloading go much better. That supervisor and I had had a confrontational history as he would get angry easily and he would upset my drivers and we would have it out. For the first time I understood where he was coming from. It was cathartic.

      To be honest Belinda I am cool-headed mostly because the problems are not important enough to me to be bothered getting angry or ranting. Looking back on the posts that I have written I see a theme – I am often honestly writing about what it is like to live the life I am living now (handicapped and on disability). 20 years ago Amazon’s charge would have meant nothing to me – I would have not even disputed it. Today, it causes havoc in my life. As it does for all those in my position and this is not recognized by those who screw with my bank account without warning. Because it means so little to those doing it, they assume it is the same for their customers and that is blatantly false. With this rant, I am standing here jumping up and down and hollering: “You bastards just screwed me – pay attention!”

      So, should we allow ourselves to rant? The answer for me is in not only the reason for the rant but also the intended outcome. Personally, I think there is still room for a good rant in our world – perhaps not as many do rant, but still a reason.

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      • So I guess then it is simy relative. 🙂 If it is worth ranting and it may bring a positive outcome… go for it. If it is just ranting for the sake of whining all the time, with no direction to it, ie like the complaining Israelites in the desert… then perhaps a rethink about attitude. Makes sense. 🙂
        Thanks Paul!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I wasn’t done! Bloody smartphone.

      Jeff Bezos is satan. He destroyed independent bookshops. Hell, he destroyed books! I hear paper and ink is making a comeback but I think Bezos will be around for a long time, like a plague. That guy is a pickpocket.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Mark! Great to have you drop by for a read. Thank you. Yeah, Amazon has become a giant tank crushing everything in its path with no thought. It is such an underhanded move to slam users into membership without notification. To me it is the mark of a sleazy poorly run operation. Money received should be for services rendered, – not taken behind customers backs in hope they won’t object. Totally lacking in integrity.

        All this makes a good rant – and I enjoyed it – but none of it is life changing. I’ll be back to normal, right as rain, before long. Truly life-changing occurrences shouldn’t be ranted. But those who perpetuate the little games (like taking money without notification) should be outted and helped to understand their games hurt people. The bastards. These things I can help change with a good rant. Just in the short course of this experience I have found at least 20 people from all over the world who had exactly the same thing done. Personally I prefer not to do business with such careless and duplicitous companies. When i wrote this I was hesitant as it made me look stupid – not being aware of the charges. By now though, I have come to realize this is being done to everyone.

        Thanks again for the visit Mark. Hey, I miss your posts, when will you be back at it?

        Like

  22. Lovely post, Paul. I’m sorry things sucked up the joint, and your arm looks like it might be just a trifle painful, but I’m glad you’re starting to feel happy again. You know what the worst part about being funny is? People laugh at you when you want to be pissed off. I’ve had to tell my husband on numerous occasions “No, I’m really mad. Go get your blankie and hit the couch”. They’re just never sure…

    Liked by 1 person

    • NTT! Awesome to see you again. I was afeered for a bit that you might abandon us. Thanks so much for dropping by. I am honored. You are right – one of the drawbacks of being funny is that people assume you are being funny. Anyway, I am back in fighting form again and ready to rock. I hope thimgs have settled for you a bit and you can come out to play more often. We miss you.

      Like

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