Phil stayed home today, because a Metro Mobility screw-up only allowed him an hour of his three and a half hour dialysis run. He’d been feeling run-down the last couple of days, but had a conference and workshop to attend. When finished with breakfast, we both went to sleep, and I wish I’d woken up tomorrow.
I got lunch for myself while Phil slept some more on the couch. before I woke up, he’d been sitting outside on the deck for an hour or so and had the boys with him. I didn’t know that, so I let them out. Garron loves the back yard anyway, and Zane will do anything for a couple of kibble.
After some work on the computer, I decided I was going to get serious about doing a couple of sets of minutes which had been put off for way too long. I showered, and Zane and I went out on the porch. First, I quickly discovered one of the files was wrong. That meant coming back in and downloading the right one to my card. While on the porch, I discovered that having the note taker on my lap wasn’t comfy. Phil suggested getting a tray table from downstairs, which I thought was a brilliant idea until I tried to put it together and adjust it to the right height. I got it together, but sometimes even the best verbal direction isn’t good enough for this mechanically uninclined woman. Now the sun was warming the porch and there was a nice breeze. Phil went to take a shower, and my note taker braille display started flipping back and forth between “auto keyboard updating and “failed”. I tried every conceivable kind of reset I knew and quickly took it inside to plug it in. When it still wasn’t working after 20 minutes, I called the company tech support. I thought I recognized the voice on the other end of the phone, but was so upset I really didn’t care who it was as long as I got help. This woman suggested all the things I’d tried. She said she’d need to escalate it to a higher level of tech support and offered me a ticket number. Again, I was upset, so I asked her if it could be sent in an e-mail, since I had no working note taker. She said I’d hear something tomorrow or the next day, I hung up, and I cried so hard for the next 15 minutes that my eyes were still very red an hour later when my reader showed up. If I had to send the unit in, it would be the third one in a month. My first was exhibiting the same behavior even plugged in. The second had a Braille cell with two dots which were not coming up independently. And now this! I called one of my best girlfriends who had talked me down from feeling awful just yesterday about something else. Then Phil came out, and I repeated the story. I went in and checked on the unit several times throughout the evening, and this last time, it started working properly again. So I’ll talk to the second tech support person tomorrow, and we’ll see if it gets to be sent back to the company.
But wait. There’s more! The woman I talked to on the phone turned out to be someone I didn’t know well but highly respected. The subject line of her e-mail was “can you send the following e-mail?”. After informing me of the ticket number, she thanked her colleague for forwarding the message. Then it said, “If she knows its me she might use my e-mail address in the future. Shes a little strange.
” I was more than a little shocked and hurt, although I guess I’m glad to know how she really feels about me. Her colleague probably should have cut and pasted the e-mail leaving the unprofessional, editorial comments out, but what’s done is done.
I’m no stranger to writing things in e-mail and on Twitter which have come back to bite me in the rear. Just a couple weeks ago, I flippantly asked a guy who works at an Apple Store about when the new IPhones would come out. I wasn’t thinking of the consequences, but his friends really jumped down my throat saying his answering something like that would get him fired. I’ve called someone late at night when I had an emergency, and that didn’t go over very well either, so ironically, I am pretty sensitive to *not using personal contact info for any professional purpose. I wrote her with my word that I wouldn’t do that, and I told her that the comment about me being strange felt insulting. I hope she’s embarrassed, because she should be.
I’ve actually respected people who weren’t afraid to be who they were and who have been called strange. In another irony, my parents raised me to be as “normal” as possible. They didn’t want anyone thinking of me as strange. I can’t help but feel a little paranoid about if others think I’m strange. I guess if they do, there’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s probably one of the last words I’d want used to describe me. So the jokes are now centered around the Doors’ song “People are Strange”. When Phil couldn’t find something I didn’t realize I had moved, I said that was strange. I caught myself and said that it shouldn’t surprise me since I am strange.
Rebecca Kragnes and Zane (Black Labrador and Seeing Eye Dog)