Wednesday, September 19, 2012
OK, it was totally my fault I left my iPad on the plane when we arrived in Paris. I was stressed and jet lagged and stressed...and I just forgot I had put it in the seat back. My fault.
As soon as I realized what I had done some several hours later in the hotel I tried calling the travel agency...zero help, it is after hours on a Sunday and no one answers the phone at the after hours number. I leave a message (and 2.5 weeks later no one has returned my call!), and try again in a few hours, get a real person and she gives me an e-mail address for Air France. I shoot them off an e-mail and pass out from the jet lag.
Next day is Monday and I have a lovely automated e-mail from Air France saying they'll look into it, if you don't hear from us in 8 days we couldn't find it.
OK, an automated e-mail? Really? Why am I not feeling comfortable with this?
Monday afternoon, after perusing the Air France website, I send a message to Contact Us asking who to call for items left on the plane. Their response was to send the e-mail I had already sent.
No response by Saturday morning so since I had to go back to the airport to return the rental van I figured I'd stop by Customer Service and try to move things along in person. Finally got to the baggage department after being passed around (and to be fair these people were helpful in telling me what they could and couldn't answer and pointing me in the next right direction). Baggage claim guy says nope, absolutely can't help you, have to send the e-mail. I told him I already did on Sunday, it is now Saturday and there is no response. Baggage guy says sorry, can't help, send the e-mail; no, sorry, there is no phone number for the Left Items warehouse, no sorry, you can't talk to anyone else, you have to send the e-mail only.
And - of course - the requisite 8 days have more then passed and would you believe I never received a response?
I know, hard to believe that anyone is really doing anything to find it when all you get is an automated response telling you don't call us, we'll call you. So I sent them another e-mail...which came back undeliverable. Amazing. Do they have me blocked I wonder? Nope, on Monday this week I sent a brand new one instead of a response and it went through...and returned the same automated lie.
I tried calling the travel agency, thinking they talk to the airlines all the time, they should have a number of someone somewhere I could talk to. Nope, so sorry, you have to send the e-mail.
I've tried calling Air France in Detroit and in Paris...sorry, can't help, send the e-mail. I asked a French colleague to do the same figuring maybe it's b/c I'm an American & don't speak French...sorry, send the e-mail.
I know that no one has even tried using the iPad because it has been offline this entire time. Which tells me it is just sitting somewhere. And no one at Air France is looking for it. Or at least that has to be my assumption because I have absolutely zero response from them.
Take note Air France...automated messages that say if you don't hear from us we didn't find it are NOT A RESPONSE! And do NOT inspire any confidence that anyone is actually doing anything ESPECIALLY when you refuse to actually let customers talk to you.
What are you afraid of that you can't publish a Contact Us phone number? Hiding something like a pack of thieves taking advantage of your customers' forgetfulness?
NOT feeling in a very generous or understanding mood today.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Better late than never!
1) Maintain my weight at +5 / -14 pounds
I’ve been maintaining at about +6-10 lbs from goal weight…which is OK. My “real” goal weight was 140 anyway, not the 134 on my original ticker…I just thought a 70 lb loss goal sounded a bit better than a 64 lb goal. Staying between 140-145 is fine with me because it was my original intention anyway. Although I think I’ve started getting down closer to the stated maintenance range in the 130s lately based on the way my clothes are fitting. I won’t have my scale until the very end of the month so I’ll have to wait and see how September goes. I know I’m not gaining, so I’m not worrying overmuch about this goal.
3) Do some sort of housecleaning or maintenance daily.
5) Finalize my budget by the end of Jan and stick to it to pay off at least 3 loans by Dec.
Debt #s 4 & 5 paid off! 2 more budgeted to be paid off this year and that will be the last of the odds & ends bills. 2013 will see the larger ones start getting paid down.
6) Ready to test for black belt by end of June:
6c) Make terminology flashcards by end of February; review weekly until testing
Did a crash study over the 48 hours before testing, but passed!
6d) Assist in 4 classes per month (20 total required)
Was ahead of schedule until the very last required session, which I ended up finishing the week before testing
6e) Learn and master sais kata
Need to upload the video to YouTube
6f) Keep running so as to maintain ability to run 2 miles in 18 minutes
Kept running but missed the timing...and then found out at testing that the run is handicapped for age and b/c of taking place after several hours of strenuous physical testings...ended up doing the run at testing in 21 minutes exactly
6g) Be able to do 55 pushups in May; 60 in June
Knocked those out at testing in not much over a minute!
7) Goal revamped – finish mailbox / light switches / outlets / floors / doors / ceiling fans / curtains before I move, timing TBD
Curtains did not get done, but there are the existing blinds on all the windows. I had planned on these for purely esthetic reasons. My Dad came up in August & finished the doors, floors, and trim/moldings; I had a handyman put up the ceiling fans, and all the switches & outlets are done (except for the outlet I found inside the bookcase as I was packing).
9) Other goals as they occur to me.
I’m sure I had them but I just can’t think what they were. I moved!
10) Have fun and stress less!
August was very stressful with testing, packing & moving
11) NEW GOAL - weekly pushup challenge
2) Become a half fanatic by the end of August
4) Break my dependence on Splenda
6b) Ni kyoso suro no kata approved in February; Bassai kata approved in March
8) Postponed to 2013 - Run my first marathon by October 21
My priority is black belt testing; I will aim for the Paris marathon in April 2013.
Friday, September 07, 2012
I am a very goal oriented person (sharing mind space with a world class procrastinator which creates some interesting discussions with myself!).
Now that I've earned my black belt I want a new major goal to work for. I don't need it now, but I know myself and without something further off to work towards I will slowly backslide into old habits, negating my work the past 18 months.
So I am going to run a marathon. I had intended this to be a 2012 goal, to run the Detroit Free Press Marathon in October, the day after my birthday. But because black belt training was delayed a month and then the job transfer and move the best decision was to postpone this goal.
As soon as registration opens I will register for the Paris marathon on April 7, 2013. Which means I need to start training now. And I have barely run any miles the last month, and nothing in the last 1.5 weeks. This weekend is supposed to be nice and sunny and I bought new shoes last week before we left the US. So no excuses, I will start running again this weekend. There are miles (sorry, kilometers!) of bike/walking trails here in Compiegne and I have yet to explore my new village (although there are hills so I'm not too keen on getting right into exploration, I'm not too fond of hills).
In moving news, we are getting settled into the house. We spent Sunday night in the hotel and on Monday I bought 2 air mattresses and some pillows & blankets so we have been living in the house all week. We have no refrigerator yet, I will try to buy one today. I tried to order it online yesterday since I can read French better than speak or understand but the website insists that my address does not exist. So I will have to go to the store. Coworkers have offered to help but I want to try to do as much on my own as I can so I don't over-burden them with having to take care of me too. But I now have a coffee maker at least, a Tassimo. It is OK, but honestly I'm not impressed. There is hardly any variety in the available drinks, coffee and otherwise; I also looked at the Senseo which has the same problem. I really miss my Keurig!
Jacq was supposed to start school on Tuesday, and actually did go to take a test or her level of French (almost non-existent). But even before she took the test we were told she is to stay home this week and come back on the 11th. I'm not sure why, the teacher did not speak much English and I do not speak much French. So I'll take her back Tuesday. In the meantime she has been stuck in the house alone all day with no phone, no TV, no internet. I have to take the van back to Paris tomorrow morning so I'll take her with me to shop & buy some school clothes.
Next weekend I will be able to start the major shopping for the items that were not left in the house (much different than from the US) - washing machine, dryer and light fixtures (the appliances I can understand but the light fixtures threw me for a loop. I am very fortunate that the cupboards, stove, oven & microwave were all left by the owners which would not have been the case in several of the houses I had looked at). And then the items I need to buy - TV, towels, cleaning supplies, lamps, dining table & chairs, plates & dishes & glasses & silverware, and just the little things to add some personality to the house. I have to be careful to remember, though, not to go overboard since I am only renting and can't do any changes without permission - and I don't want to spend a lot of money on anything I won't be able to take with me when I leave. The shipment with our possessions should arrive by the end of the month, or early October, so we will have our furniture and everything else.
Monday, September 03, 2012
We arrived in France yesterday, 9/2. Got the house keys & deposited the cats and spent the night in a hotel since we don't have beds or furniture for a month yet (when my shipment arrives).
Today we'll go get air mattresses and some basic essentials so we can start living in the house - I can't face the thought of living in a hotel for a month and having to eat out at every meal and take the dog out on a leash all the time.
The school has not yet confirmed my daughter is registered - and she is supposed to start tomorrow! So I need to get that taken care of too. And by Friday we have to apply for our residence permits, we have to do that in 1 week from arrival in the country.
The actual moving & leaving had some small snafus but nothing major. After all the vet visits and expenses and back & forth to get their documents in order...no one ever asked to even look at the paperwork! But I'm sure if I had not had it ready they would have demanded it. The car rental company in Paris tried to give me a car about the size of a Taurus station wagon...when I had reserved a "full size" van (about the size of a Town & Country mini van in the US) AND confirmed it last week. There was no way we would be able to fit everything in a car. National tried to tell me that the car was all they had available and after some "discussion" finally gave me the van.
But we are here, including all the pets, and not too much worse for the experience. Except for my iPad, still no real response from Air France, just the automated "we'll look into it, don't call us, we'll call you" response.
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