Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Yesterday was an interesting day, and definitely a character building day. It was a day when the rooster in me was pushed out of its coop, and it "cocoricoed". The zen knitter, however did not quite make it. It all started when I got up to find the coffee machine had once again backed up. Now this would be OK, if it was not the second coffee machine I had had to buy in three months. The first one turned out to be a mission impossible, and auto-destructed. The second one, and mind you not the same brand just backs up all over the counter on a regular basis. I think I may be switching to tea. I have great trust in the old tea pot!

After cleaning the coffee disaster, I turned to the other counter to find a note by Rolfe telling me that the new printer I purchased only the day before was missing its USB cable. I called the people at the store and told them. I also told them that since I did not want to return the printer, but only wanted a USB cable, could I just stop by with my receipt, instead of having to haul that 3 ton box all the way back. The charming attendant's answer was a question. "Was it an open box?" Well, it must have been opened at one point, but there was a large quantity of tape, and stickers saying it had been inspected by the store staff. Her answer, was that it was obviously their mistake, and I would have to bring the whole thing back, and be sure to have the receipt, or they would not be able to help, because I guess, how could they know that the box covered with their ugly labels, and with computerized labels, had indeed come from their store!!!! I just don't get the system here. It is a system where it is obviously their mistake, and I have to go through all the extra trouble to correct it!

The sun was shining outside, and it was a comfy 60 degrees, so I decided to let it all go. I would just go by another USB cable, and not worry about the whole thing. So the kids and I went to get a cable, we walked along the park, looked at the beautiful geese, threw sticks in the river, had a burger, and then decided it was time to go home. That is when all hell broke loose. In our local transportation system, children under the age of 11 ride free with an adult carrying a monthly pass. So as I always do, I lined up the kids ahead of me, put my pass in, the gates opened, and then I heard a screaming voice "COME BACK, YOU COME BACK RIGHT NOW". I turned, and at my surprise, the lady in uniform was "addressing" me. She told me, I had to buy another ticket, as only two of the kids could ride free. I told her this was not what I had been told. She yelled even louder that I had to come back, and buy another ticket. I gathered the kids, and walked back through the machines. I tried to tell her again that I was told differently, and that the three children could ride free if I had a pass. I say tried because she kept insisting I had to buy another ticket, and would not listen. I then asked her to show me the written fare schedules. The yelled answer was "I DON'T HAVE TO SHOW YOU NOTHING, YOU DO WHAT I TELL YOU!" I put the grammarian in me aside, and told her I was quite willing to purchase the extra ticket, my credit card in hand, but could she show me the fare schedule. I don't really remember what her exact words were after that, I just remember being cornered between her and the ticket machines, and her screaming angry voice echoing throughout the station. So I joined in, it was the only way I could put a word in and tell her that she could not yell at a customer like that. She finally walked away, I bought the ticket, because I am honest. When I tried to go through the gates again, this time my ticket did not work, because it stops working if inserted in the machine more than once in a certain amount of time. She royally ignored the problem, and truly I was not about to ask her for help. I dragged the kids, who at that point were all in tears, and we walked to the next station. I did call the public transportation customer service, confirmed that children ride free with an adult carrying a pass, advised them to post their fare schedules visibly around, and make sure their employees are aware of them. Needless to say I was very upset about the whole thing.

Now that I think about it, it is kind of funny, and in some ways so predictable. I should have remembered that there is no point trying to convince a person who thinks that because they wear a badge they know everything. When she started yelling I should have just dialed the customer service number, and started knitting my socks while I was on hold, gotten the answer, and then have had the customer service representative repeat the correct fare info to her. That is what the perfect zen knitter would have done! Knitting socks, is the answer to all problems!

I spent the rest of the day knitting. Rolfe's socks in the Claudia Argyle colorway are now finished. They are nice, even if I was a little frustrated by the differences between the hanks of the same dye lot. I know that hand-dyed yarns are unique, but having each sock, and in my case each leg, and each toe uniquely different might be pushing it a little! I asked Rolfe if he would mind beeing the man with the sock of a different color, but he reassured me, and said he would love them, and that if anyone noticed, they would be looking at his socks way too closely. That reconciled me with the socks, and I now look at them as artistic variations on a theme!

I cast on the stitches for Paul-Hugo's socks using the lovely Jojoland Melody in the blue colorway (the one that matches the new colors in the kitchen!)
I will not have that much time to knit today as it is now the dining room/living room's turn to be painted. The two rooms are almost as big as my whole California house! There goes another week...


Anonymous said...

I so do miss our chat's Caroline! This story even with a frustrating day for you all speaks of your character and humor. I enjoyed it.

CDH said...

Dear Kathleen,

It is so nice to hear from you. I do miss our chats too. Today was a much better day. Tomorrow, we will see as my parents' furniture is arriving, and I am helping with the receiving, snow permitting of course! Hugs to you and your family.


Anonymous said...

my mom misses you