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Peace... and the $100 limit
Old 09-06-2014, 10:01 AM   #1
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Peace... and the $100 limit

With so much time on my hands, and because I feel relatively tuned in to the frustrations of living in a time where (for many reasons) incompetency is on the rise, I tend to see, and be irritated by Things that shouldn't happen.
Ignorance, training inadequacies, misplaced priorities, rudeness, insensitvity, arrogance, disrespect, stubborness, laziness, lack of work ethic, incommunictive and list that can go on forever...
Most eventually lead to some part of a disagreement... and, often to a monetary dispute, as with contracts, failure to perform, billing errors, intransigent large companies with legal firms as big as the company itself... and everyday money disputes.

My sense of moral outrage, over many years, has led to allowing these things to occupy my mind... with plots to "get back at", a twisting and turning... angst that puts a pall on the happier parts of life.

The solution has evolved to a new philosophy. While I will not be a "pushover" and easily accept the "Wrongs"... the new approach is the $100 limit. So if the insult or cost of those irritations is under the $100 value... value = the dollar value or the equivalent in personal hurt... then:

... they get put in a place in the back of the brain that acts as a recycle bin... There, but not a part of my mental desktop.

My DW likes the new me... turned from a fighter, to a lover.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:26 AM   #2
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Somewhat related to the topic. We've had several articles in local paper about the availability of good paying jobs but lack of trained and qualified people. OK, I was assuming that meant skills like welding, computer aided manufacturing, aircraft tech, etc. This area has suffered huge manufacturing losses over last 10-20 years.

OK, then I read more and the gist of the article gets into what people do not have. It focused on "soft skills" as in problem solving, communications, and work ethic. As in, people needed to be trained to want a job and keep it, how to show up on time to keep it, and to just get along with customers and co-workers. Really? That's a pretty sad discovery if our unemployment problems are because people just don't know how to keep a job or get along with people. Probably feeds into your issues with poor service Imoldernu!
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
With so much time on my hands, and because I feel relatively tuned in to the frustrations of living in a time where (for many reasons) incompetency is on the rise, I tend to see, and be irritated by Things that shouldn't happen.
Ignorance, training inadequacies, misplaced priorities, rudeness, insensitvity, arrogance, disrespect, stubborness, laziness, lack of work ethic, incommunictive and list that can go on forever...
Most eventually lead to some part of a disagreement... and, often to a monetary dispute, as with contracts, failure to perform, billing errors, intransigent large companies with legal firms as big as the company itself... and everyday money disputes.

My sense of moral outrage, over many years, has led to allowing these things to occupy my mind... with plots to "get back at", a twisting and turning... angst that puts a pall on the happier parts of life.

The solution has evolved to a new philosophy. While I will not be a "pushover" and easily accept the "Wrongs"... the new approach is the $100 limit. So if the insult or cost of those irritations is under the $100 value... value = the dollar value or the equivalent in personal hurt... then:

... they get put in a place in the back of the brain that acts as a recycle bin... There, but not a part of my mental desktop.

My DW likes the new me... turned from a fighter, to a lover.
I think you just got me as a convert to the $100 rule. I consider my time is worth $50/hr if I were to return to work, but the main reason I left work, is because our time here is limited . Period !

Example; I ordered some boat trailer parts from the " Internet Dept" of a small but old brick and mortar company. Half the order arrived promptly, and the other half did not. In fact, the part was way too big to even fit in the box.

After two calls, I finally got to the person who handles the "Internet Dept" pointed out the shipping weight on the ups records , He agreed, they must have missed it somehow, said it is in stock, would ship it out today. That was 2 weeks ago.

The place is 30 miles away, I could drive over or call and raise a stink. Not worth my time.

I will however dispute the charge and shipping cost. Takes maybe 10 minutes with the cc company. I will not spend any more time than that on a $40 dispute.

Who knows, the vendor might even even call back. Not going to hold my breath, and if the cc company does not charge back and refund, I will let it go.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:20 AM   #4
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"Ignorance, training inadequacies, misplaced priorities, rudeness, insensitvity, arrogance, disrespect, stubborness, laziness, lack of work ethic, incommunictive and list that can go on forever...
Most eventually lead to some part of a disagreement... and, often to a monetary dispute, as with contracts, failure to perform, billing errors, intransigent large companies with legal firms as big as the company itself... and everyday money disputes. "


Sound like normal business practices of a growing number of firms in the U.S these days.

Get used to it , it will only get worse.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:57 AM   #5
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The solution has evolved to a new philosophy. While I will not be a "pushover" and easily accept the "Wrongs"... the new approach is the $100 limit. So if the insult or cost of those irritations is under the $100 value... value = the dollar value or the equivalent in personal hurt... then:

... they get put in a place in the back of the brain that acts as a recycle bin... There, but not a part of my mental desktop.

My DW likes the new me... turned from a fighter, to a lover.
A couple of years ago I was listening to a presentation on simplifying one's life and one of the strategies the presenter suggested was similar to this. She suggested keeping a mental "$200 slush fund"...and not to get too worked up about things like this that have a value less than $200.

She also suggested envisioning that this imaginary slush fund gets replenished by the value of the occasional freebie, discount, or comped item received.

This approach has worked for me. I am now able to let of of things that used to just fester linger in my head.

omni
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:58 PM   #6
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My after-tax take-home from part-time "consulting" is just under $50.00/hour, so that is what I figure my time is "worth" (because I could work more hours if I wanted).

So having spent 3+ hours, now, trying to get Verizon to "fix" the $120 debit card "incentive" (for signing a new 2=year contract), which is showing a $0.00 balance without any transactions...I figure I may as well throw the %$@! card away at this point.

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Old 09-06-2014, 01:45 PM   #7
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I have a line in my yearly budget for these kind of issues, any leftover are carried over to next year. As long as I am under limit, no problem.
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:35 PM   #8
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The solution has evolved to a new philosophy. While I will not be a "pushover" and easily accept the "Wrongs"... the new approach is the $100 limit. So if the insult or cost of those irritations is under the $100 value... value = the dollar value or the equivalent in personal hurt... then:

... they get put in a place in the back of the brain that acts as a recycle bin... There, but not a part of my mental desktop.

My DW likes the new me... turned from a fighter, to a lover.
Interesting - I have found myself in recent months less consciously adopting the same philosophy (although without a specific $$ limit). And I am most certainly letting a lot of water roll off like a duck's back...
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:19 PM   #9
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While not an official "budget" line, I have had an mental account of little, "stupid" things which happen to me in both the favorable and unfavorable directions. Finding a $10 bill on the street adds money to the mental account. Same when the LIRR train conductor a few times in 2008 (my last year of working) forgot to punch or collect my train ticket, adding another $8 to the mental account. This way, if I do something stupid like lose the $10 bill I got as change from a diner on the way to visit my brother's house for Thanksgiving last year, it merely cancels out some of the stupid things which got me those $10 like what I described above. I don't get too excited about it.

I figure I am still a decent amount ahead despite losing that $10 because in 2008 there were many more (at least 6) of those little things which happened to stock up the mental account and few other, if any, things to take money out of it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:45 PM   #10
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I've used all the rationalizations about the value of my time, the hassle factor etc. It all boiled down to the fact I wasn't an effective negotiator. Get to a person of authority, a decision maker, make your demands specific, give them an easy path to resolution and your home free. It does not take hours of your time, only minutes. If this fails I enlist the service of DW who will wear you down and make you beg for mercy, all while acting like your best friend. To each his own.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:50 PM   #11
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I've used all the rationalizations about the value of my time, the hassle factor etc. It all boiled down to the fact I wasn't an effective negotiator. Get to a person of authority, a decision maker, make your demands specific, give them an easy path to resolution and your home free. It does not take hours of your time, only minutes. If this fails I enlist the service of DW who will wear you down and make you beg for mercy, all while acting like your best friend. To each his own.
Ever dealt with Comcast?
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:03 PM   #12
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Ever dealt with Comcast?
Touché my good man. Even DW has grown tired of dealing with them.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:59 AM   #13
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Interesting, I prefer dealing with Comcast. Every time I call I speak to someone within a minute or two. I have no problem renegotiating my bill with their customer retention department each year. Verizon on the other hand is atrocious. Hours on hold.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:32 AM   #14
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Jennifer James suggested incorporating a 10% grace factor into your life in some of her presentations. I always liked that concept and try to use it in my life.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:53 AM   #15
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...
The solution has evolved to a new philosophy. While I will not be a "pushover" and easily accept the "Wrongs"... the new approach is the $100 limit. So if the insult or cost of those irritations is under the $100 value... value = the dollar value or the equivalent in personal hurt... then:

... they get put in a place in the back of the brain that acts as a recycle bin... There, but not a part of my mental desktop. ...
I'll provide a counter to this.

Since many of us have the time, I think we should consider fighting the little injustices. Working people mostly don't have the time for this. And if none of us fight it, the companies have no incentive to stop nickle-and-dime-ing us for every little thing.

Of course if it just raising your blood pressure, then don't do it. But overall, I think it is best of people do take the time to fight these things, or the wrongs will just proliferate.

-ERD50
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:51 AM   #16
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I like the $100 rule ! As for me, I realized that the only person I was hurting by getting upset was MYSELF - so I stopped doing it and now let "stuff" roll off my back. I'm a much happier person for it.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:34 PM   #17
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DW and I have a different approach to "...Ignorance, training inadequacies, misplaced priorities, rudeness, insensitvity, arrogance, disrespect, stubborness, laziness, lack of work ethic..."

We've just accepted that the country/attitudes/respect/priorities that we knew/want/expect is gone and recognize that it's been gone for a few decades now; and it isn't coming back and in fact is getting farther away with each day.

Once you accept the concept, your blood pressure starts coming back to normal.

A sad acceptance for sure, but trying and hoping and fighting for the basic respect and competence we once knew is a waste of time and energy. It's gone
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:00 AM   #18
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Ignorance, training inadequacies, misplaced priorities, rudeness, insensitvity, arrogance, disrespect, stubborness, laziness, lack of work ethic, incommunictive and list that can go on forever...
Most eventually lead to some part of a disagreement... and, often to a monetary dispute, as with contracts, failure to perform, billing errors, intransigent large companies with legal firms as big as the company itself... and everyday money disputes.
I think the "customer no-service" departments are rigged to make customers with problems "just go away". They staff the phones with people that are not given the tools or procedures to solve problems. The goal of these departments seems to be to just wear-down the customer with long hold times and having people with accents that you can't understand. Your call mysteriously gets disconnected once the rep realizes your problem isn't one that's in the list of the 12 things they do. Or they tell you that you have reached the wrong department and you get disconnected when they transfer you. Or they transfer you a bunch of times and each time you need to explain the problem to a lump with an IQ of 5. But I don't think we should roll over!

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I'll provide a counter to this.

Since many of us have the time, I think we should consider fighting the little injustices. Working people mostly don't have the time for this. And if none of us fight it, the companies have no incentive to stop nickle-and-dime-ing us for every little thing.

Of course if it just raising your blood pressure, then don't do it. But overall, I think it is best of people do take the time to fight these things, or the wrongs will just proliferate.

-ERD50
YES! With our extra time, I think we need to shame these companies as much as possible.

I record all of my phone calls with businesses, even if there is no dispute (because you never know when a dispute will arise). So far, I haven't produced one, my I have a few things "in the can" that might make an embarassing you tube video. For instance, where AT&T promised me 12 months of Internet service at the introductory rate, and then six months later, arbitrarily raised the price. The problem is that editing such a thing to remove personal information is a PITA, so I haven't done it.

But there are sites like gripevine.com. Everyone that has just a few minutes should get their gripes out somewhere in the public eye. Could be you just shame them with a tweet, but you should do SOMETHING!
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