Wednesday, November 25, 2009 : Moroccan Imports and Customer Abuse Center

Seriously people.

So, we ordered a sink (just the vessel, not the cabinet or faucet or anything- only the sink bowl) for our master bathroom from a website known as $160- not cheap, but not outrageous either. The estimated shipping cost was another $22- which also was not cheap, but not outrageous either. When I ‘checked out’ I expected the actual shipping cost to end up much higher (just had that gut-feeling) but no, the total was around $182. Confirmation page said $182. Confirmation email said $182. All’s well.

Until I get another email- sorry, that was the wrong shipping cost. Website didn’t know to add another $30 to the grand total.

I emailed back. My confirmation email said $182, and I asked them to honor that price.

They sell these sinks for $250, they said. That’s a fair price, and the shipping cost is actually $52. They were giving me a deal for the $160 + $52.

Whoa, we thought, what’s up with this? They advertised $160 and then gave me a shipping amount of $22. We thought they should stick with that, even if they felt they were getting ripped off- shouldn’t you think about that BEFORE you advertise a price? So, we said no, our confirmation email gave us a total of $182. They need to honor that.

That’s when the customer abuse kicked in.

She called me. The owner called me. And started spewing stuff at me. Like, she was just trying to do the right thing for these poor Moroccan families who aren’t being helped by their own government. Like, she was a small business and I didn’t understand shipping costs. She isn’t rich, she isn’t Target, you know. It’s just her and her husband and they live in this tiny house and... well, I gently- honestly, I was trying to be very calm- I gently explained that once you check-out, that’s it, rates can’t be raised. She retorted that it wasn’t confirmed until she okayed it herself...I politely asked where on the website it stated that, and she angrily accused me of harassing her. What?!? Whenever I tried to defend my position she would interrupt and continue spewing out reasons why the shipping cost had to be changed. She declared that we obviously couldn’t do business together (duh), so eventually I said fine, but I was going to have to let people know about this. You can imagine her reaction to that... I simply (still calmly, amazingly enough) said that I thought people should know how justmorocco does business. And she hung up on me.

Honestly, if she had apologized, explained nicely... I would have been happy to work out a compromise with her, or even paid the amended rate. But my conscience won’t allow me to let myself be abused.

At least at Home Depot I just get ignored. Not insulted.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yes, another post in which I pick on the modern Western schooling establishment

It’s my favorite thing to do.

Yesterday the kids spent the day at home with David, who is frantically trying to finish our master bathroom before the holidays. While he was available for emergencies and had them all help out at times, for the most part they were somewhat on their own during the afternoon & evening.  They did fine.

But I’ve noticed a trend after days when he and I are around, yet not able to give the kids a lot of attention. The boys (who are older) cope beautifully. They can entertain themselves, keep out of trouble, so on and so on. The girls, however, have major flashes of insecurity over the next several days.  They are whinier and more demanding, pick on each other, talk back to me... and I’ve finally come to the conclusion that the one day of minimized attention has depleted their emotional reservoir, and they need it built back up by the normal routine of their parents (specifically, their mother) being more attentive to their behavior.

Now don’t get me wrong (for those of you who don’t know me)... I do not IN ANY WAY let my children hang on me all day (shudder).  I’m not talking here about allowing my girls to demand constant attention for every little moment of their life. But I recognize that they have a level of emotional need that simply can’t be met without someone who is at least available for them on a very consistent basis. Even if it is only to shoo them away :)

So all this makes me wonder... what happens to girls like this in a modern classroom setting, where there are but a few adults for a multitude of children? How can they possibly be getting their emotional needs met in this kind of situation?  Especially considering that many times when they go home, they then have homework or sports, so the time when they might be getting attention from their parents is further restricted.

A lot has been said and written about how modern schooling affects boys, but it is typically assumed that girls fare better in this same situation. I think this is a real misconception- for while girls may have the appearance of doing better- being able to control themselves better, getting better test scores, needing less chemical restraints, etc- I think there is a subtle damage being inflicted upon our girls that is evidencing itself through addictions, obesity, depression, troubled relationships and a scad of other woes related to our emotional instability. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Surreptitious Vegetarianism

Yup, we are taking the plunge. Well, more like stepping into the 2” kiddie pool section that gradually slopes into infinity. 

For years, David and I have been wanting to decrease our beef/pork intake and have a more vegetarian diet. I do love animals, and I love eating them (even our foray into poultry raising hasn’t changed my opinion of chicken- yummy. Now I just think- yummy, and dumb. And poops a lot).  So our interest is less to do with concern for animal welfare* and more to do with health. 

We mentioned the idea to the kids awhile back and their instant response was dismay and denial. So we dropped the discussion and I simply changed the menu. Thus far, they haven’t noticed the change. It probably helps that the money I usually spend on meat was channeled into healthy and fun snacks. Their astonishment at my unusual snack-generosity has distracted them from the missing element of all our recent dinners. I am not trying to deceive them, I am simply amused at how long it will take any of them to notice. By that time, it will be too late.  

We will continue having poultry occasionally, as well as eating meat when we go out or visit people for dinner. (Please let us know if you plan to serve steak. We will be right over.) And I don’t intend to transfer our meat-dependence to carbohydrate-dependence: the plan is to actually eat a lot more vegetables. Hopefully, in the long run,we’ll lose some weight, improve our digestions, and torment the children. Ah, the small joys of parenthood...

* I actually am very concerned with the mechanized slaughter and poor health conditions that produce most of our meat.  I do not believe it is right that we raise animals in such way- a righteous man cares for the needs of his animal (Proverbs 12:10). However, honestly, my family’s health is simply a greater concern.