It has been thoroughly impressed upon Roni that she Shall Not Charge It. She does show some communication issues; for example, in a classic case of the universe sticking it to the boy when he's already gasping for air, the front breaks on the car that Roni needs for classes and one of her only sources of income decided to eat into the rotors.
It turns out she hasn't had them checked in nine, maybe ten months. Okay, an expensive lesson, to be sure... at least that can be offset by submitting all of the receipts to the flex fund account for medical expenses.
Called Vanguard about the long lost 401K, a SEP-IRA that has been sitting practically dormant for 15 years. Yeah, I'll take the hit, pay off and close those credit accounts, and slap the rest into savings for much needed buffer until the profit sharing re-emerges. By the way, since I will freely bitch about truly bad customer service (yes, I'm looking at YOU, AT&T and ComCast!) It's only fair that I point out that the customer service representative was competent, polite, and (dare I say it?) KIND. That last part is hard to quantify, and it's a quality I hope I convey in my own work in customer service.
Speaking of the devil; In the middle of this mess, poor Kim's little digital tuner from that most ComCraptastic of companies decided it didn't like audio. Oh, the video was there, but the audio was this scratchy faint mess that required a maximum volume to hear anything of the actual video's sound.
It was easy enough to check, as I was about to install Kim's OTA antenna (coincidentally enough purchased with the express goal of CANCELING her cable, at least for TV) using the same connections... and it worked perfectly.
As it did for the tuner she purchased for the TiVo, which is a series 2 and doesn't support digital channels. (As Kim put it, "Damn you TiVo, for making products that last too long!). As anyone in the know will tell you, it's usually still cheaper to get a series 3 or later then it is to get an external tuner... unless you have a lifetime subscription to the TiVo service. When Kim got the series two, it was a "oh, that's not so terrible" 200 bucks. In this case it paid for itself by 2007.
Now? It's an insane 500 bucks, which makes the payoff about 3 and a half years, all told. Of course as I am struggling to get the tuner Kim purchased working, she sees an ad on the TiVo site about how they're having sale on new Roamios (ugh, HORRIBLE name)... but only the two higher end models.
The ones that don't support Antennas.
Yet another reason that TiVo has really been making me annoyed with them lately; from how quickly they abandoned support for recent models, particularly with remotes and iOS apps, to the incredibly insulting idea that you need special equipment to stream from any TiVo unit. With digital TV stations offering scheduling as part of their signal, one might wonder why you would need to pay for TiVo "service" (in the George Carlin sense).
But I digress. As it turned out, there was no way I could get the freaking tuner to work, so for the THIRD TIME in the last 5 months I've had to return a digital tuner to Amazon. Fortunately this was under Kim's account, lest they think I was trying to pull something (I'm not, I swear!).
It was just another freaking stress point, along with all of the early meetings forcing me to awaken at what most people would consider normal hours (hint: starting later doesn't really "buy" me any time, because I still work 8 hours, and just go to bed a couple of hours later at night. It just means that my internal clock feels right, and I'm at my sharpest mentally), on top of my NINTH anniversary in this job next week.
I'm not used to being an "old timer", particularly one whose apparently well regarded and whose opinions are respected. I honestly don't know how to be that person, so it's been a learn as you go experience all around.
On top of all of this is the endless list of Things That Need Doing, and now have to be done for nearly nothing. Fortunately, the "why throw THAT away?" habit that I keep on the neater side of hoarding comes into play.
All in all, things are setting down a bit. I pray to the goddess that she holds off on any major "challenges"/"learning experiences" until after the new year. :P