Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Theme of the Week

Thanks to all the ice, which used to be snow that got packed down but won't fully melt, not much has been happening in either the Horse Department or the Dog Department.  However, plenty has been happening in the Complex Department.  The theme of this week appears to be fixing screw ups.

So far I have had to postpone the majority of the original items on my To Do List to make room for unexpected problems.  I had to call my insurance agent to track down an explanation for why they were taking more money out of my checking account than they originally quoted me for.  We do have a budget, you know.

Then while transferring information from my old desk calendar of 2010 to my new desk calendar of 2011, I discovered that more than three months had passed since the last time I wormed the horses.  Yet that didn't make sense, because it seemed like just yesterday when I wormed them.  So, I had to track down the spreadsheets I use to record each horse's health maintenance appointments, and sure enough, they were overdue for their wormings.  Fortunately, the actual act of worming each of them went smoothly.

Then there was the business card screw up and repairing the fence panels that Bombay broke.

Even applying for a volunteer position at the animal shelter involved a screw up.  I was just a silent observer on this one, but absorbed everyone's feelings as if it were happening to me.  A lady came in to adopt a dog, and when she arrived she found that someone else adopted it before her.  She had called all around to 5 different animal shelters in search of a small, short-haired dog, found that there was one at this shelter, got in her car and drove 2 hours to pick it up, but by the time she arrived, it had been given to someone else.  She was furious.

She claimed the volunteer she spoke to over the phone said she'd hold the dog for her.  The lady in charge said that was not the shelter's policy.  They don't hold pets.  She called the volunteer at home to ask for her side of the story, and she said she told the woman the dog would likely be here when she arrived because no one had shown an interest in it for several weeks, but they couldn't hold it for her.  Then the angry lady started hedging and admitting that the volunteer didn't say she'd hold it for her, but she felt she should have held it for her since she couldn't help the fact that it would take her 2 hours to get there.  On and on the argument went.

The whole time I was thinking about how many people adopt dogs only to return them to the shelter a few days or weeks later.  They could have offered to take down the lady's name and number in case the dog was returned.  They could have done a quick search in the Petfinder database to see if any other shelters in the area had what she was looking for.  They even could have offered to let her look at the dogs they had, because you never know, she may fall in love with a large, long-haired dog after all.

I was about to speak up, but then the woman threw such a big tantrum in front of her child that I realized these people probably did not want this woman to be responsible for a dog.  I totally empathized with her frustration, but she certainly didn't set a good example for her child.  You'd expect the child to be the one crying and throwing a tantrum -- not the adult.  So, the lady stormed out of there and the workers went back to work as if this was par for the course in their job.

I also spent the last few days studying business tax laws just trying to get three simple questions answered.  I couldn't find any relevant information amongst the thousands upon thousands of documents presented on the IRS website.  Several people had the same questions as I did in forums, but the answers that people provided were irrelevant.  These were simple yes or no questions and nobody could give a straight answer, so I finally had to bite the bullet and call the IRS.

First, they put me on hold for about ten minutes, then someone answered who simply offered to direct my call when I had thought I already directed my call by the way I answered the automated questions.  She put me on hold for another ten minutes, and then a second lady answered.  I didn't even get half of my first question out of my mouth, and the lady panicked, saying that I would need to be transferred to the Complex Such-and-Such Department.  Before I could say anything, she put me on hold for another ten minutes.

I could see my life passing me by and worried that my phone battery might die before I got connected to someone who could actually answer my question.  Finally, a lady in the Complex Such-and-Such Department was able to give me straight-forward answers to each of my questions without even having to consult another person or manual.

I've decided that for now on when I am asked how to direct my call, I will ask for the Complex Department right off the bat, because that's where the most well trained people reside.  I just wish I knew the full name of the department, but each time I was connected with a real person, she talked so fast that my brain couldn't keep up.  It sounds like the Feds could hire some unemployed Americans into their IRS departments to answer people's questions a little faster.

Unfortunately, I've had a headache ever since returning home from the animal shelter, and navigating the IRS maze didn't help.  I have an allergy to cats, and I was hoping I could just work on the dog side of the building, but while I filled out my application, the guy at the reception desk brought a cat out and laid it across the top of the desk beside me.  The lady who didn't get her dog tried to pet it, and he said, "I wouldn't do that if I were you.  This cat is dangerous."

I thought, "What the...?  Why did he set a dangerous animal on the top of the reception desk?"  It turned out he was about to make a phone call to ask for some other animal shelter to come get it, because it attacked one of the volunteers.  He said, "Can you exchange it for a nicer cat that we might be able to adopt out?"

Anyway, I'm sure the fact that he wouldn't even let the lady and her kid pet the cat after telling them that they gave her dog away to someone else must have pushed her over the edge.  Something seems to be in the air, beside cat dander, so I'm going to lay low for a while.


baystatebrumby said...

people are so screwed up. Thank goodness the bad apples are the ones that typically stand out and behind the scenes there are plenty of level-headed, normal people who do not scream at shelter voluteers in front of impressionable children and who do not work for the IRS and think tax law is confounding and ridiculous.

Crystal said...

Wow sounds like a crazy day, I am agreeing with you, stay away from everyone and lay low, maybe tomorow will be better.

Rising Rainbow said...

I'll bet that woman's tantrum probably is common place for them. People can be so rude and many thing the only one that matters is them. What a nightmare.

Glad you got some resolution with IRS even if it did take half your battery or more. A good solid yes or no is good coming from that agency, I think.

I'm allergic to cats too but oh do I love them so I live on antihistimine.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'd be laying low, too. But thankfully it's rare for me to ever have days like you've had. whew!
And I couldn't help but laugh and then shake my head at why someone would lay a dangerous cat right beside you while you were filling out the paperwork. What we're they thinking? lol!

I can sympathize just a little with that lady who showed up to pick up the little dog because something similar happened to us about 17 years ago.

We had been 'shopping' the shelters for a german shepherd dog (GSD) for over 5 months with no good matches.
John had been without a GSD for over 10 years since we had to euthanize our previous GSD because of old age.
And one day we stopped by the city shelter and found the perfect GSD for us...BUT, she wasn't available for adoption until the next morning!!! Gah!

So, we drove the 30 minutes to the shelter and arrived there about 10minutes after their doors opened....and guess what?

We watched in shock as the dog we had wanted to adopt was led out the door to someone's station wagon!!!

We were devastated!

But it got worse.

We went inside the shelter and asked who had adopted the dog we wanted and if we could be put on a list to adopt in case she was returned...and they said that was impossible that the dog would be returned because the people that adopted her from the city shelter were with the GSD Rescue.

Well, that wouldn't have been so bad, because we figured we could contact them and ask to adopt this dog.

So we called them that afternoon and were shocked to hear them tell us that, yes we could adopt this dog, but it would cost us $250.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The city shelter told us this dog was already spayed and they only charged a $35 adoption fee for altered animals.

So what in the heck was the GSD Rescue planning to do with all that extra money, when it only cost them $35 to adopt OUR dog?

GRR! It still burns me up talking about it. I think the worst thing of all was seeing the disappointment and sadness on my hubby's face when he watched HIS dog being driven away by the GSD Rescue. Heartwrenching!


Katharine Swan said...

Yeah, if I were a volunteer and someone started pitching a fit over a dog she'd never even met, I wouldn't be jumping through hoops to find her another one, either.

I feel bad for the cat. I think the shelter is an extremely stressful place for animals, and biting or scratching someone in that kind of environment shouldn't be taken to mean that an animal is dangerous.

I hope things get better for you. The New Year is off a rough start for me too. About all we can do is hang in there and enjoy the good stuff!

Ms Martyr said...

You can expect at least one ugly incident a day when working with the public. It's gotten worse over the years as people are taught entitlement and manners have flown out the window.
As far as the GSD rescue - they probably are incorporating the food costs, vet bills, etc. for all of their rescues into the adoption fee. They aren't subsidized so have to pass their costs onto you.

pencraftco said...

Hi, I just read your post and hopefully, this will make your day a little bit brighter. I talked to you a couple of weeks about about that ThinLine pad you bought a couple of years ago. Well, for several days after you sent your message, I would go to and put the pad in the cart, then change my mind (cause of the cost) and take it out. Then, a few days before Christmas, I clicked on the special's button and they had two demo pads for sale. I grabbed one! I used it today for the first time--excellent. Thank you so much for your advice to go with ThinLine and to get the full-size rectangular saddle pad. :) I am a happy camper. And so is Oscar--who looks a lot like your Bombay--if I'm remembering which name goes with which horse.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lisa - That sure sounds frustrating. Talk about jacking up the price overnight. It almost sounds like people who flip houses and cars and make a huge profit just by making small adjustments, although it doesn't sound like the GSD Rescue made any adjustments to anything but the price.

pencraftco - I'm so happy to hear that. I always worry that when I recommend something, it won't be exactly what the person wanted. I know those ThinLine Pads are expensive, so I'm glad you went with your gut instinct and ended up with a better deal.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Exactly....and it wasn't even overnight. We called the GSD rescue just 30 minutes after they carted away the dog we had made plans to adopt the day before. We had already grown attached to her and a bond had formed when we took her out into the shelter's yard to play with her and groom her.

We were so distraught when the GSD Rescue people told us they wouldn't make any adjustments to that high price, even though they had done nothing to improve that poor dog's life(no vax's, no spaying, no grooming/bathes, no long term care)...but the worse thing of all?

That sweet dog was placed in long term foster care through the GSD 'rescue', even though we had arrived at the animal shelter to give her a loving, forever home, that very morning.


Mandy said...

I'd be lying low. Been crazy in this area too. But think what the dog's life would have been had that woman gotten it!

Hope things improve for you soon!

achieve1dream said...

What a crappy day. :( I hope your headache went away and things got better. Those are the kind of days that make me not want to get out of bed.

Lisa, I feel for you. That's awful that they did that with the GSD. If they had given the dog to you for $35 they would have saved a lot of money instead of keeping him in foster care for so long. If people cared more for the animals than the money they would have let you adopt that dog. That must have been so heartbreaking.