Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just One More Example

In my previous post I was talking about how simple tasks always end up being ridiculously difficult.  I wasn't feeling well this morning, so I gave myself two main tasks:  Cancel my mother's car insurance and hire a trainer for my horse.  I started the whole process at 8:30 in the morning and here it is 11:30 AM, and I'm only half-way there on both tasks.

Canceling insurance:  Should be done in a few minutes over the phone, right?  Well, after I was put on hold for a third time, the representative came back and informed me that they don't cancel insurance over the phone.  It has to be in writing.  You'd think they never had someone cancel an insurance policy the way she had to consult the underwriter for several minutes.

She proceeded to give me the FAX number.  Hold on.  What is it that makes people believe that every household has its own FAX machine and dedicated FAX phone line?  I know FAX machines are fairly inexpensive now and come as a part of most copiers and printers, but setting up a special line for it costs people monthly.  When the average household only faxes stuff once every few years, it's not worth it.  I know I can temporarily plug the line into my telephone line, but I don't have a cord that's long enough to reach the FAX and I'm always expecting phone calls.  The few times I've gone through all the rigamarole to set up an outgoing FAX, I gave up after an hour of cursing because I couldn't get it to work.

So, I told her to just give me the mailing address.  She insisted that email would be better.  Great.  Now I have to scan some legal documents that they require, attach them to an email, and then have the email rejected because it has an attachment.  Been there and done that.  I insisted she give me the mailing address too.  I tried the scanner/email method first.  I turned on my computer, and the keyboard wasn't working.  The cable was loose.  I got down on my hands and knees, put it in snug and keyboard still wasn't working.  Had to reboot.

Then I had to print something out, but got an error.  Out of paper.  Really out of paper.  Can't find paper anywhere.  I just made two trips into the city this week specifically to go to the office supply store, and now I find out that I'm running out of paper.  Turning boxes upside down, I finally find a package of copier paper, but I can't get the wrapping off, even with a pair of scissors.  Time to get out the box cutters.  Packaging is the bane of mankind.  I go to stuff as much paper as possible in my new printer, only to discover that the dang trays hardly hold any paper at all.  Who designs this sh*t?

Sent off the letter and attachment through email, but won't hear back from them for 24 hours.  I need closure.  Onto the horse trainer.  Searching the Internet, I find plenty of local trainers, but for some reason they don't advertise their contact information.  I dig deeper and deeper.  Then the Internet cuts out.  Now I'm crawling around troubleshooting that and resetting our router.  Keyboard problem fixed?  Check.  Empty paper tray problem fixed?  Check.  Internet connectivity problem fixed?  Check. 

Every website I go to for horse trainers has been taken down.  Licenses for local horse facilities have been revoked.  Phone numbers have been disconnected.  What is this?  Do all these people who move to my area, buy a bunch of land and say, "Gee, I think I want to stay home and train horses all day.  I'm going to open a horse training facility," and then discover it's not that easy and go out of business?  I finally got through to an answering machine at one horse facility, but I suspect they won't take Gabbrielle.  They don't specialize in starting horses.  They are mainly a dressage equitation service.  Maybe I could talk them into a twofer:  I'll take dressage lessons on Bombay if they'll board and train Gabbrielle daily.

Anyway, I'm waiting for a call back, but not holding my breath.  It just amazes me how the whole morning can disappear while just trying to complete two simple tasks.


Anonymous said...

That sucks. At least you can fix your computer problems. I'm tech-impaired and have to wait for my hubby to get home from work to fix it.

As for the trainer situation, I know that in my area a lot of trainers have had to get regular jobs due to the economy's negative impact. A regular job usually doesn't leave enough time to do right by a client's horse, so they aren't taking training horses.

KarenTX said...

I'm having a blonde moment here and can't remember where you are. I do know of a good trainer in Colorado, you'd have to talk to her. If you are interested, email me at bringkar at and I'll get you gals together. Hang in there with getting everything taken care of with your mom's estate and the horses. And remember to breathe!!

baystatebrumby said...

Bureaucracy is such a burden! All that red tape is enough to make you want to wring someone's neck! Insurance companies make me see red anyway!!!

Mikey said...

Don'tcha hate that? I've heard it called the "But First" syndrome. I have to do this, but first... and then another and another. You just can't get anything accomplished w/o major hassle.
As for the trainers... hmmm. I know the EHV thing really hurt a lot of people, (although it was too recent to be the cause in your case) but I do agree, a lot of people think they can do it and then realize they can't. Takes a special kind of person to succeed long term at training. Anyone you can ask? Maybe they know someone. Down here we have a lot of colt starters, that seems to be ALL we have.

appydoesdressage said...

I'm surprised that you encounter difficulties with sending things through the email. I bought a house out of state last year and bought a printer/scanner as a result. I would have been lost without it as I also don't have a fax and never, in my 100's of scans/emails, had an issue of rejecting due to attachments. Good luck, sounds like you are still in the cloud of bad luck.

For a trainer, have you tried calling local boarding barns and asking for a recommendation? That's the best way to find a trainer IMO. You can try, they are a very good resource. Good luck!

Mary said...

Sheesh! You've exhausted me twice now today. I hate it when your not feeling that great to begin with and then have to deal with all that little piddely sh*t the anoyances just snowball. I feel your pain, wish I could help. Tomorrow's another day? ugh

Breathe said...

I'd take a different tact. Find some folks who are selling young horses and find out where their trainer was. Hopefully you can finds someone. This economy has wiped out all kinds of people.

Insurance companies make all their money by being so bureaucratic that you can't get a claim done or cancel without going through the trials of Job. I empathize!

Johara said...

Do you have a local feed / tack store with a bulletin board? Or tried the Big Nickle? I know I've seen horse training ads in there previously... but it's been at least a year since I last looked.

Good luck with finding a compatible trainer!

achieve1dream said...

I know how you feel about the red tape. The roof on my house was damaged and my horse barn and tack shed destroyed two months ago in a storm, but because the bank won't do what the roofing company wants and the roofing company won't do what the bank wants I can't get a new roof!!! Which means I can't get a new barn or feed shed. Which means I'm feeding the horses in the rain and have feed in my house which is attracted moths and mice!!! So yeah I totally understand how you feel. It will get better though I promise.