Electric Slower

Last week while riding to work I caught up to someone riding an electric bicycle (that always sounds like such an oxymoron). I have a huge distaste for these contraptions. These things look pretty much exactly like a scooter, except they have pedals. It really is very hard to see the difference.

The people riding them don’t ride them like bikes, they tend to ride them like scooters. Except they ride in the bike lane. And sometimes on sidewalks. Quite often I see the rider weave around, and most of the time the electric bikes are slow. I have passed many of them while riding my bike.

On Monday when I rode to work I came up behind one nicely dressed woman on an electric bike. She was definitely on her way to work, but she was dawdling a little so I managed to catch up to her pretty easily. At a red light I waited behind her and when the light went green we both left.

I wanted to pass her, but she was going just a tich slower than me so I would have ended up beside her for a long time. Then I noticed there were no pedals at all. She was actually riding an electric scooter in the bike lane. Is that legal? I kind of doubt it.

She shoulder checked a couple times and saw me right behind her. After a quick hand signal she turned right, then drove up onto the sidewalk and rode along for a short bit. I know that isn’t legal. I guess she had reached her destination.

This is just another rant about someone doing stuff I don’t like.

Recycled Calls

People don’t seem to think sometimes.

At work I am getting a lot of calls for someone named David. Collection agencies, ICBC, and more.

After asking for David, I have started saying that he no longer has this number. Last week I had someone ask if I knew his new number or where he was.

Sorry, but no. Phone numbers get recycled. They don’t stay with an address. Just because I now have a phone number that someone else had, doesn’t mean I know that person.

This happened with our home number as well. We kept getting calls from charities, doctor’s offices, and utility companies asking for Norah Ross. It took a few years before the calls finally stopped.

Of course collections agencies get this kind of answer all the time and just keep calling and calling.

Ruined Owners

I met a poop freak today and he ruined an otherwise good dog walk.

I was walking Yoshi at Colquitz today and in typical Yoshi fashion I needed 3 bags to clean up after him. Since it was the start of the walk and I was going to be coming back the exact same way, I left each bag at the side of the trail so I didn’t have to carry it, or put them under the stroller.

I knew some people were coming up behind me since I saw their dogs. A minute later I heard someone saying something rather loudly so I looked behind me. Some guy repeated “What are you planning on doing with that?”. Took me a second to realize he was talking about the poop bag.

I told him I was going to pick it up on my way back. He then grilled me on my plan. I told him that I was going to do a loop, that I parked near Silver City, that on my way back I would pick up all three bags, and that I always picked up my poop bags. I was very ticked at this point.

He seemed very skeptical of me and ranted about people picking up the poop and leaving the bags all over the place, not bothering to take them to a trash can. He made some noise about when people see someone doing it, it gives tacit approval for them to do it too (his example was littering). He would rather people just leave the poop to decompose over bagging and forgetting it.

I just wanted him gone. I know all the issues, I’ve been involved in committees and I’ve protested. I didn’t need some crackpot going off on me.

It really got to me for some reason. Part of me is bothered that he would lump me in with irresponsible owners. Part of me is bothered that he took such an aggressive tone. Part of me is bothered that he just assumed the worst.

After the walk I dropped Yoshi back at the car then headed for the mall. I saw the guy loading his dogs into his truck and I really wanted to say something to him, but I let it be.

Dessert Ineptitude

It was enough to make me want to never go back to Spinnakers. I wanted some dessert tonight so I called them up to see what they had on the menu. The lady I talked to listed everything then when I asked if I could place an order she said they don’t really do that any more.

I was incredulous. They wouldn’t let me do a takeout dessert order. What? We’ve done it before from their restaurant, but all she could offer was that they are now discouraging that. I have a hard time believing that they would rather have people come in and sit at a table on a busy Friday night and eat dessert. Wouldn’t it be better for a restaurant to do a quick takeout order and keep the table open.

Maybe it was the way she handled it that ticked me off.

I ended up going to Save On Food to get something. Their customer service is pretty awful too. I saw what I wanted in the bakery section and it was behind a counter so I needed some help. There were three people working in the deli right next to the bakery, but they pretty much ignored me.

Finally one of the ladies in the deli (high school age) asked if I was wanting something. I said I wanted to get one of the desserts in the case. Her reply was that the guy who was working in the bakery was on a break or taking the garbage out. Then she said she couldn’t help since she didn’t know how.

I was awestruck. It must have showed. She mentioned that the guy would be back in 10 minutes or so and asked me to come back. I had no other shopping to do and was getting ready to walk out of the store empty handed. The girl then mentioned she would give it a try and see if she could do it. She entered in some code and the price that came up was for a dollar more than the one on the dessert.

I was starting to correct her and was seriously going to walk out when the bakery guy returned. Lucky for Sox and I that he did, but what a bad experience. Every time I go in that store I regret it. Their employee training must be horrible. I certainly don’t blame the girl for her ineptitude, but I do blame her training and her managers. I know that it can be hard to approach strangers and offer them help, but that is part of the job at a grocery store.

In the end we got dessert but both places I dealt with left a bad taste in my mouth.

Incident Balloons

On to tonights weird incident.

At the light up, after our hot chocolate trip, we headed back to Archie Browning arena to see what was going on. We saw that Daisy from Island Farms was there, and her assistant was handing out balloons to the kids.

We decided to get one for Sprout.

When Sox walked up the assistant lady denied us. She said some ridiculous thing that they were stopping handing them out, and that the lady in red was the last person. The lady in red was in her 70’s.

WTF?? Sox and I were angry and walked away a little confused. An elderly lady could get a balloon for her walker, but we couldn’t get one for Sprout? That makes no sense.

Then we turned around and saw they were still handing the balloons out to the kids. We were tempted to go back and get one, but then decided that it wasn’t worth it.

I don’t know what this assistant lady was thinking. It was so bizarre. Denying our son a balloon because they wanted to stop handing them out ?? And telling us they were stopping handing them out?? Why not just say they had run out? People are weird, but public facing people representing a company to children definitely shouldn’t be.

Sox and I still might right an email to Island Farms regarding this. In retrospect it seems petty but it still rubbed us the wrong way.

Special Lame

In the pile of crap mail I got yesterday there was something from Petro Canada. This one was an ad for me to call them and sign up for a special credit card that allows me to collect Petro Points faster. Alongside this was a special card that when used at the pump gives and additional 5¢ off per litre.

I’ve learned to read the fine print on everything. These special credit cards inevitably have a crappy interest rate and are never worth the time it takes to fill out the form. Additional savings on gas might be a good thing.

Until you read the fine print. The 5¢ off per litre was for the first 100 litres. Do the math, and that means saving $5.00. Woohoo. $5 is not worth my time on the phone filling out a credit application. Also, 100 litres doesn’t go far in my truck which has a 70 litre tank.

$5. Lame.

Attention Customer

Sox and I were told about the Village Butcher a while ago. They are located out in Oak Bay, quite close to where I work. We were in the mood for sausages and wanted to try out the butcher shops so I walked up there one day after work and bought some.

I wasn’t paying too much attention when I paid but signed the MC receipt, but grabbed my sausages and took off. A couple days later I was looking at my MC bill online and noticed I had been charged $232 instead of $23.

The very next day I called them and explained what had happened. The staffer was incredulous that it had happened and apologized to me. She said she would talk to her boss and call me later to let me know what they would do. She never called.

A couple days later I walked up from work and explained who I was and why I was there. They knew immediately that their books were out for that day, and that I wasn’t trying to cheat them. I hung around for half an hour while one of the guys tried to figure out how to do a credit. Eventually the guy offered to look it up on the internet, then call me the next day.

I never got the call.

I went back and they said they figured it out, but wanted to wait for the owner to return. They were concerned about messing up the books for him. They requested I wait until he return from Costa Rica in a couple weeks. I said I could wait since the MC bill wasn’t due.

I returned on the day the staff said the owner would be there. The owner had been brought up to speed (thankfully) and was able to do the return to my credit card in less than five minutes. A quick apology and I was out the door, and will never return.

It took at least three weeks to return my money to me when it should have taken 5 minutes. Two broken promises and a couple lame apologies mean I won’t be going back. I was tempted to just call Mastercard and explain what happened and let Mastercard deal with it it, but I didn’t want to do that to a small, locally owned shop like that.

The bumbling cost them a customer, a potential repeat customer.

The sausages were excellent though.

Identity Scanning

Identity management.  I wish I had more control over my identity information, and who can use, store, and distribute it.

In the past couple months I have been notified that my personal information may have been obtained when some files went missing from a mutual fund office, and I have my credit card re-issued by the bank due to the loss of some data from somewhere.

This frustrates me, and infuriates me.  I take precautions to prevent ID theft, and someone else can lose a laptop/harddrive/back up file containing the critical information for thousands of people.

Coreman has a bunch of links to info about identity management.

What is making me post about is a return I made to Office Depot today.  The receipt has a barcode that the clerk scanned.  After scanning the returned items, he hands me a slip to sign that is my credit card credit.  I realized quickly that I never handed over my credit card.

Somewhere Office Depot may be storing my credit card number.  Great.  How secure is their datacentre?  Some day maybe there will be the control I desire, but for now why should I be expected to live with always being concerned that some company I shop at stores my personal info and has the potential to lose it?

Steamed Ordering

Little story to tell about why I sometimes detest shopping online.

I am in the market for some new leg armour for mountain biking. I went to the Troy Lee Designs website saw they had some you could buy, so proceeded through the checkout. I gave my billing address, and the mailing address (both in Canada, and Canada was in a drop down), and submitted my order. I was thinking great, these should be here in a week or so, and I will be happy.

I got an email today that my order has been cancelled and that I was to contact some distributor in Canada and was provided with a 780 area code phone number. I was also directed to consult their “ordering policy regarding International Orders”.

I was getting steamed, so I went back to the main site, hunted around a bit, and eventually found what the customer service rep was referring to.


You can place an order with a Troy Lee Designs distributor in your country. To locate a distributor in your country, go to the www.troyleedesigns.com and click on the dealer link.

In a follow up email I was told

We refer you to a distributor in your area to save you a lot of money
in shipping charges.

This is complete bullshit.

First off, if I want to order from them and pay a little more for shipping, then why do they care? The armour was priced at $18 USD, and shipping was $6USD. Tack on some kind of brokerage fee for the border, and it is still cheaper than what I can buy locally.

Second, 780 is the Edmonton area. Not what I would call local. Why would I call some stranger and order something over the phone and give my credit card. That just screams for identity theft.

Third, why did their shopping cart checkout software let me complete the transaction if there was no way they were willing to honour it? They knew I wanted it shipped to Canada (I chose that from a drop down remember), and apparently they don’t want to ship to their Canadian customers, so why not put up a screen saying that, and provide a link to the policy on International Ordering?

If they can’t do this simple customer courtesy, then what will they do if I have a problem with a product? “Oh, you’re in Canada, we don’t want to deal with you.”

I’m pissed because I am missing out on a good deal for leg armour, and they wasted my time by using a crappy, misleading piece of checkout software. I really like my current set of TLD leg armour, but with service like this, why should I buy from them again?