One of the absolute worst…

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… experiences I can remember having in many, many years, was recently getting the two front tires on my Sentra replaced. Now, before I begin this story of my recent adventure, let me first explain I’m not bashing on Walmart in any way, just this one particular experience. Before anyone asks, I chose Walmart because of price and the fact that I get an associate discount, so it made it $34.45 per tire cheaper than the cheapest place I found. Yes, I am employed by Walmart, but not how you’re thinking, I work on the support side of the logistics side of Walmart operations. So, no, I’m not working in a store in any regards. So, yes, I am a regular customer at Walmart because that’s where we buy groceries and so forth. In reality, I give to Walmart so Walmart can give back to me. In general, I never have any concerns or complaints about our visits. But this past Monday changed all that, at least in one regard, and I will be hard pressed to go that route again.

So, what actually happened? Well, let’s go back a month or so ago when I was get the state inspection done on the car, where it was mentioned casually that my front tires are needing to be replaced. A fact I actually was already aware of since they looked worn and driving the car only made it more obvious, but it passed inspection, giving me a little bit more time to get them replaced. I have already shopped the local places and Walmart and Discount Tires had matching prices, so Discount Tires was going to be the choice simply because they are usually the lowest and I have used them for many years, in fact as long as I care to remember. But, Monday afternoon after work I realized that they were low because they were showing cords in the tread areas, they needed to be replaced now, no more waiting. After a quick price comparison, Walmart won, plus, as a bonus, it was so close to where I was at. So, yes, I made the conscious choice to go there, it was not accidental.

When I arrived I was greeted and my order was placed. I was number three in line, there was an oil change and a truck tire rotation ahead of me, neither one had been started yet, let the time begin now @ 16:55. I proceed into the store to begin a mindless meander since I wasn’t actually there looking for anything in particular, just killing time. I decided to go back to the service department @ 18:00 to see where my progress in line was and to my shock (& horror) I am still waiting behind the two vehicles which hasn’t yet been started. Making the realisation at that point in time that this is going to take a while. When I ask the very polite attendant what the hold up was, she replied, with a smile, that they are working at a steady pace to get everyone done and out. Fair enough, right? Back to wandering it is for me, except this time I went to the garden center, to sit and relax on some comfy outdoor furniture. Not that I am in the market, but I could sit and see the activities in the shop. After about 45 minutes and not seeing any movement of any vehicles, I head back to the service department to inquire once again. By now it is 19:00 and the attendant is packing up because the service department closes @ 19:00. I was assured work in the shop will continue and we will be paged when our vehicle is complete. Ummmm, okay? Back to the garden center to sit and watch and continue waiting. Talk about being bored, as well as hungry, since I have not been home yet since I left work. Finally, @ 20:20, my car is pulled in. Cool, I head outside to the smoking area they have by the entrance of the service department and see that the rear tires had been removed, dismounted, and a new tire in hand to mount.

I stood at the stall entrance and yelled at the young man to get his attention, it sounded alot like “hey mother fucker what in the fuck are you doing?” After we spoke about it for a few minutes he looks at the work order and sees he had made a mistake. He promises me proper remounting and balancing at no charge on the back two tires that he should have never touched. Well, no shit! As much as I hated to walk away, I did it, I walked away in pure disgust and a wee bit of rage, ok….. I was pissed. Back inside, hell let’s go look at televisions, why the fuck not. As I stand the, in awe of shit I don’t need, nor can I afford, I here the bastardised version of my name coming from the speakers, finally @ 21:25 my car is complete. But wait, we have to be passed off to the garden center to pay. Total payment is $112.13 which mathematically is not correct in my head when each tire is $52.69 a piece. But, fuck it, let’s roll. I was done and I wanted to just go home at this point.

I tried to not think about any of the evening or the events which transpired, because I was done with it. All week long I avoided thought about it, until this morning, when my dear loving wife asked if I would be so kind as to meet her at Walmart tonight after I got off work, and then all hell broke out in my head. So, I decided to write this post in my spare time throughout my day, before work and on my breaks because I wanted to say something to someone for some reason. Really and truly, my only complaint is the time it took to put on two new tires on the front of my car so I could go home. Do I play the blame game? Was it my fault for putting my trust in the company which pays my bills? Was it the people’s fault for being ridiculously slow? I’ll tell you what, in the end the price was right. Lesson learned, I will probably never put my faith in the service department ever again. My time isn’t that valuable, but shit people, there were much better things I could have been doing I’m sure. In the end now, I’m not mad, just disappointed because I would think that others may not give their business to Walmart which, in the end, hurts my paycheck. I don’t know really, I have mixed feelings here, torn between excellent service or excellent price, this is one occasion I didn’t get both, which is just sad in my opinion.

Every Beginning Ends

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I was once told, for a reason I can’t remember, the every beginning is the result of another beginnings end. I don’t know why I am thinking of that today other than I realized that I prefer privatized healthcare over being a part of the VA healthcare system. Its almost like moving backwards instead of forwards when it comes down to my health concerns. I have, in my own personal opinion, two that give me the greatest concerns. Those being my knee and my diabetes. Care and or treatment for both have turned into an absolute clusterfuck if you were to ask me. If I want to talk to a dumbass fucktard I can go to Walmart, however, when discussing my health with a healthcare “professional” I do expect that you know more than me. So far, I am fully disappointed with most of what I have experienced with the VA healthcare system. Not to be confused with the VA who have accommodated me since day one all the way back in 1999 when it was decided that exiting the Air Force was in my best interest. A decision made for me but as I look back it was probably still the best decision because I wasn’t sure if what I did is what I wanted to be doing any longer anyway. Maybe I will get into that soon as it would seem I have been doing quite a bit of reflecting on my life here the last few months.

Now, one would think that one could trust the VA medical to do its part in ensuring that when they make changes in ones medications that they hold up their end of the deal and ship them out to you as promised in a timely manner. I suppose I am the dumbass for assuming that would be the case. In grand anticipation of the changes I seemed to overlook one thing, I way overestimated what I thought should be a timely manner. Why? On 25 March 2014 I saw a diabetic specialist who prescribed me a different insulin because the VA doesn’t offer the dial a unit pen version. I needed a refil so it go changed so I could accommodate the way they do business. Fair enough I guess. However, after ten days (the allotted wait time) I received all of my refils with the exception of a few, one that was back ordered (indefinitely), and two that were never ordered, my glucose test meter and my insulin. After inquiring and getting the cock and bullshit story I was reassured that it was now done. Oh, and by the way, we will go ahead and order the syringes you will be needing as well. I made this call on 09 April 2014. Yesterday, yes the 16th, I received my syringes, but nothing else. I called to inquire again and was told it was all mailed on the 14th so give it another 7-10 days before any concern can be given. Really? Good goddamn thing I got friends in low places (I.e. doctors) who made sure I received a loaded pen of my old insulin to carry me to the big switch event. I want to be done fucking around and being fucked around by the VA medical. I see now why they have a well deserved reputation of being a literal joke. But wait, there’s more.

Today I saw an orthopedic specialist for my knee. The same knee that has had eight surgeries on it and nobody wants to replace it with a shiny new one. As well, this doctor, in his best opinion, believes that there is nothing he can do to better the way it feels, moves, or functions. Do know how hard it is to explain to another human being what “pain” is to you? Now, try doing that same explanation to a doctor, now do that with a VA doctor. Do you know what the result is? There is no result. None. There are predetermined answers which much be given to downplay what one is feeling. So, I get to be made out to feel like shit because my knee, once again, is shredding to utter pieces. Yes, I did xrays and some other imaging about three weeks ago. Yes, he reviewed them in front of me, yes he cringed a little when he saw all the screws, bolts, and other artificial bullshit that showed up plain as the nose on your face. However, even though he commented that the hardware had shifted and I have a screw backing out that this fact has nothing to do with what “appears” to be my ACL ligament being ruptured yet again. Oh really? I tossed out my yellow bullshit flag and called for a time out why we reviewed his credentials. No diploma on the wall but he has a real cool badge. The long and short of it is that I was given a cortisone shot and a prescription for antiinflammatory medication which I should get in 7-10 business days. I won’t hold my breath. I got a better exam from my son who explained to me that if something hurt to do then just don’t do it. Well, shit, that solves everything, I will just stop walking and standing from this point forward. On a patient/doctor statisfication rating of 1-10 I give this a 1 with my middle finger being then one I choose to show how happy I am right this second. Oh, I get to go back in the end of July to see if I have improved at all. I can make a prediction on how that appointment will go, y’all probably can as well.

If this hasn’t been fun enough, I registered with the “my healthcare.VA.gov” website only to find out that to access any of my records I have to go to the main facility with a government form in hand to be verified in person with proof of I.d. so they known its me on-line. This is so much fun I couldnjustnshitnrazor blades in rejoice. I know, sounds like allot of whining, complaining, and bitching for no real reason. Well, if it helps y’all, in feel the reasons are pretty valid. For the first time in my life I imagined how good it would feel to choke the life out of someone giving me grief for no special reason. Is this karma sneaking up non me to let me know that it is finally time to be rewarded for all the years I have been an asshole? I should be careful who I ask that. Anyway, appearantly the adventure (my life) continues on yet for another day, whether I like it or not, I can be happy about that I suppose.