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.

Walking The Halls Of A VA Hospital

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I have been wanting to write this entry for a few weeks now, but today I’m sitting down to actually do it. Its going to be allot food for thought, my personal observations, and about something that was said to me that I really did not appreciate one damn bit. It may seem as though I am ranting, which it is a little, but more venting than anything else. Before this year my dealings with the Veterans Administration (VA) has been very limited because other than receiving a check every month and my initial VA home loan I haven’t had a real need. Regulars here over the years know I am a retired disabled Air Force veteran who participated in Desert Storm and The Liberation of Kuwait back in the 90s. I am disabled with a 100% rating yet I have worked full time ever since the day I left the Air Force. Hell, the first time I visited the VA Medical Center here in Houston for my own personal needs was in February of this year (2014). There is but only one way to get into the VA medical system and that is to visit a medical center and take a fucking number.

Since that little adventure I have returned a handful of times and also to the VA clinic in Conroe where my PCP is located. My reasons were simple for beginning this journey so many years after my departure from the Air Force. First because my service related injury to continue care and because of needing diabetes medication. Both became an instant need once I was laid off in February this year. Never underestimate the need of private insurance and the amount of the financial burden it actually covers. I still had the needs I had beforehand, just now without insurance. So, I made a choice, and that choice was to start using my VA privileges for the first time. The inside of a VA hospital is a disheartening sight because inside a VA hospital is where one can see the cost of freedom just by witnessing the people visiting the hospital that day for their needs and services. I wondered the first time, just looking around, why in the fuck I am here. But, now I am a part of the “system”, I wait in line, I take a number, and I try to be patient while waiting for my turn. My point is simple really, the men and women, active or veteran, who are seen within the walls of a VA hospital are there because they have paid in one way, form, or fashion, that many of us have no way of understanding, whether it is mental or physical or a combination of both, because unless we are in that person’s shoes we can never know.

Everyday I grow a little more impatient with people who, in my opinion, are very self centered. Why? Let’s use a very recent example which happened to me back in April. My wife and I had pulled into a very crowded parking lot of a local supermarket on a Sunday around the time the local churches have been letting out. We maneuver around the parking lot in my Hummer H1 looking for a spot. My wife sees a handicap space has opened up and has told me where to go. As I signal that I am turning in to the vehicles around me a woman in a brand new Cadillac Escalade comes down the row against traffic, meaning she was coming down the one way lane the wrong way, and attempts to cut me off and take the spot. So, I approached her Escalade rather aggressively to see if she would back off. To my surprise, a 20ish woman jumps out of the driver’s door yelling and screaming at me to get the fuck out of her parking space. Pause a moment. Upon review of her vehicle I see she still has dealer paper plates a a red handicap tag (in Texas a red tag is very temporary) hanging from her mirror. For ten minutes she yelled at me, cursed at me, and scolded me. Then, then she showed her ass by asking why in the fuck I was even trying to park there since I don’t even have handicap plates or a placard. It is true, everything she said, except the fact that I have DV (disabled veteran handicap logoed) license plates. She had no idea what they are and proceeds to lecture me (the person with visible scarring on both knees, one being from a knee replacement) on the purpose and design of a handicap parking space. Since I was in the space, since I was done talking, I locked up the H1, and proceeded to go inside to go shopping. Meanwhile, she calls the police so they can have my vehicle towed (which never happened). When we came out about 25 minutes later she had moved her vehicle out of the drive so others could pass. Except now she was in the backseat of the police cruiser screaming at the officer. The verdict? She was in possession of an expired tag (new date was written over the old), her drivers license was already suspended, and the temporary dealer tags were also expired by two months. She was arrested and her Escalade was towed. That’s the end of what I know or want to know about her.

Is there a moral to this story? Who really knows. I do know that before she tried to be a fraud, a cheat, and a liar, that should actually know what in the fuck she is yelling about. I have no time for people like her. If she would have just asked me to let her have the spot politely it would have been all hers, no explanation needed because I wasn’t in such a great hurry and my doctor says a little walking on occasion won’t kill me. I’m easy like that. Blow up in my face and I make it hard because I will just walk away from the bullshit. I love people, especially the clueless ones because they make the world go round. I wondered, after the fact, why she had so many things going wrong for her and all I came up with is, to me and in my own opinion, that she had a poor and negative attitude. Personally, I doubt she will ever get her shit together and be a functional adult in society, but that is just my opinion based on one brief encounter with her. How can I really now anyways.

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Memorial Day 26 May 2014

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Our Debt To The

Heroic Men And Valiant

Women In The Service

Of Our Country Can

Never Be Repaid. They

Have Earned Our

Undying Gratitude.

America Will Never

Forget Their Sacrifices.

by: President Harry S. Truman

Do You Need WiFi Range Extender?

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eBay Listing

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=191184887492&alt=web

This Netgear Universal WiFi Range Extender 4 Port WiFi Adapter WN2000RPT-100NAS was purchased for me to use in my shop because I had complaints of weak WiFi. After a brief time of use it was determined that I did not need a signal range extender, I needed a new WiFi router. After replacing my WiFi router I am no longer in need of this practically brand new WiFi Range Extender so I am selling it on eBay for 1/3 of what was paid for it just 2 short months ago. While in use it worked flawlessly with zero complaints. So, I just wanted to take a moment and share a great deal with all of y’all. Follow the link below the picture for the listing and even more equipment details.

Thank y’all for taking time to check out this awesome deal and like always, thank you for visiting The Sting Of The Scorpion. It’s always a pleasure seeing y’all here!

What Is Your Idea Of Quality?

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Is there a true difference if something is made in the USA versus if something is made in China? Anyone that has handled a product made in China and compared it to something made in the USA knows the difference. Why can’t Chinese products usually compare in quality to those products made in the USA? Does it matter what you spend your hard earned money on? Do we live in a world where the term “disposable” has become everything we buy? Do we not buy anything for long term anymore? Is the price of something a considerable factor knowing you will have to replace it more often?

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This post is purely observational as my nieces (3 & 4) were visiting last night and they both had a small toy they were playing with. One of the trucks was about a year old and was bought at a dollar store. The other truck was a metal Tonka truck that was mine from the 70s and was given to the 4 y/o because she saw it and would not take no for an answer.  Both trucks were worn, beat up, but still their favorite toy of the moment for the choices available. The one from the dollar store was missing all of its parts and basically could only be called a truck simply because I saw it when it was brand new. That old Tonka truck (40+ years old) was still going strong, it still had all of its parts, and I know when she is done with it I will once again put it up on the shelf. Where as the truck from the dollar store with end up in the trash. The old Tonka truck has been through me, all three of my kids, and now my young nieces. I have no doubt it will remain the survivor.

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I suppose this is my point. Sometimes the quality you get is based on where the product was made. If you would have asked me when I was 5 if I thought the shiny new truck I was playing with would one day, 40 years later, be displayed on a shelf I would have told you “only if it can survive 100,000,000 more jumps off the roof of the shed into the sand box pit”. As time goes on I find that relics of the past are harder to come by because our past is being swallowed by the future. As technology moves forward kids don’t want trucks anymore. I would say my parents got their money’s worth back in the day.

Accountability Of Reasons & Excuses

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“When people give you excuses day after day, think of them as sandpaper. Eventhough this may scratch and irritate you, you will end up polished in the end and they end up becoming useless.” The first time my dad told me that statement because I was complaining about something I don’t even remember, he told me to think about it anytime someone wants to give an excuse over a reason, therefore not wanting to be held accountable. That statement comes in to play often in my life because I really dislike 2 things people do on a very regular basis, feed me bullshit and/or lie to me. I don’t want this post to sound like a rant of sorts because the intent is purely observational. I think the main reason I ask why or wtf so often is because I have little faith that people are capable of telling the whole truth. I question almost everything because there is truth in every word spoken.

This all started a while back when I was looking to purchase a vehicle from a man around my dad’s age that I met through my wife and her involvement with the church she attends. I have bought things from him in the past and each time I said it would be the last time because of the headaches. Perhaps one day I will write about the difference between “out-of-the-box-new” and “like-new” since people seem to get that pretty confused most times. I readily accept the fact that as soon as you drive a brand new vehicle off the car dealership lot that instantaneously becomes a used vehicle. As soon as you cross the property line you are now driving a used car. I typically do not suffer from “blind faith” since I believe that each person is responsible for their own actions and their own words. It’s really to bad that the majority of people believe the exact opposite.

So, back to the vehicle. It’s actually a “daily driver”, it is a 1967 Ford F250 which has lived a little life, seen some rougher roads, and hauled a load or three. Now, what caught my eye about this truck was purely the engine because he stated that it had the original V-8 352 with the manual transmission. He said he has been the one and only owner and neither the engine or the transmission have ever had any work done. Also, he mentioned that the 423,193 miles on the odometer was what it was when it stopped working in 2001, so he estimates an additional 40,000 miles to be on the truck. I know the 1967 F250 truck well, very well, as I owned and drove it’s twin in high school, except that one was rebuilt into a hot rod that kept it’s farm charm. Let’s just say it hauled ass as well as hay! He has had this truck for sale before, marketing it as a “classic car”, which it is, but he still owns it because he is very proud and the price reflects that pride. I had shown interest in it before but was not willing to part with $17,400 for something I didn’t need. In reality, I still don’t need the truck.

My wife invited him and his wife out to the hacienda to pick up some boxes she was donating to the church which were chock full of Christmas decorations. After some unneccessary chit chat I decided to take my ass to my shop so I would stay out trouble. Shortly after he came out and to “shoot the breeze” while the women hen-pecked in the house. After complimenting my shop he blurted out that he hears I’m interested in his truck once again.  Am I? He mentioned he has dropped his price considerably and is willing to deal. I told him to drive it in to the shop because I have better light than sunlight. So, he proceeded to bring it in, pops the hood, and revs it up a couple of times. From the smell of things it is time for new rings. We looked at the truck together, discussed the things I noticed, all cosmetic things aside, the truck looked good. He tells me the price of $9,000 and I countered with $6,00, he wanted to meet in the middle at $8,000. Don’t know whose middle that was but that was the bottom if I wanted it. Sure, why not, what the hell, lets do this. I had the cash but he did not have the title. It was decided that the truck would stay at my house, the cash would stay at my house, and he would locate the title so we could finish off the deal. For nearly 2 weeks the truck sat there, good thing I have working crazy long hours and weekends so it didn’t get in the way. In the end, no title could be produced, no sale was completed, and he came and picked up his truck.

What is the big deal you ask? It’s just a title that can be replaced right? Yes to both. It ends up being that I personally should not have to deal with someone else’s issues and spend the time and money to get it replaced and then transferred. I felt that he was selling the truck and he should have been absolutely ready to do just that. During the 2 weeks I got every excuse except that perhaps the dog ate the title. Why not just come clean? Why not just admit that the title is actually lost? Why not tell me that he will take care of it all in a timely manner? Instead, I got fed bullshit, and not even a flavor I like. Why? Because he could not own the accountability of his problem and he tried to pawn it off onto me. If asked I could retrieve any of my titles within minutes of the request because I know where all of them are.

But this is just one example, this just happened to be one that has happened recently, and it proves, hands down, without a doubt, that I’m alone in my quest for wanting everyone to be responsible for their words and actions and therefore being able to be held accountable. I really wonder if it is easier to lie and bullshit then to make an effort to be forthcoming. My wife tells me I’m guilty of judging people not for what they are saying, but for what they are not saying. I used to not know exactly how to take that observational comment. Over time I realized she is right, I spend allot of my time thinking about what the person didn’t say. Oh well, I thought this little post would help me work through some things but it hasn’t. I thought I might change my mind about calling the man about his truck and just deal with it, but I still haven’t convinced myself that it is the right choice. Do y’all think people have lost accountability for their own words and actions?