Modern Complaints

Time for a rant. It’s been a while, right? I like to think of myself as Old Faithful, bursting forth with new complaints on a predictable schedule.

I studied my to-do list this morning.

Call Dad.

Schedule Mazda for service.

File income taxes.

Get coronavirus vaccine.

Buy condolence card.

I’d filed the income taxes so I marked that off. The condolence card needed to wait until I went out later.

Dad was back in the hospital. I decided to put that off to do other things that required less exertion.

I haven’t had our Mazda serviced in a year. Putting it in context, though, in the period between March 2020 and March 2021, we put about twelve hundred miles on the odometer. No warning lights are illuminated. I figured that as long as the car had oil and was functioning, I wasn’t going to rest taking it to a dealership or service station for routine stuff. This is also my philosophy for my body.

Then an email arrived from Mazda.

MICHAEL SEIDEL,
LET US TREAT YOUR MAZDA.We warmly invite you to enjoy complimentary Mazda service. Our factory-trained technicians are looking forward to providing the Full Circle Service and unmatched experience you deserve.Take advantage of this special, limited-time offer, available until April 30th, 2021. Contact us for details about this exclusive offer and schedule your appointment today.
THIS COMPLIMENTARY MAZDA SERVICE OFFER1 INCLUDES:Oil change & tire rotationEnhanced vehicle cleaning service*Take the wheel of a complimentary loaner Mazda while we perform maintenance on your vehicleFull Circle Inspection and vehicle health report card1 Service up to a $75 value. Offer valid for redemption by qualifying VINs at participating Dealers. Not transferable. Limit one (1) complimentary service offer. No cash value. Offer period is March 1, 2021 – April 30, 2021. Contact participating dealer for complete details.

That’s a pretty good deal. As I had things on the schedule (or so I told myself), I tagged the email for later action.

Right now, I felt the COVID-19 vaccination was a higher priority. I’m 64 and lack the underlying conditions that render me a higher priority. That means I’m not eligible for the vaccination yet. I’m retired military member, sometimes called ‘a vet’. The Military Times just had an article informing us that all vets could get the vaccine at local VA facilities. Cool beans, right? That was followed up by a local television channel with a story telling us the same thing. Okay, I would call and request an appointment at my local VA facility in White City.

I’d bookmarked the news article and brought it up now.

“Even veterans who are not currently enrolled, we want you to call that number and we will do our best to get you enrolled so you can have access to the vaccine.” Christina Cellura who is the Chief of Staff for White City SORCC said. 

To make an appointment, call 541-826-2111 extension 4440.’

I called the number and waited for the moment they told me to enter an extension. It didn’t come.

After listening to a laborious list of options, I selected 6 for COVID-19 information. Thus began a long, breathless recording about what I can and could do and how the VA would help. About two thirds of the way through, it said, ‘To make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination, call 541-826-2111 extension 4440.’

I looked at the number I’d dialed, confirming, that’s the number I dialed. Hanging up, I repeated the entire process, verifying that the number I’d dialed was telling me to call the number I’d dialed to make an appointment.

It seemed like either a cruel joke or terrible, circular logic.

Disppointed with that, I went to the Mazda email. I clicked on the link provided, as directed. I have an account there — I always take my car there, like a good soldier — so all my information was populated. I kept waiting for them to tell me about the deal, or to inform me that I wasn’t eligible.

They didn’t mention the deal.

Dismayed, I confirmed the appointment. Maybe they’d mention the deal in the confirming email.

Nope.

I sighed.

Next on the list would be to call Dad.

The way things were going, I wasn’t ready to take the chance.

Wayfloof

Wayfloof (floofinition) – Animal who is difficult to control or predict because of unusual or unexpected behavior.

In use: “The little wayfloof, a friendly blend of several breeds, seemed to delight in waiting until she turned her back before bolting down the hall and out the door, or rushing over to steal food somewhere.”

The Paying Dream

What else to call it? I begin in a modern, well-lit grocery store. I’m at the register to pay. The total is $15.87. I have the money to cover it, pay, take my plastic bag of goods, and leave.

I don’t know what I’m buying. Again, I’m there. Paying at the register. The total is twelve something. I debate about using my debit card or paying cash. I pay cash, figuring that I have just enough.

I’m walking into the grocery store to shop. It’s modern, well-lit, and busy. (The store is always modern, well-lit, and busy throughout the dream.) I’m at the register. The total is twelve something. I don’t have cash on me. I decide to pay with my debit card. I do so without a problem.

I’m back in the store again, at the register, paying for my purchase. It’s later in the day but still bright and sunny outside. I decide to use my debit card. I struggle to use the card right. Then I struggle with the PIN. Impatience wells up in the shoppers behind me, rushing out of them as agitated comments. “I don’t understand,” I say. “I just used it this morning and it worked fine.” I finally pay, grab my bag, and go.

I’m driving into a parking space in front of the grocery store. Sunlight flashes off the car’s windshield. It’s a light blue convertible, but I don’t know other details. I enter the store to shop, then I’m in line to pay. The total is fourteen something. I don’t have the cash for it. I debate between using my debit card and my credit card. I use the debit card. It doesn’t work, exasperating me. I go to the credit card. I slide the wrong side through, and then slide the right side, but then realize my card has a chip and the terminal has a chip reader. I pop the card in but can’t remember my PIN for it. I can’t believe I’m having such trouble remembering my PINs.

I’ve not noticed the cashiers before. They’ve never said or done anything as I went through my paying problems. But now, a manager comes over, big, white, middle-aged guy, short-sleeved mustard-yellow shirt, black tie, small mustache. He comes to the terminal and does something to override it and process the card. Then he says, “You know what you need to do?”

“No,” I reply, “what?”

But he’s not talking to me. He’s talking to someone behind me. I turn to see them. The dream ends.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Thursday salutations. This is March 25, 2021. Welcome to Hard Coffee.

Sorry, have coffee on my mind. Haven’t had it yet today, and the beans are whispering my name in the other room. What is Hard Coffee? I imagine it as a movie in which people must survive without coffee for several hours. Initially hostile or indifferent to one another, they learn that they can get to coffee in a building on the next block, if they work together. A tough ex-Marine who fought at Fallujah, a female with an artificial leg, becomes the de facto leader.

Sol’s first appearance on this cloudy, still, rainy day was at 7:06 AM. The thermometer claims it’s 40 degrees F. outside. Sol will fade out over the horizon at 7:29 PM.

Music choice is driven by a dream in which I was driving a car. “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car” is a 1988 song by Billy Ocean. No one was in my car in my dream but me; the later lyrics, “I’ll do the driving, I’ll take the wheel,” is what spirited the song into the thinking stream. Yeah, it was a silly chuckle morning. I hadn’t had any coffee yet. Still haven’t actually. Must soon rectify that. You wouldn’t believe how hard typing is. I keep back spacing to correct words. Woof.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

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