My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #325: I Am Kind of Exasperated Today

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-30-2011 01:30 PM 4318 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 324: Still Learning Part 325 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 326: I Finished My New Project! »

Did you ever feel like absolutely no one does their job right?? I realize that this is somewhat of a way of life, with cut backs on employees and services and everyone seeming to be overloaded. I try to be patient – really I do – but some days it is in your face and you just can’t avoid the rampant incompetency.

Now, I usually am a pretty patient girl. I make mistakes too and most times others’ errors don’t really bother me that much as long as they are willing to correct them and somewhat humble about them. After all, when I screw up, I try my best to make amends and genuinely feel (and act) remorseful. But I sometimes find that people tend to have this “I don’t give a damn” attitude and I suppose that is what aggravates me just a tad.

So why the mini-rant this morning, you may ask?

Yesterday I had my day pretty much mapped out. I had intended on finishing up my latest project, but before doing so I needed to do some errands and go to the bank and pay my Canadian taxes. I still haven’t heard about my car since Monday, so I needed my partner Keith to cart me around to accomplish what I wanted. He doesn’t really mind, but I think I do more so than he does. It’s that “independence” thing. Maybe I am just feeling it because after having to depend on people all winter and finally getting my car back, it needed to go right back into the shop.

In any case, before going to the bank, we went to pick up our mail. On the way there, we drove by the place I took the car in to get the breaks repaired. The mechanic was supposed to call me as soon as they were finished. It looked like it hadn’t been moved. It was supposed to be done on Wednesday. Keith suggested we go in and check, but Richard (our mechanic) had the phone number and certainly he would have called if it were done. His lot looked full and I was happy his business was thriving in these difficult times, as he is a really nice guy. I felt that if someone needed their car done ahead of mine, that was OK because I don’t use it everyday to go to work. Another couple of days wouldn’t really matter.

We went to pick up the mail, and in my pile was my tax assessment from Canada Revenue. My taxes were filed a couple of weeks ago electronically by my accountant and I understand that then Canada Revenue sends you an assessment as to what they think you owe them. Usually, if things are OK the amount is the same. However, when I opened the notice, I saw that there was a difference of almost $600 (they said I owed them MORE than my accountant did). YIKES! That just about floored me.

Now I am new to this country and I didn’t want to have any problems, so I immediately got on the phone and spent about an hour trying to figure out what the difference was. After some discussion with some (actually very intelligent and NICE) agents, we came to the conclusion that there was a data entry error when my accountant keyed in my electronic filing and she now needed to send in a correction. The good news was I didn’t have to pay the extra $600 and they noted on my account that the paperwork would be arriving.

One crisis averted.

I put a call into my accountant, because I wanted this to be taken care of immediately, but she was with a client (understandable) and I requested a call back. Long story short, I didn’t hear back from her all day. :(

I know it is a busy time, but last year (the first year I needed to file here in Canada) she made an error on my US taxes and it turned out that I owed almost $1000 more than I had paid them. That was a big hit and although they removed the penalty eventually, it was a lot of muss and fuss to get fixed. Now we are on year two with this accountant and there is another seemingly simple error that shouldn’t have been made. My confidence in her is not high right now.

So now we are driving back past the car again, and Keith decides to pull in just to check on the status of it. We walk in and Richard is coming out from under another car and says “there you are! I thought you were not going to come and get it!” He said the car was done several days ago and was wondering when we would come and ask about it, as he couldn’t find our number. (SIGH!) Keith has been going to him for probably nearly 20 years. I suppose patience sometimes doesn’t pay off. Rich, as I said, is a good guy, and this was a small thing, but given the day it just made me think.

OK. Now the taxes are paid and I got my car back. Next issue. . . .

I get home and go to my site and it is STILL not working properly. ((GRRRRR!)) So it is on the phone with them for the third time this week. New representative. Tell the story again (even though they have a case number to refer to). Wait to see the answer.

After almost another hour on the phone, she comes back and says that they are very aware of the problem and it is not just my site and it is the technical departments’ “highest priority” to fix it. According to her, they are working on it feverishly to resolve the issue.

So I ask her “Do they work on the weekends?”

She replies, “Oh, no! There are only there on the week days and don’t come in on the weekends.”

So much for “High priority.” :(

You all know I am not usually a complainer, but come on! I suppose that I could look at the bright side and see that I am getting all of this crap out of the way on one day. How’s that for being positive and optimistic? As we stand though, the accountant never called and the site is still crippled. I think feeling a bit frustrated at this point is kind of normal.

I didn’t really get to sit down to work on my project until after 2:30 or so. I did get the sanding done and I at least got to apply the oil finish, but at that point I needed to wait to let it dry good before proceeding to glue it up. I will do that today.

I abandoned any thoughts of moving ahead because by the time I was at that point, I was just plain spent. Putting out fires on days like this just seems to suck the energy out of me. I planned to show the project today, but you will all need to wait until tomorrow to see it. (barring all disasters!)

I also want (and NEED) to update the site. But I don’t want to do that and send out a newsletter inviting everyone to come to it when it is not functioning properly. That will leave a bad impression on people and who knows if they will even want to come back?

I really do apologize for griping about all these trivial things. I just don’t like the feeling of chasing my tail all day and having little to show for it. People sometimes ask how I am able to do so many different aspects of my job. Little do they know that without what sometimes seems to be constant policing of others, I would really be in a mess. I think it is a matter of survival.

I am still smiling though. It is on days such as these that I think of the last line that Scarlett O’Hara speaks in one of my favorite movies, “Gone With The Wind”. I always admired here character as a fighter who was able to get herself out of the most adverse circumstances. Although she was somewhat heartless at times, if you could look through that you will see that she was quite innovative and certainly ahead of her time. In some ways, she was one of my role models.

”Tomorrow is another day!”

And so it is! Already it is better. :)

Have a great one.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

14 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4215 days

#1 posted 04-30-2011 02:05 PM

sometimes you just have to “release the crap” so you can refocus. Bye-bye crap – hello productivity and positivity. :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#2 posted 04-30-2011 02:10 PM

You are so right, Debbie! Thanks for letting me vent! I vent to the kitties, but if I get too excited, I don’t want to traumatize them and have them think it is them! :)

I do feel better. Nothing but sunshine and bunnies and flowers today!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2670 days

#3 posted 04-30-2011 03:05 PM

Dealing with things like that make for a long day . For your car I find it hard to believe he could not find your number after being a customer as long as you have he doesn’t keep records of his work (files) Hopefully the accountant will get back to you and it can be taken care of easy.

I’ll make a post on Free4all site that you are having problems with your site and working to get it repaired . You are alot nicer than I would of been about it I would of asked for a supervisor if it is not taken care of soon
Hopefully today will be a more stress free day for ya .

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#4 posted 04-30-2011 03:15 PM

Thanks, Dave. The site still ‘works’ but you can only click on categories from the home page. You can’t click on the side bar on the left from any other page but Scroll Saw Home or you get the mast head without any content. So customers have to keep going to the Home page to switch pages. It just kind of sucks. :(

Yes, too, I don’t get why he lost our number. He is the one I am least upset about, as I said it wasn’t an emergency with my car. I think he has just been busy and maybe a bit disorganized. Overall he does good work and is fair and doesn’t rip me off.

The accountant is another story . . . . :(

But I am already thinking about other good things today and working. Back to the pink cloud for me! :D


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View bigkev's profile


198 posts in 2683 days

#5 posted 04-30-2011 03:44 PM

There’s nothing I hate worse than sitting on the phone for an hour with these “support” folks and getting nowhere. It is very frustrating but what can you do? I was on your site a couple of days ago and noticed there were problems. I hope they get it resolved for you soon. As far as mechanics go, mine always says “I could get it done faster if you folks would quit calling me to ask if it’s done!” My reply is “Well, remember when you put the clutch in last year and I finally came back by the shop? Remember you told me that it had been ready for three days? That’s why I call!” We both had a good laugh. Anyway, I hope today is better for you. Sounds like it pretty much has to be!

-- Kevin, South Carolina

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3091 days

#6 posted 04-30-2011 04:26 PM

The one thing I remember is that if you want a job done properly do it yourself. I realise that no-one can do everything so I expect problems when I have to resort to companies. You can never disappoint a pessimist. Most of the time things turn out alright and sometimes I get pleasantly surprised by the service I receive !

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#7 posted 04-30-2011 04:30 PM

You are right there, Martyn. I was pleasantly surprised by the Canada Revenue representatives. The first one helped me pinpoint the problem but then was smart enough to know her limitations and referred me up the ladder to correct it. Both were helpful and pleasant. So I don’t have to shop for a striped suit yet! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3170 days

#8 posted 04-30-2011 04:36 PM

just one of those day´s that isn´t gonna stay on the harddrive and be remembered

I´m just glad to hear you are one of those that can take it and not bring it home from the office
as many others do so the evening with the fammely is destroyed

let´s hope for a better day today
have a great one


View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3091 days

#9 posted 04-30-2011 04:41 PM

Re: Tax. It could be worse. Our tax people send a demand, based on a figure seemingly plucked out of the air, and you either accept it or a long fight. I thought extortion was illegal. Not if you’re called HM Revenue and Taxes it isn’t. I must stop now or I’ll get on my soapbox for pages.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#10 posted 04-30-2011 04:48 PM

I know what you mean, Martyn. Besides the horror I felt when I opened the envelope (you know – that feeling you get when the roller coaster goes over the big hump at the top and begins free falling) I collected myself and they were surprisingly nice. It took a couple of minutes though to climb down from the ceiling!

And Dennis – I called it a night after oiling the pieces and I caught up with my online Scabble games with my friend Carlene from Chicago. I think there were 24 of them. I am learning not to worry about things I can’t change. The rest of the evening I watched a show and had a good night sleep. The sun is out today and I have Spring Fever! Looks like a great day for a long walk in the woods between coats of shellac! :D

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3358 days

#11 posted 05-01-2011 04:16 AM

my my ….debbie is right though …if you lye in the mire to long…you will stink just like the mire…so its up up and away…i hope your day ended ok and you got some good things done…ive been trying to work on a new project and made some great headway on it…hope your day goes well…and im a post behind…you will have a new one going by the time you read this one…i have not been on the computer much at all for several weeks my time here on jocks has been short as well…but im here…just focusing on other things besides the computer…talk to you soon…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Rick's profile


9917 posts in 3087 days

#12 posted 05-01-2011 05:51 AM

Well. This is a little different approach. It seems to me that over the last few years this type of “Treatment” by Business Owners, Site Designers etc. has become almost Commonplace.

Your Accountant blew it Badly that got YOU in a Mess that YOU had to clean up and he apparently also won’t own up to it. Get rid of him!

Your Mechanic Blew it. NOT having a Work Order with your name, phone number and address is NOT acceptable any more than NOT having you or your Partners Phone Number after that many years. If I hadn’t heard from him in a MAX of three days I would of called to see what was going on.

YOUR Web Site. You were on the phone for the third time in one week and they still can’t FIX IT. They really have NO PRIORITY System. That’s ALL they do is make and keep that site working. NOT Acceptable.

Perhaps I’ma liitle Hard Nosed but I almost expect things to go wrong in a NEW situation. So. I keep a close watch. Just my Extensive Business Experience speaking. As Far as Ongoing or Long Standing Business relationships go…If something goes wrong, by THEIR DOING they WILL hear about it..OR NOT and I find someone else.

Beng Patient, Just another day, it’s over now, etc etc etc is fine I guess BUT! There is a Problem/Problems and someone should be held responsible if it affects YOU.

These are just MORE examples of Poor Customer Service and as I said at the beginning they are happening ALL to Often these days.

This week alone I had the same types of occurences from ..

1- H Depot ..The Guy told me I DIDN’T NEED Shut Offs OR Braided Connectors for the New Taps on my New Vanity. “YOUR just wasting YOUR Money!” Difference was about $8.00 Bucks. “Is it okay with you if I do MY Project MY way?” He got a little upset about MY Comment. I told him to “Take a walk Junior!” He didn’t like that. I DON’T care!

2.- Restaurant …Long story short. EVERYTHING went wrong! Along with a VERY LOUSY Attitude on the Waitresse’s part. My Date agreed with me and we got up and left Halfway through the meal. Without Paying! Met the Manager at the door, quick explanation, He gave me a Voucher for a Free Meal and held the door for us apologising at the same time.

3.- Up Scale Firniture Store. My Lady Friend wanted to refurnish her Living Room. Salesman jumped on us as soon as we walked in. “No. No. That’s not the (Whatever) for you. This is the one over here!” NOT!! (Same night as the restaurant) We just looked at each other, kinda chuckled, headed for the door. “Where are you going?” He says. Me. “Any Furniture Store but this one!” “WHY?” We just left.

Is there an Epidemic Out There Or Something????

Okay. Now I’ve Vented also …LOL… My Moral To This Story? As of a year or so ago I made up my mind. I will NOT put up with this kind of Treatment Any More!!!

Okay, Bell Just rang. My Time is up.


-- Your Assertiveness Training Is Beginning To Interfere With My Anger Management!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#13 posted 05-01-2011 12:14 PM

It is good to hear from you Grizz! I am glad that you are getting some nice stuff done and in the shop. I can’t wait to see!

Hi, Rick! Thank you for the long comment. You have some very valid points and believe me, I am not going to take these things sitting down. But I am a firm believe in the “speak softly and carry a big stick” mentality. Just because I don’t rave at them, doesn’t mean I am not going to take care of it.

As far as the accountant goes – I am right with you on that. Like I said, last year there was a US error. She put a wrong number from my 2008 taxes in and it figged up all the rest. It was from that Stimulus Allowance or something like that and my Chicago accountant had deducted the maximum allowance already so I wasn’t entitled. Result was I owed more. I figured that I would let her slide because it was US taxes (I am here in Canada) and even though I gave her several years of previous taxes, she just missed it.

But this year was on the Canadian taxes and it was missed when entering it when she filed online. My sheet from her showed it, but Canada Revenue’s return did not. She should know how to do this and it was a large difference and I am very happy I didn’t have to pay the extra. You are right there. She is out the door. Yesterday was “tax day” here in Canada (Apr 30) so I am sure she was busy but not getting my call returned was inexcusable. I am NOT happy with her and she WILL hear about it.

As for the car and Richard. I am a bit softer on it. We live in a very small town and rural area. It is kind of like Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show. Everyone knows everyone else for the most part. Usually when I drop off my car, I tell him to get it done when he can. He knows I work from home and have other means. I tell him if he has customers who really need their vehicles for work etc, do them first. I am happy he has the business and as I said, he is fair and good. That one is my fault for not checking. I wasn’t really mad at him, but just with the day it kind of added to the aggravation. You know how it is when the day is going downhill. When I do need it by a certain date, you can be sure that I make it clear and do check if I don’t hear from him. So for that part it is me as much as him who is responsible. I was probably wrong adding it to the list of incompetence, but just in a griping mood. :)

The site is yet another matter. My call tomorrow will be to try to get to a manager. However, in that case, it isn’t as if I can just go to another place without consequence. Rebuilding that site is a massive task for me. I don’t have the extra money to hire anyone and I don’t have the knowledge to do it myself. Keith could do it, as he has more computer knowledge than I do, but he would also need to consider a learning curve and get through the software issues of doing it all on our own. When we upgraded to this software (which is on a template) it took us almost a month to get everything moved and looking how we wanted. And that was with everything laid out for us for the most part.

He and I are the business. If our time is spent there, we are not able to develop new patterns. We have discussed moving the site before, and I have recently started looking into it with my son, who is wonderful with computers and such and we all agree it is a large task. Perhaps we could develop the new site and not have it “live” until it is ready and then pull the plug on the other one. That was one possibility. Even that though would take months. We have so many deadlines looming right now – especially after being gone for three weeks – that if we closed shop at the site, we would certainly suffer for it in the fall and winter. Not to mention the immediate future. It cannot be something I take lightly and needs a lot of planning and consideration to do so.

However, that doesn’t mean I am going to let them off without consequence. I am going to see how far up the ladder I can get tomorrow. But for now, the programming error is not anything I have access to and my hands are tied. I have to be patient.

I do appreciate your thoughts though and will certainly keep you all updated. Thanks for the input.

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Rick's profile


9917 posts in 3087 days

#14 posted 05-02-2011 04:47 AM


PS: My Favourite Cousin lives in Kings County which is not all that far from you I believe. I’ve been done twice from Ontario. LONG Drive….But BEAUTIFUL, including the “People” is an Understatement!!

-- Your Assertiveness Training Is Beginning To Interfere With My Anger Management!

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