One of the advantages of being post menopausal is that I no longer get the raging PMS that — in retrospect — I think was responsible for messing up my various relationships, including that with my parents.
Back in the 50s and 60s and 70s, PMS was considered a fabricated rationale for plain ol’ female bitchiness. Now, we know better, and I know that what I (and my friends and family) had to suffer through was actually my PMDD.
It’s hard to describe what it felt like to go through those terrible fits of insanity to those who have never experienced it. So, at the time, I wrote this poem — which, I think, pretty much says it all.
A sliver of moon
like a sharpened claw
slits the underside of April,
sending clouds as heaving as stones
onto the roiling rim of earth.
It is time for the Tooth Mother’s coming.
She tears through my skin,
talons sharp as the moon,
eyes that slice, breasts like scythes
along my hungry tongue.
She breathes into my mouth
the bold remains of winter,
turning my cries to ice,
my thoughts to stones
that roll like clouds
along my ragged edge of mind.
[NOTE: If you have landed here before reading the previous post, please go and read it first.]
This post tells the end of the story I began in the previous post. It is a story with an ending that I didn’t expect, a story with an opportunity for learning on all kinds of fronts. I begin this post by saying that I cancelled the PayPal claim. But that’s not the end of it all.
There are three participants in this chat — me (the American consumer), staff of UPlay (the manufacturer of the unique phone/tab I bought), and staff of JSXL Technology (the online distributor from whom I bought the device). Two of us, I think, came away from this “chatty” business deal a little wiser about how to communicate with others and how to do business in a way that satisfies both consumer and product provider/s.
The communication issue here was not triggered by national culture or language. It was about attitude and trust. It was about civility. It was about respectfully listening and responding. It was a lot about good business practices and how to build and keep a customer base through good customer service (or the opposite). It also was about how to behave as a decisive consumer who doesn’t always know the right questions to ask when it comes to technology.
I am not a distributor or a marketer, but I am a thoughtful (if somewhat impatient) consumer. In many ways, I am a good example of today’s global consumer: I have a good idea about the product I want; I know how to use the internet to research my options; I expect complete and accurate product and ordering information on e-commerce websites; I order online from a global market. And, like the usual “shop-from-store-to-store-and-deal-with-store-clerks shopper, I expect my product questions to be answered thoughtfully and politely.
I could have been better at my consumer chatting; UPlay staff could have started off better; JSXL Technology has a big #FAIL, right up to the very end when I was still figuring out if and how I should return the phonepad I ordered from them. Bad attitude and bad customer service does not build a business or consumer trust.
While JSXL might have a good website and know technology, they are worse than worst at knowing how to run a consumer-dependent business. They have a lot to learn and obviously (as demonstrated through their email conversations with me, their consumer) know less than nothing about how to deal with their customer’s questions. My advice is to not buy from them until they have more experience as an e-commerce business; they are hell to deal with.
That leads us to the other chatters and what we might have learned.
I have learned that I have to be more patient and accurate about explaining what it is I am asking about. Part of the problem is that you don’t know what you don’t know. And phrasing a question about a technology problem in a way that will get you the answer you need is severely hampered when you don’t know what you don’t know. (You know?) I don’t know what I can do about that, but I think I might want to get into my more patient “educator” mode when dealing with unhelpful, arrogant, (supposedly) consumer support staff. This time I lost patience, stopped trusting, and entered my warrior mode.
Lastly, UPlay staff, who resolved the whole issue by finding a way to return the phonepad for a reasonable postage cost.
And so here is the unexpected end to the story:
I have decided to keep the phone/pad — despite a really wonky boot-up process and the problems with time-outs when trying to download anything. I still don’t understand why the “Android drivers” come up as downloaded but uninstalled (Code 28) and don’t know if the mobile phone component will work when I eventually get to T-Mobile and get a SIM card and a plan. I’m hoping that the UPlay staff will explain what I still don’t understand and will answer future questions should they come up.
Meanwhile, I have successfully installed an SD card and used the camera; the GPS works; I have downloaded Words With Friends, OverDrive Media Console, Kindle for Android, and a few other apps I use. All of that is working. I am trusting that it will continue to function as I need it to. And I am trusting that UPlay consumer support staff will give me some advice if I run into function issues.
It’s a very cool little device, a whole lot cheaper than the ones I read about that soon will be reaching the American market.
I have not yet tried to download into the phonepad what I need to blog through WordPress. While I’m writing this on my HP Pavilion Notebook with a 17 inch screen, who knows that but soon I will be blogging from my 7 inch UPlay phonepad gen 3. (But first I will have to buy a keyboard case to make it easier; I found one, online, of course.)
I’m the kind of consumer you want to be nice to, young JSLX Technology. I hope that this all has been a valuable learning experience for you.
It has for me.
[UPDATE: Countless email back and forth with uPlay did not provide any solution to the problem of why, even sitting right by the wifi router, connecting to websites and downloading continued to frequently fail. They didn’t know why; I should send it back and they would check it out. Instead, I decided to do a “restore to factor settings.”
And that solved the problem.
It makes me wonder if the folks at the seller’s site put in a setting or something that wound up causing a problem. So, the uPlay phonetab is in play. I haven’t yet activated the mobile phone part of it or purchased a smartphone data plan. I’m still experimenting with all the features of the tablet component, which are impressive.]
Let me begin by saying, upfront, that this is all about the unlocked Uplay phone/tablet that I bought online from JSLX Technology. It is a global market, after all, and, while I usually buy from American companies, this device was just what I was looking for at a price I could afford.
This story has a beginning and a middle; it does not yet have an end, and I’m hoping that posting this on my blog might help to end this frustrating saga in a just and fair way. Any advice from techies or others, after reading through this whole post, will be greatly appreciated.
I have spent the past two weeks attempting to, and finally actually, contacting both the seller and the manufacturer because the damned thing has a variety of issues, mostly, I believe (and so does the computer repair place I brought it to) because the drivers, while downloaded, are not installed and the tablet offers no way to install them.
So, I am now on that interwebs Yellow Brick Road, slogging through e-mailing territories lined with various conversational pitfalls, detours, dead ends, and side paths that are designed to wear me down. BUT, as that Lilith logo in my right sidebar proclaims: “She is that which will not surrender.”
Yes, I could send the device back to China, but, according to DHL and UPS, it would cost me $180 to do so — more than I paid for the damned thing. And that’s how the company asks you to send a return. So, that’s not an option.
Yes, the manufacturer and seller could possibly send me a driver installation disk or some instructions on how to install the drivers, but they are refusing to do so. I don’t know why, except that they keep insisting that there is nothing wrong with the device and there are drivers downloaded in it. (As you will see from the screen images posted below, the drivers are there but they are not installed and the device offers no way to install them, making the device function like something out of the very early ages of this technology.) Even with an excellent wifi signal, trying to download anything via the browser takes so long that the servers time out. Navigating anywhere in the device is worse than trying to get to the Land of Oz. That’s certainly not what their website PR indicates. This is a young company, and it surely needs more work before it can compete in the global marketplace.
I started a PayPal dispute and got nowhere, so I escalated to a claim, which is under review. One reason for this post is so that I can send PayPal the URL and give them all of the details that way.
The devil is, indeed, in the details, and the details are in the screens that come up when I connect the UPlay phonepad with my HP Pavilion Notebook PC so that I can see what’s in the tablet’s folders. These are details that can’t be argued. (What can be argued, and are being argued, are my experiences not being able to download stuff like the Kindle Android app, and of other downloading efforts timing out even though the wifi signal is excellent. Maybe it’s that driver problem; maybe the device is simply a LEMON.)
So, what I am doing is documenting, via screen images, attempts to prove to the seller and manufacturer that the Android drivers that are supposed to be installed are NOT INSTALLED.
Any techies (American,Chinese, Indian…whoever…) reading the following — please tell me if I am wrong and, if so, what I might be able to to do get this problem fixed.
The first thing I do is go into Control Panel, and then Devices. This is what the UPlay phonepad appears as. There is a yellow exclamation point by the device, which comes up as an MP3 player. (My iPhone comes up as a camera, so I understand how that works.) I’m assuming that the yellow exclamation point means “Whoa! There’s some problem here! Check it out!)
So, then I click on the device and see that there is no general information for it. Well, OK. I go on from there.
Next is device functions. There’s a whole list of Android drivers listed ALL WITH YELLOW EXCLAMATION POINTS. There are also other functions without the exclamation points. Obviously, there has to be some reason why the Android drivers are highlighted as problematic, right?
Code 28 is a device manager error indicating that the drivers for a given hardware device are not installed. This error means that a previous attempt to update the driver failed or a driver was uninstalled for a given device but was not replaced/updated. This error prompts you to reevaluate your driver installation and reinstall the driver if necessary. In most cases, reinstalling the driver will fix the problem
OK. So, let’s try a fix.
UH OH. NO STRAIGHFORWARD FIX. Windows can’t find a way to install, and the internet can’t find a way to install.
Well, maybe there’s a file somewhere in the device that’s an installer.
Hmm. There are two drivers listed.
OK. Let’s click on Android Driver. Well,that’s all well and good, but where do I go from there to install.
This is where my expertise wanes. I don’t know what these files are, but I click on one that looks promising, anyway.
Hmm. Let’s try this.
No, I don’t think I want to take a chance and go this route. Here’s where my knowledge of this stuff stops. So now what?
It is the responsibility of the seller or manufacturer to provide me with the capacity to install the drivers. Otherwise, the device is defective and they are the liable parties. IF they do that and the drivers are installed and the device still doesn’t work, then it is a LEMON. Do I have to suck up the cost as a bad purchase, or are they still liable?
ADDENDUM: After another unhelpful response from the seller, I will explore some cheaper cost of returning the device. They do have a return policy: will pay between $9 and $25 toward the return shipping cost. I believe that should get the $25, but their decision will be based on whether they think anything is wrong with the device or if I am returning it “just because I didn’t like it.” By now, I don’t trust them to care at all about fairness or truth.
I waged my battle as though with the wind. There’s no getting any satisfactory fix from them.
And the truth is that this is a device that looks good on their website but is a real lemon. And their customer service sucks as well. AFLE for me.
[NOTE: Go to the next post to read the end of the story.]
I know that I used to have one, although it certainly was no rival to Audrey Hepburn’s. But I do remember, as a 50s teenager, knotting a small scarf around my neck, western-style, as was the fashion in those days. The fashion these days is those long, wide scarves, wrapped twice around the neck. I love the look, but you need a neck to make it work. On me, that kind of scarf covers me from clavicle to mouth. Maybe OK for chill winter weather, but as a fashion statement? Uh uh.
And whatever happened to my chin? Where did all that extra skin come from?
Before I get to that, let me just explain that I have in my life marched in protests carrying banners with symbols proclaiming my positions on critical issues. During the wartime 70s, I sewed a gigantic “Peace” banner and hung it from a tree limb that hung over our driveway. I believe in the power of symbols. I believe that sometimes you have to get in the faces of those who refuse to hear what you’re saying.
So, I’m joining the Snatchel Project.
First, go here to find out about the project, supported by a group that proclaims:
— We are women, we are strong, we are smart. And we have a sense of humor.
— We do not need government interference with our doctors or our healthcare.
— We do not need government probing our vaginas to help us make decisions about abortion.
— We do not need government to give us guidance about whether or not to take birth control.
So, here’s my original knitted interpretation, my contribution. I am thinking that I might just make a bunch of them and send them to the group to distribute appropriately. I will make a little card that says:
Get your pre-historic laws out of my personal private parts.
The Snatchel Project already has received considerable media coverage, as listed here.
I realize that there are lots of people who think sending uterine and yonic representations to legislators who are trying to drag us back into the Dark Ages is a waste of time.
Well, maybe it is. But for us pissed off feminist knitters, it’s a hoot.
And hey, you never know. At least it will get their uncomfortable attention. Works for me.
I have always had a theory about testosterone levels and aggressiveness, and this last episode of “House” pretty much makes my point. In this episode, a man chooses to let his testosterone level stay low because it keeps him being a better person. (That’s a paraphrase, but it’s also the gist of it.)
With men in power ganging up on us women to limit our control of our own bodies, maybe we women need to suggest some limiting that men should do.
Googling around for some supportive information, I found the following, here, after scrolling down a bit:
In modern advanced cultures, somewhat lower testosterone appear to be of great benefit…. For our ancestors 20,000 years ago, individual strength and aggression were critical to survival. But obtaining rewards in modern cultures usually require patience, cunning, and interpersonal skills.
The use of anti-androgens and DHT blockers may improve male health. Testosterone has often been suspected as a cause of the increased heart disease in men. Studies of men who were castrated in the 1920’s in the USA found that they lived an average of 13.6 years longer than comparable men. In contrast, smoking one pack of cigarettes daily reduces one’s life span by an average of 4.9 years. (Hamilton & Mesler 1969)
Now, the issue (for me and many other women, as well as many pacifist-minded males) is not how to deplete men’s testosterone so that they lose their masculinity; rather it is how to enable men to maintain a level androgenic hormones that keeps their aggressiveness in a manageable range.
From what I’ve begun to read, it’s the levels of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) that can easily be reduced, and that reduction can have an aggression-lessening effect.
So, I’m suggesting that scientists start doing studies that track how the quality of men’s lives (and especially their relationships with women) improve by blocking some of their DHT.
In the meanwhile, how about putting some DHT blockers in Congressional water supplies?? I read here that spearmint tea has some anti-androgenic properties. How about we send Congress cartons and cartons of spearmint tea and spearmint gum?
Instead of drawing in girl Lego players by targeting them in their general advertising, they are putting out a line of “pink” and “curvy” Lego sets that they believe will attract girls. The message is “you are too dumb to know how to play with real Lego components; you don’t want to build anything unique, you just want to play house, right?” Bad message, Lego. You are perpetuating the misrepresentation of girls and women as “less than men” in intelligence, creativity, and problem solving. You are perpetuating the stupid stereotype.
…uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see…
In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.
It starts with girls — young, impressionable girls — who are bombarded by the media (and now, Lego) with the message that how they look is much more important than how they think.
Lego has always been a “thinking” toy, stimulating the brain to conceptualize in three dimensions with unique creativity. My 9 year grandson is obsessed with Lego — builds the most amazing vehicles and structures, takes them apart, and then builds other ones all of his own design. He creates scenarios where male and female figures participate equally (of course, I had to purchase female figures for him separately since few come as cops, firefighters, or construction workers). He also creates family groups and structures. If I had a granddaughter, I would hope that she would play with Lego the same way.
Lego!! Can you hear me now! Girls don’t need another misrepresentation, another wrong message. Ditch the girly Lego, add more female figures in professional roles, and market the good ol’ Lego product line with an egalitarian approach.
They are making Lego for Girls!! BAD IDEA,LEGO! You are perpetuating the “pink” stereotype that women are trying so hard to eliminate. Don’t they pay attention to what’s going on in the the rest of the world?
What they need to do, instead of making and marketing what basically is a line of “Lego Barbies,” is to add a lot of female figures into their existing lines and market regular Lego to girls — as they did in their more enlightened era, back in 1981.
Don’t Lego idea people ever see any news items? They are 50 years behind the times. I have heard that even the business cards Lego provides to its employees (which always feature an image of a Lego figure of the employee’s choice) offer many different male figures for male employees; the females are supposed to choose between a nurse or a cheerleader.
Elsewhere in the interwebz — if those ill-informed decision makers would just look and follow links –there is a whole generation of females who are vocally and assertively trying to affect the stereotypical ways that females and female superheroes are portrayed by the comic book and fantasy game industries. Lego’s “girly” line is going against the kinds of enlightened attitudes that intelligent informed people want for their kids. (The kind of people who spend a lot of money on Lego products.)
Lego building blocks are the staple of my 9 year old grandson’s play and learning time. He and his female playmates all use the same Lego pieces (although I have had to buy extra female figures because so few come with the sets). In their play, females are cops, firefighters, construction workers, doctors, and moms; males are cops, firefighters, construction works, doctors, and dads.
Girlie Lego figures and sets are not the answer. Lego. The answer is to spend your money NOT making PINK Legos, but rather put your money into including more female figures who are professionals and then including girls in your advertising on an equal basis with boys.
Go here and email Lego a complaint about this issue.
I moved into this town two years ago after a decade of taking care of my mom. It took me about a year to get over the stress and tension of living with my (demented) mother and (set-in-his-ways) brother for several years. And then my mother passed away.
For a year after that, until now, I have been trying to find a place for myself in this larger community. I joined a gym but found it all very depressing (and expensive). I joined a quilting group, figuring that I like to sew and might enjoy it. But I didn’t for all kinds of reasons, including that I have neither the space where I live nor the design talent and experience to get into quilting. And I find it boring to quilt from a kit.
So, I did more knitting to keep me busy, but that didn’t fill my need for community connection. I tried a couple of book clubs, but they never talked about the books and I didn’t quite fit in with the memberships.
So, I joined the Jewish Community Center, mostly for the Zumba and aerobics and gym facilities, and that helped to get me out of the house. But it still wasn’t what I was hoping to find. The JCC offers some other programs that I might have taken, but they were all at night (and I don’t drive at night) and cost more than I can afford.
So, I joined up to be a Hospice volunteer, got trained, and just met my first assignment. That was a start, but not exactly to the point.
What I miss from my old life are the people with whom I worked and the groups to which I belonged in which I took some leadership. Some were peer discussion groups; some were expressive arts therapy groups. They were groups that dealt with substantive personal issues and opened doors to creative and spiritual exploration (even though I am an atheist). I always made friends with people in those groups because we had those interests in common.
So, I went on a search for a group — preferably a therapeutic group dealing with elder issues or major life transitions.
Uh uh. No such thing. Not even within a 25 mile drive.
So, I drafted a proposal to start such a group under the auspices of the Jewish Community Center, and, since I am a trained study circle facilitator, I volunteered to lead such a group.
I’ve done that before — started a group to which I wanted to belong. It has worked in the past for me, and I’m hoping it will work again.
If it doesn’t, with the SAD season starting, I’m going to find it tough to muddle on through.
I didn’t take the advice of friends and family and went ahead and bought a brand of computer that turned out to be the mother of all lemons. It had problems from day one, but, a persistent bitch that I am, I kept calling the customer service techs and kept getting each problem (I thought) taken care of. Until it finally totally crashed.
So, they sent an on-site repair person, who put in a new motherboard and hard drive.
Uh uh. Still no boot up.
I’m trying to get a refund but cannot seem to be put in touch with someone who can take care of that. (It’s a couple of weeks past the 30 days during which one can do a return.)
Today, I did what I should have done before I ordered the infernal machine and googled for complaints about that company. I found hundreds. Maybe even thousands.
So, I sent a letter to the company, enclosed copies of some of the complaints that I copied from just one website, and gave them a choice: give me a refund of the price of the computer and the service contract that I bought with it, or I’m going to war. Online. Virally. Maybe even with a youtube plea to that company to take pity on a poor old lady living on a retirement income. Certainly with a website that documents all of the thousand complaints about that company. And then I’ll tweet and fb the url. And I’ll file my own complaints on every consumer complaint site I can find.
I will become a thorn in their side, an enemy to the death — a hellcat of an old lady whom they wish they had never met.
I might be old, but I’m internet smart and know how to use it as a weapon in my defense.
Unless they refund all of my money and email me the UPS postage to send the damned thing back; then I’ll back off. As the Tao de Ching says — “no fight, no blame.”
But if they don’t — well, did I ever tell you that Xena is my idol?
ADDENDUM: Actually, the retailer from whom I bought it has just about as many complaints. Maybe I’ll make this fight a two-fer.