a simple project – not!

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ceramic_switch_plates_4sm

If there was a black market in light switch plates I would have been accused of running it. Over the past few months I have purchased and returned more switch plates than anyone else in the country. Okay that is probably definitely not true but the number of trips I have made to various Home Depots is ridiculous.

The switch plate adventure started last December when I decided to replace the switch plates in my weekend house. I spent an afternoon making a wonderful chart of each and every room. I drew little circles and rectangles to represent the kinds of switch plates I would need. I counted and tallied how many of each kind I would need. I described them with words that made sense to me – ” triple switch”, ” single outlet”, ” double slider” and “side to side”. Unfortunately when I got to Home Depot there were words like “toggle”.  This was an epic fail. Standing in front of the array of switch plate options my little chart made no sense. It didn’t help that Home Depot always feels like a foreign country to me so I put on my “I am confident, capable human being face”.  I didn’t  want to admit “yes, I need help but I can’t show you my chart.” So I decide I would use this as a learning experience. I am capable. I can learn what kind of switch plates there are and what kind my home needs. Really, how hard can it be. Thankfully there are many Home Depot locations so those first switch plates I bought in Monticello I can return to Middletown and that second batch I bought in Middletown I can return some of them  in Monroe. This is when I became worried about Home Depot thinking “what is this woman doing?” To be honest I was visiting different locations not to be tricky but because that is where my daily travels were taking me.

Well, the adventure continues because two weeks ago I purchased what I thought were the last 9 plates I needed in Stroudsburg, PA. And on Sunday I pulled out my screwdriver to install them and realized I had bought 9 of the wrong kind. I got the double circle kind and I needed the rectangle kind. I am not even sure how it happened. So yesterday I went back to Home Depot and returned them. So what have I learned through my almost weekly trips to Home Depot

  1. There is no such thing as quick, easy home project.
  2. It usually takes two different kinds of screwdrivers to replace switch plates.
  3. I can (kinda)  learn something new. 🙂
  4. Laughing at myself is good.
  5. Home Depot graciously takes my returns without judgment.
  6. Shopping at my local hardware store may have been easier in the long run.

“You have now crossed over…”

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twilight-zone

There are times that I think I have “crossed over into The Twilight Zone” and today would be one of those times. Today I decided to call the customer service office of the gated community where I have recently purchased a secondary residence. The reason for my call is I have yet to receive a statement of my POA fees. Let me explain the back story which should shed some light on the issue.

Back in December of 2014 I had the closing on a beautiful cabin in the fore mentioned gated community. When I left the closing I went to said community with my deed in hand and was directed to the activity center to register my vehicle. I completed a form, showed my deed, paid the fee for the EZ Pass type device, was given my window sticker  and was informed that it would take a few weeks for me to be entered in the computer. Sounds reasonable. I gave a list of names to the front gate security and all is well. However there are occasions that it becomes apparent to me that I am not in the computer. “It takes a few weeks” is the party line and I comment more than once that there is a lack of middle management but all seems well because I am still given my ski passes, my 2015 vehicle pass and discount at the restaurant. The cabin has been painted, furniture has been moved in and rearranged, cleaning service and snow removal people have been hired, friends and family have visited and all is well. I check in every now and then with “the office” and still the party line is “it takes a few weeks and with the holidays.”

Okay, but then weeks become a month or two or three and I realize I still haven’t received a statement of my POA fees so this morning I called the toll-free number instead of the local number. And that is when I was catapulted into another realm. A lovely young woman explained that I am not in the computer because on page 2 of the deed the former owner’s name is spelt wrong. What!?! She says she has contacted the Title Company but they haven’t responded to her call. What!?!  I contacted the Title Company who states “there is no need for the new deed because the former owner signed his name correctly and we will sort this out by the end of the day.” Okay, wait!!  You are telling me that the corporation that owns the gated community doesn’t believe I own the house so they won’t enter me in the computer but the nice people at the gated community have allowed me to move in, visit numerous times, have family and friends visit and have given me a discount at the restaurant. You can’t make this stuff up. Thus why I “have now crossed over into the Twilight Zone.”