My Worst Experience on Ebay Ever! — continued

24 08 2008

All quiet on the ebay front for one day.

The following day, the voice of reason appears in the guise of “my husband.”

This is concerning the cups. I had a talk with my husband tonight. He has read what is going on. The package is due to get here tomorrow. My husband has said that if the cups aren’t broken when they get here, to take a picture of them and send that to you. Then if your still interested, all you will have to do is pay shipping and insurance to get them. That however all depends on what happens tomorrow.

We must congratulate “my husband” for a brilliant, diplomatic maneuver.  I hope he works for the State Department.  He has obviously has had years of training in the trenches…

“My husband,” realizing that the cups are probably, as I said, broken, has allowed his wife to save face (“you’re right, honey.  He’s a jerk.  How dare he question you putting 3″ wide mugs in a 3″ wide box!  We’ll show him.  You just send him a picture.  That’ll get him.”), yet subtly acknowledging the fact that indeed, in all likely-hood, a sane person would know the difference between the little charming tinkle sound of popcorn moving in a cup to the sloshing, grating, crashing sound of broken pottery.

And now, gentle readers, the fateful ARRIVAL OF THE BOX!

The set of cups arrived today. Unfortunately one of them was completely smashed. The other one only had a broken handle which we will be fixing. It broken in 3 places, the cup itself in ok. I am very sorry for this happening and come Monday I will reimburse your money. If the other cup interests you please let me know and I can work something out with you on it. Otherwise after Monday you won’t receive anymore emails from me. Again I am sorry for this.

Eating Crow…?

We debated how to respond to this…obviously the wife does not like to receive emails, since she forbade me to email her and has projected her own loathing of the ubiquitous email with her, “you won’t receive any more emails from me,” as if I too, shared her dislike of the poor email.

Naturally we would like to give her a comeuppance, however it seems “my husband” has already taken care of that.  And she apologized.

We feel sorry for this woman; her fury at life swirling around the “impeccable packaging” of two mugs, purchased for $5.50, that a stranger dared to question.  Perhaps her existence, like her packaging, is perfect on the outside but shattered on the inside?

And so, we decided to keep things short and simple:

No thank you.  The refund will suffice.


My Worst Ebay Experience EVER!

22 08 2008

Happening as we speak.  I knew there were crazy people out there, but this is getting really scary.

I’ve been a member of ebay for 10 years with 100% positive feedback.  And to be fair, the seller ALSO has 100% positive feedback, which is why this is so bizarre.

The purchase:

Two 5″ Mugs bought for $5.50 with a shipping/handling total of $12.25.  Very reasonable.

I was thrilled, because these are hard to find and I have a set and two are broken.  So imagine my ecstatic state when I sniped these, won them, and awaited their arrival to take their place amongst their long lost bretheren.

The seller shipped very quickly.  A good sign.  Anticipation mounting.  The postman arrives on Wednesday morning and I barrel to the door with glee.  This is my postman who comes in the mornings and delivers packages.  I open the door, eyes wide (I have already made room for the additions and am debating…should I really throw out the others…?) and he looks at me with a sad, douleful face.

The box he is holding is a standard priority USPS mail box, about 16x12x3.  He shakes the box.  The horrible sound of broken shards travelling up and down the box reaches my ears.  He says, “this is glass, right?”  Another awful tilt back and forth.  I’m in shock.  I nod.  He says, “it’s broken.”  I wither.  He tilts the box back and forth again.  “You should just not accept delivery,” he says.  I take the box and perform the tilt.  No question–the weight of the broken ceramic travels up and down, back and forth…  My dreams have turned to shards.  I hand it back and he whisks it away so I don’t have to bear witness any longer…

Now, the fury begins…the mugs are 5″ tall and 3″ wide…were it me, I would have packed them in a box wider than 3″ and wrapped them in bubble wrap and completely surrounded them with popcorn.  MYYYY MUUUUGGGGGSSSSS that I have waited years to appear on ebay…

I rush to the computer and send this:

The box arrived this morning and was not properly packed. Everything was smashed. I refused the shipment and it is being returned to you. Please credit my account. I am very upset about this as they were part of a set and I would have gladly paid more for proper packaging.

Yes, a tad emotional, but still professional, given the circumstances, I think.

The answer:

As soon as it arrives and I see what has happened since I had it properly packaed. I don’t know how that happened since this is a first. And I sent it out priority mail so you would have it fast.

A reasonable response which calms me down.  I then respond:

OK. I didn’t even open the box, which showed no signs of damage. I would say the box was way too small for the mugs. They should have been wrapped in bubble wrap and placed in a larger box with popcorn to keep from moving and away from the sides. It looks like pressure on the box just crushed them. I’m only upset because these are very, very, very rare and hard to find, so I was particularly looking forward to their arrival.

OK.  Still upset about the loss, but explaining the emotion.  As I was writing this however, I received another email:

Question for you, how would you know that the package was not properly packed if you rrefused the package? And how do you know everything inside was smashed if you refused the package? Please explain that?

The gauntlet has been picked up.  Have I not ears?

Ummm, how about rattling, broken, ceramic when you shake the box? It was so obvious, the postman asked me if I didn’t want accept as he shook the box.

And now, the beginning of the not so subtle twist!

Ok, if you didn’;t open the box, what you heard rattling around inside was poopcorn. So you basically sent me back something that wasn’t even bad? Yes, both cups were wrapped in bubble wrap and fitted in the box with no problem. I had popcorn both in the bottom, in between and on top. The box wasn’t damaged or anything? You should have at least opened the box to look before judging. You are sending back perfectly good cups. So now what do you want to do? Pay for it to be shipped to you again?

So now it’s MY fault?!  Amazing!

The rattling was not popcorn. But if the cups are fine, I will happily pay to ship the cups again with insurance, priority.

And now the twist of the dagger…

I tell you what, on the 25 when the money clears my paypal account I will refund your money and I will keep the cups since you don’t seem to have a clue. You could have at least opened the box to see what was up instead of assuming that the stuff was broken. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with someone who doesn’t have a clue. Sorry, you lost out this time.

So now I’m being PUNISHED!  Remember, this is a $12.25 transaction!  Before I could even think of responding, I receive another:

Incsase you didn’t know, it’s possible for the popcorn to rattle in the cups. I know because I heard it when I had it packaged. You should have just checked when you had the package. Sorry, the cups will stay with me. And please no more emails.

Nya, nya, nya, nya, nya!  I’m now in more of a state of shock as to the exchange than the broken mugs.  I do not respond, as per my “instructions,” and try to forget about it.

Today, Friday, I receive this unbelievable missive:

This is concerning the set of cups. Because of you refusing the package, it’s still in Bethpage, NY. It’s been returning there since you refused it. I am going to make one thing clear now, if I have to pay extra for it coming back here, that will be money that doesn’t go back to you. And since this package keeps going back to Bethpage, NY, something is bound to happen to it. Yes, I’m upset that you pulled this. I have been watching this package ever since your message to me. So I hope nothing gets damaged while it’s coming here, if it ever finally reaches here. Just letting you know now.

FOR $12.25!!!!!!  So now, when the mugs arrive in shards, in which state they already are, it will be because I SENT THEM BACK!  We are clearly in the land of the deranged.  Keep the 12 bucks, baby.  You need it for a shrink more than I.

To be continued…

Best Ways to Meet Relationship Material in New York City: Link Depth

13 01 2008

It’s all about link depth. The greater your network link depth, the greater your chances of meeting the guy or gal of your dreams.

“Where are all ‘the good people?” If there was a whine bottled in New York, this would be the label.

“The good people:” def. not jerks, assholes, gold-diggers, freaks, ripoff artists, losers, trust-fund brats, skanks, slackers, man-whores, sluts — i.e. everyone you meet and date.

Gay, Straight, Bi — it doesn’t matter. Most people who form relationships meet through friends of acquaintances of friends of acquaintances of…well, you get the idea.

New York, despite it’s dense population, is a notoriously difficult place to get to ‘the Honey Bunnies,’ because they are never (or rarely) at the bar, gym, or cafe when YOU’RE there. They tend not to follow regular hive rules.

The fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to increase your link depth is to volunteer. New York City has hundreds of not-for-profit organizations that need your help. And can help you.

However, do not plan to meet the ‘Honey’ of your dreams at said organization. This is only the first step. You will be working for a good cause and you will be meeting people outside of your current network. Once you get to know your co-volunteers and they get to know how wonderful you are –a real honey — drop the bomb. Yes, lower the eyes, tilt the head at that slight angle showing restraint and modesty, and simply say, “I’m single.”

No true New Yorker will let those words lay fallow and unpunished. New Yentas are best of breed. They will rush to their address books, filter ‘single’ and voila (after all, YOU’RE a catch–you volunteer with them.) Let them set something up — coffee, drinks, a party, whatever. Your network is expanding and the larger the link depth, the greater the possibilities you will meet that ‘honey.’ Snatch him/her up immediately — sweetness is a cherished commodity in this city. And once you’re a couple, don’t forget to help a fellow New Yorker in need.

Some places to start:

Volunteer NYC

New York Cares

New York City Parks

Volunteer Match

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Cat Got Your Cough

12 01 2008

Dear Alex: My cat seems to cough a lot and at first I thought it was hairballs but now I’m not so sure. I’d take her to the vet, but they’re so expensive and I’m a grad student! Any idea what’s wrong with her?

Cat Cough Katy

Dear CCK,

Your poor baby may be suffering from feline asthma. Unfortunately, you MUST take her to the vet and get her checked out. This is a serious disease. I have some personal experience with this, as my cat has feline asthma. Luckily, his is not too severe and is controlled by a small dose of methylprednisolone every other day. But it is horrible when he starts to cough. An excellent site on the subject is Fritz the Brave.

Please take your cat in for a check-up as soon as possible. This can be life threatening. Perhaps there is a clinic near you that will charge lower rates. Good Luck.


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Buying a House With Friends and Other Strangers

9 01 2008

Dear Alex: Me and my friend (not romantically involved) want to buy a house together, fix it up and rent most of it out. My father says never to do business with friends, but I don’t know how else I could afford to buy something. Any advice?

Gotta Invest

Dear GI,

Buying and renovating a property is a huge undertaking — it tests the mettle of any relationship; friend, family, partner, or spouse. I know so many stories that have ended in disaster from lack of forward planning.

My advice — treat it as a business transaction with a stranger. And plan ahead if the partnership were to break up.

If you and your friend are truly serious, meet with a lawyer and discuss responsibilities and all scenarios: Are you both managing the renovation and management of the property equally? If not, how should you split the income? What happens if one of you gets married and moves? Or dies? What is the buyout clause if you call it quits? What happens when the contractor disappears? What happens when the renters don’t pay?

Basically, it’s like planning your will, pre-nup, and divorce, before you even start. If your friend says, “Oh, we don’t have to do that. We’re friends.” Walk away. You’ll have another opportunity.


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My Sister-in-Law the Conniving Bitch

6 01 2008

Dear Alex: When I was home for the holidays, I got into a fight with my sister-in-law and told her what I’ve always thought of her, which is that she’s a conniving bitch who stole my brother from the family. This happened just because I made plans with my brother to go out and see our old high-school friends, which is like a tradition for us, and at the last second she decided not to go, which made my brother not want to go either (she was all “pouty” for no good reason.) My mother — even though she hates her, too, of course — is now mad at me and wants me to call and apologize to my sister in law! What should I do?

Like, Sorry for What?

Dear LSFW?,

First of all, unless your brother is both ball-less and brainless, your sister-in-law did not steal him away — he “left” of his own accord and free will. Your family may not like her, and maybe that’s the reason your brother chose her to begin with — subconsciously, he needed a way to “get thee to a nunn’ry!” She is certainly aware of all the animosity focused in her direction from your family, which no doubt contributes to her conniving bitch-hood.

That being said, your brother totally dropped the ball on this one. Your sister-in-law probably never wanted to go to the traditional annual meeting of the high-school friends. Like, how total a yawn is that for someone not involved in the “remember when we snuck out after second period, dropped some acid, and couldn’t stop starring at Fern Ferguson’s nipples cause they were making lassos around her neck?”

Your brother should have stepped up to the plate: “I really enjoy this time with my brother and old friends and it’s our holiday tradition — Hon, if you don’t want to come, why don’t you take a day of beauty at the spa. Do the nails, the hair, get a facial and a massage.”

She would have been much less bitchy with new nails and a perm. And you and your brother would have had a blast with the past. You always get more with honey than with vinegar.

Send her flowers and apologize for being a jerk — your mother knows, even if she is a conniving bitch, better to have some peace in the family. And she is your brother’s wife, for better or for worse. Then have a talk with your brother, discuss how you missed him at the event, and give him some suggestions for conflict resolution in the future.

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30-Something Gay Guy Stumbles into MySpace

4 01 2008

Dear Alex: I am a 36 year-old gay man. I’ve been out for close to 15 years and have dated a lot of guys but never really had much interest in having a boyfriend or partner. Until now. About six months ago I happened to stumble on a MySpace page of this guy who went to the same law school as me and I fell in love! He’s sooooo hot (all my friends agree) and I’m constantly checking his page for new pix, which he posts pretty often. Here’s the thing: even though I’m totally convinced that he’s “the one” for me, I haven’t written to him yet (I’m also in New York and he’s in San Diego). What should I do?Soon to be Bi-Coastal

Dear S to be B-C,

Ummm, I’ll try to be gentle. Looking at a picture of someone who lives 3,000+ miles away and thinking he’s “the one” is a wonderful fantasy for someone with intimacy issues, like yourself. If you really want to try having a relationship, stick closer to home. Otherwise, write the hunk. Maybe he also has the maturity of a 12 year old, and you can have email sex, phone sex, cam sex, IM sex, and when you two finally meet atop the Empire State Building and the spark is nothing but spunk, at least you had a good time and can wallow in the “you see I tried and I’ll never have a boyfriend, ever, ever, ever” tar pit of doom with your friends. Do send pix!

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