Saturday, November 5, 2011

Some Things I've Learned This Week...the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY

I love learning new things! Especially when it is something that has perplexed me for a while. I have learned 3 new things this week. They may not seem like much to some, but they have meant something to me...

Today, after months of looking longingly at sites like The Cutest Blog on the Block with their cute blog headers, I FINALLY learned how to do one myself!

I found a background I liked, which came with a header that you right click and save separately. Then the CBOTB site led me to a site where I could get a free download of "," a much better and high-tech version of the "paint" feature that comes with your computer.

After easily copying and pasting the image into, I added some text and saved it, then uploaded it to the heading area of the blog. Yay! Between my fumbling around and the finished product, it took about half an hour. Next time will be much faster. And, although it isn't as cute as the very personalized ones I made on, it was much MUCH quicker!

Now I just have to work on centering it better.

2 days ago I was walking my dog, Bailey, around the neighborhood. A local high school is on the other side of the nearby lake, and the kids had just let out.

Bailey, being big and black and kind of a nondescript breed, usually gets a lot of attention from kids of all ages. The thing I hear most is "I like your dog" and "Can I pet your dog?" which I allow if the kid is bigger.

But, there are also the "punks." I ran into a little group of them the other day. Maybe it is my detestation for disrespectful kids, maybe it was me putting on my "teacher" hat, but I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut with punks when they decide to act in their punky way.

As Bailey and I were walking, I heard from a short distance, in that arrogant "there are no adults around that I need to behave for" voice: "HEY! I like your mongoose!" The friends of this teen just snickered.

I let that one slide. I just wanted to continue on my walk. It was a gorgeous, crisp, fall day.

Then, "HEY! What is that? A camel?" More chuckles from the rest of the kids in the group, about 4-5 altogether.

Now, as a teacher, I've been told that I can be intimidating and authoritative. I hoped that I could project that as I said, in my best sarcastic voice, "I don't know that they're teaching you in school, but this is a DOG."

The kid was obviously thrown. He sheepishly said back, "Yeah, they teach us lots of stuff," and went on his way with his group, obviously knocked down a couple of pegs on the punk meter.

I went home, first feeling proud of myself, which quickly gave way to shame. I definitely should've kept my mouth shut.

Happy to put Thursday's teen incident behind me, I set my mind yesterday to cleaning house as I get ready to have some friends over tonight. Eric is on graveyard shift and some ladies are coming over for a showing of Hairspray, some karaoke, if there is time, and munchies.

I've been trying to have these every other month. And, as I get to know more ladies, the more I can invite. Fortunately, our basement family room is ginormous and able to accommodate a lot of people. Tonight I've got at least 4 ladies coming over, with a lot of "maybes."

Yesterday afternoon, shortly before Eric left for work, I saw on my iPhone that I had an email. Skimming over it I could see that it was from a seller on eBay from whom I had bought a Coach bracelet a week earlier. I could also tell that this person was really mad at me. Great.

I came over to my laptop to get a better grasp of what was going on. Certain phrases leapt out of the email like "did you mean to be disrespectful?" "A responsible buyer would not behave this way." "You were extremely careless." Very accusatory and a lot of the dreaded "you" statements.

To back up, I had bought a bangle bracelet on eBay. It arrived, I opened it, it didn't fit over my hand, I contacted the seller and informed her I would have to send it back. I sent it back within the 7 day return period.

She would only accept the return if it was sent back unopened. Fine. I understand. At the time I was packaging it up, a friend was over and I was multitasking. I guess I wasn't thinking.

But to be told I was all those unpleasant things when it was not my intention? Not nice. How about a simple "I'm sorry I cannot accept the bracelet returned in this condition because it has been opened." I could've lived with that.

I really didn't want to get into it with this anonymous woman from PA, so I wrote her back a nice note, told her that it was not my intention to be any of the things I was accused of, to send the bracelet back postage due and I would regift it to someone it would fit, and she could keep the money.

I had learned my lesson about running at the mouth the day before. Maybe she could learn hers today.

That is what I have learned this week.

I wish I could be one of those quiet, sweet ladies I see at church. I really do. But I was also taught that you stand up for yourself. Now I just have to remind myself that you can be both.

Hopefully next time.

In the meantime, do you like my new blog header?? :-)


Karen said...

First, yes I like your new blog header. =) I think you can definitely be both (someone who is nice and someone who stands up for herself). You handled the eBay incident beautifully, by the way. And for what it's worth, I don't think you should worry too much about the dog episode. I'm guessing the fact that you actually said something at all surprised the teen in a way that will probably leave more of an impression than if you'd said nothing.

Kristie said...

Thank, Karen! That means a lot. I wish I could say that the eBay incident is over, but this particular seller is now "deciding what to do." Aside from offering to pay the return shipping costs, I'm not sure what I can do to make it easier. Just my luck that I'm dealing with one of those people who opts for drama. I'm really looking forward to this being over.

garcias said...

I am glad you said something to the kids. I think kids now days need to know that there behavior is not acceptable. I had an experience with a teenager the other day and it drove me crazy. There were two girls standing in the middle of the sidewalk. As I passed and said excuse me, one girl moved to a side and also said excuse me. She was a very nice and polite girl, but the other girl stared straight ahead and and stayed right in the middle of the sidewalk. I refused to walk on the grass and forced myself to stay on the sidewalk. Other than stay on the sidewalk I didn't say or do anything, but I really, really wanted to push her. :) I wish I could have a comeback for her. Like I said you handled the situation perfectly! :)