Day: November 12, 2015

Mischief Update: Many Happy Returns

I’ve been a busy little bee this week.  It’s a two-headache week for the human female, and it’s only Thursday!  (Can’t we find something else to call this fourth day of the week?  It galls me to cite my oafish brother every seventh day.  And can we talk about Wednesday = Odinsday?  Honestly, honoring those two every week spoils two perfectly good days and makes me cranky right through to the weekend.)

But on to the mischief.

–The campus IT lackeys finally responded to the memo the human female sent about an outage of the Very Important Campus-wide Grade and Bulletin Board Program outage.  That occurred on September 29.

–The human female’s Tragic Snacking Habits have caught up with her.  I saw to it that some friendly ants found the two granola bar wrappers she left in the car trashcan.  They’re scurrying in and out of orifices in the dashboard.  It’s coming on winter–they’re very happy to have a warm place to nest!

–You’ll recall that the dishwasher died.  It was replaced.  Workmen came out and installed a shiny new one.  It despaired of the human female’s cooking so much that after three washes it uninstalled itself.   Both mounting screws came out.  She had to call service personnel and take time off work and be home while they re-installed it with New Improved Bigger Screws.  Any bets on how long this job will hold?

–Several of the filters and pumps on the various aquaria at the human female’s workplace have taken to making rather alarming squealing, gargley noises.  So has the cat.  Do you suppose the two are related?

–At my instigation, the incubator in the Room of Doom, which was ancient when the human female and her staff cleaned out the room and moved a class in, played a game of hockey with the human female.  She was trying to set it to 37C, but all it has is an outdated analog dial marked 1 to 10.  A setting of 4 didn’t get it warm enough, so she turned it up.  Then it was too hot, so she turned it down a smidge.  Too cool.  Too hot, Too cool.  After six or so adjustments, I took pity on her and let it settle at 38C, which she hopes is good enough.  Enzymatic reactions are such finicky, temperature-sensitive things.  I wish her well…

–My biggest project this week has been a fine piece of work to do with two little piddly microscope camera power supplies.  This sort of thing used to be readily available and cheap at Wireless Hut, but most of those stores have gone out of business.  The human female and one of her techs poked about and finally found an acceptable item online at Humongous River Supply Company.  Since ordering from HRSC takes a credit card and not the usual ordering software, the human female asked the Department’s purchasing officer to conduct the transaction, and to buy two.  The purchasing offer declined, because the electrical doo-dads were actually from a third-party vendor, who would insist on charging tax, which the University steadfastly refuses to pay.  So the human female called the actual manufacturer who said that no, they would not sell them direct, but if she were to purchase through HRSC, they would lop the tax off when the order was billed.  The human female conveyed this info to the purchasing officer, who put in the order.  Then there was some question when the order total came to much more than the sum of the items.  The human female (duh!) forgot about a little thing called shipping charges. The bits and bobs came the day before yesterday.   Mindful of my influence, the human female had one of the techs test them.  Hooray! One worked.  Boo!  One did not.  (ehehehehehe!)  The human female contacted the manufacturer, who said, “Take it up with HRSC.  They’ll contact us about a return/refund. Order another, then we’ll refund one.”  With a headache building, the human female tried and failed to find a contact number for HRSC on their website.  She could send an e-mail query, but only by logging in with her own account, which has nothing to do with the University and, of course, has no record of camera power supplies.  So she asked the purchasing officer to ask for a return, since the transaction was tied to that account.  The purchasing officer declined to be of use, but did direct the human female to the part of HRSC’s jungle of a website where she could put in a request for someone to call her.  So she tried that, and was almost immediately called back.  And put on hold.  When a Helpful Person finally answered, they insisted on having all of the personal information belonging to the purchasing officer, just to make sure the human female had no nefarious purposes in mind. The 17-digit order number was not enough, oh no! This took some time, as everyone here has a mailing address and a billing address and a ship-to address, which are not always the same.  With the purchasing officer and the human female involved, that was a total of six addresses.  It was a delightful conversation, with background noise, interruptions, misunderstandings, and unclear diction.  I’m pretty sure both parties were speaking English, but here wasn’t a lot of actual communication going on.  Eventually, the Helpful Person said she would mail  a return label to the purchasing officer, who works in a different building from where the defunct merchandise resides.  The human female then made the mistake of asking if the label could be sent to her instead, since she’s the one in possession of the Useless Object. That started another round of What’s That Address?  The human female finally got the Helpful person to agree to send a call tag from Unrepentant Package Squashers to the Departmental stockroom, where the package may or may not get picked up.  There’s an 18-digit tracking number for the call tag.  That is thirty five digits to return a $9.00 cable.


So here is the pesky little item, all boxed up and on its way to the stockroom, where a call slip may– or may not– show up for it.

This has been a fun little project.  I haven’t decided whether I’m done with it yet.  After all, she still has to try to order a replacement!

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