OK, third time’s the charm.  I have attempted to type this blog and include a nifty graphic twice already.  The nifty graphic messed up the entire posting both times.  I am burning that graphic and never using it again.  It’s appropriate really, for the words in the graphic are what set me off today.

I just began a blog entry regarding the frustration of my day with all things technology-related.  And what should happen in the midst of writing the post?  The software crashed.  This is the story of my day.

It began, actually, yesterday when I was searching for the most cost effective options for travel and lodging for the Glorieta Christian Writer’s Conference next week.  I utilized every possible search engine known to man.  Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Hotwire, and then I searched individual hotel and airline sites.  I was so confused by this morning that I didn’t know if I was flying to Santa Fe for a conference or going to Vegas for a weekend trip.

The sluggishness of my wireless network did not help matters.  I sat for interminable amounts of time, waiting for pages to finish loading that never did.  I hit the reload button so many times on my browser that when it eventually caught up with my clicking, I was so far from where I wanted to be that I would have to start all over again.  It did not make me happy.  At all.  In fact, I was quite ready to hurl my precious Macintosh out of the window.  This insult was acute.  Mac’s just don’t generally behave in such an unruly manner.  But mine did. 

In an effort for diplomacy, I started afresh this morning.  I plugged my laptop directly into the hub with an ethernet cord and that seemed to alleviate some of my network issues.  Those issues aside, I started my search for stellar savings at top hotels and airlines via the internet.  In the process, I made a startling discovery.  All those sweet package deals that cause outbursts of “Wow!  I’m getting this trip for a steal!” are bait for the real hook, which is a message that pops up after you hit “purchase.”  The  message reads something to the effect of this (here is where the graphic was supposed to go, but you’ll have to ignite your imaginations and dream it up on your own):

‘YOUR PRICE HAS CHANGED.  We’re sorry, the price of this package has changed from $344.60 to $402.90 since you chose it.”

What?  I must have chosen twenty different packages on both Expedia and Orbitz and gotten the same sort of notice.  I do not understand how they can advertise one package, you click on it to purchase, and then receive this warning of price increases.  How fast can airline tickets and hotel rooms and rental car prices go up?  In the blink of an eye?  I began to think these companies program some sort of automatic price increase into the action of “click here to purchase.”

Once I finally got over my shock and admitted defeat to the greater economic giants, I clicked there to purchase and was hit with yet another warning.

“This flight does not qualify for e-tickets.  You must receive paper tickets via mail.  Please choose an option below:
a. Fedex overnight- $24.99
b.  Fedex standard – $21.99”

That was it!  Those were my only choices.  Now I know how they get you to buy into the whole “buy as a package and save $200!” line.  You may actually save that money on the ticket prices, but you will pay through the nose to the agent handling the transactions. 

But again, what was I to do?  I had learned all this too late.  Next time, however, I will be armed with the knowledge that these packages are not what they seem and if you simply ignore the man behind the curtain, you, too will be taken to out to lunch and relieved of all your change as you are nickeled and dimed to death.

So perhaps you can understand my true frustrations with this day. Now it is 2:03 p.m. EST.  I was supposed to be at my son’s school three minutes ago to help with Writing Process.  Am I there yet?  No.  Why? you may be brave enough to ask?

My AC went out last night.  I made a service request and was informed the tech would be here around 12:30.  I was here at 12:25.  By 1:30, I called to find out why my 12:30 tech had never shown.  The explanation?  “Oh you shouldn’t have been told 12:30.  He was still at his other job and wasn’t finished then. “  He pulled in my driveway as I was hanging up the phone with the AC company.

So now I sit and wait while this man tromps through  my attic and outside the house trying to figure out why my ac unit has no power.  Fortunately, it is October, glorious October in Florida and I am enjoying cool temps and humidity free afternoons. 

That helps my mood some.  I’m still missing my son’s class.  And my teeth hurt from clenching them so much.

At least I got through ver. 1.3 of my day without having to abort and begin 1.4. 

UPDATE:  We have a “service contract” with our AC company.  Guess what that gets us?  After paying $190/year, we get to pay $114 for a housecall.  Yep, I do believe I need to see the dentist about a teeth guard.  My teeth will be ground to nubs before this day ends.

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