Monthly Archives: August 2009

Ugh! Summer is still here!

Yesterday I had to drive to Phoenix for a meeting from 10-12 at the Arizona Department of Real Estate and knew it would be hot!

Well, hot is defined by a Phoenician as a “dry heat”.  Translated:  an oven.

Is there anyone out there listening?  We need rain!  Clouds!  Where are the gods of the Universe when we need them?  Mother Nature, are you listening?

Okay, another day in the office.

If you think I’m just PMSing, go to AccuWeather’s site for the chart!

Date

Actuals (° F)

Normals (° F)

Records (° F)

High

Low

Avg

High

Low

Avg

Dpt

High/Year

Low/Year

1

110

85

98

105

81

93

5

116 / 1972

68 / 1950

2

113

87

100

105

81

93

7

113 / 2009*

70 / 1946

3

114

89

102

105

81

93

9

114 / 2009*

66 / 1956

4

112

90

101

105

81

93

8

116 / 1975

68 / 1962

5

113

95

104

105

81

93

11

114 / 1969

69 / 1965

6

110

91

100

105

81

93

7

114 / 1995

69 / 1963

7

102

82

92

105

81

93

-1

112 / 1905

66 / 1928

8

102

75

88

105

81

93

-5

113 / 1991*

67 / 1903

9

104

77

90

104

81

93

-3

112 / 2003*

70 / 1930

10

106

79

92

104

81

93

-1

116 / 2003

68 / 1949

11

103

86

94

104

81

93

1

113 / 1962

65 / 1949

12

110

87

98

104

81

93

5

114 / 2007

64 / 1900

13

95

74

84

104

81

93

-9

113 / 2003*

69 / 1949

14

105

80

92

104

81

93

-1

113 / 1988

69 / 1925

15

106

80

93

104

81

93

0

112 / 1992

66 / 1968

16

106

81

94

104

81

92

2

113 / 1992

64 / 1918

17

108

80

94

104

81

92

2

113 / 1992

64 / 1918

18

109

80

94

104

81

92

2

111 / 2007*

62 / 1918

19

106

84

95

104

80

92

3

113 / 1986

63 / 1918

20

109

87

98

103

80

92

6

112 / 1986*

58 / 1917

21

107

79

93

103

80

92

1

110 / 2007

62 / 1916

22

96

76

86

103

80

91

-5

111 / 1999*

65 / 1917

23

103

82

92

103

80

91

1

112 / 1985

61 / 1968

24

104

83

94

103

79

91

3

115 / 1985

61 / 1965

25

104

85

94

103

79

91

3

112 / 2001*

65 / 1965

26

107

82

94

102

79

91

3

114 / 2001

65 / 1928

27

113

84

98

102

79

91

7

113 / 2009*

64 / 1920

28

M

M

M

102

79

90

M

113 / 2005*

64 / 2008*

29

M

M

M

102

78

90

M

113 / 2007

64 / 1920

30

M

M

M

102

78

90

M

112 / 1984

64 / 1920

31

M

M

M

102

78

90

M

113 / 1950

62 / 1962

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Sir Richard…What’s With Virgin Mobile?

When I think of Sir Richard Branson aka @SirDickBranson, I think of “The King of Customer Care”.

Love Virgin Atlantic Airlines and all your personal touches with the website.  VA makes you feel like you are entering the First Class cabin if only you are traveling in the last row of coach.  I pull up my page and in the upper right hand corner it says:  “hello, gorgeous”.  Now that’s customer service!

So why is Virgin Mobile such a departure from your mystique?

Several months ago I changed from AT&T to Virgin Mobile – it took 4 days, 2 without any phone service (I have only one phone), and the courage by me to call the Investor Relations department of Virgin Mobile in order to get it switched to VM.  AT&T had released it right away, but VM and Sprint allowed it to fall into that virtual abyss where the black hole seems like a warm fuzzy place.

My origial plan of changing carriers was to save money from AT&T.  My contract was up and I thought I would go with Sprint and purchase the Palm Pre as soon as it came out.  I won’t bore you with the facts that one of Sprint’s resellers, Let’s Talk, gave me misinformation about transporting my phone number and cancelled my order because I wouldn’t accept another number.   So I called Sprint who checked with “porting” and said the information was incorrect in that I only had to accept another number till the phone arrived then call Sprint and Voila!  The transport of my old number would take place.

Thinking I would take this event as “someone was trying to tell me something”, I called a friend in Hawaii and we discussed all the geeky things about the phones and the networks.  My experience with Sprint and Sprint’s reseller made me think not to take another chance with Sprint.

On Saturday, 8-15-09, with my normal, unbridled enthusiasm, I went into the AT&T phone store and said, “I want the 3Gs iPhone in white”.  I even put my password (vKey) into the store’s computer, so I know it was correct.  Gorgeous in an orange and black case, I sparkled.

By Wednesday I was still using your VM phone and the iPhone.  So, lacking the same unbridled enthusiasm, I called AT&T who told me that according to VM there was no password.  We were given the run around by 3 different people.  Excuses that the system was going through an upgrade, to we are missing the password, to a request AT&T to change my street address abreviation from “Ln” to “Lane” and an equally inane request to remove the initials from my name .  Do these people know how to program “globally”?

Day 6:  This AM I got a call from AT&T, doing their follow-up.  We started the conference call with VM.  I’m not sure who we started with, but we asked for a supervisor and we got a “team leader” by the name of Mata.  She wouldn’t give us her last name and when we asked to speak with her supervisor, she flatly refused to give us her supervisor’s name.  I lost my normally cheerful demeanor and demanded to speak with her supervisor and explained that I had already filled out a complaint with the FTC (true – done night before), so I had nothing to lose at this point.  I just wanted my new iPhone to be the recipient of calls in and out.  Finally Mata told us the name of her supervisor, “Jennifer” but refused to connect us with Jennifer because Jennifer does not accept phone calls from the consumers.  We were then given an “IVR” number of 888-322-1122 which was the phone number we had called in the first place.

Now my cheery disposition took on “total resolve”, the “squeeky wheel”, you know…  And taking the ball and running with it was AT&T’s very able agent who asked that Mata at least ask Jennifer if she would call the porting department and find out what the status was with transporting my number.  We waited for over 20 minutes to find out that the “updating” of the system had started on the “14th”.  We had been previously told the “15th and 16th” by another agent.  Mata cheerfully said it was just as she had been telling us about the system updating and that my phone number would probably be transported within the “normal” 24 to 72 hours”.

Yikes!!!!  I lost it.  6 days plus another 24-72 hours!  Is this 1892?

I thanked my new friend with AT&T who I convinced to try Twitter while we were whiling away the many, many minutes waiting to hear the “script” again.  She was so cute when she said, “My mother would be saying and doing the same things you are…”  I told her that her mother and I had earned the right to go to the top and work down, which was what I intended to do next:  put in a call to Investor Relations.

Did it work?  You betcha, Kimosabe!  I made my day, Clint!  Probably didn’t make your staff’s day, Sir Richard, but by this time I was high on adrenalin and as most men know, that is just steps from hormonal infusing and PMS-ing.  Luckily I don’t own a gun…

Thanks to the lady who answered the phone at 908-607-4000, and Jose’ at “porting”, I had full iPhone transport within about 30 minutes.

Now I’m a happy camper.

Could you make me happier?  Well, a trip to your Island to spend the weekend with you and your wife, but since that’s not going to happen, maybe a refund of this last month’s charges… ??  I’d go for that to cover a discounted cost of my time today.

Necker Island purchased by Sir Richard Branson over 25 years ago.

Have a great day.

Kathy Howe

PS.  Get rid of that blight on your reputation.  They don’t deserve you.

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An Elected Sedona Mayor? Maybe Not.

Last night (8-11-09) I attended the Sedona City Council meeting where it was voted 6-1 to put the issue back to the voters:  Should Sedona “elect” the Mayor or should the Council determine who will be Mayor by appointing someone from their numbers.

What are the issues?

  • Miscommunication about the role of the elected Mayor
  • Not explaining the role of the City Manager in depth

Last night the discussion included the information that should have gone out to voters years ago, but somehow, missed the mark or was forgotten along the way.

Sedona has always operated with a “strong City Manager” (someone educated and proficient at running a city) model.  The role of the Mayor in either situation, appointed or elected, is to preside over meetings and to act as a representative of the Council at events that require Sedona’s “leader” to be present.

A “strong Mayor” model is where the City Manager is but an educated employee taking his/her direction from the Mayor.  AZ has no cities with such a model.  All 7 Council members agree we do not want this model.

The current Sedona city Council is responsible for the policies and the City Manager carries them out and runs the city in a fiscally responsible way.  We are a “strong City Manager” model with an elected Mayor.

We drove off the road this last election when campaign promises were made and executed by the elected Mayor without full Council approval, and last night, our Mayor, Rob Adams, admitted that he understood his campaign promises could not be executed without the full backing of the Council.

What went wrong?

Egos.  Yours, mine, and theirs.

The issue is about collaboration, not competition.  Our last election showed us how low we could go.  That’s not the Sedona we love.

Then there’s the price of running for office.  Spending over $20,000 for a $650/month job?

Last night the Council members, one by one, discussed the problem of finding competent people to run for the Council with the cost of running for office so very expensive.  Perhaps they should have said:  “The cost of winning the office of Mayor”…

In their wisdom (and I do mean wisdom), they have decided to ask us, the electorate, to once again decide about “electing” a Mayor or allowing the Council to select one from their numbers.

Too many bad feelings carried over from the last election and the finger pointing continued long into the Mayor’s term.  We, the voters, will be deciding if we want to go through this again.

Let’s think long and hard.

Have a great Sedona day!

Kathy Howe

Kathy Howe

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