Monday, May 24, 2010

G-d works in mysterious ways or has one ironic sense of humor

The other night we went to our favorite little Mexican/Tex-Mex fast food joint in town--Guapos. Mmmm, we just love their rotisserie chicken!!!!

As we entered the establishment, hubby and I were discussing/debating a topic. For those of you who know us well, I am the eternal optimist and hubby the pessimist. He accuses me of wearing rose colored glasses and describes himself by saying, "not only is the glass half empty, but broken and leaking too." In fact, I think I'm more of a realist, but it's all relative. So, anyway, we were discussing our housing situation at our new post. It is not ideal with our dogs, but it is what it is. As hubby was going through the list of all the things for which we must prepare ourselves, I said, "you know what, maybe I'd actually rather be blindsided by something potentially bad, than constantly worrying about the possibilities [or as he says, "preparing for"] what might be troublesome."

It's our turn to order. Drinks come with the meal. While he is waiting for our food, the boys and I walk over to the fountain soda machine (otherwise known as the pop machine, from where I come from anyway). I'm listing off those drinks I will allow my six year old to drink. As I am doing this, suddenly the cover of the pop machine just falls off and hits me on the forehead. The bump swells to the size of a golf ball and starts to encompass my eye. Luckily, ice brought the bump down quite a bit. And, even more importantly, luckily the boys didn't get hit!!!! Hmm, just after I said I'd rather be blindsided, what happens, I'm blindsided by something. Maybe I don't prefer to be blindsided after all.

After all of this, you might think Guapo's would refund the price of our meals. But, no, they didn't even offer. The manager kept saying, "if there is anything I can do for you. . ." I just asked for a bag of ice, I was just in shock that this random thing had even happened. He did call today to see how I was doing and says he will call again in a few days.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Piano Debacle

Oldest son has been taking lessons for a year and it is time to move on from my 20-year old keyboard. After much research we decided upon the Yamaha Clavinova 340. And, since I've been told that money does grow on trees, why not. "Come from" or "grow on" what's the big difference anyway.;) Ok, so if you know me well, you know I don't really think that way. Afterall, I've had that old keyboard for 20 years and wanted to update for the last 10. So, anyway, we decided to go to a dealer and see what we could do.

The salesman immediately offered a price for less than the "real price" in my official "Digital Piano Guide." Hmm, something isn't right. How could this be, isn't my "guide" supposed to know everything afterall. We negotiate a little and he says he will throw in free delivery and set-up (a $145 value), so we say "OK." Only, I'm not feeling quite right about it all and as the day progresses I feel worse and worse about it. Poor hubby, trying hard to make my Mother's Day so nice and here I spend the whole day stressing about how I think we got screwed. And, that feeling just kept growing and growing. Guide be damned!

Because I had such success with my on-line guide, I go home and get back on-line to do more "research." Finally, I find a blog with a thread called, "Digital Pianos, Prices Paid." This thread listed the model, the price paid, the area it was bought, and (in some cases) the name of the store at which it was bought. Dare I look. Of course, I looked! My worst fears were realized. If we had paid $500 less we would've had a great deal, $300 less a fair deal, so we way overpaid.

We called the dealer tonight. After a lot of going back and forth, we told them we would cancel the order if they couldn't do something better for us. The dealer said he would need to talk with his boss and call us back. During this time, I called one of the stores listed on the "Digital Piano, Prices Paid" thread (on the other side of the country from us). The salesperson at that store tells me about some Yamaha rule that doesn't allow them to quote prices on the phone. Hmmm. . . I tell him our story and he asks, "how much did you pay?" Thank goodness he took pity on me. He immediately tells me that was way too much money. He tells me what a "fair price" would be and instructs me how to proceed with our salesman. So, that's what we did. We reduced our cost by $375. I feel much better. Of course, this was all done over the phone with a guarantee that the new invoice would arrive tomorrow with the piano and the $375 would be refunded to our card. Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best. . . .We will see what tomorrow brings!

Update: The invoice arrived a little off (by about $145 too much), but one phone call and a few days later the right amount was given back to us. Whew!!!!