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Consumer BEWARE: Brian Davis Septic Company

Posted by on Jun 4, 2014 in Phat Life | 0 comments

 

 If you live in the Palm Bay/Viera/Melbourne area in Florida, USA and you  own or have an aerobic septic system in  your home? Consumer BEWARE of the Brian Davis Septic Company! Read this! 

I contracted with Brian Davis Septic in December 13 after finding them in BBB with a A+ Rating. It took multiple calls to get them to fax over the paper work. Since that time I’ve experienced the problems listed below. While reading these, please note that this company is licensed by the State heath department to service it’s constituents for required services:

1. Initial inspection stated all was well, however both tanks badly in need of pump out. Several calls required to schedule the pump out, all by me, in January (around the 10th) 2014.

2. In January 10, during pump out, service techs stated that the “inspectors don’t really look for that sort of thing.” However tanks were open and inspected.

3. During this service call, asked about leakage into yard from what was eventually determined to be a bad emitter. “Yeah, hmm, weird.” However no further information given, nor the need to fix as eventually determined. Techs at this time stated “everything else looks good and in working order.”

4. After the pump out in January, 10, pump began making strange noise, as though water in pump. Communicated to office, attempting to schedule visit to inspect. Promised callback twice, none returned by office staff.

5. In May 2014 as pump sounds began to increase, contacted office again to schedule visit, took several calls, again from me, never called back, to schedule visit.

6. During visit, aerator pump was determined to be bad, and screw covers for vegetation covers/tank cover not screwed down properly, and would have been an inspection violation… last service was by this company, so error was theirs.

7. During same visit in May, previously mentioned emitter determined to be issue needing repair.

8. After calling office, informed that the pump issue was noted in January, however this was not ever explained as an issue needing replacement. Issue was slight in January, continued operation and a failure to respond to my initial concerns 4 months prior while in need of repair was likely cause of eventual failure, or at the very least accelerated it.

9. When trying to get a price quote for replacement/repair work required 7 calls between 5/28 and 5/30, nearly all of them ending with a promise of a callback that never occurred. Each time I had to follow up. During this time, the aerator has been off leaving me out of code.

10. After several calls, was finally able to schedule a time for the repair, Wednesday, 6/4 between 8 and 10 AM. I took time off work to be here to pay and monitor the service. At 9:40, with no one yet hear and no call, I called to confirm. I was told by the office person (Rosa, who has been the person I’ve dealt with consistently and had such terrible response) said that they would need to reschedule for 6/6 because one of their “people had a, um, problem.” I strongly feel I was simply forgotten, and previous experiences do nothing to dissuade this. I asked how I was supposed to know if no one called and that I took time off work for this, I was placed on hold, and told that someone would be by this after noon, now requiring me to miss an entire day of work.

This is absolutely the most terrible customer service experience I have ever experienced or witnessed, and I manage a customer service call center, and makes the BBB A+ rating meaningless.

Resolution:

Because of the many servicing issues, service mishaps, incomplete work, failure to respond, advise and/or notice existing issues for a service I have paid for, the only way this can be reasonably accommodated is with a free (or, at the very least, discount in excess of 75%) pump replacement and official apology from the business itself, acknowledging their failures and admitting fault.

Call Timeline, gathered from phone call history, text message logs and our experience:

5/28

7:14 AM – Called to report pump worsening after January Reporting of same issue. Was told that the person answering (I believe it to be Rosa) was on way to work, and that she would call back in 15 minutes

8:38 AM – I called back to schedule visit, told would be coming out between 10 and noon. During this call also mentioned I had previously informed them of the pump noises following pump out in January. Was told this was noted on prior report. However I nor my wife were never informed of this, and the sound didn’t occur until after the pump out.

1:05 PM – 2 Service Techs showed, disconnected air pump, told my wife that it was shot and needed replacement. Service Tech got on ground, dug out previously mentioned emitter (again, mentioned in January) and informed that it, as well as the alarm light, needed to be repaired/replaced. Also unclogged pump inside tank which was clogged with hair, according to the service tech. During this time my wife overheard one of the techs could be overheard speaking on the phone with office “No it doesn’t need a pump out, I’m not going to lie to her.” This same tech also told my wife, when she mentioned issues with contacting the office that he “could tell {us} horror stories about the office.”

5/29

10:01 AM – Called and was told she didn’t have notes yet, but would get them and call back.

3:02 PM, 4:25 PM – I called to get information. Each time was told she would call back very shortly (15 minutes first time, 5 minutes second

5/30

9:30 AM – Called back to get information, was given price to replace pump, fix emitter and repair/replace alarm light. Due to the difficulties I’d experienced, arranged with office to split payment. Rosa agreed to do so. During this was asked to provide post-dated check, which is not actually legal. I refused this and an arrangement for me to call back was arranged. Essentially NET 30. Listing this information in the interest of a full accounting of the situation, as it was one of the few bright spots of the service. Date for install was set for 6/4 at between 8 and 10 AM

6/4

9:40 AM – called when no one had arrived. Was told had to do Friday (notes on this in complaint). When I expressed concern at the lack of notification or callback, told would call back.

10:14 AM – Was (miraculously) called back to set second appointment today from 2 PM to 4 PM

4 PM – No show or call at this time. (Called Christie @Brevard Health to let her know)

4:03 PM – Called to check on status – Was told will be 45 minutes to one hour.

4:32 PM – Received call from Emily and told will be here in approximately 25 minutes.

4:50 PM – 2 Service techs arrived (Emily seemed to be one of them). After investigating the pump, she stated that she wished that someone had told her that the pump needed an adapter.

5:09 PM – The tech didn’t have one with her and they left with our pump to get the appropriate adapter at the local Home Depot or their shop (not sure which). Also overheard the 2nd tech mentioning that the cover screws were stripped and needed to be rethreaded. In the past year, the only service has only been by techs of Brian Davis Septic.

6:26 PM – The techs returned, with a third gentleman. The problem with the pump hook up was not apparently as difficult to remove as the 3rd tech was able to remove it. The pump was then hooked up and the emitter line repaired. I again mentioned a second potential emitter issue, which a prior tech had mentioned didn’t look like a problem; however it was not investigated at this time any further. The new pump seems to be working, however they positioned it such that the cover for the pump will not close properly. Alarm light on due to high water levels in second tank. That brings me to a new complaint…

During this time, they inspected the second tank, and determined the water level to be too high. It should be noted at this point that during the prior visit on 5/28 after cleaning out the pump filter, that the pump was in working order and providing 45 pounds (I’m assuming) of pressure. The water level visibly dropped and things were proceeding, according to the first techs, just fine.  Again, no pump out was recommended by the techs on Site 5/28. During this visit, however, they noted there was a problem with the pump, directly contradicting their previous inspection, including low pressure and no return pressure. She expressed credulity that we had had both tanks pumped out as recently as January which we had. In addition, the tech today noted that this may have been due to back flow from the broken emitter, again, an issue we reported in January. She suggested a second pump out, and possible 2nd tank pump replacement. She stated the office staff would contact me with quotes/details.

7:26 PM – gathered up their things and prepared to leave, closing the vegetation and access covers, but not completing the closure of the air pump cover due to the issue noted above. As they were leaving, they said that the office person (Rosa) said I would give them two checks. This was, as previously stated, not the agreement and that they would have a card reader with them. These techs stated that is not the case. I advised them to have Rosa contact me and I would work out details at that point.

 

 

Stock image provided by: http://ahrum-stock.deviantart.com/

April Fools

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Personal, Phat Life | 0 comments

mother-and-baby-isolated-871294248560rUxApril 2nd, huh. You missed out on the really fun shenanigans that often happen during April fools by only a day. That means that, depending on how you felt and how dad felt, April fools jokes were still going to be played whether you wanted them or not. I don’t remember all the April’s Fools the two of you played with me and with each other. The only one that really stuck out in my mind was when, in my early teens, my mother pulled me aside with stillness in her features. She bade me sit down and said, “I have something important to tell you,” with low words. I couldn’t read her face. I couldn’t figure out if I had gotten into trouble of it I’d done something–all I knew is that burbling, wordless fear started crawling around in my brain trying to find anything that I’d done wrong recently.

“Uh. Okay,” I said.

She was in her favorite rocking chair. She leaned in close and put her hand over mine. And then the stoic mask she’s worn earlier slipped with her one-corner-of-mouth  smile as she said: “You’re going to have a little brother or sister!”

And of course I start flapping my arms around lik they were made of two week old celery that’s not dried out enough to be bad, but certainly rubbery. “REALLY?” I asked, in that sub-sonic woman’s voice reserved for newborns, puppies, kittens, and those moments that happen in your favorite move.  It’s at this point that I notice my mother’s smile turning to smirk. It happened slow; along the left hand side of her mouth it would begin to curl a little downward, showing laugh-line creases. Then her eyes, once steady, became glittering with the laughter she withheld .

She came clean to me and reminded me of the date: April 1st. I was disappointed, but not mad. It was, for me and for her, a trifling little April fools between us that meant no hard.

April is coming.
April fools and then
My mother’s birthday.

I have dreamed of her so much at night that no matter how weird and awful or utterly mundane  it is–she’s there. Sometimes a big focal part. Somethings I see her passing by me like I’ve been dawdling and I should hurry. Sometimes it’s just a flash of her favorite purse, hair and blue jeans before it’s gone.

These dreams are the worst. I don’t want to wake up. I want to lay in bed for days on end so that I can see her again. So that she’s there. But when I wake up, I realize it was just a dream and it’s not really her and will never be as good as her and I feel like I am starting to mourn her all over again.

What I want is an april fools. I want it to be a horrible, giant April Fool’s joke.
I want her to call me tomorrow and say, “April Fools!”
And I want yell at her about how awful that April Fools was and did she honestly know how broken our entire family is and didn’t she know I had so much more to say to here and show her. I have a house. I have a beautiful backyard. A husband you’ve never met. I have cats. Four cats. And I now you love cats. And birds. And Ma, we take such good care of each other. He really loves me. He’s the one, he’ll always be the one, so you don’t have to worry about who I am dating. Just don’t this April fools again!
‘Kay, mom?

Okay–Mom?

 

Mom.

 

Darlene Mae Noseworthy
April 2nd, 1956 – December 11th, 2011
Good bye, Mum.

To my Husband in the New Year.

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in Personal |

You are my little planet, my earth. Hard packed from the way my feet pace back and forth in your heart–worrying about the things you’d never think of. Because really, they aren’t things that were meant to be worried about. Do you think I will die first? What will happen if you do? You know, I cannot live without you. I would have to go right after. You watch as I say these things and wring my hands as old women in markets haggling over the price of life. Your earth is soft and cool;  never too hot or baked from Floridian sunrises. I like to bury my toes deep into you, because I know that through you…I will grow.

You are not a rock.  I hope you will  never be a rock.  Rocks are too hard, too tough. They feel stress fractures and before you know it they’ve split and grown harsh edges to cut with.

You are the grass covered hill waiting in the shadow of a sunny day to cool me. So I can lay down in long plants, watch the clouds of your mind take the shapes and forms of  love for me. And I feel nothing but peace. If it rains, I’ll just roll down the hill a little bit, until the worst of it hits the side.

I would have marked you a Knight. But there are problems with Knights, too. So bound up in rigid codes or behaviors. So wrapped up in their armor that sometimes they forget there’s more to see of the world outside the slit of a visor.

You are my little planet. My cool grass. My soft hill. My reason. My husband.

I love you.

The prettiest damn elf at the party – FFXIV

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in Games |

In my life, there’s been a lot of games that I’ve beta tested for that had a lot of great focus in the first few levels and then…nothing later. There have been even more games that started well and turned into a festival of sad poop because of expectations. (Not naming any names.)

But one MMORPG that I have been beta testing the stuffing out of and eye-humping it since I’ve started has been Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I managed to get myself into Beta 2 and have been gleefully screaming down the fan-girl slide since. Oh–yes; there are issues they need to fix. There is balancing that will need to be done and this game is certainly not a very easy MMORPG. Hell, just figuring out how to do anything in your Square Enix account is a challenge and a half and I don’t even want to talk about the company’s idea of sharing information on the beta forums and in emails.

They screwed up with the last game and they know it. And they set out to fix it. And boy-oh-boy, have they did. Not only have they fixed it, they’ve given us a completely different game. It’s good. It’s very good. I recommend trying it when it goes open beta.

The Sweater

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Personal | 1 comment

There’s a little sand-golden house down a quiet road. Across from it, the wilds of Florida spike palm-shaped toward the sky, cardinals and their mates wheel over light gray shingled roof and perhaps three, four times a day a car will bumble along the road. Mostly mini-vans that remind the onlooker of chubby honey bees.

The front yard is small but not-too small. There are tall trees with the essence of willow in the way they grow and bow, but decorated with bright red flowers. The lawn is just grass. The drive way is just a drive way. There is a large window in the front beside a screened in door that has flowering honey suckle nested well grown beneath it. Here, real fat-honey bees trundle along; flower to flower searching. The Florida sun is forgiving rarely, harsh often. Stucco, stuffing, wood and air conditioning keep it livable inside.

In the living room there is a cat sprawled out on the back of a brown micro-fiber couch recently cleaned, in the den near a slumbering computer is a black cat resting comfortably. In the dark of the living room with her bare feet on cold tile is a girl inside a woman who walks this new house with the eyes of a child. This is her castle. This is her castle which her knight-turned-King made her, all for her. (And the cats too. But still….mostly here.)

The King sleeps while she travels through her home-castle, a whisper of skin on tile, checking and re-checking every room as if afraid tomorrow it will all disappear and become but a dream. She touched the back of a couch, the ears of her cat, trails her fingertips along a counter top and stops to watch the glow from the microwave light on her glass-top stove surface. The fridge hums and she swears it’s a happy tune. She cannot sleep, but it is the good kind of cannot-sleep. The kind where the excitement for tomorrow and the next day and the next keep your eyes awake.

Then, she sees it. 
First, it is a portrait of a woman that looks just like here. She is thinner in face, thinner in hair, but her smile is the same and her eyes are blue.
Then, she sees another thing.
A sweater several sizes too big for even the girl, that used to belong to the woman smiling in the picture.

The girl feels her eyebrows bunch together in swift emotion. Her eyes wrinkle and a pain ticks behind them that begins a wavering in her sight. The air in her lungs pushes forcefully out as the tears well and she fights them. She touches the sweater. It’s white and it is soft and warm and it was once hers. But it will never be like touching her ever again.

“Mom,” she says quietly in her house. The King snores, a cat meows, a fridge hums. “Mom–can you see? Can you see what’s happened and where I am? Do you know how loved I am? Did you know that everything was going to be all right and okay?”  She needs a moment as she looks up to her ceiling fan. It’s turned off for the night. “Mom…I wish you’d made it. I wish you were here. I wish you could see how I truly ended up. How proud you would have been of me and of Shawn. And I wish you could have seen my friends. The love in my life right now.

She picks up the sweater and folds it neatly. Reverently. A garment of memories from a little child’s legend long past. She lays it against the side-corner of the couch in a way that seems as if the owner of the sweater just set it down on her way through. That perhaps she forgot it and would come back for it.

“Mom,” the little girl says. “I miss you.”

The Phat Cave

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Personal, Phat Life |

Once upon a time there were two phat geeks. They met and fell in love in a magical way over a series of ensorcelled tubes before meeting face to face. Their life was filled with cats, birds and the Land of Internet. They lived humbly for a long time with their parents and dreamed simple dreams. When they were able to, they rented a small space away from their parents in a hot and treacherous jungle named BugLandia, occasionally called Florida. The space was fine at first, but then they found three little green and blue feathered souls that needed rescuing and then the space wasn’t so much space as it was living in a giant bird cage with bird cages within it.

They dreamed of a place of their own with just a little more space. Not much. Just a bit. They never ever in their wildest dreams thought they could afford anything really nice, like some of the other castles and fortresses in BugLandia, so when they began looking the looked at rustic little cottages that needed much roof-thatching and rebuilding.

They had an awfully hard time of it. Every choice was either too much expense to fix or missing important things like…toilets…entire kitchens. Walls.

It was a long journey on Sundays Untold for what seemed like forever–three–months and they kept saying, “Maybe,” to the magical lady who showed them these places but ultimately it turned into no.

And then one day the planets aligned an a unicorn came down from the misty heavens leaving a trail of sparkles and those little marshmallows from that cereal with the leprechaun that has a lot of issues with his charms.  The sun parted and harps played and they found The One. 

They found a place to call home. Something far beyond their wildest dreams and perfect for them.

With the enchantment of their own pudgy feet they moved from their tiny place to the castle.

And they called this land, “The Phat Cave.” There were no sudden or inevitable betrayals.

They lived weirdly and phatly ever after.

On April 25th 2013 we finalized an offer on a home and moved out of our apartment. I am so happy and tired and tirappy I could explode into glitter bombs. 

 

Beautiful Gold Spam: Age of Wushu

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Games, Phat Life |

Quick and Dirty, ladies and gents–a why and why for, about Age of Wushu: a free to play world PVP kung-fu MMORPG.
(Immature giggling goes here)

Does this dress make my flowers look big?

Does this dress make my flowers look big?

Why you should play Age of Wushu

  • If you are a fan of ancient china, chinese mythologies, the ancient kung-fu movies or wuxia dramas then you are going to enjoy looking at Age of Wushu.
  • Despite being run on a graphics engine a bit out of date enough to rely on bloom, it’s still gorgeous and many places feel as if they sprung out of painted scenes.
  • One of the better kung-fu/Martial arts F2P out there
  • World PVP (after a certain level) adding an edge to danger to everything
  • Crafting is a viable source of income and helpful to progress
  • Team Practice your Kung-Fu with fellow Kung-fu practicioneers to ‘speed’ the experience of your deadly arts
  • Belong to a school (Wudang, Emei, Shaolin, Beggars, Royal Guards and so on) and enjoy benefits from belonging to a group
  • Spy on enemy/different schools and earn rewards and experience.
  • Be evil: Kidnap people and sell them, all while maniacally laughing and stroking your whiskers.
  • Pay for being evil: repent your sins (if you are part of a good aligned school) at the temple or go to jail to pay for your crimes of PKing and kidnapping!
  • Pick up the arts: learn calligraphy, learn painting, learn chess, poetry or music
  • Protect and escort supplies between important families or individuals of import
  • Save the girl or guy
  • Win friends
  • Farm, mine, fish, chop wood, skin animals, cook food, make poisons, heal through herbs, weave clothe, make legendary weapons
  • Find a guild: go to war, make an alliance, group up and roll out
  • There is never nothing to do.
I could, like, sit here all day, man

I could, like, sit here all day, man

Why you shouldn’t play Age of Wushu

  • It’s a free to play game and so some of the unique issues that always seem to crop up in f2p’s do.
  • Gold spam everywhere. In all the channels so far except school channels (as far as I have observed). You can put them on ignore (add them to blacklist) but that gets full in a day. That solution isn’t viable.
  • Punks everywhere: f2p seems to bring out the best and the worst more so than anything else. You will get punked at sometime, anytime, especially by yourself. There will always be those guys that smell new player from a mile away and swoop in on their epics and kill you in one click thinking they all that and a bag of tea.
  • With that in mind: if you get upset easily by being pk’ed by kids or people having a bad day, right off the bat “open pvp world,” should turn you away.
  • The cash shop isn’t pay to win–it’s pay to level faster basically. Mounts, bags, extra warehouse, all of this isn’t permanent. Mounts and bags last a set amount of days (100, for example.) Bags currently are purchased from players or picked up from drops only, mounts are cash shop or random quest rewards (as far as I can tell), and the only current way to get extra warehouse space (bank space) is to pay Snail Games real cash money dollar bills for in game gold to become a VIP member to expand it. Plus, as a VIP member, you “cultivate,” your Kung-fu off line and faster than those who play free. (Cultivate = experience = level it up, pretty much.) Right now, there aren’t any pills, buffs, exp medicines or the like in the shop either. So like I said, it’s not so much pay-to-win as it is pay-to-get-to-win-faster. (I could be wrong! Feel free to let me know in comments!)
  • Solo play is going to be difficult. Without a guild to help you with instances or fighting off random player killing, the casual gamer or gamer who likes to explore all the areas and things might find it a challenge.
  • Grind fest. No matter how fun everything is–or how fun I find it–I know it’s going to be a grind to get it anywhere better. I know it, and the game doesn’t even bother to hide how many hours of repetition I’m gonna put into it to get it there. I guess it’s almost a positive the game doesn’t hide it?
  • Lost in translation: I believe that some of the better aspects of the game may have been lost in the translation from Chinese to English. Quest descriptions are abrupt and in some cases appear to have nothing to do with the quest they are giving you. Your quest tracker and the ability to click-auto-path is going to be awesome for some.
Within the school of Emei

Within the school of Emei

So should I try it or not?

It’s a free game that despite it’s very real and very obvious flaws to an American market; is trying its best to carry its weight. And it’s doing okay. I think that Age of Wushu is one of those free-to-play games that fits a niche market and not a broad one to appeal to everyone. And that’s okay, I think that there needs be more games happier to cater to a wildly loyal few than try and appeal to a broad mass and fail. Whether Age of Wushu will collapse under it’s gold spam and free to play is something we will have to see. As it stands, I think it’s a remarkable game for free to play and Martial Arts and one that it cannot hurt to be tried.