Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow Storm

I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that knows me that I absolutely LOVE snow! So you can probably imagine my excitement when suddenly yesterday we were put in a blizzard warning expecting up to 20 inches of snow from this morning through tomorrow.

Mind you, this is after having nothing other than flurries for a few minutes at most all season long so far. This time, the snow started sticking right away too!

Here are a few pictures from today thus far:

This first picture is from earlier this morning soon after the snow started.

I'm sure I'll update if when I take more pictures!

Updated 7:14 PM (taken from my phone):
Updated 9:17 PM:

14 inches as of 9:15 PM!

Here's the morning after update with pictures of the snow storm:

behind that fence is our pool; the little bit of red you see is our red brick bench that runs the length of our backyard.

Around 12:30 PM:

We ended up with 22.5+ inches of snow! I'm not sure exactly how much, but 22.5 inches was the number at 1 A.M. and it still snowed after that.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Food: 3.5
Staff: 3.5
Atmosphere: 4
Overall: 3.5

I went with a bunch of girls, and so got to 'sample' a few different dishes. I can honestly say I only liked what I ordered. I got the Chicken Kabab and it was juicy and delicious. I found a few of the other dishes to be on the dry and bland side (like the chicken shawarma).

Staff -- Seemed friendly, but I guess because it's a new restaurant and they aren't very busy yet (we were the only ones there)... they pretty much watched us eat.

The place is decorated nicely though, which was a major plus! It's new so it was clean and welcoming.

A major downer -- would not let us split the check in terms of giving them separate credit cards. Who doesn't do that? We either had to pay cash or put it all on one card... so it would be a hassle for someone to go there with a group of friends. I hope they change that soon.

Chicken Kabab

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, December 20, 2010


When I started blogging three years ago, I wasn't sure how much (or how often) I would actually end up blogging, how consistent I would be, or whether it would end up being just another one of those short lived things.

But looking back and seeing the 300 posts I've written in 3 years, I am quite happy (and surprised) that I've stuck with it.

Writing has always been a way for me to get things out of my system, and it's been a great way to keep track of what's going on in my life and around me. From time to time, it's neat to go back and reflect on what I had written about at any given time... which was a huge part of why I started blogging in the first place.

I wonder what the next three years will bring...

Do you blog? What's your main reason for blogging?

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Observations at a Hospital/Doctor's Office (Part Two)

This is part two of the post from here on the following questions:

You know what I'll never understand?
  1. Why patients with heart related symptoms are made to wait an hour (plus) in the waiting room in the emergency room.
  2. Why patients on a "cardiac diet" are fed cheese sandwiches, lasagna, and other such things in hospitals.
  3. Why a cardiologists' office serves pizza (ESPECIALLY after a stress test).
  4. Why the nurses and technicians in hospitals wake the patients up every 2-4 hours to take their blood pressure, etc.
  5. Why the nurses and technicians are so incredibly loud in the middle of the night.
You can read part one about statements one and two by clicking here.

Statement Three: Why a cardiologists' office serves pizza (ESPECIALLY after a stress test).

This goes along with my previous statement, statement two, as it also deals with the quality of food (or lack thereof).

After my dad's heart attack in 2005, he has had regular appointments with the cardiologist of course and has had annual stress tests. Each year after coming back his stress test, he would tell us that they were serving pizza and soda for the patients and their families (fortunately he would choose not to eat that).

It's so absurd that it is almost funny. Here we are at a cardiologists' office and they are serving oily pizza to a bunch of heart patients.

Apparently they have stopped serving food altogether-- so I'm not even sure it was because they realized they were serving unhealthy food or if it was just because

Statement Four: Why the nurses and technicians in hospitals wake the patients up every 2-4 hours to take their blood pressure, etc.

Fortunately I've never been hospitalized, but I've stayed plenty of times with my mom or dad. That said, I probably know my local hospital backwards and forward. But that's not the point; the point is that I don't get why they do certain things at hospitals (or the way they do them).

While it's annoying when they check the patients' temperature, blood pressure, and pulse rate every couple of hours while you are awake, I understand that they have to do that. I get it. What I don't get it is WHY they wake up patients to do it when they are sleeping. I don't think that by not checking for several hours it would be that big of a deal in MOST cases. OF COURSE they are some circumstances where I'm sure it is necessary to check every two hours on the dot-- but it's not all of the time!

Most patients are probably already annoyed and not getting sleep just because they are in the hospital, so a few sound hours of sleep is probably necessary for them. I think my blood pressure would rise every time they woke me up at night ;)... just saying.

Once or twice, I remember, the technician coming into the room and once they acknowledge that the patient (my mom or dad) is sleeping, they just tell me they'll come back later when the patient is awake. But that rarely happens.

You know what I find the funniest during all of this? When the nurse or technician asks the patient bright and early in the morning how they slept? How do you think they slept? You didn't let them sleep! 

I'm going to throw in a statement five in here just because I can :)

Statement Five:  Why the nurses and technicians are so incredibly loud in the middle of the night.

I'm not sure what the deal is with this one, but it sure is annoying.

I can never sleep in hospitals anyways, so I'm usually up all night... which is probably why I noticed all these little things.

I don't remember if I've noticed this happen before, but this past time - a nurse and technician kept talking really loud (essentially yelling to one another) right outside the rooms. If it was for something related to the patients, that they needed help, or something to the likes - it would be more than understandable. But no, instead they were laughing and joking. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!

Several times, my dad woke up from their loud voices. Said nurse and technician even came into our room and continued to do so and I probably gave them the most annoyed look possible because that was when it stopped fortunately.

Have you observed or heard about other similar things happening at hospitals and/or doctors' offices that you found absurd?

Updated 12.17.2010: I was quite surprised to find this question in a survey online at because that indicates that it is a consistent problem, not something that happens on a rare occasion. For the category, 'Patients who reported that the area around their room was "Always" quiet at night.' -- only 52% of the people who answered the survey in relation to the hospital we were at. That's pretty low. Worse, the number was lower for the other hospitals in our area!

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I love (funny) jokes, and the one below is probably one of the funniest I've read or heard in a while:

Real Ad: Ad seen in the The New York Times...
Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica. 45 volumes. Excellent
$1,000.00 or best offer. No longer needed. Got married last weekend.
Wife knows everything.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Obama's Children's Book

The youngest person in my house is 22 (me!), so I am sure many would be surprised if they heard that we recently bought a children's book.

Well, it wasn't just any children's book - it was Barack Obama's "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters":

I gotta admit, the book is pretty good - and I'm not just saying that because I'm a supporter of him.

All politics aside the story line is good, as is the moral of the story. It essentially introduces various famous Americans (13 of them) with various traits/characteristics that they are known for (and each introduction starts in the form of a "Have I told you...?" question). The core of the story is, of course, that America is made up of a diverse group of people from all sorts of backgrounds who all bring something different to the table and each one is as important as the other.

By the way, a 100% of the profits are being donated to a charity.

Have you read it? What did you think of it?

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Observations at a Hospital/Doctor's Office (Part One)

You know what I'll never understand?
  1. Why patients with heart related symptoms are made to wait an hour (plus) in the waiting room in the emergency room.
  2. Why patients on a "cardiac diet" are fed cheese sandwiches, lasagna, and other such things in hospitals.
  3. Why a cardiologists' office serves pizza (ESPECIALLY after a stress test).
  4. Why the nurses and technicians in hospitals wake the patients up every 2-4 hours to take their blood pressure, etc.
I'll expand further on each of the above statements, but don't you find each of them absolutely ridiculous and hypocritical?

Statement One: Why patients with heart related symptoms are made to wait an hour (plus) in the waiting room in the emergency room.

This past Tuesday my dad went to the emergency room because he felt tightness in his chest (he had a heart attack in 2005 so of course it was a concern for all of us). We sat in the waiting room for atleast an hour and a half (probably even more) before we were finally taken back into the emergency room. Another 30+ minutes later, he was finally seen by a doctor.

A chest x-ray, blood test, and 2 EKG's later to see if it was indeed heart related we were told that the tests would need to be done several times (one at about each eight hour interval) because just one or two times would be inconclusive. If that's the case, it brings me back to my original question of WHY they take so long in the first place.

I would assume, and rightfully so I think, that if the symptoms indicate that the problem is heart related, immediate action would be taken. I had always assumed that the emergency room was ordered based on the urgency of the situations, but apparently not based on what I saw.

Not surprisingly, my dad was hospitalized -- for two days.

This wasn't the first time, unfortunately, we had to to wait way too long for something that could have potentially been serious (but thankfully was not) -- it happened to my mom in 2008 as well.

Statement Two: Why patients on a "cardiac diet" are fed cheese sandwiches, lasagna, and other such things in hospitals.

I've noticed this happen before as well, but at the same as I talk about above -- I went to ask the nurse if my dad could have something to eat since he hadn't had anything to eat for several hours (he had came straight from work to the hospital). The nurse told me he would ask my dad's doctor and let me know. Can you imagine how surprised I was when the technician came back sometime later and told us that my dad was being put on a cardiac diet for now and asked if a cheese sandwich would be okay when we told him he could eat halal food (kosher-like) or vegetarian.

What part of a sandwich with two cheese slices fits into a cardiac diet? How does that even make sense?

The next day he had vegetarian lasagna (again with lots of cheese) for lunch. Oh, and with each meal came a roll with BUTTER. I can't recall exactly what else he ate during his hospital stay, but a lot of them sure were questionable. When did a cardiac diet come to mean that only the salt quantity needs to be controlled?

Part Two to come soon.  Update: You can read Part Two by clicking here.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kabab Paradise

Food: 5
Staff: 4.5
Atmosphere: 3.5
Overall: 4.5

I've had several things from here and have enjoyed them all.

My favorite is the Chicken Tikka Sandwich with fries. Their chicken wings are delicious, their hummus is great. I was hesitant yet anxious to try their fried chicken and that was great as well! I love fried chicken, but usually most places don't made it so great. Oh, and their lamb chops are delicious too -- and I'm not even a meat fan usually! Their gyros are great -- portion is great for two people to share in my opinion -- as are all of their entrees.

This place has become a favorite for my family very fast.

It's a popular place here and is usually packed, but we can usually find a table. We live nearby though, so taking it to go is not a problem either.

It's closed on Mondays though! On more than a few occasions we have wanted to go or have actually driven there to then be reminded it is closed. :(

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards, has died at the age of 61 after a six year long battle with breast cancer. Just yesterday, news broke that her doctors had informed her last week that further treatment would be "unproductive" and that she had stopped treatment.

You always pray and hope for the best, but unfortunately in life you need to prepare for the worst.

Throughout everything Elizabeth Edwards has been through (losing her 16 year old son Wade in a car accident, battling cancer [then going into remission, then finding out the cancer is back -- and worse that it is spreading], and of course the infamous admission by John Edwards that he had an affair and fathered a child), she always held her own and kept her poise. Elizabeth Edwards never had anything malicious to say, even though she had every right and most people in her position would have.

What an inspirational woman.

I read a quote earlier online from a family friend of hers that said "Elizabeth did not want people to say she lost her battle with cancer. The battle was about living a good life and that she won." What a great outlook on life - I know most people without a doubt would not be thinking in such a positive manner.

My condolences go out to her family (especially her children) and friends.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Facebook: Cartoon Default Photo

If you are actively using Facebook, by now you have certainly seen some (if not many) of your friends change their default pictures to an image of a cartoon.

If it wasn't explained why, and you were curious - I'm sure you inquired and found out. But a lot of people still don't understand why -- which is one of the reasons I question it in the first place.

The explanation attached to the profile picture change is something to the likes of "Change your picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal? To not see a human face on Facebook until Monday, December 6th. Join the fight against child abuse & copy & paste to your status to invite your friends to do the same."

In the early stages of all of this happening, I would get annoyed each time I saw it -- but not really think too much about it. But when I saw my brother Faraz post "If you know a child is being abused, please call 1-800-4-A-CHILD instead of just changing your profile picture to a cartoon" I immediately smiled and thought THIS is something I could go along with and promote. Instead of belittling what is a serious problem in the United States and across the globe, this was good information that should be passed along.

My number one question or problem with the cartoon scenario is: does the problem or at least the severity of the problem that is child abuse suddenly disappear after December 6th?

I'm sure many of the people who changed their Facebook profile photo thought that by doing so, they were promoting a good cause... but most didn't even bother explaining the reason they were changing their photo in the first place. Instead of passively participating, we should all take an active stance.

Over the last twelve hours or so, I'm pleased to see several of my Facebook "friends" change their statuses to what my brother wrote and I urge you to do the same.

This whole thing reminded me of a little while back when females posted on their Facebook statuses where they "liked it" in order to promote breast cancer. It was supposed to imply where they liked to leave their purses, but it became so racy and provocative and I don't think it raised any awareness at all. Breast Cancer is the number one cause of death for females, and to undermine its severity just baffles me each time.

What cause will be next?

Instead, why not provide people with information? Or provide links to where people can donate to for further research and prevention. Wouldn't it be amazing if both of these problems became a thing of the past?

There are many pros and cons to social media. You can use them to promote great causes like child abuse and cancer amongst many others, but there is a way to do it. The growing trend unfortunately is that social media just desensitizes us more and more.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Photographer's Assistant

So remember, when I wrote about my cousin's photography business here? This past Sunday I got to assist her.

She had the same client for the wedding and the valima (a reception), and since the valima was in New Jersey (and very close to where I live), she asked me to go as her assistant.

It was a great experience overall (minus having to wait THREE HOURS for the bride and groom to show up for the reception). Not to mention, I had the easy job -- helping in setting up, giving my cousin the alternating lens when she needed it, looking out for photographic moments, helping with poses, etc.

I'm not sure I could deal with the stress that comes with the responsibility of being the official photographer for someone's wedding! We all know how much I stress right?

While the bride had originally told my cousin in their meeting that she didn't want pictures taken with the extended family, we ended up spending about two hours doing just that -- where each one was claimed to be "the last one, I promise".

Being on the other side of the lens (so to speak) for the first time at an event also gave me a new sense of appreciation for professional photographers (especially at weddings -- and particularly desi ones while we are it). As annoying as photographers may seem at weddings, there's a valid reason behind it. Desi weddings, especially, usually involve A LOT of people.

Oh, and when the professional photographer tells other people to stop taking pictures, just listen! I wasn't even the one taking pictures, but it was annoying to me when the bride or the groom (or a extended family member) would look at someone else's camera when my cousin asked them to look at hers. I mean, come on, you are PAYING her! Wouldn't you want to make sure those pictures came out perfect?

My cousin recently created a blog for her business as well, where she plans to write about the events she does. You can check that out by clicking here. She's just starting the blog out, but it should be up and running in no time.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

John McCain's Hypocrisy

Even though I don't usually watch Rachel Maddow's show, I do watch it here and there because my brother prefers the shows on MSNBC (while I like CNN more). The only show on MSNBC I like is Keith Olbermann's.

Earlier this week, she had a piece on John McCain's contradictions on basically EVERY policy. While I think it's fine for politicians to change their minds from time to time (because EVERYONE does change their minds here and there), one who changes their opinion on EVERY issue is just a hypocritical moron.

Here's a clip from her show:

Here's a clip from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on the same topic:
P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rutgers vs. Syracuse Football Game

This past Saturday, I attended the Rutgers vs. Syracuse football game, courtesy of winning two tickets through's (online version of a local newspaper) twitter account.

I graduated from Rutgers last May, and had not gone to any of the games so far in the season, so this game was also my first game as a Rutgers Alumni.

The first half of the game was quite mundane, but it quickly picked up in the latter half. Unfortunately, we lost.

It was, also, the first home game Rutgers was playing following the game against Army, where Eric LeGrand was paralyzed from neck below.

Here are a few pictures we took at the game:

Sea of Red:

The student section formed the number "52" in honor of LeGrand: 

During their half-time show, the Rutgers Marching Band formed a "52" in honor of LeGrand:

The Fall 2010 semester at Rutgers so far has been plagued with unfortunate events. Read my post about what happened in September by clicking here and October by clicking here. As for November -- right before half time, one of the people attending the game fell at the game and is hospitalized in critical condition with injuries to his head. You can read more about that here. Some commenters on the news article seem to suggest that Rutgers is playing down the story, and all I can is this -- I was just a few feet away at halftime in a crowd of people at the concession stands, and I didn't find out until I was back in my seat later on via twitter.

Hopefully next semester will be a lot smoother.

I meant to write about the game that night, but when I got home my laptop suddenly would not turn on! It was running absolutely fine until before I left for the game, so I am not sure what happened. I ended up getting a new laptop Sunday, but I AGAIN lost everything from my old laptop which is quite annoying.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eid-ul-Adha 2010

Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating!

It's very weird -- it's our first Eid ever without Faraz (who moved to Canada in July) and also our first Eid in our new house.

We invited our local family (around 45-50 people) for breakfast/brunch, so that should be a lot of fun!

Hope everyone has a great day with their family and friends,

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Aurora Moments Photography

A good photographer makes a world of a difference, don't you think?

My cousin, Samia, recently started a photography business of her own, called Aurora Moments Photography. She's based in New York (but does events in New Jersey and other local areas as well).

I'm not just saying this because she's my cousin, but she is a great photographer!

She actually started her business to cater towards Muslim brides who are looking for female photographers, but she does all sort of events -- everything from portrait sessions to birthdays to graduation parties to weddings and everything in between.

Click here to check out some portfolio pictures on her Facebook fan page and you can contact Samia Ahmad at for all of your photography needs.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

MSNBC Suspends Keith Olbermann

So as you may (or may not have) heard, MSNBC 'indefinitely' suspended Keith Olbermann earlier today in light of the news that Olbermann donated to three democratic candidates in the midterm election. Olbermann, who acknowledged the contributions, made the maximum legal donations of $2,400 to each of the three candidates.

According to POLITICO:
NBC has a rule against employees contributing to political campaigns, and a wide range of news organizations prohibit political contributions — considering it a breach of journalistic independence to contribute to the candidates they cover.
It's not like Keith Olbermann claimed to host a nonpartisan show - EVERYONE knows that the majority of times, he support liberals candidates and liberal causes. How is this any different from how he expresses his point of views on the show (along with all of the other journalists)? When has Olbermann ever claimed to be an impartial journalist?? That's like saying a journalist on Fox News is impartial.

It's always been an on-going battle at my house -- I like CNN while my brother likes MSNBC -- but the ONE show I actually liked on MSBNC was Keith Olbermann's. The same article I mentioned earlier stated that Olbermann tripled MSNBC’s ratings at 8 p.m. Without a doubt, MSNBC's rating will plummet without Olbermann.

What do you think about MSNBC's decision?

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Election Day Reminder

Hopefully you are aware that tomorrow is Election Day!

If you know me personally, you have gotten an email reminder as well, but again this is just a friendly reminder (as always) for you to vote tomorrow.  I don't care who you vote for, just don't forget to vote and remind your friends and family to do the same.

I know many of you only vote in presidential elections, and others of you who don't vote at all - but I urge you to exercise your right to vote tomorrow. Whether it is a presidential election, a primary, a local election, etc. - each election is just as important.

The ones who don't vote are usually the first ones to complain about everything and when I ask them why they didn't vote - they don't usually have a reasonable answer. Have your opinion be counted tomorrow.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Empire Today, Follow Up

As a quick follow up to my blog post last night about our horrible experience with Empire Today, I wanted to post real quick that I just received a call from Empire Today. The woman, Rebecca, said she had read my blog post from last night and was calling to apologize.

I think it's great that Empire Today is using the growing technology for their benefit in terms of connecting with their customers.

While it does not make up for the rude woman we had to deal with twice from their company (last week and the week before), I do appreciate a company owning up to what happened, taking responsibility, apologizing and promising to take an internal look into what happened. How refreshing!

As I mentioned last night, we got our carpet installed through Empire Today earlier and we had absolutely no problems. The guy was informative and friendly and everything happened pretty smoothly.

I've always thought that if  you aren't a people's person and friendly, you are in the wrong business if you are in retail/sales (or anything similar). I've worked in retail in the past alongside school, so I've seen both sides of it -- and I can't say it enough -- the way you interact with your customers makes a HUGE difference.

I'm never this quick to blog anymore, but I didn't want to leave it hanging - because I do appreciate Rebecca calling to apologize. Companies lately seem to forget that without their customers, they are nothing.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Empire Today

I started writing this October 11th, and finally got around to finishing it today.
This blog post is Part Two of a series of blog posts I'm working on this week on the horrible customer service I've encountered lately. Read Part One by clicking here.
You know what I have very little patience with? Bad customer service.

In my opinion, there are just no excuses for it. As consumers, we are choosing to make purchases from you. You are not doing us any favors.

After getting carpet installed in our new home through Empire Today with no problems, we decided getting blinds through them would be a good idea. So a few days later, we called Empire Today again and scheduled one of their employees to come with samples to our house (they have no actual stores).

This women was clueless to say the least. She had no answers to our questions, couldn't figure out how to price the samples we chose to give us estimates, was making errors left and right in pricing and  - it was as if my dad and I were doing her work for her.

All of the above, I could have attributed to the fact that she was maybe a new employee (even though she said otherwise).

What ticked me off most was that she made a personal call while I was waiting for her to give me a price!


That's not even the end of it.

A week or so later, we called Empire Today back and they sent the same lady back (the second time this lady came was after the whole 'Blinds to Go' fiasco). A little while before she was scheduled to come to our house, she calls and tells us that she is actually with another customer and forgot she was scheduled with them. She told us if that appointment ended early, she would come afterwards - otherwise the next day - either way she would call us.

Not only did she not call us, but when WE called and left her a message, she didn't even respond. When she finally came the next day, she was just completely rude to us! She even kept emphasizing that she was "squeezing us in" between other appointments as if she was doing us a favor. At that point in time we knew that even if we chose to get our blinds through Empire Today, it wouldn't be through this lady.

At one point when my dad asked her about the huge disparity in price amongst Empire Today and other companies we got a quote from, she rudely said "then I guess its settled, you will get your blinds from the other company" and got up and packing her stuff while we were still discussing the products. At that time, we knew we were definitely getting our blinds from elsewhere.

Oh and did you know, their advertised 'next day" products for blinds actually means at least ten days? I'm not sure why they are falsely advertising and I'm not sure what the reactions have been to that... it just made me laugh when the lady told me.

I don't know why getting blinds for our new house turned into such a huge problem, but thankfully we placed an order via a local company (Budget Blinds) last Thursday (the 21st). They should be arriving in two to three weeks, and I'm hoping everything happens smoothly.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blinds To Go

This LONG blog post is Part One of a series of blog posts I'm working on this week on the horrible customer service I've encountered lately.
If your business promises a service, I expect nothing less. For some reason, businesses aren't getting the memo lately that if you are promised a service, consumers actually expect it. Funny, isn't it?

On October 12th, my family went to our local 'Blinds to Go' store, browsed through the selection of blinds, and for the vertical blinds - narrowed it down to two color choices.

At that point the sales lady informed us that between the two color choices we had narrowed down to, one of the colors were on back order for the vertical blinds and the other color was on back order for the horizontal blinds. She told us that the ones in stock would be installed most likely in two days after measurements were taken. She also told us that most likely the back orders would not arrive until the first week of November, but she would provide us with temporary blinds for the window treatments that were on back order for the time being.

We needed ten horizontal blinds and two vertical blinds.

Since we were in the process of moving after getting A LOT of renovations done in the new house, my mom and I decided that because we were okay with both color choices, we would choose the color that would only have two of our window treatments on back order (common sense, don't you think? WHY would we ever choose to have the majority of our windows without window treatment for over three weeks by choice?). I confirmed with the sales lady MULTIPLE times which ones would be on back order, and left the store after placing the order pretty satisfied. I reasoned to my mom that having temporary blinds on two of our windows wouldn't be such a big deal, rather than the whole house.

Two days later, the measurement guy came and measured all the windows. The following day, we got a call from the sales lady we talked to in the store informing us that the blinds were ready and that we should go ahead and schedule an installation date (with the guy that came to do the measurements).

We were scheduled for the following Monday (October 18th) at 3:30 PM, so we scheduled moving into our new house for Sunday (the 17th) thinking one night without blinds was doable, rather than waiting for a whole week until the following weekend.

Simple enough.

Fast forward to Monday (the 18th) at 3 PM (half an hour before our scheduled installation time), the in-store manager (George) from the store we placed the order calls us and says the two vertical blinds are ready, but the other ten blinds are on back order (the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what we were originally told!!!!!!)

As all of this is happening, I call the 'Blinds to Go' customer service department to explain what is happening and see what they can do to correct the situation. I speak to a Roberta, and I'm not even kidding when I say this, and her response is "So what do you want me to do?"

Gee, I don't know. How about rectify the situation? Or do something about your incompetent staff. I guess the latter would be kind of hard for you since you sound pretty incompetent for your job yourself...


No apology, nothing. She was clueless.

Roberta made the excuse that perhaps our sales lady was confused because the item names were similar to other products. How that is my problem, I don't know. Besides, that is irrelevant considering there are item numbers and other identifying points for each product. If this lady is "confused" with the merchandise she is selling, that is obviously something she needs to work on (and double check as she places orders). I don't know if Roberta thought her explanation sounded reasonable, but it just made both the sales lady and Roberta look and sound stupid.

Roberta goes on to say nothing can be done until the following day because she wanted to talk to the sales lady who placed our order and she wasn't at work today. Welcome to the 21st century lady, technology has come a long way and phones (and even cell phones *GASP*) have become quite common.

Still feeling absolutely dissatisfied (and since their company's customer service department itself was useless), that evening we headed back to the store to see if we could work something out. When we got there, we approached George (the in-store manager who called us earlier, remember?).

He was adamant about the fact that our sales lady must have given us the right information and that we misunderstood (yeah, right. all FOUR of us), but that nothing could be done until our sales lady came back to work the next day. When we asked George why he couldn't just call her and ask what the deal was, he simply said "I'm just not going to do that" and that "besides, our customer service department is already waiting for her to call them back".

After some back and forth, we finally somehow got George to call the sales lady (nothing was resolved) and then George called someone named something to the likes of 'Shah' or 'Shaw' who I'm presuming is his boss or something and LIES to him in front of us. As we are standing right there, he tells the guy that he's playing phone tag between the customer and the sales lady because neither of them are present - like seriously, what kind of a circus are they running? WHO DOES THAT?

To say we were steamed doesn't do justice. But it gets even worse.

At this point, it's been well over an hour since we came into the store. It's 6:56 PM (store closes at 7). The only other associate working that day yells from the back to the manager to ask if she can close to which he agrees. Minutes later, she comes back to the front and starts yelling at us! In a moronic and yelling voice, she's like what do you expect us to do, call the customer service department - we have families to get home to and shuts off the store lights and starts to force us out of the store. I don't know her name, but I did hear her mention to another customer earlier that she was from Nepal so that was the only identifying factor I have.

Needless to say, we canceled our order from this store from hell (but not with ease). They wouldn't even let us cancel our order at first, so I threatened to go directly to the President of the chain and report them to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ... and so of course I got a call right back telling me I could cancel the order.

A) The store wasn't even closed yet B) If there is an issue, you as a business are supposed to deal with (not cowardly run from it and lie to make it even worse) C) You don't kick a customer out of the store D) Would any of the above have happened if we were at the store past closing time if we were there to make a purchase instead? Of course not.

As a college student, I've worked in retail on the side and the number one rule for dealing with customers is your attitude makes the world of a difference. I don't know what kind of business "Blinds to Go" is running, but it is by far the most horrendous bunch of people I've ever experienced.

I don't know why after all of the massive renovation projects we took on, something as minuscule in comparison like the blinds gave us the most problems.

I'll have Part Two of this written and posted hopefully soon - sooner than the six days it took me to write this up since I first mentioned it (and even longer considering when it happened).

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad Luck Strikes Rutgers

What a month for Rutgers! The Fall 2010 semester has brought so much attention (local and national in both of the cases) to Rutgers -- in a negative way unfortunately.

A few weeks back, I posted about my thoughts on the Rutgers freshmen who committed suicide. Since then, the Rutgers community has been hit with a missing student (who was fortunately found safe within a few days and it was deemed to be him leaving in his own will from what I have read) and a devastating injury to one of the Rutgers football players.

In a sport such as football, which is such a heavy contact sport, injuries are bound to be happen. You know in the back of your mind that the worst can happen, but you choose to not dwell on the fact. Unfortunately, it became reality for a Rutgers football player last week as they played against Army.

Eric LeGrand, a junior at Rutgers, took a hit and ended up with a devastating spinal injury that has left him paralyzed from the neck down (at least as of now). While the doctors aren't sure at this point if he'll recover and be able to walk one day at this point, we do all know the road ahead will be a long one and the whole Rutgers community is rooting for a full recovery and praying for him and his family.

Here's a video I found on my local newspaper's website:

In one of the MANY articles I've read in the past week on the top, one of the articles mentioned this irony:

In 2004, Manny Collins and two other players from the Rutgers football team were in a car that was rammed head-on by an SUV going the wrong way on Route 18 near the campus. The injuries they sustained from the car crash led none of the three players to be able to play again that season.

Now the freaky part is that ... LeGrand was injured the same day — Oct. 16 — as Collins’ 2004 car accident. Rutgers had the same record (4-2) then as now and is playing the same opponent (Pittsburgh) in the same setting (Heinz Field) this weekend as it did six years ago following the accident.

As the Rutgers football team play their first game since the injury later today, all of the players helmets have a sticker with the word "believe" on it in honor of LeGrand.

In the wake of the injury, the Rutgers Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that they have establishment the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to support Eric LeGrand and his family. 

Contributions to the fund are not tax deductible and can be made by sending a check payable to the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to:

“Eric LeGrand Believe Fund”
PNC Wealth Management
Attn: Kimberly G. Kingsland, Senior Trust Advisor
One Palmer Square Suite 201
Princeton, NJ 08542

For more information, feel free to visit

What a (horrible) month for the Rutgers community. I graduated this past May so I'm no longer a student, but Rutgers was such a huge part of my life for the past four years -- I can say without hesitation Rutgers is a part of my identity... and its happenings effect me.  Especially because I live so close to the campus.

Hopefully the rest of the semester goes by a whole lot smoother.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Settling into the New House

We moved this past Sunday, and are slowly and finally settling into our new house.

The last month and a half have been insanely busy with all of the renovations our new house needed amongst the packing (and now finally unpacking).

We pretty much packed the whole house in two days -- and that worked out for the best. I'd rather do it all at once and be tired for a few days than slowly pack over a longer course of time and spread the exhaustion for even that much longer.

It's unbelievable to see how the house looks now, compared to how it was when we first it two years ago (or even how it looked a month and a half ago before any of the renovations began). It doesn't even seem like it's the same house. Waiting impatiently for the past two years paid off :).

I've got a few thoughts/posts in mind to write up when time allows (and I have wireless internet connection again at home - writing up a blog post from my iPhone isn't as easy in comparison) in the next few days. A few of these posts will involve the horrible customer service we've experienced lately that has left me astonished.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thoughts on Trapped Miners in Chile, Part Two

All of the 33 miners were rescued and brought to safety!

What an amazing story! With so many odds against them, and so many potential risks along the way - it is an absolute miracle. An absolute fairy tale ending for what could have been a horrendous tragedy.

What started off as 17 days without contact with the outside world, starting August 5th, with little to no food for that duration... ended in a miraculous way. After spending 70 days 2000+ feet underground, they were finally rescued! The rescue efforts went great and without any major hitches - you couldn't ask for anything more... especially considering the fact it took about half the time than what was originally predicted.

I've been glued to to the TV and my phone for the past twenty four hours watching all the latest developments and watching each miner being ascended to safety - with a smile plastered on my face and emotions running high. I'm an emotional person, I know that, but you just can't help it. The tears of joy and the chills as each miner was reunited with the outside world and their families, reminded you each time how differently this could have ended. Thinking about how I was feeling, I can't even imagine what the miners, their families, and the rescuers were feeling.

As I read somewhere online earlier, these miners were the luckiest 'unlucky' men alive. Well said.

There were so many inspirational stories told throughout this ordeal, but one of my favorites was when Jimmy Sanchez, the 19 year old miner (the youngest one trapped), said that there weren't 33 of us down there, there were always 34 of us - because god never left our side (i'm paraphrasing).

For the past 10 weeks, but especially for the last 24 hours, people throughout the world were praying and hoping for the best possible outcome, and that's exactly what we got. The rescuers involved did an amazing job and they deserve much thanks for their efforts. I can't imagine how they are feeling after finally being able to breath a sigh of relief.

What an amazing 24 hours. What a miracle.

Counting my blessings,

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Videos of the Rescues of Chilean Miners

Here's a video of the last minor rescued:

Here's the video of the first miner rescued:

I'm trying to find a video for each separate rescue. If you have any links, let me know.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thoughts on Trapped Miners in Chile

Anyone with a heart has to have been disheartened following the story of the 33 miners trapped underground since August 5th (68 days!) in Chile. How can you not?

I've read many stories on the whole incident every day for the last ten weeks. Each time I did so, I got chills and thought about what they were going through - physically and mentally.

Knowing the rescue mission was to go underway tonight, all day today it was on my mind. I can't think of anyone who isn't rooting for a safe rescue of all of the miners later today and in the next few days. As a psychology student, I have been thinking a lot about how not only are the next few days important, but more importantly so are the next few weeks and months as each miner settles back into their "routine" and their psychological state.

It was so admirable and inspirational when I was reading earlier today that all of the miners are keep insisting to stay on the mine site until all of their fellow trapped miners have been rescued (instead of being transported to the hospital as they are rescued). Their strength, solidarity and endurance throughout this ordeal has been amazing.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.
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