She's Spoken

Advice, opinions, and critical thinking all in one place!

Archive for disater

Customer Service?

I remember growing up that when my mother and I went shopping customer service was important. The employees at the establishments we frequented were decimated to helping their customer base, they smiled and greeted us and they were genuine in their interactions with us. Now, I am not sure if anyone knows what customer service really is. As consumers we have be taken advantage of, lied too, left in hold for 20 minutes at a time, over charged and the list goes on. Recently Verizon was hit with a huge a fine in the realm of $50 million according to some reports. Money they owe their customers for mis-billed data charges. The fact that the number even reach that much means that the mis-billing took place over a period of time.

Having ben a former Verizon customer I am aware of many of the issues that riddled that company. So, what I want to do is this: I am creating a list of the top four companies that have delivered repeatedly poor customer service and I will detail how they failed to make the mark. If you have companies please feel free to comment and add them along with the details.

1.) Verizon – Long Hold Times. Over Billing. Uninformed Customer Service Representatives.

2.) T-Mobile – Huge Account Errors. Long Hold Times. MIsinformed by Representative. Service Interruption Errors.

3.) Citibank -Clueless Representatives. Malicious Account Restrictions. Failure to Provide Service. Lied to by Representative.

4.) Wal-Mart – Ignored by Associates. Long Lines. Failure to Complete Transactions. Clueless and Unwilling Associates. Misinformation Given.

 

Social Security -Sorry, I meant IOU.

If you’re like many Americans you can’t wait for the glory days. The planting of your garden, vacations with the prospective grandchildren, that national road trip, and some traveling abroad. Wait- not if social security is your only means of retirement income. The latest numbers indicate that like every other facet of our economic structure social security is in grave danger. As the 77 million or so baby boomers reach retirement age and as the job market continues to rain down pick-slips like torrential down pours, more and more people are requesting to draw their social security benefits. That maybe fine for them, but for you and me that spells disaster. The government estimates that by 2037 the fund maybe completely depleted unless legislative action and an overhaul are undergone. Unless that takes place you and I will both be the victims of government IOU’s that will forever remain outstanding.

 

This year and for the next few years to come the social security administration will have to pay out more in benefits than it collected, and in doing so they will have try to begin collection on the IOU’s that the federal government has so candidly issued. With layoffs at every corner social security is not experiencing the same financial participation that it once did. This spells benefit shortfalls and potential depletion. All that we have contributed; all that we have worked for is actually in the process of depletion. Without a strategic economic plan there simply will not be any social security for us to look forward to. The sad situation is that those who do see benefit payouts will have to learn to sustain themselves on a monthly income of about $1,200! That’s about what I spend on 4 months of groceries. How can a nation that is so proud and so strong allow for such a huge financial blunder? We pay exactly 6.2 percent in social security taxes on our wages up to around $106,000 and that number is matched by our employer, which means if you earn $30,000/yr. you are paying $1,860 in social security taxes. If you sustain that income for a period of 25 years you have paid in, $46,500 and you are only getting a fraction of that if you’re lucky.

 

The lesson here people is we need to get smart; we need to resort to the days of stuffing our mattresses’ and cookie jar hiding. With the markets the way they are and banks immerging and falling there are very few safe places to grow a nest egg. I am urging you to take a good hard look at your financial future. Take hold of it not only for your sake, but for the sake of your children and grandchildren. A simple savings of $100.00/mo. adds up to $1200.00 a year. If at the minimum you saved only that $100.00 a month for the next 25 working years you will have saved yourself, $30,000. While the numbers looks like something more in line with a year’s hard earned salary, it is about 2 ½ years social security. Now, put that away in a Roth IRA or some other account and now you’ve done yourself a financial service. The days of government bailouts and dependency are over, we are facing a national deficit in the trillions and it is going to take years to pay that off. Our debts internationally have also grown and funds are being, “barrowed” from federally promised retirement funds such as civil service and military pensions. Do the research, check the math and save your future.

Tsunami?

Yesterday (2/27/10) The Hawaiian Island’s was spared of what could have been a devastating situation. As some of you know my family and I are stationed here in Pearl Harbor and we live in the City of Kapolei, both of which are located on the island of Oahu. Well we awoke to the sound of the emergency siren blaring as loud anything I have ever heard. We were under Tsunami warning, not a watch but a warning. We were notified that we along with all the other islands that make of the state of Hawaii would be hit by a Tsunami that was a result of the devastating 8.8 earthquake that leveled Chile and would later go on to cause a quake in Argentina and some damage to the city of Ventura in California.

We were given an approximate time of impact with no indication of the size of the waves but the way it  was portrayed was as though we were in for something potentially shattering. I have never felt so helpless and scared in my life. All I could do was pray and prepare my family a natural disaster. It was in the waiting and praying that I realized how real that old expression, “tomorrow is promised to one,” really is. I went to bed and all was well, and I woke to find out that my life, my world, my family could all be taken in an instance. Or it could have been at least disrupted in a very significant way.  In waiting for our estimated time of impact and in between the praying and all the rest of the mental preparation I realized that I have not even scratched the surface of my life. I am 26 years old and I realized that part of my final preparation involved some apologies and I’ll do better Lord and even some regrets. That is awful, my last minutes should have been full of prayer, memorable moments and life fulfilling events. That let me know that I am not living the life God has for me. I am not accessing what this island or this life he has been given to me has to offer.

I never want my final minutes to be robbed of prayer and family reflection because I have unfinished business. So, I urge you to think about your life, think about the people that have wronged you, the person that you love but have never told, the absent parent in your life, that trip that you keep thinking about, that little voice that tells you to volunteer and  in doing so get up and get moving. Life really is too short and tomorrow is a huge gift from God himself. Every day that you wake up should be another chance to do better, do more and enjoy more than the day before. Even more so it is a chance to get right with God. You don’t want to be regretful of the relationship that you had with your creator, you don’t want to be in doubt, and believe me you don’t want to be trying to bargain with him in your final moments. So please, step up your relationship with our father, give more than you did yesterday to your relationship with him. Please people don’t wait to do things tomorrow; your tomorrow may not be there. So call your parent, sibling, ex-best friend, or whomever your holding that grudge against and forgive them so that you can forgive yourself and move on. Let go of angry baggage and mend broken fences. Stop putting of trips and volunteer events, affect your world today, and do it now.

Can the World Survive Another Haiti?

The people of Haiti have had to endure some surreal circumstances here lately. The epic disaster that they suffered is almost Hollywood movie material. What is even more perplexing is the over whelming sympathetic response of citizens the world over. Never could anyone have imagined the events that have and that are taking place in Haiti, we all thought that Katrina would be the worst weather related trauma we would see in this lifetime. However, if you read the Bible, or are and avid science enthusiast you must know that both dictate that we are living in the last days; both sides of the coin spell future disaster for the world over.

How many more disaster can the world, can the US take? How many more telethons can we hold? How many more $57 million dollar fundraising campaigns can we feasibly afford? The answer is simple, not many. What is even harsher a reality is that in the years to come things of this caliber will continue to occur. Nations will crumble, finances will continue to change in a yo-yo like fashion, and the world will experience soul wrenching devastation like nothing we have ever conceptualized before. Nostradamus and many like him have foretold of the disturbing events that are too come. Scientist have produced reports of cosmic events that have shattering consequences and the Bible states that we are living in the last days. In these final days what will we do? Who will guide us? Will we all rise to the call as often as it is heard, or will begin to fall short a take a limper attitude? Are we prepaid for a total depletion on all conceivable fronts? In a nut shell no. There is no possible way that we can do what we did for Haiti another 5-10 times at least not as comfortably as $57 million.

With all this in mind will you begin to rethink your current position in life, or will you continue to ignore the obvious and live frivolously? I am hoping that if nothing else we have learned from the Haiti situation that pro-action is required and not reaction. We don’t have the resources to be a reactive nation, or world for that matter. There are countries the world over and places here domestically that are in dire need of structural and economic improvement. We need to reevaluate the way things stand and begin to aim at reinforcing already shabby infrastructures and economies. In addition, I hope that you will choose to spend you last days doing the things that are worth remembering for an eternity.