Orangeville – Third World Telephone Service

rotary phoneI have to admit I don’t know all the details of how such a thing could happen, but twice now in the past two weeks, parts of Orangeville have been without both land line telephone and internet service.

The first recent occasion was on November 26th, 2014. I had awoken early at 5:30AM to get some work done on a client’s email server when I discovered I had no internet. My own network was fine, so I decided to call my service provider, Wightman Telecom. But alas, my office telephone had no dial tone! I couldn’t make any outgoing calls, nor receive incoming ones.

I managed to get through using my cell phone and was advised that Wightman was aware of the situation and were looking into it. A little while later, I learned that the problem was because of a circuit on the Roger’s Communications network which parts of are shared.

This particular circuit carries both internet and telephone traffic. The fact that different providers will share lines and equipment is not a surprise – even Bell Telephone shares parts of their infrastructure to others (whether there is a fee involved, I have no idea).

What was surprising to me though was that a critical service like land line telephone was so easily affected for a period of at least several hours. At first, I thought it was probably an isolated event, however once again, on December 12th at about 12:30AM, noticing my internet was down, discovered that I again had no telephone service.

A quick call to Wightman was made and I learned that they had identified a Rogers circuit (once again) responsible for no telephone and internet traffic. Work was being done to investigate further to find out the problem and have it corrected. At 3:00AM, I was advised that the estimated time of service restoration was 6AM.

In fairness, the service was restored at about 3:30AM (at least to me; I don’t know about other customers), but I was also told that it was caused by Rogers doing maintenance work. They apparently had selected the night time to do this work when it was less busy.

There are some issues with this though, assuming this account is correct:

1. Why did not Rogers advise anyone that was sharing that circuit of planned maintenance, in advance?

2. How on earth can Rogers account for taking out landline phone service, even if it was in the middle of the night? Surely they should have planned ahead so that somehow, phone service would not be affected.

While cell phones appear to be ubiquitous, not everyone has a cell phone. Indeed many elderly people -those who might be prone to a medical emergency in the middle of the night, do not own cell phones. Someone in distress who then attempts to call for help on their land line telephone would likely become even more distressed at discovering they could not make a phone call. What are they going to do?

I’ve lived with telephone service for all of my life, and I cannot ever remember, even as a child, being without telephone service for hours upon hours when we still used old rotary dial phones. Technology is great, but it’s pretty useless when there is an emergency and maintenance work has not been well thought out, which could possibly seriously affect somoene’s very life.

Come on Rogers, you can do much better than this, in this day and age, surely!

Business Partnership Advice – Red Flags At The Beginning

“Deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior.” ~Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door

So many people want to start a new business and dream of financial independence. Indeed, starting a business is a very good step to taking control of your own destiny, and while a business may fail, that is not a reason to give up. Rather, it’s an opportunity to learn and try to understand what went wrong, what mistakes were made, and perhaps even understand that one’s own expectations about the market for a product or service were not based on reality.

Often, we’re also faced with realizing that we do not have all the skills necessary to provide all of the services, so we look for others that may appear to have similar goals, values and ethics and that can provide the skills that we do not have, while we can provide skills and knowledge that they do not have.

This is often about as close as you can get to a perfect partnership arrangement. But not always. There are some red flags that you need to watch out for. This does not mean you shouldn’t be suspicious of everything or completely lack trust, but if you are investing a lot of your own hard earned money into something, if you don’t watch out for red flags at the beginning, and deal with them immediately, you could find yourself in a situation where you lose everything.

Of course, you may have legal recourse under such a situation, but sadly, our court systems in North America tend to work very slowly, and at the same time, legal costs can be astoundingly high – such that legal action is often not worth the time or effort.

The biggest red flag to watch out for from my experience is lying. When a potential or new partner you’ve begun business with shows signs of easily and without remorse, lying to you about a variety of things, run. The old adage, “three strikes and you’re out” does not apply here. It can be difficult, because you might want to try to understand why the person is lying to you, and during those conversations, especially if the person turns out to be a pathological liar, perhaps even psychopathic, they can trick you into feeling sorry for them, and will often make promises about “doing better,” “it won’t happen again…,” “I promise to get counseling…,” “I will make up for this..” or any other number of emotional triggers that may have you wanting to forgive them and offering you hope of being able to move on.

And for a time, perhaps a month or two, things will seemed to have improved, but during this time, your own efforts, your own investments will get deeper and deeper, and suddenly, there’s a new lie, or new crazy activity you might discover.

People who have these psychopathic tendencies can often come across to others as being responsible and even impressive. Indeed, they may have impressive skills in some areas. They are often quick to try to show them off.. and sometimes will even help others outside the business – this helps them to cover up their own lies within the business. To outsiders, the psychopathic liar appears to be a wonderful person – how on earth could such a person be so dishonest?

But then there will be other lies.. and they may even ask you to protect them… but in doing so, you are playing right into their hands, as the manipulate the truth.

They might even go so far as to lie about a pregnancy! Or a miscarriage! And beg you to not talk about what really happened… so you are emotionally stuck with trying to protect the person, believing you are doing something good.. but in the meantime, this person is now open to saying whatever they want.

They have an amazing ability to even turn others against you, while you made promises to them about helping and protecting them. Others will then help them, while you’re the one stuck carrying the bag.. the bag of financial losses, projects never completed, agreements not kept, while they come up with a boat load of excuses to outsiders, but you know that there really is no excuse; what happened was not your expectation or the expectation they lead you to believe and hope for.

They will even go so far as to make sure it’s pointed out that YOU needed THEM. Which, may be partially true (their skills were a big part of the business), but they will never point out that YOU helped them with rent money, sent money of your own to them to help them, took on their debt even, at the beginning. Noo.. none of those things will ever be mentioned by the other person, and it’s not your way to make that public, until it’s much much too late. They will never point out to others the things you have done to build the business, such as bringing in clients, some of whom might actually be acquaintances of yours before you start the business.

At first, you might believe many of their claims that they make, that impress you and cause you to believe that they have the life experience and skills you are hoping for in a business partner. Lies that are so believable, why would you doubt them? Lies like… “I grew up a Catholic, and then converted to Protestantism” is something you might hear from such a person and you’re impressed, even if  you don’t agree with their theology, but it shows an open minded person who thinks.

But then you find out their childhood theology was no such thing. What they have told you is just a mirage. And you’ll wonder, “Huh? What the heck?”

They may tell you grandiose stories about rock climbing adventures, or playing a mean Banjo in the Church worship group. They may tell you that they are separated from their spouse even… when they are not. But why would you not believe such things?

The more important question is, “Why on earth would someone lie about such things in the first place?”

After awhile, as you catch them in more lies, and confront them (especially the ones that are important to the business), they will gradually move from a demeanour of shedding fake tears to one of making you feel guilty for discovering the lie. Instead of remorse, they will display anger and insolent type of behaviors that you would expect from a rebellious 15 year old; not a grown adult.

Sometimes, they might even promise to stop lying, seek councelling, and they appear genuine, and they will relight the spark of hope in you. They will come to you with great ideas for the business, and for a short period of time, will give you renewed hope that you’ve crossed a barrier and perhaps… in the end… all will be well.

One one occasion, when a person was confronted with a very serious lie that also involved some very serious actions about an agreement with a client over money, the person did accept the idea of counseling – and even provided a name of a therapist. However, they then came up with excuses, “I’m not sure how to get there though as it’s out of town.” There were plenty of resources in town, though… it was all a stall tactic for them.

Don’t kid yourself. Unless a person like this is willing to undergo intense therapy, they will not stop their behaviour.

One behaviour to look out for is the “segmenting” of their life – they may get very close to you, but at the same time, will try to limit your time with others in their life. They do this as a protective mechanism which helps them maintain their lies. They will give you excuses about some of the things others might say to you, and their understanding but in the meantime, they are actually promoting those thoughts in others – and this segmentation aids them in doing so. They certainly do not want you and the others to all get together at the same time, and the possibility that a topic or subject comes up in discussion that they’ve told major boner lies about.

Often, you will ask, “Why did you lie about that?” or, “Why do you keep lying over and over about things, when it’s important to know the truth?” or “Why are you lying about the status of a project, when it’s important to know where we’re at, so we can adjust?

They won’t really have an answer for that. But they will use the project as an excuse to let others know just how “great” they are, even though they may not actually be spending much time on it. In fact, they could actually be spending time on other conflicts of interest for their own gain, using your resources, and the project you thought they were working on, as an excuse to appear busy, while doing other things.

When you get frustrated, they will use your frustration against you. You all of a sudden become “mean” or “unthinking” toward them.

Some other things that may happen with a person like this:

  • You might be looking at ways to increase your business, and in doing so, hire someone to take on some jobs they do, so the partners can work on bigger and better things. But instead, after a long time, you have nothing to show for this, so you decide that it’s really important to try to cut expenses – and when you do, they will complain about you and an additional work load (when they weren’t really working on the business with you in the first place during that time you hired or sub contracted out stuff).
  • You may purchase some product or service that is supposed to help them be more efficient, but instead of using it for the business purpose, use it for their own personal purposes, and when you see that it’s really a wasted expense, they will moan and complain about the idea of that service stop being paid for, blame it on you, while neglecting to tell others that they did not use it for it’s intended purpose in the first place.
  • They may pretend to be working in the best interests of the business, but you may later find out, perhaps years later, that they were spending enormous amounts of time on other things, maybe even earning an income using PayPal, or some other ways of hiding income – and when confronted, will try to downplay what they did. And yet, you will discover even more conflicts of interest and by this time, perhaps they have quite assisted in making sure your own personal funds that you put into the business are completely diminished and gone.
  • They will refuse to assist with normal and accepted business practices, sharing information or even documenting things –  possibly because they don’t want you to know what they are not really doing. Who knows? Maybe they want you to need them, even if it is financially hurting you – it gives them power over you while you continue to try to deal with their lies and the fall out from it. They always seem to be able to make you deal with the fallout and will never offer up apologies unless pressed to do so. And after being pressed to do so, the apologies are usually simply “lip service.”
  • When confronted with a lie, instead of admitting to the truth, they will seek to defend themselves with more lies, and often they don’t even see the irrationality of their lies. It just “makes sense” to them, at the time, in order to try to cover up their lies, and still somehow pretend they’ve told the truth.

There are many many more things that they will engage in, on a day to day basis, which often has the intended result of making you think they really are interested, they are sorry for their actions… but it’s all a sociopathic/psychopathic strategy. They really have no conscience. And it can be so very very frustrating as well as depressing, if you’re watching the very things you built, being torn away – by lies.

Which brings me back to where I discussed above, that you will often ask the “why” questions… “why are you lying about this?” etc.

The only answer to this is that they are psychopathic. It’s a hard word and a  hard diagnosis to accept. We often think of the psychopath as the crazy axe-murdering person, but there are psychopaths out there, who while they won’t show violent tendencies, show through their actions in other ways, a total lack of ability to understand remorse, to understand change, to understand values,

But because it is such a hard word to use to describe someone, and so often used to describe a person who does horrifying things physically, we tend to forget or put less emphasis on the horrifying emotional and financial damages the non-physical psychopath can cause.

YOU, on the other hand, KNOW you’re not perfect, you know:

  • There is always room for improvement.
  • You understand remorse when you did something wrong.
  • You understand that you can make mistakes and while it’s not good to beat yourself up over them, you understand the idea of trying to make up for them, and striving to improve.
  • You understand that honest communication is important, and try, over and over to reach that level.
  • You care – not just giving lip service to the word, but your actions show care, and to many people, it’s not just seen, but is known to be genuine. When you discover the psychopath has lied about a pregnancy, and then lied about a miscarriage, you will care. You will try to understand what you think they are feeling and provide empathy. You will talk and listen. You will help them. They then will turn it all around on you.

A psychopath does not get this. It is impossible for them without a great deal of therapy. They are simply not capable, but they are capable of doing a LOT of damage. And you may not realize the damage until it is too late.

So watch out for those early signs… especially of habitual lying without true remorse. While this article linked below is dealing mostly with romantic relationships (and indeed, you may have even had a romantic relationship with your psychopath business partner but had to end it but decided to try to continue and have hope in a business relationship), the concepts and information still apply to other relationships that include the psychopath in your life:

Pathological Lying: A Psychopathic Manipulation Tool

If you are considering a new business with a partner, and they show signs of not being able to deal with even everyday normal events without lying about them, RUN.

These types of people, no matter how sincere or how much you try to help them, could possibly drive you levels of frustration that you simply don’t know what to do, and when you do something to try to solve the problem, perhaps even out of frustration, trying to maybe contact one of their relatives for understanding of their behaviour, or to seek mediation, they will use that against YOU, even though it was your sincere purpose to try to make things right. And after awhile, you will end up resigning yourself to the fact the damage has been done; it’s not going to get better.  And your losses will not likely ever be recouped.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

 

 

 

Why I Won’t Use Canada Post (Attention Deepak Chopra)

Sometimes, one’s patience becomes worn out, and today, my patience with Canada Post has run out to the point I absolutely will not use them for packages or shipments where time is important.
I doubt Deepak Chopra will read my blog post, but if you do happen to come across it, I note that on the Canada Post website it says,

Mr. Chopra is responsible for running Canada Post Corporation. This
$7-billion group is the single largest enabler of remote trade and commerce in the country through its postal network and subsidiaries Purolator, SCI Group and Innovapost.

~Source

 

Well Mr Chopra, I hope you take some responsibility because very few other people at Canada Post seem to want to. Indeed your office has been extremely slow in responding to correspondence from me that was forwarded to you by my MP, David Tilson (Dufferin – Caledon), correspondence I sent back in December, 2013.

Let’s start with the litany of idiotic and crappy service beginning with today’s frustrating experience:

1. I ordered some garden supplies consisting of several packages of vegetable seeds and some other small items from Richter’s located in Goodwood, ON. A couple of days later, April 14th, 2014 to be exact, that my order had been shipped via “Expedited Parcel” with the tracking number of: ‘TG114243495CA‘.

I had hoped it would have arrived before today, April 22nd, 2014 but I did realize that Good Friday and Easter Monday are Holidays for Canada Post employees. However, the package was received by Canada Post on the 14th of April in Newmarket. Orangeville is a 45 minute drive from Newmarket. Yes, I realize there are other considerations; Canada Post may not have a major sorting centre in Newmarket, but even still – getting it to Mississauga should not be that difficult, and then directly north to Orangeville, right?

Here’s a screen shot of the Tracking as of today’s date at 7:20PM:

canada post tracking from newmarket

 

Well Mr. Chopra, your Canada Post employee lied. The package was NOT successfully delivered. Furthermore, there was zero attempt to deliver it to my address at 12:27 PM. I had checked the tracking earlier in the morning and noted that it was apparently “out for delivery” and I made sure my door was open, and I had my son sit in our living room in such a way that he could watch the door. During my morning, I watched as a UPS truck made a delivery next door, then a Purolator truck, and later in the afternoon, another major courier firm went down my street and made a delivery. But no Canada Post trucks.

In addition, I was in my office, watching frequently from my window which has a view of the street and walkway up to my door.  In the late morning, a letter carrier walking her normal route did put some advertising flyers through my mail slot. She did not knock on my door; left no card advising of the availability of picking up the package, and so I assumed a Canada Post delivery truck would be at my door with the package.

At approximately 12:45PM, I happened to recheck the tracking status and that is when I noticed it had been updated to “successfully delivered.”  But it had not been.

I immediately called Canada Post’s customer service 1-800 number to find out what could be going on. The lady that I spoke with stated that it was common practice for carriers to pre-scan packages before going out on their delivery route, knowing that at some point during the day the package would be delivered. She indicated this practice would cause a tracked item to appear to have been delivered successfully when it had not yet been.

As far as I’m concerned, this is B.S. And indeed, a friend of mine who is a “Route Measurement Officer” for Canada Post also advised me that this is “B.S.” What other business could ever claim a job was completed when it’s not been completed? If this is a standard practice, it’s a very dishonest practice, and while your corporation’s tracking system claims a package has been delivered, it most certainly has not. Perhaps it makes for better stats or something, but it is simply false and is a lie.

No one can tell me where the package is. No one can take responsibility to let me know what has become of my package. Did the postal carrier steal it? Has it been mis-delivered?

So that is today’s frustration with your Corporation which has become as far as I’m concerned, an utterly useless and undependable organization. Let’s carry on:

2. Express Post To Brockville – What Happened?

On April 8th, 2014, I arrived at the Orangeville Post Office on Broadway with an envelope I wanted to send to Brockville by Express Post. I was advised that the envelope, which contained birthday cards and small gifts for my son, would arrive by 11th of April, 3 days later.
I was quite pleased to see during the day on the 11th, when I tracked the package, that it had apparently arrived. But later, when I had communication with my son, he advised me that it had not arrived.

I logged back onto the Canada Post website only to discover that in the evening, the Express Post envelope was being returned!  Check it out:

canada post tracking to brockvilleThe address written on the envelope is legible and easy to read. It is the correct address, and is the residence of my son. And yet, the item was returned to me with the word “Moved” on it. My son has not moved. The only explanation we can come up with is that Canada Post did not deliver the item or the notification card to the correct address.  It is just sheer incompetence and a lack of ensuring a job gets done correctly.

Yes, I have requested a refund and am to receive it, but it’s not just the money, but the disappointment as well as the time that I had to spend (walking 20 minutes each way to pick it up at a retail outlet when it was returned), because of incompetency of Canada Post.

The Day I Canada Post Refused To Sell Me Postage Stamps:

How utterly idiotic is that one would walk into a Canada Post Office (not a retail outlet, but an official Post Office) and be refused the ability to purchase stamps? This must be one of the most idiotic management decisions ever made and there ought to be an award for it with the words “STUPID” written across it.

On December 11th, 2013, I walked to the Canada Post Office on Broadway in Orangeville, and one of the bits of business I wanted to conduct was the purchase of official Canadian stamps so I could send out Christmas cards and other items in the mail to clients, family and friends. I was stunned at being told by the clerk behind the counter, “I’m sorry Ian, but we’ve been told to take the stamps off the shelves and have been threatened with our jobs if we sell them today.”

Huh??

What Canada Post Management team or person made the moronic decision to stop sales of postage stamps in December, at the height of Christmas Card season, just because some new denomination stamps were not ready in time and had not been delivered to postal outlets? I was told that I could purchase the stamps if I had Christmas cards that were addressed, at the post office counter, but that I could not buy a roll of stamps to take back to my office and stick them onto my envelopes when I was ready to do that.

Seriously Mr. Chopra, this must have been one of the most idiotic decisions your Corporation has ever made. Who is taking responsibility for that? Christmas time, and Canada Post needs to ration postage stamps?  But it wasn’t even as is there was a need to ration them; your management ordered clerks to not sell the ones they had. You know, there’s a word for people like that where I’m originally from in Ireland: Gobshites. I really can’t think of a better word to describe someone or some people that would cut off postage stamp sales at Christmas time.

I was told to return the next day when the new stamps were expected to be in. Guess what? I did return. No new stamps. Again I was refused the ability to purchase them.

Do you understand why this decision deserves the “Award Of Being Utterly Stupid?”

But there’s more, Mr. Chopra! After I had that experience, I emailed a letter to my MP and to Ms Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transportation who’s office overlooks Canada Post.  My MP forwarded my letter onto you in January. Your office did not bother to respond to me until close to the end of March!  It was a pretty lousy response which did not recognize the stupidity of Canada Post’s decision, nor acknowledge the major inconvenience it caused to your customers. I will say that although your office took it’s time in sending me a response, Ms Raitt was even worse, not replying until April 8th.
Next Day Delivery To Aliston That Took Almost A Week:

In December, around the same time as the above debacle over postage stamps (it may have been the same day), I was assured I could send a package “Next Day Delivery” from Orangeville to Aliston, Ontario. The contents of my shipment were very time sensitive and were to be a surprise for the recipient.

Guess what? It did not arrive the next day. I called Canada Post, they acknowledged the fact it had not arrived and promised to send me a refund cheque (which took about a month). I was advised though that when the package did arrive at it’s destination, it would not be delivered to the door, but instead to the recipient’s “community mailbox.” My original intent was to have it delivered to their door; that was what I was expecting.  But while discussing the complaint with Canada Post, I learned that even with expedited packages that are guaranteed “next day” delivery, that only means they will get a notification card in their “community mailbox” and a key is supposed to be left for a larger compartment where they can pick the package up.

But even that did not happen! The package too five business days (a full week) before the recipient received the notification card – with information that the package was available at a postal outlet at a Shopper’s Drug Mart. Your Corporation cannot even get delivery right, into a community mailbox.

By the time it had arrived, there was no point in it being picked up as the contents would have gone past an expiry date. In addition, the recipient does not have a vehicle to go across town.

The Wild West Where Packages Sit & Sit… & Sit.. & Wait For The Pony Express Return Trip

Approximately a year and a half ago, I sent another time sensitive package to Whitecourt, AB via Express Post (Three Day Service). I don’t recall the full details now at this point, but for whatever reason, it could not be picked up at the retail outlet where it was.

Although it was time sensitive, the contents were still valuable, and should have been returned to me. Do you know how long it sat out there? OVER 6 WEEKS before it was finally returned, and then Canada Post expected me to pay for Express Post shipping back to me!

Attempted Delivery Notice Lies

Canada Post is a lying Corporation. There have been numerous other times when I’ve been sent packages during your watch over Canada Post, Mr. Chopra, and have discovered an “Attempt to Deliver” notice in with my mail. There was no attempt to deliver whatsoever. How do I know? I work out of my home. I am here.  My little Boston Terrier barks when someone knocks on the door.  What seems to happen is that instead of an attempted delivery, the packages will get dropped off at the retail outlet and then the next day, a notice is sent asking me to go pick it up.

This is pathetic. It is also dishonest. It’s not what the shipper paid for. With that said, it’s actually fraudulent for Canada Post to claim an attempt at delivery when none was made.

The above are all issues that have occurred under the watch of Mr. Deepak Chopra. But Canada Post issues go even further back, and you may as well be aware of them:

Purolator Sucks

Some years ago, I ordered a vital and important piece of equipment for my business from the USA. Although I was not expecting it, the shipper thought he would do me a favour by sending it via USPS Expedited or Express (or whatever the term they use for “getting the mail somewhere fast”).  What we didn’t know is that once such mail crosses the border, Purolator deals with it. Of course, Purolator is owned by Canada Post and was at the time I write of, as well. For a variety of reasons, my official business address was a Canada Post Office Box number (one of the reasons was that Canada Post could never seem to figure out how to correctly deliver my mail to my office at that time and a P.O. Box just meant I got my mail more efficiently).

So what happens when Purolator takes over from the USPS, as contracted by Canada Post? Well, at that time, (perhaps they have improved now), if the address recipient was a PO Box, they’d just return the shipment to the shipper! No attempt to deliver, no attempt at making contact with the receiver.

This particular case, it was brought to the shipper’s attention that the shipment was being returned to him. After some research, is when I learned that Purolator had taken over the shipment. It had arrived in Ontario, and then was marked “Return To Sender” by them. When I discovered this, the shipment was actually in Vancouver, and yet Purolator REFUSED to allow me to provide them with a physical address!  So here’s Purolator admitting that they are not set up in any way to deal with shipments marked with a PO Address.. but guess what UPS does?

Ahh.. UPS has customer service in mind – they will send a postcard to the PO box asking the recipient to contact them to provide a physical address.  But even though Purolator was/is connected with Canada Post, they can’t do that… something is bizarre.

Canada Post Steals Other People’s Business:

I say “steal,” because indeed that is what it is. Canada Post Corporation is a monopoly that has also been protected from competition. It is illegal for me to start up my own mail business.

I started my business with sweat and tears, asked for no grants, government loans, or any other such thing, and between myself and my business partner, built a business that was providing internet related services including e-commerce enabled websites to businesses in Canada and the USA.  Canada Post was difficult to work with in regard to getting shipping cost plugins for Canadian online retailers. I had made many inquiries and was refused any type of assistance in helping my clients estimate shipping costs via Canada Post.

Subsequently, Canada Post, who holds a monopoly on mail, decides to compete with me in the web development business!  Sending out glossy postcards to businesses, with promises of wonderful e-commerce sites and Canada Post rates all built in for easy calculation of final charges to customers.

I lost clients to Canada Post because of this one feature, that Canada Post would not provide to others – being able to calculate shipping costs based on Canada Post rates.

Well.. a couple of those clients returned to my business after experiencing horrible service as far as their web development needs were concerned… but still, the nerve of Canada Post management to pull the stunt they did, and literally steal business away from other businesses and refuse to support small business, and compete against them, while having their own legal protections for the business of mail.

If you are reading this, and you are a Canada Post employee, I don’t want you to take this personally that I think you are an inefficient person. Or a bad person. However, you ought to know you work with some real boneheads, and that lack of service, their lack of honest, their lack of integrity, as well as the boneheaded decisions of some managers, have meant that I am now no longer going to use Canada Post for packages that I want or need to arrive quickly. I realize I will have perhaps have to pay more for the use of a reliable service such as UPS, but the unreliability and absolute insane decisions made by Canada Post have left me in a position of not having any other choice.

While there is much that can be done about some of the dumb decisions made by managers, you should realize that your own peers that are dishonest are part of this problem as well, and protecting them is stupid for your own long term job security. Whoever scanned my package that I was supposed to receive, and marked it as “Successfully Delivered,” lied today.  I don’t know if it was stolen, or delivered to the wrong address, but whatever happened, it’s caused me inconvenience, and I paid money to have that shipped to me via Canada Post.

Whoever didn’t properly deliver or ensure delivery of my “next day delivery” to Aliston back in December is responsible for part of my dissatisfaction with Canada Post.  Whoever allowed my package to sit on some floor or shelf in Alberta for six weeks did not do their job.  Whoever is putting “Attempted Delivery Notifications” through my mail slot without actually ensuring an attempted delivery is lying.

And while you may have your own gripes about your employer, your conduct in either acting in this way, or protecting a fellow employee acting in this way, is causing waste of time and money to others.

And finally to Mr. Deepak Chopra, I’ll repeat how I started: The Canada Post website says YOU are responsible. So take some damned responsibility. As far as I’m concerned, UPS, with their reliability have won me as a customer. I was your customer to lose, and today, you finally lost me to the point I’m going to recommend to others that they suck it up and move to UPS for their on time and reliable delivery needs.

It has simply been years worth of a litany of errors, stupid and idiotic decisions and service that no one in the private sector would ever survive in offering.  Today was the last straw.

Ironically, when I emailed the shipper of my package that Canada Post claims was successfully delivered, to let them know it was a lie; that it had not been delivered, this was the response I received:

I am going to forward a copy of your e-mail to our Canada Post Rep. too
We are also very frustrated with the services being provided – so much so that Conrad Richter has launched a web-site entitled “whats wrong with Canada Post” .

I did a quick Google search – here is Mr. Richter’s website: http://www.whatswrongwithcanadapost.ca/

(Addendum: I KNOW there are good people at Canada Post, and I would like to thank those of you who DO care and have taken an interest, especially to Stacey who has offered her sincere apologies for my experiences and has tried to assist. The 2 clerks who work at my local Post Office are great people as well – and I can see their own frustration when they roll their eyes as I recount experiences to them. This “rant” is not meant and should not be taken by all Canada Post employees as something against you. At the same time, there are occasions, I need dependable service and your employer is just not providing that, along with idiotic decisions as I reported, above. I trust you will read this, in that light).

“Ben Young” Iplanetpro – Another Internet Marketing Leech

I don’t mind exposing people for what they are, and truly invite anyone who wants to “expose” me, to do so as well. We’ve exposed some other internet scams including emails from so called SEO “experts” to unsuspecting businesses, that make wild claims and this evening, we’re going to expose another one.  There truly are some leeches out there that have absolutely no morals, no true concerns, and use methods that are simply quite disgusting.

Recently, we registered a domain name on behalf of a client; it’s basically “brand new” and development is going on as I write this. Most of the work has been done,  When I register domain names on behalf of clients, I always put the registrant information such that it shows legally that the client owns it, but I also include my own email address as a contact so that I can deal with any issues on behalf of the client, quickly.

This means that I often get spam. Tonight was no exception. Earlier this evening, while checking my inbox, I received an email from a “Ben Young” with the subject line of: “We found a problem with xxxxx.org.” (The “xxxxx” represent the actual domain name).

Inside the body of the email, I read:

We found some major issues while running our Speed Test report on xxxxxx.org

Please click here to view the results:

http://quote.gamedayassist.com/xxxxxxx

Thanks,
Ben Young

Site Speed Rankings, LLC
Account Manager
EMT Group, LLC | 3846 Herbert Road, Mogadore OH 44260

To someone who is naive, this may appear “scary.” Indeed, there is a site speed component to Google’s and other search engine’s algorithm; how much of an influence it has is not really known. Regardless of that fact, it is important to ensure a site is optimized as much as possible for speed issues. One of the biggest things we find are images that are far to large in file size.  We’ve managed to help clients that have images that are over 200 kb each, to reduce this substantially, which affects site speed positively. As well, there are occasions when a site might be hosted on a very slow server, but today, that’s not the norm.

Let’s get back to the site in question that I received the email about. It’s simple, it’s not meant to be a site that is marketed all over, and it has nothing fancy on it. Indeed, it contains all of one single image, that weighs in at a whopping 3.4 Kb. (I’m being sarcastic.. 3.4 Kb is very small).

It’s hosted on a very fast server. The CSS is optimized. In summary, there is zero speed issues with the website. If you’re on a dial up ISP, this site is going to be as quick as any other. Yet Ben Young would send out some alarming email about “speed issues” that are “major.”

Ben Young’s full email address, by the way is:

rchsfatk-t2iyjwk@natural.iplanetpro.com

I haven’t bothered to look at his website, or clicked on his link that leads to some supposed “speed test results”; I have no need to do so. All I know is that Ben Young and his ilk are mongering upon fears that many have, and as a result, likely can’t actually do anything to really help you; Ben Young probably did not even look at the website in question before sending what is probably an automated email sent to many registrants of new domain names.

Ben Young is the type of Internet Marketer that attempts to feed off fears of others, and make a quick buck, even if nothing is wrong.

And yes, people like Ben Young need to be called out for what they are. Leeches. It’s quite possible that Ben Young will now change his email address, or even his name (as other illegitimate jerks often do), but please be aware of these types of emails. Quite often, there ARE legitimate issues with websites and speed; you’re better off talking to someone that has been around for awhile and that can sift through the wheat from the chaff.

Be careful out there. Don’t trust the Ben Youngs of this world.

A Horrible House Fire Tragedy – Can You Help?

I have just found out that my ex-wife (Angela McCleery) and her husband (Steve Lindsay) who reside near Oxford Station and Oxford Mills, Municipality of North Grenville, Ontario, along with my 22 year old son (James Scott) and Steve’s 17 year old son Sean, have lost everything in a house fire. The house burnt to the ground while they watched with only the clothes they have on their back. Indeed, from what I understand, Angela had to flee the house wearing her pyjamas. There is literally nothing left of their house or possessions.

This happened yesterday (Sunday August, 27th, 2012) and details are just starting to arrive my way.

My heart aches for them at this time, and I have no idea at this point if anyone else has created a help fund for them on their behalf to assist them through this emergency – so at this time, I am going to begin one. For the time being, any financial donations can be sent to my PayPal address, ian@pairowoodies.com

Clothing donations are also badly needed. I will post clothing sizes as I find out.

This is a terrible tragedy that many of us fear, and when it actually happens to someone you know and care about, it really hits close to home. If you can help, please do so.

I will update this as I can.

Update:

Clothing needed:

Women’s shirts, size Small, Dress size 8 or 9, ladies shoes size 8, Pant size estimated 8 or 10.

Mens size 32 waist 34 length and size 30 waist 32/34 length jeans/pants

Mens S M L shirts, Size 11 and Size 12 shoes
The sons are 22 and 17 years old.

Best address for donation of clothing and shoes at this time:

Angela McCleery
C/O Doris McCleery
P.O. Box 73
Kars, ON K0A 2E0

PayPal donations c/o ian@pairowoodies.com

Second Update

More information – the fire started in the garage, and Steve attempted to extinguish it while Angela called 911. However, it spread too fast and too quickly, and although Steve attempted to try to save some items like photograph albums, he was unable to do so. There is nothing salvageable – and I know that even though my older two sons were not living there, they still had much of their childhood possessions and stuff at the house. The other two sons, James and Sean, have nothing left.

Steve built the house himself, even hand milling the timber himself that went into it’s construction. It is a tremendous loss of of both a home and one’s own love and labour. However, we are thankful as devastating as this is for those involved, that there was no loss in life and that no one was standing near the propane tank when it exploded.

Donations Update

Thank you so much to those who are working on clothing donations.

Financial donations so far – $100.00  $150.00 $350.00 $375.00  $790.00 $890.00  $990.00  $1,015.00 $1,115.00 $1,155.00  $1,165.00(Thanks so much to everyone so far!!)

Donator List

Those who have helped, are helping or have made pledges of help in some way, including financial, donations, etc, our huge thanks. This is not a comprehensive list, but only those who I personally know about:

Judy Boneschansker, Lisa Turner, Helen Asimikis, Joe Gorscak, Heather Boneschansker, Melaura Boneshansker, Tara Stephen, Anonymous, Anonymous, Beverley Bible, Steve Henry. Peter Finch, Ben Treen, David Hafernik, Julie Magson, Ted Murphy, Pat Halbach, Ruth Morris-Vaillancourt, Catherine Finch, Grace Stephen, Darcy Rumble

Update – A Note To The Cynics (Sadly There Are A Few)

I hope I am not the only one to have found it offensive during this difficult time some members of my family have gone through, for some people to ask along the lines of, “Well, didn’t they have insurance?”

Well, yes, thankfully they did. That insurance however, is not going to take away the pain and anguish of having just lost everything. Even though eventually, there will be insurance money, why do some seem to be more focused on the fact that “EVENTUALLY,” they will probably be comfortable again? Why not help and make them as comfortable as we possibly can NOW during this horrible time they are going through?

I am so very thankful for the people that have wanted and have actually helped at this time right now! I care about them, I care about my son who is basically at the moment homeless and without any of his possessions, even if eventually some of them that have monetary value will be replaced with insurance money. Much of what they had that has no monetary value but has huge personal value which will never be replaced and cannot be replaced, but we has caring humans can (and thank you so much to those who are of the same mind) try to do what we can to make their lives more comfortable, above and beyond what the insurance will pay for at this time.

There are transportation costs, food costs, and clothing and other expenses that will need to be paid for that will be unexpected. There may be loss of immediate income. I have no idea and I’ll learn more over the coming days.

And yes, it is not just my sons, but my ex-wife, and although she is my ex-wife, she is still family to me and my family. Our families go back.. way back.. to Northern Ireland, before she and I were even born, and I still love her family members including her mom and aunt.

I am very sorry to those who have responded with a sense of “well, the insurance should cover this and that…” yes, that is reassuring – in the meantime, please note: EVERYTHING has been destroyed. They need cash for shampoo, deodorant and other personal needs, food, comfort, and the fact that they know genuine people, and not just some insurance corporations, care. For me, it is wonderful to see the outpouring of support towards my sons and their family.

It must be one of the most devastating things in the world to see your every belonging be destroyed. That the insurance company will eventually cover much of it is not much of a great thing, when your photo albums have been destroyed, you are not sure where you are going to be living in two or three days.

Thank you so much to those who are helping in spite of the fact that yes, eventually they will be doing ok. Right now, the very fact they have to deal with insurance companies and everything else is a loss of immediate income as well as the loss of everything else that has been suffered.

Personally, I don’t care if Angela and Steve end up with thousands and thousands more and above what any insurance company pays out. Steve built the house with his own hands, right down to milling the timber (and probably cutting the trees) that made the house. No insurance company can ever pay for that kind of personal loss. My son Alex told me that the look on Steve’s face as he watched the house he built, burn down will be forever etched in his mind. The grief, the utter disappointment, in watching what you proudly built, destroyed. Nothing can pay for that, as we as humans and people that love, can help at least in the interim, to make their lives more comfortable. They are homeless right now, and even if an insurance company helps to cover some or most or even all of those costs, they are still without home, RIGHT NOW. I am saddened that some don’t get that, and I do appreciate so very much those that do want to reach out and give what they can to help with the utter desperation and obvious terrible circumstances they are in. Why not help them be more comfortable at this time?

Everything has been destroyed. They need underwear, socks, stuff that no one should donate. There are costs to grieving that no insurance company can pay. We can’t even pay for that except to help them be more comfortable. No government agency can help pay for that; only individuals who care can help with that. Angela fled the house in her pyjamas. Things we take for granted like drivers licenses, (on top of everything else) was destroyed. Her eye glasses need to be replaced, and probably will be at some point – maybe paid for by insurance money – in the meantime, what? If she is stopped by the police while driving and can’t produce her drivers licence because her purse as well as everything else was destroyed, then what? And that is just a very small tiny fraction of the things they need to think about and deal with right now.

I also know that Angela, Steve and my sons will eventually give back as well, after they have rebuilt and got their lives back to some sense of normalcy. I know that for a fact. I know their character in that regard. It is the way they were brought up. It is the way we would all like to be brought up and what I value, I know they value.

I know they need help, and if in the end, they receive so much of it, I know they will give it back when they can. In the meantime, I want to make sure they have the help, that they can get deodorant, underwear, socks, access to healthy food, try to get back to some sense of normalcy as fast as possible, some level of comfort as fast as possible.

And if they end up with some additional comfort above and beyond basic necessities, then all the better for them, having had to have gone through such a terrible, traumatic and horrific experience. And if your cynical.. fine.. hope it never happens to you, is all I can say. A million dollars can’t pay for the trauma, but a few extra bucks and realizing that the human spirit is caring, and people do want to help, and they will do what they can to help, is priceless, above and beyond insurance or Red Cross assistance.
And that is what I am thankful for. Thank you to those who have reached out and have offered or pledged help.

Angela is no longer my wife, we’ve had our disagreements over the years, but there is absolutely no way in hell or heaven that I would ever take any joy in what has happened to her and the sons we had together, or even if it was just her and her partner. If you’re cynical, and think that the insurance company is good enough, or the Red Cross.. then please don’t even bother responding. Just keep your thoughts to yourself. Thank you.

And thank you to everyone else who is shocked, who has a sense of human decency, of wanting to help, of something deep within themselves to share pain, and want to help take away pain. We’re not waiting for the government, or the Red Cross, or the bureaucracy of insurance companies. Help is needed now. And how dare the government statist cynics place a value on loss that is just monetary, and respond with nonsense.

Thank you.