Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Blow to the Head

The cover story of the Chicago Tribune today was titled "Friday Night Lights' Risk: 1800 hits to the head."

Mom Eder, if you're reading this - stop now. You don't want to know.

Recent studies have found hidden brain injuries in young football players who have been sacked/tackled repeatedly with hits to the head.

Kind of like Jay Cutler last Sunday night. The Giants set a new NFL record by sacking our Bears QB NINE TIMES in the first HALF. Cutler left the game after the last sack at the end of the half. That was the hit that we all thought caused his concussion. Turns out the concussion came much earlier in the game and that's what impaired his play to the extent that he was sacked an additional six or so times. Not that the offensive line provided any assistance.

Somehow this information was both comforting and disturbing. Comforting in that Cutler isn't a hack who can't throw the ball to save his life. Disturbing in that he was impaired to a degree that he couldn't find receivers visually let alone with the ball.

Disturbing because these injuries can have long-term repercussions - no win is worth sacrificing a player's future congnitive abilities.

Disturbing because it went undetected, the guy was put back out on the field, and we allowed him to get reinjured exponentially with greater enthusiasm from the opposing teams defense (since their offense was doing as little as ours to put points on the board).

Disturbing because I have a son who plays football.

I'm grateful that Dan is an assistant coach who is making sure they are learning proper safety procedures for tackling. But I'll tell you this stuff makes me run to God with prayers for protection.

I can handle the bruises all up and down his arms and the way he walks up the stairs like an 80 year old man after a game, but head injuries are deal breakers for continued play.

So if you have a kid in football (and you should know I consider college age "kids") - watch them carefully and be an advocate for conservative measures with those hard hits, would ya?

And pray.

Friday, October 1, 2010

But Wait! There's more....

So you read about my AT&T Uverse woes with the phone a couple of days ago. Turns out the Bears win on cable isn't a wash with the lack of phone reception after all.

I am now in my eleventh day of "new, improved digital phone service" except my phone continues to buzz loudly anywhere between 2 and 14 minutes into a call depending on it's mood. I finally got through on the automated system on Monday to schedule a service call to fix it (took three tries and LOTS of waiting) but on the bright side they all had real time evidence of my problem while they were recording the converation for "quality assurance."

The first time they could dispatch someone when I was home was allegedly last night between 4-8. I left work early to be home by 4. Of course, they never showed, but did call Dan's cell around 8 to say they were "running late." At nine pm they were still trying to dispatch someone. I told them not to send a technician to my home after 9 pm on a school night and we rescheduled for the next day. I insisted they come between 5-7 and they absolutely refused to commit to anything but a 4 hour window because they said it was what they needed. I reminded them they really needed a six hour window since it was now 9:30 pm and they hadn't shown up yet for that day's 4 hour window.

So their four hour blocks required a 4-8 pm for today. We told them I couldn't be home until 5 so to change it to 5-8. Again, the four hour window speech. So they made a note not to show up before 5 on the ticket and gave us 5-9.

So it was kind of funny when Dan got a call at 9 am from a technician in front of our house wanting to be let in to fix the phone. Dan let him know no one would be home before 5 pm. He got another call two hours later.

Same deal. Same response.

Another hour later...he got another call. He asked them why they kept showing up when the order clearly read 4-8 (but apparently didn't include the promised note of "don't show up before 5"). They said when they miss appointments the day before we go to the top of the order. Dan told them that's great, except as we've stated five times, we won't be home before five.

An hour later another technician calls.

So when I pull up at 4 pm in front of my house and see a service truck parked there I am overjoyed. Except the guy tells me he just spoke with my husband who told him I wouldn't be home before 5 and so now he's been dispatched to another home and has to leave. I tell him "no way" I'm home now and the whole saga.

He is not moved with compassion.

I make him stay for 10 minutes listening to our sob story, but he still leaves assuring me someone will be here between 5-8. Right. Because that's what the ticket says and it worked so well last night.

I ask him for a phone number for a manager/supervisor. "Sorry ma'am I don't have any phone numbers." There aren't any emails on their website either. Nor is there any contact information at all except for the automated system that has an average wait time of 10 minutes for a live human being. Remember...this is a phone company.

But there's lots of stuff that says "Dear valued customer."

It's 6 pm and no one else has showed up yet even though four of them were here today because I was at the top of the pecking order even though my ticket said 4-8 pm.

I just opened my mail and there was a letter from AT&T Uverse trying to sell me the bundled package I just bought for $12 less a month than I just bought it for.

I prayed so I wouldn't strangle someone.

I also had a glass of wine.

Then Caitlin reminded me that it was a U2 Friday Feature on WXRT. So I just listened to five consecutive U2 songs while sipping some wonderful Left Foot Charley Murmur and I'm not as livid as I was an hour ago.

But I will post on my web for all to see that AT&T appears to be competing for worst customer service satisfaction in the 21st century.