What I really want to know: Can I rip off GVoice's old/retired web interface legally? Or more accurately, can I pay somebody else to do it for me with reasonable ability to assure them they won't go to jail or get sued into oblivion for doing it?
To be clear, there are some nifty functional subtleties I'd want to make off with, which I wouldn't even want to bother pretending I came up with on my own. For instance, there's some interesting algorithm for how texts are batched into threads which I haven't entirely reversed engineered, but make a huge difference in readability.
The extent to which Verizon has screwed this up has been epic. tn3270 referred to it as a Russian novel.
Penultimately, I had a conversation with billing that went approximately thus:
Billing: Hello, Verizon Billing, this is [NAME]. How can I help you today?
Me: You can waive this month's bill because Verizon has screwed up two move orders so far, and the 90 year old account holder hasn't had access to her phone line for five days and counting. It's still not on at her new place, but I understand there's an expedited technician order for today. But who knows? You're the seventh Verizon employee I've talked to so far, and I've been told a variety of wrong and contradictory things every step of the way. This has been the worst corporate fiasco I've been involved with in years.
Billing: ...yes, we will totally credit the account for the month.
I had originally thought that we might have trouble because Verizon had security and stuff, and I wasn't the account holder (D) and I wasn't the contact on the account (tn3270). But no. I text chatted with Verizon in advance of putting in the order (CSR #1), and they told me what authentication tokens I needed to authorize the move order, I got them, and they worked fine when I put the order in.
No, everything went to hell apparently due to galloping incompetence on Verizon's (staff's) part(s).
Initially, I was told we didn't need a technician to come out for the line move, unless we wanted help plugging the phone into the wall; they could do it on their end. For the record, this is a good ol' fashioned POTS line, and moving within the same town. Fine. Once we'd nailed down the move date and booked movers – June 30th, to be precise – I got back in touch – btw, I was using the Verizon website realtime customer service chat, because I couldn't find a damn customer service phone number. It's 1800VERIZON, btw. So I fired up the chat thingy, and talked to a customer serv rep (CSR#2), who said they'd be happy to do the move order for me. Somewhere in the middle of the process, he apologized to me and said that the system was saying that a technician is required for that address; that there were no available technicians on the move in date, but could do the day after (7/13) between 1pm and 5pm, and it wouldn't cost anything to have the technician. I said to make it so, so he put the move order in. I asked him to confirm the service and he quotes me a price that I later find out is almost twice D's usual bill. I ask him whether he needs the account contact there to meet the technician, and he doesn't know, so he transfers me to another cust serv rep (CSR#3), who says, no, any adult who can let the tech in is fine, and who confirms the order is all complete, and (he specifically said this) the previous CSR did everything necessary.
Subsequently, tn3270 got a phone call from Verizon confirming the incipient move.
On Thursday, 7/13, 6pm no Verizon tech, and D's landline still has no dial tone at the new place, and is still working at her old place.
I am working until 9pm, so when I get home around 10pm, I get back on the text chat, and ask what happened. I'm informed they can find no move order on the account. The cust serv rep (CSR#4) asks if I have an ID number for the move order, and I don't have one. But they're happy to submit a new move order. Grrrrr. I say, yes, do it. After a long pause, the cust serv rep apologizes and says they can't do the move. Because it's a landline. The text-chat customer serv reps can't do landline moves. For that you have to call in. 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM EST Monday through Friday or 9:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday. Also, he tells me, I might need to present paperwork in person at a local Verizon office.
It's after 10pm on Thursday, so I have to wait until the phone is staffed again. Why they can have 24/7 text chat CSRs but not 24/7 phone CSRs, I don't know.
Other stuff comes up, that has priority Friday, so I don't get to call Verizon until Saturday, 7/15. The rep I speak to (CSR#5) tells me she sees no record of the move order for Thursday, but she can totally put in a move order for right now immediately. I say the guy I talked to on Thursday said I needed a technician and special documentation; she said she had no idea what he was on about, no technician was needed, and no, they didn't need any special documentation. She said it would be done by "5 today, though maybe really more like by midnight". I make her give me the order number for this move order.
Sunday, 7/16, still no dialtone at her new place, dialtone at the old place. Verizon is closed for phone calls.
Today, Monday, 7/17, I call Verizon and ask WTELF. The CSR (CSR#6) calls up the account and says, "Oh, I see you had a move order for last Thursday." "WAIT. WUT. You can see that order? I was told you guys had no record of that order!" I make him read me the order number; so now I have the order numbers for both move orders that failed to happen. He then apologizes on Verizon's behalf and tells me they over-booked technicians, and that is why no technician came out. "BUT, BUT, WAIT. NOBODY EVER CALLED OR EMAILED. I WAS TOLD THERE WAS NO ORDER. THE LAST PERSON TOLD ME WE DIDN'T NEED A TECHNICIAN AT ALL." The CSR apologized again, and said he'd put the order in, and expedite it, and a technician would be by today.
Then I explained that I wanted the bill credited, and he referred me to billing (CSR#7), who both credited the bill (tn3270 has already got the confirmation email) and confirmed her service level and price, contra CSR#2.
Miraculously, a Verizon technician actually showed up at the assisted living facility today. He did a bunch of stuff, including something in the network closet and sticking some sort of probe in her wall socket, and assured us everything in the building is all set.
She still doesn't have dialtone, though; the technician confidently told tn3270 that the problem was on the pole outside. They'll have a lineman deal with that tomorrow (Tuesday, 7/18).
Next up, contacting the Mass DTC to see about filing an official complaint.
Remember a few weeks ago when I expressed some dissatisfaction with my AmScope's picture quality?
Well, I've put another iron in the fire: Collecting parts off eBay to build a once-top-of-the-line Olympus SZH. Now waiting for more bits to start trickling in.
I found this finicky and prone to vague runtime errors. That's not important, though. The overall style of the system was pretty reasonable, and is probably a good way to write REST services in general.
( Read more... )
The layout implications of this are useful and generic: one source file per type, where each type file defines its storage, serialization, and documentation; and one source file per route, where each route file has its own URL path, complete machine-processable documentation and metadata, and understands the standard failure cases. You just need the right high-level REST library in your language of choice to support this.
( Read more... )
In short, Erlang looks like a good language, a little dated, but I'd rather have good static checking and a robust library stack than an excellent runtime with okay libraries, especially if I can avoid peeking "under the hood".
Despite her being resolutely and bravely determined to do this, despite the movers being wonderful, despite all the staff being lovely, despite all the residents being super friendly and even outgoing, despite her room turning out to have rather more space in it when her furniture was in it that we expected, despite everything being about as optimal as one could possibly dream of...
It was still utterly wrenching and distressing for D. At one point I was reassuring her that this was normal, and said not to underestimate the challenge this was for her. "It's probably the hardest thing you've done in forty years," I said, thinking of her divorce. "Ninety," she corrected me.
I fully expect for her to adjust substantially in a day or two, but right now it's all terrifying, anguishing, infuriating, and all-round overwhelming.
tn3270 took yesterday, today, and tomorrow off from work to be with her. He spent the day before the move over her house, helping her pack and generally being an emotionally stabilizing presence. He slept over, and ran the move; I traveled up to meet them a little before noon. I helped with the unpacking and setting up the space, and being emotional support; we had lunch there with her. Then he and I went back to her house to get some things they forgot (her cane!). Then we spent more time hanging with her in her room, being supportive. Then she dismissed us, and said she was all set, and we could go home. I informed her that we'd leave, but we'd be in the area (North Shore) for some time, and to call if she needed us back. She insisted she wouldn't. She did, about three hours later. We didn't leave until around 7:45pm.
tn3270 will be there tomorrow morning to spend the day with her. Friday will be her first day there without us. I think tn3270 is planning on being there on Saturday and we'll both go up to visit Sunday afternoon. Hopefully by that point everything will be much more familiar and she will be more confident in her ability to navigate it all, and in the staff's kindness and availability to help her.
ETA, Thursday 2:15pm, just got off the phone with tn3270: Last night when D was freaking out a la I CAN'T LIVE HERE IF THIS IS HOW THE PLACE MAKES ME FEEL O GOD SIDEREA WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY, I reassured her it was temporary and she would feel 80% better tomorrow. This morning she felt 80% better. \o/
tn3270, however, is not unexpectedly something of a wreck. He had been planning on spending the whole day, but later in the morning D announced that she had to learn to handle the place on her own, and he clearly needed some rest, so she ordered him home to bed. So he's home taking a nap now.
I am beginning to wonder if we've found the best assisted living facility on earth. They've, top to bottom, been incredibly helpful and easy to work with, and they are so understanding and considerate and cooperative. Like, usually there's a fee for room service, but we told them that she needs to hermit a bit in her room to adjust and they're waiving the fee. Like, one of the staff had me literally coach him how to approach her for her maximal comfort. The staff are following our instructions about how to handle encountering her in her room, and it's apparently going really well. Staff are dropping by one at a time to introduce themselves, so she's learning who people are at a steady slow drip, on her own turf, rather than all at once in busy congregate areas.
D continues to impress me with her determination and guts. There's three options for breakfast at this place: the dining room (restaurant-style service), room service, and a continental breakfast set out in a "kitchen"-style lounge on each floor. This morning, she decided to go check out the continental breakfast, even though she could have had room service, and she's terrified she'll get lost in the hallways. Apparently she loved it, and met another resident who is a regular at the continental breakfast. Crucially, she discovered that the continental breakfast has better coffee than she can make herself, and promptly did something that was tantamount to deciding never to make coffee for herself again: she told tn3270 to take away her coffee maker.
Note, she had asked us yesterday to fetch her her coffee maker from home on our trip to pick up the cane. tn3270 assured me it was safe and she could leave it on for days without it burning down the building, aeb the fact her home was still standing. So we brought it to her; and now she's decided she doesn't need it after all. Transitional objects come in many forms, yall.
I think, ironically, one of the things exacerbating this transition for D has been that D has been pushing herself too hard, and not allowing for her own emotional limits. For instance, she broadsided tn3270 and I with the announcement at the intake assessment on move-in day, that she wanted the medication-administration service after all, which has a variety of emotional challenges for her, which suddenly got dumped on top of her move-in stresses. Now, we think having her meds administered to her is great, we're all in favor of this, I had asked them about the service weeks ago anticipating it might become necessary. But D didn't talk to either of us first, and just up and did this on the one day she really, really didn't need additional stressors. I wasn't there for that meeting; when I arrived, she was already fully into OH GOD SIDEREA DID I MAKE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE ASKING THEM TO DO MY MEDS?!
Had I been at that meeting and had I known how badly it would throw her for a loop on a day that was already looking like a serving of cheerios, I would have put my foot down and insisted that she was going to self-administer for now, and we could discuss it again in a week. Because, ironically, the facility can't immediately start administering her meds, anyways. So all she got herself was the stress of knowing this was coming, without any of the relief of someone taking that chore off her hands. She's still stuck self-administering her meds anyways, for the time being. This is seriously worst-of-both-worlds. Oh, D.
With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had known to have a conversation with her in advance about make no changes to the plan for the first week. And also that I had realized just how much her best character features can set her up for failure, and that she needed someone to tell her to take her move as easy as she can. Me, I in her situation would have been like NOPE, WHATEVER IT IS CAN WAIT UNTIL AFTER MY MOVE IN, ALL MY COPE IS BOOKED – hell, it is how I've handled her move, and I'm not even the one moving. It never occurred to me that she would multiply her own stressors like that out of a sense of "should".
So she's been making decisions on "it would be good for me" basis in blithe disregard for her own human limitations. Thus she exceeds her limits of cope, and melts down. Then she starts catastrophizing like she's trying to make the US Olympic catastrophizing team.
Things we've successfully done that were super helpful:
1) Not believing her when she airily declares that she'll be fine, and have plans in place for when she is (inevitably) not fine after all.
2) tn3270 taking those three days off. There was a point late on Wednesday, the move-in day, when D was freaking out and the following approximate dialog happened:
D: OH GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TOMORROW WHEN YOU'RE NOT HERE AND I'M ALL ALONE!
tn3270: Mom, I'm going to be here tomorrow and you won't be all alone.
D: OH GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TOMORROW WHEN YOU'RE NOT HERE AND I'M ALL ALONE!
tn3270: MOM, I'M GOING TO BE HERE TOMORROW. I'VE TAKEN THE DAY OFF WORK.
D: ... you're coming after work?
tn3270: No, in the morning.
D: What about your job?!
tn3270: MOM, I'VE TAKEN THE DAY OFF. I'LL BE HERE ALL DAY.
D: You'll be here tomorrow?
tn3270: YES, MA.
(Of course, he had gone over this plan with her numerous times in previously. But when when she gets going into a freakout, it doesn't matter what she has been told. If she's afraid of being alone, that becomes the cognition I WILL BE ALONE, which overwrites any less emphatic contradictory information in her memory. We're just lucky that it didn't manifest in the delusional certainty that tn3270 would be in a car accident on the way up.)
3) We quite deliberately established a pattern of "go away and come back". For instance, there were some things she needed today from her house: rather than go to her house first to pick them up and then go visit her, tn3270 first went to see her, then made a round trip to the house to pick up the things and brought them to her. This manufactured for her a span of time when she was alone in her room, but knew her son was coming right back. We did this on move-in day, too, at several removes – leaving her in her room to go talk to staff about things but still being on-site, leaving the facility to go pick things up for her with a plan of returning soon, and leaving the facility but staying the local area (with no scheduled return) for her to be able to call us back; and of course the go-away-come-back of finally our going home and tn3270 coming back the next day.
This seems to be really working for her. It's giving her some control over how alone she's being, which allows her to balance her independence and need for solitude with her anxiety about being abandoned and neglected, and provide her adequate scaffolding for learning to tolerate that separation. Attachment theory FTW!
4) Lots of doting on her: I brought her flowers; tn3270 got her some nice new sheets for her bed; lots of hugs and kisses and back rubs and literal handholding.
5) I helped her do some moving in things that were familiar domestic tasks (making the bed, organizing her kitchenette, etc) which were re-skilling, and marvelously distracting and organizing for her. I got her to give me orders about how she wanted things in her room, which she found soothing and calming.
So, today, at 5:40 PM, her veterinary started her with a Propofol injection, which sedated her, and when she fell asleep she was given a cocktail of barbiturates that gave her euthanasia at 5:45. She passed peacefully, and hopefully she's now in a better place.
We would appreciate not getting any copies of the Rainbow Bridge (or whatever the title to such poem/text is). We know it's supposed to give people some comfort and it probably works for many, given the popularity, but it has the reverse effect on us.
Making the decision was hard, but it gives us comfort to know that she passed peacefully and painlessly and did not have to endure any more discomfort before she died.
She will be missed a lot, but that goes without saying anyway, and even if she could have lived another 3 years in great comfort and without any pain it would still not have been long enough.
We feel that there is no doubt that any dog that kept their family amused and safe (we still have all our fingers!) and loved their family unconditionally like she did for over 14 years deserves all the good the Universe can give, and the very least we could do for her was, as the doctor told us, offer her the same peaceful death the great Michael Jackson had, may he also rest in peace.
Please treat yourselves, each other, and especially pets, gently and lovingly in her memory, today and always.
I figured out enough Python to write the code for Will's program and let him fill in the question and answer data. It only took a few hours, and he was very pleased with the result. Next week I have to start pushing him to do his summer reading book reports, which will be less fun. Hard to believe we're only four weeks away from school starting back.
Connor's new loft is finished, and we bought Will a new mattress today, to be delivered next week. All that remains now is to figure out a new long-term arrangement for the rest of the furniture. I keep hoping that with Will and Connor continuing to sleep in the same room, we can figure out how to turn the other downstairs bedroom into an office or guest room - the kids are too old now to need a playroom.
Robby managed to mess up his car on his way home from work on Thursday by running off the road, skidding through a bunch of mud and scraping up against a pine tree. No idea yet how extensive the damage is, but it's possible we might be looking at yet another car replacement. Good thing we're in a better position to afford another car payment now.