Nov 8 2012

Dan Visits the Social Security Office

We need to get Social Security cards for our daughters.

I dropped by the SS office in Independence yesterday afternoon. I didn’t know what time they closed, I just assumed it would be similar to other government offices. Turns out the office hours were 9-3:30.

So I had to leave work mid-day to get there today. I passed through the foyer and was greeted by a guard and a No Weapons sign.

“Do you have any weapons?”


“Any blades at all?”

So I had to take my utility knife back out to the car, during which time five more people got in line in front of me. I guess they could have put the No Weapons Including Tools That Aren’t Really Weapons sign on the outside of the building, but maybe weapons are allowed in the foyer, and not the office.

I mean, really, did they think I would hijack the office and fly it into another office? Secondly, if utility knives are so deadly, why don’t they issue them to cops? The guard didn’t have one—he had a freakin’ gun.

On the wall in the lobby was a corkboard with two items posted side by side:

So lemme get his straight—I can’t have weapons here, but you have weapons here. I can’t take pictures here, but you take video. As The Tick would say, “Spelling ‘America’ with a ‘k’ are we?”

Tell me again why these guys should be in charge of health care?

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Jan 5 2010

Buying a stove wasn’t that hard, part 3

Part three in the chronicle of my stove-buying experience (parts 1 and 2).

So I was telling all this to my buddy Kaleb. He suggested I go to Nebraska Furniture Mart. I had never been there, so I asked him if they had a decent selection. He must have thought that was rather humorous.

Christmas Eve I got up and starting looking around online for a stove again, and remember Kaleb’s NFM recommendation. I quickly found my model, and saw that they were offering two years with no interest through TODAY. Ally and I hopped in the car and drove all the way out to KCK, racing the impending snow and ice storm that was coming in.

For those of you who have never been to Nebraska Furniture Mart, it gets it’s name from the fact that the store is roughly the size of Nebraska. Within five minutes I had located my stove (it was $20 cheaper than it showed online). Within another minute an employee offered to get a sales associate. Within another five or six minutes Randy, our sales guy, had a ticket for us with warranty and delivery (can you believe they deliver within a 150 mile radius?).

Randy then pointed us to the credit desk so I could take advantage of their sweet financing option. Another 5 minutes of taking down info, and the credit associate said it would be about 10 minutes. Ally and I sat down and were in our seats for less than a minute when the sales clerk called our name. We were already rung up and everything; I just had to sign the receipt.

I still had another purchase to make, and even with that Ally and I were in and out of the store in less than 30 minutes with a promise that our stove would be delivered on December 30th.

At 8:15 a.m. December 30th our stove arrived, delivered by a couple of jovial guys named Danny and Steve who drove through the snow from Kansas City, Kansas.

Heather loves her stove, and I’m pretty darned fond of it myself (last night I made chili, and today I am making French Toast as soon as everyone gets up).

So, sorry Lowe’s: you blew it. Sorry Best Buy: you double blew it. If either of you had had better service, I would have never ventured out to Nebraska Furniture Mart. The selection was gigantic. Every single employee we worked with was helpful and cheerful. Both of our sales associates ignored their telephones so they could focus on us.

Guess where we are buying our next refrigerator?

Part 1

Part 2

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Jan 1 2010

Buying a stove shouldn’t be this hard, part 2

In part 1 I detailed how the oven in our crummy Frigidaire range had died, and how we had attempted to purchase a new range at Lowe’s, but ended up ordering through

The range we ordered was a high-end consumer model, a Whirlpool Gold gas convection oven with 5 burners, three racks, a split rack, and a warming drawer. Since it was kind of a specialty item, Best Buy said they would order it in six weeks.

On week five, I received a bill from Best Buy. I’m not accustomed to being billed for items until they have shipped, so I called Best Buy and told them so. However, Best Buy and the bank that issues their card are two different companies, and both referred me to the other. Neither was willing to help me, and the credit card company representative, knowing I was already unhappy at the prospect of paying for a purchase I had not yet received, still attempted to sell me a stupid credit service add-on.

Fine, whatever. As long as I got my stove.

On week six I get an email from Best Buy stating that there was an error and my order had been cancelled. That’s OK, I didn’t really want a new range right before Thanksgiving. Would I like to reorder, they asked?

No, no I would not.

Part 1

Part 3

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Nov 14 2009

Buying a stove shouldn’t be this hard, pt. 1

The oven went out in our Frigidaire gas range (this was after the clock went out a couple years ago–it’s been the worst appliance I’ve ever owned), so we finally broke down and went shopping for a new range.

We were looking for a prosumer gas convection range, as Heather does a lot of baking. They run from around $800-$2,000.

We went to Lowe’s since we already have a Lowe’s card. The appliance guy at the Lowe’s in Independence was very helpful, however, they don’t deliver out to the boonies where we live. So we went to the Lowe’s in Warrensburg. After 20 minutes of wandering around the appliances, we couldn’t find anyone to help us. I told Heather I was ready to leave, but she said I was just being impatient.

After another five minutes of wandering, we found the appliance guy. He was talking to another Lowe’s guy about something. It must have been important, because he was oblivious to us.

Then Heather was ready to leave, and we lit out (after Heather informed the front desk of her displeasure).

It turned out to be fortuitous. After searching around online, I found the same range we had planned to order from Lowe’s $150 cheaper at Best Buy, with even better financing. So I signed up for a card and ordered it.

Part 2

Part 3

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