Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thats it.. I give up.

They have defeated me... Customer service has caused me to be a broken shell. They win.

In my head it seems like most things I need should be super simple. Apparently I am a mental case, and I have apparently too high of expectations.

Today I called Citibank to dispute a charge from a vendor. You see I ordered a case of hand-wipes of all things a month ago. They haven't shown up. Calling and emailing the vendor produces the sound of wind whistling through canyons. No one responds at all. They don't even respond to me telling them I am canceling the order. So I had to call my credit card company.

Yes... I know you are wondering why I would order a case of hand-wipes. When you are sticking eye drops in a bunnies eye several times a day you want to make sure not adding any bacteria... but I digress.

The call started fairly uneventfully. I explain my problem, and she starts reading straight from her cheat sheet of questions. You could tell - because she hadn't memorized them, and when she would mess up the sentence she would start over from the beginning.

The biggest problem started because the customer service rep who had a pretty thick accent would ask me questions, and I would say " I'm sorry I didn't understand the question". The rep would then say "I need a yes or no answer". She did this like 3 times. What the hell is that about?

It didn't help that I could swear that I was on an outsourced call. The call had a distinct time delay. Because my Aunt works for a call center for Citibank, I just assumed their call centers were somewhere in the midwest. Because of the time delay I would answer a question and it wouldn't have reached her side yet - so we wound up talking on top of each other. Just f-ing annoying.

On a different annoyance some parts were ordered for my car almost two weeks ago.. and I don't know - I would have expected them to call me when they came in. Yeah... I'm just that dumb.

Then finally... the one that makes me happiest. When I had my new inspector out early yesterday morning telling me that because my fireplace was "just dirty enough" he couldn't give me a definite answer on how much damage was there - I was absolutely sure I would get a call from the gal that makes his appointments. I didn't expect to get an appointment this century.. but there was no ambiguity that he was going to make an appointment for me. I wanted the written report of the inspection and he couldn't finalize the inspection until the chimney was cleaned. Which actually really pisses me off because the first guy I called out refused to clean it. Now I have to wait to fuck-all ever to get someone to clean it and finish inspecting it. At least I don't have to worry about those pesky fires I was hoping to have this winter.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My rant about Lenovo and their sales department.

Holy shit I wish companies would stop wasting my time. Lenovo is yet another to add to my list of companies I will not buy from. I mean.. do these companies even understand the amount of choice people have, and that if you piss a customer off they might just never buy from you?

So - I blogged about wanting to get a tablet PC here. We really thought we would go with Fijitsu, but Lenovo was rated very high for the quality of their machines. So I decided to call them up and see how backloged they were. This is how the conversations went.

Me- I wanted to buy one of your ThinkPad X60's, and know you are back-ordered. I just want to find out what the time-line is.

Omar at 1866-428-4465 x32742 - Right now that product is shipping in about 2-4 weeks.

Me- Is that a firm number?

Omar at 1866-428-4465 x32742 - Yes

Me- Okay, because I just bought a computer from another vendor and they told me it would be 2 weeks and it wound up taking 7.. so I really want to know if 2-4 weeks is the correct time-line.

Omar at 1866-428-4465 x32742 - Which vendor did that?

Me- Alienware.

Omar at 1866-428-4465 x32742 - Oh no.. that is unacceptable. Wait a second, let me look at my database.

(I hear him clicking around)

Omar at 1866-428-4465 x32742 - I have a machine sitting in my warehouse. This is what it has:

X60 Core D 72
1 Gig of Memory
120 Gig drive
Verizon network card
Finger print scanner, and a high output battery.

This machine can ship in 4-5 days.

Me- Really? Let me call my husband and I will call you right back.

So my husband and I email each other back and forth a few times trying to figure out if we wanted things like the Ultrabase so we can watch DVD's.

My husband was also a little concerned about the screen resolution - so he calls Lenovo. When Omar calls him back he confirms the machine has the highest res screen (1400 x 1050) they offer for that model.

After about 4 hours we decide to buy it and my husband calls Omar. I wasn't paying that much attention until all of a sudden I hear a dispute about when shipping will happen. My husband tells me the machine will ship in 2-4 weeks. I was a little annoyed and asked what about the machine we had been discussing all day. So I got on the phone and Omar immediately starts defending the shipping time.

Omar, I say.. "you said you had a machine in the warehouse ready to ship in 4-5 days".

"Oh no" he says. "I could never make that blunder - I said I would have a machine on the web-site in 4-5 days".

Me- Okay thanks - I'm going to another company.

Now the thing that just pisses me off is that he could have told us that he had already sold the machine. It did take us a couple hours to decide. You snooze you loose. But he had to go on with that bullshit that he never said he had a machine ready to ship. And you wouldn't need to go into as much detail about a machine that would "be on your web-site".

I just get so sick of companies doing this. I wish they would just be up front about when you can expect a machine. Like "it will be nine years, but we will get it there exactly in 9 years". If I can't find someone else who will ship in less than 9 years.. I at least know when the hell my machine will show up.

It also makes me none too happy that they are basically booking advanced profits because they bill you right away and sit on your money often for 4,5,6 weeks.

Monday, November 27, 2006

What were they thinking?

This is the time of year that catalogs that you have never heard of get delivered to your house. Often they are so random I find myself turning the catalog over to see if it is even addressed to me, then wondering "how did I get on this list".

I don't shop from catalogs, but there are many entertaining finds during the holiday season. Like this item for example from

I hope even the most hard core feminist would agree that no one wants that much hair coming out of your bikini line. And for the pleasure of wearing a man bear purse you get to pay $240.95. I'm just probably not evolved enough to see how cool this bag really is.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dear iRobot...

Please add bunnies to your marketing blitz.

You don't hate bunnies do you....?

Road Trip.

Things have been super crazy, so I'm just posting a picture taken this weekend. I couldn't get any closer, as they had the gates to this place closed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An addition to Supermarket hell.

5. Don't get in line until you are completely ready to check out. Don't send your whole family out to "find things", be completely rung up and walking away - only to "get one more item". And if that item you can't live without is shrimp of all things, don't pay with a coupon. And when the checker tells you the price is over 17 dollars say "17 bucks for shrimp"? What are you new?

Items 1-4 from my rant about shopping.

1. If you are going to write a check, make half of it out while you are waiting. Not after you get to the checker. You know what f-ing store you are at. Fill it in, and sign it.

2. Don't park your cart in the middle of the f-ing isle. It takes two seconds to put it on one side or the other so people can easily pass. I know you think you are just going to be a second... but you aren't. So f-ing put the cart to the side.

3. If you are going to spend half a day comparison shopping for spaghetti paste, be considerate and let other people grab their items.

4. If you are feeling a little lonely and want to have a long meaningful conversation with the checker. DON'T! Unless you are the only person in line.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I blame low unemployment.

The two items that bring the most traffic to my site are my jury duty posts, and my rants about Alienware. The latter bringing the most.. even bringing in people from the UK.

So when the conversation between my husband and I came up about getting Tablet PC so he can work while he is in meetings, or we can take on the road with us, you must know I was less than enthused.

After doing a little research here, here , here, here, here - Hell I could go on for days. I found myself in a cringe.

Our other choice is Lenovo which is back-ordered. I hate living in a back-ordered world.

I have to wonder how so many companies like Dell, Alienware, Compaq/HP, Sony can piss so many people off. I can only attribute the severe decline in customer service and support to the low unemployment rate. It creates uneducated workers - a high worker churn rate, and generally people who don't give a shit about doing a good job.

Honestly, I don't know if I can stand the process of ordering a new machine... but chances are I will. And chances are I will be pissed somehow.

Monday, November 20, 2006

When life gives you lemons... well, you've got lemons.

It all started innocently enough. You see - it always does.

We just wanted to have our fireplace cleaned. For years we had been aching to have a fireplace. Our last house was probably the only house on the block that didn't have one. Truthfully, we couldn't afford any of the houses that had them. We just felt lucky the previous owners had let the house fall into such disrepair that we could afford it at all. Every year - winter would roll around ( eventually - this is California after all) and the wonderful winter-ey smell of fireplaces would fill the air. We would always say "next house has to have a fireplace".

And so this is where we find ourselves today. With a fireplace. We were so happy.

With the impending holidays I booked someone to come out and clean the fireplace build-up that was listed on the housing inspection. And really to put my mind at ease about any back-draft problems. Since the bunnies live indoors I wanted to make sure smoke would not build up in the room and harm them.

The fireplace had also been outfitted with gas. I wanted to make sure we could have a rip-roaring wood fire and it not be a problem because we hadn't actually planned to use the gas. So you see... it was suppose to be really routine. I mean... how bad could it be? We paid for 9 million inspections on this place.

Apparently really bad.

Click to enlarge.

Look at Item B.

Oh yeah... I'm pretty sure I am going to freak out.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Maybe there really were Jackalopes!

You have got to go look at this site. As a long time rabbit owner few things suprise me about their ability to get crazy stuff... but this actually did.

Evil Kirby Lu Hoo.

This girl thinks that if I can't see her - I won't know she is doing something bad like trying to chew carpet.

Links to other bunny pictures. Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Snowbot Armies.

If you love blinky lights... you have to go over to thinkgeek and get one of these.

Are parents going deaf... or they just not care?

Let me tell you what happened this weekend.

My husband and I were out shopping for cabinets to finish up our laundry room project, and decided to stop by Circuit City. Partly in a delusional attempt at getting a PS3, and partly to browse laptops. At first we walked through the laptop section and didn't see what we were looking for. We were about to leave when at the last second I noticed the laptop we wanted to look at was behind locked glass. One of these.

It was also at this point that I noticed a family also browsing laptops and one of the children crying. It wasn't a big deal at the time. I understand children cry.

So, my husband set out on a mission to find a sales rep to open the locked case. This took about 5 minutes.

After this amount of time, this child was now on my radar because the family was ignoring him. All this time though the child is getting progressively louder and practically wailing. The parents are still not acting like they hear his cries or notice that other people in the store might find it annoying.

After about 10 minutes we were able to get the machine out of the case and booted since it wasn't really a display model. This kid is still crying and I am starting to get pissed. Mainly because this isn't a baby. He was probably about 7. Much to old to be having a fit like this in a store. I mean... this is something that toddlers do... not big boys like a 7 year old. And the parents still don't say a word to the child. At 15 minutes we leave and the kid is still crying.

I'd like to say I'm just being an asshole about it, but this year I have noticed this sort of thing somewhat often and I have to say it kind of makes my blood boil.

This summer my husband and I stopped at IKEA, and there was this family who had a wailing child who kept screaming "I want to walk". My husband and I figured we would just try to outrun them to another part of the store and all would be bliss. But every move we made they made, and this child was screaming at the top of his lungs about wanting to walk. I finally said pretty loud "let the fucker walk" I know what sounds really mean, but I can't understand how parents can not be affected by a child who constantly cries and wails, and furthermore how they don't think it affects people around them.

Later that same day we went to buy new cell-phones because my husband had put his razor through the wash. The place was pretty busy so we had to wait a little while to get a sales reps attention. In walks this woman with 2 kids. One was a toddler who immediately laid down on the ground and had a screaming wailing fit. And the woman did absolutely nothing about it.

This went on for about 15 minutes before I freaked out. It was the first time I ever had to tell a business that if they didn't do something about that kid they were going to lose a sale. I felt really bad, but I just couldn't take it anymore.

I think the thing that makes me more upset than anything is I watch these parents and they do nothing to make the child stop acting out. I can understand a failed attempt at getting them to stop. Kids are kids... but them doing absolutely nothing drives me up a wall.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Winter Saffron

How everything I knew about Jury Duty was wrong, and how it changed my view on the system. Part 4.

I think this will be the last post, because even I am getting bored about this subject.

Okay.... by day three I was slipping deeper and deeper into anger mismanagement mode. I was starting to alienate all the people I had bonded with up to this point. By day four I was starting to have fantasies about tourette's style outbursts. This is the day I had to tap out, and let me tell you why.

While out on a lunch break I was sitting in the holding area, because frankly I just wasn't good company at this point. Some of the seated jurors were cuddled up patting each other on the back and whatever it is they do. I overheard one of the seated jurors say the following "I didn't know they would let me sit and talk for an hour about my opinions. I have lots of opinions".

Are you fucking kidding me?

This is when I realized everything I knew in the world was wrong. I had pegged this woman as a rational person even though I knew she was a Berkeley grad. After all, she was much younger than the rest. I noticed her the first day because she had one of those super slim iPods. She wasn't retired like many of the others and I thought she had things to do. Oh how wrong I was.

One of the lawyers I had been chatting with this whole time was also desperately trying to get out of service. So I kept asking him "is this normal"? Because I couldn't believe what was going on.

These defendants are in the fight of their lives. They don't give a shit if you rescue animals. I was pretty sure none of them even had degrees. One was much too young, and the other two had already been in the system for serious crimes.

At one point the lawyer admitted it wasn't normal - he said the court doesn't usually want to make people resentful of the process. That made sense at the time, but by day 4 I realized the judge didn't give a shit. After all.. who is he going to make resentful? One or two people? So What!

It was at this point I realized I could never serve on a jury. I could never get past the people who talked endlessly about their accomplishments, then when questioned further would admit "well... it was a long time ago, I don't really remember that much about it". Well, just a minute ago you said you were a rocket scientist. "Oh, I meant I once saw a rocket on the science channel".

Or the people - like in one case who spent 50 minutes being questioned, and asked over and over if they could be objective only to say "weeeeeeeeellllllll, I don't know". These people were given out after out - only to request to talk to the judge in private and never come back. 50 minutes! This was day 4.. it wasn't like he didn't have time to think about it. I don't care if you are embarrassed... he wasn't embarrassed to talk about anything else.

Please... someone let me know that my experience was an isolated case, because I just can not believe that the courts are run this way.

Monday, November 13, 2006

How everything I knew about Jury Duty was wrong, and how it changed my view on the system. Part 3.

Another thing I learned from my jury confinement is that I am the only one on the planet who watches television. And if people did watch - it was always the History Channel. The judge made a joke on the first day after asking a prospective juror "how he got his news" - he said people always say they watch the History Channel.

I didn't realize at the time how significant this comment would be. As a matter of a fact, no one watches the news, so I think they should take it off the air immediately.

Now I know people are thinking to themselves "HEY, I watch the History Channel"! And I'm betting they do.... but statistically the amount of History Channel watchers was highly improbable. Grab 50 people off the street. Any street - and I bet the History Channel rarely comes up. Yet in this group 95% of them were History Channel watchers.

Since the judge let the prospective jurors drone on for as long as they wanted - towards the end sometimes people would admit to watching CSI. I was wondering which one, because CSI NY just sucks, and CSI Miami makes me want to claw my eyes out. We still have 10 episodes on Tivo from last season just in-case there is a meteor collision with the earth and broadcast television ceases to exist.

Personally I have deviated from my reality show whoring to be a big fan of Dexter. You got to love Showtime for actually realizing people want to utilize their HD televisions.

One woman actually admitted to be a court TV watcher, but deemed CSI "too Hollywood". But I had to respect her for being different.

Another thing I deemed unsettling was the judge. From the very first day I noted that he cracked a lot of jokes. It isn't that I expected the place to be completely stodgy, but he cracked a lot of jokes. So many in fact it seemed like he was working towards a second career in stand-up if this whole judge thing didn't work out. About 70% of the jury audience would laugh uproariously at his every attempt at humor, and this would happen really quite frequently.

Now you may think I am being an asshole about it, and under normal circumstance it wouldn't have been notable - but 2 of these guys were probably going away for life. The judge would crack a joke, the juror audience would laugh, and I sat there thinking " if I am accused of these crimes I want the judge to be a little more serious". This also set up a completely different feedback loop in that jurors being questioned would act out in an attempt to get the juror audience to laugh as well.

To be continued.....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yep.... our economy sucks!

While out shopping recently I was dazzled by these 60 inch Samsung flat-screen televisions. Of course I am dazzled by all things electronic, but these especially caught my eye. After all, 60 inches is close to your average size Mini Cooper.

I wanted to know how many of these babies were being sold. Because quite honestly they had a huge amount of floor space for them. I thought perhaps a few sold a month.

To my shock the salesperson said they sold about 3 week, at about 4.5 grand each. He claimed he had personally sold over 70 of them himself. He could have been bullshitting me...But then why on earth would a company make a product like these that are so obviously disposable if people weren't capable of buying them?

All I know is that when I was a kid, they would never had made products like these because no one would buy them. I mean... who would spend that kind of money on something that your kid would only use for a few years. I mean, they are obviously made for that 5-10 year old demographic.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

How everything I knew about Jury Duty was wrong, and how it changed my view on the system. Part 2.

One of the things I found particularly disturbing about the whole jury duty experience was the sheer volume of agendas.

I don't consider myself particularly naive. I would even say that I am fairly on the cynical side, but I was completely side-lined by how completely naive I actually was. I expected the lawyers and defendants to have agendas, and even a reasonable amount with the jury pool. After all.. life is about agendas. I'm not stupid. Well, not that stupid.

In serving my time I learned a huge lesson about stated preference vs. revealed preference. You can learn about it here. I found that no matter how hard a prospective juror protested about not wanting to serve or not being able to serve, they were absolutely lying.

Now I don't want readers to misunderstand me. I have absolutely no problem with people who are honest and just say "yeah, would love to serve". And there were a few people who did that, and I respect the hell out of them. These are not the people I am talking about. The people I am talking about will lie directly to your face about not wanting to serve, and then will essentially audition for the judge. I would say 90% of those I saw interviewed fit into this category. And let me tell you... I talked to a lot of people as well. My main objective was to claw out of serving, and clearly their main objective was to stay in the pool. I will talk more about this later.

People who claimed having serious illness while in private would get called to talk to the judge and reappear. For instance one woman I talked to went on and on about how she had diabetes and had family issues. I learned fairly early on that up to that point, everyone who had been called into see the judge privately had entered the elevator and left. Which is what I had thought had happened to this woman. There were a lot of people and I hadn't seen her for a while. So when she popped back up I was a little shocked.

While out on a break we began talking and I made mention that I thought they had tossed her for her health reasons. She immediately changed the subject. After talking for a good while about other stuff I again inquired why she was still around, and she again completely avoided the subject. It was at this point I realized she wanted to be there.

After a few days I saw so much of this behavior I became really pissed. After all - these people wanted to serve, and it was most of the jury pool. I however didn't want to serve and clearly stated it and I found myself realizing that it would be a very long time before I was able to address the judge and tell him there was no way he was turning me around. At this point the judge is getting through 5 people a day. With the 2 hour lunches, and people using the courts time as a platform for all sorts of reasons. I will also talk more about this later.

Now I know you are probably thinking, well most of these people were lying so why would the judge believe you? This is why.

I found that a very small percentage of people were honest on their questionnaires and like me - said they could not be objective or had a financial hardship. These people relatively immediately got dismissed. There was very clearly a difference between those people and the people who were trying to stay on the jury. The judge addressed very specific questions from the questionnaire, and every single person that was resolute in their answers were never being turned back from leaving that room.

I spent less than a week in screening and I could distinguish these people immediately. It was so insanely obvious.

To be continued....

How everything I knew about Jury Duty was wrong, and how it changed my view on the system. Part I.

I can not express how happy I am today. Not the "yeah" kind of happy. The kind where everyone can see a difference and everyone comments about it.

You see I got "dismissed" from service yesterday. I finally had to forcibly tap out of serving by claiming a medical reason, and I don't feel one bit of guilt about it. I have never in my life heard of anyone having the experience I had these two weeks, and while it was an excruciating experience - the lessons I learned are invaluable. So here goes....

First a little background:

I have to start out saying that over the years I have felt a good deal of guilt about my jury service dodging. You see, I sort of always felt like an asshole for shirking my duty and putting the burden on others who I always thought were just as unhappy at getting called up for service as I was. I had never met anyone who said they hadn't tried to get out of serving, and wasn't pissed about serving. So I had this preconceived notion that everyone hated to the core being called in to serve.

Since it actually takes a great amount of effort in my county to get out of jury service I decided to bite the bullet, and just get it out of the way this time so they would leave me alone for a whole year. And they will call me one year from todays date - precisely. Thank you computer databases.

When my number was called I was unhappy - but I figured I would just go in - fill out the questionnaire as I had done a previous time, and that would be that.

You see my reserve nerve for the violence that goes on in that side of the county is long dead. I don't know how many people died in the last week for obvious reasons, but last Saturday it hit 128 for the year. Thats right... someone dies in that city on average every 3 days. 10 times the national average, and was actually named in the top 10 most dangerous cities this year. Since I was a kid, it has never gotten better, only worse despite being surrounded on all sides by endless opportunity. This isn't Detroit folks.

So understandably I thought that clearly stating in my questionnaire that I could not be an objective juror would have immediately have gotten me tossed. And honestly I was being truthful. I blogged about it here. But it didn't. The next step was the "getting to know you phase" in which the judge questioned you about your history.

The first juror to be questioned was a full on dissenting Berkeley grad. This set up a series of events that started to unfold that I wouldn't fully comprehend for two days.

The first day 15 jurors had gotten questioned by the judge, and 12 seated. I wasn't happy about only getting through 15 people for the day, considering by my count there were roughly 120 people to go through. 3 people had been dismissed, but I thought since the other 12 had been seated it was only a matter of picking the alternates. I thought, "we'll be done tomorrow".

On day 2 we came in, and the lawyers for each of the three defendants and the prosecution got the chance to question those 12 people and immediately started tossing people "for cause". So this meant that new people would go up to be questioned by the judge. Let me remind you that the first 12 were all highly educated people, and this set up a bizarre feedback loop.

Because these people were so smart, new people being questioned felt they had to compete with the previous persons education. What started out being a 15 minute "getting to know you" session turned into an hour for each person by the end of the second day. Not one person by this time had less than a Bachelors degree, and some had advanced degrees.

By the third day they all started pulling out every single educational course they had ever taken. Even that time they went to band camp. At this point I am starting to think the judge is just hoping the defendants will die of natural causes before he has to actually seat a jury.

Oh and it gets so much worse, but I think I will have to continue a little later today. There is so much to tell and I'm going to have to break it up into segments.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Just in-case you were wondering.

Life is revolving around jury duty right now. With 10 hour days being at court, and getting to and from court. I hope to have some good stories to post maybe on Friday.

Not about the trial, but about how completely unusual the process has been.

You want to know how to piss lawyers off? Send them to jury duty. Today after running into my third lawyer in three days in the jury pool, I started counting seats. When I realized that my guestimate was 4 lawyers in slightly less than a 100 people I started asking questions. I wanted to know what the percentage of the general population had a law degree, because the amount of lawyers in this pool seemed oddly high. The civil attorney I was chatting with said it runs about 4%, but that California is a little higher at about 6%.

Okay... so I think.. maybe this is about average. But wouldn't you know it, one of the last jurors called to be questioned today was a lawyer. The last juror wasn't one, but his wife was.

So either there is a lot of suing going on in California, or there are a lot of lawyers without jobs.

Friday, November 03, 2006

And you think your tattoo is clever.

I'm really over the whole tattoo phase... but you really have to give this guy points for creativity.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Again with the fastlane?

I bet most people thought I was just exaggerating about the people who camp out in the fast-lane and don't have anyone in front of them for a mile. Interestingly, if you start taking cell phone pictures they move out of the way.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I told you they wouldn't want me.... but they do.

I got to spend a lot the Halloween holiday in the courthouse. You see... I'm still in the Jury pool.

I know I will have to stop talking about this soon, but I am starting to loose hope that I will escape loosing a big chunk of time for this trial. Either I am crazy, or they are crazy. My husband just thinks they are desperate. He thinks this is why our number comes up so often, and the reason they are being so aggressive.

I did find out that if you don't show up, they will track you down. If they can't track you down - they will issue a bench warrant. I had read of this happening, but no one in my circle knew for sure.

After we filed into the courtroom, the clerk administered roll call. A few people did not reply when their names were called, and the clerk said they were going to "attempt to track those people down". I was listening intently, because to be quite honest - I was sure my answers to the jury questions would have axed me, and I thought about not showing up. After about 15 minutes of the clerk being on the phone I heard her say "you need to get down here right away". Which totally freaked me out.

After the judge dismissed people, and I realized my name wasn't called everyone filed out and into the elevator. I made small talk with another gentleman who turned out to be a lawyer. He also was on the jury pool, which I found fascinating. He told me it was a myth that lawyers got dismissed from the pools.

All I know is that there are a billion and a half reasons why I am not right for this case. I'm hoping statistically I still have a chance... there are 8 groups. I still have a chance right? Maybe if I start preparing for the worst, the best will happen.