Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh Wendy's...shame on you!

I took a few moments today to send an email to Wendy's corporate about our local franchise.

I am disabled and my husband or I pick up food from this location several times a week. For the last month I have been enjoying the new salads. This location has been rather notorious for messing up our orders in the past (adding wrong things to the burgers, forgetting parts of our order) so we have gotten into the habit of carefully checking the bags before we leave for our 10+ minute drive home. We, and perhaps they, are still getting used to checking for all the items supposed to be included with the new salads.

I can understand occasionally forgetting to give us the little bag of nuts, the salad dressing, the croutons, etc. Sadly, it is not OCCASIONALLY with this restaurant location. They consistently leave out something. Yesterday they didn't add the bleu cheese crumbles to my salad. That is a main ingredient IN the salad bowl and not something we would routinely check for. We were all too tired to drive back to the restaurant, yet again, to get the problem corrected. If there were another Wendy's located closer to us, we would stop going to this particular location all together.

I have a very strong loyalty to the Wendy's brand. I adored Dave Thomas, am adopted, as are my two children. Dave was a great man. I love Wendy's and usually cringe when my boys ask me if we can go to Burger King instead. But I can't blame them. They are tired of the mistakes and all the times we have to turn around and go back to have them fixed.

Honestly, I am starting to think the "mistakes" with the salads are deliberate. The salads are expensive and I imagine the condiments/ingredients that go into them are also. A franchise could save a great deal of money if they consistently "forgot" to give nuts, dressing, and other things to the patrons. I don't like being scammed. I'm sure Wendy's corporate doesn't want their loyal customers to be scammed either. So I wanted to make someone aware of what has been happening at this location so that the workers can be better trained OR the manager reprimanded for shady business practices.



By the way, I do LOVE the new salads. Keep up the good work, Wendy's.

So, yeah. My local Wendy's has royally pissed me off lately. I honestly think all these "mistakes" are a scam. I think the employees have been instructed to leave items out of the orders. It must earn the franchise owner a bundle from the cost savings. I mean, it's not like it's the same brainless employee every time. They can't ALL be that clueless.

At the same time, I really do love the new salads. I've lost 10 lbs in a month. I gave up regular soda, french fries, burgers...I eat a lot of salad. 

It must be rubbing off on the kids. The other night I made a healthy lasagna and low fat Caesar salad. Both boys actually ATE SALAD. They were upset when I ran out and they couldn't have more. I started checking for hidden cameras. Seriously. Tyler doesn't eat veggies. I can occasionally get him to eat some celery stix. But that is IT. He eats a fair amount of fresh fruit, so I don't sweat it much. Plus he gets his veggies in chewable gummy bear vitamin form too. He gets fish oil (Omega-3s and DHA) and calcium that way too. Thank the powers for tasty chewy supplements.

Shh! Don't tell him his nightly "treat" is good for him! He thinks he is getting away with something because we make him brush his teeth as soon as he is done chewing. Yep. I am aware of the bad rap gummy vitamins get and the rumor they cause tooth decay. So we are careful. But I know there is NO WAY that kid would eat fish. Ever. And trying to get him to drink milk is an exercise in futility. Plus I love how the boys fight to be the first ones to get their portion of vitamins each night. It amuses me. "Mom, can I have my gummies now?" "Noooo! I want to be first!" "Too bad! I asked first!" "Youngest goes first!" "No way!" "You got to be first last night!" "No I didn't!"

Heh heh heh. Wow. I really took a hard right turn on this entry, didn't I. But I digress...Local Wendy's? You suck! Wendy's restaurants, as a whole? Love you! Now... bring back the fresh fruit bowl! Those were awesome!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Post number 667...

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw my dashboard a second ago. My last post was 666. My brain flashed back to The Omen movies and I got a little wiggy. LOL

I just made this comment on FaceBook to my friend Heather - When I was shopping for costumes for the boys, I asked Tyler his opinion about a few choices. He saw a Harry Potter costume and told me "Sorry Mom, I don't want to be Harry for Halloween. Too bad it doesn't come in your size, huh." LOL He is SO right. I told him if they made a Hermione costume in my size, I would so get it.

See, we spent a good part of the last month of Summer on into September and now this month reading the Harry Potter series. We are up to book 4 currently. When you spend extra time in bed with health troubles, nothing makes ME feel better than reading with my boys.

Tyler likes Harry and his adventures at Hogwarts, but he hasn't taken to the books as strongly as I did when I first read them. Heck, I went to a midnight release party at Barnes and Noble. That was a once in a lifetime experience (J.K.R! Write some more Potter world books! Honestly!)

However, all the reading together DID have another desired effect. Tyler has fallen in love with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series. When he isn't watching cartoons or playing video games, he is READING. Voluntarily! For FUN! I know, right?! Crazy good stuff. He just bought the Do-It-Yourself book at the school book fair and is filling it out, on his own. It's full of interview questions, like prompts or ideas for blog entries. I may have to mine from it!

Don't mind the Amazon links. Just experimenting with the new widgets here. I don't get enough traffic to ever make them really worth while, but they do look cool.

Next topic...

Today, as we were rushing to get to school on time, Ty paused at the back of the van. The van was covered in a thick layer of morning dew and Tyler saw an opportunity to make his mark. He wrote, "Tyler Was Here" in the mist. I could see it the right way around when I looked through the rear view mirror to back up out of the driveway. It made me laugh. Not an easy thing to do at 8 in the morning. Where did he even come up with that idea??? I'll have to ask him when he gets home from his haircut.

Max has his first school field trip next week. Pumpkin picking! He's been dying to do just that. I want to follow the bus with my camera in hand and capture every moment like I did for Tyler's first field trip (apple picking). But I know which farm they are headed to and it is NOT handicapped friendly. I'm tempted to just give Max my Flip camera so he can make movies of his adventure. Maybe I will... I can put my email address on it with the label maker just in case he drops or forgets it. I could get lucky. He is pretty responsible.

I missed the boys' apple picking adventure last weekend. Broken toe on top of everything else going on. But John was there to take some photos. Come to think of it...where is the camera he took? I want to see the photos! LOL Enough babble for now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

¿Qué?

I composed a couple of brilliant blog entries in my head, in bed last night. Let's see what my sleep addled brain can spit out now that I've had another 2 hours of sleep and sorta remember what I was going to talk about.

First, I thought about adding a new blog feature - Becky's Thought of the Day. I would try and post every day with things that were foremost on my mind, crazy or not. That is dangerous, I know. I'm still thinking about it.  My 4am thought of the day was seriously funny. I wish I could remember what it was now.

The next thing foremost on my mind is the events of the past week. Mainly the vehicle factory recall that took my 10 year old Ford Windstar away from me. For those who aren't up to date on current events here (you need to Friend me on FaceBook!), we took my minivan in to have its rear axle, the reason for the recall, checked for cracks. If found, the dealership would replace it and provide us with a $30 a day allowance to rent a car. The repairs were estimated to take a month. My poor minivan had 4 cracks in the rear axle.

So! I needed a rental car and poor mom-mobile was left at the local Ford dealership. John figured he could get a better rate on a rental than Ford was willing to offer - they have a direct bill deal with Enterprise - and got me a great rate (less than the $30 a day) for a "full sized" car from Enterprise. What did I get? A Ford Focus.

Since when is a Focus considered a "full sized" car!?  As I practically sat on the ground in the tiny cockpit and tried to drive Max to preschool, I thought, "Maybe I can cope with this for a month..." 

Just for some more background; I've been struggling with some health issues and limited mobility (intense back pain, leg muscle weakness, knee and hip pain) and have needed to use an assisted mobility device. It's sorta like a walker with wheels, but it's very heavy. My doctor took pity on me and while I am going through all kinds of tests, he helped me acquire a handicapped parking placard/permit.

If you saw the designated parking spot at the preschool, you would probably be as outraged as I am. It is nowhere near the front door of the school, it's on a slope and a badly degraded area of pavement. There is a side entrance to the school, behind a hard to open chain link fence/gate, but the door is always kept locked. They left a wireless doorbell button sitting unattached and balanced on the doorknob for my use. Sadly, the two times I've tried to use it, no one answers.

John warned me that the trunk on the rental Focus was hard to open and wouldn't stay open unless you pushed it ALL the way up.  What he didn't realize is the trunk is broken on the rental car. The lid won't stay up because the hydraulics are shot. The lid just falls down at random.  I was struggling to lift my rolley (our nickname for it) out of the jacked up trunk when the lid shifted with the breeze, startled me and made me almost lose my balance and I dropped rolley on my foot. I was wearing Teva walking sandals and heard a sickening crunch as my walker landed on my little toe.

So one broken and nearly unusable trunk and one broken toe later, Hubby agreed with me that the tiny Focus was NOT going to work. Yes, there are loads more problems beyond the rental car, but we aren't prepared to take on the State to get the parking issue fixed...yet.  But we did take a ride down to Enterprise yesterday to see what else they had to offer.  I sat in a Chrysler Town and Country minivan, a Ford Ranger truck with an extended cab, a Kia SUV... I rather liked the truck. It was very high and roomy! The seats were quite plush. But the kids hated it. I said NO to riding in the open flatbed in the rear. Moms and child safety restraint laws can be such a drag to 4 and 8 year olds. *insert wry wink*

We all voted for the Town & Country minivan. It's way more per week than that full sized Focus, sadly, but I am LOVING this van. John wasn't entirely happy with how the vote went, but after driving the van home and Tyler to school today, I am really pleased.  I hadn't really noticed the gradual decline of our old minivan.  The shocks, the brakes, the steering, the acceleration, the handling, the comfort, the power sliding side doors and rear hatch on the new van had me nearly in tears of joy. Or maybe I was ready to cry because it was too early in the morning and I'd been writing this blog entry in my head since 4am. But seriously... that van is AWESOME!

The husband reluctantly conceded that our old van is, well, OLD and probably due to be replaced. Add to that the new fear of sudden rear axle failure (yes, they are repairing that, but...) and how many other things that just suck on the old van, I think a new minivan is in our future.  I've sold Tyler on the idea (no more booster seat and a rear entertainment package got him on my side) but Max is still reluctant. Max is very attached to the old van. It's the only car that has been around for as long as he can remember. John's company gives him a new fleet car ever couple of years and Max was a wreck when Dad had to turn in the slick black Impala that was his last car before his current Taurus.

Here is a question. Why is a "premium" car like a Taurus from Enterprise more expensive per week than a minivan? I'm not complaining! I like the van MUCH better than the cramped interior of the new Taurus. It just seems odd. Probably has to do with popularity, I would guess.

After I make dinner, I will get back to my online minivan shopping. So far the new Toyota Sienna is leading the pack with my choices. It's pretty slick looking! But I have a feeling all those options would cost a fortune. Something we don't have. I feel bad for my hubby. He told me weeks ago when he got the notice about the factory recall that getting a new car/van was out of the question. It's just not in the budget. Now, we're going to "make" it work. Wish us luck! And send warm skylight and dual rear entertainment system vibes!

Friday, October 01, 2010

...on bullying

I've talking about my experiences with bullying and bullies in the past on this blog (pardon the wonky formatting on that old entry - it was imported from my old AOL blog and things got so messed up.) I was so sad when I saw this Ellen video. She chose to focus on gay rights, which makes sense. But having read more about this tragedy, I think there are a number of issues at play.

The one I choose to focus on is the teasing/bullying aspect. How his own roommate could be so ugly and mean... His name was Tyler and he played the violin. Feeling it. Deep hurt and sadness for his friends and family. I am intimately familiar with the long term damage a suicide can do to the ones left behind. Also intimately familiar with the desire to die rather than face another day with people who treat you with hate.

More thoughts later. Way past time for bed.