My Phone Upgrading Experience at Verizon Wireless in Woodbridge NJ

Verizon Wireless Woodbridge NJI got a wonderful birthday gift: my phone stopped working. I know blink-182’s What’s My Age Again says that nobody likes you when you’re 23, but I didn’t know that meant 32 also.

So I took my phone to the Verizon Wireless store in Woodbridge, New Jersey to see if I could get it to work since I needed my phone for just a little while longer, so I can thank everyone who called, texted and messaged me for my special day.

I was already shopping around for a new phone for my upgrade and saw that I can get the Motorola Moto Z2 Play and get a free JBL speaker attachment for ordering it by a certain date. I sure wanted to take advantage of that!

The first person I dealt with, Adeola (Addy for short), was an angel. She tried everything to get my phone to work and really talked me through how they would help me by setting me up with a Motorola Moto Z Play and then exchange it for the phone I want.

That seemed like the ideal plan since the Moto Z2 Play was to be released a week later. That plan was good until I had to go back again.

Second Time Was Not the Charm

This time, I dealt with Ryan. I knew I should have called Addy like she told me to since he had no idea what I was talking about. The deal stopped being the primary one listed with the phone, so he told me to call customer service.

I left angry since I felt blown off. When I spoke to customer service, they told me the deal was still around and that the guy at the store should have called them for help. That really got me hot, as did finding out they aren’t an official Verizon Wireless location even though the store says it.

Now I went to the store determined to get what I deserved, plus a void of the restocking fee. I was helped by Ryan again and he had to ask for a manager once I talked about waiving that fee.

Andre the manager told me to call customer service. That’s when I played the card of them calling, which they refused. After calling again to get it waived, I got my phone and did the discount for the free speaker.

The speaker will arrive in 6-8 weeks… Much sooner than my arrival at the Verizon Wireless store in Woodbridge NJ.

Business Card Count: 35,858

How H&R Block of Piscataway NJ Delayed My Tax Refund

Ellen Sowers H&R BlockTax time has come and gone once again. I used the same accountant… I mean Senior Tax Advisor that I had last year: Ellen Sowers at the H&R Block in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Everything went smoothly when the taxes were done in the middle of March, long before the April 18 deadline. Or so I thought.

I awaited my refund… and waited… and waited. Funny story: it turns out that the forms were all signed for the longest time and H&R Block never sent them in! And this was after the tax deadline no less.

H and R Block Piscataway NJIt’s partially my fault for not checking in sooner. Wait, no it’s not! H&R Block should take all of the blame for this since the paperwork was literally not sent when it should have been sent a month before.

The person on the phone gave an “oh, of course Ellen didn’t do that” type of response. I’m assuming it’s on Ellen because she is my accountant. Or should I say WAS my accountant.

No matter what happened, I feel like H&R Block is in some way to blame for this. At the very least, Ellen was thrown under the bus in this case. Either way, I don’t trust H&R Block to do my taxes anymore, especially the location in Piscataway NJ. Well, maybe I’d trust them to do my taxes, but I’d have to send them via carrier pigeon or Pony Express… not worth my money or peace of mind.

Business Card Count: 35,566

My Scamworthy Experience at Miller’s I Drive Ale House: Orlando Part 1

Millers Ale House Orlando FLI took a 3-day trip to Orlando last week for my wrestling passion and will be documenting some experiences I had down there over the next few weeks. This was not the one that came first, but it’s the one that sticks out the most in my mind.

I feel like I got scammed at Miller’s I Drive Ale House. Here’s what happened: I paid for a drink at the bar that came out to $5 and change. I left $6 to include a tip and thought that would be the end of it.

When closing time came, I was informed that I did not pay for my drink. I argued that I left my money right there under the receipt, but apparently it was never received.

Millers I Drive Ale House

I had an unfortunate solution to resolve the issue when I had to pay for my drink again. I also got food and a couple of drinks at the table I was sitting at and the bill was $20 and change. A $5 and change drink would be 25% of the tip I would have left my waitress had I not been ripped off.

I feel really badly that Tamika R didn’t get a tip for her hard work running between multiple tables of 6, but Miller’s Ale House really dropped the ball. Someone could have taken the cash since Orlando is a tourist destination and they would have gotten away with the crime with minimal odds of getting caught.

Orlando being a tourist destination could also mean that the Miller’s I Drive Ale House staff could pull something like this off often since many people will never go back. I know that I’ll probably never go back to a Miller’s Ale House.

And to add insult to injury, Florida law says that no establishment can serve alcohol after 2 am (not even a liquor store). So, half the group I was with was forced to chug their drink (even when full) including me. I paid for a drink twice that I had to chug more than half of.

Business Card Count: 35,077

Getting a Somewhat Suspect Sales Pitch at the ShopRite in Clark NJ

ShopRite Clark NJIt’s typical that companies or people set up an area in a public place to sell their wares. And this was the case when I recently did some shopping at the ShopRite in Clark, New Jersey.

I first heard the announcement of a “free gift” being available near the dairy department and decided to stay around for a while. It turns out that it was pretty intriguing since there was a sales pitch happening for an unknown product.

Note I say unknown since it wasn’t out on the table or anything and I’d probably ignore it if I saw what it was.

But first, the free gift: the Magic Spiral… which is a $5.99 value (though I got 2 for intelligently answering a question).

Magic Spiral

The Magic Spiral is designed to create continuous spiral garnishings. The back of the box showed a photo of a cucumber being spiraled in small pieces and this photo is my result… a bit different, but it looks like it got the job done.

But that was not the product the guy was selling everyone on, including this old lady that was biting onto everything until he said the price tag: the Mr. Whipster, a new take on a whisk where you press the top and the bottom part does the whisking.

It was like a live infomercial since he said “if the Mr. Whipster’s not enough, you can also get the Jr. Whipster and the Master Decorator for free!” The product was even demonstrated to show how you only need the Mr. Whipster (and not heavy cream or a mixer) to create whipped cream.

Where it gets suspicious is when I saw him pour the milk into a bowl to whisk. The milk carton was already open, which (to play devil’s advocate) I’m sure he demonstrated it more than once and the milk had to be unsealed at SOME point). However, the milk looked like it contained heavy cream.

C’mon now: I can see the catch. I get that it’s for the sake of the demonstration to see a fast result, but that could apply for TV… not a live demo. But seriously, the 3 items would normally have cost you like $80, but the offer was all 3 for just $29.95. They’d probably make good stocking stuffers or gifts for a holiday work party, but I don’t think I’d really trust the products in my kitchen.

Business Card Count: 34,988

Is There a Doctor Besides Gary Misko Jr of Pemcare in the House?

Dr Gary Misko PemcareFinding a great doctor is hard to do. That’s because the perfect doctor for you takes a level of trust.

Unfortunately, I never felt that with Dr. Gary Misko of Pemcare. It’s a tricky and complex situation to be critical of a doctor since they have so much more medical knowledge than you do.

There were a few reasons I can think of why I did not feel this trust:

  1. Bedside manner. A lot of the time, he didn’t seem too interested in me as a patient. I understand that I didn’t see him too often, but it was over a 7-year span. It could be attributed to him just not being very emotional, which I can’t fault him for.
  2. Self diagnosis. I really hate to diagnose myself, but I sometimes felt like my self diagnosis was just what he went with. It could have been right, so I can’t fault that.
  3. Dropping the ball. The one time I really needed him, the ball got dropped. I had a medical issue, knew I had it and told the doctor when I needed a referral to see a specialist. He told me to come back if the symptoms keep persisting. I went back the next day and paid a 2nd set of co-pay just to get said referral I wanted to ensure I was healthy (which I am!).
  4. He’s my ex’s doctor. I first went to him since he was close by and the primary care physician of my ex and I never felt a real attachment to him.

So 2 out of the 3 big gripes I have, I’m not sure if I could fault Dr Misko for. The 3rd one is definitely on him, especially when he said “yup, that’s what happened to you medically.” The one perk was that he welcomed walk-ins and I never had to wait more than 20 minutes to be seen by him. I also never questioned his skills or credibility as a doctor.

Dr Jay StarrFor me, trust is something I don’t give very easily and very few people have my trust. I think that I’ve only really completely trusted one non-specialist doctor in my life: Dr Jay Starr, my childhood doctor.

The trust goes beyond just medical practice: it’s with friends, family and significant others. I’m blessed to have a set of people in my life that I trust, but now I need to get myself a doctor who I can trust as well.

Business Card Count: 34,920

Patria Latin Bistro: Why You Should Only Go For Drinks

Patria Latin Bistro Rahway NJI’ve been enjoying more Latin food since I met Jess. And one of the places that I tried and really enjoyed was Patria Latin Bistro in Rahway, New Jersey. And we went there a couple of times.

And the experiences were very different even though we got food and drinks both times because of one key thing: a renovation/revamp at the restaurant. It had the restaurant closed for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t know what an impact it would have on the food.

I will say that the drinks were amazing both times, specifically the Buen Amor (champagne and hibiscus liqueur with an edible flower inside the glass) and the Patria in Paris (Grey Goose melon vodka, Chambord, pineapple juice & lime juice).

The First Time

When we went pre-renovation, we ate:

  • Chorizo: paprika spiced sausage sautéed with garlic & sherry
  • Guacamole served with plantain chips
  • Pernil Asado: slow-cooked oven-roasted suckling pig served with yuca con mojo, sweet plantains & black bean sauce
  • Salmon a la Plancha: sautéed salmon with shitaki mushrooms, zucchini & fingerling potatoes in a chili pasilla malta sauce

Everything was so delicious and well-flavored. We went to go back again for a fun night and that’s when we found out Patria was closed for renovation. We eventually did.

The Second Time

Post-renovation Patria Latin Bistro was a much different experience, especially since all of the food we enjoyed was off the menu. We ate:

  • Bay scallops with olives in a romesco sauce
  • Croquettas: confit pork, dijonaise & pickled shallot conserva
  • Pork tacos
  • Yuca chorizo hash

This food this time around was very underwhelming outside of the hash side dish. We couldn’t put our finger on it at first, but then we realized what the issue in every dish was: a lack of seasoning. The main parts on each dish (scallops, croquetta, pork) tasted so bland and relied on other ingredients & sauces to make them tasty. The food was well cooked (i.e. not raw), but the taste left a lot to be desired.

Upon doing research for this blog, including digging around their Facebook page for some menu items since their website has the much more appetizing old menu, I read that they hired a new chef. I guess that explains things.

I’d go back for drinks, but make sure I have a full stomach. Or some snacks in my pockets.

Business Card Count: 34,893

It’s 2017 & Time For a Political Rant Like Everyone Else

Sean Patrick MaloneySocial media has run amok with political commentary due to the election of Donald Trump as US President. It’s not POTUS’s business card, but it’s a member sitting in the House of Representatives who could override any decision Donald Trump might want to veto.

I don’t have that high of security clearance. Well, my brother doesn’t… as he’s the one who got me this card on his trip to Washington DC. I can’t imagine the zoo Washington is like now.

Yes I can! Because I see it every day on social media. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen meme-worthy photos of Trump or people trying to defend The Donald and say how liberals don’t know the whole story. Suffering through 4 or 8 years of political ranting by everyone and their mother is hell.

Too Many Opinions on Social Media

There are some people who post a little bit about politics and might not seem as knowledgeable. Others post daily and there are those that post multiple times in a day, an hour even. No matter what, politics have taken over news feeds everywhere.

And it’s for the worse in my opinion. Yes, there are still photos of good times, inspirational quotes, videos, memes and people complaining about their lives. But, I feel like I’ve learned too much about politics, a subject I don’t care about, and I’m not even sure if the info is accurate. A lot of it is prejudicial against one side or the other, calling certain people idiots and such.

Ultimately, the people running the government don’t care about your individual opinion unless you’re an influencer… and I don’t mean just Joe Schmo and Jane Schmane on the Internet. Even the thoughts of many influencers get buried in the social media muck.

I Don’t Vote

That’s right: I’ve never voted. I’m not complaining about who is in office, just the constant opinions thrown about.

Freedom of speech… I get it and people can say whatever they want on their piece of the Internet. I’ll probably be on social media less and less over the next couple of years because of this. That or make the Unfollow option my best friend.

March and Protest Away

There are several (hopefully) peaceful protests slated for the big day. It’s not going to get Trump uninaugurated, but it could spark discussions of changing the electoral college system of old.

I think people should give President Trump the benefit of the doubt and see what happens. But people’s decisions have already been made and that’s sad.

Business Card Count: 34,400

Picking Up a Business Card During a Bar Fight

Moto Moto KitchenSometimes, I find business cards in the most unusual of places. This time, it’s a most unusual of circumstance.

It was a typical Saturday night at a bar (lounge technically) where there was dancing, drinking and hookah. I’ve been to this place often and it’s always been peaceful outside of some scummy characters.

On this night, things changed right after last call. One moment, things were peachy keen and the next, a glass breaks. It’s not shocking for someone to drop a beer or cocktail.

What was shocking was what came next. It was almost literally a mob scene as about 20 people moved back and forth in front of me.

Two guys even got knocked off of their feet into a booth. This melee pursued for what felt like 2 or 3 minutes until it was broken up.

Once the upbeat dance music died down, one security lady yelled, “if you don’t work here, get the fuck out!” And as I got the fuck out, I saw a business card on the floor and snagged it.

Not sure where the 302 area code is, but Moto Moto Kitchen is far from this bar.

After the cops and an ambulance showed up what felt like almost immediately, I found out that one guy hit another with a beer bottle. Not sure why, probably drunken stupidity. Oh well… one man’s stupidity makes for another’s story.

I hope the other guy is alright and some justice was served to the instigator.

Business Card Count: 33,818

How the 3Way Card Game is Uno on Steroids, Even Though the App Sucks

3Way Card GameOne of my favorite things to do is play games, whether it’s board games, video games or cards. Today, I’m going to talk about a set of cards that are deemed the ultimate party game by its company Suntree Games: 3Way.

The 3Way card game Android app was an easy download since I’ve never seen the game in stores. And the first time I played it, I enjoyed myself because it really was an amped up version of Uno.

How 3Way is Like Uno

3Way CardsAs you can see from the cards, it’s like Uno except there are 6 colors instead of 4. There’s also the stipulation that you can only play one of the 3 colors on the card, the main color & the 2 in the middle.

There are also wild cards, pick 2, reverse and pass (aka skip) just like in Uno. So, I definitely see the chaos that can ensue during a riveting round of 3Way. And I felt it when playing with the computer on the Android app.

Unfortunately, I went to play the game again and I ran into an issue.

The Android App Sucks

3Way Android AppThe second time I tried to use the 3Way app, it crashed. And every other subsequent time. I tried this for like a month with no success. I even used the Report function to let them know their app crashed to no avail.

Therefore, I deleted the app from my phone and 3Way is now 0Way. Uno became Oh No, I won’t have that app on my phone. I did go to the Suntree Games website and saw the game cost $8. It’s fun enough where I’d have it in my collection, but it’s a bit redundant since I have Uno… with New York Yankees players on them from 10 years ago.

Business Card Count: 33,038

Why You Shouldn’t Live in Durham Woods of Edison NJ

Durham Woods Edison NJThe security deposit check has cleared and it’s been enough time for the money to never return to them. So I’m free to speak out about my experience living at Durham Woods for the past 3 years in Edison, New Jersey.

Let me start off by saying that the apartment we lived in (The Birch 1-bedroom with a skyroom) was nice and spacious for the amount of things we had between possessions & furniture. But there’s more to an apartment than that.

4 Reasons to Avoid Durham Woods

Durham Woods Laundry1. The Laundry

One of the biggest selling points to me about this apartment was the number of laundry machines available. However, that’s where the convenience of the laundry ended.

  • The machines were always broken. If you ever used the bottom set of dryers in Building 41, you will NEVER get dry clothes. I think those machines ate $100 of my money.
  • The machines did not take quarters. Instead, you had to have a card that you added money in $5, $10 or $20 intervals for. Worst of all, only certain buildings had machines to refill your money and sometimes that functionality was broken.
  • They spent the money to upgrade the video camera system in the laundry room instead of getting machines that actually worked.

Durham Woods Snow Plowing2. The “Plowing”

One of the amenities you’re supposed to get in an apartment complex is them plowing the roads within the complex and ensuring all snow is clear. Clearly, that’s not what happened.

During the most recent blizzard, the snowplows did a very slow and subpar job. It wasn’t just me who wasn’t satisfied: here’s a Facebook post with comments to show how lackluster they were.

Not to mention the lack of cleaning of parking spots, which was evidenced 2 years ago by the hand-shaped dents put into my old car since there was a block of ice disabling my car from getting out of a parking spot. Expect to be trapped during a snowstorm.

3. Penny Pinching

As exampled by the first 2 reasons above, Durham Woods is cheap. We had a leak in our living room ceiling and inquired with the maintenance team to fix it. It would be a temporary patching since the leak would eventually come back. After the 3rd attempt at fixing it, we just gave up since it was clear maintenance was going to do nothing to fix it.

4. Rent Increases

This happened EVERY year in spite of the horrible plowing issues, the broken laundry machines and below-par maintenance.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Business Card Count: 32,733