Trip Start Dec 01, 2010
51Trip End Mar 01, 2011
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Where I stayed
619 Crestview Court
I have started to do standard business chores that we all need to do in today's world. Now being born and raised in the North East I have come accustomed to doing business a certain way. I am a plain and simple business type of guy. I will tell you what I need, when I need it, and basically how much I'm willing to spend for it. If you can do this without the BS or run-around, you have my business. If not, thank-you for your time and I go elsewhere. Doing business in South Carolina is something everyone needs to experience, at least once in their lifetimes. This story has to be told. I'm going to list my experiences for the last two weeks. Enjoy.
1. Tax: There are many types of tax here in SC. Everything is taxed. It is still cheaper then the tax up North, but they tax EVERYTHING. OK fine, no problem, what are the tax rates? Well it seems that no one really knows. I have called the State Departments of Revenue to find out and this is what you get. "Well Sir, different things have different rates. Also, each county and or city sets it's rates based on State guidelines" What? Huh? After 15 or 20 minutes on the phone my blood pressure is off the charts and I have a headache. Never, ever do you get a number, formula, or for that matter the slightest hint of what you are going to pay! What you do get is generally a very nice person on the line who you just wasted 20 minutes of your life away with and another phone number to call.
2. Utility Services: Lets see, who's first. Electric. Making the call for service I get the customary Southern hello and 5 minutes of welcome and how's the family conversation before we even get started with the business end of the call. OK, on to business. I need the service changed to my name from the builder, to me, no big thing, right? Fast and easy, right? WRONG! This very sweet spoken Southern Bell I have on the line needs to welcome me once again, ask my family tree information, what types of food do we like and offer a few suggestions for places to visit. Once again, all I want is my electric bill. Up North I would be trying to get myself into the phone line and out the other end to strangle this young lady but down here I can't react that way. Those soft southern voices with never even a hint of attitude bring me to my knee's each and every time. Finally one hour later I have electric, I think.
Cable & Internet: No questions, no hello's or welcomes. I did it on-line. Fast and easy. Right? WRONG. Getting my account and services set up was a snap, 1,2,3 done. Now comes the installation dates. "We can be there anytime between Monday and Thursday of the following week, whenever Jason your serviceman is in the area he will drop by and get you set-up". WHAT? No, I need a date and time so I can be here. "Oh we don't work with appointments, Jason will get to you shortly". WHAT? Surprisingly, Jason must have been close by because he called 2 days early and had me hooked up in 30 minutes, but, now comes the 45 minute welcome and thanks for your business thing again. You see, Jason tells me that the cable and Internet business is highly competitive down here and he wanted to get me hooked up fast before one of those other companies got ahold of me. OK I'll be honest, I didn't mind Jason spending 2 hours with us because I have been 30 days without TV and was in withdrawal. Right then he was the most important human on Earth, besides he was a nice guy and invited me over to his Hunting Club. Enough said.
Appliance delivery: Are you kidding me!!! We had a few hours of sleet the other day. Well this has basically shut down the State of South Carolina! Our refrigerator was supposed to be delivered 1/11/11.
I get a call the day before informing me that "due to severe weather your delivery will no be until the 13Th". Severe weather, it's raining I tell them. "Oh no Sir, we have ice and our trucks will not be going out". OK, the 13Th it is. WRONG! I'm called on the next day and am told that "due to the icy weather conditions, our delivery system is devastated and back logged and we can't get you your fridge until 1/18". WHAT? It rained. After 3 hours, yes 3, talking to one person after the other, each one nicer then the next, the bottom line is the fridge will be here on the 18Th. Safety first. I do manage though to get a few more dining suggestions and a $50 gift card for my troubles.
3. Water & Sewer. First I need to find out who supplies these services since everyone I have asked has given me different companies. After tracking down the correct company, I'm on the phone. This can't be hard, it's only water and poop right? WRONG! Another 35 minute welcome and how is the family conversation. I'm getting used to this ritual now and have pre-rehearsed answers for all the questions. It makes it easier for me this way. Anyway on to the fees. There is a $25 fee for this and a $40 fee for that and another $10 fee for whatever. I stupidly ask for a breakdown of what the fees are for. After another 25 minutes of going around the block I never do find out what the fees are for but yup, you guessed it, I have this extremely nice young ladies family history along with a few more dining suggestions. She loves BBQ and hooked me up with a few good places so I guess it was worth it. I just really wish I knew what I just paid $75 for on my Visa Card though.
I have come to realize that business is done in a totally different fashion then I'm used to up North. Time frames mean nothing. It will get done when we get to it. Don't worry, what's the rush should be the State motto. Is it that bad, not really. I've resigned myself to become a Southerner while I'm here. If it gets done today, OK. If not, there is always the next day. I proclaim that I will not jump instantly into that " I'm the Costumer" and I want it now attitude. Actually the more I think about it, these folks might have it right. Now when Gail asks for me to do something I can blame my lack of speed and timeliness in the completion of these projects as my new Southern style. Hey, this might just work out fine. And let us not forget I did get a long list of new dining locations.