Monday, February 2, 2015

Virtual Services

What IS a “Virtual Assistant” (also called a VA, virtual office assistant, online administrative assistant)?  Usually self-employed, these assistants normally provide services from their home office and sometimes commute when necessary for tasks needed inside the office or to pick up numerous jobs that can’t be transmitted efficiently.  MANY companies have begun using them extensively to save money for a variety of services depending on their needs.  By using an independent or freelance VA, companies are not responsible for employee-related taxes, insurance, or benefits.  VA fees vary depending on the tasks, amount of hours required to be “on call” and expenses incurred for these tasks.  Clients also do not have to provide extra office space (that could be used in many other ways), equipment, or supplies unless those details are negotiated in contract or case-by-case basis.  Clients also do not have to worry about sick or vacation pay and ONLY pay for 100% production, particularly if the VA keeps detailed tasks and time worked records.  Clients and their VAs may communicate by internet, fax, e-mail, instant messaging, video conferencing, and when necessary, by phone.  This can save much time since many “in office” administrators use the same means even when they are just down the hall.  For more information and references on the above, please see

I have been an "Administrative Assistant", "Office Assistant", "Church Administrator", "Program Director", and a few other "titles" but none would let me work at home or give me the freedom (without guilt) to take a day off to take my child to a homeschool activity or actually have a LIFE!  I seek flexibility and understanding with clients who ALSO have families.  Although these factors were mentioned in my last two job interviews (that I held for many years), they were NOT flexible, nor were they understanding when I needed to rearrange a schedule, even if willing to make up work during my non-regular hours of work.  I wasn't allowed to take work home.  Yet...when these "people" (meaning bosses) had children of their own or a family emergency, it was a completely different story.  The double standard is a part of your daily life if you work outside the home.  

Well, I've come to the point in my life where I may be able to handle a part-time job outside the home, but I am also truly dedicated to spending more time with my family and friends and getting my virtual assistance (among other jobs) going SUCCESSFULLY!

I will post more later on the many tasks I can do from home! 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


This is a TRUE STORY...It's not incredibly suspenseful or scary.  It's actually, sadly, pretty friggin predictable.  I started not to name the company but decided that defeated the purpose of this post and I'm not publishing anything that isn't true.  

My mom has been retired getting close to 10 years and until this week, still hadn’t gotten herself a computer.  Although she has wanted one for a very long time, it was just an expense that wasn’t necessary and there are many of us who just can’t afford to splurge on items of luxury or pleasure.   Most people seriously can’t even imagine how lucky they are or know what it’s like doing without many things they take for granted on a daily basis.  Anyway, this year for her birthday, my mom finally decided to get herself a computer.  She had decided to go with her current phone carrier (who she had been with forever—literally) since I had numerous problems with my cable company since swapping over to them over a year ago.  She called her phone carrier, which now offered internet service as well (AT&T) and scheduled them to come out to hook up the internet.  They told her, or confused her enough, that she believed she needed to go buy a new phone, a “digital” phone because she was under the impression her own phone (not a rotary) wouldn’t work.  She told AT&T that she already had phone service with them and that nothing needed to be done to her phone.  She went anyway and bought her very first computer AND a new phone and spent several days getting more excited and ready for the internet to be hooked up.  When AT&T showed up to install the internet, they completely confused her and she found out that her phone was turned off completely.  She is extremely upset because she has had this same number for over 40 years (literally).  I had this same number ALL through school and anyone who may need to find either of us, has this old number.  Anyway, she was confused and upset because she said not only was the guy at her house was being ugly with her and when they got someone from AT&T on the phone so she could discuss her home phone being cut off, they not only yelled at her, but also said it couldn’t be hooked up for a couple of days and they weren’t sure if that old number would still be available.   It is absolutely ridiculous and if this is how AT&T does business, especially that they would not only yell at a customer, but an ELDERLY customer on top of that!  I really hope they lose some business.  

I was pretty mad when I heard what had happened but let you try to get a real person on the phone.  Seriously,  I think these companies keep you on hold for 20 minutes so that you forget why you’re calling or calm down by the time they get on the line.  I spent 24 minutes of my lunch “talking” through menus that couldn’t understand ME, then putting an employee on the line from who knows where that couldn’t even understand what I was talking about much less me understand HIS accent.  Then, after 24 minutes, he gave me ANOTHER number to call instead of transferring me which seemed very odd, to me.  I didn’t have enough time to make another call and then my mom told me later she would just forget the number she’s had for over 40 years because she hates AT&T and…well, there were some explicit words relating to her experience with AT&T that I will leave out at this time.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had issues with AT&T.  Up until a year ago, we had our cell phone service with AT&T.  The ONLY thing I liked about it was that we had roll over minutes that we never, ever used.  I rarely talk on the phone, but text and email a lot.  So there were always a gazillion minutes for my mother to use calling her siblings who are spread out.  With AT&T, I continued to have dropped calls and no service at places that should have had a signal, including many times at my house which is about a mile to TWO different AT&T stores.  When it was about a month shy of my 2 year contract being up on my phone (my mother’s phone was WAY past upgrading), my cell phone broke to the point that it would make more sense to get a new phone.  SO, since I had a month left on that contract, I decided to keep paying for those 2 phones with AT&T for another month just so they wouldn’t give me a hard time about canceling or issues about my contract.  In the meantime, I also went to Verizon, as EVERYONE kept telling me to go to Verizon because they had better service, especially in the country.  Well, I didn’t think Verizon was any cheaper, in fact, they were a little more for less minutes and data.  BUT, I needed to have service in the country and was tired of all the dropped and missed calls.  I signed up with Verizon and got both my mom and me new phones with temporary numbers until our contract at AT&T ran out the next month.  The next month, I waited 3 days after my contract had run out and had my number canceled at AT&T and swapped over to Verizon.  This was THREE DAYS after my contract ran out. 

AT&T, to this day, has harassed me on the phone, sent me ugly letters saying that even though I waited till after my contract was up, that I still owed another month.  I disputed their claim from day one!  I made SURE that everything was paid in full and my contract was up with AT&T before canceling them.  They continue to harass me and have sent this so called “debt” to a collection agency.  I would love to hear about yours or a family member’s issues with their phone, cable, internet or any other company that you have had problems with recently or in the past.  Let’s spread the word about these companies that continue to act ugly and treat their customers with disrespect!  Your friends and family listen to gripes more than you realize, especially when it’s time for them to make a decision concerning one of those issues.  Let your voice be heard!! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stupidity shenanigans

Check out @Kunplugged's Tweet:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pen Pal Shenanigans

So, just in case I didn't have enough on plate right now, I have charged myself (I hate it when people say 'charged') with managing a free pen pal match up service.  I did this because I literally spent hours searching for such a list and most out there charged money or just didn't feel right.  Since my child is homeschooled, I am starting with homeschool groups all over the world among other "safe places" and will go from there.  Please keep my email as a reference for future pen pal interests.  I look forward to hearing from you, but please....ZERO WEIRDOS or PERVS because I WILL find out and not just because I dislike you to the point of puking, I will SO expose you it's not even funny (to you)!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Charter Communications Shenanigans

I am sending the following letter to Charter Communications due to continued problems. 
I took out my address, although, I'm sure if you really wanted to know, you could find it.

Katie Grimes Rotton
XXXX My Street
Montgomery, AL  36117
Acct # ___________________
Security Code _____________
January 15, 2013

Charter Communications
941 Charter Commons Dr.
Town & Country, MO  63017
ATTN:  CCA – Charter Phone

To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is in reference to the service at the above address being interrupted and completely out for several weeks, now.  The original call was on Sunday, December 9th, when first noticing the phone didn’t have a dial tone.  I am not sure how long it had been out but it hadn’t been over a day or so at that time.  We had just not used it yet, that day, until I noticed it was out. 
Anyway, after spending close to an hour on the phone with someone who walked me through unplugging and plugging back things, she finally said she was going to have to schedule someone to come out.  I told her that I work during the day and the only day I would have was the following Friday (the 14th) available for anyone to come out because I was already off that day due to prior plans.  Due to THOSE plans, I could only hang out at home in the morning that day, so she scheduled someone to come Friday, Dec. 14th between 8-10 AM.  After she scheduled that, I also told her how the cable had never been buried since June, either, because I was told originally that someone COULD come on a Saturday and was told they would have it done either the first or second Saturday after installing services.  No one ever called or showed up to bury cable and I had already called about it once earlier when I was having another issue.  I was told again that someone could come out on a Saturday.  She also had me sign up for some kind of service insurance or something even though I told her no one had touched the inside wiring and there shouldn’t be anything wrong with it.  So, I ended up adding more stuff to my already expensive bill for a service that isn’t working.
After my call on Sunday, Dec. 9th, I received a call early the next morning from a worker who was at my door saying no one was there to let them in the house.  I told them no one was supposed to be there and that they weren’t supposed to come until Friday.  He asked, “Did I want to reschedule?” I didn’t WANT to reschedule….it was already scheduled for Friday, not Monday.  So he had someone else call me and stay on the phone while I was at work, being pretty snippy with me because they acted like it was my fault for the rescheduling.   Then, as I’m going over everything with new person on phone, she says there was never a work order put in for the cable (EVER) and it wasn’t scheduled on a weekend and they couldn’t do it on a weekend.  I had never been told that previously and I went through the WHOLE story again.       I finally had to tell person that I had to hang up now, because I had people waiting in front of me.  I asked her to do what she could.  That next weekend, someone DID come to bury the cable.  I was very surprised and they got it down pretty quickly.  So, I had been checking the phone & internet all week and it would work one time and then go out again.  So, on Thursday night (the night prior to scheduled visit), I checked the phone and it worked.  Again, Friday morning, it worked so I went ahead and canceled the work order because I didn’t want to get charged for a visit if everything was working.  Well, of course, after canceling, the phone and everything went out again later and hasn’t been back on since. 
Now, though, it isn’t just the phone and internet that isn’t working.  Now, the DVR/cable in one room is not working at all.  We can pick up just a few basic channels but the rest is either “unavailable at this moment” or the signal isn’t coming through and the channel is scrambled.  There is only a handful of lower channels that aren’t scrambled.  THIS has been going on for almost over 3 weeks, but again, I can NOT be there for anyone to come inside, nor do I have someone who can take time out of their day to come sit at my house.  It really seems as if Charter would be able to do something about all of the above listed issues, from outside the home or at cable boxes or from your office.  You are able to do SO much stuff and are “the best” this and that (according to your advertisements) but if you can’t fix an issue without coming inside someone’s home.  That is really a shame.  It is extremely inconvenient and even impossible most of the time for some people to take off work to deal with these issues.  Furthermore, there isn’t a thing that could have touched ANY of the plugs or outlets, inside or out, so if everything was working for a few months, nothing should need to be changed just “because” unless that is the only way to correct problem. 
I was sent a bill and went ahead and paid it so there wouldn’t be any issues concerning payment.  However, I am very unhappy that I am being charged for service that is not working. 
Phone – Hasn’t worked since December 9, 2012  (except for the night prior to & the morning of  the scheduled work visit but was back out before end of that day). 
Internet—Same as phone. 
Cable TV—The main DVR in the Living Room has the time on it but that TV isn’t working right now so I can’t check the signal strength.  However, the 2nd DVR in another bedroom is completely out and has been for almost 2 weeks.  There are only a few channels that work w/o being scrambled.  ZERO premium channels are working and I have been charged for all of this. 

It would be more than appropriate to be credited for this service that hasn’t been working, from December 9, 2012 – January 16,  2013 at a minimum.  Any days after the 16th that it is not working properly, will be documented and should be credited, as well.  This should be reflected on my online, as well as paper billing.  It would also be in everyone’s best interest if this service was fixed promptly so as to prevent further monthly fees from being credited to my account due to nonworking services.  If the above account is not promptly credited and the problem remedied, further action will be necessary to resolve this disappointing issue.   Further action may involve, but is not limited to dropping Charter service due to Charter not fulfilling its agreement and the continued bad service and repetitive need to troubleshoot and call for tech support; publishing this and future letters on complaint boards, Facebook, Twitter (I manage 4 accounts now & about to add 4 more), blog, and other Social Media venues; informing investors of these and other known consistent problems; and other actions to be determined by customer.   
Furthermore, it has come to my attention that this could be “the norm” with Charter.  I wish I had known about a website solely devoted to the disappointing service of Charter.  Charter customers all over the United States have voiced their frustrations concerning Charter and I plan to voice mine, as well, and will start promoting this website so that others can do the same.  What an embarrassment to your company to have a website created just because Charter can’t perform its services as stated in the advertisements and by the sales representatives.  There are also local venues to voice complaints about issues such as these and if the problem persists with my service and is not resolved quickly, I plan to make it known so hopefully, I can save someone else the frustrations of dealing with Charter Communications.

Katie G. Rotton
334-XXX-XXXX  (This is the house number provided by Charter that is NOT working.)
334-XXX-XXXX (cell, may leave message)

Cc:  Charter Communications, Montgomery Office, 5990 Monticello Dr, 36117
        General Inquiry Office, 12405 Powerscourt Dr., St. Louis, MO  63131
        Robin Gutzler, Charter Investor Inquiries
        Anita Lamont, Communications and Media Relations
        John Miller, Communications and Media Relations

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gentleman Zero


I would have posted this much earlier but I just found out yesterday that "GZ" will be at The Blue Iguana tonight.  I also just saw this ad and the part about being voted one of "Birmingham's Best" or something.  Check it out.  Hope you have time to make it.  They play anything and everything and are really good!  And, I'm NOT just saying that because the singer is my nephew!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Baby Bunny Shenanigans

I am going to try and post the pictures first and then come back and tell you about them because I wasted time poking on this touch screen the other day and tried to upload some pics and it never went through nor saved as a draft.  Fun times.  That sounds like a "blog shenanigan".  Anyway, I hope you adore these guys as much as we do already!