Seems like my fears about my UPS were proven true, at least if I believe those at the store I took it to yesterday. While the store I bought it from seems to have just ignored the message I sent them describing the issue and asking about being able to return the battery if the problem proves to be with the UPS itself, this other place did reply Monday evening, actually quite late, some time after I wrote the previous post, and they said they’ll also test my UPS for free if I go pick up the new battery from them and bring it then. And yesterday I did just that, after I asked why did the listed price for that battery increase so significantly just then and also said that if I’ll really need to pay using a card it may be a while until I’ll be able to ask someone to help me with that, and the next day they said I’ll be able to pay using cash after all, and that the listed price was wrong, so they corrected it when they checked, but I will be able to get that battery at the old price.
Since dad was using the metro card, I put the UPS in a bag and used Auchan’s free buses, where I had to go after that anyway, first taking the one that gets me there from here, then wandering around for a while, to wait for the next one that was going to take me close to this store, and then taking that. Once I got off, I went around instead of using the direct path, because I wasn’t sure there won’t be a gate or something on that one, but it wasn’t that much to walk anyway, and I arrived around 5:50 PM, or maybe a bit after that. The listed schedule, both on their site and on the door, was until 6:50 PM, but there were no other customers around and the employees seemed ready to leave, and when I told them I had exchanged some e-mails about a new battery and testing an UPS and mentioned the name of the person I had exchanged those e-mails with, they knew what I was talking about, including the fact that the old price should apply, as I heard it being mentioned, but I was told that the guy had left already… And that I had arrived rather to late for servicing. I said that the schedule states 6:50 PM, but was told that it’s different for each department, the warehouse operating until 9 PM while those at the front desk leave at 6 PM, or apparently even earlier, since that guy had apparently already left. Wasn’t told what department the listed schedule is for though…
Still, was first asked whether I wanted it back that day, and when I said no I was first told to leave it for them to check and I’ll be able to pick it up later, but then another guy was called over and told to quickly check it then and there anyway, and he took it to another room to do that while the guy who had talked to me asked me to sit down while I wait… And then gave me a book, telling me it may be the best thing that will ever happen to me and that reading even only a few pages may change my life, adding “if you like this sort of books” a moment after handing it to me. Not entirely sure I identified the book correctly now, seemed to remember something about the confessions of a billionaire, but the cover I remember pretty much seems to be for the Romanian edition, which doesn’t seem to be listed on Goodreads at the moment, of Millionaire’s Notebook. Either way, definitely no question of liking it, but actually of firmly opposing it as a matter of principle, so I said I didn’t like those things at all, but after the guy at first started to say that in that case maybe he has something I will like, he asked me to at least try to read a few of the bits he underlined. He also made a very bad joke, saying that the book had changed his life after he had been abused as a child, following that, possibly after noticing my stunned reaction, with saying that he had been abused by a certain priest who has been in the news, which was obviously quite impossible, and then mentioning something about that guy either taking away or giving him a scooter, I think. Was getting rather angry at a joke being made about such things and I didn’t exactly care to pay attention anymore, but at least he then followed that other guy to that other room.
So I didn’t have much to do other than to glance through the first couple of chapters of the book and look at what he had underlined, though I obviously didn’t care for any of it. Did spot some writing at the start of a chapter, stating that the book had been loaned by the guy who had replied to my e-mails, which was a somewhat interesting bit of information. And it did seem that either more of the employees liked it or, perhaps more likely, they had all been pestered with it, since another one who was there at the front desk got my attention and told me that I’ll have to come there for one hour per day and read from then on, because the price I had been told included mandatory reading, and that there were others in some reading room in the back too. He also added that the reading room in question is open until midnight, and there are people staying there after they leave. So they all seemed to want to be quite funny, but in a way that definitely made me uncomfortable, even more so than simply being around people and having to interact with them in itself, I mean.
Didn’t have to put up with much more of that though, as I was soon called to the other room. Did get one last quip from that front desk guy then, as I set the book down and he said I had to go with the book, can’t leave it, but I pretty much ignored him and went to see what was going on… And that was when my fears were confirmed, as they showed me that the UPS was still reporting a disconnected or bad battery even after they had replaced it. Of course, I had to trust that they had indeed put a good one in and connected it properly, as I couldn’t see that myself. But then that other guy was also asked to test my old battery, and I saw him pick up and do something to one that had the label I saw after peeling off the APC one, even though I had replaced that one, so if it was indeed the same one they must have removed it again. And he said that the battery was probably what damaged the UPS, since it was very old and was only providing six volts instead of 12. Was also asked how old it was, and while I thought they were referring to the UPS itself it was the same answer for both, so there was no need to ask.
After that, they handed me the data cable back, saying they don’t keep cables, but seemed to want to keep the bag I had brought the UPS in, so left that there along with it, as they said they’ll check it for free and contact me to tell me what can be done. The guy who gave me the book showed me some of the UPSs they had there on display, saying they had refurbished ones as well, but also new ones, with two years of warranty, which of course is the minimum required by law and a pretty bad thing for me, seeing as that one had three years, and I had just mentioned that, at three and a half, the warranty period had only ended some months before. The guy mentioned he had some APC ones too, but didn’t see this one and he actually asked how much a new one like it was, and when I said about 400 RON he muttered something about that and the battery adding up. But that was the end of it then, the other guy hastily filling a form, with only my name and phone number and nothing but “APC” in the field for the product to be serviced, and then sending me on my way with a copy. Asked how we’ll talk about it, whether I should send another e-mail, and was told they’ll call me… Which, of course, I’d rather avoid, but now it is what it is.
The thing is that there seems to be an offer from the manufacturer for this UPS now, as I see it at 399 RON at a few different stores, and at 419 at another that adds a “free” power strip to it, which dad may find some use for. But these offers expire these days, so if I’ll need to order a new one I’ll need to know that right away, I’d say no later than tomorrow. However, if I could trust them to fix it properly, so it’ll work fine for a few more years, and definitely so it won’t risk causing problems for my computer, I’d rather do that instead of getting a new one, obviously for environmental reasons as well. But they’ll need to tell me that they can fix it relatively soon, since I don’t want to be left without one for long, and at a price, including that of the new battery, that will make it worth it. However, even if those conditions would be met, the bigger issue is trusting them with it, as I never had anything to do with them before and at the moment I find myself wondering whether they didn’t even trick me to keep my UPS, even if the behavior did make it likely that there actually was a problem with it. The fact that they kept making that sort of jokes, and that bit with that annoying book, definitely doesn’t help either.
To move on to other things as well, Tuesday I ran again, the time being 48:12, so what should be very much a normal time now, yet it required a fair bit of effort, in part also due to the wind. This is actually rather worrying, the fact that I can’t seem to find days with little wind anymore. But not much I can do about that, so let me also list the sector times, which were 4:24, 5:11, 5:42, 4:30, 5:03, 5:56, 4:36, 5:05, 5:59 and 1:46, making for lap times of 15:17, 15:29 and 15:40. The only particularly good time was on the first lap’s third sector, so I remembered the exact time there as well, and it actually was 5:41.67, which may make this the second fastest third sector time. But I don’t know the exact time from September, so, as usual, I’ll just take the seconds into account and simply consider it a second 5:42 on that sector and tied for second fastest at the moment.
Didn’t get right back after running though, because there was some campaign going on there, with tents and signs about blood pressure and how it affects the heart and brain and plenty of people inviting those passing by to check their blood pressure. In some of the tents they were also offering apple slices, and I meant to grab one when I eventually left, but couldn’t get myself to actually do it. But, since I know that running does tend to increase blood pressure, I turned around after I was done, told the girl who approached me to tell me to check my blood pressure that I was going to, just out of curiosity, after a run, and went first to the people from one tent, and then to one of the others, where there were no apples, that those pointed me to. Once there, after saying I wanted to see what it was after running, I was told you don’t usually check the blood pressure then and that I should sit down and rest for a while, but after sitting there for maybe two minutes they did take it. Never really remembered the exact high value, but it was around 135, and the low one was definitely 68, with a heart rate of 108. If that’s my “high” blood pressure, I’d say I’m doing well…
After getting back from the park, I went out again, meaning to check prices at the usual three hypermarkets but mainly to get some olive oil that was on sale at Kaufland and get toothpaste from that pharmacy, and break some larger bills I had while doing that. So I decided to take the free bus from Auchan to the other Carrefour, where I also remembered there were oranges on sale, so got a few of those, also dumping a fistful of coins when paying for them, then went to the pharmacy and to that other Kaufland for the olive oil and also a large red cabbage. Did take me a while to find that olive oil though, at first assuming they were out of it when I didn’t find it where other olive oil was, but then I remembered that, despite being the cheapest that was part of that sale, it was “bio” (organic), and they have a separate place for such products, and I didn’t know where it was, since I’m used with this other Kaufland. But I eventually spotted it, and the oil, the glass bottle fortunately not breaking when it fell over when the belt moved after I had placed it on it at the checkout. Also spotted another 0.05 RON coin behind the checkout I used, but considering the problem with the guard last time, I left it there. Had found a few others by then anyway, in other places.
Wednesday I went shopping again, before and after the part with the UPS. My mother had asked me to get cat food on Tuesday, but I saw a sale starting Wednesday for one of the kinds, so decided to wait with the other as well, and also with the cat litter, which we also needed but she had forgotten to mention at first. So then I first went to this Carrefour, picking up a few things that were deeply discounted due to expiring soon, then to the nearby Kaufland for that cat food. Interestingly, that particular kind of cat food still had the old price listed even though the others from the same brand that were on either side of it did have the discounted one, yet when I scanned it, it showed up at the discounted price as well, and so did a pack of yogurt that had no price that I could see but which was of the same brand as another that was discounted. So I guess there can be such mistakes there as well, I guess when it’s the first day of the sale and they didn’t get around to replacing the prices yet, though usually the real price is higher than the listed one when there are differences over there.
After getting back with those things, I waited for a while, spending some time on-line and wondering whether I’ll get a reply to confirm that I can take that UPS to that store that day and can indeed pay cash despite what the site says. But there was none by the time I had to leave then, yet I did leave, deciding to risk it. Then I just walked away from there, not waiting for another free bus to come and take me to Auchan, and that also meant that I stopped at a farmers’ market I happened to spot on the way. Didn’t know there was one there and wasn’t paying attention, wondering what to do about the UPS, but at some point I looked around to make sure I hadn’t passed Auchan already and noticed that I was at something that looked like such a market, yet it was surrounded by places selling meat and cheese and other such things, so I had to go around and find a way in. Not that I found many farmers there when I did, the place not being big to begin with and most of those selling listing that they were firms, yet I did get some cucumbers at a good price from one who should have been a farmer… And who looked awfully bored. And then I got to Auchan for the other kind of cat food and the cat litter, and some tea, and used their free bus again to get back.
Since a meeting with the Sector’s mayor had been announced across the street, at 8 PM, after dropping off the purchases I went back out to find out what he had to say… And found myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with the guy most of the time, except when he again said that all poplar trees should be cut down, despite firmly opposing him and his party in general. But at least I’m still opposing the people, as the meeting turned into quite a mess, people rushing to speak about all sorts of issues, not even letting him finish what he wanted to say at the beginning, not allowing answers, not letting each other speak, crowding together, and often asking for infuriating things, such as pruning trees or chopping them down, and a whole lot of things about parking spaces, including one woman who arrived quite late and demanded to remove these small parks, the green spaces around buildings, and make parking lots instead, because the large parks the city has are supposedly enough. The mayor was quite angry by then, after being very correctly challenged by a man on the matter of a lot of the work done on curbs all over, and then another man came to that woman too and told her that the air everyone breathes is more important than her car, and advised her to give up on it for good, at which point I clapped my hands, being right next to them.
The meeting was ending then, the mayor leaving to check out some specific matters pointed out by some of the people, yet it was some time before I finally got back, as I first went to Carrefour again, to get one more thing that was on sale then. That sale was supposed to end that day, but seeing as the products in question seem to expire relatively soon, the kind I got having the date listed as June 5, and they still seem to have a large stock, I’m thinking that they’ll be discounted even more soon enough, if they’re not already, as of today. But now I got it, so nothing else I can do about it. And I also gave the cashier 10.15 RON for a product costing 7.16, pointing out that it was what I had in change, since I didn’t have any more 0.01 RON coins, and she just took it and gave me 3 RON back. Actually looked around at first, wondering if I’ll find any of those coins inside the store, but didn’t… Though I did find one, and a 0.05 RON one, as I was walking away from there.
As for my feet, since that toenail with the bruise under it was coming loose, I was able to get water under it and wash most of that blood out when I showered Tuesday night and I mean to see what else I can do when I’ll go shower again now, after I’ll post this. There is still some of that blood left, on one side, but otherwise it does seem better now, so I hope it won’t fall off after all. On the other hand, or more exactly on the other foot, all the walking I did these days, and maybe the weight I carried as well, did cause some pain again, starting at some point on Wednesday. The problem is that it actually seemed worse today, the painful spot actually being around my ankle and feeling like something worse was happening, the duller pain around it being somewhat different and more worrying as well. But it’s better now, once again, so I hope that a little rest will again be enough.