LACKING FINESSE – Marilyn Armstrong


It must be my age. I no longer have any finesse at all. I sometimes get what I want, but it’s more bludgeon than finesse. I seem to have lost my charm especially in dealing with people who tell me “We have to charge $8 to send you a 15 ml bottle of eyedrops for your dog.”

“No,” I said. “You don’t HAVE to charge me $8.00. You have decided to charge me $8. The cost is actually $3 and the plastic bag is another $1. So you’re making a big profit on the shipping. Even if you add another dollar for handling.”

“You could use our auto-delivery service. Then delivery is just $3.”

“Right, but these are eye drops. Liquid. You can’t calculate quite that precisely for a liquid.”

“That’s true,” she admitted. “Auto-delivery isn’t a good choice for  liquids.”

I got her down to $5, which is what it was the last time (mid-May) for the delivery. No matter what she said, there is — not UPS, USPS, or FedEx — NO delivery service who charges that much money to deliver a product so light you might miss it being in the envelope at all.

So where did my finesse go? Down the drain along with the salary I earned.

Pet adoption agencies are always trying to convince you to adopt senior dogs. Gibbs was 9 when we adopted him and at 13, he is beginning to show his years. Going a bit deaf these days. He is less energetic and more inclined to prolonged naps. So when agencies urge older people to adopt older dogs, are they offering to help pick up the costs that older pets will inevitably generate as they age?

You bet they aren’t. No senior discounts for senior dogs or senior people. I’ve lost patience with price gouging. A good finesse used to be a winning strategy, but I’ve never known it to work with any kind of customer service. They don’t respond to wit, humor, or irony. Hit them hard where it hurts and maybe — if you are lucky — you’ll get something back.

If you can convince the company that lowering shipping costs — which are now more than double the cost of real shipping — go for it. Whatever gets the price down.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

14 thoughts on “LACKING FINESSE – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I just realise another point you’re making: If elderly people adopt elderly pets, they also will have to cough up more money for the elderly dogs/cats to care – as you said, eyedrops, eardrops, special dietary food, more vets’ bills, etc etc etc….. More power to women like you Marilyn.


    1. I really don’t mind the extra care, but most of us are living very close to the edge, so it would be nice if they threw in some care for their cost as they age. I’m not unwilling to pay. We are simply poor!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn, before my oven blew up, I had a service fellow come in to have a look at it. I was told that it was $80.00 plus tax for the service call. The fellow came in and told me that he wouldn’t do anything for less than $290.00. I should have sent him away at that point but I thought he could fix it. Apparently he couldn’t fix it. The oven was only 15 years old but the original company had gone out of business (Sears) and they were no longer making the circuit board for it. Boy was I mad. I certainly won’t be getting that company in to service anything any more.


  3. The cost of shipping either by post or courier is just crazy. How can it cost $10 to ship a Matchbox car within the same country or even the same state? Those things are tiny! I know it’s all about insurance, tracking etc but surely the packaging can’t be as much. As for shipping from overseas don’t even get me started, but it’s useless to argue, those are the rates and that’s that.
    You make a good point about senior pets too. Some shelters do let them go a bit cheaper, the cost of vet work and microchipping is factored in but a senior dog will cost more in medications etc over time and they don’t consider that. I get the strong impression that there will come a time when poor people won’t be able to have pets because the upfront cost of getting them is so high. You practically need a payment plan to adopt a pet from a shelter these days. Of course, they want to make sure the animals get good homes but poor people can be responsible, loving owners too.


    1. I think Duke is very likely to be our last dog. It IS getting to be too much. Just regularly standard vet visits and medication for heartworm and ticks is ridiculous. And the shelters charge so much money, people like us can’t afford a dog or even a cat.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. I think Cindy will be my last dog. Naomi has two who are a bit younger so when we eventually merge households it would not really be practical to get another. I doubt we’d be able to afford to get one from a shelter and we certainly can’t afford to go to a breeder. I even worry that we would not be allowed to adopt a pet if they didn’t think our home passed inspection.


  4. I can’t believe the price of postage today.

    If you want a cheaper alternative try ordering from China (MAGA!) – i have often got FREE postage – even for items as costing as low as $1.50.

    Admittedly it can take up to a month for delivery, but at least i get the product and can afford to buy other items with the cost saving. 🙂

    I had 3 high-quality phone glass protectors for my new Smart phone delivered from China for a lower price than i could have bought one (had they had that particular model in stock!) at my local mall – for a SINGLE protector!


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