Something to do

Now that we are set up and unpacked and have gotten into our routine of Kalamazoo life, I am finding myself getting a little bored. I contacted a researcher at the university about volunteering in their lab. I didn’t expect to get a reply for a while due to it being end of term and all that but to my surprise, he replied within an hour. He seemed very open to the idea of having me volunteer and told me to get in contact with the director of his autism center.  She also got back to me really quickly and seemed enthusiastic about my interest in volunteering. The quick replies might have has something to do with how awesome I made myself sound in the first email. Apparently, being humble and modest is not how you go about doing things in the states, so I did the opposite of what I would normally do, and it seemed to work. Woo!
Anyway, the director wants to schedule a tour sometime in the future. It will not happen immediately because volunteers aren’t covered under their liability insurance. I’m not sure how long it will take for this to happen, but I am in no rush. As long as it is in the works, I’m good.
So, while I await word on the liability insurance, I have started a battle. Before you ask, no it is not with the squirrels because they now outnumber me and I am pretty sure they could take me. There is one really scrappy squirrel that has battle scars all over him. I don’t want him to eat my face. No. My battle is with a scammy-but-not-a-scam company that has been calling almost every day. They call asking for my power company account number so they can get me lower rates on natural gas. I say scammy-but-not-a-scam because they are a legic comnpany, but go about their business in a really scammy way. The conversation I had with buddy on the phone started with me telling him that I already refused their service and quickly moved to him yelling at me (not an exaggeration) as a way to bully me into accepting their offer. Their offer, so I’ve found out, is gas at a variable rate, as opposed to the fixed rate the power company uses. According to them, their rate is always going to be lower than my company because it’s variable. I guess to them, variable means always lower and not, well, variable. I of course have looked online and have found numerous complaints about them, how they bully and pester until you give in. Their rates are also usually higher than what their power company was charging.
When I told him that I didn’t care that their rates were variable and would rather stay with a fixed rate he basically called me stupid, without actually saying it, and that’s when he started raising his voice. He then told me that he has been trying to get my business since 1998. I told him that is ridiculous because we haven’t been here since 1998. He told me that yes, indeed I have been. I then laughed at him and told him that we only just moved here from Canada so how can they have possible been trying to get my business since 1998. There was a pause, and he said, oh, you’re a new customer, and then went on about how the province of Canada has the same thing. I laughed at him again and said you do know Canada is a country right? He got pretty flustered after that and started yelling more. By this time I was really annoyed because I was telling him I didn’t want to use his company. When he asked why, I told him it was because I didn’t like how they were going about trying to get my business. I didn’t appreciate being called every day, even after refusing them, and I don’t like to give my business to companies that sound like a scam. Well, at the word scam, he started shouting again and my attempts to interrupt him by saying don’t call again, I don’t want your services went unheard. When finally there was pause from him to, I assume, turn the page in his yelling scam book, I told him to not call again and hung up.
I called the power company we are with as told them about the encounter I just had. The girl wasnt phased at all and said that I am free to buy gas through them if I wanted to. The fact that she wasn’t surprised and the numerous complaints and news articles I read about them makes me think that this happens all the time. If that’s the case, I now plan to have some fun with them, if they call again (which I am sure they will). Tomorrow I will speak in Japanese and continue to use Japanese every day until they find someone to speak Japanese to me. Or give up. I’m not sure which will happen first but I am excited to see results of my little experiment.