Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Please sir, can I just get my Karma back?

**alternative title: Can't anyone just tell me.....WHERE ARE MY FUCKING SANTA PICTURES?!?!?!**


I couldn't decide which title I liked better, so I'm giving you both. And yes, this post is coming in the first week of January and it is really about Santa pictures. Not just any Santa pictures, these are becoming the Holy fucking Grail of Santa pictures, sought after by many Okinawa military parents and very hard to find! I, myself, am currently elbows deep in complaints on facebook pages, filing actual complaints with multiple sources "responsible" for these photos, getting shitty "not my department" responses, and inches from finding the jolly ole fake fat ass and demanding an immediate re-staging of the Santa photo and a line up of the assholes who can't or rather won't answer a simple well asked (re: I did not curse at ALL, when I posted on the facebook page inquiring where or when I might see Nixon's photos with Santa) inquiry BUT who do take the time to delete it off the wall, so that I might shove a boot up all their asses and then assist them with the GIANT lump of coal they've all earned!


Now, I know this seems a small and petty thing to get bent out of shape about, but I'll explain why I'm so livid, beyond the obvious reason of not having a photo of Nixon with Santa to show for my/Mac's donation to an on-base high school booster club and the total pass-the-blame game the parties involved are playing with me. Seriously?? I never liked being the "pickle" of pickle-in-the-middle. It annoyed me and really gave rise to my Napoleon Complex.


Here's the story (sorry 'bout your luck if you've heard this all before):
   Dec. 11th Mac and I took Nixon to the Base Mall to get his picture with Santa. Yes, we did get there with about 5 minutes to spare before Santa left for the day. Nixon sat on Santa's lap with some coaxing from Santa and BeBe, about 3-5 photos where taken at the time (trust me I counted the clicks and flashes from the camera). Mac made a donation in the donation box, Nixon got his candy cane, and I got a slip of paper that had the photobucket site info and password needed to view the photos and was told they'd be uploaded for viewing in 2-3 days. 


   Dec 13th- 16th no new photos are uploaded.
   Dec 17th there's about 300 new pics uploaded, total pictures around 950'ish. (No Nixon)
   Dec 19th I post on the facebook page inquiring about new photos to be posted, looking for photos from the weekend prior. No response from the admin of the page, but a few other parents comment they also are looking for the same weekend. 
   Dec 25th I look, there's now over 1200 pictures, still no Nixon. 
    Dec 29th, I file a complaint with the store which hosted Santa & the high school booster club, explaining I felt it was bad customer service to host an event like that and not have any point of contact for which to help guests resolve issues with, since the group responsible for posting the photos is ignoring several attempts to find out when the photos would be posted for viewing. It was irresponsible to have so many groups involved but no chain of contact in the event there's an issue like this. The response? 
"Dear Patron,
 We  understand your frustration and apologize.  The Exchange hosted Santa Claus for the community, with only good gestures in mind.  We have contacted AFN regarding the photos for Santa and we are trying to have the issue resolved quickly and efficiently.  The Exchange does not have access to the AFN Facebook page, as far as answering comments being posted.  That page belongs to AFN exclusively.  We are working this problem in hopes of a quick resolution."
   Dec 31 now 1715 pictures, still no Nixon. I spend 3 hours looking at every single photo multiple times for Nixon, no Nixon. I comment on another mother's post on the facebook page, also asking where the photos are and why there are no new ones....the post and all comments are deleted. No response ever given.
   Two days ago I write a long (no cussing) post on the facebook page again, expressing my deep disappointment with the whole Santa at the BX (base mall) photo situation and the lack of response to the parents STILL looking for their children's photos, including myself. It was removed from the page, no response, by the next morning. But the photobucket album has a total of now 1929 photos in it now. Still no Nixon. 
   Yesterday, I file another complaint with AFN regarding the facebook page and the actual photobucket album photos. I copy and pasted the exact message I had put on the facebook wall. (Now I will put it here: I'm seriously disappointed with the Santa at the BX photos and all the hassle that has come along with trying to see the photos. 
I took my son on Sunday Dec 11th, just a couple minutes before 6pm. I've posted here more than once inquiring about those photos, I've looked at all 1715 photos (to date) and have not seen my son's photos with Santa, nor have I gotten a response about when I might expect to see those photos posted. 


There are very few moments where I can say I truly regret making a donation to any cause, but this is one of those times. Kadena BX hosted the event but they aren't responsible for how the photos are distributed/published. The donations were collected for the kadena high school (if I'm not mistaken) but they're not responsible for hosting the event or publishing the photos in a timely manner. WAVE89/AFN Okinawa is in charge of publishing or releasing the photos, but its been far from a timely manner and unless there's an issue with accessing the photobucket album, there's been no real response to any of the numerous parental complaints/inquires/concerns about these photos. 


Being on Okinawa limits many families choices as to where and when they could get the photo with Santa taken. Many chose to make a donation and do it at the BX we all shop at throughout the year, and now many of us are left without that photo and we're getting no answers as to when or if we'll ever see those photos. 


This was the first year my son was excited to see Santa and if it weren't for a member of the community having Santa at her house one night, I'd have no photos of my son with him at all, despite my taking him 2 weeks before Christmas to the BX and visiting Santa. 


This is a very poor reflection of AFN and how they handle public relations with the community, especially such a once-a-year event as photos with Santa.)
   Today, I received an email  about my complaint from yesterday. Good quick response, really shitty resolution: "Ma’am,
This was a booster club function.  I’ll let the booster club president engage."


So, basically.....???? Yeah, I got nothing too. 


It's not the photos at this point. It's not the fact that Nixon sat with Santa in a store. It's the fact that a donation was made for a service and the service has yet to be provided. It'd be like going to a car wash, making the donation for the car wash and then having the people running the car wash tell you that some other group is responsible for the water and buckets and soap, except you don't find this out until you've been sitting there for a few hours AFTER the carwash has closed shop and left. Well, its not exactly like that, but it's the best I've got right now. You get the picture. (they can't all be x-mas tree blog analogy's of gold)
I normally don't bitch about making a donation, but fuck me over sideways if this doesn't rub me the wrong way! The high school used a well known and iconic holiday figure to draw a crowd and raise money for their club, which is fine. BUT, if they're not accountable for the distribution of the photos they basically got money for free, right? I mean, the parents are getting told AFN (the local radio/tv station/public relations here) was putting the photos online in the photobucket album, which means the booster club has no physical contact or control of the photos, correct? So what would the Booster Club President be able to tell me? That he/she will get in touch with his/her contact at AFN and see what this issue is?  


Am I getting extra Karma points for this? Because it feels like a lot of hassle and runaround for zero results. And really, removing a post without responding to the complaint? Why even have a board the public can contact you on in the first place??


Okinawa.....you're really pushing my buttons. Seriously?!?!? Fucking Santa pictures!! THIS is my line in the sand?!?!? 

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I had a VERY similar Santa pic story this year, almost to the point where I vowed to never take my son to sit on Santa's lap again. I SO feel your pain!

    Basically, we took our son to an event at the local Y where they offered free pics (key word: free. translated to: fuck you over!) of your kid/family with Santa. We filled out the forms with very specific info (as directed) so they could match our child's picture with our information form and get the pic to us. They never specified how we got our pics, but stupid me didn't ask and just assumed that they'd e-mail it to us since they asked for our e-mail address. It was kind of a shady operation. So they took our pic, we left, and then waited.

    I waited for a couple days and no pic. I contacted the organization (after searching online for about an hour) and was told that the pics were posted on the bulletin board at the event location. WHAT?!?! The event location is not in operation- it's a closed down building now- and was only open for the event. I advised them of this, and they neglected to get back to me. I went to the Y, no one was there, so crazy of me to think that someone would be there to give me my Santa pic. I went home and contacted them again.

    Long story short, after many back & forth e-mails, phone calls, e-mails with pics of some random kids (apparently they thought 'plaid' was 'white/red stripes'... idiots), I FINALLY got the right pic e-mailed to me. A week before Christmas, after I had already mailed out Christmas cards and printed out the rather crappy pic I took with my camera.

    It is so aggravating when people aren't held accountable for things. Next time, I'm finding a place where I LEAVE with a pic in my hand. Lessons learned.

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