Both Sides

I recently had a substitute instructor for my body conditioning class.  She was a great instructor and taught a great class.  She also had a funny, nice personality and she made a comment about breathing and relaxing muscles when we work because we’re too tense.  And then she added, “Please don’t go calling corporate telling them I said you were unhealthy.”  And she said it in a joking manner, but the implication was clear.  Because people really do that.  They take things at absolute face value, and twist the words so that the meaning becomes murky.  And then they report it to the higher ups.


Now, if you read my blog, you all know that Verizon and I had a little dust up a few months ago.  And I did start emailing everyone at Verizon.  (seriously)  And I am no fan of customer service.


How do we determine what is actually a reason to call the higher ups versus what’s just not worth it?  I guess it determines how much time you have on your hands, and how much the transgression offended you.  Of course, if you did not get goods or service you paid for, then hell yeah…you have every right to complain.  But actually, I’m not going to talk about the bad in customer service.  I’m going to focus on the good.

On the same day my instructor made this comment, I went shopping at a physical Staples (office supply) store.  I had seen a product online that I thought would be perfect for my needs.  I saw it was available at one Staples in my general vicinity (here’s the thing about living in a large city- i have about 15 of these stores within a 2 mile radius)

When I got to the store I was greeted very warmly by the cashier, who directed me to the section I needed.  When I got to the section, I could not find the item I was looking for, and I was 99.9% sure I was in the right area.  I found an employee, told him what I was looking for, and he spent 10 minutes on a ladder and was able to locate what I needed.

I thanked him, paid for the item with the very sweet cashier and I left for home.  On my 20 minute walk in the rain, I reflected on what the sub instructor had said that morning.  I then thought about the wonderful service I had just received.  Then I thought that this was too much thinking for a Sunday morning.  But still my mind trudged on.  People will take time out of their busy lives to complain about even a small infraction, or what they perceive as a slight.  But how often to we go out of our way to commend a good employee?

So I went home and wrote to Staples and told them that I didn’t get the names of the two employees, but that this particular location should be recognized for their nice manners and willingness to help me out and be pleasant.  (and yes, i realize that this is their job, but still, they should be recognized for doing their job well)

So now, I’m going to make it a point to commend people who are doing a good job.  It’s very easy to complain:  it should be just as easy to give good feedback.  Don’t you feel good when someone compliments you?

Now this isn’t a resolution, or even a goal.  It’s just going to be my new way of thinking.  Positivity. Positively.



Customer Diservice

I really wasn’t going to write about this topic this morning….but sometimes you can’t get something out of your head, so you know whatever other topic you try to talk about is going to get tinged with the stink of what is on your mind.  So here goes.

I pre-ordered something online on Friday.  A rather expensive something.  Due to heavy demand my email confirmation would come within 24 hours.  Fine.  I’m a somewhat reasonable person (really…..I am) I can wait the 24 hours.

Well, 24 hours, came and went- but I let it slide (I was going to see a Bee Gee’s heavy metal cover band- FYI they also do other songs- I’m going to say a highlight of my life was hearing a heavy metal version of Country Road, Take me Home, sung in a club located in the birthplace of the Hipster movement, in a room where half of the people where in Halloween costumes-I think, it is NYC you know- and the entire crowd sang the entire song- it was a perfect 3 minutes that will never be able to be replicated)

But I digress….

So 24 hours- I wait till Sunday morning and I get on the I’m system the company uses.  I tell them that I placed an order, I never received the confirm, I want to make sure there is no problem…you know- the usual stuff you do when you order something.

After 45 minutes of back and forth- “Steve” says that his department is unable to help, and he will switch me.  He comes back a second later and says all representatives are busy and I need to call a different number.  Now- I did the “Chat Now” because I was trying to avoid the actual phone call- believe it or not, I can get a little hot headed with customer service representatives.  I told him that was unacceptable, and I wanted to speak to his supervisor.

Remember- I’m looking to have a confirmation email resent to me.  Resend a confirm.  You know, like you resend, I don’t know, about a thousand things every day……  This is all I’m asking- a confirmation email to confirm the ridiculous amount of money I just spent on something, and that I am indeed going to eventually receive a product, and perhaps an approximation of when I’m to expect delivery.

Eventually, 30 minutes later, “Casey” says that a confirm will be sent within the hour.  Fine.

Husband and I go on our afternoon date- lunch and  a movie.  After movie ends, we both check our email (I’ve requested it to be resent to both of us).  No confirm.  Shocking- I know……

On the walk home in the torrential rain, I asked him “Do you want to call X or walk the dog?”  Remember, these were build an ark like conditions, and without hesitation he says “Oh- I am so walking the dog.”

So I call.  I repeat my request- confirm email.  Now- I have a confirm number, but I like to have an actual receipt- I like to have formal written acknowledgement of the transactions.

After 20 minutes, she says- OK here’s your confirm number.  I say that I have that, I would like the email resent.

She doesn’t think they can resend one.


She doesn’t know.

I ask if it is an unreasonable request to expect a physical confirm of something I purchased.

She goes “Ahhhhhh”

She puts me on hold about a thousand times.

After an hour- I ask to speak to her supervisor…. she puts me on hold…..

While I’m on hold, I have figured out the nomenclature (not sure if that’s the right word) for how this company configures it’s corporate email addresses.  I look up the executives in the company, and starting from the top down, I email the top 20 executives in this company, explaining my problem.

Call center person (when I asked if I was speaking to customer service, she kept saying that they were a call center- when I asked what the call center did, she said their job was to help customers……potato, potahto….) told me that they do not have the capability to resend emails- hint- this company is an internet service provider- so seriously- they can’t resend an email?

In utter frustration, I hung up the phone.  This is where I hate cell phones, because touching an off pad does not have the same satisfaction as slamming down a handset.

Ten minutes after I finished with the call center, I received an email from the 5th highest executive in the company, telling me that she would have someone get back to me reading the issue.  Within a half hour of that, said help had sent me an email asking for a good time to speak with me today.

OK- I got that off my chest! Whew…. now on to todays actual post…


I have a low frustration point when I ask for something, and I do not receive a clear answer as to why it can’t be done.  If anyone at this company was able to give with an answer as to why not, I would have been ok- but I was left with “ahhhh, because we can’t”.  What does that mean?  Why can’t you send an email confirming a purchase?

I’ll fill you in on what I’m told today.  Thanks for listening!!