Friday, November 09, 2007

A Tale of Non-Service

A while back, Mammy went into a discount store with a list of items to purchase. As she perused the aisles, pickin’ up this item here and that one there, she came to the one that was the main reason for her trip. This item was on sale for a really good price and since Mammy epitomizes (word of the day) bargain shoppin’ (as a matter of fact, I believe she is used as a case study in the bargain shoppin’ 101 classes taught nationwide), this was to be the high point.

To her dismay, the store was completely out of that item. Not to worry readers, she knew just what to do. She would get a raincheck from the cashier and just pick it up another day when she was in the store.

However, upon requestin’ one, she was dutifully told that the computer was a’showin’ they still had one and that the cashier was required to go get it for the customer, thus savin’ the customer the hassle of havin' to return to the store with the raincheck. After all, they wanted their customers to know they cared.

Mammy said it was ok, she would just take the raincheck since she frequents that there store often enough. “No,” came the reply. “It is company policy.” The checker was soon a’scurryin’ down the aisle in search of the missin’ item.

After waitin’ several long minutes (You know, readin’ those stupid tabloid headlines , “Alien Babies Born To Woman Who Has Been in a Coma for Sixteen Years”, since there’s nothin’ else to do while you are trapped in the checkout line a’waitin’ for the missin’ checker to return.) for this excellent bit of customer service, the cashier returned empty-handed. Duh! Go figur, there really weren’t none there. Hmmmm, now what to do?

Mammy repeated she would gladly accept a raincheck for the item. The reply? “Sorry, but since the computer says we have one, I can’t run a raincheck through the system, it just won’t let me. I can take your name and number down and call you when I find it.” She never did hear from anyone at the store. I’ll remind you that the main reason for the trip was to get the great price on that item. Now, regardless that there twern’t one in the store, the “system” wouldn’t allow a raincheck, even though the company also has a policy that if they run out of any advertised item, they will give you a raincheck.

Moral of the story: If you’re a gonna implement a policy, ‘specially a customer service policy, make sure there is the ability to override the system in case some kind of unexpected glitch comes up. Customer service policies should be meant to improve a customer’s experience and entice ‘em to return to buy again, not alienate them and give them a desire to return with picket signs. I voted fer the picket signs.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

There and Back Again - Whoops, Already Taken

Well, we just recently returned from a nice, but short, vacation in Coeur d'Alene (or as one daughter put it, Quarter Lane), ID, thanks to my fabulous company, Pacific Steel & Recyclin'. It was manager meetin' time and the Company puts up all the managers and their families in a nice resort for a few days. We had some meetin's of course but also plenty of play time.

I think the highlight for our girls was the day at Silverwood Theme Park where they got a small fillin' of roller coaster and other attraction ridin'. Unfortunately for me and the missus, we was both sick with the runs. Now, just imagine to yerself ridin' on one of them coasters or rides that goes round n' round. Then you git off and yer insides say to you, "git on over to the outhouse before you splat yer pants." And each time, what seems like gallons of smelly dirt-filled water comes a'jettin' out of yer be-hind.

You keep hopin' the other folks in there leave before you come out so as to avoid their stares as they wonder if you're just raisin' up from the dead, all pale and stinky.

Well, things continued through that night (which made for very little rest of already exhausted bodies), all the while we knew we was facin' a 5 hour drive home the next day. Both of us was prayin' hard that things would settle down so's we wouldn't hafta stop 20 times along the way.

Thankfully, our prayers was answered and we made it home with nary a problem. I have to say, I have never in all my born days had such an episode. I do feel like a disclaimer is needed though - even with all the squattin' and squirtin', the vacation was great thanks to good kids and a swell (gee whiz Wally) company.

BTW - if you've never found yerself in the vicinity of Coeur d'Alene, it's a beautiful place.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Late Mothers' Day

In view of Mothers' Day a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would share a moment when I waxed poetic. It doesn't happen very often so hopefully you'll enjoy.

Mother’s Wisdom

Years of toil
And work unknown
Create the figure
Of wisdom sown

Lines and edges
Properly grown
From raising legacies
Of her own.

And tho at times
The years weigh down
And memory fails
Producing a frown.

There’s still those words
Of calming peace
And encouragement
Given freely to each.

Advice tendered carefully
Tempered with love
Whispers of hope
From heav’n above.

Will always remain
As treasure to me
The picture of faith
I’d like to be.

The years will continue
To crease and define
In wisdom’s abode
My mother, divine.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Laughter’s The Best Medicine

We was a’watchin’ some homemade movies recently and the memries was just a laugh a minute. One in particlar showed one of ours when she was just a lil 4 year old playin’ soccer. She’d run around a’followin’ the pack not knowin’ much what to do. She stopped several times to pull up her socks – it was sorta a fettish for her at that age. Anyways, as we all laughed, I also was payin’ attention to the talk goin’ on between the siblings. I think they all enjoyed her looking silly but she just had to make sure they understood that they were worse than that. I hate to tell ya but most kids don’t know much about the mechanics o’ soccer when they’s only 4. So, to say anything about the others was just a waste o’ breath. Why she couldn’t just laugh like the rest o’ them did when they were shown a’doin’ silly things just beat me. Mammy and I have tried ta teach all our younguns to laugh at theirselves ‘cause it beats cryin’. Hopefully this one can learn that lesson sometime afore she gets out in the real world.