Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Customer Service

"It's not personal, it's business," all too often transfers over into public relations in the context of customer service.  We most times remember to use our manners and to say, "Please," and "Thank you," in a kind and sincere way.  But when does your treatment in customer service warrant you to break outside the box of pleasantries and tell a retailer how it really is?

"How are you today," the woman queries?  Well, if you had asked me AFTER you served me, you would have gotten a different story.

I try to be diplomatic and kind even when sharing a complaint.  Not to place blame on a person, but a situation rather--must be the teacher in me.  But time and time again it gets me nowhere.

What made my blood boil this morning now, in retrospect, really isn't that big of a deal. But wait, yes it is.  When I kindly (in my words and in my tone) offered up constructive criticism to a situation that left me with a scalded hand, I would expect at the very least an, "I'm so sorry that happened to you".  But no, instead I got, "Well, I asked around and I haven't had any other reports of this happening.  It must be an isolated incident," is not good enough for me.  Nor should it be for any other person this may have happened to.

I have shown loyalty to this Michigan business, have promoted them to friends and family, frequented them despite working at a rival store (since 2002), and have even gone back after another unpleasant incident.  I deserve an "I'm sorry".  Wait, I deserve a sincere, "I'm sorry".  

But that is not to be. And that's fine.  Well, it's not fine, but it's life.  But in my small quest to make my life as pleasant as possible--surrounding myself with great friends and family, loving my job and coworkers, trekking across our amazing world, enjoying well-prepared exquisite cuisine, searching for the perfect cuppa--I will now take a stand.  I will make it a point to visit the two other Biggby Coffees I pass on my morning commute.  I will stay one lane over when in Mason and not set myself up for further disappointment.  Even if it only affects me.  I will be happier for it.  I refuse to spend another day, with knots in my stomach, agonizing over a situation I feel could have been all together completely avoided and was not my fault, if it were just for two personal words in business, "I'm sorry". 

Monday, April 27, 2009


Asparagus is something I grew up despising.  Strangely, yes strangely, it was one of the few vegetables I could not stomach.  If you were to cook asparagus and canned peas at the same time, I was sure to flee the house for fear I would catch wind of either of those two STINK-opated "vegetables" wrapped in cute clothing.  
Unlike most children, my favorite vegetables growing up were broccoli and brussel sprouts.  Yes, brussel sprouts.  I still adore them to this day.  
Now, however, asparagus has become a vegetable I'm very fond of.  We planted some in our garden last year knowing we would not be able to reap the benefits for at least another year.  You can imagine my surprise when this past weekend I strolled past our untouched garden to find  a few tall stalks of green protruding from the cracked soil.  At first count there were 12 potential spears but since that first count, which was only 4 days ago, we have cut and eaten 8 stalks with many more on the way.
I didn't realize how viable this plant was.  I was told, if you cut it down, more will grow.  I'm banking on it.  The best part?  How wonderful it tastes...minus the chemicals of pesticides, minus the many miles of squashed travel, minus anyone else's hands grasping those stalks.  It's perfect.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who's the babe in the picture?

That's our first.  It's a girl.  Codie is the first living thing owned between my husband and me.  Well, other than plants.  She's definitely daddy's little girl--although she seems to appreciate me, too.  Sitting next to Codie is one of her first toys, Lion.  As with most of her toys they have incredibly obvious names, mainly for consistency.  For instance, there has been Bluey, Pinky, Gorilla, Beaver, Turkey, Sock, Goosey, Pheasant, Kong, and even Care Bear.  The only one who was given a special name ended up with a dual identity.  I call it Mr. Man.  My husband calls it Blue Man.  Can you see why I wanted obvious names?  And since my husband gets to spend a bit more time with Codie than I do, he ingrained into her, Blue Man.  

I believe lion probably lasted 3 weeks.  Which is a lot in dog toy land. Or should I say teething puppy land?  Beaver, Turkey, Kong 2, and Sock still exist. Turkey's legs have been amputated, Beaver is missing two eyes and has a gash where his tail meets his body, and Sock unravels more each day.  

I'm just glad it's them and not my furniture.
I've done it.  I've finally caved to owning a blog, a facebook page, and even to twitter.  As a teacher of writing I know I need to write more myself.  So here it is in a medium I can really embrace.  
But what does HD have to say?  Stay tuned to find out.