Tuesday, August 29, 2006


You Can't Always Get What You Want

This past week has been a test of my patience with regards to customer service.

Last weekend I was trying to find Thank You cards to send out to friends and family for their gifts for Brynn. I needed to have the cards large enough so I could include a 4"x6" photo which I wanted to send to everyone. Well, apparently those things just don't exist. I finally made my way to a specialty stationery shop and explained my situation to the clerk who offered assistance. She offered some plain pink cards they had in packages of 25 and pink envelopes they had in packs of 20. I figured I would print up something on the computer on these cards since my handwriting would tend to have people believe I am a doctor...or that I ride the short bus. Either way. They had this really cute velum with pink footprints on it. I had an idea. I swapped the pink cards for white so the footprints would show better, I would use the velum on the front of the card, tied on with pink ribbon...oh, this will be cute.

I set up everything on the computer and tried several attempts with some regular paper cut to size rather than waste the good cards. I found a paper punch in the shape of a little butterfly, and I bought a few rolls of pink ribbon. The velum was trimmed, the test prints were perfect, it was time to open the pack of cards. Here's the first thing that pissed me off. They weren't cards like I was expecting. Not a piece of cardstock folded in half, but rather just one half of what I was expecting. Like a recipe card. I was not amused, especially since I was trying to print one for Weezie to give to her co-workers with a picture, and I had a chiropractor appointment I was growing late for.

I called that little stationery shop to explain how they screwed me for this project now that I had the velum trimmed to size. Of course, they didn't have anything the right size, and weren't apologetic for selling me the wrong stuff in the first place. I told them when I bought them that I wanted to put a photo inside the card. What were they thinking?

Luckily I remembered that I had a big pack of assorted colours of cardstock that I bought a couple of years back that I never used. Luckily I knew where it was, which is a miracle unto itself considering we're not even 1/10th unpacked. I found an X-acto knife and I had to use a wide drywall mud spreader for a straight edge to trim the stock. I ran it through the printer, punched the holes, cut off the ribbon and ran out the door to my appointment. When I got to Weezie's she was quite happy with it, and I think it does look quite cute. If I do say so myself. I have since cut all of the stock and will have to print them all out in the next day or so and get them in the mail.

The second piss-off is the closet doors we special ordered. We got a call over a week ago that they were ready. We went to pick them up and I noticed a big bend in the metal at one end of one of a panel. We left it behind and were told they would order a replacement. When we got a call at the end of the week to say we can pick up the doors, I was quite happy. We went back and discovered that they didn't order new doors, they just bent that one back into shape. It didn't look bad, but if it doesn't work properly, there will be hell to pay.

The third was with the local pet store. I mentioned that my old betta died, so I bought a new one Friday night. He looks pretty neat. His fins are more of a spiney-looking thing as opposed to the flowing fins of my old pal. I tried to feed him a couple of the little betta pellets my old guy used to inhale, and he just spit them out. I figured maybe he just wasn't hungry (though I've never met a betta with that problem). I tried again Saturday morning before work. Same thing. I called the pet store to ask what they have been feeding them because he wouldn't eat the pellets, and they told me they feed them frozen blood worms (sounds gross, doesn't it?). I asked if they sell them there because I don't recall seeing a freezer at that shop, but he assured me that they did. I had The Squeeze pick up a pack for me on his way back from work. He came in with a big brick of frozen brine shrimp. What the hell? I've already got a small pack of them in the freezer.

The Squeeze told the guy at the pet store about the betta problem and the guys said he remembered someone called about it that morning. He looked in the freezer, but they were out of the blood worms. He told The Squeeze that the fish should eat the brine shrimp though, so he bought it. I tried some of the brine shrimp I already had, and again he wanted nothing to do with it. So back I went to return the new pack, and I had to head to the other end of the city to buy the right stuff.

Why, oh why, is it so hard to get things right the first time? Why did the card clerk give me something that wouldn't work for the purpose I explained? Why did the door guy tell me he would order new doors and just bend the old one back? Why did the pet guy sell me something that the fish at their store wasn't being fed? It's so hard to get good help. I'm sure it's all just a part of this conspiracy to drive me mad.

People just don't care anymore.
Re little pink cards:

Boy, you really are a homo, aren't you? ;-) What on earth is a velum? Never heard of such a creature. Bravo on the correct spelling of "X-acto" though. Kudos.

I hope you're not offended that I didn't buy you a Happy New Baby gift. I've never gone out for that sort of thing. Actually I've taken to buying gifts spontaneously lately and not on traditional occasions. And honestly - I like this way of doing things much better. It feels completely natural. I hear someone express a need. I buy them a gift. I see something in the store that someone would really like. I buy it.

I'm hoping to weasel my way out of the whole Christmas Consumer Lunacy this year. It's getting ridiculous.

Re the poor fishes:

Don't go looking for a better betta. I'd bet you just get screwed again. (or is that 'fooled again'? Why have I got The Who in my brain all of a sudden?)

Kathleen hit the nail on the head. Most people just don't care. Thank god for saints like us.


(that's not the alien word today. I just felt like yelling Shcnzzle!)
You got that right. Where is the love?

As you now know, velum is that transparent paper stuff that you helped thread pink ribbon through. NOW who's the homo? ;o)

I like your idea of buying things for people when they express a need. I would do that too, but I just don't have the cash to do that. No siree, I just don't have the cash. That's right. Noooo cash. One of these days I'll have to get me a big wad of cash to fill my wallet. Ya, that's something I'll definitely need one of these days. I could really use that.
I totally agree with fwg about buying presents when the mood strikes me as opposed to prescribed times. Much more fun when it's not expected.
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