Archive for September, 2010

The Kentucky Derby of Customer Service

Before heading out to the picnic the other day, I dropped by a local retailer to pay my bill.  I hustled in the side entrance, hoping to leave my check with a cashier.  This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to process, I thought, yearning to already be back outside.  Luck would have it that the two lanes open both had a long wait.  Too long for me.

It was far too beautiful a day to stay in the store any longer than I had to.  So hustling my feet some more, I decided to zing off to the back, where the customer service desk was located.  On the way, another customer darted out of one of the side aisles, nearly knocking me down.  I graciously side-stepped and continued on my way.  We  then walked “together” down the aisle and I noticed that she was carrying a large store bag, full to the brim, and with a receipt tucked inside.

Uh-oh, I thought.  She’s going back to the customer service desk for a return.  All I have is this skimpy envelope with a check enclosed; a transaction that would take 1/10th the time hers will.  So I quickened my pace.

So did she.

Hmm…I thought…did she really do that?  Let’s find out, I thought.  So I lengthened my stride.

So did she.

Are you kidding me, I thought.  Is this older woman really racing me to the desk?!  In the voice of Sarah Palin, my mind said, “You betcha!”  I was trying not to laugh out loud at the two of us, both about to break into a run just to get to the back.  I even considered dodging through some of the back aisles to take a shortcut, but my internal GPS said it wouldn’t work today.

So naturally, I stepped up my pace once more; if Secretariat could do, so could I!

Well of course she did, too.  And she had a knack of zooming around other customers in the aisle, very deftly in fact, given the load she was carrying.  At that point, Clarity and Sense knocked on my door and said to slow down; let the lady get there first and conduct her transaction, even if that means you’re losing a few minutes of sunshine.

After an “agonizing” five minutes of listening to the return transaction (the whats and whys), it was finally my turn.  At least it was pleasing to see that what she had bought was ugly and indeed, needed to be returned ;>

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Beach, Bisque and Bathrooms

Yang Mommy

Imagine a lovely mom n’ pop restaurant on a beachy island. Perfect ambiance, honest food, good service.  It’s also the last day of your family vacation, so you’re looking forward to a little celebrating at the dinner table.   The tomatoes on the salad are ruby-red and farm-fresh, the newly baked brown bread steams with delight,  the shrimp are gianormous and cooked perfectly and the crab bisque….ahh, that sensuous, mouth-watering, swooningly-delicious fresh soup.  All is peaceful and serene, right?

Well you know I’m going to say “no.”  See, my toddler is in the midst of potty training.  And just as I’m about to crunch on the crispy lettuce, she flashes her bright blue eyes at me and says, “Mommy, I have to go potty.”  OK, this is great, I think.  I praise her effusively and off we go to the ladies’ room as I spare a parting shot at my dinner.

We can do this quickly and efficiently, I tell myself.  Shouldn’t be a problem.  So immediately my bossy mantra starts of “don’t touch anything” followed by “stand still” and “wait one more second.”  All of which are answered by “why” in a Smurfette voice as she dances on her toes, trying to twirl in the little coral and seashell decorated stall. 

I can feel my own adrenaline start to pound, so I quickly cover the toilet seat in toilet paper for her to sit on.  Oops!  It falls to the floor. Try again.  Dang, it falls off again!  This can’t be happening, I think.  I mean, it’s just toilet paper! I rush to replace it and cover the seat again while my daughter tries not to wet herself.  Finally, I get her on the seat and she does her business. 

My mantra continues of “don’t touch” while I clean her up and get another pull-up on (“why??!” she croons, just itching to disobey).  In my haste to return to my to-die-for bisque, I rip the pull-up in half! OMG, I’m such an idiot, I think!  I frantically search my purse (for I’m without my diaper bag) for another one and thank the beach gods, I find one. 

Bless her little toddler heart, she needs to hold onto me to balance while we put each foot in.  But instead of resting her wee hands on my shoulders, she believes that sticking her fingers in my ears would be better.  Uh…not for mom!  Of course, I lose my own balance and summarily fall backwards, slamming into the stall door.  She giggles, I groan.  At last, after what was probably only 10 minutes but felt like ten years, we wash up and return to our seafood feast.

Now I was very glad that my tot went to the bathroom without any messy incidents.  Even if she needed to go before every course that was laid before me.  Which was three, for the record (I was too pooped for dessert).  The praises ceased to be so effusive, too.  After the 3rd time, I chugged what wine was left, stared my husband in the eye and clearly enunciated that if there was a 4th time, he could take it on.  With that, I tuned everyone out and dug into my ahi tuna.  Bliss…..