Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Season of Love and Understanding.

Every once in a while, my patience is tried. Of course, you know this because you know I teach 8th grade. But I'm talking about the other world, the one where the grownups live. I don't always handle it well, but once in a while I do a pretty good job.

Years ago, Alyssa and Ben were probably about 11 and 8, we were flying to Phoenix. On Thanksgiving day. Don't ask me why, something about being in school the day before, etc. My then-husband had gone out the weekend before to participate in some insane athletic even or other with his brother. I use the word insane because the whole family is full of ultra-marathoners, tri-athletes, and long-distance, death-defying bicyclists.

So anyway, my brother-in-law (from the non-death-defying side of the family) dropped us off at an airport 2 hours from home and went on his way. We were very early, so we stopped and ate a little before proceeding to check in at the gate. Yes, kids, once upon a time, if you didn't have any baggage to check, you could go all the way to the gate before anyone asked who are you and may I look at your underwear. Except that they didn't ask to look at your underwear and they only needed to know who you were so they could tell you which seat to sit in. Yes, this was a long time ago.

So there we are, mom and two kids, alone at the airport, ready to check in. When we get to the gate, we see a line at the ticket counter. A long line. A long line full of unhappy people. Angry unhappy people. We discover that due to "an equipment change," our flight is overbooked. Severely overbooked. I'm talking it looked like you could have filled a whole plane just with the people who were bumped.

People  like my children and me. Who were bumped. On Thanksgiving day.

So we sat down as the ticket agent called people's names one by one by one by one. I sat there with my two children and watched people yell at the young airline employee as she attempted to find flights for all of the people. People vented their displeasure and inconvenience all over this young woman who still remained polite to them all. She found later flights for some. She found flights from two other local airports for others. They all yelled. She remained polite.

Then she called my name, and my children and I walked up to the ticket desk. And I looked the polite young woman in the eye and said, "I wouldn't have your job for all the money in the world."

Two hours later, my children and I were on a plane bound for Phoenix. We were on a plane that happened to have three empty seats. In first class! It was the first and only time I have ever flown first class. The children recognized the specialness of the occasion and ate up the attention. I relaxed and enjoyed the comfort. The crazy Phoenix family held dinner for us. All was well.

And so my children learned that it pays to be kind to others. Or not. I don't know. But they liked flying first class.

But that's not what I came here to talk about today. I meant to tell you about this week's example of patience on my part.

As you know, I'm now making jewelry. So, of course, if one is making jewelry, one must purchase jewelry-making parts. So, of course, I ordered some online. And this happened:

On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM, Cynthia Meents wrote:
I received my shipment of stamping blanks today. I ordered 2 of item SLL117. I received 2 of item SLL118.
Please advise as to how this should be handled. I really need the correct item as soon as possible.
Thank you,
Cynthia Meents

From:  Customer Service
Subject: Re: Order # 107155
To: "Cynthia Meents"
Date: Monday, November 26, 2012, 8:37 AM
Hi Cynthia,
I apologize for the mix up.  We have the 2 x SLL117 on their way to you today.  Please feel free to keep the other blanks.  Perhaps they will come in handy for a new design.
Thanks for shopping with us Cynthia and thanks for your understanding.
Best Regards,

Re: Order # 107155Monday, November 26, 2012 11:32 AM
From: "Cynthia Meents"
To: Customer Service"
Thank you so much for your prompt response. I'll enjoy working with the other blanks. I 'm sure I can come up with something. It's a pleasure to do business with such a responsive company.

Re: Order Confirmation No: 107155
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:24 PM
From: "Cynthia Meents"
To: Customer Service
Sadly, for the second time, I have received the wrong product for this order.  The first time you very promptly apologized and shipped a replacement. Unfortunately, you sent the same wrong product that you sent the first time. Perhaps something in your warehouse is incorrectly marked.
I ordered 2 of item SLL117 Silver Filled Rectangle Component with Holes, 24g
Twice now, you have sent me item SLL118 Silver Filled Rectangle Component w/Slit Cutouts, 24g.
While I appreciate your promptness and courtesy in replacing my incorrect order with another incorrect order, and while I am sure that the silver rectangles with  slit cutouts are very nice, I really really NEED the silver rectangles with holes.
I look forward to your reply,
Cynthia Meents

Re: Order Confirmation No: 107155
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 5:08 PM
From: Customer Service
To: "Cynthia Meents"
Hi Cynthia,
How embarrassing.  You are correct.  It was an inventory issue.  The models were reversed in the warehouse.  Thank you for helping us discover this!
We have Rectangles with HOLES on their way.
I really appreciate the patience you expressed in your email.  I can only imagine how exasperating it was to see the same wrong blanks arrive -  again.
Our apologies - again.  Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for your Cynthia.
Thank you,
What happens next remains to be seen. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, during this holiday season, as you rush to get your shopping done and errands run, remember that you don't know anyone else's story. You don't know what they're going through or what they had to overcome today. So be patient with people. Spread a little love and joy.

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