It must be the holiday spirit. I cannot seem to find an unpleasant employee or an unresponsive business today.
The lower rack of our dishwasher has the most inefficient set of wheels in existence today. Held on by puny plastic clips, they tilt and swivel and collapse and fall off with alarming regularity. They are found in the cavity of the machine as often as they are found sitting upright on their posts on the rack. TBG is not amused. Since he has taken over the chore of filling the machine and emptying the machine he has daily interactions with this damn rack. It has begun to annoy.
Finding myself with a spare moment and needing to be at home to meet the window washer and the HVAC guy, I called GE. Voicemail hell sent me to Monica. Monica did not ask me to repeat anything I had already punched into the keypad. Monica did not read from a prepared script. Monica was there to help me. She really was.
Unfortunately, her good intentions and amazing investigative skills were not backed up by the authority to solve my problem. She had to send me along to Customer Service, armed with the fact that I had an extended warranty. Of course, that warranty, like all good warranties, seemed to have expired last month. Wishing me luck, she transferred the call.
Sharon answered and was even better than Monica. She agreed with me. She understood me. She was surprised and intrigued and annoyed with exactly the same things with which I was surprised and intrigued and annoyed. She laughed with me about the broken-just-as-the-warranty-expires nature of my call, and wondered aloud why the wheels weren't attached to the new rack she was going to send to me. We knew that my rack was functional; we are hoping that an entirely new assembly will somehow solve the problem. The rack cost about $150 retail, $90 wholesale, $68 through their discounted promotion, but Sharon is sending it to me for free. She's also sending clips and wheels. She's not even asking me to pay for the shipping.
She is authorized to be good to customers who deserve it. It felt good to be included in that cohort, a fact which I mentioned on her supervisor's voice mail as I left a complimentary message. Notice should be taken.
I need t-shirts for the Stroll and Roll and Jenn at CrossFit Now sent me to Starbuck Design . They helped her last year when she created a fun run in 11 days. They are doing the same for me, even reassuring me that I have plenty of time between now and January 7th. In fact, Andrew thanked me for placing an order during their slowest time of the year. After thanking me, he then agreed to comp some of the design costs. He doesn't need all the information until next Friday, giving me the gift of time and the opportunity to solicit more major supporters. He told me yellow is the most transparent of colors and the hardest to work with in printing but that if we added black around the edges.... well, you get the picture. I just had to tell him my ideas and he's going to do all the rest.
He helped me with quantities and sizes and gave me a go-cup on my way out.... in my favorite color. There was no attitude, no sense of being too busy to help, no intimation that my requests were more than he could handle. He just kept smiling and saying "Okay."
I was in and out of his shop in thirty minutes, with a gift and a plan and no worries. It was simply amazing.
I dropped brownies off at G'ma's gerontology office and the women behind the desk were as warm and effusive as ever. We shared January 8th stories and G'ma stories and sure, we'll ask the docs if they will suppor the Stroll and Roll and then it was off to the grocery store where the stock clerk reached the box on the top shelf for me and the deli lady took me to the cold case to show me exactly which products she thought were better than the ones she had spied in my cart while creating my order.
I got home to a phone call from Little Cuter, wondering why MOTG had received 2 bouquets of Christmas flowers, each bearing the identical note, each sent with love from me. I opened my email to follow the trail and found a note offering 20% off on my next order because they had made a mistake. A phone call brought me to Tom, who was certain that he could help me, even if I couldn't bring up the order amidst the chaos that was my inbox. It seems that someone entered the wrong sku number and FedEx had noticed the discrepancy and alerted ProFlowers where another employee sent the correct bouquet on its way.
It's no wonder that MOTG and family were confused. But Tom and I had the same advice - re-gift the tulips or put one bouquet in another room and feel the love that came with solving a problem before we even knew that one existed.
I was 5-for-5 and, if I add in the charming HVAC mechanic and Ernie and his fellow window washers I'm 7-for-7 in the perfect business department. It's a lovely way to spend a day.