Friday, May 4, 2012

If I'm happy and I know it, write a note!!

I write.  Really?  No!  Well, it's true.  Some days I question how well I write.  At times I refer back to my past blogs, cringe at the grammar, catch spelling errors, and think, "Damn, I wish someone would proof read these before I post them on the Internet.  C'est la vie (French phrase for, "Such is life").  This is what happens to a crazy, busy mom who has only about an hour to compile her thoughts into words.

When I say, "write" I mean I voice my opinion.  This is usually in the form of newspaper editorials, complaints, praise to local grocery chains, or even a quick note on the receipt of a restaurant receipt. "Good grief", my dear friends and blog readers are thinking, "one of those people."  Yes, I'm afraid I am.

If you happen to be on the receiving end of one of these customer service notes you are either thinking, "Oh, I love Bri Potts.", or quite the contrary, "Doesn't she have anything better to do than write nasty notes to people doing their best."  Apparently not.  And apparently, sorry to be so blatant - you must not have been doing your best if you have happened to receive one of my naughty notes.

You see, I'll write positive notes based on a few conditions; first, you must completely "wow" me with your customer service or your product.  If you're a waitress; the food must be hot, you haven't continuously interrupted my conversation, you're pleasant when necessary, and my drinks have been kept full but not to the point whereas I have 3 glasses of soda on my table.  This is the perfect dining experience.  I know.  I was a waitress.  This is how it's done.  You'll get kudos on your receipt and unless I'm broke, probably a tip as large as the cost of the meal.  Oh, and by the way, unless I know you personally or I ask, please don't tell me about your Uncle Henry in the hospital.  I'm sorry, but I'm there for the bread pudding.

I’ve also been known to write complimentary letters for the consistency of a good fast food restaurant (not that I eat this crud regularly, oh no – not at all), the cleanliness of a hotel room, and yes – I bow my head in acquiescence – the joy of the best toffee peanuts I’ve ever eaten in my life. 

On the flip side, I'll write scathing letters for the following; if I ask the clerk at a grocery store to bag my heavy cans on the bottom of $300 worth of groceries and get home to find these same cans on the top of my produce or bread. Really?  Did I not ask nicely enough?  Was it out of spite or were they not listening?  Do this on my husband's watch and he will come back to the store personally, point out the offender, and speak directly to the manager. An awkward position for the fellow to be sure.

If I receive any attitude from any customer service representative at any time - not only will I write a complaint, but I will cc (courtesy copy) my letter up the chain of command and will not rest until I know it has reached the top honchos. I am lethal in this operation. I have a way of sleuthing for names and information better than most detective agencies. Word of advice: do not tone off to me.  Depending on my mood, you could receive it back ten fold in that moment, but you may also lose your job - perhaps not immediately - but it may happen and I will be the one responsible.

So, I know you all must be wondering about the amount of time it takes me to sit down and compose these notes/letters/works of art. Well, it depends. If I have to look up information, it does takes me a bit of time but let’s consider this…

I recall an evening when I stood at a department store register, my feet were aching, my kids were out of control, it was the holiday season, and I was doing my best to stay pleasant; however, the clerk at the counter was on a personal phone call. For the first few minutes I was giving her the benefit of the doubt. I was sure she was having a rough day too. I waited and waited and waited. When our eyes met, I smiled, she rolled hers and made some sort of comment about me to her phone buddy. She turned around abruptly and placed her fannie on the counter. Oh no, this was not going to do!

“Excuse me, is this register open?”

She ignored me.

I walked up and knocked rather loudly where she was sitting, “Excuse me?”

She turned around as though I was wasting her time.  "Yes?"

“I'm interrupting your personal call, asking you to page your manager for assistance, and if you don’t, I'll go over to that empty counter and figure it out myself.”

She immediately hung up and tried to help me herself - which I declined.  A manager eventually stopped by.  How much time did I waste that night? An hour? Two? Compared to the time this inconsiderate clerk had me standing on my aching feet listening to my ADHD son repeatedly ask that I buy him a talking penguin singing, "HAPPY HOLIDAYS", over and over and over again, I had determined that it was certainly well worth my time