Another example of excellent customer service.

English: By Michael Katz Aldi in Bethlehem, PA...

English: By Michael Katz Aldi in Bethlehem, PA taken at sunset, gamma corrected to make it lighter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After my visit to the pulmonologist today, I stopped at Aldi to buy some produce.  I don’t shop at Aldi very often simply because they usually only have one check out open (granted, those cashiers are lightning fast), but I was off work today and needed some veggies.

After picking up some tomatoes, strawberries, avocado, lettuce, and cucumbers, I made my way to the front of the store.  Yep, you guessed it…the line was long.  Several folks were in front of me and only one register running.  As I got closer, I could hear the cashier talking with the customers as they came through her line.  Holy moly, this lady was just chatting with everyone while ringing them up.  She was so friendly and actually remembered several of her customers.  The lady in front of me forgot to pay for a couple of bags until after we were already into my transaction.  The cashier told her not to worry about it, that she’d buy the bags for her as she quickly made a note of it.  I was getting ready to tell her to add it to my order, when the guy behind me reached over and handed the cashier some change.

I walked out of the store with a smile on my face just because people were so nice to one another.  Oh yeah, and I emailed the corporate offices of Aldi when I got  home just to let them know they have a great employee in Cheryl.

Kindness really does breed kindness, doesn’t it?

Great customer service at Amazon

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Seriously, you usually hear about customer service issues when the customer service leaves something to be desired.  But not today.  Nope, I’m pretty happy with my experience today.  I had a package that was supposed to have been delivered last week, but I was so sick that I didn’t really look into it until yesterday.  I logged into my UPS account to track the package.  UPS said it was delivered and that someone with a name other than mine signed for it.  So I thought I’d check and see if the UPS driver had dropped the package off at the office.  No…didn’t happen.

So I went on to email them about the situation, explaining that I live by myself and that it’s not possible that someone at my house would have signed for the package, that it hadn’t been signed for at the office or by any of my neighbors.  And I asked them what they were going to do about it.

Well, after checking my email several times today with no response from UPS, I decided to contact Amazon directly.  I clicked on help, then on one of the links there to contact customer service…had the option of email, phone call, or chat.  I chose chat and was connected with Fidel.  After asking a couple of questions, Fidel was able to immediately order a replacement for me at no cost and I’ll get it Monday.  Wow!  He apologized for the inconvenience and set it all up…quick, easy, and exactly what I was hoping for.

Do I appreciate great customer service?  You bet I do!  Will I continue to shop at Amazon?  Heck yeah!!

Question of the day

This is a selfmade image from the english wiki...

This is a selfmade image from the english wikipedia. The photographer has uploaded it as GFDL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been asking myself this since I woke up this morning…Do I really, REALLY need to go to WalMart today?   I had planned to swing by there after work yesterday since I work on the same side of town.  I got in my car and decided I didn’t really want to stop at WalMart at 5 pm.  So I decided I’d go early this morning.

Ha!  Right.  I can’t seem to convince myself to pick up my list and drive over there.  I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this (cough, cough), but I absolutely hate shopping at WalMart.  Yes, they usually have lower prices, but then you have to deal with the other customers and the workers who totally ignore you and the shelves that aren’t stocked and the pallets of merchandise completely blocking the drive aisle and the two out of twenty or thirty registers that are open and so on and so on.

So, after careful deliberation, I’ve decided there’s nothing I need so desperately today that I’m willing to ruin a perfectly good day off work by making a trip to WalMart.  Maybe I’ll stop after work tomorrow….

Early morning errands and audits

Automobile dealership - service and repair are...

Automobile dealership – service and repair area. This facility is located at: 755 Rockville Pike. Rockville, MD 20852. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got up fairly early today.  I wanted to take my car in to the GMC dealership to get the oil changed and have everything checked out.  One good thing about being out and about early in the morning…not a lot of other people are!!  I got to the dealership and they were able to take my car right in…I was in and out in less than half an hour!

I have to say, I’ve never liked taking my car in to be serviced.  It seems like, as a woman, the mechanics always talked down to me…assuming I didn’t know anything about cars (granted, I don’t know a lot about them, but I am paying the people who do possess the knowledge to do the work…that should count for something, I’d think).  But today was actually a pleasant experience.  Every single person I came into contact with at the dealership was polite, friendly, and treated me with respect!  Wow!  That doesn’t happen every day, does it?

Seriously, don’t you love it when you get great customer service?  It just makes the rest of your day better!  And the rest of my day went pretty well…I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things to take to work for lunch and snacks for the next five days (yes, I’ll be working this weekend…boo).  After leaving Kroger, I drove straight home.  So I was back home in just over an hour and a half!  Nice!

I did a little gardening…well, honestly what I did was pull weeds…how in the world do they grow so fast?  Oh, right…rain and warm temps…simple.  Even had time for a nice nap.  I’m going to try to get to bed at a decent hour tonight…have to be at the doctor’s office at 7 am to have labs done for a biometric screening for my health insurance through work.  I’m not waiting until the last-minute this year~~

Then I got on Facebook for a while.  One of the store managers from the Indy area posted that the auditor in our area resigned!! What?  Hmm…I wonder what that means for us…will it be a while before they manage to fill that position?  Does that mean we’re less likely to be audited?  Hey… I just thought of something.  I’ve always said I’d like that job…maybe I should look into that one!  Only bad thing, it involves a lot…I mean a LOT of traveling…what about poor little Spook?  So…if it comes down to a contest between a job as an auditor and taking care of Spook…well, not much of a contest…Spook wins!

Trippin’ at WalMart

A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart...

A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart in Miami, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, allow me to say, I hate shopping at WalMart!  With a passion!  Yes, they have low prices…but that’s the only positive I see in shopping there.  Customer service is nonexistent.  Invariably, something that I want (or several things I want) are out of stock.  The stores are much too large for a quick trip…whatever I want is going to be in the far corner…always.  They have hundreds of check-out lanes and usually have only 2 or 3 open.  Long lines, long waits…

Having said all of that, I did make my once quarterly shopping trip to WalMart today.  I’ve been putting it off for something like two weeks now.  I’ve told myself I was too tired after work to face the mobs there.  On my days off, I’ve convinced myself that I will stop after work the next day, then, that day, I can’t make myself do it.  So, this morning, I got up, got ready and headed out the door before I could talk myself out of making the trip.

Were they busy?  Of course.  As busy as they would be this afternoon?  Probably not.   Surprisingly, I was unable to get only one item on my list (do I take a list?  You betcha!  I’m not walking up and down all of those aisles and buying more than I need) and I was able to pick it up at Kroger for just about the same price.

It didn’t take me as long as I thought it would.  And of the 3 check-out lanes open, the one I walked up to got me through pretty quickly.  Yes!!

But, let me ask you a question…do you think the people who shop at WalMart view that as the kind of store where you don’t really have to get dressed to go shopping?  I didn’t get all dolled up to go there, but I did throw on some clean clothes and a little make-up, styled my hair, you know, the basics.  Women there with rather large busts wearing skimpy little spaghetti strap tops (of course with their bellies showing), short shorts that were very tight and left nothing to the imagination.  One lady was wearing a t-shirt with food on it (actual food, not a picture of food)…and yes, Simone, the pajamas, always the pajamas…altho, I must say, I see this everywhere…I live in a major college town and this has become a common look.

Am I being too critical?  Maybe.  I’d love to have the body confidence to feel comfortable wearing things like that (well, maybe not the food on my shirt) in public…I try not to judge people by how they look, goodness knows, I’ve had those judgements made about me in the past.  And ultimately, I guess it’s no one else’s business how you dress.  But sometimes it is kind of funny!!

Cheerleader discrimination

Tour de Taiwan 2007: Opening Show by Taipei Ph...

Image via Wikipedia

Okay, I was at work today, another busy day, as usual.  A teenage girl comes up to me wanting to know if we have any more solid blue gift bags, she needed 20 something and we only had nine.  I asked if she could use another color.  She said the only other color she could use was white and we didn’t have any of those the size she needed.  Before I could go find more, she asked, “Do you call this a craft store?”  I was a little taken aback by her attitude and the question. 

Then her mother walked around the corner and asked her if we had any more.  When she said we didn’t, her mother looked at me and asked, “Do you consider this a real craft store?  You don’t have anything we need.”  I told her I was just about to go and see if I could find some white bags for them.  I walked over to another area where we had the same gift bags and got down all she needed. 

Then the mother (instead of saying, “hey, thanks for finding the bags my daughter needed”) asked  me why we didn’t carry cheerleader merchandise.  I told her we didn’t really have any control, at the store level, about what merchandise we carried, that it’s a big corporation and they decide what to market at the national level. 

 Evidently the mother had one more zinger in her arsenal.  She looked at me and asked, with a straight face, if I didn’t consider that to be a form of discrimination. I’m afraid my mouth must have just hung open for a few minutes.  Discrimination?  Seriously?  Against cheerleaders?  Wow, I guess if that’s the worst thing they ever experience in life, they’ve got it pretty good.

But I thanked them for visiting and wished them luck with finding the cheerleading supplies they needed to complete their project.  Of course, in my mind, I was thinking something totally different, but I doubt if they figured that out.  I was kind of thinking that a lot of the stereotypes about cheerleaders must be stereotypes for a reason…and that they both personified that cheerleader stereotype…

The long and winding road to fitness, day 104

Just Another Day in Paradise

Image via Wikipedia

Another lovely day in what passes for paradise at work.  I wonder why people think they need to be really rude to get what they want?  The first couple of customers I had to deal with came in mad and continued in that vein.  I like it when I can be all sweet to them and give them what they were wanting and then they can’t think of a reason to be mad any more.  It’s like they’re almost disappointed that I didn’t argue with them…too funny!

So…that was my day at work, busy, hectic, semi-productive…but I did get in 30 minutes of walking and who knows how much additional walking at work.

I stopped at Kroger this morning before work and stocked up on some Lean Cuisines to put in the freezer at work.  So now no excuses if I don’t have (or make) the time to prepare lunch…it’s sitting right there in the freezer.  I’m not a huge fan of the frozen dinners, but they sure are convenient…and probably healthier for me than fast food or vending machine junk.

I’m going in to work early tomorrow.  Should probably be thinking about at least getting ready for bed if I’m going to manage to get a little sleep tonight.  Looking forward to having next weekend off.  I’m trying to think of something fun to do for a few hours on Saturday, or I guess  it could be on Sunday, wouldn’t matter.  I just want to do something fun…got any suggestions?