No, this isn’t about a wardrobe malfunction. For those of you that know me, I am a fiend about how I am treated as a customer. I care about principles.
So let me tell you what happened. I ordered a bra online from the online website: Bare Necessities. When I received the bra on Wednesday, they sent me a size larger. I emailed them because their website states that they are available 24/7/365 via phone, and yet all their communication tells you that they close at 6 pm EST. For me that is 3 pm, so my availability to discuss my order is limited. I asked them to resend the correct size, and once I received it I would send back the incorrect size with the return shipping paid by them. I received an email response Thursday morning.
“I am sorry to hear of the trouble with your order. We can reship the U.K xxx which is a U.S xxx-cup, please ensure this is the size you need as Fantasie is a U.K sized bra and may show the conversion size on the tag as well. Our reship process entails a new charge since we will be shipping product out, if this is okay I can have the package delivered tomorrow.”
Here is the thing. I ordered the correct size, they decided to send me a different size. I know my size. I wear this brand, and do not need them to try to translate and send me a different size. Frustrated, I called them Thursday morning at the beginning of my work day. The woman who answered the phone? The same woman who responded to my email. A coincidence or a VERY small company. You decide. Right away she was snippy with me, cut me off, and told me that Fantasie had changed their sizing and that they were doing the right thing. Um, no. See my dad taught me something early on. “The customer is always right.” In this situation, an apology would have gone a long way. She could have said we are sorry for the confusion and mix up, and we will send you the size you ordered. Instead she continued to aggressively fight me that they were right and I had the right bra. She continued to tell me that there was nothing she could do for me, that they could not send me new product without charging me again. Why should I have to be charged for another bra, mail it back and then wait forever for it to be refunded?
When I asked to speak to her supervisor, she said: “I am the manager.” When I said “oh, you own the company?” She said: “I can you put you into my manager’s voicemail.” My response: “Why, so I can have her leave me a message, and not be able to talk to her because you close at 3 pm my time?” No thank you. I promptly told her that I would be returning the bra, no longer making any purchases from them, and would tell everyone I know not to waste their time or money on their website.
Summer. While in some ways it is still in full force — warm weather and sunny days — it is also on its way out. My company has half day Fridays during the summer and we only have 3 left for this year. Somehow that makes me want to slow down the clock and enjoy every moment of every half day Friday. Once Labor Day hits, we return to a full five-day work week, and it just makes life different. Those extra daytime hours you get back during the summer makes things that much brighter, shinier, and it feels like a longer weekend.
Our summer has been mellow and yet full of change and growth. In my opinion, it’s just how it should be. We have completed a ton of projects around our house and yard, strategized for which upcoming projects have a higher priority or what we should shell out some green in order to proactively fix or repair certain things. We have sat in the sun, done our fair share of grilling, eating seasonal berries and tomatoes, exploring artisan fairs and farmers markets, oh I could go on.
Summer is my favorite time of year. The days are long, the sun is out, it is warm, if not just downright HOT. Freckles begin to populate on my arms, face, and back. There is just a healthy glow that surrounds everyone, not to mention the happiness that exudes almost everyone (especially in Oregon where sunshine is in shortage for nine months out of the year). During the winter I burrow inside and read a book. In the summer I bask in the sun while I read and take cat naps between chapters. What is not to love about that? As with any season of the year, summer is a time of transformation, and I appreciate all the precious moments I have had this summer with Chris, at work, with family (even if it is via text or Facetime). Life is good. I have no complaints.
We are not always the same people all our life. We change, life changes, and sometimes we end up doing things so differently than what we remember. I never remember being the kid that was late. I think I was actually fairly punctual. Somehow over time (as I discuss in the blog “Savor Every Conversation Bite“) I have turned into that person that is late. My colleagues jokingly call me Tardypants. On Monday I started reading the book “Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged” by Dianne DeLonzor. What is interesting is that I have checked out this book from the library a few times. Each time I never read it. There are always more interesting ones in my stack. Eventually, when I see a book continue to make its way to the end of the stack, I pull it out and decide if it interests me and I read past the first few pages. If it does, then I commit to finishing it, return it, and not check it out again.
Over the weekend, there was a hefty stack that made its way back to the library in the category of “not interested.” Somehow, “Never Be Late Again” found me at the right moment. After multiple check-outs, this moment in time seems to be just what I needed to read and absorb. Fast forward to Tuesday morning. Chris has an early morning meeting. By early I mean 8:30 (which I think is early). I am not a morning person. It is my zen/quiet time and I do not like to be rushed. I like to get a lot of personal things done in the morning and I do not like to wake up early. Not an easy dilemma to solve… sleep longer and get less time to myself or get up earlier and have more time to get things done for me. Alas, it means I am often rushing (or Chris is often rushing me) out the door.
An hour later at work and I was already behind. Each meeting of my day went long which meant I was late to my next meeting. It was like a domino effect for the rest of the day. Does this bother me? Should it bother me? Yes. On the one hand it is the situation I am in and, on the other, I feel like it might make others that interact with me frustrated and feel like I am being disrespectful. Yet none of my intentions are malicious. I focus my entire self in the meeting I am in. I care about each individual. Sometimes that means I go over time with the person and that trickles into being late for the next person.
My dilemma is how do I fix this? How do I get back on track, keep the respect of those around me, continue to care in the way I do, yet be timely? Maybe this is an easy answer, but it does not feel so simple for me. I am hoping as I continue to read “Never Be Late Again” it will shed some light and give me some aha moments. Do any of you struggle with this? What ideas would you share?
I am not getting old, or maybe I am. This book has reminded me to be a child again. As always I have been reading like crazy. I just finished “Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius” by Erik Wahl. A book that has opened my ideas to how much and how often we try to fill in the blank, find the easy answer, and not use our brains. Early on in his book he explains this in such a succinct way:
“The short story goes like this: Our education taught us to memorize the predetermined answer or study the predetermined method in order to deliver the predetermined solution. There was nearly always one right way to one right answer, and an A+ job meant finding and then following that path repeatedly. There was rarely if ever room for what we so fondly call ‘thinking outside the box.’ You and I were rewarded for—often literally—making a check mark inside the right box. We were taught to be art critics but not artists. To think but not to unthink.” Page 17
How true is that? We were taught to score well on the SATs, to do well on standardized testing for our states and counties, because that is what determined if we were learning in school and if our teachers were doing a good job. Did it teach us how to think creatively? Did it teach us to solve problems? No, it taught us to fill out the correct answer on the scantron test and accurately use our #2 pencil in the oval, being sure not to color outside the lines. So how did we learn how to think outside the box?
I cannot remember when I started to think differently. At a certain point I think it happened in college when I got so sick of the status quo. A part of it had to do with being a woman and yet not treated fairly as a woman. It made me think I am going to do better than a man can do, I am going to learn what I can so that I can never be in a situation where I get stuck or cannot do something I cannot handle. I think it also was being so clear that I do not want to live how I grew up, that I wanted a better life. That desire and drive taught me that I do not want to live inside the right box. At a certain point we end up stuck in our ways, or our routine causes us to not take risks or live life differently. Which is why I love this quote that Wahl shares from Anais Nin:
“Older people fall into rigid patterns. Curiosity, risk, exploration are forgotten by them. You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love…You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings.” –Anais Nin page 183
Aw man does that resonate with me. “…the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself.” We cannot give when we check the right boxes, when we fill out the scantron test. We give when we live outside of ourselves, and when we are raw, authentic, and real. Stop caring about the A+, and think like an artist…outside the box.
Over the weekend we are driving into Portland for some brunch, errands, and my favorite–an artisan craft fair. While multi-tasking on my iPhone I say something about adding something to our list for the day, and then mumble: “you must love my lists” (noted in a sarcastic tone). His response: “Your lists keep us together.”
I will remind you (in case you are not aware). Chris is a relatively quiet guy. He does not talk if he does not have anything to say, and often I have to pry his thoughts out of him. So when I got this long response, I quickly grabbed a pen and pad of paper from the glove box (because quite frankly I am old school and I cannot type that fast on my iPhone).
The rest of the conversations goes like this…quotes are Chris’ words:
“There are 2.5 things we fight about – whenever we fight – which is rare:
My lack of follow through or lack of communication.
Your hunger tantrums – aka when you are “hangry.”
#3 is really 2.5, as it only gets really 1/2 a point in my mind… When you comment on my driving.
Your lists are what keep us together. It keeps us on the same page. So keep adding items to your lists, keep tracking as you do.”
Not only was that a succinct quote from my hubby, it was also very profound. He is right. We rarely fight and it usually is over something that was not communicated, or miscommunicated, or my biggest pet peeve of all is lack of follow through. I am not going to comment on #2.5 because as a passenger I reserve the right to share my concern when I have one. You might be thinking, “How is it possible that you only have 2.5 things you generally fight about?” I have to agree with him that is the complete list. #1 is for him, #2 is for me, and like I said we’ll just ignore #2.5.