Sunday, June 24, 2007

We Are Family

We had a full house this weekend. My sister and brother were here with their kids. We had 7 cousins under the age of 5 in one tiny house! It was loads of fun. The kids ran around like banshees, and the sibs tried to finish complete sentences without breaking up fights, fixing boo-boos, or making meals/snacks. :) Good times.

Everyone was here for my little one's birthday party, but last week when I was bustling around getting ready for the party I had to go to the mall to order a cookie cake. I am normally a DIY-er birthday kinda gal, but I taught sewing camp last week (to which I will give a proper post soon) and just didn't have the time. However, my small trip to the mall gave me great insight. It took me 15min to order a cookie cake. I was the only one in line, and there were two people working. The poor kids working were so incompetent to run a store. They hardly acknowledged me, and when they did they had no knowledge of their business. IE: what are the prices of the cookie cakes? how many will they feed? how to spell common words... in general to take an order. They were not rude, just highly incompetent. After that I headed downstairs to a maternity store who is the only place around that carries Palmer's Nursing Cream. I have two friends about to have their first babies, and this is always one of the gifts I like to give to my nursing mom friends. I honestly don't know how nursing is bearable without this cream. It's so wonderful! It's not like lansinoh, or whatever, you don't wipe it off, it smells great, and it's so healing. Anyhoo...get to the store, ask for the one box on the shelf and if they have anymore? They say no. We open the box and the cream is NOT even inside the box. So they have zero boxes. I ask, "when they will be getting more"? They say they order one box at a time and when that sells they will order only one more. So basically they will always only carry one box at a time. My dilemma is I would like to buy two. So the fool-hearted girl in me asks, "could you please order two, I will pay for them right now and you could let me know when they get in". There are three employees and one manager. They all (including the manager) say no. All this said to let you know how appalled I was to be looking face to face with people carrying product and not be able to get what I want. What is that? When did not only customer service, but employee competence become obsolete? This thought catapulted to why I believe the DIY businesses and internet sales are doing so well. First off when you buy from an independent their name is being represented and they have personal interest and value in that name. They want their reputation and name to be respected. They also are immediately compensated for working hard. If they take orders and fill them quickly they make money. The good old "American Dream". As opposed to the min. wage employee working for a large corporation that doesn't even know they exist let alone recognize them or compensate them when they do a job well done. So why would they have any motivation to do a good job, other than plain-prehistoric-good-old-fashioned-work-ethic? Indies also value their customer. Most ensure quality and form relationships with their customers. The scale stays smaller and this keeps the quality better.

When you shop online you don't have to find parking on a rainy day, make your way through the cloud of pre-teen smoke lingering in front of the door, weave your way past the cliques of scantily clad adolescents, deal with rotten customer service, or not finding what your looking for.

From the convenience of your home and the small price of shipping you get what you are looking for delivered to your door without having to deal with the general public. Hmmm... $5 for shipping not looking so bad????

I am not a recluse or a scrooge, and truly not as judgemental as this post sounds, but sometimes I really do get discouraged when I'm out and about. There seems to be real character missing. I'm done ranting. And we did end up with the cookie cake, and it was delicious, and now it's gone. I guess it just boils down to the cold hard truth, "we have to fight for our right to party". Totally laughing outloud.



Audra said...

YOU GO GIRL! You KNOW you have support on my end...incompetence...I cannot tolerate incompetence. I have too many stories myself, but of all things, don’t feel bad, Sarah…I just wonder, “how many of these people are paying their taxes?!”

Sarah said...

Sick'em girl! We got your "new address" card. Although we WILL come for a visit, I miss you being right down the street! :(

Anonymous said...

You know, I used to know someone with some mad entrepeneurial skills who could make a sweet cookie cake. I wonder whatever happened to him...?

As it happens, you can shop online AND support a "big company" --