Posts filed under ‘customer service’
Today was a big day, to say the least. We had park day for incoming first graders, which was awesome. I met Isaac’s new teacher, Mrs. J, and the other two first grade teachers (Mr. M and Miss A.) I promised Isaac a possible (if they were open) stop at the Chipotle on the way to see Wacky Neuro if he could follow directions and keep it together.
I’m so not above bribery.
So, we left park day and began the drive over to Wacky Neuro’s office and made a turn into where the new Chipotle is. I saw the sign that said “grand opening 8/31, but I saw people going in and out. Hrm. Open, or not?
Then, I saw people coming out with bags…presumably filled with burrit0-y goodness.
So, I took Isaac and brought him in, or started to. It was then that we were informed that the store didn’t open until tomorrow. You had to have the proper family and friends invite to go in today. I told Isaac that we would go back tomorrow…but he broke into tears.
That’s when the manager went above and beyond. He signaled to the door people to let us in, and warned us that it was a training day and to go gently. Then, he told us our money was no good today. What? really?
I’m always gentle! Especially to people making my food!
So, Isaac got a chicken burrito (with the works) and I got my usual steak and black bean burrito with half of the works. Toss on drinks and chips and it was LUNCH!
Even for a training day, this crew was sharp, well oiled and wonderful. I can’t say enough about how awesome this was today. They didn’t have to let us in. We saw them turn away other people without the required invites.
Thank you to Chipotle for making our afternoon, and having the compassion and family sense that is sorely lacking in a lot of businesses today.
We’ll be back in the next week or so for more. You can count on it.
That is the moral of the story.
What’s the story, you ask? Well, here goes.
Furball is gone. That’s all there is to it. I don’t know how, I don’t know why…but I do know she’s gone. Booger is going insane. Hardcore insane. She won’t leave us alone, she cries, wanders around aimlessly, and is generally driving us berserk. We understand. We do. We’ve cried our tears, we’ve come to terms with everything, but in her small cat world, this is wrong.
To keep her from going slowly insane and to keep us sane, we came to the hard fought decision that we needed to add another cat to the house. No, we’re not replacing Furball. That’s not possible. Seriously. It’s not. We’re adding someone new to keep Booger company and because we need it as much as she does, for a multitude of reasons.
When the decision to add a cat to the house was arrived at, I did a few things. First, I did some web searching. I checked out all of the local rescues and the local shelters. I found pricing for adoptions, ect. It’s interesting how prices vary from shelter to shelter and rescue to rescue. Then, I went on Craigslist. I emailed a few people with kittens and waited for responses. I also checked Petfinder.com (neato site there if you’re looking for a pet-great place to start!) and then I made phone calls.
In my travels online, I found the fact that a well known, local rescue has adoption hours for cats not too far from my house in the evenings. Hrm…
I went online and found the cutest little fuzzball that made me melt. I forwarded it on to a few friends, and they melted as well. We decided after OT and PT we’d stop for dinner and go and peek at the cats, and hope that the little fuzzball was there.
We gunned up and found that sadly,she wasn’t there. Darn. There were a few other cats there that just didn’t spark us. They were cute and sweet, but we knew they weren’t for us. At all. One was hiding under a blanket, she was so terrified, and the others weren’t good with kids. Nope. Sorry..not coming home with us.
When I finally got to talk to a volunteer, Isaac was so overtired and bouncing (PT is in the pool, so he was a crispy critter…), and I just wanted to talk to them about the kitten I had seen online. I was encouraged to fill out an application and have them look it over. Ok, fine. On the application it says “this in no way obligates you to adopt…” Fine. I can get behind that.
I fill out the application and hand it to them and the one volunteer goes and kibbutzes with the other one (and tries to settle an “I’m here to take my cat home” dispute with another potential forever family…) and then comes back a few minutes later, letting me know that they both agreed that we were a great family and that they would adopt to us.
then they let us know that none of the cats that they had that day were right for us.
Heck! We couldn’t agree more!
We asked about the fuzzball we had seen on line and they said they’d forward our application to the people who knew about the particular cat in question. We were pleased and left. While we were there, we decided that we would cross the street and visit the Saratoga County Animal Shelter Annex in the mall. There, we were greeted warmly and encouraged to look around, meet all of the animals (there were about 15 there…some had to go together and those were immediately out of the question for us..)and ask any questions we had.
We wandered around the cages and crates and things-kept Isaac out of ones that said “NO KIDS” or “I don’t like to be picked up!”
Doug came upon a cat that was a bit older, but still young…and fell head over heels for her. I told him that we had to talk and then we’d get back to her.
I was all set to commit to the cat at the annex when I got an email from the people at the local rescue that we had visited on Tuesday. The person who was fostering the little fuzzball we’d been interested in said that she was still available! AND they were going to be at the clinic that night.
Yet again, we rushed out of therapy (just OT this time!) and then up to the adoption clinic. We got there about a half hour in to their adoption clinic. I got an odd vibe from the entire thing, but I shook it off as me rushing and Isaac being excited.
I asked for the foster mom, and the volunteer who answered me gave me an eyeroll and went back to chatting with another person.
So, then I met the foster mom who I’d been emailing with all morning. She took one look at Isaac and her entire body posture changed. The fuzzball we had been looking at was adopted out not even 10 minutes before we got there, so one of her sisters was left. We agreed to look at her sister and while we were agreeing, the foster mom was trying to sell us on the mom. Hrm. Ok, fine, we’ll look at her too. We’re open.
Well, as we were playing with the kitten, comments were made regarding Isaac and not leaving the kitten alone with him ever. We reassured this foster mom (who kept calling this kitten her baby…) that it would be fine, and we’re really good with supervising our child. Isaac even asked the kitten if she wanted to be part of our family.
Doug and I were both kind of “eh” with the kitten, so we agreed to meet the older cat. Unfortunately, we were still kind of “eh” about her, but we needed to talk outside of the ears of the foster mom just to confirm the way we were both feeling about everything. It’s kind of hard to really have an honest discussion to make sure you’re on the same page with highly invested ears around.
So, I asked the foster mom to give us 10 minutes to talk and please, please don’t adopt out either of them until we came back. It wouldn’t take us more than 10 minutes. She whole heartedly agreed and said “Not a problem! Go take a walk, decide!’
Then, the woman who had agreed to adopt the fuzzball that we were originally looking at decided that she wanted the sister too! The foster mom turned to us and as we were getting ready to walk away, she demanded an answer then and there.
WHAT? Really?! You just said we could have 10 minutes to talk and promised not to adopt out this cat!
I was so upset that I walked away telling her how I was disenchanted with the entire thing. She yelled after me “we’ll have more in a few months!!”
I got out of the aisle and burst into tears. Doug turned on his heel and let them know that this was NOT ok, but the woman who wanted both cats could have them. We were not going to adopt from their organization because of the way we were treated. It was NOT ok to tell us to go talk and then whip the animal out from under us.
Now, the thing here is that yes, we weren’t going to take either animal, BUT, the promise of a few minutes to talk and then whipping that out from under us 30 seconds later was dead wrong. Hold the other person up a few minutes. It’s not a crime. She’s filling out paperwork and she’ll be there.
Why’d I burst into tears? Well, frustration. I was frustrated that the one we came to look at was gone already and then I was frustrated that we didn’t even get a fair shake with the other one and the foster mom kept calling this kitten “my baby.” We both felt that we were prejudged as bad pet owners because we have Isaac-who was just too excited and his meds had worn off. We also felt like our backs were against the wall and we had to decide then and there and had we decided to adopt the kitten, the foster mom would have been beyond miffed and probably not let us have it anyway. It was an absolute no win situation for us.
We went back to the car, and I was determined to head home. I had had it. I was in a foul mood and I was still cranky from the bad day I had had the day before. I was in no mood to look at any more cats. I wanted one day to recoup myself and then we’d go looking for round two.
My darling other half was having NONE of it. He talked me (I don’t know how) into going back across the street to the Annex in the mall. We walked in, and it was like a homecoming. I didn’t get the weird funky vibes I got at the clinic. We were again greeted warmly and Isaac was greeted by an older woman who was just enthralled by his antics. We looked for the cat that we had seen on Tuesday…and she was STILL THERE.
Ok, is this an omen or WHAT?
We spoke to the shelter workers that were there and explained the entire story-the loss of Furball, the constant freaking out of Booger, the incident across the street, the extremely energetic 6 year old-everything. We also pointed out that we were looking at this specific cat, and we had been there Tuesday and talked to another volunteer. They were thrilled that we had returned and were still interested in the same cat.
We chatted with one volunteer (I’ll tell that story later.) who really took the time to assess what we needed, wanted and could handle. It was an amazing difference. I got no odd vibes, no sense that we would be bad pet owners because we had a child who was high energy, no sense that we would be anything BUT loving to a new animal.
It was a night and day experience.
Yes, this specific cat is coming home with us on Tuesday. I’ll tell the story of the Annex and our new addition then.
You know, I had odd gut feelings regarding the well known local shelter and their practices. I seemed to remember Mom and Dad having issues with this shelter-their application is highly detailed, and depending on who looks at it for approval, sometimes people have problems when the answer they put on the application doesn’t match what the volunteer thinks it should be.
So, note the original moral of the story-Listen to my gut. My gut told me initially to go to the Annex or the other shelter near to my house. But do I listen? NOPE. I have to go on my wild tangents of looking for everything under the sun. So, please, next time I start on my wild tangents of things…remind me of this experience.
I also do need to state this-
Just because we had a run in with one wackjob foster mom doesn’t mean they’re all like this. Seek out your own experience if you’re looking for a pet. Do what’s right for you and what feels right. BUT, ( and here’s my .02) think of taking a pet from a shelter or rescue first! They need homes the most!
Being a hockey mom has its ups and downs. The downs are when equipment breaks and you either a) don’t know about it or b) know about and forget totally until the last minute-both options resulting in a mad scramble to get the offending equipment fixed before practice in a relatively short amount of time.
Today’s almost major panic attack came when Doug said to me…
“Umm…did we ever get Isaac’s helmet fixed?”
What? Fixed helmet? The helmet was broken?
He claims he told me the night of the last Learn to Skate class. I’m going to go with the fact that he probably did and I had option B happen. I forgot.
Did I mention hockey starts at 11:10 am on Sunday? Before any of the shops open that deal in hockey equipment? Yeah. Had to get done NOW.
So, I shuffle off to my old favorite place-yep, Kemp’s! I knew they’d know exactly what to do with this broken face cage. I also figured I’d ask them about a new mouth guard for a kid who hates them and to sharpen the Shrimp’s skates. Can’t go into a new session of hockey with dull blades, now can we?
I walk in with the messed up helmet and the skates. They not only fixed the helmet-it needed some screws and new spacers to make the face cage sit on the helmet itself properly. Turns out the person who put it together in the first place used plastic spacers…and not metal ones. So, the nice guy at Kemp’s not only replaced the missing screw, but he changed both spacers to metal ones to make the face cage more stable!
Skates were sharpened and all of that. I went to cash out, expecting to pay SOMETHING for the fix.
Nope. Just the skate sharpening. He refused to take any money for the fix on the helmet!
Excuse me? I’m prepared to pay….
nope-not a cent for the helmet.
and I got a new Bauer calendar to boot!
Gotta throw some love Kemp’s way. They are, by far, the classiest, best run, most awesomest hockey place in this area. The staff is so disgustingly knowledgable and loves hockey so much that it’s an absolute pleasure to go in there.
(I’m banging my stick on the ice in hockey applause…)
Today, Isaac had a half day, due to grades 1-5’s parent conferences. Oh, fun. So, we miss a full day of resource and therapies…but I digress. I picked the small boy up a smidge early and took him to purchase his hockey skates, stick and other items. We ran our errands and then progressed onto attempting to purchase the skates. My first instinct was to go to Kemp’s. BUUUUUTTTT, since I had done something slightly stupid with Isaac’s adderol prescription (don’t ask. It’s a classic Laura maneuver. I’ll just leave it at that.), I decided that we should stop at Dick’s, since it was on the way.
Yeah. Bad idea. Superbad idea.
I walk in with Isaac, and find the way through the new store to the hockey department. There, we get a pair of skates, a roll of clear tape (for the socks) and a mouthguard. I didn’t think the skates were right-they seemed waaay too big, but I was told they would work. Heck! What do I know! I’m a first time hockey parent. They also didn’t have the hockey undies that he requires to play. The guy that was “helping” us didn’t even know that there were special protective underwear for hockey, and tried to sell us a run of the mill jock. No, no, no. How are we supposed to keep the socks up? seriously! The hockey specific ones have velcro on the bottom of them that you stick the socks to.
Then, we got some bad recommendations on the stick. They tried to sell us a STREET HOCKEY stick for an ice hockey game. Yikes! Plus, since all of the sticks were too long, I asked if they cut them to size for the player. He said we could do it ourselves. When I asked for measurement guidelines, he gave me a blank stare.
Not the right answer.
So, we were headed for Kemp’s. I purchased the wrong skates, inquired about the return policy and made sure that we could return them unworn, unsharpened if they turned out to be the wrong skate., which I was almost positive they were…but again, I didn’t know.
We get to Kemp’s, Doug laughing at me the whole way for the simple fact that 1) I knew where the hockey store was, and 2) he knew how this was all going to end up.
We meet up with a wonderful young man who we asked to help us fit Isaac properly for skates. Turns out he got his start in the youth hockey program where Isaac is starting! YIPEE!
He fitted Isaac properly for a pair of skates, thereby letting us know that the kind we bought were too flexible for Isaac and were also a full size too large!
This meant we had to take the wrong skates back. Thank the good lord I asked about the return policy.
Stop laughing at me for not listening to my gut. I did enough yelling at myself the entire time we were driving back to Dick’s.
So, after purchasing the proper skates, stick (with pirate theme grip tape) and hockey undies, we made the trek back to the offending store. I walked in with the bag, and was greeted by the customer assistance person at the door. She asked me what was wrong with the purchase, and I told her-
Wrong size and too flexible.
She looked at me funny and pointed me to the guy at the register.
So, the lesson here in all of this is that I should go with my first instinct and NOT with the one that comes when I’ve done something stupid and I’m trying to consolidate travel.
Man. Hockey is complicated!
Let me start this tale by saying that I hadn’t planned on this happening. Seriously. I hadn’t. But, Isaac demanded that I send applesauce in with him, in his Star Wars thermos, so I did. BUT, he didn’t close it all the way, and whammo. Applesauce all over the pack.
We did what any parent worth their salt would do. Empty the pack and toss it in the washing machine with the next load of wash, which happened to be towels. We’ve done this with all of our packs and bags, both REI, EMS and LL Bean. We have never, ever, ever had a pack come out of the wash looking like this:
Needless to say, I was NOT impressed with the LL Bean backpack that we had fought so hard to get. Knowing full well LL Bean has a satisfaction guarantee, and that we needed a backpack for the morning, I called the local store.
I had a nice chat with a kindly gentleman, who totally understood my predicament and really wanted to help me out…but they don’t carry the LL Bean Original Bookpack in the store. They only have them online.
Yes, I knew that.
So, I told him that I didn’t care if we got a deluxe bookpack or whatever, as long as we had SOMETHING that met the following criteria:
1) was red.
2) was large enough to hold snowpants, a lunch box and other assorted things in the winter.
3) was small enough for a kindergartener’s back.
4) Would last for a few years.
He told me he had two things in stock-
1) the deluxe bookpack.
2) the critter backpack, which has a shark on it.
Now, the only problem is that these two backpacks cost a bit more than the one I purchased. I was NOT willing to pay for the upgrade to the backpack. I wanted a straight out even exchange if I was going to be made to get a more expensive pack.
I explained this to the kindly gentleman on the phone who explained that he couldn’t do this without a manager’s approval.
I understand that. It’s at least at $10.00 difference!
Now, it’s here that some people would say that I’m being unreasonable. I don’t think I am after what we went through to GET the pack in the first place, and the fact that we had purchased it in July, never even took it out of the package until September and my child had only used it to and from school for not even 3 weeks. Also, to refresh memories, I was given lectures on how I was going to ruin my child’s bones by purchasing the pack that I did, even though I explained I knew how to load a backpack and would be sure to watch out for overloading…and how can you overload a kindergarten backpack? I even did my homework on ratings, age appropriateness and the like. So, I don’t feel I’m being unreasonable.
Back to the tale…
Kindly gentleman puts me on hold and comes back and lets me know that the manager had approved the even swap, due to our immediate need and extenuating circumstances. I tell the nice guy that I’ll be in to get the pack in about 30-45 minutes.
I hop in the car and head down to the mall and the LL Bean store. I walk in and take the pack to the register. Explain the whole story, tell them that there’s a critter pack waiting for me and that I just need to do the whole exchange.
Then, I see her. One of the lecture givers…and she said “Oh, is that the jr. backpack?”
I told her it wasn’t and got the eye roll…then, she accused me of putting the pack in the DRYER.
Umm..the pack was still wet from the washer! How could it have even come CLOSE to going through the dryer?
As I’m being rung out, the clerk notices that the critter pack was more expensive than the backpack I was returning. I explain what I was told on the p hone, and they bring back Ms. Lecture. She ok’s the even exchange and I go on my way…to deliver this:
To a waiting 5 year old, who was beyond happy that his new backpack was:
2) had a shark on it.
Now, can we please just get through the year without another fiasco that involves a backpack or a part of Isaac’s room?
There’s a lot going on around here. With school starting and the like, it’s been one heck of a ride the past few weeks.
When you have a special needs child that goes to kindergarten or even changes schools, it just becomes that extra bit of twitch factor that other parents don’t have. Add that to everything else, and you get a back to school roller coaster that just doesn’t slow down.
Personally, I’d like this coaster to pull into the station, but I know when it does, I’ll complain that life is boring again (especially here in E. Nowhere) and I’ll wish to be back on.
So, here’s the latest roller coaster set of moments.
Now that Broken Bed fiasco 2009 has ended with a successfully fixed bed, we can all laugh at the latest piece of delusion that came through my mailbox-
a card thanking us for our purchase.
No, not kidding.
a week of screaming, sobbing and being totally glad that the boys weren’t here so that the bed could get fixed in peace, and we get a postcard for a year old bed? What?
Will I patronize this store again? Most likely, at the location that gave us the most help. I, however, will not deal with the person who shares my name and her customer disservice.
Since coming back from the outlaws in Arizona, my darling shrimper has been nothing short of a pill. Massive pill. Rude, spoiled and entitled acting. That’s what happens when you hang with the outlaws too long. I spent the first week back retraining him that 1) being rude will get you nowhere but your room, with all priveleges revoked, like your television viewing, and 2) you may not have everything you see, control the agenda to your heart’s desire, or speak to me like I’m the hired help. Again, this will get you nowhere but your room, with no television.
And no, a 45 minute meltdown will STILL get you nowhere.
Charming, isn’t it?
Then, Shrimper thought it would be a good idea to explore the cabinets on the top of his wall. His room has built in cabinets, and these cabinets are almost at ceiling level. I get a call at work on my cell phone, and hear that he’s fallen off of the cabinets and hit his face. Yes, huge bruise and scrape on cheek and neck. Great way to show up to the first week of Kindergarten-bruises and scrapes. Joy.
And then, we had the biggest ride of all. The medication ride. Isaac’s ADHD meds are insanely expensive. Hardcore expensive. That’s even WITH insurance. So, we found a few coupons to cover at least one of the copays. That’s when the pharmaceutical companies began their rain on my labor day weekend. Our coupon was declined at the pharmacy, because we had used one, and it was one per person, per lifetime.
So, we come back, call the doctor and explain the situation. She comes back with a card that gives us 50% off of copays for 10 months.
Ok. we can get behind that.
so, I drive all the way down to the doc’s office, and then all the way back home so we can activate the card and get the meds, as we’re down to our last 2 pills and two pills and a bunch of days doesn’t add up around here, especially with kindergarten starting.
Let it be known that I disclosed what happened at the pharmacy to the doc’s office. They assured me that this would be just fine and work well.
Yeah, it didn’t work. So, I spent a better portion of two hours dealing with Shire pharmaceuticals and their idiot staff. Here’s how it all broke down…
First step-talk to customer service and explain the situation. Get an extremely rude rep, who makes sure that she lets me know that this is totally my fault, and that the doctor could NOT have told me that this card would work.
Finally, I get her to give me the number to patient assistance, and I thank her for her unhelpfulness.
Second step-Call the number that witch 1 gave me. Get understanding person who unfortunately confirms rude witch’s stuff, but hears me out and issues us a “second use” card for the price of the perscription. She informed us that the card wouldn’t get here until Friday. I also explain to her that the cost is prohibitive to us, even though we have insurance. She puts me through to patient assistance, where….
I get the most sarcastic, obnoxious rep ever. I explain the situation, explain the whole thing and he starts to get sarcastic with me. He tells me I have to fill out an application, and me, knowing that we’re almost down to our last pill for the shrimp, says “I don’t want to be filling out 80 yards of paperwork just to be denied.”
Jerk says: “well, if you mean one page equals 80 yards, than yeah, you’ll be filling out 80 yards of paperwork.” and then he laughed.
I broke into tears and told him he wasn’t funny.
THEN he had the nerve to tell me that this process could take at least 2 months, because since we had insurance, we’d be automatically denied, and we’d have to appeal.
Really? Automatic denial? What the…
So, since we can’t wait 30 days, I ask if he is the final word, because he’s refusing to do anything. He tells me that even his supervisor won’t do anything for me.
This is where I finally lost it. I told him the following:
“Too bad. Stuff gets overridden every day. You don’t say another word to me and I want your supervisor now.”
I get the supervisor and she almost gets her head taken off with the following statement:
“well, if you had called yesterday, you wouldn’t be in this situation! This is almost 7 pm on a holiday weekend…”
Everyone knows how well that line goes over with me.
Let’s review here…this medication is a SCHEDULE 2 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. This means you MAY NOT get it any sort of early. So, like the bed fiasco, how were we supposed to know that this was going to happen?
I very politely took her head off reminding her of this fact. I told her that because of the nature of the drug and their lack of any sort of urgency in this situation, that my child is being made to suffer. She then put me on hold.
She came back and they’re supposedly fed exing the card to me by tomorrow (tuesday). Should be interesting.
Meanwhile, we had our “booster pills” here, and we’ve been giving them to him, and we’ve kind of noticed something…
Shrimper’s disposition has changed drastically. We’d been dealing with the “whine monster” and wondering if it was just stress from changing schools, ect, or if it was the meds. With a 5 year old, it’s hard to tell.
So, Shire may have f’d up in our favor…letting us know that we had a side effect that we just chalked up to something else.
I’ll be on the phone with the neurologist’s office on Tuesday.
Then, the last piece is that of meet the teachers/aides/therapists. I’ve been trying to get answers out of the school all summer as to meeting Isaac’s aide and having him meet the teachers, ect. AND the biggest question-who is doing resource room for him. This is just what happens with a special needs kid. I’m still at the top of the hill on this wild ride with this one, so hopefully, these are only mini hills that will end on Tuesday morning.
After the snippy conversation with the woman who shares my name, and her unwillingness to do anything for me…and the wonderful manager at the store branch who got Isaac off the floor, I decided to call the next day and see what I could accomplish by contacting that awful woman’s supervisor.
So, Against my better judgement and with witnesses…that’s important. I needed witnesses! I called the furniture store again. Asked for the woman who share’s my name’s supervisor.
Told her the entire story-top to bottom. When I told her the part about the bed collapsing with my darling 5 year old ON it, I heard her jaw hit her desk. She asked the question that the evil one didn’t ask-was Isaac ok?
Yes, he’s fine. But the bed…not so much.
I explained the conversation with James, the one with the evil woman who she supervises and how wonderful the store manager got Isaac off of the floor with a bunky board and a metal frame. I told her I knew, knew, knew that they needed someone to look at the bed, and that would be just fine with me. I just needed to schedule it. I gave her my best days and times,and said if it had to be the following week, that was ok too. He’s got a bed. This can hold for a smidge if it needs to.
So, the supervisor gets her tech to call us and he’s coming on Monday. I’m all for it. He wanted to come at 7:30 am on Thursday, but umm. No. Not getting out of bed that early for a furniture tech. Nope. Nope, Nope.
So, another step away from the EECB that I am carefully crafting and doccumenting things for. Both the supervisor AND store manager are in safe mode right now.
Wonder how far I’m going to have to escalate this…