Friday, November 14, 2008

Confession Wednesday: Congenial Complaints

This is my dear Aunt Beaner, trying out the "Bumper Car Room"
(a low-ceiling-ed access room that's being outfitted for grandkid adventures).

I was trying to pay a bill a few days ago, and I was having trouble with the website for the company who wanted my money. I called customer service and explained that they shouldn't make it so stinkin' hard for ME to give THEM money. Maybe not in the kindest way possible. I mean, hello, I'm not aggressive enough to be flat out rude, but I spoke irritably enough for my conscience to flare up (because it's not Operator Trixie's fault that the website is stupid), and then I had to apologize so I could think straight again.

Then I thought about my Aunt Beaner (love you Aunt Beaner!). In addition to the fact that she bakes heavenly homemade bread, raised some of my favorite cousins, can sing her parents' high school's song, lets me visit whenever I want (and with as many children as I can bring), loves to tell a funny story, emails me all the time, and shares my nickname (that's one of my favorites, also a shout-out to Kathlene-a-Bean!), she also is a master of words. And a peacemaker. Years ago, she combined the two and penned a witty complaint (in verse) to her city sanitation department, who had forgotten to collect her trash, maybe more than once. If memory serves correctly, she received a sincere apology from management and her own special trash-pickup. It's family legend now.

I was trying to emulate Aunt Bean when I sent the following letter to my then-local Wal-Mart several years ago:

Ode to the Commode

As I was shopping in Wal-Mart today,

Enjoying low prices galore,
My young offspring told me her bladder was full;
I had ten seconds, not one bit more!

I whisked her up quickly and ran at full speed,
Desperately begging her, "Wait!"
I zigged through the sporting goods, zagged through the toys;
Crying, "She must urinate!"

Soon we arrived at the Ladies' Room door
In just slightly less than a wink;
But Oh! Our poor noses! For as we went in,
We smelled the most hideous stink!

Quickly we realized the source of the stench;
For all over counter and floor

Were puddles and garbage and T.P. and mud;

Alas! I had seen it before!

I warily opened the door of the stall

And what awful sight met my eyes?

Smeared on the toilet seat there was what's known

(In my house) as Diaper Surprise.

But what could I do? In my arms was my daughter;

I would not; could not put her there!

Despairing, I held her out over the toilet

As she did her deed in mid-air!

I humbly beseeched of an aproned employee,

"This bathroom's not fit to be used!"

She asked me to tell the cashier at McDonald's

Who stared at me, fully confused.

(Note: There was an in-store McD's by the bathrooms)

Now please understand I've been living for years

And all of that time, had a bladder;

But Wal-Mart's facilities rank 'neath an outhouse

On any John Cleanliness ladder.

You'd do well to try out the restroom at Target;

They clean every spot, vast or tiny!

They've pleasant aromas in spite of their purpose;

And all of the porcelain's shiny!

In closing, I ask you, please keep the john clean;

For next time it's foul, please be sure

My money, my daughter, and her little bladder

Will frequent a tidier store.

For the record, Wal-Mart's reaction was a phone call and advice to use the bathrooms by layaway, since they get less traffic. Bravo, Wal-Mart. (But they did like my poem.)

What you deserve to see, here, though, is the work of the master. I asked Aunt Beaner if she would supply her garbage poem for blogging, and she couldn't locate it (she's building a home, and has a lot of stuff in storage), but she sent me this delightful composition instead.

July 21, 2004

Dear Longs Folks,

Your ad came last week -- it was very inviting,

With Dreyer's ice cream at a price most exciting!

As soon as I saw it, I knew right away

I'd be visiting Longs down on East Mono Way.

I went Tuesday morning... but when I got there

The freezer was out. And the shelves were all bare!

"But don't give up hope," I was told with a smile.

"It soon will be fixed... it's down just a short while.

And ice cream again will be there on display

For all who are willing the dollars to pay."

I visited Longs the next morning, but no...

The shelves labeled 'Dreyer's were empty. And so

I traveled back home without ice cream in hand.

(And we really do think that Dreyer's is grand!)

I tried other days. In fact, four trips I made.

But what I was seeking was never displayed.

The freezer was fixed -- of that I'm aware,

For frozen confections were stacked up in there,

Including some Dreyer's Ice Cream packed in pints.

But never the one and three quarters quart size.

The week is now past and the sale price passe,

But since I was out doing errands that way,

I thought I would check on the freezer once more.

And, WOW!!! It was full from the top to the floor!

Perhaps you can tell me the reasons retail:

Why advertised Dreyer's boycotted that sale?

See what I mean? Aunt Beaner's a genius! She's also proof that you can make your point without making a scene. Let's face it - everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes those need to be pointed out, but nobody wants to be publicly raked over the coals.

What's a creative way you've dealt with an uncomfortable situation?

(Also, what rhymes with "Trixie" and "billpay"?)


Mandi said...

LOL. Love it. I must say that I love Dreyer's. Tee hee. That was random, but I had to say it 'cause my dear hubby has worked on 3 of their plants ;).

Anonymous said...

Can't think of a creative solution I've had, but I did just have a situation that was not going well 9photobook) and I was having trouble getting through to customer service. When I finally did it was an Indian guy. I know I would have been more impatient and ruder had it been a fellow native english speaker. Due to the accent issues, I know I was more patient and tried to be more clear as I looked for my problem to be solved. It was and I'll try harder to be more patient next time I have an issue. I'm wondering if this is possibly an unforeseen bonus to the outsourcing of customer service.

as for the rhyming- Trixie-nixie, pixie,dixie, fixee

billpay-still say, will say, fillet?

Tana said...

OH I love Billpay and Fillet! Priceless.

I heard that the best words to ask when working with someone is sales is "Is that the best you can do" If they say yes and you can't do that then walk away. But most retail like the business and they will say "Let me see what I can do" I love it! Ask at Goodwill. or Target when you find a damaged piece of clothing. 40% off at the register. and (I would have paid full price)

Bean said...

Thanks for the Laugh, I needed it today!

Julie said...

I was happy to find that fillet rhymed but I'm anxious to see if or how it fits in!