Let's Dish about Customer Service

I am a service snob. When I pay my hard earned money for something, particularly a service, I expect a certain level of customer service for my effort. I'm talking about the kind of service I ALWAYS get at Nor.dst.rom or Sa.ks. Whenever I'm in there, I know that the people are going to treat me right, they are going to go out of their way to ensure my satisfaction, and if there is a problem - they don't fight you, get rude or defensive, or refuse to help you. In all of these years of shopping at those stores, I have always walked away completely satisfied & happy...eager to come back and spend some more.

After my most recent rant about my Di,shD.eli'very from Le.t's Di.sh, I have to come back and give them the Diva Customer Service Seal of Approval.

Let's Review:
I spent an entire day waiting for my goodies and was furious after calling 3 times getting assurances that it was on its way. At 11pm that evening, I went outside to every entrance to the house and looked for my box - no joy. I left a rather hostile message at the local LD and and email. As you recall, I also had a doosey of a day and had 3 other rants.

The next morning, I get ready for work and mention to Ron to keep an eye out for my LD box. He says, "You mean the one I put in the garage?". WHAAAAAAAAAT? R U SERIOUS! Ron proceeds to tell me that the box came around 11 or so and he moved it into the garage (amongst all our other boxes etc) and then forgot about it when he was putting some grass seeds on the lawn. I asked, "Didn't you hear me fussing, ranting & raving about my food delivery last night? Didn't you see me keep going to every door looking for the box?"
He tells me, "Well, no, not really, I wasn't listening, I was watching ________(fill in CNN, History or Discovery Channel or any other news channel that you so choose)"

I swear there are days where my knight in shining armour is not so shiny. Not so much. I could have just killed him. At that moment, I felt like I had a household of people riding on the short bus and I am the bus driver. Kill me now.

DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. Now Imma have to apologize. Now, I gotta call the store up and let them know all is right with the world and I went off of them for nothing. At 9 am sharp, the moment the LD store opened, I got a call from Chris who started to apologize to me for the mishap and wanted to know if someone would be home cause he had put together a replacement order and would drive it over to my house himself. I ate me a big ole piece of humble pie and told him the story and apologized for being so testy and fierce on my messages. I wasn't rude, just demanding a resolution in a certain amount of time. He told me that he understood my frustration and hoped that I would be back. Of course.

But it was not over. I guess that someone at LD HQ does a Go.og.le search of their company name on a regular/daily basis cause within 12 hours I had this email from Rich the Co-Owner of LD in this region:

Hi Lisa,
I'm the co-owner of Let's Dish! in this region. I received this blog alert early this morning. Naturally, I was concerned and with the help of a number of colleagues, dug into all available info to try to solve your problem. We assembled new meals just to be safe and were prepared to drive them personally to your home. I've since been informed by our GM in Columbia, Chris _______, that you two spoke and that you had your meals and are all squared away. I'm very glad to hear that. Sounds like it was a miscommunication with UPS-- when we do have problems with delivery, which is rare, this tends to be the nature of the problem. If there is more to the story that would help me think about how to avoid these types of issues, please do share with me.

Your satisfaction is our #1 priority and I'm glad you now have your food. I hope you enjoy it. Since I'm writing you anyway, I thought I'd take the opportunity to tell you a bit about our process and why we do it like we do it.

Rick goes on to explain in detail why they use U.P.S/Fe.d.ex, why the delivery window seems long, and why they did not have more information for me when I called. He even asked for my suggestions on how LD could improve on their system. Rick closes with this:

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have other questions.
Thanks, by the way, for the kind words at the beginning of your blog. We appreciate those-- they made the rest of it easier to take! :) I'm just glad the reality ended up not being nearly so bad. We look forward to serving you in the future.
My best,

I sent Rick a note back thanking him for his follow up, added my suggestions (giving the customer the tracking number was one) and told him that I would write a follow up.

LD went above and beyond the call of duty, especially when the issue was no fault of their own. I thank you LD and we are enjoying our dinners - in fact, Ron whipped up the Chicken Mole' Burritos that very night and I know they were a hit when my son whoofed down about 3 himself.

To everyone else out there providing products/services - excellent customer is like honey to the fly. It is an absolute must in my book.


Can You Dance Like a 1st Grader?

I thought I could dance, but this little girl had me, hands down, at the split. I'm done.


I'm Pissed at Let's Dish...and other Rants

I have really enjoyed Le.t's D.is.h. I'm a working gal with a house full of people and I still want to be able to bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan for my family as well. I discovered LD where I could spend 2 hours and put together 12 complete dinners for my family and then in 20 min to 30 min fry it up in pan/oven. WhaLa! I can still work (not much longer), fit in some gym time, attend all the school events, lacrosse games, function as CFO for my husband's delio's and manage a sit down dinner with the crew.

Scoff if you want. It is a myth that you can do and have it all with little effort. Sacrifices are made and I do my damndest to hold it together as a family. NEWay...I didn't have 2 hours to put together this months selection, so I did D.is.hDe.liv.ery. My selection was to arrive TODAY! I have called 3x wondering where the HE.LL is my food, DAGNABIT....I kept getting the run around that it will be delivered today. Nobody would give me the freakin tracking number. It is now 11pm and I'VE GOT NO DISH. WTF?!!!! Of course you log on and you get no additional information. No tracking number. Just my order number as if it has already been delivered. Ugggaaaaaaaaahhhhh! Where the heck is that drink!!!!!

Other aggravations in the last 2 days-
1. Outsourcing Technical Support. So, my son's BRAND NEW LAPTOP that he got for Christmas, the Ali.en.wa.re super computer that can play any computer game known to man that required a small business loan to purchase, decided to have a meltdown last night. This time I did not get someone from India on the phone but a guy named Vladimir (no kidding) who sounded like he was being held hostage in Siberia. He walked me through a 2 hour fix. KILL ME NOW! But he could not answer the question on how a computer that is less than 4 months old, crashes just like that. He gave me this long convoluted story that made absolutely no sense and then when I repeated back what he told me and asked if it sounded logical to him, he said, "Well, no really, Mizz Stephoe (WTF), but it iz pozible." WHATEVER.

2. Piss Poor Prior Planning on your part DOES NOT consitute a CRISIS on my part. There is a hospital rep who went on vacation for a week, knowing that she has a dinner program the day after she got back. I get a phone call last night from the freakin' airport asking if she can borrow my In.Fo.cus machine for the program. Sure. If you come get it. "But Lisa, I live an hour and a half from you." Uh Huh. But I have things to do, people to see, appointments to keep. I'll leave it outside for you. If you want it, that's where it will be. She tells me that she will come straight from the airport since it is only 10 min from my house and then she'll go home. She doesn't do it. Leaves me a message this morning about finding a place to meet her today. I ignore the message for 2 hours and call her back to tell her that the machine will be where I said it would be. She whined for a while thinking that I would make arrangements to suit her. Not so much. She eventually came and go it. She knew she had a program, she knew what she needed to make it successful, she knew she was going on vacation. MAKE SOME DANG PLANS. It is not my responsibility to bail you out cause you are trying to pull something outta yo azz at the last minute. Humph!!!!!

3. Don't make promises/Don't write a check - you can't keep/you can't cash. I had another person ask me to help get some textbooks for some doctors. I get them and we have been going back and forth on arranging a time to deliver. Uh Huh. I get a message that this person PROMISED the books at a certain time and needs them "Sooner than Later." WTF? I've told you when I can and can't deliver. Guess what...here is where I will be, when and where. You want them before the dates I gave you, come get em. I get a message back that they are busy on the days I gave to meet me so they will have to "settle" for the original delivery dates I gave. That's Damn Skippy! Humph!!!!

I really just want to BEAT THE SNOT outta somebody. I've counted to 10 and have exhaled.
Anybody else have a day or two where if just ONE MORE PERSON plucks that last nerve you got, you will be a future episode on C.SI and L.aw & Or.d.er?


Resurrection Sunday

The Steptoe's wish you a blessed Resurrection Sunday. We pray that you made the most of this day to reflect on the meaning of salvation and your journey to "resurrect" your life, your relationship/marriage, your friendships, your family. May you all have many blessings.


I Know- It WILL Grow Back

Only in the Steptoe household...I leave the house for a doctors appointment. I leave Cara in the hands of 3 adults and 2 teenagers. It should be no problem, right? WRONG. I'm gone for about 15 minutes and I get a message on my phone with a picture attached from my ADULT daughter. "Ummm, do you notice anything different?".

I look at the picture quickly....I am in the middle of a PT session for my knee and reply "No?". Erin immediatly calls me on my cell and says, "Uh, you don't notice that Cara cut her ponytails off almost to the hair band?" WTF. I take a closer look at the picture and tell Erin, I can't discuss this right now, and hang up.

My Princess Mini-Diva went from this....
to this....

Cara BooBoo Kitty had gotten ahold of a pair of scissors and proceeded to cut off her ponytails. Then she hid the scissors and the hair in her pockybook. I get home and ask my man - the senior adult in the house - what the hell happened? He said he was working in his office and thought the other kids had everything under control. Obviously not. He said he was so upset (cause he had spent so much time learning how to do her hair and to work a flat iron & stuff) that he had to "snatch her up" and make sure she understood about not using scissors. I think "snatched" meant that someone got her behind tagged. I pretty sure somebody got a beat down cause the minute I walked in the door, here comes Cara...."I'm sorry, mommie!" Took the wind right outta my sails.

I give the evil hairy eye to all the other adults & teenagers in my household, mooching off of the government tit. They should have known better. But I have to give it to Erin & Ashley (my "other" daughter), by the time I got home, they had started redoing Cara's hair. Ashley is very good at cornrowing and had started creating a very pretty new style in Cara's hair for Easter. Whew.

It is just hair....It WILL grow back.



When Re-Gifting Pisses Me Off

My sociopath sister and all of her associates just continually PISS ME OFF!!!!! Ugggggaaaaaahhhhh! My sis sends me a Visa Gift Card for Cara's Birthday. She got it from one of Cara's alleged family members on the alleged father's side (did you follow that - My sisters baby daddy grandmother or godmother or something). Laura told me that they really wanted to do something nice for Cara since I've been so good to her. (What da hellz do you think I would of done?)

So here I am a couple of weeks later at the To.ys.R.U.s website looking for something to get the Princess. NO CAN DO. Card invalid. Ooops, I think, maybe I forgot to activate the card. I go to the card website...enter the numbers....CARD INVALID. I call the 800 number. Well, the card is still valid (in theory), it is just well over a year old and once it went a year without use, then a monthly "bank" charge was assessed at $4.95/month, leaving only about $10 on the card.


The man on the phone tells me that I will have to use the card by midnight tonight to avoid another $4.95 charge and it would probably be best if I added some funds to the card to keep it current.


I told the gentleman to just keep the card. It's not worth the aggravation and I'll just my own money. WHATEVER. It is just so typical. So, these alleged relatives have had that gift card sitting in the drawer or their wallet for over a year and since they never got around to using it, they figured they'd give it to Cara as a gift. I know it's the thought that counts and they had good intentions, but the road to hell was paved with good intentions too.

Cara's bio-dad and the family "want to be involved" and "want to help out", then by God, why in the hell don't you SHOW up from time to time. They could have EASILY come to her Bday Party - they knew about it - it was at the FREAKIN Mall!!! They could come to any number of family events - we live in the same dang area! Just go ahead and pluck my last nerve. Why don't you send a money order for that child's tuition and special tutors? Hmmmmmm. Cause in reality, Cara is just an after thought. Not one of you jumped up to fight us for custody. Not one of you showed up at the hearings. Not one of you called, asked questions, NOTHING. These people just irritate the hell outta me.

And this whole gift card thing was just the THE last straw.

I know that my sister didn't purchase the card herself, but it is just SOOOOOOO typical of what would happen when my sister or any of her associates are involved. DRAMA. DRAMA. DRAMA.

And since she is on work release, I can't call her till tomorrow morning (she working at the Burger King 10-3) to read her the riot act. I'm not even gonna bother since I will only raise my blood pressure and she won't even be fazed.

Okay, I got it outta my system. Imma go kiss my mini-diva nite-nite and buy her something anyway.


Building A More Perfect Union

Did you see the speech? If you missed it, I hope you will take a moment to listen to it. Personally, I think it was well done - Presidential - even. I don't believe it was empty rhetoric, as so many of his critics are saying. If you think the man still hasn't done anything and is just a speech machine, perhaps you should take some time and actually research his background, experience and platform. A good place to start is his website, not just the websites of his opponents.

Anyway, here it is in its entirety. I pray you will do you own homework and make up your own mind based on that research. Let me know what you thought.


Grandma's Car Accident

If only I had my own reality show. The drama can't get any better than this very real life stuff.

So, there I am, standing in the Department of Medicine at Was.hin.gton Hosp.ital Cen.ter, trying to make stuff happen when my cell rings. Usually, I don't answer if I don't know the number, but for some reason I answered. It was a Good Samaritan:

Good Samaritan: You don't know me, but my name is ______________ and I'm sitting here with your grandmother waiting for the paramedics. She's been in an accident.

Me: Where are you? How bad is it?

GS: We are at the corner of _____ & ______ and I think she is fine, but we called an ambulance.

Me: Where is the car? How bad is it? What hospital are they taking her to?

GS: I'll let you talk to her?

GMa: OOOOOH Lisa...Lord Jesus....it was awful....he came out of no where....Lord...AH Jesus, have mercy.....

Me (Interrupting)...Grandma! are you hurt? What happened?

GMa: I don't know, baby, my head hurts. Ummmm. I'm sore. Do you think I should stay with the car or go with the ambulance.

Me: GRANDMA! If you are hurt, go with the paramedics. Does the car need a tow?

GMa: (Crying) WHAT DO I DO?!!!!

Me: GRANDMA!!!!!! stop crying. I'll meet you at the hospital. Leave the car. We'll get it later or let them have it towed. I'll be there as soon as I can. Imma call Ron and he'll take care of it.

I call Ron...and he dons his Super Suit saving the day. When he calls me back (as I'm driving like a mad woman to gt back into MD) he gives me the run down....

"Willie was sitting at the light. Another car runs a police officer (unmarked car) off the road and he swerves and hits (more like scrapes) the bumper of Willie's car. No damage, airbag did not deploy. Car is being towed since it was in middle of road. I'll meet you at the hospital."

Breathing a sigh of relief, I slowed down and arrived alive at How.ard C.oun.ty Gen.era.l Hospital. Wile an ER is a necessary evil, I simply hate them. PERIOD. I hate the waiting & waiting & waiting & waiting. I hate being healthy and having to sit with a lot of sick people also waiting to be seen. People bleeding, wheezing, broken, sick to the stomach, feverish, swollen, sweating and so on. Ugggggah. I fidget just knowing that I'm going to have the cooties the next day and since I hate the ER, I'll have to wait to get an appointment to see my primary care provider. WHATEVER. My philosophy with ERs is that unless arterial blood is spewing, a limb is severed, a limb or organ going in the opposite direction than nature meant it to or heart/brain tissue is dying then it can wait. I HATE EMERGENCY ROOMS.

There are A LOT of people here...this is gonna take a while. Ron is sitting and I'm like "okay, what is her status?" For a moment, I thought Ron had taken off his Super Suit, cause he said, "I dunno, THEY said they'd let us know."


Ron replies, "Good question" and goes to find out. We are immediately ushered back to Grandma Willie. When we find her, she is being interviewed by some poor resident who's 1st language was clearly NOT English. This poor chick is trying to get some info (history, chief complaint, pain scale rating) outta my grandmother. NOT SO EASY. Especially if you run all your words together as one big sentence. "Lord, LEEEEEEEEESA!!!!! What is she saying?" I got this Grandma. I let the pitiful creature ask her questions as this is supposed to be a learning experience for her (called practicing medicine) while I repeat for my Grandmother every question she asks.

A nurse tech calls me over to tell me to let the resident handle it. WHAT!!!!! Don't mess with me. I've been in this industry long enough...don't let me turn this ER on its head. When I slam the brakes on her and start speaking in her language, attitude changes, BUT wait a minute...STOP....1st things first.....how she gonna pay was now the priority of the day. SOOOOOO, I'm rifling through Grandma's purse to find her insurance card. Come to find out Grandma Willie is better insured than probably most of us. She's got Tri.car.e Pri.me, Ma.il Han.d.lers & Me.d.icare. You go girl.
- Living Will/Advanced Directives? - YES
- Power of Attorney for your GMa? - YES

Great - Sign here.

They took her away to do a CAT scan and XRay's to make sure she's A-OK and then we had to sit a wait (well, just me - Ron & Erin went to get Willie's car out of the tow yard-$125/day) IN THE HALLWAY to be seen by a doctor. They actually have monitors on the wall that tell you what "Room" the patient is in, who the nurse & doctor is, the treatment orders (in code so I couldn't figure it out), patient status and my all time favorite - TID - Time in Department. We were in a hallway "room" NSO4 and a TID of 2 hours 53 minutes. (at the time of writing). KILL ME NOW!

While we continued waiting to see the doctor, Willie talked me to death and I sat there nodding while watching the parade of characters. One thing for sure, HCG is not a city ER. It's actually pretty quiet with people just laying around in various stages of waiting.

Occasionally an alarm went off. Nobody came running. Someone got an EKG in the hallway. An old lady kept calling for someone to help her. Eventually a nurse came by.

....AT LAST, the doctor came. CAT scan clean, XRay clear. Nothing broken. She can go home. She refuses the pain killer asking if her arthritis medicine and/or aspirin will be fine. Sure. The doctor humors her while he looks at me to fill it anyway. Just in case.

Ron loads her into the Hummer and I run home to get a drink.

Just so you know...the Sidecar Martini's & Sushi were wonderful...I don't know about grandma, but I'm feeling no pain.

P.S. GMa Willie (after 7 phone calls) is doing just fine. The car only needs minor repair.


Clear the Roads!

Clear the roads out there. Watch out! Jordan got his drivers license today! My little man is has just grown all up. Now my big man can drive Miss Mommie and run me some errands. Gotta love it.


I'm a Black American

I don't need to add any more commentary to his presentation by Smokey Robinson on Def Poetry Jam. He summed it up for me...I'm a Black American...


Matron of Honor Duties -Part 2: THE BRIDAL SHOWER

Yesterday, LisaA. and I hosted a Bridal Shower for our girlfriend Val who is getting married on April 5th at the beautiful St. Regis hotel in DC. We had such a great time. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I think I bruised my kidneys. It was like a family reunion on several fronts. All of us girls that grew up together in Columbia and went to the same elementary, middle and high school were all in attendance (minus Travia who lives in FL) Then there were the bunch of us who at one time or another had all worked (or were still working) at P.fi.zer.

We played Bridal Bingo, Toilet Paper Wedding Dress & the "Find Prince Charming" Scratch off game. I put together a basket of candles (of all different colors representing a milestone in their marriage) and read the Candlelight Poem to Val.

CathyD (my personal trainer/torturer from H.ell) was gracious enough to play bartender for the evening...and yes, all of you lushes went through the biggest bottle of K.et.le One known to man. Cathy hooked up some of the best martini's ever! The girl was rockin the shaker. One of the funniest moments of the evening was when my grandmother leans over to me (acting like she was whispering - but not really) and asks "Lisa, which one of these little girls here was the one that you always fought with in school?" Cathy goes (because g'ma did NOT really whisper), "That would have been me. But we're all grown up now g'ma Willie. We can't even rembember what we were fighting about." G'ma Willie, in her infinite, but uncensored, wisdom says "Well, baby, you guys fought cause you both were so much alike and didn't know what to do about it. Instead of recognizing a kindred spirit, you tried to beat each other down. Glad your friends now." Grandma Willie knows her stuff.

Ron gave a wonderful toast and then we cut another one of my mother's masterful cake creations...and I know it was good when people started to ask for the foil. Then we had the grand finale for the evening...I invited our dance instructor over to give Val & Manny dance lessons, since neither of them had much in the way of dance skills (but at least Val can do the Electric Slide...Manny - no so much). Another classic moment....when Ron comes upstairs to tell us when had to stop stomping (from doing the ChaCha slide) cause we were "breaking the house." You'll see in the video below that we paid him no mind.

You'll also see CathyD & KarenG had had a little TOO MUCH martini cause they took to the dance floor with their rendition of "The Bump". Uh Huh, ladies, ladies this won't look as good at the wedding in cocktail dresses - Not so much. Push away from the table and say No More K.e.tle One for me, Ma!

If the Bridal Shower is any indication of what is going to go down at the Wedding Reception, I'm not sure I have enough memory on my camcorder to capture all the blackmail. Hmmmm. Good Times.


I've Had A Bad Day

I called on one of my major accounts today after doing like some serious pre-call planning and analysis for pull through on one of our products that has a contract signed but needed to check on the status of formulary acceptance and a conversion protocol. After all of that mf#*@@@@@!!!!, I got the major bull shyat run around and basically have about another 3-6 months of work to do. Uh Huh. Kiss my high yella azz. Where is happy hour?

I've had a bad day.....