Has anybody ever had a period of time when nothing went right?
I’m not talking about anything serious. Just the silly day-to-day stuff of life.
Like my manicure. I made an appointment for 4 0’clock yesterday. I got to the salon and discovered that Alice, my “nail technician,” was busy giving a neck massage to a small boy.
“You’ll be done in a few minutes, right?” I said.
“Yes,” she said, “but I’m doing a mani-pedi for another lady.”
“I have an appointment with you now,” I said.
She stopped what she was doing and pulled out her scheduling book, then shook her head. “Your name isn’t here.”
“I don’t care if it’s there or not,” I said, trying to keep my voice down. “I called and made an appointment. I spoke to you on the phone. Don’t you remember?”
She appeared to be in deep contemplation, then: “I remember, but your name isn’t here. Sorry.”
We went back and forth a few more times, but she was booked for the rest of the day so I went home.
The next culprit? Lululemon.
I had gone to their store the previous week to buy some yoga pants. I got two pair but they both needed to be hemmed. I was told they’d be ready yesterday. When I called to check, I got this response: “Oh. There’s been a mistake.”
“What kind of mistake?”
“You wanted us to keep the drawstring in the hems, right?”
“Well, they were removed by mistake. It’ll be another few days to re-do them. Sorry.”
That was my second person to say “sorry” in two days.
Which brings me to Ellie, the seamstress in town who was supposed to be taking in the pants I planned to wear Sunday afternoon when I speak on a panel at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. She said they’d be ready to pick up today. When I got to her shop, the door was locked and the sign said “Closed.” I was fuming.
She didn’t say “sorry” because she wasn’t even there, but I’m sure she’ll say it on Monday when I show up and express my displeasure.
Is it really so hard to deliver decent customer service? Is it?