But not for neutrality. You snooze, you loose!
the best and worst of a day in retail
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Oh grassy knoll, upon your bed we lie and gaze upon the clouded sky.
A shadow from yon bookish ediface distracts us from the craggy precipice.
The Secret Service defend their innocence in mighty Texas.
Thankfully, he didn't die. Still, even the DPD is asking why.
Okay, so Shopgirlove should probably stick to prose. If she were in charge of the security detail of the first serious black candidate (sorry, Jesse, but no) for President, though, she would probably be really careful. Silly Shopgirlove! Well, c'mon, you know something is wrong when the Dallas head of Homeland Security questions the Secret Service. That's right, Dallas. Remember Dallas?
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Oh yum! On the other hand, rabbit food reduces the risk of ovarian cancer...take your pick. Shopgirlove has (pretty much on a whim) assessed herself as having a higher risk of breast cancer. She's feeling downright virtuous about that burger last night. Why, it was positively medicinal! All of this led Shopgirlove to the mother of all dietary time-sucks: the glycemic index. Hoo-boy, you can lose a lot of time on this. What happen to the lovely potato? Why high GI, why?
Posted by Opti at 9:37 AM
Friday, February 22, 2008
Posted by Opti at 7:23 PM
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
MMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmasala dosa! Shopgirlove has adopted a new Auntie, and she's rockin'! Anyone with a recipe for dosa (don't tell Auntie, but Shopgirlove plans on making this with the baby sheep) deserves great praise. Namaste, indeed. Good times. Wait...Wasn't this one of the signs of whitetitude? An overarching, geeky knowledge of, and love for, non-white food? Oh heck! Whatever! Shopgirlove hearts masala dosa and Shopgirlove hearts Munjala! So there!
Posted by Opti at 5:29 PM
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Hello duckies! Shopgirlove is a little low, just now. She has the plague, the blues, and the reds. (Rent is due and the funds are shy.) The good news is, entertainment is near at hand: Alternate brain has a fresh take on Charles Barclay. The Spazz has a great 911 call. Go Fug Yourself has the best meltdown breakdown. Ever. And, there's video! The History Boys, Black Snake Moan, and Children of Men. And, er, an arty-independant thing with Mark Wahlberg. Okay, it's really bad, but it's Mark Wahlberg, people!
Shopgirlove has a tentative date for brunch tomorrow. Hello bacon!
So, really, life could be worse.
It could be better, but it could be worse.
Posted by Opti at 9:54 AM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Where were we? Oh right, it's the relationship, stupid! Anyhoo...so up pops Blanche in June. Shopgirlove pulls out all the stops. She apologizes, she bends over backwards. This is when she learns that Blanche has done none of the work necessary to filing a claim...nothing. Somehow, magically, someone is supposed to cut her a check for thirty large without any effort on her part. Blanche blames the vendor (Shopgirlove suggested resending the paperwork signature required,) she blames the insurance company: "their demands ahr impossible"! Gee, like filling out a form? Yeah, that's inhuman-call Kofi Annan. Whatever. Shopgirlove rallied the tour operator and the vendor and protected those relationships since nothing exists without them and then called Blanche back.
Shopgirlove: "Hello, Mrs. helpless? It's Shopgirlove. I've spoken with my vendors and they all agree that they are waiting on you for information.
Blanche: Oh, these forms ahr impossible! Ah cannot possibly be expected to fill them out! It is just not doahble!
Shopgirlove: Ok then, I don't think we can't help you. I mean, if you're not willing to submit a claim, then there's not much we can do for you. Please do let me know if you change your mind. I live to help.
To be continued...
Posted by Opti at 8:34 PM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Shopgirlove has, more or less, 27 years in customer service under her belt. She's benefited from the kind of investment that corporate retail makes in training their front-line and from watching quirky independent retailers cater to the whims of their most loyal customers: rules are good but at best they are only guidelines. Sometimes, however, a customer will rebuff every attempt at excellence and completely undercut your desire to assist them. Last June Shopgirlove crashed headlong into one of these unhelpables. Let's call her Blanche DuBois, shall we? She is southern and has a way of presenting herself as a victim of absolutely everyone and everything. Circumstance undoes her. At every turn. And it's all your fault. Which brings us to Shopgirlove's first rule of excellence in customer service:
1) Always apologize.
Seems simple, and yet. When you and your organization are obviously not in the wrong, it's not so easy. But see, you don't actually have to admit to incompetence. You just have to find something that makes you genuinely sorry. Like your customer's choice in eyeshadow. For example:
Blanche (in a Georgia-peach kinda drawl): My husband was taken horribly ill and we had to cancel off our trip! Ah have been havin' a terrible time with the insurance company. They are refusin' to help me! Ah cannot get anyone over there to help me and Ah cannot believe you would recommend such a fly-by-night operation!
Shopgirlove (on guard, as she knows this vendor and knows that it's not that hard to file a claim with them): Oh no! I'm so sorry! I've never had any complaints about them before and I've always been really happy in my dealings with them. Let me call over there and find out what the status of your claim is. This must be a difficult time for you and I imagine it's very hard to have to deal with all these logistics while you are caring for your husband.
Blanche (playing it for all it's worth): Oh, you have no idea what Ah am goin' through.
Shopgirlove has no idea, this is true. A $30,000 vacation is less real to her than a walk on the moon. So she can honestly say yes. Which brings us the second rule:
2) Don't lie.
In coporatespeak, this is called: managing expectations. You would be surprised at how often this step is undermined from above. People on the floor know that a certain product is unreliable. They are the best source for reliable information for the customer. The good ones become a go-to for consumer choices: I trust X to tell me what to buy and what to avoid. Shopgirlove won't back a product or a service that she wouldn't purchase. But you, as a consumer would be shocked at the leaning on your local shopperson to push a certain high-profit product. Which brings us to rule 3:
3) You are selling a relationship not a product.
At the end of the day, if you don't believe in a vendor, don't sell their product...
To be continued.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Anybody got a light? Shopgirlove is way too ADD to process the news today. Camden Market is toast. Amy Winehouse gets a visa she can't use. And the Irish are thinking about changing lanes. Oh yeah, there are four new breeds at Westminster. Saddest of the lot was the passing of the primate muse extraordinaire, Ah Meng. She definitely inspired an inspired blog post. Top that, if you can. Shopgirlove cannot!
Posted by Opti at 2:46 PM
Saturday, February 9, 2008
OOOOOOFFFFFFF! Shopgirlove forgets every year and every year gets knocked on her derrière by the SAD. Part of the problem is that she's sub-syndromal: no depression or anxiety, so she doesn't actually feel different just...less. It's hard to describe the impact of February. Shopgirlove crashes at about 7:30, wakes up at 4:00, and then falls asleep again at 7:00. And she's STARVING! All the time! And yes, there's a decided uptick in the gin uptake.
Luckily, said uptake uptick is limited by the limited number of hours Shopgirlove is actually awake. Seriously-work, walk King Dutch, eat, have a cocktail. That's about the most Shopgirlove can squeeze in. There are remedies: lightboxes, meds, exercise (can you work out in your sleep)? All of these, however, require that your get-up-and-go! has not got-up-and-gone. Are lightboxes covered by health insurance? Oh well. Early to bed, blah blah blah. (Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream.)
P.S. Jonathan-DO NOT GET RID OF POWERCORD! This one inspires no confidence. I may have a great need of the one you procured very soon. Besides, it's a good excuse to rendezvous at Central for oysters. Or Oleana for the deviled eggs. Oh heck, realistically, better make it brunch at B-Side. Shopgirlove might actually be awake for that...
Posted by Opti at 11:55 AM
Friday, February 8, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Well...that's pretty much that, then. Shopgirlove has so much she could say but won't. (2008 is the year of no more negative. So I'm kinda speechless temporarily. Quite a learning curve, really.) On a positive note: the Giants were hungry and decisive; and Shopgirlove is very happy for the NY fans. Eli Manning acquitted himself so well. He was reminiscent of a certain young QB from New England a few years ago. The underdog deserves a break and this team has heart. AND JUST WHERE THE HELL WAS OUR POCKET? Oops! How very 2007...Shopgirlove will now go practice being positive. Crap.
Posted by Opti at 6:41 PM
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Back in the saddle again! Well. Many hundreds of dollars later--Shopgirlove has a powercord, Dutch has a smokey-knee bone, and the apartment has lightbulbs. Oh, and we got socks. And a new toothbrush. There you are--pretty much caught up on the outings and innings of Shopgirlove's life. Except that work is going rather well and everything else seems to be fine. More to come. Blessings on all!
Posted by Opti at 5:52 PM