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Posts Tagged ‘Customer service’

Dear Mr. Trump,

Americans have been making their choices in droves via early voting and absentee ballots.

Tuesday is Election Day (even though we may not have an answer that day).

I won’t be voting that day. Eddie and I chose the absentee route for two reasons:

  1. I believe scientists that the Coronavirus is real and not a hoax perpetrated by the Democratic Party. (I mean, REALLY? A U.S. party is going to get the whole world in on a hoax? To what end?)
  2. Hence, I want to limit potential exposure by not putting myself in close contact with people I don’t know.

I’ve had in-depth conversations with two long-time friends who support you. One was a rational, calm conversation where we agreed more than we disagreed. One was … not like that at all.

I understand your allure even less than I did in 2016.

And I am regularly amused/outraged/appalled at the emails I get from your campaign. (I’m on your list thanks to an event I attended.)

This is the article that examines presidential laziness.

Here’s my response to some slogans you and your supporters use.

“Make America Great Again”
I thought America was pretty great pre-2016.

“Keep America Great”
Sorry, but America is not great at the moment. I am NOT better off than I was four years ago. I’m middle class and paying WAY more taxes. The industry in which I work has been negatively affected by your xenophobic policies. And as someone who travels, I can tell you that America is an international embarrassment.

“Life begins at conception”
Fantastic! So that means you’ll protect women endangered by a pregnancy, the children after they are born, old people who might get COVID-19, poor people, immigrants and people on death row. Right? Pro-life means that you support all lives.

“My body, my choice”
This one makes my head explode as it has been co-opted for the anti-mask movement. If you want personal autonomy, great. I’m all for that. But you can’t pick and choose. (See above.)

“Drain the Swamp”
Eeesh. Washington, D.C., is now the swampiest swamp ever.

It should come as no surprise that I will not be voting for you. This is not to say I haven’t voted Republican in the past, and wouldn’t do so again if he/she were the right person.

But you are not the right person.

And the Republican Party is not the Republican Party of old. You know, the one that wanted a smaller government, fiscal responsibility, personal autonomy, etc.

I care about LBGTQIA rights, universal healthcare, eradicating systemic racism, reducing the deficit, upholding personal choice, maintaining separation of church and state — all those things that you are against.

So I’m not wishing you luck on Tuesday.

And I hope you’ll take McConnell and Graham with you.

Frigid regards,
Beth

 

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Dear Georgia Power,

We all knew Zeta was coming. We all knew there would be rain and high winds. We all knew the power would go out (because it goes out here if someone coughs too violently).

As a result, this family has a propane stove, a generator, hurricane lamps and many portable phone charging blocks.

So it was not a surprise to wake up yesterday at 6:13 a.m. with no power.

What was a surprise was that there were no updates from you on your website ALL DAY LONG.

There is no ERT.

I looked at Twitter, expecting to find more information.

Nope.

Your first tweet was at 10:05 a.m. — nearly four hours after 600K+ Georgians lost power.

And this ridiculously late attempt directed people to the outage map that had NO INFORMATION.

Much later, you tweeted this gem:

No shit, Sherlock.

I couldn’t resist replying.

Here’s the thing: I do not doubt your crews in the field and in the office are working very hard to restore power.

But in a crisis, you have to communicate to your stakeholders. This is PR 101. And THIS is why I’m dogging you.

Whoever is handling your Twitter account tweeted only 13 times in the space of 24 hours.

People are freaking out and you traffic in sporadic platitudes?

Come ON!

You can do better. You should do better. Millions of Georgians rely on you.

Next time, I hope your response team includes a dedicated crisis communicator.

Sincerely,
Beth

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Dear Administrators at My Boys’ School,

I hate to criticize you in the middle of a pandemic. I know you are doing the best you can. So let me just provide some well-meaning advice based on what I experienced leading up to and during Curriculum Night.

  1. Send a schedule and teacher links more than just a few moments before the event begins. You could have saved so much parent worry. It also might have boosted attendance. I managed to attend six sessions (out of 10 that I tried). The most present in any session? Five, including the teacher and me. In one session, it was just Dominic’s Geometry teacher and me. She is a lovely woman.
  2. Make sure the links work.

    This is what happened when I followed the provided link. There was no meeting code.

  3. Either extend the time per class or just have the teachers record overview videos. Seven minutes is not enough time (not even for that childhood game 馃槈).
  4. Strongly suggest that teachers use the same platform. Zoom worked fine. Google classroom was hit and miss. Microsoft Teams didn’t work (no audio).

I’m not trying to be a jerk to you in these difficult times. But I do want to be an active parent. Please make it easier for us. I don’t think these are unreasonable, outlandish suggestions.

Thank you.

Sincerely
Dominic and Gideon’s Mom

*Thanks to the Beach Boys.

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Dear Teachers,

God love you. I can’t even imagine how difficult your life is right now. Thank you so much for all that you do for woefully low pay.

This post is addressed specifically to my sons’ teachers.

I do not envy you.
I appreciate you.
I know you are doing the best job you can.

That said, I don’t think I will be attending Curriculum Night tonight because it is just too confusing for me.

And this is what worries me.

I have a number of college degrees.
I am technologically adept.
I teach online and have created online courses.

Yet I CANNOT FIGURE OUT how and when to log in tonight. Each of my children has seven teachers plus homeroom. They are at the same school. I’ve received SO MANY emails.

Interestingly enough, only half of the teachers have sent the emails. I haven’t heard anything from the other half. Ninth-grade teachers are much more communicative (five of eight) than 10th grade (two of eight).

Here’s the biggest problem: Most emails don’t include times. I filled out the form. This teacher did not send the link. Also, she sent that email at 10 p.m. the night before, giving parents just over 24 hours to respond.

Another teacher wants us to join during the day. DURING THE DAY! You know, when most people are working their full-time jobs.

There are only two of you who have provided an easy guide like this:

But guess what: Those two? Scheduled at the SAME TIME. Of course. You know how I know? I had to do this old school:

Nothing written means I got nothing from the teacher.

Then later — at 4 p.m. today — I got a text from the principal with this schedule:

The principal sent this ONE HOUR before the event is supposed to begin. You’ll note that the times don’t line up with what the teachers sent. And how am I supposed to attend two sessions (because I have two kids) at the same time in the space of fewer than seven minutes?

If it is this confusing for me — an educated technophile who works in education — I cannot imagine how difficult it is for parents who aren’t. Or parents who speak English as a second language. Or parents who do not have access to technology.

And you know it is difficult for the students to keep up with all this.

I can see why some students are already completely checked out (e.g., Dominic).

All I’m asking for is some consistency, at the VERY least.

Maybe I’ll see one of you tonight. We’ll see.

Thanks again in general for all that you do. These are weird, challenging times.

Sincerely,
Dominic and Gideon’s mom

*Thanks, Kim Wilde.

 

 

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Dear New Airbnb Hosts:

Welcome to the club! It’s a good way to make some money, and the Airbnb platform usually makes life easy. Sometimes the guests don’t, though.

I advise you to set clear house rules. Here are mine:

Even then, I’ve had people leave:

  • Frat-party levels of empties.
  • Multiple bags of trash even though the chute is right outside the door.
  • A weave.
  • Dirty underpants.
  • A burn mark on the bathroom mirror.
  • The balcony door open with A/C, fans and lights on.
  • Bleach stains on the towels.
  • A pile of wet towels in the bedroom closet.
  • Balcony furniture in the bedroom.
  • Something orange and sticky on every surface.
  • Cigarette stench that required days of airing out and a trip to CVS for three styles of air freshener.

Someone also left an unopened package of bacon, which did not upset me at all.

One thing I didn’t realize when I first became a host is that guests can be dumb. Really dumb. Like how-can-they-live-their-lives dumb.

Take, for example, the woman who is in our place now. She called me at 10 last night because she couldn’t figure out how to turn on the light in the bedroom.

I had no idea of the rarity of an overhead fan with a remote control that features a lightbulb icon.

馃檮

But there is a different woman who has the honor of being the dumbest person so far.

Here is the full exchange (I didn’t leave anything out, except part of the map I sent):

She needs one of Bill Engvall’s signs. Right? Or am I just being mean?

Anyway.

Now you know better what you are getting yourself into as a host.

Good luck!
Beth

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Dear Publix:

Thank you for employing three of my family members. I feel very fortunate that they have jobs during these weird, unprecedented times.

I feel especially fortunate that my two sons want jobs at their tender ages.

Look at Gideon during his first day on the job!

Here鈥檚 Dominic the Cart Wrangler.

Granted, they have my genes. I started working at age 15 and have been employed every day since. Eddie also is a hard worker.

My daily perusal of Reddit indicates that a strong work ethic is in decline.

Anyway, guess where I do all my grocery shopping.

Kroger.

Dominic was horrified when I picked him up yesterday with a car full of groceries from there.

Him: Mama, I ain’t about you disrespecting my employer.*
Me: When Publix stocks the coffee I like and sends me coupons, I’ll shop there.

Meanwhile, his newly employed bagger brother reluctantly went along with his mother, the bad influence. He did at least practice his skills at your competitor and judged the bagger there quite harshly.

If you want the loyalty of all four of us, take a page out of your competitor’s playbook.

For your convenience, here’s a link to my coffee of choice.

I believe you have all my home info. for the coupons.

Warm regards,
Beth

* This is apparently how teenagers talk nowadays.

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Dear Folks Who Are Wondering What It’s Like To Go To A Theme Park That Just Reopened:

It’s weird. Every bit of it is weird.

As indicated in my last post, we took Eddie to Six Flags for Father’s Day. “We” meaning “Gideon and I” because Dominic didn’t get off work.

馃檮

Anyway, I had to make a reservation for us to go. That’s new.

Also new:

路 Hand-washing stations outside the entrance

路 Temperature scans on the way in (not sure that helps if people are asymptomatic, but ok)

路 The requirement for everyone to wear a mask at all times

路 Social distancing in the queue

路 Social distancing on the rides themselves

路 Having to scream/laugh through a mask (but that might just be my problem)

路 Hand sanitizer everywhere

So yeah, plenty of changes.

There are some things that haven’t changed:

路 Crappy attitudes of the teenaged staff

路 Skin-boiling heat with no shade in sight

路 Unappetizing food such as a burger with the bun literally dripping butter

路 The potential for ride malfunction

Here are the mechanics working on the ride we just exited — the one we were stuck on for 15 minutes.

So it was different, but not so much so that I would stay away. We have to get our membership money’s worth!

Yours in thrills,
Beth

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Dear T—–,

Since Eddie and I listed our downtown condo on Airbnb last year, we’ve hosted all types of people. You have the distinction of being the guest who stayed the longest, and are — by far — the most “interesting.”

I appreciated you coming and staying a while. You helped pay the mortgage on the place when the bookings dried up thanks to the Coronapocalypse.

I definitely feel like I earned your money, even from the first day when you couldn’t find the building (despite me texting you the address three times). Eddie was going to walk down the street and help you with your bags, but you said you had too many.

That was my first clue that you were not planning on staying just the three days you originally booked. And also that you’re not so great at instructions/rules.

I feel like I got to know you really well over the first 48 hours when you sent me 75 texts (I counted). Thanks for letting me know about the various credit cards you like to use, your habit of carrying around $5K in cash, your sleeping habits, your mom’s new restaurant, her birthday, your professionalism and your disdain for the security lady at the front desk.

Near the end of your first booking, we started our stay-extension dance — a dance we repeated four times. I feel like we truly cemented our relationship over the 112 additional texts during your stay.


It’s charming that you developed a pet name for me. I thought the first time was a slip of the fingers, but I became “Bethy” or “Love” for the duration.

I was so amused that I forgave you for locking yourself out three times. But I’m having trouble forgiving you for not returning the keys and parking pass.

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when you finally did check out. Let me tell you: I have an active imagination and had concocted various scenarios.

However, it was cleaner than I expected. I could have done without the weird, greasy residue on every surface, though.

Let me know when you want to come pick up your bong.

Also, thanks for the review. Maybe I should start a dating service too.

Best wishes and warmest regards,
Bethy

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Dear Vogel State Park Employees:

My son and I needed to get some fresh air, so we booked one of your efficiency cabins for two nights.

The reservation process was easy.

Getting into the actual cabin was not.

We stopped at the visitors center to check in. It was locked, but there were two signs on the door.

I called both numbers and had to leave messages. Messages!

I opened the app. Checked my reservation. Yep: Everything was in order.

We went to the cabin. Saw this:

Great idea, if only the code came with the confirmation email.

It did not.

Me to Gideon: Well, it’s 3:30, and check in is at 4. Maybe I’ll get the code when I check in on the app then.
Gideon (skeptically): Maybe.

We went to the store to buy supplies. At 4, I checked in on the app.

Checked in — great! No door code — not great.

The beleaguered old man at the front gate when we returned was no help.

Just keep calling! You’re not the only one trying to check in.

We went back to the visitors center. Called the numbers. Left two more messages.

I was about to go FULL KAREN.

Suddenly, I see a Georgia State Parks official truck whizz by.

Gideon: Mama! Look!
Me: I see it!

I take off in hot pursuit. And by “hot pursuit,” I mean 20 mph. The speed limit is 15.

The truck stops at the boathouse. A harassed woman gets out. Looks at me in surprise as I pull up behind her.

Me: We’re trying to get into our cottage and have been calling the numbers.
Her: No one has time to answer the phone.
Me: So how do we get in?
Her: Knock on the back door of the visitors center.
Me (gaping in shock): Ok. Thanks.
Her: And slow down!

Back at the visitors center, we go around back. It’s clear that members of the public are not supposed to be back there.

Gideon knocks. We hear scuffling. The door opens a crack. A youngish blonde woman peers out like this is a damn speakeasy!

Center dweller: Yes?
Me: We would like to check into our cabin.
Her: One moment. (Shuts door.)

In a couple of minutes, she returns with a code written on a sticky note.

Me: Thank you. We’ve been trying to call.
Her: Yeah, we’re not answering the phone. We’re doing inventory.

Inventory! WHY? When people are trying to check in?!

FFS.

Anyway.

The code works. The cottage is great. All is well.

The lake and grounds are beautiful. But your check-in process sucks.

Please get it together.

Thank you,
Beth, a Georgia resident and state park consumer

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Hey Y’all!

I’m inspired by Jeff Foxworthy’s bit about rednecks. Here’s my take on hypocrites.

If you think private businesses can make their own rules (i.e., not making a cake for a gay couple) but then get angry that a business wants you to wear a mask, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think crossing the border illegally to provide for your family is wrong, but refusing government orders to close your business because you need to provide for your family is ok, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think a woman’s right to choose what happens with her body should be subject to government regulations, but you protest government regulations regarding your right to choose where you can go (i.e., shop), you might be a hypocrite.

If you are staunchly pro-life and want to see abortions criminalized but are ok with some elderly people dying as a consequence of jumpstarting the economy, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in protest is inappropriate, but you protest government shelter-in-place orders, you might be a hypocrite.

If you wear a mask while protesting, you might be a hypocrite.

If you rail against government handouts but now are desperate to get your stimulus check and/or unemployment, you might be a hypocrite.

If it’s ok with you to have the government mail you a stimulus check (and passports and IDs) but not a ballot, you might be a hypocrite.

If you are trusting scientists about prescription drugs but not climate change, you might be a hypocrite.

If you love Trump calling people names but don’t like it when Pelosi does, you might be a hypocrite.

If you mourned nearly 3,000 people dying on 9/11 but not the 3,000+ dying every day from COVID-19, you might be a hypocrite.

If you didn’t think it was ok to allow the president to have a Supreme Court pick in an election year in 2016, but it’s ok in 2020, you might be a hypocrite.

If you didn’t believe Christine Blasey Ford but believe Tara Reade, you might be a hypocrite.

Similarly, if you believe Christine Blasey Ford but don’t believe Tara Reade, you might be a hypocrite (or maybe not).

If you made it to the end, great! Thanks for reading.

I’m really not trying to pick a fight. I’m just asking everyone to really consider actions/reactions — especially right now.

Kthxbyeeee,
Beth

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