Sam's Space

Random thoughts and experiences about navigating life in New York City.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Been Caught Doing Good Lately?

In honor of my stepdad's birthday this week, and the fact that he is in the hospital recovering from surgery, I share with you a story he told me last weekend.

He was "caught being good at Pathmark." Since my dad has retired, he has taken up more household duties. He cooks, cleans, shops, etc. So while he was on a routine weekly shopping trip at our local Pathmark, he saw a worker trying to had one of those porch swing seat sets from above the freezers to the another worker to put on the floor. (Note, I am talking about those really big two-seater porch swings fully assembled from high above the freezer section where they store these items.)

Well, clearly, as you're thinking, how can one employee grab this huge item from above his head all alone. So my dad is watching this and he goes over to help the guy lower the sing set from the other end and put it on the ground.

At which point, a manager comes running over to thank my dad and hand him a coupon for his order. Now, you're talking about a fifty-something year old man, retired due to a heart condition, with one more week to go before undergoing another major surgery, who felt the need to go over and help these employees who clearly didn't think ahead to know that this was a job for more than two people-- and what did he get? $1 dollar off his order.

I do think that this is a great program Pathmark has implemented. Recognizing their shoppers and providing incentive for good deeds. But really, how many people do you think are really caught being good at Pathmark? I'd bet you'd find more people eating while they shop and never paying, than people actually doing good.

So while I don't want to criticize Pathmark for this initiative which I think is pretty cool, I just wonder if they could spare more than $1.00 off your order. Even if the coupons come in $1.00 dollar increments, don't you think this warranted more than $1.00 off an entire order? I mean, what can you actually buy at the supermarket for $1.00? A can of peas. A chocolate bar. I don't shop very often and everything in NYC is more expensive anyway. Needless to say, had my dad gotten hurt helping out, that could have potentially cost Pathmark more than $1.00.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

So You Think You Can Dance

I often say that I haven't watched tv since high school. And while for the most part that is true, it's not entirely. When I went to college, computers took over all my tv time. I didn't want to be in the living room watching TV, I wanted to be at my desk interacting with friends and using the Internet. So I pretty much gave up TV.

Now with Tivo/DVR, I can actually get into new shows. I have to admit my record list is probably equally as offensive as Cher...but my new obsession is "So You Think You Can Dance" on Fox. I never watched American Idol-- yup, that's right, not even once. And I am not a person who feels the need to vote for every reality show. But this show is by far my favorite. I love how it is on twice a week and I love that I can tape it and watch it (re-watch it) whenever I want.

The most exciting thing about this new obsession is Fox is marketing the success of this show similar to the way they have promoted Idol. They are taking the contestants on tour so people can see the performers dance live. I just checked out the schedule, and lucky for me there is a NYC show in October. I am sooooo there! Now I just have to be patient until the tickets go on sale.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Offensive Things

On my last vacation, a friend pointed out, that in her opinion, Cher is more offensive than farting.

I may not have the greatest musical taste, but I've always been a Cher fan. Regardless of your music preferences, I think we can agree she got at least one thing right -- "Words are like weapons they wound sometimes."

Now if she only had a song with the phrase "you're dead to me now," I would be all set.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pretty Pink Pod

There are so many examples of bad customer service in this world, that I feel compelled to share a story of great customer service...

Three weeks ago while on vacation, I had my ipod plugged in over night and it never took a full charge. In fact, it didn't charge at all. So all the way home, I had no ipod and I was freaking out about what was wrong with it.

I contemplated all the worst case scenarios...paying for a new battery, buying a replacement, etc. And I knew I had it more than a year and assumed it was no longer under warranty. A week or so later, I finally bring it to the Apple store on Long Island (I couldn't bare to deal with the Soho Apple store). Before I left for the store I plugged the serial number into the Apple web site and to my pleasant surprise learned that I had indeed purchased the extended warranty. In fact, it all came back to me. Me standing on line thinking about all the times I would drop my cd player on the treadmill and after the salesman told me I had tech support, I was sold. This was probably the best purchase I ever made.

So, as I approach the "genius bar" at the Apple store I prepare myself for the worst. Will they send my ipod away to be fixed, would I have to pay money for it, etc. To my surprise, I had nothing to worry about. I explained to the guy that it wasn't charging, confirmed I had a protection plan and he told me he just had to "switch it out." He has a box and I am thinking, okay, my ipod is being sent away to be fixed. I ask how long it will take and he says, just a minute. Then I think, oh, maybe he just needs to put in a new battery. When he finally gets the box open, I realize that inside the box is a brand new hot pink Apple ipod exactly matching my own mini but without all the scratches.

At this point, the guy really thinks I am crazy. I say to him with a puzzled look on my face, "you mean, I get this one, for free, with no scratches?" And he says yes, that is why you have a protection plan. Yes, that is why I have a protection plan. And hopefully you do too!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Another few months have passed...

I guess I have been busy. Not as though that is a good excuse. But busy + life + nicer weather = no blogging. But I have some things I've been meaning to "share with the world." So keep an eye out for more frequent updates.

More specifically, as I continue to read countless blogs a day, I think about refocusing my blog. Do I change the topic of this blog? Do I start a new blog with another focus? Do I just mix everything together in one blog? That seems to be the easiest choice.

So in addition to posts about my life, expect to see more posts on companies and the things they do right or wrong. (In other words, I have had some customer service issues lately that I need to get off my chest.)

Hopefully you won't hold the lack of posts too much against me.