Monday, December 11, 2006

I have been Santa-ed by Staples

Part laziness, part lack of excitement--there aren't too many reasons for my not updating this blog since Thanksgiving. The last couple of weeks had some ups and downs. Here's a quick rundown:

Day after Thanksgiving--interview shoppers outside, get thrown out of Wal-Mart.
Saturday after Thanksgiving--my mother comes to visit for a week.
Dec. 2-3--attend my friend Sunanda's wedding reception (Mmmm...Indian food!) , go on a cupcake crawl to a couple of bakeries around LA, catch up with several old friends, eat lunch on the patio of a cafe on Melrose (it was just a very LA thing to do--an interesting thing for someone who just came from Phoenix)

In the last week and a half, there have been at least 3 occasions where death kept me overtime at work. I keep getting obit assignments like half an hour before my work day ends.

Maybe about 10 days ago, I had to write an obit for this clown named Emmett Kelly Jr. I felt like Mary Tyler Moore, laughing yet feeling bad about Chuckles. Clowns kind of scare me. That was just a strange assignment.
Last week, I had to write a couple of obits, including one for a soldier who died in Iraq. It did get to a point where I really did not want to talk to another person who had just lost a loved one. You have to remember to show some sympathy and not just dive into asking questions. And "I'm so sorry for your loss" always feels so trite. Well, I'm crossing my fingers that I won't have to talk to anyone for any obit as we get closer to Chrismtas.

Ah, now on to the anecdote behind my entry title. I ordered a bunch of personalized items as X-mas gifts from to be picked up at my local Staples. I get this message on Dec. 1 from my local Staples that my order will be ready in five days. So, I show up six days later -- going out of my way off my usual route home--and the guy can't find my order. Since I was out of town last weekend, I was able to call this morning and talk to the woman who manages the print center. She assures me that my order will be ready by 6 p.m. tonight because the printer will be fixed by noon. So, I show up after work and this really nice, older gentleman named Hank looks everywhere and he can tell that I'm getting frustrated. I recount how this is the second time I was told my order would be ready and it's not. So, he finally gets a hold of the manager I spoke with and is stuck on the phone. Meanwhile, a couple of people are lining up for Hank's help. And I'm sitting on a stool off to the side looking very bored.

Being me, I have to project my exasperation to other customers. I ask a woman in line if she's waiting for a personalized item. She says no and asks me what's wrong. Being me, I quickly dive into my plight and how I'm the reason the clerk is stuck on the phone. She gives me her sympathy and says she' s just there to make copies for her daughter but doesn't know how to make 2-sided copies. So, I show her how to use the copier and make her copies for her. It was at that point I figured intros were in order and the woman introduced herself as Elaine.

At that point Hank gets off the phone and Elaine tells him she was already helped, lol. Hank says to me, "I know. I've been talking you up big. I said (to the manager), 'Here's this girl who's mad at us for misplacing her order and she's helping our customers.'" So, Hank then gave me the bad news that the manager had rushed someone else's order thinking it was mine. So, mine was still not ready!

I started giving a schpiel about how Staples should at least deliver my order to my office. It's ridiculous to keep coming out there for nothing. Luckily, Hank read my mind. He said the manager not only agreed to have a courier deliver my order to my work, but to give me my order free of charge. Elaine, who had stuck around to hear how my situation would be resolved, went "GOOD!" It was funny to have this woman I just met sticking up for me, LOL.

If it all holds true, then my X-mas budget will have a signifcant bump. What a funny day. And to think I was worried it would be a completely crappy Monday because some woman called me a f---ing bitch this morning cuz where I stopped on the road during a red light, I was blocking the driveway to a Burger King she wanted to get into. Geez, if I had acted like her at Staples, I would've gotten squat--and rightly so.