Orphaned Coyote Pup

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oh, the ways we humans find to amuse ourselves ...

I was dismayed to read an announcement at the Sportsman's Warehouse in Albuquerque this morning that $80 and a certain lack of maturity would get two people and their guns admission to a fun-filled weekend of holiday-season slaughter here in New Mexico. For 40 bucks apiece, you and a good friend could frolic for three fun-filled days over the weekend of Dec. 11, 12, and 13 trying to be the big guys able to kill the most coyotes. The winners, bless their malignant hearts, get to split a pot that is made up of the total in entry fees minus the store's costs prorated against the number of dead coyotes they manage to show up with. That should get you in ripe fever ready for the Holidays. ("I killed the most coyotes, I killed the most coyotes, I'm the big guy, tra, la, la, ..." sung to "Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly.) The notice did not indicate where this debacle was to occur; for that information one had to inquire at the checkout registers after joining up. As for me, I kind of like coyotes, along with most other living things, and I don't think it is "sporting" to compete to try to kill the most of any species. I am sure it brings bad kharma. I will probably say a quiet prayer for the coyotes and hope that they find some other place to hang out while the "sportsmen" have their demented fun. I will also hope the hunters' guns all jam. I have never been a big fan of the store but this morning will be my last visit to the Warehouse.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another big thanks to the Postal Service

I bet you Sears is just as grateful as I am that the Post Office was able to deliver the store's 24-page tool sale circular to me on this past Friday (April 3). Surprise! The week-long sale for Sears' Craftsman Club members had ended only a week before the bulletin's arrival. I also bet Sears would have liked it a lot more if the sale notice had arrived when it could have done some good, maybe even contributing a little revenue to offsetting the cost of sending out the brocure. I bet you they would. The company even mentioned next to the postage meter stamp on the brochure that it would love it if the document could be delivered between March 17 and 19, a few days before the sale was to begin. I have no idea how much the brochure cost to print and mail, but I am sure it was no little sum.

My household has been going through a recent phase of mail delivery that involves us receiving only one or two pieces of mail each day for most of the week, followed by a day in which the box is stuffed with everything it can hold. I figured all along that this large load was mail that didn't get delivered when it should. My assumption has been that our mail has been handled during this lighter period by carriers who don't like handling heavy loads, or perhaps by newcomers to the profession or others who for some reason can't manage more than a few pieces of mail at a time.

If I were Sears, I would be pretty irked by this kind of service. A lot of marketing money went into preparing the sales brocures and mailing them off to all us tool fanatics. (It would be interesting to ascertain how many Sears sales brochures failed to get to their addressees on time. Maybe mine was an isolated case? Or were they all late?) As a Craftsman-tool-club-card-carrying junkie, I certainly am bothered. Because of this tardiness, I missed one of Sear's larger tool sales this year.

If I were a Post Office official I would be equally irked, in fact so irked that I would make a real serious attempt to find out why this is happening. Then I would make an equally serious attempt to fix it. And I would take those steps before announcing brand new ways the Post Office can do even less work, like cutting out a day of public service while simultaneously raising postage once again.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

File this one under consumer relations ...

Take a look at this for a dynamite technique for sending your customers down the street: http://www.gadling.com/2009/02/24/united-crew-its-time-to-serve-drinks-to-the-idiots-in-coach/ It brings to mind the old adage, phrased in the vernacular of East Baltimore, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." Or, in other words, make sure your public address system is turned off before you start mouthing off things you may regret.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another good, simple, quick assist to help strengthen customers' allegiance:

This incident occurred a few weeks ago in, of all places, a Super Walmart. I had, and still have, a new kitten and was in need of an extra bowl or two to keep him in water and food while he acclimated to our place and the new routines. So while shopping for my weekly routine items, I took a look at the pet section of the Super Walmart, but what I wanted wasn't there. The store had just undergone a complete remake of its product layout and I thought maybe the item I desired had gotten left behind or just wasn't carried any more.

Just in case, though, I asked a young man stocking nearby. He asked for a description -- a plastic, two-dished container that the last time I had bought had cost maybe two or three bucks -- and said he would be back after checking "in the back." While he was gone I looked around, found a few items I could use. It wasn't more than a few minutes and the employee arrived carrying an entire box of the things, enough for a couple of animal rescue outfits, asked me how many and what colors I wanted, waved his magic Star Trek automatic price-scanning sidearm and gave me a current reading on this week's price. I was impressed. And pleased. So was Binford.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good to see the Post Office is back up to speed after the holidays ...

I was wondering what had happened to a bill that usually rolls in toward the latter part of every month. It is due on the first and I like to pay it on time. This month I waited and waited and finally drove down to the North Valley to pay it in person a few days late. I thought I had misplaced it. I do that sometimes. They all look alike and I put them in piles and then can't find them when it's time to write the check.

Well, gosh darn, our Post Office was holding on to it for me, bless its heart. When it finally arrived on the 14th, the envelope showed a Dec. 30 postmark. That's more than two full weeks to move a letter partially across a relatively small city like Albuquerque. It is also about two weeks after the bill was due.

There was a day not so very long ago, and some very recent, when I could drop a letter in a mail box in Albuquerque and it would arrive at its destination the very next day. That was a fairly normal expectation. Two entire weeks, can you believe it? I can't.

I guess I should be grateful I got the letter at all.

A few weeks earlier I opened the mail box and pulled out the contents. Every piece of mail in there was intended for my next door neighbor. Nothing was for me. I delivered their mail to my neighbors and a few hours later their son brought over a few pieces of ours that had been misdelivered to them. That was nice; we got to chat and compare notes on how often we are winding up these days doing the Post Office's job for them. Then another few hours later our neighbor to the other side came over with some more of our mail. God only knows if we got it all, or if it is still waiting at yet a still unknown neighbor's house.

I frankly think it is nuts to have people trying to deliver the mail who can't read at least the numbers that make up addresses. I can't think of any other possible cause that would lead an employee to being unable to place a letter with an address on it in a box with the same address on it. Unless they just don't care.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Others' experiences (Keep them coming!)

Take a look at http://www.walletpop.com/specials/best-and-worst-customer-service?icid=200100397x1216904308x1201105948 for some other shoppers' experiences. If I were a shop executive I would be checking sites like these regularly, and then turning around and checking my enterprise.