Monday, July 25, 2005

Target: Customer Service

This past week I have had some interesting customer service experiences.

The first was last Sunday. I am moving this coming weekend within New York City and decided I needed a new dresser to hold my clothes. So I stopped by Target to look at what they had in terms of selection. I found a dresser I really wanted and noted Target only had one on the shelf. I slowly pulled the box off the bottom shelf only to find the back of the box torn open. I looked at the tear to see if there was any damage to the contents inside. There was damage. There was bits of wood chunks ready to fall out of the box at the slightest movement.

I inquired with the closest associate if there was another one in storage. He said he would check it out. He got another associate to scan it and look upstairs for it. Presumably they had to look upstairs because they weren't sure if that particular model was there or another. Query by me after the fact: "Why would two different models have the same UPC code?" Doesn't that make inventorying a little harder?

Ten minutes passed and the associate came back to say he wasn't sure and that this wasn't his department. He pressed the assistance button and someone else came over. The new person looked upstairs, for ten minutes, and told me there was another one up there but it was damaged as well. I pointed this out to this last associate. He looked at the box and merely pushed it back on the shelf.

I also told him that to wait almost twenty minutes to half an hour to see if there was another dresser model upstairs was bad customer service. A simple reply of this is not my department, but I will happy get someone who knows may have helped.

Instead Target lost this sale.

A footnote on this the above story before I start my second one: I went back today (Friday) to see if the model of dresser I wanted had come in yet, nope it hadn't, the same old damaged model was still on the shelf.  HELLO TARGET! Remove the damaged merchandise so you can get some better stuff in there! The new stuff will sell better than the damaged piece of crap that is there right now!

Finally this week on Tuesday I went to Burger King (on Fulton Street Mall near Adams Street if your wondering). At this location every Tuesday after 4 P.M. they sell Whoppers for 99 cents. So my roommate ordered a Whopper Combo meal (with fries and a Coke). The order came to $5.10 I thought that was weird and said to the cashier that wasn't right since Whoppers were 99 cents on Tuesdays. Tanya, a manager of all people, said "that is not what you ordered."

 "I said, is what she wants. One Whopper, Medium fries and a Coke. The total then came to $4.10. I then ordered the same way.

Interestingly a week before we had the same meal and the order taker put the order in with the 99 cent Whopper. But apparently management at this particular location of Burger King wants to rip people off. I would have thought the management would want people to come back and would have included the 99 cent Whopper in the combo meal deal without even asking.

Just two examples where I have found that companies really don't care about good customer service and providing decent level product. Its frustrating really.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Google: Moon is Made of Cheese

Google Moon - Lunar Landing Sites

This just in! The moon is made of yellowswiss cheese!

Visit Google's moon website to see an outline of where various Apollo landings have been. Quite an exciting website!

But the most fun is when you zoom in fully on the website. The picture turns yellow with funky holes. Priceless!

Music! Music!

I went out the past two nights with my roomate to two music concerts.

The first, the Washington Square Music Festival, was a classical music concert meant to be held in Washington Square Park. However, due to the heat & humidity and possibility of thunder storms the concert was moved indoors to an auditorium at NYU. During this free concert we heard everything from Mozart to something written by one of the people actually performing that night. It was a very cultural night. I might be at their next performance on July 26th at Washington Square Park to hear their final performance of the festival season.

Last night, the second performance I attended, was at Madison Square Park. It featured some African origin music which I didn't recognize the language to. However, I did enjoy merely stretching out on the grass for a while with a good book. A very restful evening last night.

All in all, I am enjoying some time off before the big move to my new apartment here in New York City.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Happy Birthday Blog!

Just a stirring note that this blog is, as of today, one year old!


This blog started out rough, because I wasn't sure what the heck I was doing, and eventually got going.

The tails of woe and tails of great excitement run through this blog. What a year it has been. Hopefully, next year will bring more excitement (and, fingers crossed, less woe).

So here is to this blog being one year old!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Taking the subway because you can...

This morning I grabbed a book and headed outside to the subway. I just wanted to get away with a book and head wherever I wanted. In New York City I have several places I like to read a book including Central Park and Bryant Park.

I thought about going to either of the above and just rejected the idea. I thought to myself, "why not take a subway line all the way to the end and back?" I always saw on the 4 line that "Woodlawn" was the last stop on the 4 line. So I took the train to Woodlawn in The Bronx. Underground I simply read my book. Above ground I got to see the passing neighbourhoods including Yankee Stadium. Not a bad trip at all.

I even finished the book I was reading. I might even try out another subway line this afternoon as well. I have another two books left for the summer that I must read (because my new principal assigned them for summer reading).

Also, this plan gets me out of the opressive heat that New York City is currently in. That is pretty good considering I don't have air conditioning at home.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The AUSSIEs were here!

What an interesting week I had. I took a course through AUSSIE. AUSSIE is a consulting firm that provides courses on how to teach reading and writing. I took the reading comprehension course this past week from Monday to Thursday and loved every minute of it.

I learned so much on how to teach reading that I wished this course had of been provided in teachers college (HELLO! YORK!) In order not to bore you, I will skip what I learned and leave it at this firm provides great ideas on stratigies in order to teach students how to read from Kindergarten through to grade 12.

Friday, July 08, 2005

It's Raining Paperwork!

Hurricane Cindy has rumbled through New York City today. Ok...not rumbled since it was never a hurricane but just barely a tropical storm. So I have been taking my umbrella with me wherever I go.

I went to the Region 8 headquarters on Livingston Street in downtown Brooklyn today to ensure all the bureaucratic paperwork had been taken care of. Well, long story short, I was told last week everything was fine and there shouldn't be a problem. However, I was a little edgy considering I had done the transfer process once before to Sheepshead Bay High School with Region 4. So I had the person talk to my contact at Region 4. Their was yeses and nos back and forth.

Then I checked in yesterday, Region 8 needed me to sign a transfer form. The lady I talked to said to do it this way because it would be the fastest. Well I suggested the way my transfer was completed from Region 5 to Region 4. She wouldn't listen.

So I went back today and had to fill out yet more paperwork and take it over myself to the New York City Department of Education's headquarters in Brooklyn (i.e. three blocks and around the corner from Region 8's offices). There I dropped off paperwork and was told they had not yet received my nomination form in order to complete this process. Me, learning to keep copies of everything, said, "well I have a copy" and Louise (the wonderful lady she is!) said no problem! and made a copy of it for her files.

Well, long story short, I was lied to by Region 4 Human Rescources because my transfer was not complete. I would think transferring between regions in the New York City Department of Education would be a pretty routine thing with paperwork packages already created for to be filled out. But apparently it is not. Thank goodness I had transferred once to another region, because otherwise I would have the false hope of having a job in September yet still run into a bureaucratic glitch.

Such is life in the New York City Department of Education. They love their paperwork!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

I went to Coney Island to see the hot dog eating contest outside Nathan's Famous hot dog stand. Here is what I saw:

The crowd gathers at the corner of Stillwell & Surf Avenues in Coney Island Brooklyn for the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The Wall of Fame for the winners of the Hot Dog Eating Contest. The wall includes the immediate past winners of the contest, countdown to the next hot dog eating contest and the records for the male and female consumptions in the allotted 12 minutes.

The media throng attending the event. ESPN broadcasted the event live!

The singing of the American National Anthem.

The crowd is so large that the police had to close Surf Avenue!

Fuji Film blimp is seen hovering overhead covering the momentus event in hot dog swilling history.

The Bus of Champions arrives!

The kids neatness contest starts. The kids have to eat a hot dog in a minute. In order to win you must have the cleanest hands, face and shirt.

Just to be sure everyone is safe paramedics and FDNY watch out from the roof of Nathan's Famous.

The contest begins!

The winner (with yellow headband) Takeru Kobayashi with 49 hot dogs consumed in 12 minutes.

All in all quite a number of hot dogs were ingested by 20 competitors.

Out for a stroll...

Walking accross the Manhattan Bridge when out of the corner of my eye I see a SAIL BOAT and one gorgeous picture!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Just a "Friendsly" visit

Went on an adventure today to find the apartment building from the "Friends" television series. I looked up the corner the building was located on Google Maps and set off with my camera. Here is what I saw:

On the corner of Bedford & Grove Streets in Greenwhich Village in Manhattan. The bottom cafe is "Chez Michallet" not the "Central Perk" from the television show.

"Phoebes are you home?" Top of the building is said to be Phoebes apartment. Note the fire escape is actually smaller than on the show.

A look at the other side of the apartment building from the corner.

A look at "Chez Michallet" aka "Central Perk."

Another look at "Chez Michallet" aka "Central Perk"

A look up Grove Street. The tour group on the right is kiddy corner to the apartment building.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Just when things were falling into place...

I recently posted that everything was falling into place nicely.

Well they still are, but some speed bumps have come up since that post.

First, on Wednesday night I received a phone call from the Assistant Principal at Sheepshead Bay High School saying my job had been cut. I was absolutely livid and didn't know what to do.

So I set a deadline of July 15th, when we are planning on signing our new lease, of finding a new job. I got up the next morning and by ten A.M. I was going off for an interview for an English position at a middle school. To say the least, the principal and I exchanged questions and answers together. She loaded me up with books for summer reading and summer courses to take. Off I went with gusto. I have since finished reading the first book. In case you are wondering...I GOT THE JOB!

So now I have a new apartment, a new job to look forward to (barring any paperwork hinderances) and am ready to move forward with attaining certification in New York State as a teacher.

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