I have a Twitter account because someone told me that I should. “It really helps with networking,” they said. But really, I don’t have anything to Twit errr…Tweet about. Twitter is all about keeping your “followers” up-to-the-instant on your every move. But frankly, I don’t move very often. In fact, I have spent most of today sitting in front of the computer drinking coffee that’s been in the pot since breakfast. Although I could probably say that in under 140 characters (Tweets are limited in length), who would care?
So I have begun to write fantasy Twitters.
“Leaving for the Vineyard with Barack and Michelle!”
“Lost 10 pounds today. Feel great. Look fab.”
“Book on NY Times Bestseller list. Hurray!”
“Late for date with George Clooney.”
“Rahm called for advice…again.”
“Son hell-bent on finishing his summer reading.”
Does anyone else blush when they hear Obama use the term “Stimulus Package?”
It’s not often that you get to feel good about a corporation and today, I have reason to feel good about two large American conglomerates – UPS and Starbucks. I’d like to share my stories with the hope that other companies will want to emulate these two fine examples of customer service.
UPS – “Ask what Brown can do for you” Their slogan is Kennedy-esque although I never thought they really meant it – until today.
My daughter ordered three pairs of shoes from Zappos to be delivered on the day that she was catching a plane to leave on a semester abroad in AFRICA. She had ordered sneakers, slip-ons and really cute sandals that she simply couldn’t survive the semester without. At 4pm, the package hadn’t arrived and although the UPS on-line tracking said that it was on its way, we she needed to catch a plane. NOW.
So…even though my daughter is a big girl and could have done this herself, I called UPS and asked where the darn truck was. They called me back, I met the truck on the other side of town, the driver checked my ID and handed off the package of shoes.
Then…UPS called to make sure that everything was okay. They called me. Disaster averted, shoes packed, daughter en route to South Africa for semester abroad. Whew.
I celebrated on the way home from the airport at Starbucks where the stoner behind the counter barrista took my order for a “tall, non-fat latte” and offered me free whipped cream on top. “Most people don’t know this,” he said, “but you can get free whipped cream on every beverage at Starbucks.” If everything was run like Starbucks and UPS, we wouldn’t need a stimulus package.
Like much of America, I stayed up late watching the election returns, weeping at Obama’s moving acceptance speech and wondering what campaign official decided that the McCains should all wear yellow.
As a result of my addiction to the campaign coverage, I was up until after 1am and got up at 6am. (Call me a bad mom, but I let Lewis stay up, until 1am, too. Some things are more important than being well-rested at school.) Anyhow, simple subtraction (which I find challenging even under ideal conditions) reveals that I only got about 5 hours of sleep. So, I was really looking forward to my morning coffee. But there wasn’t any. We were out.
In our house, the coffee is my job. I shop for it, I grind the beans, I brew it. That’s because I am the one who has the full-blown caffeine addiction. I wake up every morning with a headache that can only be quelled by three cups of coffee consumed in rapid succession. So, when I discovered that the coffee canister was empty, I rummaged through the cabinets and the recesses of the freezer hoping to unearth a few ancient coffee beans stashed and forgotten -even flavored coffee beans stashed and forgotten. No luck.
At 6:15, it was too early to call my next-door neighbor to borrow coffee and 45 minutes until the grocery store opened. I was desperate – but not proud. So, I dug the coffee filter from yesterday’s pot out of the kitchen garbage, scraped the grounds into a fresh filter, measured out four cups of water and fired that Mr. Coffee up. Ugh.
Yesterday Starbucks gave out free cups of coffee to anyone who said that they voted. I voted. Now, I want my cup of coffee.