I talk a good talk but really I'm a wimp when it comes to confrontation. At heart I'm much more of a "Can't we all just get along?" type girl.
But sometimes you need to stick up for yourself--or others--and I had not one but two such issues facing me this week. One was the fact that the VA Beach Half Marathon lost Blair's official time. He just disappeared off the grid. Not a big deal for him, but it was for me. He trained hard. I wanted him to have an official time and I was willing to throw a temper tantrum to get it.
The second fight was about pants. Dirty pants, to be specific. When Blair and I attended the Winston Salem Open two weeks ago, we rose from the bleachers only to find that our backsides were covered in dark green paint that had apparently not dried on the newly painted bleachers. $100 white linen pants, ruined. Blair's new cotton/linen pants, ruined. Pull on the gloves, baby. It's time to rumble.
I started with the VA Beach people. I fired off a polite e-mail asking them to look into the matter of the disappearing time sooner rather than later. Then I turned my attention to the pants. The tennis match was held at the Wake Forest Tennis Courts so I started with the University. Sent off an e-mail, politely but firmly worded, explaining what had happened and that I expected reimbursement. Then I sat back and waited on both ends for the inevitable, "Sorry not our problem, can't help you."
WRONG. The VA Beach people e-mailed immediately to say they were looking into it and within a few days Blair's time was restored.
I did get a return e-mail from Wake Forest that I should contact the Winston Salem Open people BUT the person added that I should contact him immediately if I didn't get a response. Good customer service. Love it.
It gets better. I e-mailed the tennis people and boom! Action. They called me immediately, apologizing. "Hate that it happened, what can we do? Of course we'll pay for the damaged clothing. So sorry, hope this didn't ruin your experience with us." The person I spoke with on the phone e-mailed me where to send the damaged clothes and I got to see the channels my original e-mail had gone through. Right from the get go, they were on it. My original e-mail was forwarded to others with the note, "What can we do to correct this asap?"
Stunned I am. Is is possible the crappy customer service we've all come to expect is turning itself around? The people in Winston-Salem were lovely. They explained that it wasn't wet paint, but more likely sap that melted in the wood underneath the paint. Regardless, they would reimburse us.
I hardly know what to do with myself. I stored up all this extra energy, preparing for battle. Now what?
Anyone out there have any battles they need me to handle for them? I'm loaded for bear.