November 16, 2007

Sleigh Bed Prevention, Part the Two-eth

SO. We went Furniture shopping.
To do the one pretty room bedroom thing.

And we went all over what we could afford and where that intersected with what we wanted and we made our Christmas list to include all the little things we weould need to sass it up, like PILLOWS and such, and we spent a day going to the stores that had well made furniture in our pre-decided price range, AND at one of the stores we found a set we LOVED and the pieces we liked best all fit harmoniously in our room and came in under our budget EVEN with delivery, and the saleslady, (let’s call her Moira, for no reason) was helpful without being pushy, and la la la this certainly is a very cheerful little story about happy furniture buying up until the moment that I called up Moira and said, “We would like to buy this furniture.”

At which point the planets aligned against us, fate convened a smack-down committee, and Moira, squatting dead center in the web-hub of bedroom destiny, was taken over by a commission-hating band of brain spiders from space whose mission is to bring our planet into the federation of intergalactic communists by infesting sales people and making sure no one gets to buy stuff.

Innocently, not understanding that the COMMIE SPACE SPIDER INVASION WAS ON!!!! I called Moira.

Me: We have decided we want the furniture we discussed – can we just order it via phone now or do we have to drive back out there?
Moira: Phone is fine. I just have to send you a fax authorizing the initial charge on your credit card. You just sign and fax back and we are go!
Me: Okies, well my husband could go by his office tomorrow, so perhaps you could fax it there? Please send it ATTENTION SCOTT. *gives her the number*
Moira: Super! I’ll get right on that! Yes indeedy! We will make your species our furniture-less slaves!
Me: What?
Moira: I said, “I am going to fax it right now.”
Me: Great! He is going to hop in the car and pick it up.

Then Scott, who has swapped his job around so he can work from home most days, made a special drive into the office to pick up a fax that was not there.
He came home, faxless, and I called Moira.
Me; There is no fax.
Moira: Oh – right! FAX! Sending now!

*ten minutes pass.* Phone rings*
Moira: What was that fax number?
Me: Numbernumbernumber. Please send it attention Scott, okay? He won’t get it if it is not sent ATTENTION SCOTT. And are you really faxing it now? Because he works from home most days, and he is driving into his office especially to get it tomorrow.
Moira: Going right now. This second. NO! REALLY!

At this point, I need to be able to type that little symbol in music that means go back to the beginning and repeat exactly. Because that’s what happened. We lathered, we rinsed, Moira cackled, and we repeated. Each time,. Scott left in the middle of his working day at home to go into his office to get a fax who wasn’t there. It wasn’t there again today, Hughes Mearns fans are no doubt thinking, and they are right. It wasn’t there again today three TIMES, over a 6 day period.

FINALLY! Tired of obeying a purely metaphorical musical repeat symbol, I called and said: HI! SO HI! Remember I told you Scott works from home? Well, every time you SAY you are sending, he drives half an hour to GET it. And then it isn’t there. SO! We are done playing that. Now we will play a new game where you call AFTER it is sent and he goes and gets it!
Moira: Super. Sending right now. I will call back when it is sent.

*ten minutes pass.* Phone rings*
Moira: What wass that fax number again?

*ten minutes pass.* Phone rings*
Moira: It is sent.
Me: Really?
Moira: I have the confirmation right here.
Moira: Pinky Swearsies.

*Scott drives to office.*

I was SO mad I did nto call, but THIRTY MINUTES after Scott home, MOIRA called to ask why WE had not sent the fax BACK.

Me: … Did you mark it “attention Scott?”
Moira: Oh. So I need to mark it attention Scott?
Me: … Yes.
Moira: I will go fax it again right now.
Me: *having grown wise to the ways of wily space spiders* Do you have the number?
Moira: Of course I do! *pause* Maybe you better tell it to me again, so I can…check it.

WHen the fax finally arrived, it was just a fax that said we authorized Moira to charge X amount to our credit card. It didn’t say we would, in exchange, get furniture, and it didn’t say, what pieces of furniture we might or might not be getting.

Scott: If I fax this back, what are the chances that Moira will order the correct furniture?
Me: I would say 50-50, with the other 50% being the likelihood she will forget we exist and not order any furniture at ALL.

SO! Scott went all the way back out to the furniture store—a solid hour long drive each way through miserable traffic --- and found a manager and ordered the furniture, and she apologized and gave us 5% off, and you want to know the KICKER? I feel HORRID! Sick in my stomach and GUILTY because MOIRA is the person who spent 45 minutes with us initially in the store and helped us pick out the furniture and yet Moira is not getting the commission. I half wish, in the pit of my stomach, that we has just sent the fax back and seen if the furn that did or did not eventually show up was ours or at least not dog-butt-ugly.

I think this is the most spine-free ruglike pathetic reaction that any human has erver had in the history of furniture buying, and I can’t help but wonder if I have this bizarre sorrowful misplaced guilt because I am FEMALE or because I am SOUTHERN or both?

Let’s make a deal. If YOU know, you tell me. And if I ever frickn figure it out, I will let you know.

Posted by joshilyn at November 16, 2007 6:58 AM

Methinks Moira used to work in the insurance industry, sounds like their MO.

Hopefully more former insurance type folks aren't working in the warehouse and you'll soon have the lovely set that you actually ordered!

Posted by: Lisa at November 16, 2007 7:35 AM

Huh. I'm female and northern and I think Moira is an idiot who justifiably lost her commission, so maybe it's the southern part of you. Or maybe you are just a much nicer person than I am. No, you definitely are nicer. I'd have lost it after the first drive to the office with no fax, definitely. But here's why: no matter what job I've had, from the time I started working at 13, I've endeavored to do my very, very best, and I'm very much into details. *I* wouldn't do what Moira did, and that's why I expect such good customer service: it's only what I'd provide myself, on the other end. So I have a very low tolerance for space-shots who don't seem to take their jobs seriously.

So when do you get the furniture? :)

Posted by: amy at November 16, 2007 8:01 AM

I am southern and I think it's the southern part of you. We southerners are all about guilt. Even though Moira is obviously either mentally ill or just plain cruel, I would feel bad that she didn't get the commission, too. Maybe you should have gone ahead and let her order the wrong furniture b/c then maybe you could have gotten more than a 5% discount, Which BTW, with the price of gas being what it is, is totally not enough!

Posted by: Madame Queen at November 16, 2007 8:58 AM

We feel guilty because everyone has to like us. We have to be liked and now that you have taken her commission (which she didn't deserve by the way) she doesn't like us and so we feel guilt.

It's deep seated, it's female and southern and baby, just realize that it's NOT your fault, eat some chocolate and come help me get out of NANOWRIMO HELL!!!!!!

BTW, Sara talked about you in her pep talk. Tell her I hope her horse and her foot and her dog are all better.

Oh, we got a puppy, named Trinket...She's precious. I will send pictures later. Smooches

Posted by: Gabi at November 16, 2007 9:04 AM

Girl! You need to shake off that guilt like an ill fitting pair of pleather pants. Hopefully this will be a valuable lesson to Miss Moira to a) follow though and b) write stuff down!!! She will go on to a succesful career in sales and when she is getting awards cfor her excellence, she will always thank you in her speeches.

Posted by: jennielynn at November 16, 2007 9:42 AM

It's both, hon.

I for one wouldn't feel bad at all about Moira not getting the commission. But that's just me.

Posted by: Keetha at November 16, 2007 9:42 AM

oh, sister, i hate to be pessimistic, but i fear your tale of woe is just beginning. this tale is far from over. i have been there. it is not pretty. beavis and butthead have yet to deliver the furniture....

Posted by: dramamama at November 16, 2007 9:54 AM

It's the southern part.

I'm definitely a woman, but only marginally southern (raised in Ohio, which is not southern, but have lived in Kentucky, which is to the far north of Southern, most of my adult life) and I think Moira would have deserved every penny of her commission if she'd done what she said she would do. I'd even have said she still deserved it after the first time she messed up, because making mistakes is part of being human. It just is. But when you have a job to do and you mess up, you - or in this case Moira - need to be extra careful to get it right the next time, and she wasn't careful and didn't get it right. REPEATEDLY, she didn't get it right. In my opinion, after having wasted so much of your and Scott's time (not to mention the gas it took for all those trips, and that's not cheap these days!) I think Moira owes YOU money at this point. Seriously.

Posted by: DebR at November 16, 2007 10:09 AM

You feel guilty because you are a Southern Woman. It's unavoidable.

As a business man here's my take. I spoke with the manager to address my concerns about Moira's lack of follow up and asked her help in ordering the furniture. The manager placed the order directly. As Moira's manager, she can see that the commission on the furniture goes to Moira or not, depending on her current performance.

It the store manager's call whether to give Moira the commission, not ours. No need to feel guilt here.

Posted by: Mr. Husband at November 16, 2007 10:16 AM

Your darling husband rocks Mrs. Jackson.

Posted by: Gabi at November 16, 2007 10:22 AM

Here is a mathematical equation for you that will PROVE why you should not feel at all guilty about Miss Moira's Disappearing Commission.

She spent 45 minutes helping you find the furniture. That's nice and as it should be.

Scott spent a half an hour (you didn't say whether it was each way or round trip, but either way the equation will work) driving to his office to pick up the fax-that-wasn't-there. That's an hour and a half, or three hours, depending. And that's not even counting the time that the fax was actually THERE.

You spent time (let's call it an hour, shall we?) on the phone, giving Moira the fax number, calling to tell her it wasn't there, calling again, lather, lather, rinse, rinse, repeat, repeat.

THEN Scott drove an hour EACH WAY to go back to the store once she did send the (incomplete) fax, so that he could reorder the furniture.

By may calculations, that means that you and Scott spent -- even by the most conservative estimate -- four and a half hours of your time dealing with her incompetence. That is SIX TIMES AS LONG as she spent doing her JOB.

Does that help put it in perspective?

Posted by: Aimee at November 16, 2007 10:57 AM

I was searching for closure here. I think it's the Southern woman thing. Not only did I "understand" when the little waitress at Applebees wouldn't sell my 80-year-old father a beer because he didn't have an ID (he apparently leaves it in his truck because they ID at the co-op when he buys sweet feed. Or something.) but I also "understood" when Whole Foods told me it was company policy that only employees take pictures. And they didn't offer me a job.

Posted by: AmyInAlabama at November 16, 2007 11:24 AM

Oh, honey, it's both. And you did the faxey dance far longer than would have I. And I am PLAUGED by southern female guilt, so YOU are terminal.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 16, 2007 11:28 AM

From where I sit, I would have to say you shouldn't feel bad because if she really wanted or needed the commission, she would have done a better job in the first place.

Goodness knows, I would not feel remotely guilty at this point. (I would have felt guilty at an earlier point in the process, perhaps, but not now.) And I'm northern (Indiana/Ohio/Wisconsin)...for what it's worth!

Posted by: Erin at November 16, 2007 12:50 PM

even us northern girls are plagued by guilt, and I would have felt some here, for a moment. but Aimee makes the perfect point. you jumped through all the hoops you possibly could. Moira is an idiot and if the manager decided she doesn't get the commission it is *so* not your fault.

Posted by: elizabeth at November 16, 2007 1:23 PM

Ummmm, cracksmoker. Put the pipe down. She owes Scott how much gas money? She should feel lucky not to be dead. Or fired. Or both. And what are the chances she even remembers this? Sounds like memory is not her strong point. Chill.

But is the furniture pretty? When do you get it? This is so exciting!

I need to get out more.

Posted by: Amy-Go at November 16, 2007 1:30 PM

Get online fax already! Your phone company may not offer it but so many do. Seriously it is the best thing since the internet! I have this 1 800 number I call and it is voicemail, fax and email for like $25 a month! and it stores it forever.

Posted by: anette at November 16, 2007 1:31 PM

If she really wanted that commission? She would have faxed it right the first time and called you back to make sure you got the fax. And the fax would have had all the info that you wanted. She did not complete the job. Let it go. You tried to give her the chance to get it right ... many times.

Posted by: timmi at November 16, 2007 1:58 PM

Um ... when can we see the pretty furniture? Does it have flowers? Bunnies? Moving parts? OH! Does it double as something else? Like maybe push a button your dresser and TA-DAH! It's a brand new MICROWAVE! God. That would be so cool.

Posted by: timmi at November 16, 2007 2:00 PM

I am also PLAGUED by typos. . .sorry.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 16, 2007 2:13 PM

"Ummmm, cracksmoker. Put the pipe down."

I've now had time to read all the comments, and THAT JUST TOTALLY CRACKED ME UP.

And I'm glad you have yourself a Scott to balance out the southern female guilt riddled lifestyle foisted upon you by that tribe of wild Fundamentalist forebearers. I have a Scott too, however HIS name is Tony. But his MIDDLE name is Scott. No lie.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 16, 2007 2:19 PM

I am northern but feel guilty that YOU had to feel guilty over Moira's actual incontravertible evil-sales-lack o' faxation-wankerness. How weird is that?

Then again, I still feel guilty for not sending the thank-you note for a gift received at my engagement party from a friend of my grandmother's. The gift? Scented shoe-sachet cushions, labeled so that I knew SHE had received them gratis from Bloomingdale's, upon the purchase of a pair of shoes which she did NOT feel obliged to also regift me with.

I am mentally ill.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at November 16, 2007 2:39 PM

If Moira was pregnant or menopausal JJ is a puppy-kicking fiend who deserves her guilt and mine as well.

Posted by: wendy at November 16, 2007 2:45 PM

As a Southern woman, I am pretty sure that I would not feel bad about Moira not getting her commission because she did not deserve it. In fact, I think had she GOTTEN the commission she should have been forced to give it to Scott for all the gas and time it took him to make all those useless trips.

I'm thinking its not a Southern thing or a woman thing. I'm thinking you are way too nice for your own good.

I mean really, do you imagine Scarlett would have given a flip about that girl's commission after being jerked around like that?

Posted by: Megan at November 16, 2007 3:50 PM

It's a Southern Woman thing. No getting around that one. Totally unavoidable for you (and me, so don't feel bad).

But, as usual, I love Amy-Go's take on things. "Put the pipe down" indeedy! :)

Posted by: dee at November 16, 2007 4:23 PM

Come lay your guilty little head here.

I can commiserate.

Props to Lisa, who called out the insurance industry on their less than ideal customer service practices and the probability of Moira coming from that line of work in a previous lifetime. I was in an automobile accident six weeks ago and have very little good to say now about insurance, insurance agents, and jerks who drive around without insurance. It took positively forever for me to get the check for my car, due not in part, but in whole, to the complete lack of competence that makes up the person of my insurance agent. I wish that I could have invented the fact that when I called her to report the accident she asked me what I wanted her to do about it. That was only the first issue I had with her. My blood pressure (or mental illness number, which ever you prefer) was in the thousands.

And yet. I could not call her up and yell. I'm a receptionist. I know what it's like to pick up the phone and be yelled it. So I just politely hoped that she would get her act together. Finally the person in charge of my claim called her and maybe yelled- which I also feel a little guilty about but not as much.

The thing I don't feel guilty about? That when my policy terms I will be finding a new insurance company.

I think it's the Southern in us. I can be a toe rag, but never manage to feel good about it.

Posted by: erinanne at November 16, 2007 4:23 PM

It's a southern woman thang. But obviously, Moira is NOT a southern woman. Southern women do NOT treat a customer in that manner. Southern women go out of their way to make sure everyone is pleased. If you want to say it's because we want everyone to like us, that's ok. But I feel it's more of an issue of politness, compassion, and just plain ole good manners. Having been in business for 34 years, I know you do NOT treat a customer, or allow an employee to treat a customer, in that manner. In my opinion, Moira did not deserve the commission and I would have gone to the manager way before you did!

Say, yes ma'am, Rhonda. Now you can enjoy your new furniture.

Posted by: Rhonda at November 16, 2007 5:13 PM

Probably both a Southern-thingy and a woman kind of thing, but fighting it's way to the surface is also what I'd call the MOM THING. You know how we always tend to give our kiddies a 2nd chance at something and then a 3rd and a 4th until they get it right? I think periodically when we switch back over to the 'real' world we forget we don't have to figuratively speaking 'cut up their meat into bite sized pieces.' Just sayin' I know my own patience with these kinds of ordeals is totally different depending on if it was pre-children or post-children.

Posted by: JeanEva at November 16, 2007 8:26 PM

Both. Female and Southern. Just one question, though. Why didn't Scott call Moira when the fax wasn't there the first time? Aha. Because he is Southern.

I hope your lovely furniture really is your lovely furniture when it arrives. Moira is an airhead.

Posted by: ZaZa at November 16, 2007 9:32 PM


Posted by: Courtney at November 16, 2007 11:17 PM

It has to be because you are southern because I am sorry but I think I would have shot her with lasers from my eyes.

Or these ones:

I work in sales. You follow through or you do not get paid. End of story. Full stop. A monkey, even a nice monkey can sit and say "ooh, yes, pretty furniture, I sell to you ok?"

But it takes someone to ACTUALLY DO THEIR JOB to get the commission.

She did not ACTUALLY DO HER JOB so you can be guilt-free knowing that the commission you would have paid her would have been paying her to do NOTHING but smile and say "yes, in theory, I can sell you this furniture."

Posted by: Heather Cook at November 17, 2007 1:43 PM

As a former insurance underwriter (who could NOT be trained in the way of the insurance world) I can assure you that if Moira did not come from insurance, she most certainly needs to go directly to insurance, do not pass go, and collect her commissions from the underlings who do the real work, like all good insurance professionals.

And there is absolutely NO GUILT in the insurance industry, even in the South!

Posted by: Patti at November 17, 2007 5:44 PM

It's a woman thing. I'm a Yankee, living in the South, but I don't think it's a regional guilt.

That's why God gave you Mr. Husband, right? So he can go put a whuppin' on the furniture people and get things straightened out.

In turn, you deal with the things that husbands get all guilty and weird making doctor appointments or remembering to floss so the dental hygienist won't yell at them again.

At least that's the way it works at my house. :)

Posted by: Beth at November 18, 2007 9:01 AM

OK, I'm a sales rep. In fact, I sell (among other things) your books. You have no need to feel guilty. Why feel guilty for Moira not doing her job? She wasn't nice to you, so she didn't get her money. I want people to have the product I sell, and feel good about having said product in their hands. Therefore, I do everything I can to quickly help them out. Moira did the opposite. Actually, I hope you didn't give her your credit card number...that's what I would be worried about, if I was in your spot.

Posted by: Sales Rep at November 19, 2007 11:32 AM

It is a southern thing...I was born in GA but have lived in both WV and Ohio since I was 7 and would still have felt the way that you did. Yep, it's a southern thang!

Posted by: Dawn at November 19, 2007 7:14 PM

I think that if you would have went ahead and faxed back the credit authorization to order the furniture, Moira would have very well forgotten your address too and had your new furniture sent to someone else's house!

Posted by: Trace at November 21, 2007 7:44 AM