Empowerment

8 08 2008

I feel so liberated. Empowered.

A couple of weeks ago I told Khalilah that I want to become THAT customer. You know, the one that actually fills out the surveys and turns them in. The one that actually calls the manager to complain about bad service or to celebrate good service. Well, this past Tuesday afternoon I went to Party City on Roswell Rd. to pick up some birthday balloons for a couple of my co-workers. As soon as I walked in the door the woman behind the counter glared at me with eyes as if to say "Oh, no you di-in't just come into this store." I didn't even do anything and she already had an attitude. She asked me  if I needed a balloon and I told her I was looking for a helium balloon that would be suitable for an adult. In a very nasty tone she informed me that all they had available was what was on the wall. After a little while I finally decided on a balloon, gave her my order and she started to blow up the balloons. As she was curling the ribbon with scissors, another woman came in the door and she gave her a very nasty look. Then the phone rang. She SLAMMED the open scissors on the counter, picked up the phone and said in another nasty tone, "Party City Buckhead." There was a long pause and then she said (still in nasty tone) "No!" and slammed the phone down, angrily picked up the scissors and started slicing the balloon ribbon again. I couldn't believe how she had this major attitude with two customers who hadn't even done anything to her. I felt very uncomfortable being there. I felt sorry for being a customer. If I didn't need those balloons that very day I definitely would have left. I thought about saying sarcastically as I left the store "You have a nice day, now." But I figured I'd just leave. This was actually the SECOND time I encountered this woman at Party City and she had an attitude back then, but Tuesday just took the cake.

At any rate, that service was so bad that I did become THAT customer. I sent an email to the corporate office of Party City and complained. A couple hours later I got a personal call from the manager who told me he would take care of the situation and talk to her. He even gave me his cell phone number and told me that he hoped he could change my mind about shopping at Party City and that if I ever needed anything to give me a call. The very fact that he called me back made me feel very empowered as a consumer. So much so that while I was at it I went ahead and sent an email to TGI Friday's about the great service I DID receive when I went there that same Tuesday night. My server Laury was the absolute greatest so I wrote to management and told them that. So let this be the start of me standing up for my rights as a law-abiding, decent, hard-working American consumer. You can't treat me just any kind of way!!

Speaking of empowerment, many of you have probably heard me complain about the fact that it's hard for me to find good, ACTIVE blogs written by black people. It's been frustrating feeling like most of the blogs that I read on a consistent basis are written by white people. Not that that's a problem. I love white people. Some of my best friends are white. 🙂 It's just more of a question of where are the black folks who are ACTIVE in the blogosphere? (I keep stressing ACTIVE because I keep coming across certain blogs whose links are defunct or who only actually write on their blog like once a year). With all the studying I've been doing about the Digital Divide it just made me wonder. Well I have to eat my words. I have been finding TONS of black bloggers who talk about several issues that are important to me. There are black folks who are blogging. Consistently. There's A Work in Progress, there's Afronerd, there's AverageBro, DVRepublic (although they're technically not a "black" blog, but they do often write about topics affecting the black community and the media), The Root, and What About Our Daughters. Those are just a few but all of them have been added to my Bloglines so I can follow them everyday and stay informed. Now my Bloglines is starting to reflect more of what I mean by Convergence. It represents my young, single, black, Christian, female, creative self…

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One response

8 08 2008
Jam

Those are great stories. One blog I have on my RSS is Seth Godin, the marketing guru. He writes about your type of experiences all the time. Glad you spoke up. I think in doing that it improves someone else’s experience.
I just left T-Mobile for AT&T and even though I left T-Mobile they were still kind and helped me. There wasn’t a trace of anger. I even told them that the only reason I was leaving was b/c I got an iPhone. They said they understood. Pretty cool.

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