Welcome to The Sunday Scoop, where each Sunday I highlight an Ode and a Commode To Joy from my week. Life contains more than the obvious in-your-face joys, and I’m determined to find them.
Ode To Joy – Mom hosted a family lunch on Friday. If you haven’t figured out by now, I’m all about family, so getting to sit at a table set for 10 was quite special. We ranged in age from 2 to 92. My great great aunt (my great grandmother’s baby sister) is included in that headcount.
It’s humbling sitting back and considering what the different generations have seen throughout their lives. Hearing those from my grandmother’s generation discuss who the first family member was to own a television. That my great-grandfather never made it to Busch Stadium for a game, but he did get to see the Cardinals play on television before he died.
Stories of twelve children in a small house. Small enough that the boys slept in backyard tents for as long as the weather held out.
And home births. And walking to school year round. And finally getting a refrigerator in place of the ice box following the war.
I took a picture of everyone gathered round Mom’s table. Granted, I did it when no one but the two year old was looking, otherwise there would’ve been protestations and grumbling. To that end, I won’t share the picture here, because that would be even less appreciated. But the lunch? Very much appreciated. By all of us.
It was easily the Ode To Joy of my week.
Commode – I’m quickly seeing firsthand what it means to have a child in a traditional school program: Parental paperwork and to-dos.
One of the sheets sent home for completion was an “about me” page with a blank area at the top for a picture. Does anyone else see “attach photo here” and cringe?
People, it’s not the 90s. These aren’t the days of one-hour photo development at Wal-Mart for every single photo taken on your camera including the blurry ones of your feet because digital what? And also, who the hell keeps stockpiles of printed out photos at home that are current?!
Me neither. I do, however have plenty of early 80s photos of my brother that I considered passing off as Miller…
For me, “attach photo here” translates to pull up the Walgreens app, upload a photo, have it printed in the store (quadruple check that the location I select is in fact the one closest to our house and not the one clear up north), and then by the grace of God, remember to pick it up.
You know what helps remembering to pick it up?
The note the teacher sends home in your son’s back pack because you’re taking too long to return your “homework”.
Walgreens to the rescue.
I left the house a little earlier than usual to pick Miller up from school so that I could pick up the print. Only it wasn’t there. Even though the email confirmation said it was. And yes, I was at the correct location.
By now I should know that any time I’m going to just “run in and out”, it usually doesn’t work out. Attempt to squeeze things in, and what actually gets squeezed is my impatience and frustration.
The workers tried their best, really they did. One gal thoroughly checked every stack and pile multiple times. A second gal jumped in to print another copy.
“The picture must’ve gotten stuck in with a different order,” she said.
Even though there’s no sort of identification in the photo, it’s a little weird to think someone else will have a picture of my kid in their hands. Or maybe it shouldn’t be. I electively put pictures of him in other peoples’ hands all the time via installments…
Anyway, accidents happen. I get it. It’s an honest mistake. They tried their best to expeditiously correct the mistake, but I couldn’t wait any longer. After five minutes of feet shuffling and deep breaths, I – very politely – told them I’d have to come back later.
I hit the sidewalk running and made it to Miller’s school, empty handed, right before the teacher walked his class outside. Another day of not getting my homework in “on time”, but by golly I was there in time for my boy.
Do I still get a gold star?
So now we come to the turnaround question. The question that gets us from commode to ode: How is it a good thing?
To Joy – I returned to Walgreens the next morning for the photo. The guy behind the counter takes out the folder with my lone print, and looks a question at a note scrawled on the label.
The gals had comped my photo for the inconvenience.
Here’s the thing about this Walgreens location: It’s my favorite in town, and not just because it’s closest to home. When Miller was a baby, they stocked extra formula for us. When my mom recently went on the quest for “Toe Condoms“, a young worker directed her straight to the correct product (aka finger cots) without raising eyebrows at her. And now? A comped photo as a way to say, “I’m sorry” and also, “You matter.”
In short, their customer service is outstanding. In fact, as I walked to my car with free photo in hand, I got to thinking about good customer service. It’s not perfection that gets you there; it’s the ability to right your mistakes.
Do you remember my “I Got Paid To Buy Groceries” installment? When my local Kroger made an error at the checkout and charged me for the woman’s load behind me, they credited back all of my purchases (for more than what I’d paid) and then sent me home.
I love that Kroger. Not because they paid me to buy groceries (kind of). Not because it’s the prettiest in town (it’s not). Not because it has the best selection in town (it doesn’t). But because their customer service is on point.
The same is true of our area Walgreens. So cheers to them for the free picture. For showing that good customer service still exists. For helping me realize that good customer service isn’t about perfection but about being gracious in the face of errors.
Now that take away is worthy of a gold star.
The next time you find yourself inconvenienced, use that feeling as a reminder to ask yourself, How is it a good thing? And then I dare you to answer it.Every day, week, month, or season contains at least two scoops of joy. Click To Tweet
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