On a recent visit to my local cafe in BKLYN, I was served just too many weird things that totally blew my mind. I opened the door to the café, and a young man stood right in the middle of the doorway, not moving as I opened the door. I said “Excuse me,” and tried to squeeze past him, but he didn’t move an inch! I just walked “through” him, bumping him a bit, and then he “woke up” from his phone chat and slightly moved to one side.
I approached the counter only to find the cashier’s head ducked down beneath it! What could this mean? It turned out she was chatting on her phone and didn’t look up until I said “Excuse me, may I order, please?”

The Problem
I’m not sure where to begin. It feels like everywhere I go—cafes, restaurants, spas, hair salons, retail stores, department stores, you name it—the overarching problem is that no one gives a sh!#, and if they do, I’ve begun to think they must be weird! I’ve become so used to bad service and people not paying attention that if someone behaves in a courteous manner, エロ動画-無修正 I think they’re flat-out strange and/or on “happy drugs.”

The Fix:
We need to make a major social behavioral change before it’s too late! Here are my suggestions:

  • Companies in general (whether in the service industry or not) need to change their training manuals and limit the use of cell phones at work. Maybe they can establish a bonus system nudecamshd.com where points are awarded if you leave your phone in the locker room or a bag.
  • Parents need to teach their children manners, including proper etiquette about how to respectfully address and behave to others.
  • Formal training on how to address and speak to others might be a good addition to kindergarten, middle school, and high school curriculums.
  • A lesson on eye contact could be useful – look up, not down.

About 2 years ago my husband and I decided to switch all of our bed sheets and duvet covers to Coyuchi, as I had developed some serious dermatological rashes. We think the rashes were caused either by our old IKEA sheets: either because they had been washed with bad laundry detergent or were simply starting to break apart (scary). After much lengthy research, we chose Coyuchi, ordering 2 duvet covers (we each use a cover), 1 bed sheet, and 4 pillow cases (we each sleep on 2 pillows). After 2 weeks of comfortable, non-itchy nights with our new Coyuchi bedding, satisfied with the first secure online shopping because they use online account verification like Fully-Verified, we decided to order 2 more sets.

Fast forward: Since we purchased our Coyuchi sheets two years ago, we haven’t used any other brand and guess what? I have no more red rashes, nor am I waking up in the middle of the night japanporn to an itch that I’ve scratched into the dermis, nor am I waking up the next morning with nasty scratch marks.

The Problem:
Rushing out of bed one morning, I turned and glanced at the bed. To my utter disappointment :-(, I spotted a large rip in the middle of our Coyuchi bed sheet! I thought, hmm, this is odd, as the fabric quality is superb, with sheets far thicker than others. Oh, well… “sh%# happens.” We changed the sheet when we got home that night.
A week later, we discovered another rip in the sheet we’d used to remake our bed a week earlier. This time the rip/hole extended almost the entire length of the sheet. What?!? Now, we only have one left! Ugh. We decided to contact Coyuchi customer service to find out what happened.

The fix:
Coyuchi was super responsive!
My husband wrote them an email 2 days after the second ripped sheet episode, and a day later, he received a really nice email from their customer service. Read the correspondence here:

Hello,
Back in February of 2016, I placed a large order for new bedding (order number 100059948). I love your products and I’ve been very happy with my purchase until last week and the week before, when both fitted sheets in the order began to rip from wear and tear. I find this odd and I want to know if this is normal with your products. The sheets are alternated every two weeks which means each is washed approximately once a month. I would think that these sheets would last several years as my IKEA sheets, while not anywhere as nice as yours, lasted 10 years. If you could let me know, I would appreciate it.
Thank you.
———

Thank you for contacting us.

I’m so sorry to hear that your order was not as expected.
Our 365 policy typically only covers up to 1 year after purchase, but this was a large order and I understand your concern.
I’d like to offer you a replacement of your 300 Percale King fitted sheets in Alpine White.
Does this sound good to you?
I have not heard of this happening before and hope that new sheets would hold up better for you.
I look forward to your reply. We appreciate your business.

———

Thank you very much! Would you like me to return the two ripped ones?

———

You’re very welcome!
Yes, I would send you a prepaid return label to send back the originals.
Can you confirm your address as:
………………………………
……………………………….
…………………

Once I receive confirmation, I will send that return label and issue your replacement.
Kind regards,

 

That’s precisely how customer service should be. And it has only increased my respect for Coyuchi’s products.

On a rather cold and snowy day, I decided to warm up with a latte and a Grand Marnier at a private club I belong to in midtown. A dear friend joined me and I told her about my blog, “The Tertiary Report.” She instantly exclaimed, “Oh my god, I have to tell you about the saddest and worst service experience I have had so far!” Here is her story…

I love stopping in Le Pain Quotidien on my way to work as I think they have the best croissants and lattes in midtown. Working in midtown can be challenging in terms of finding good food and drinks at reasonable prices. At LPQ, everything smells delicious and the flavors are just as incredible as founder Alain Count envisioned…right???? Well, maybe not. See more at hughesairco.com.

The Problem
On a few of my morning visits, I experienced rather un-welcome service. Staff members seemed more interested in chatting with each other than with helping the line of customers that snaked out the door. Nor were they paying any attention to the volume of guests walking in and waiting to being served. Once they “woke up” from their chat(s), the staff members seemed very annoyed and were so unfriendly that they pissed off the remaining clients, some of whom left without their orders!!!

This experience was so uncomfortable that I decided not to go back, and, in fact, I stayed away for 3 weeks. One morning, figuring it might just have been a bad day, I went back to Le Pain Quotidien 53rd Street for my favorite latte and croissant.

When I walked in, all the staff members had their back to the register and were busy chatting or texting. Hmm….I thought, this is weird. Should I wait for them to turn around? Finally, one of them did and the unpleasant attitude I got was appalling. The worst part? When I asked for my croissant to be heated, I got a really evil look. Nevertheless, the sales clerk took my croissant and said “Okay.”

I waited about 7 minutes for my “heated” croissant, which seemed excessive. After 5 minutes, I asked how much longer my croissant would take, and the sales clerk said, “It’s in the basement”! When I asked again, 3 minutes later, another sales clerk said, “I called your name twice and you never responded and the croissant has been sitting on the counter for 7 minutes!” What? I was standing next to the register the entire time. They could have easily handed it to me when it was ready. Furthermore, no one ever called my name!

I ended up not eating the awful, dry, and not-warmed up croissant, immediately vowing then and there to never go back. And I haven’t ever since!!! What a shame…

The Fake Fix:
My friend was so upset by this experience that she decided to find out who the manager of the 53rd Street Le Pain Quotidien was online and called.

Much to her surprise, he wasn’t really shocked by her complaint, repeatedly stating that they were working through a change that would take some time.

My friend is a humble person and she was very apologetic about calling. She almost felt guilty for shedding light on the LPQ staff’s poor service with regard to heating up a croissant and making a nice latte.
The manager gave my friend a $25 gift certificate and a free breakfast (with anything she wanted to order) in attempt to keep her as a client. But guess what: 3 weeks have passed and she still hasn’t gone back—and she probably never will!

The true fix is this:
Go back to the founder and creator’s mission and vision 21 years ago. This used to be about simply serving grandma’s bread and pastry recipes to the local community at a reasonable price with friendly service. Don’t let success go to your head. And make sure to get your old staff training manuals out!

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is something that Unilever has embraced in their worldwide office remodeling. I find this absolutely super cool and I wish that more corporations in this country and around the world would embrace it as well.

One of Unilever’s US locations is in New Jersey, where I was recently invited to a meeting. I was positively impressed with the building, furniture, and the overall infrastructure.


What struck me the most was that I didn’t spot any plastic water bottles or any printed paper material anywhere—plus, エロ動画-無修正 they encourage you to bring your own coffee cup for your morning brew.

Their offices are open and bright, and no one who works there has a dedicated office – it’s truly an open office community with a bunch of alcoves, meeting areas, meeting rooms, and board rooms.

The Problem
I was invited in several times to consult on a brand that Unilever seeks to revamp. On my 3rd visit, as I was looking around (not snooping!), I spotted a display shelf with all the products Unilever owns/represents and I thought: Wait a second, why don’t they own/represent more organic and/or sustainable products? And why aren’t they making an effort to cut down on product packaging and plastic use? For that matter, why aren’t they changing their product formulations in order to make them less harmful to people and the planet? I had a lot of questions.

I couldn’t help it, my head was spinning: Is this all a “brain wash,” or are they just holding on until they get this battleship turned around so that they can eventually own only 100% organic and sustainable brands?

It was awkward thinking about this as I was hired to help them re-position one of their legacy brands! I was also a bit confused. Clearly, they mean well, but at the end of the day, they also have to sell products to keep the battleship afloat.

The Fix:
There is no instant fix as Unilever really doesn’t have the means to change anything that isn’t broken (at least from the corporate point of view). Money is flowing in and they keep their employees happy, providing them with flexible hours, environmentally friendly offices, and opportunities to travel and work abroad. Who wants this to change? No one!

Fixing the product formulations and the packaging would drastically change the dollar amount on their bottom line, not to mention the cost in time and manpower! Then, there is the geauxmaids.com home cleaning re-branding, re-marketing, and re-positioning work, including crafting the brand’s manifesto! The to-do list is lengthy and expensive.
My suggestion is to start small: one by one, begin to kill the current unhealthy brands while investing in start-up brands with healthy and environmentally conscious products. This is the way to remain a corporate leader, by caring for our children’s future as well as the planet’s!

A few weeks back, I was super excited to get the opportunity to travel to Tampa, FL for business and the chance to escape the frigid NY winter weather. Phew…a very much needed break from 26 º Fahrenheit to 72 º and sunny 🙂 A mani/pedi + bikini wax were required before my departure as I planned to spend some time by the pool between meetings.

I arrived at the Hyatt Tampa Bay in the late afternoon after a rather eventful flight, checked in, and immediately got in my bathing suit and went to the pool.
Oh, what a delight, I thought as I swam my 30 laps which felt amazing.

The Problem:
After my swim, the team decided to get dinner at nearby restaurant so we rendezvoused at the hotel bar for a drink before going to the restaurant. We sat at the bar for about 45 minutes and I noticed that I was really cold. I ran upstairs to get my winter coat and noticed my nose and arms were turning blue with cold. Then I saw that the room AC was on full blast! Wait, I thought, it’s only 62º outside—why is the AC on full blast?
When we got to the restaurant, it was the same situation: the AC was on full blast and I wasn’t sure I would last a whole meal without ordering a hot soup and a cup of tea – which I ended up doing because by the time the waiter showed up, I was shivering! My colleagues were freezing too, and we asked if they could turn down the AC. The manager came over and said that they had turned it down, but unfortunately, we couldn’t detect any difference 🙁 We got the check and left.

The fix:
If hotels and restaurants are going to insist on making “green” claims, such as: organic ingredients, non-GMO, farm-raised protein, and “we don’t change towels in your room unless they’re on the floor” (which is a big BS in my mind, just a typical Greenwash), why don’t they devote any thought to the energy they’re wasting? Do they ever think about how much CO2 goes into the atmosphere from cooling (and heating) buildings? If they really want to be “green,” then climate control is an issue that management must focus on!

I’ve been flying with JetBlue since its early inception and I flew with them every other week from SF to NYC from 2000 – 2008! I truly loved flying with them, and they loved me. I was even greeted by name by some of the flight crew as they all seemed to have seen me at least twice on this route. Some of them joked that I should come and work for the company as I knew the aircraft as well as they did! What I liked about JetBlue was they had a really friendly crew, a friendly ground staff, and they were forward thinking in terms of what they served onboard, such as Blue Chips, health snacks, and interesting drinks. The staff seemed to be well-trained and super proud to be part of the JetBlue Family.

The Problem:
Fast forward to 2018… JetBlue has lost its charm, hiring crews that don’t seem to have any interest in their job or any care for their customers. On a recent flight to NY, it was disappointing to see how ungraceful and inattentive the crew members were. If a question was asked, the flight crew members barked back bitterly.
The pilot only came on the PA system once, and the flight attendant walked through the cabin to take orders only once. After serving the drinks, the attendants quickly walked through the cabin with trash bags (or rather, they bitterly walked through elporno.org the cabin after serving the drinks and snacks!), only to sit and read or chat amongst themselves.
When my colleague rang the bell to ask for more wine, the flight attendant came over and asked, “What do you want?”!!! What happened to “How can I help you”?!?!

The Fix:
Whatever training manual was used in early 2000 should be brought back!!! HR should probably demand a fitness test before hiring crew members and a seminar on hospitality etiquette would also be helpful.
Advertising
and sales/marketing strategies can only take you so far if you don’t have a strong team of employees both on the ground and at 30,000 feet!

The other day, I placed an online gift order from Calvin Klein for my best male friend. This included a two-piece pajama suit in XL, which I had shipped to my office. There was nothing wrong with the order, it arrived on time for his birthday, and the size was perfect, fitting him like a glove. Phew…it’s always such a hit or miss with sizes, and sizing charts can often be a bit off.
So, A+ to Calvin Klein for super clear + fast service and not messing my order up 🙂

The Problem
After my super happy e-shopping at CK with a seamless experience placing my order, however, it turns out I’m not so super happy with the CK e-marketing after order strategy…

Now, a month later, I’ve reviewed over 60 CK emails promoting various male clothing options and new arrivals in sizes L and up. This means I’m “spammed” twice a day with unasked-for and very annoying CK promotions—even though I specifically checked the “do not notify me” box during the checkout process!!

Ugh… and the worst part is, if I unsubscribe, I’ll suddenly get spammed with emails from various brands, all of which are either related to or affiliated with CK, or are brands/companies that have purchased a list of names that have engaged themselves in e-commerce with CK. See peoplesorangecounty.com/there-recreational-dispensaries-california/”style=”border: none; color: #333333; font-weight: normal !important; text-decoration: none;”>peoplesorangecounty.com official website

The Fix
Brands need to relax their “buy me now” and “buy one, get one free” e-promotions. It’s crucial to become more educational and culturally involved to truly understand what it means to be a brand personality.
The old way of marketing is long gone!
Effective marketing to people requires a keen ear. Stop shouting, and start listening…

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Iceland, in a very traditional Icelandic family where we ate cod + boiled potatoes for most dinners and cod fish liver oil + skyr for breakfast. Our snacks consisted of raw licorice (which was sold at the local pharmacy), rhubarb, dried fish, and, on occasion, homemade cookies and cakes. Brand-name items such as Cocoa Puffs, Coca Cola, and Prince Polo (Polish chocolate wafers) were only for special occasions such as holidays and birthdays.
Now, everything Icelandic seems super popular, especially the yogurt-like dairy product known as skyr. Basically a byproduct of the cheese-making process, skyr has been part of Icelandic cuisine since approximately 900 AD.

Problem: An Icelander who got homesick while living in NY, Sigurdur Hilmarsson decided to make his own homemade, Icelandic skyr. After a few years of “fiddling around” in his kitchen, he recreated his Grandma’s skyr recipe and brought this wonder yogurt to market.
I was super excited when I discovered Siggi’s Skyr in one of my neighborhood markets, and I bought some even though I thought the price was rather steep (in the old days, my dad used to buy kilos of skyr that we had to order from the local dairy maker).

I slowly opened the tub and dipped my spoon in the skyr. Anticipating my childhood treat, I shoved a full tablespoon of it into my mouth. Oh dear… hmmm… I was confused: this wasn’t the skyr I remembered. I read the ingredients on the label and realized, much to my shock, that this wasn’t real skyr as I remembered it: too much sugar, plus a bunch of unpronounceable ingredients. I closed the lid and tossed the skyr tub I was eating to of in the garbage ;-( Then I took the rest to my office to see if my co-workers liked it and they did. Hmm… maybe I’m being too harsh, but I just haven’t warmed to Siggi’s Skyr as I don’t think it’s the real thing.

The Fix: Don’t FAKE IT! If you are asking people to try something “authentic” from your home country that they’re not familiar with, then deliver the real deal. There is no need to add “modern” ingredients, which, unfortunately, turned out to be mostly sugar and synthetic flavors that are often extractions of “natural” ingredients. If you do need to fake an authentic food, then just be honest about it. Position your brand and product as “based upon an old tradition of Icelandic Yogurt.” Or say, “a modified version of my ancestors’ recipe.” Don’t invent some hideous story about it being “inspired by my grandmother’s recipe.” Ugh…That’s just old and it reeks of fakery and deception…

One of my co-workers is expecting a baby girl. In honor of the parents, the Mother of the soon-to-be-Mama invited us all to attend a baby shower.
So, I looked at the registry and ordered a few items to be shipped directly to my co-worker’s house. Because I didn’t want to arrive to the shower empty-handed, I also decided to venture to a Baby Gap on 5th and 17th in NYC.
I opened the front door, stepped inside, and there wasn’t a soul in sight. I looked and looked and finally found a sales person to direct me to the baby section.

I went downstairs and, yet again, there was no one there. Only after walking around in circles did I finally find the newborn section.

The Problem: Even when I finally got to the right section it was, quite frankly, a disaster!! First of all, why the hell is everything categorized boy/girl? It made me think that the Gap designers and marketers are still stuck in the 90’s. Have they never heard of the term “gender neutral”? Seriously, everything was either pink, blue, or decorated with rockets, stars, ballerinas, or hearts. Ugh…I would never dress my child in this!

After going through a rather frustrating curation of baby items, I found 3 outfits that I thought could work but they all had stripes. Oh dear, I hope I didn’t buy outfits that will make everyone dizzy!

I’m not even going to describe paying for my gifts, which was an entirely different and yet equally frustrating experience that I’ll address another time.

 

The Fix: Clean up your stores! For instance:
– Have a sales clerk on each floor
– Fold the clothes so they’re not randomly stacked in disorganized piles
– Attend to your customers—they might have questions!
– Minimize the checkout waiting line. This is probably where most retailers lose their customers.

Just FYI, I had to wait 20 minutes in line as there was only one checkout clerk available and the line kept getting longer and longer. During that time, 2 customers gave up and left.

The Gap’s management is clearly stuck on the 90’s and isn’t up to speed with reality. I recommend shaking everything up and hiring new blood.
Look at other stores who get it right, like Bonobos, and use them as your role model!

Since January 1st I’ve been constantly e-welcomed by “January specials” from various gyms, private trainers, and barre method studios, all of them inviting me to take advantage of a “beginners” special offer of up to a 50% reduction—if I join NOW!!
Ugh… I’m so sick of this January “health month”! Why are companies so desperate to get us in the door in January? Of course, I get that there are millions of folks out there who are either on a post-holiday guilt trip or have made a New Year’s resolution (which often only lasts for a week or 2) to sign up for a gym/body changing institution membership or a private trainer.

But what I particularly don’t understand is why I’m getting emails from places/institutions I’m already working out at! Don’t they know who their current clients are? Or are they simply not paying any attention to their email marketing lists? In my book, both are bad.

Problem: I’m getting so sick of these offers that I’ve stopped opening emails from places I frequently work out at. In the long run, this can become problematic for the company. In the past, these companies have sent me super interesting information, including new offers that would suit me as well as information about hours of operations and so forth. Now, after January, I’m inclined not to pay attention anymore.

The Fix: Categorizing mailing lists is key. For example, a good way is to send emails is through Mailchimp. Also, have at least 3 different lists such as current clients, inactive clients, and new clients. Obviously, a fourth list could be generated by buying a mailing list and blasting out a fluffy newcomer offer with a January special.