To all the Ships at Sea
To all the ships at sea, you have heard me repeatedly say, “Life is moving at light speed.” A Bob Dylan lyric goes, “I’m running as fast as I can and I’m still moving backwards.” One of the easiest things in the world to do is to critique somebody, criticize somebody, and, excuse the expression, “bitch” or “slap” somebody – physically or mentally. In reality, none of those things are acceptable. So, exactly what is the definition of a “hypocrite”? Let’s hope Webster’s unabashed dictionary doesn’t say, “see: Joe DiMaggio.” Well, let’s get on with this blog.
Monday mornings before nine o’clock tend to be ominous. I tend to get into the studio around five or six. It’s like a prize fighter, waiting for the bell to go off- the nine o’clock bell on the east coast and the six o’clock bell on the west coast (that means you can’t call them until about one o’clock in the afternoon.)
Well it’s Monday morning, 8:20 to be exact, and I decide to take the dice out of my pocket and roll them on the floor to see what comes up; I decided to call a company that I’d never had an opportunity to talk with, and the name of that company is Herman Miller. On or about close to fifteen years ago I bought two Herman Miller chairs, one for my partner, JoAnne Kalish, and one for myself. Suffice it to say, they are the best chairs you can buy for your office, studio, computer- hell, anywhere. They are the Rolls Royce of office chairs. As we all know, especially my dear friend and Rolls Royce owner Lew Long, along with that badge usually comes some high maintenance. It just goes with the territory. That’s why my BMW mechanic always smiles when he sees me.
It’s now 8:21 and a young lady by the name of Stacy Holman answers the phone with a beautiful, warm, loving smile that comes across my cellphone. I explain to Stacy that I’m not exactly what you would call a “lightweight” and that the chair was making a few clicks (keeping in mind it was still working pretty darn good. Actually, it was working damn good.) She asked me to turn the chair upside down and give her the product number, the date the chair was conceived, etc., etc. She then informed me that unfortunately, the chair was out of warranty, but she gave me five locations I could bring it to for repair. Then Stacy did something that was totally and absolutely amazing. She made an executive decision; as a sign of good faith with a great company and a great product, she would extend a one time only repair (rebuild) like new for my Herman Miller chair. It’s now 8:27 and, suffice it to say, I am blown away. She explained the protocol in plain English (so that even I could understand it) and followed it up with not one but two emails, telling me exactly what would happen, where it would happen, etc., etc. I said to Stacy, “Have you ever heard the expression, ‘You made my day?'” And with the lovely smile on her face she said, “Yes I have.” I said, “I think you made my day, week, month and possibly all of 2016 with your honesty, enthusiasm, product knowledge, and your overall positive demeanor.” I asked for her email; she not only gave me her email but her phone number. I wrote a short, hopefully beautiful letter in hopes that her supervisor would understand that she, as the face of a great corporation, did everything necessary to satisfy a client. If all of us, including myself, went to school on how Stacy comports herself, this would be one hell of a great universe for everybody. She taught me a valuable lesson which I will not forget- thank you, Stacy. As Ralph Kramden would say, “You’re the greatest.” (Yes Stacy, I know you probably don’t know who Ralph Kramden is.)
P.S. 1. Phone call. 2. Email. 3. Box delivered. 4. Box chair picked up. 5. Returned. 6. Returned to me in new condition. Doesn’t get better than that.
P.P.S. Maybe the United States Congress should take a lesson from Stacy on how to get things done properly.