A weblog about all the inconveniences we encounter in everyday life. Diapers, junk food, cruelty to animals, hostile people, rude cell phone behavior, cancer, terrible customer service (also known as "why the hell am I giving this company my money?"), ignorance, parking, bad spelling, family disturbances, office politics, death (the biggest inconvenience of all) and more. Thanks for saving me thousands of dollars in therapy by reading my blog. It might even make you laugh.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Cheer!

I hope the photographer of this picture does not mind me posting this (Jean, if you want me to take it down, let me know!) but I had to write about this great company that I found.

My original thoughts for this entire blog were to write about all of the outrageously horrible customer service experiences I have had through the years, which seem to keep getting more outrageous as time goes by. I will never forget when the H&R Block rep deleted our entire tax return from their system, completely out of spite (and I have the online chat records to prove it) on April 13. That was only the beginning of a nightmarish descent into Tax Hell.

I really do think the bigger a company gets, the less it cares about its customers and the worse the customer service is. Today I encountered a extraordinary example of superior customer service by a small company that also cares about causes I believe in.

I was looking for a last-minute Christmas addition for my sister and I went on Google looking for a specific item, which cannot yet be revealed or my sister might see what she is getting. I kept looking for a site that would gift wrap an item and not charge me up the hoohah for it.

I finally came across White Rabbit Beauty. Gift wrapping is free, and special gift wrapping was only $2.95. You could even select which wrapping paper you wanted from some photos. Then at check-out I was given the opportunity to select which animal welfare organization I wanted part of my purchase to go towards!

Not only that, but the next day I got a phone call from Jean at White Rabbit who wanted to know if I'd like to upgrade my shipping, because they could not guarantee my order would arrive by Christmas. She also e-mailed me to follow up. I declined the upgrade (sorry, Sara, your gift might come late, just like the Three Wise Men, so that's okay!).

Tonight after shipping the package, Jean e-mailed me a kind note along with -- get this -- a JPEG of the package they wrapped! What? Who has ever heard of this kind of service? Unreal. In a good way. Look how BEE-U-T-FULL the package is, too! Ain't it purty?

White Rabbit carries only cruelty-free beauty products, many of which I use and are outstanding products. You can get free samples with your order, and a free wallet guide to cruelty-free personal care brands. This is a great guide, which I have already.

You would be surprised how many companies do cruel testing on animals while at the same time pleased to find out how many of your favorites do not test on animals. Mary Kay and Clinique are among those who do not test.

I've been asking the women at the Clinique counter for a while why their products do not say non-comedogenic (meaning does not cause big, honking zits by clogging your pores). No one had any idea what I was talking about. I recently found out it is because the comedogenicity testing includes animals! Reluctantly I am going to have to stop using Neutrogena, who does test on animals and hence can say their products are non-comedogenic. Hey, Clinique, teach your reps to tout that you can't say you are non-comedogenic because YOU DO NOT TEST ON ANIMALS.

But my point is, small business rules. Next time you want to send some great beauty products to yourself or as a gift, visit the folks at White Rabbit and give them some love. This helped me today, as I need some Christmas cheer while the first NYC transit strike in 25 years goes on.

Peace out.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I'd Strike, Too, But No One Would Care

This picture has nothing to do with what I'm going to write. It's just a test to see how often Fredi reads my blog, because once he sees this picture he will want me to take it off of here right away! But it is so cute, isn't it?

My rant for the month is about striking transit workers. I support the efforts of all workers to make a decent wage and get the benefits they need. But I do not support the impending strike by the NY transit workers. These workers all make well over 10K more than I do a year, including those in unskilled jobs, such as, well, picking up the garbage on the subway. They get paid health care, sick days, vacation, holidays and pension (I do not).

My jobs are highly skilled, and I get paid near the top of my field on an hourly basis for both of them. But I pay for most of my health care, have no paid sick days or vacation days or holidays, contribute to my 401K plan with a small matching amount from my employer, and it's very unlikely I will be able to retire. The transit workers want early retirement with full benefits on top of everything else and a 9 percent raise every year. I'll be lucky if I can ever retire at all, and I think I have gotten a raise once in 11 years and it wasn't anywhere close to 9 percent.

So what is the main reason people will care when the transit workers strike and no one will care if I do? The difference is the public completely relies on them. It is going to be a disaster when they strike tonight, which I believe they will. Up until today I thought I would be able to travel to one of my jobs, which is in Manhattan right near Grand Central Station. But now the train workers where I live have announced they will strike in solidarity with the TWU, which means it would be nearly impossible for me to get to work at all unless I drive back and forth in the middle of the night or live in the office (which I may do). Wonderful.

So these people are going to take away my livelihood and hold us all hostage. By the way, I don't get paid if I don't show up to work. I believe in the workers' RIGHTS, but something is very WRONG here. By the way, it is illegal for these workers to strike, and there is a very good reason for that. Besides, I think they are well paid and have outstanding benefits, especially in the current work environment.

The original reason unions were formed was because of the horrendous way assembly line workers and other industrial type of workers were being treated. This was an important advance in human rights. But I think the current workers are spoiled and they do not understand how good they have it.

I really pray they do not strike, as it's going to negatively affect literally millions of people just in time for a very Merry Christmas.