Sunday, October 10, 2010

Staying small in big world

First, I wish to claim that "I'm back." Not that I really went anywhere, but my dedication to this blog has not been what I had hoped it would be. Nonetheless, as I do about this time every year, I am going to try again.

Although there are many things I am hoping to blog about--like an iron-distance triathlon next September--I am going to start (or restart) with two shout outs:

Our world is getting so big these days that the individual gets lost in the minutiae; I even felt this way this past week when there was a clerical error with my pay check--rather than being an affected human being, the situation was handled rather mechanically. We seem to be forgetting the faces of our fellows.

So I am doubly impressed when a company creates a human-like face in the way it does business; I have two examples:

First, ( As I've been getting into the sport of triathlons, I am always on the look out for good deals on gear and apparel. PowerTri has had for the last couple of seasons a killer deal on its team kit and a goody bag of accessories to go with it at a really decent price. I thought, "That's a good deal...I'd wear that!" But for the longest time they didn't have my size--it seemed to be end-of-season left overs. So I waited, but eventually sent an email of query expressing my interest, frustration, and waning (or whining) patience. I did get an empathetic reply, with a request to hold on because they are coming. As the triathlon season neared, still no changes. I emailed again; this time the reply said that the reorder was coming soon and that they would contact me when the new kits arrived. They did; I actually spoke to their main salesmen/triathletes on the phone; and I wore their kit all season. So if you need triathlon stuff (of anything associated with those three disciplines), look them up...especially get on their email list because they have "Fabulous Friday Specials" which are killer.

The second goes to ( Yesterday, I spent most of the day in front of my computer grading "easy" stuff and following the streaming coverage of the Kona Ironman World Championship race. Yurbuds was one of the sponsors of the broadcast. They had a deal that for yesterday only for a free tech shirt and no shipping and handling with the purchase of their product--these snug ear buds. So I went to their sight, but couldn't get on due to volume; I waited a while and finally got on, but found no place to enter this code. Then I thought, "Maybe it is a coupon code at the end of purchase." I tried that, saw a place for a code, but it didn't work. I tried numerous times, in numerous ways (like caps, no caps, spaces, etc.), and none worked. So I said "Screw it" (actually, it was something else) and went back to IM Kona coverage...and grading,of course. Shortly after dinner I got a phone call from Yurbuds--late, on a Saturday--from the "tech guy" from Yurbuds. Apparently, their website wasn't prepared to take half a million hits at once...but it did and eventually crashed! I asked if he had to call half a million people, but he said "no," only the ones that were mid-transaction and didn't complete an order (the number was, like, five). Nonetheless, this guy gave me a call to make things right...even gave me a better deal. Plus, we had a nice chat about being a small fish in a big pond--which I appreciated--and that he had a new customer. Check them out.

Keep checking in; I will try to do better this time around.