Some of you may know a woman’s clothing store called Coldwater Creek. It’s a little pricey, but every now and then there’s a good coupon offer and they really do have some nice clothes. I prefer to call stores because I can ask them not to share, sell or rent my info, which you can’t do online. I placed my order and then gave the promo code from RetailMeNot, a coupon center, for a $30 discount. The sales clerk tried the code, then said no coupons from RMN were accepted by C.C. I begged to differ, but it was no use. Needing time to think what I wanted to do, I canceled the order.
A few minutes later I decided to try placing the order online instead and the coupon code was accepted. However there was some other glitch — the order could not go through. Doubly frustrated and annoyed, I called C.C. customer service…and got Glenn F. We hit it off. He had a Queens accent (one of NYC’s 5 boroughs) and Queens working folks can often be (prepare for sweeping generalization) very down-to-earth, efficient, nice. Anyone remember the Liza Minelli character in the movie “Arthur?” She lived in Queens.
He worked with me while we chatted and laughed. He said that because I was so nice he would help me out with a little extra saving, so I got not just the $30 off but free shipping as well, which brought the whole order into a more affordable zone. As he was getting off the phone, I said: “Glenn, may I just ask you, did you ever live in Queens, in NYC?” There was a pause. “I was born there,” he said. “But we moved to Florida when I was 3. I go back to visit family,” he added. “Well,” I said, you still have the accent!” We laughed again.
I asked to speak to his manager so I could thank him or her for Glenn’s good service. The manager was one of those (prepare for next sweeping generalization) efficient, pleasant-sounding African-American southerners (I’m a musician — I detect accents and this was Georgia) who took my compliment and then asked for my name. I gave my first name, and then she said in the same efficient voice: “and your last is the same as Glenn’s, I assume.”
My turn to pause, and then burst into laughter. In general, managers don’t usually indulge in humor over the phone; the surprise element added charm. I will chuckle about Glenn and his manager all day. My faith in the working people of Queens has been validated!