Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm in what they call the "emotional" quadrant.

My boss has a drawing of a big change curve on his white board in his office right now. It's got the 4 following quadrants on it: Denial; Emotional; Commitment; Acceptance

Not surprisingly, I have declaired the "Emotional" quadrant to be my very own. I am in a perpetual state of Stage 2 on the chart below...

(*Borrowed from the RapidBi website, in case anyone wants to check it out further.*)

Or so it would seem, according to my family, coworkers, and friends. (I don't feel the same as they do about it, so their opinions are immediately invalid as soon as they express them, obviously.) I feel like I actually go through all 4 stages on a daily basis, really, regardless of what's going on. I give you the following example to judge from...
Today, I went downstairs in my building to grab some lunch. I was in the mood for either a sammich and a side salad, or some sushi and a side salad. Never know which one will be the winner until it's staring me in the face.
So I arrive in our little cafe, and I look over the sammiches, and then the sushi, and decide the salmon sushi (mislabelled as "Spicy Roll" today) was the winner. Then I moved over to grab my side salad, and saw something rather disturbing. They had changed the container for the salad to a size that held what I would estimate as being a max of about 3/4 of a cup of lettuce. (It also had the dressing in there, which is normal, but it was smooshing the lettuce more than usual in its new miniscule container.) It's been in a container that holds about 1.5 cups of lettuce for the past 6 months or so, since they last changed the container and downsized a teensy bit.
The problem? It was the same fucking price as the bigger version! Already overcharged at the size it has been, I've been sucking it up and dealing with it as I only buy the salad around 2 or 3 times a week, anyway. But to pay that for a salad HALF the size of the regular one? fucking way.
So there it was. My Denial Stage for that situation. And I handled it by writing the following note to the "Feedback" address for the company that caters to my work location:
"I just went down to the [cafe] location in my building ([redacted]) to get a sandwich and a side salad, and saw the new containers that the side salads are being sold in.

Are you KIDDING ME? It's smaller than ever, and it's the same (ridiculous) price it was before?

Come on. We all know that times are tough right now, but that's just outright jilting us as customers. Please reconsider pricing those side salads accordingly. I noticed that there were a LOT still on the shelf, and it's almost noon...usually there are only a few left by now. Chances are, you're going to waste a lot of food if you don't change those prices. They aren't worth more than $1.50 to me at that size.

Thanks for hearing my issue!"
Ok. So. Um, apparently, I needed some food in my system before I wrote that, right? (Probably didn't help that I was coming down off of a carb and sugar high from the donut and bagel breakfast that my department provided to us all in an effort to cheer the masses this week, but whatever. Excuses, excuses...) To be fair, I AM a known smart-ass. Just not known to everyone, is the problem. So, yeah. That would have been the Emotional Stage of the situation. Here was their reply:

Thank you for your pointed feedback on the side salad that is served in our cafe's and the [cafe in your building]. After conducting a little research I agree with you that the new container for this side salad is too small and it doesn't allow us to serve the same portion size as normal. These side salads are created at our [main cafe] and I will speak with them directly on how to remedy the situation. Our supplier was out of our normal container and this container was substituted for it, we should have our normal container back in very soon. As I stated before I will speak with [the main cafe] about how to fix the situation now so we can provide the highest quality product possible while maintaining the value for our customers. Thank you once again for the feedback and if there is anything else we can do for you please do not hesitate to just ask us."
Yeah, I think that when they referred to my "pointed feedback" they really probly wanted to say "bitchy fucking comment." But that's neither here nor there. I'm just glad they replied, and so quickly, too! It was within 1 hour of me submitting my original feedback to them.
After re-reading what I sent to them, I realized how awful it sounded. (No thanks to the opportunity I took to put certain parts of it into ALL CAPS, or what have you.) So I replied almost immediately to say the following:
"You are the BEST! I'm so glad that the container isn't a new size that was going to be used in an ongoing manner. Such a relief!

I didn't mean to sound so harsh in my original feedback note. My tone sometimes surprises even me! (I hadn't eaten yet when I sent it...that might have something to do with it.)

Thanks again for the response and the help. I'm so relieved!"
I think that was the Commitment Stage and the Acceptance Stage rolled into one. Or would me posting about it here be the Acceptance Stage? I dunno.
Anyway, my point is, I'm not ALWAYS in the Emotional Stage, ok? I just go through all stages rather quickly (the scenario above happened in less than 1.5 hours) at several different points throughout my day. All I know is, I probably won't die from cancer, or something, thanks to my ability to roll with the Curve. So I have that going for me, at least. (I hope.)
Seriously, Blogger. The spacing thing that happens on paragraphs after I've posted a photo in my, sooo fucking obnoxious. Fix it, please, for the mother of all things holy.


faithstwin said...

I was there during a lot of the stages and I thought all were appropriate.

I'm happy they found an excuse for their fuck up. I think it was perfectly ok for you to call it to their attention the way you did.

I mean, with the way I see people honk and wave (not friendly) at the stop sign outside the shop? Yeah. An email with issues expressed is totally fine.

meesha.v said...

although I would write a complaint in a heartbeat (i.e. 4 page letter to Reebok with illustrations about crappy shoes), I draw the line at food places. Also if you graph my emotions it will be most likely a flat line with spikes around meal times.

Coley said...

At least you managed to avoid profanity, I think it shows great restraint on your part. And really? 1/2 sized food at full prize? Screw that.
I'm just amazed that they responded, with a solution that quickly. Any comments I've ever submitted, ignored.

Mike Morrison said...

Good article - thanks for acknowledging where you got the graphic!!

Not heard the 'four box' version your managers uses - it appears they are pissing the point!!