Monday, January 26, 2009

and another thing

Also, I made a rainbow cake this weekend, and it was awesome.







"Residences of uncompromising luxury."

Back when 100 Beacon was my college dorm, our shower had this weird metal wrap thing around the bottom which was of course rusty and one day I stepped on a piece of it that had flaked off and it punctured my foot and I had to consider if I should get a tetanus shot; also, the faucets had separate spouts for hot and cold water and the place was generally just kind of run-down and mouse infested, and, while conveniently located, was certainly not the lap of luxury.

My, how things have changed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shrimp is the fruit of the sea.

There's a nice article in the Times today about a new cookbook by Judy Walker, the food editor of the Times-Picayune. I was lucky enough to have dinner at Judy's house when I visited New Orleans in November, as I tagged along with Brendan and his coworker/roommate Chris for the cooking lesson she gave them. It was a major highlight of the trip- we made shrimp remoulade, seafood gumbo, and bread pudding. Then I died of happiness.

So what I'm trying to say is that this is probably a pretty good cookbook.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God frowns on marrying dogs. I know this for a fact; a Catholic priest told me.

I went to a wedding this weekend, and, despite a horrifying ceremony during which the priest referenced marrying a dog, it was totally redeemed by the lovely reception at the James J. Hill Library.


Aww, books are romantic.


















Also, there was a Beatles cover band. And I don't care if you're one of those hip hipsters who is too cool for cover bands; let me tell you this: Everybody loves a Beatles cover band. Especially when the band tries as hard for authenticity as these guys did. See, they played the first set like this:
















And the second like this:
















Dedication. An excellent quality in a cover band. Also a marriage, I suppose, so huzzah for the happy couple whom I do not know. Sorry I called your ceremony horrifying.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Papashoe.com: Are you trying to make my head explode?

This is the part where I post a rant about an ongoing bad experience I'm having with an Amazon seller. It's probably not interesting to most people, unless you get all self-righteous like I do when a retailer has done you wrong. So, you've been warned.

from: Kate
to: support@papashoe.com
date: Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 11:07 AM
subject: Order/shipping status #xxxxx

Hello,
I wanted to check the status of my order (number pasted below). Amazon is listing this as an open order still, and I'd like to be sure it arrives in time for Christmas.

Thanks,
Kate

Order Placed: December 15, 2008
Amazon.com order number: xxxxxx
Seller's order number: xxxxx
Order Total: $34.01


***
from: Support
to: Kate
date: Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 3:48 AM
subject: Re: Order/shipping status #xxxxx

Valued Customer,
It will be a close delivery around the time of Christmas. If there are any problems, I will let you know.

Season's Greetings,
www.PapaShoe.com
908-591-0006


***
from: Kate
to: Support
date: Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 10:51 AM
subject: Re: Order/shipping status #xxxxx

Hello again,
Hate to be a bother, but I just need to clarify. By "around the time of Christmas," you mean "before Christmas," correct?

Your information on Amazon states "Our goal is to DELIVER all products within 5 business days of payment, coast to coast. If for some reason a product goes out late, we will pay for expedited shipping to get you your product within 5 business days (at absolutely no extra charge to you!)."

So, even if we're not counting Monday the 15th, when I placed the order, 5 business days would mean delivery on Monday the 22nd. I really need to know specifically when the package will arrive.

Thanks for your help,
Kate

***
from: Support
to: Kate
date: Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 10:19 PM
subject: Re: Order/shipping status #xxxxx

Valued Customer,
Your order has been shipped. However, we are encountering a glitch with our tracking numbers so they will arrive at a later date. Please do not worry, though. They will be at your door before Christmas.

Thank you for your business,
www.PapaShoe.com
908-591-0006


***
from: Kate
to: Support
date: Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 4:27 PM
subject: Re: Order/shipping status #xxxxx

Hello,
I've just checked the tracking for this package (FedEx #: xxxxxxxxxx), and the estimated delivery date is December 29.

Please read through the email chain below to review our previous communications. I hope you understand that this situation is completely unacceptable. Not only has your company not lived up to its "delivery in 5 days" policy, but I have been lied to by your customer service and now will not have a Christmas gift for my dad.

There is one acceptable solution to this problem: If you can overnight a new shipment to the same address to arrive by the 24th, I will be satisfied. If not, you can certainly expect to hear about it on your Amazon site as well as on Consumerist.com.

This is especially upsetting to me given the way your represent yourselves on your site as dedicated to customers and giving "5 star service." I think you can agree that that is not what I've received, and I certainly do not feel like a "Valued Customer."

Please contact me to let me know how you plan to resolve this problem. My phone number is 612.xxx.xxxx if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
Kate


***
Not confident that the fine staff at Papashoe would resolve this matter in time, I called them the next morning and finally reached a sane person by the name of Dan, who actually seemed to grasp the bad-ness of the situation. Dan refunded my money and told me when the shirt arrived we should just keep it. Nice, right? I was mollified, and by that I mean that my opinion of this company improved from "suck suck suck" to "neutral."

So I left them Amazon feedback to that effect:

3 out of 5 stars
The copy on the seller profile that states they will deliver products within 5 days is simply not true. Email support was vague at best and dishonest at worst. I'd been told I'd receive my package before Christmas, but it didn't arrive until the 30th. However, the person I reached on the phone was polite and apologetic, and gave me the order for free.
Date: 1/7/2009
Rated by Buyer: Kate


Fair and honest, yes? Well, I'm a mean meanypants now, according to the email I just received:

from: Support
to: Kate
date: Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 4:31 AM
subject: our request for a removal

Valued Customer,
Since we have given you this item for free to show you how sorry we are. We think that it is also fair that we ask you to remove your neutral feedback at the very least. Neutral feedback now affects us as adversely as the negative one does.

Thank you for your understanding,
www.PapaShoe.com
908-591-0006



Uhh... well, Papashoe, I'm sorry that you were adversely affected by my feedback. But I was adversely affected by your ineptitude, and I thought other people should know that. That is how feedback works. And despite the recent trend of feedback bribery and manipulation by sellers like you, people still rely on it to let them know if a company is reputable. Which is why feedback manipulation is against the terms of your seller agreement with Amazon. Which is why I forwarded them this email and reported you.

My dad better love the crap out of that shirt.