Friday, February 22, 2008

Hurricanes vs. Highlights

Having had the benefit of working for the American Red Cross for a number of years, I pride myself in knowing what constitutes a real disaster. What is a true emergency. What really calls for forceful language and can cause emotions to run high.

So, at my current job, it amazes me to see what other people consider an emergency.

One of the benefits of my current job is that when a tornado rips through Oklahoma, my life doesn't really change all that much. I watch the after-effects on the evening news (or I did, back when I had time to actually watch TV) and perhaps make a contribution. Then I go to bed, get up at the same time the next day, and go to work. While my job changes and evolves constantly (one of the perks of working for a relatively small company), it's not carried by the winds of disaster, natural or man-made.

I consider it a gift that I have my Red Cross background to keep things in perspective at my current job. There really aren't too many true disasters at a day spa.

We have a few clients, however, who beg to differ.

We closed the spas early yesterday due to the inclement weather. With ice and sleet raining down on the region and no end in sight, we determined that, for the safety of our clients and our employees, it was in our best interest to close early. This decision is not made lightly, as our revenues are obviously negatively impacted.

When we close the spa early, we have to do things like call the few clients remaining on the book (the sane ones have already called us and rescheduled) and ask them to reschedule.

Enter Disaster Client #1.

"What do you mean I can't come in for my massage at 8 p.m.? My children are coming home this weekend in this am I supposed to not worry about them and relax without a massage?"

An acknowledgement of the bad weather, and the dangers of travelling in it, along with the certainty that we as a spa should have utter disregard for our employees' safety so that she can have her freakin' massage.

Then, last night, an e-mail popped on my CrackBerry. I get all the spa's general e-mails off the web site, so it's not uncommon to get them at odd hours. Clients having questions about purchasing a gift certificate, or about certain services, that sort of thing. I forward them to the appropriate person for response and all is good. The e-mail I got last night was not good. It was from Disaster Client #2.

The subject was this (no, I am not making this up):
Anne OC NOT HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uh oh.

I opened the e-mail and read this:
I called at 7:45pm Thurs night, Feb 20 and have been on hold for 18 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am trying to get an appt for Friday for partial hair color. What is going on???????????????????????????????

Then she signed her name, which I will not do here because it'd be my luck that this woman is so self-absorbed she Googles herself every day and she'd find it and I'd get in trouble for posting disparaging comments about a client on my personal blog.

Anyway, I forwarded her e-mail along to the correct person for response, thanking my lucky stars it wasn't me who had to respond. Because the woman probably wouldn't have liked what I had to say.

What is wrong with people that, in the middle of an ice storm, they can't understand that a business might close early for safety reasons? I am blown away by this convoluted idea of what is really important in life.

As my sister once wisely told me, you can't fix stupid.


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