I woke up inspired today. It might have been the break in the clouds, the passing of my 41st birthday, or the basic joy of waking up next to my beautiful husband in our own bed for a change. Perhaps it was my knowing of good things to come, adventures to be had, or expectations to be managed. Honestly though, I think I was simply feeling grateful. And grateful leads me to inspiration.
There’s a lot of bad in the world. People do horrid things to each other, nature claims her superiority, and we do stupid things upon ourselves. It can be very easy to get caught up and mentally halted by any and all of these things. And certainly we need to grieve, to groan and to lament. But we also need to keep looking for the good, finding the purpose, and celebrating every where we can.
There will always be suffering.
But we must not suffer over the suffering.
~Alan Watts, Zen master
I’ve been wanting to start a new series about my own personal customer service experiences, but I’ve been challenged to find the right time and the right dedication. Basically I’ve been throwing down excuses. Then today, with inspiration in hand, a lovely event occurred that seems like the catalyst to kick this thing off.
I am admittedly a tad militant about my fitness regime. When I am not traveling, I average 6-8 workouts a week. That’s all well and good, except that I also travel a lot, and that frequently throws a wrench in my routine and my psyche. So before every trip, I scout the city’s best gyms, cycling studios and running paths. And one of my favorite ‘go-to’ locations is Flywheel Sports. It’s actually gotten to the point where I will position my hotel within walking or running distance to one of their studios. They keep delivering a badass workout and adding locations; I keep cheating on my local cycling studio while on the road. I have been pleased. This past week was no exception….except…
I was in Seattle for our annual conference and spent Tuesday bookended by very public speeches. During both occasions I had the absolute pleasure and honor of speaking alongside my dear friend and ‘rock star’, Dayna Steele. She’s many, many things, but she’s notably a Hall of Fame rock radio personality and an author – “101 Ways to Rock Your World“. It’s important to note that we paid her (rightfully so) for the morning keynote, but that she did the evening event entirely as a favor. You see, it was our first foray at an award’s dinner and ceremony celebrating the rock stars of our contact center industry, and we couldn’t financially or logistically swing a major emcee expense during our inaugural event. Dayna came to the rescue as our amazing host. And here’s a shameless plug for her great little book – It was a situation where I, verbalized what I wanted or needed to another person, (Tip #17, Page 33), and she said yes, (Tip #29, Page 51), and did something to help someone else be successful (Tip #37, Page 61).
Two mornings later I was back at Flywheel and was perusing their retail line before class started. I was intending to buy something fabulous for my killer cycle instructor at home, when I saw it. The perfect gift, for the perfect rock star. Except here’s the exception…they did not have it in her size (she’s tiny). They also seemed a little flustered with my retail requests and the experience was leaving me wanting. But considering that their forte is ass-kicking and not selling clothes, I took it as a sign and let it be. Except I didn’t. I kept thinking about this perfect gift, from one of my favorite places, for one of my favorite people.
When I returned home, I tried purchasing it from their website, but Flywheel doesn’t have an online store. I then tried calling the nearest studio in Charlotte, and that again proved unsuccessful. So I did what many of us do and I went social. I posted my needs on Facebook.
Within 45 minutes, I had a response telling me to send in an email. I admittedly thought I’d send a request into an email black hole, but I decided to play along. Imagine my delight and surprise when the response from Natalie, their Director of Retail Operations in NYC came within 2 hours. After some quick back-and-forth, she forwarded me over to the actual store that had my item in stock. Less than an hour later, Melissa the Studio Manager in Plano, Texas emailed me to say she’d call me between 3.30-4p to get my credit card number and confirm the shipping address. At 3.35p she called. Melissa was an absolute pleasure to talk with and seemed genuinely excited when I explained why that particular item was so representative of my appreciation for Dayna. “From one rock star, to another”, I said.
And then Melissa took my customer-service-loving self and threw me to the floor. “Is it OK if I don’t get this mailed out until tomorrow? I will be happy to run this to the post office today if you need me to, but you see, we’re having tornado warnings right now and some really bad hail. The tornado sirens haven’t gone off yet, so I can still try to make it today!” No, no, no! Please don’t risk your life for a sweatshirt, you amazing human being. As much as I appreciate it, I now appreciate you that much more.
Yes, that really did just happen. Thank you Flywheel. That experience was so great and memorable that I just publicly disclosed my surprise to Dayna. I know she’ll think it was worth it.