I don’t know about you, but any time something in our home needs repair, I stress about it. My husband and I are not handy. My dad is very handy, but lives 350 miles away. We rely on recommendations for tradesmen (or women) to fix pretty much everything. Home renovation projects are usually a recipe for disaster with me. As in, I want to take whatever tool is being used (to extract an additional dollar out of me) and pound it into my head. I’ve resigned myself that we will never build a dream home, because I’m pretty sure it would end up in court arguing over the minutia of the contract and what did or did not constitute a change order.
We’ve been having a problem with our kitchen faucet and low water pressure. The pressure is so low, it is almost impossible to wash dishes. I checked the aerator, which was not clogged. Recommended plumber was called and took three days to get out, which sort of annoyed me, but figured he is a guy with a booming business. I’ll spare you all the details and say that we needed a new faucet. Immediately I felt overwhelmed trying to figure out what to replace it with. (Did I mention I couldn’t build a house because all the decisions would be like a million cuts to death?)
The plumber kindly sent me two options that looked almost exactly like what we have, because he recommended not replacing it with the current brand that was installed. I checked online reviews for each and picked one that cost about $160-$185 depending on whether you used Amazon or Home Depot. (How can faucets be so expensive?) I texted him back to say that the one looked good and he should go ahead and install it the following day when he had time in his schedule if it was less than $200. He texted back and said that model actually cost $305 plus installation.
Obviously, I was willing to pay some premium for the convenience of not having to procure it myself, but not $120!!! Home Depot didn’t have the exact one I needed in store and Amazon couldn’t get it here for the following day’s appointment. Enter Lowe’s: they had the exact faucet quoted for a little bit more than Amazon, but I could order it online and pick it up in store last night, which I promptly did after confirming the appointment for today.
Thirty minutes after placing my order the e-mail came through saying it was ready and my phone was ringing, which I didn’t answer. I listened to the message, “Hi. This is Andre from Lowe’s calling to let you know your online order is ready for pick up.” Three hours later, I was walking out the door of the office on my way to pick up the kids, but the faucet first. You know, priorities. Who wants to drag their kids shopping on a “feels like” ten degree night?
Approaching the customer service desk, I could see Andre’s name badge.
“Hi, Andre. I’m Ruth. You called earlier today to let me know that my faucet was available for pick up.”
He smiled a little creeped out and incredulously asked, “How did you know it was me who called?”
“Well, you left your name on the message.” We both laughed.
This man smiled so broadly any frustration over procuring my own faucet melted away. I was digging through my purse looking for my phone and ID to complete the transaction.
Andre jollily said, “Ruth, we are on a first name basis. I don’t need your ID.”
I signed the receipt for acceptance of the product and he joked, “I’m saving this one. You might be famous some day.”
“Only in my own mind, Andre. Only in my own mind.”
“Me too! I’ve always wanted to be an internet sensation. You know with You Tube videos.”
Seriously, I hope he is the next GloZell. She makes me smile almost as much as Andre did today. (To be clear there was nothing about Andre that smelled.)
This holiday season during my shopping, I need to remember that we are all human and kindness, a sense of humor, and a smile go a long way in keeping spirits bright. Thanks, Andre, for the fantastic customer service today!
Disclaimer: Nobody paid me to say any of this. My faucet wasn’t free. I’m just a happy customer whose day was made by a random stranger who could have just as easily been a crabby jerk to me.