Thursday, May 27, 2010


Arby's new steakhouse sub. Try it. It's yummm.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Target's customer disservice.

I love Target. I mean, I really love Target. Even when I don't intend on purchasing anything, I will sometimes just go & walk around. It's a relaxing place to be. Much less stressful than Wal-Mart, that's for sure!

That's why it pains me to complain about them. If I didn't care about Target, it wouldn't bother me so much that their customer service STINKS.

I have a baby registry at Target. Why? Because I love them, duh. Well, as those of you with babies know, you get a lot of duplicate gifts, or gifts that were the wrong item. So, you return a lot of stuff. Well, at Target, if you make any return without a receipt, you provide your driver's license, and they keep up with how many returns you've made. There is a limit to how many returns without a receipt you can make. I reached my limit with all of the baby stuff I returned. As I made my last return allowed against my license, the customer service rep informed me that I could have had them scan my gift purchase log from my registry, to avoid having those returns go against my license. Yeah...thanks for telling me that NOW. Too late. So now I can't return anything else to Target. Which doesn't sound so bad; I really don't return stuff there very often.

I recently bought some curtains from Target at the AWESOME price of just $24.99 for 2 panels. I love the curtains, so naturally I hung them as soon as I got home. Perfect! They are hanging on the two windows in our bedroom, next to the bed and...behind the nightstands. Behind the nightstands...which means I did not initially notice that one of the curtain panels is about 2-3 inches too short. Great. So, I called the manufacturer to see what they could do, since I had thrown out the receipt and packaging for the curtains. They told me to contact Target. Yay.

That brings me to the problem. I can't return the curtains, because I don't have a receipt, and I have reached my limit for returns without a receipt. Which doesn't sound too bad; I'll just get Baron to return them for me. Problem solved? Here's the root of the issue: I went to the Target store & talked to customer service. I asked her if she could apply those returns to my registry instead of my license, so that I could again return items against my license. She couldn't help me, but she seemed optimistic that if I called Guest Relations, they would be able to help. She gave me the number. I called Guest Relations & explained the issue. They transferred me to the Gift Registry department, to see if they could apply the returns to my registry. They couldn't. So they transferred me to the Refund Authorization department, where I spoke with Cassandra. This is when I first got upset. Not that Cassandra couldn't do what I was asking, although that was disappointing, but because I told Cassandra that I was unhappy with Target because of this situation, and she didn't care. I asked if there was anything she could do to help me to be satisfied with Target again, and she said no. Really? Really, Cassandra? Cause if there's nothing you can do, then you're supposed to see if a supervisor can help. I hung up with Cassandra, and called Guest Relations again, to complain about Cassandra. I had to completely explain my entire situation again, of course, and they transferred me back to the Refund Authorization department to speak to a supervisor. Enter Stephanie. Stephanie was very nice. Completely unhelpful, but nice. She transferred me back to Guest Relations. Yikes. All the transferring got me dizzy. Anyway, I finally spoke with Derek, a supervisor in Guest Relations. Again, not helpful. He made sure I knew that this whole situation was my own fault, because I didn't know the return policy, and I didn't know that I should have been scanning my gift purchase log with those returns. It was my fault. I gave him several pieces of my mind, not angrily but very straightforward, and he didn't care. He didn't care about my unhappiness one bit. Even when he "apologized", it went something like this: "I'm sorry that you didn't know about the refund policy & that now you can't make any more returns." Thanks Derek! You should NOT be working in "Guest Relations". No sir. I also asked if there was anything he could do to make me happy with Target again, and he said no. I asked him if he really didn't care that I was unhappy with Target. He asked me what I wanted him to do. I told him that he is a supervisor, and he should know how to remedy these situations with customers. He informed me that Target is not in the business of reconciliation for unhappy customers. What?!

You're probably bored with this post, but that's ok. It's not for entertainment purposes. It's to get the word out about the bad experience I had at Target, and to let everyone realize that when it comes to customer service at Target, they do not care about the customer. They do not make exceptions for their rules, no matter the circumstances. I bought a DEFECTIVE product, and I can't take it back. That's messed up stuff, Target. I understand the refund policy; I really do. But there should be a way to remedy my particular situation. I'm not trying to return a skirt that doesn't fit, or a TV that I realized is the wrong brand. It's a product that was made incorrectly. Everyone I spoke with told me that it was IMPOSSIBLE to help me out. Impossible? Nothing is impossible. Maybe that's why they call it "guest relations" instead of "customer service". Don't want to fool anyone into thinking they might actually be able to help us out!

So there ya go. My love for Target has been varnished. I'm sure I'll go back eventually, but I will not be shopping there for awhile. {Which I'm sure Baron isn't upset about. :) }

Note: If you have a baby registry there, which I no longer recommend just because of the horrible service I got, just know that you need to print your Gift Purchase Log and have them scan it whenever you return baby items. Otherwise you'll be in the same boat as me!

Monday, May 03, 2010

the Natalie diaries - part 3: the birthday.

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2:45 a.m.

My phone rings. The caller ID says it's Georgia, so I quickly answer.

Me: Hello?
Georgia: Did I wake you up?? {at this point I realized it's actually Georgia's friend Jackie.}
Me: Well, yeah, but that's ok.
Jackie: We're having a c-section!
Me: What??
J: Yep, she's gonna have a c-section. They're taking her back now.
Me: NOW?! What happened?
J: She was having contractions, and her water broke, but she wasn't dilated so the baby was in distress. So she's got to have a c-section.
Me: Uhhh...{still waking up} ok, we'll be there in a little while!!

I got up, and of course the first thing on my mind was taking a shower. Really? A shower? Now? But I desperately needed it to clear my head. I took the fastest shower I've ever taken, got dressed, tried to pack a diaper bag with what I thought I needed for a few hours at the hospital, and Baron & I made our way to the hospital. When we got there, we were stopped by the front desk since it was after visiting hours, and at that point I realized that I didn't really know how to quickly explain why we were there, so of course it took me like 5 minutes to explain our situation. Then the lady made us sign the visitor log, and she made nametags for us...BLAH BLAH BLAH HURRY UP WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!!

We finally made it up to the maternity floor, and then we realized we didn't know where we were going. So we found a nurses' station {after about 5 minutes of wandering around}. The nurse showed us which waiting room to sit in so that we would see the baby coming out of the operating room on the way to the nursery. We sat. My stomach fluttered. The other visitors snored. A few visitors were WAY too loud for 3:30am. I laid down & tried to rest. Then, a nurse came through "the door" with an empty baby crib. "Are you with the Walker family?" she asked. "Yes," we answered. "Wait right here - I'll be right back," she said. Like we were going somewhere else?
{us in the waiting room at the hospital at about 3:30am}

A few minutes later, "the door" opened and out walked Jackie, dressed in scrubs, with the nurse, who wheeled a baby crib with the tiniest, most beautiful baby I've ever seen. She was like a tiny porcelain doll. My heart stopped beating. She was our daughter. I didn't cry like I thought I would, but I was breathless. It happened so fast, and all of a sudden, our daughter was born.

Jackie said that Georgia was fine. She said that the moment she laid eyes on Natalie in the operating room, she told Jackie that she knew she was making the right choice. How incredible is that? For a mother to give birth, and immediately be at peace with her decision to have someone else parent her child. It's an amazing decision that she made, and she was content with her choice.

We followed the nurse to the nursery, where we looked through the window as they weighed & measured her. We couldn't go in there just yet so we waited {impatiently} outside the nursery window. At this point, I was starting to feel the fatigue - it was about 5:00am and already I'd had the most exciting morning of my life. I went on a search for ice water, and came back to Baron to wait some more. We took pictures through the nursery window. We waited. We guessed about her length...and I was WAY off. {She looks much longer than she is!} And then we waited some more.

{our first view of Natalie through the nursery window - 5lbs, 13oz; 18.75 in.}

While we were waiting, Jackie came out & said that Georgia wanted to talk to me. I walked with her back to Georgia's recovery room, and we chatted for a few minutes. She reassured me again that she knew she was making the right decision. She wanted to be sure that I knew that. She looked like she was doing well after her surgery. We talked for a few minutes, and I went back to wait with Baron.

At some point while we were sitting outside the nursery window, we called our family. We didn't want to call in the middle of the night; that was pointless, so I think we waited until about 6:00, which was 5:00 their time. They {my mom & dad, and Baron's mom} were planning to leave at 7:00 that morning to travel up to South Carolina to spend the rest of the week with us after the birth of Natalie. Of course, they weren't expecting her to already have been born by the time they left. :)

Finally, a nurse told us she would be bathing Natalie soon & we could come in for the first bath. Soon after that, we got to go in the nursery to see our daughter. The nurse gave Natalie her first bath while we watched, videoing and taking pictures the whole time. Then she put her under the warming lamp to get warm before feeding her for the first time. She showed me how to feed her while under the lamp, and I fed my daughter for the first time! It was an incredible experience. this point, I had gotten so fatigued/hungry/overwhelmed/hot {under the warming lamp} that I started to feel faint. How embarassing. I had to stop feeding her to sit down because I felt so bad! The nurse actually left to get me some juice & crackers to help me out. At least I didn't pass out. :)

{Natalie's first bath}
{Natalie's first feeding}
Later, we took Natalie to the "bonding room" in the nursery - a room they have set aside for parents to privately bond with their baby. This was the first time Baron & I actually got to hold our daughter. It was a precious time for all of us!

{daddy holding Natalie in the bonding room}

Around 10:30, I decided I really needed to go back to the house & take a nap & shower. I hated to leave the hospital, but I decided that I felt so bad that I just couldn't enjoy my time there so I needed to refresh. We went back to the house, and we both took naps & showered. While we were there, our parents arrived, beginning the adventure of our week-long (plus) "vacation"!

{to be continued}