Monthly Archives: May 2005

Bridesmaid’s Dress Episode II: Attack of the Macy’s Bridal Salon

Bad customer service is one of my pet peeves. I just don’t understand why someone who is being paid on commission thinks they have the right to treat you so poorly while performing their job. Case in point, my weekend experience with the Macy’s Bridal Salon at Tyson’s Galleria in McClean, VA.

Because I’m an out of town bridal party member (the wedding is in Florida), I had to take this piece of paper from the store in Tampa to a local bridal shop here that carried the dress designer’s line and try on the dress and/or get my measurements. For those of you completely in the dark, you have to do this so the store that all the dresses are being ordered from can come from the same dye lot (manufacturing thing) and that they can order the size that will most closely fit your figure (yeah, right). So, last week I had printed off the list of bridal shops in the Northern Virginia area that carried the designer’s dresses. I called all 6 of them and discovered that the Macy’s Bridal Salon at Tyson’s Galleria was the only shop that actually had the dress that we’re wearing in stock. I wanted to find a shop that actually had the dress in the hopes of being able to try it on. Saturday, I went out to Tyson’s Galleria, which is about a 20 minute drive for me (not so far around these parts). And found the dress in the color we’re wearing. YEA! But it was a 6, so basically I could get one leg in but not the other. 🙂 Therefore, I held the dress up to me and proceeded to find other dresses by the same designer in my size. Finding none in the 30 minutes I had been there and hadn’t even been asked once if I needed any help, I stopped the next saleslady and said that I needed to have my measurements done.

That sales lady called some other lady from the manager’s office out to do my measurements. The first thing this manager said to me was that she couldn’t do my measurements unless the dress was being ordered at another Demetrios store in the chain. I wasn’t told this over the phone when I was calling around looking for the dress to be in stock, but no worries…It just so happens that the store in Florida where Janet is ordering the dresses is, in fact, a Demetrios store. The paper I had said that. YEA! (Not so fast)

The lady did my measurements…Rather quickly and impersonal. I don’t know about you, but this is not exactly a thrilling adventure for me to have someone wrap a tape measure around me and tell me things that even my bathroom scale doesn’t have the nerve to tell me. And it’s even less thrilling when the person is practically rushing as if I’m wasting her time even being in existence. When she finished the measurements, she went to pull the size chart for the designer out to match my measurements to the chart and looking at the piece of paper again she decided that I was NOT ordering from a Demetrios store.

I told the lady that I didn’t understand since the paper said that we were ordering from them. She said this store in Tampa is using the Demetrios letterhead illegally to which I really wanted to stare her down and give her what-for for such a horrible accusation with no proof. She then proceeds to tell me that Demetrios doesn’t have any stores in Florida and that the store I was in was the farthest south the stores went. I stopped her and said, “Ma’am, I don’t know what to tell you but I talked to both my brother and future sister-in-law on separate occasions and they both told me that they found this dress at Demetrios.” She wasn’t convinced, but she pulled the size chart out and matched my measurements against her will it seemed.

I was totally thrown off at this point and really just wanted to beat my head against the wall because it just seemed so stupid. I thought well I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this store in Florida is new and she hadn’t heard about it, yet. But the more I thought about it the more I just got angry about how she made me feel like I was wasting her time and that some store was performing illegal actions. I decided (in my head cause I was still at Macy’s at this point) that I would do a little more research and figure this whole thing out. I got home that night and looked Demetrios up on the web…A beautiful thing that WWW is. And wouldn’t you know it…That lady was wrong. See for yourself: Demetrios Locations This link shows the official Demetrios stores in the United States.

So, I got all energized and motivated and thought, I should pull a Julia Roberts Pretty Woman move…not the hooker stuff, but the Rodeo Drive shopping stuff. I felt like printing out that page of the US stores, taking it to the Macy’s Bridal Salon, slapping it on the desk, and yelling “BIG MISTAKE; HUGE!” Again, wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt, I thought about it and decided maybe she meant that the Tyson’s Galleria store was the farthest south MACY’S Bridal Salon in the US, which, in fact, it is. BUT, the Macy’s company (Federated Department Stores) bought all the Burdines Department Stores in Florida last year and turned them into Macy’s. So, while they don’t necessarily have a bridal salon in them, they are still Macy’s stores. And even though the Demetrios where Janet is ordering the dresses isn’t inside a Macy’s, it is still an OFFICIAL DEMETRIOS STORE. Oh yeah and it’s been there since 2001.

I decided I needed to calm my anger. This seemed like the easiest way to get it all out and still voice my opinion about how poorly I was treated at MACY’S BRIDAL SALON in TYSON’S GALLERIA in McCLEAN, VIRGINIA. So, no Julia Roberts reenactment for me this time…Maybe next time it will be a scene from America’s Sweethearts with John Cusack. But, seriously who wants to buy a dress for hundreds of dollars from someone who treats you the way that woman treated me when she was just taking my measurements and asserting herself to have complete and total knowledge of all Macy’s and Demetrios operations throughout the United States. I decided that my “revenge,” while not public, would come if she actually called the corporate office and told them that someone had come into her store with an “illegal” Demetrios measurement request form from a store in Florida…To which corporate would tell her, well yes we have TWO stores in Florida.

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Bridesmaid’s Dress Episode I: A Choice is Made

My brother is getting married in October, and I’m in the wedding. This is the bridesmaid’s dress. The color is burnt orange.

CO-MMU-NI-CA-TION

Talking…It’s something we all do every day, but for some reason a lot of us aren’t willing to actually say what we mean or want to say. Regrets are a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha; funny interesting. A lot of us say we don’t want to have them, but yet we’re not willing to put ourselves out there in order to actively keep them from occurring. I tend to be the opposite of this. I speak my mind maybe a little more than people would like me to, but never more than I think I should. But speaking my mind doesn’t always garner a positive response. No one ever says, “thank you for calling me out on something that I was doing or being stubborn about that I wasn’t willing to admit even to myself.” No one ever appreciates it when you disagree with their point of view and actually have the nerve to tell them how you see it (with valid points because telling someone you disagree just cause isn’t really convincing).

I wasn’t brought up in a family that taught me to question authority, but it’s a trait that I developed for myself over time. I definitely believe in tradition and that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but I also believe in there being a better way of doing things. So, when that better way conflicts with tradition, I tend to err on the side of the new/better way. However, I was also brought up in a family that believed in communication and not bottling things up. I know, strange, right!?!? Of course, I know that not everyone was brought up this way and that I occasionally have to construct my communication a little differently for some people. I’ll find a way to say what I want to say even if I do circumnavigate (look it up) it. But at the same time, I LOVE COMMUNICATION. It’s honestly the best thing you can do with your mouth. Ah, ah, ah…Don’t start thinking of other things you might think you can do with your mouth…You know I’m right…Communication is the best use.

So what bugs me a lot is the fact that people continually bottle things up and when they have a disagreement with someone or a conflict they aren’t willing to stand up and say you know what I don’t agree with this or you know what I see it differently or you know what that hurt my feelings. People don’t know they need to change something or stop doing something unless someone actually tells them that it hurt their feelings or it’s wrong. Everyone’s got that little twinge inside of them (butterflies, if you will) that goes off when they are probably doing something wrong, but not everyone listens to it. So, I think some of us exist here for God to use us to make the alarm louder.

Now, let me be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers and I’m sure as heck not always right. But I like to think that I’ve got a good head on my shoulders and that occasionally my opinion matters for something…And actually makes sense now and then. I do know that the thing about speaking my mind will likely never change. What I’m hoping is that people who aren’t currently willing to speak their mind, will start because I’m pretty certain there are things in my life that I need to be called out on…But who’s out there willing to step up to the plate and tell me how they see it???? (That was rhetorical…Unless you really know something that needs to be said to me.)

A Laugh a Minute and a Forever Friend

Think really hard about the friends in your life. Think about the one person that you call when you are down in the dumps and all you need to do is laugh. Think of that one person who is crazy as the day is long, but you love him (or her) anyway because it’s part of their charm and they remind you what it means to really enjoy life while you can. And then let me introduce you to Sammie. There are days when I could be balling my eyes out or just on the verge of doing so and I’ll pick up the phone, call Sammie and say, “make me laugh.” He doesn’t skip a beat. He can have me laughing within 30 seconds. The first time I met Sammie, I was working in Children’s Worship at church. He came in to do the singing part of our lesson. There is one song called “The Devil is a Sly Old Fox” and Sammie was so animated with his singing and interaction with the children that he had me rolling on the floor laughing. I knew then and there that I had to get to know this guy better because I’m a sucker for a good laugh.

Now think really hard of the one person in your life that when you need advice or you just need to talk everything out; to say things outloud to someone and to mull it over and make sense of things. That’s the flip side of Sammie. On those days when I call him and ask him to make me laugh, he gladly obliges, but then he’ll ask me what’s wrong and really get to the heart of the matter. Sammie doesn’t care if it takes 5 minutes or 5 hours, if you need him to help you with a problem you’re having, he’s there for you. Sammie’s listened to my problems more times than I can count, but I can assure you that he could give Dr. Phil a run for his money so much so that Dr. Phil wouldn’t know what hit him.

He is one of the most caring, lovable, generous, intelligent, and humorous people I know. Some days I wish the entire world were filled with Sammies. Even though people say that a world full of people all the same would make for a boring place, at least we’d all be laughing and feeling well taken care of. So, thanks Sammie for all you do: the laughter, the tears, and the friendship. You’re one in a million and I just know that God smiled one of His biggest smiles when he created you. Happy Birthday, my friend.

Ode To Jacque

Today is my friend Jacque’s birthday. All of us are special in our own right, but Jacque is one of those heaven-sent specials. She’s got the beauty of Anne Hathaway, the quirkiness of Natalie Portman, and the grace of, well, Grace Kelly. 🙂 There are people in this world that always blow me away at how kind and generous they are, and Jacque is one of them. She will never hesitate to do whatever she can to make your life a little happier or sunnier when you’ve resolved to have a day of doom and gloom. As silly as it might sound, she really does seem to light up a room when she walks in. 🙂 I could go on and on about how wonderful a friend she is and how she deserves nothing but the best, but I’m sure she’s quite embarassed at this point already. But I’ll say this: I know there are millions of people in this world that I will not have the pleasure of meeting until we meet in Heaven, but I am so thankful that God blessed me with the opportunity to know Jacque in this world, first, especially as a friend. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACQUE!!!

Things My Mother Taught Me

I suppose I’m a week late on this post, but better late than never, right?!?! Last Sunday was Mother’s Day, and while I’m hoping that everyone out there took a little time out of their day to remember and honor their mothers, I thought I’d extend that a little. This past week I got to thinking about the “obsessions” in my life that I can directly attribute to my mother’s influence. If I named them all, we’d be here for days, so I decided to pull out the most important/most significant/most obvious ones I could think of.

Love
Southern Hospitality
North Carolina (in general…it’s probably my favorite state in the whole country)
North Carolina Basketball
Elvis Presley
Billy Joel
Music (in general, especially just a single piano)
The Importance of Education (formal or otherwise because let’s face it folks, we never stop learning)
An Appreciation for the most underappreciated workers (besides moms)…TEACHERS
Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy)
Doris Day
Vincent Price (House on Haunted Hill and House of Wax)
Black and White movies
Paul Newman (I swear this man never ages, and I’m willing to stake money on it that those blue eyes get brighter every day)
Good grammar (my heartfelt apologies for any typos)
The Crockpot (anyone can be a chef with one of those gadgets)
Thank you notes
Chocolate
Thoughtful gift giving
Holiday decorating
Paying bills early
Magnets (if you’ve seen my refrigerator…you should see hers)
Sales/Bargains/Coupons/Big Lots

So maybe it’s a short list, but these are things that I LOVE/ADORE/OBSESS OVER and I can fully attribute my initial attraction of them to my mother.

Think about it…what things do you love that are a direct result of your mother introducing you to them?

Liner Notes: The Series

This past Sunday night at Small Group (Bible Study) one of our leaders (Sammie) posed this question to us: If you happened to be a recording artist and had to write your own Liner Notes for your CD, what would yours look like? It’s a thought provoking question. Who do you start with? Do you only mention people or do you delve into places and things? So, Sammie gave us about 5-10 minutes to start writing our own Liner Notes, and I didn’t even get past my family. However, I did decide that maybe I could steal the idea from Sammie (much love, my friend) and use the subject as a continuous blog. All my blog entries won’t be Liner Note entries, but occasionally I will include an installment into what I’m calling “Liner Notes: The Series.” Here’s the first one……………..

Liner Notes: The Series “In the Beginning…”

Where do you begin with something like this? There are so many people, places, and things that I could fill books with just thank yous and shout outs. The most important place to start is with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, without whom I would have nothing. Thank you for knowing me before I was in my mother’s womb; for knowing how many hairs I have on my head; for forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love; and for never, ever letting go of my hand no matter how hard I try to shake loose. Thank you mom and dad for always believing in me and pushing me to do my best. Dad, thank you for teaching me to dream and teaching me how to turn those dreams into goals. Mom, thank you for teaching me about passion and leading with my heart rather than with my mind. Thank you to my brother for breaking through that first layer of sensitivity and teaching me how to laugh and take a joke. No matter how horrible I still am at it, you still keep working on me. To my future sister-in-law, I always tried to picture my brother’s wife, but no one I ever imagined would have held a candle to you. The road before us is stretched out and I can’t wait to enjoy the adventure. To my late grandmother, Wilma, I know I was never required to carry on your legacy, but that is one journey I would never trade.

So that’s all I’ve got so far. Like I said, you’ll see more installments as time progresses, and who knows, as time goes by, I’ll just keep meeting people to include. 🙂

Bathroom Scales and Retiring Co-Workers

I hate bathroom scales. I’m not sure if I hate them because they tell me something I don’t WANT to know or because they tell me something I NEED to know. This morning, my scale was very unkind. I didn’t feel or look as heavy as it said I was, but I guess it was one more reminder that I need to be more disciplined on my eating habits. I hate to exercise, too, so I pretty much have to rely on my eating habits to decrease my weight. My clothes still fit. They’re getting a little tighter, but sometimes I choose to think they shrunk in the dryer. 🙂 The thing is I know what I need to do to get back to where I was about a year ago, but it’s that whole wake up call/take action motivator that I’m lacking. Tomorrow is another day…maybe I’ll have motivation then. 🙂

I love my job and my relationships with my co-workers contribute to how much I love my job. But, my favorite co-worker (we’ll call her HHM) is retiring today, so losing HHM will actually decrease how much I love my job. She’s listened to me vent quite often, and the best things she’s ever done has been that…to genuinely listen. I’m not a fan of change, so as you can imagine, I’m not dealing with this so well. I guess I’m just going to miss my friend. She’s always the first person to say Good Morning to me and give me a smile. When you start living on your own, you start to recognize those people who first greeted you in the morning like your parents when you were little. That person has changed for me over the years, but I don’t know that any of them have ever had as a bright a smile for me in the morning as HHM. Who’s that person for you?

First Post

This is my first post. Yep…decided to jump on the bandwagon of this whole Blog thing. I’m at work right now, so there’s no time for much more than this. Stay Tuned……………..