Archive for February, 2012

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day. Flowers, candy, dinner, romance and love. When I first heard that Shannon would be out-of-town for work starting Tuesday of this week, I had a momentary feeling of disappointment. No Valentine’s Day? Then I thought about it. We’re not that couple. We don’t need a holiday to tell us to remember that we love each other. As the day neared, we joked a little about not being together for Valentine’s Day, but we didn’t really even think about it seriously. It was just another day.

The mutual lack of significance we placed on Valentine’s Day gave me the idea that a surprise gift would really be cool. So, while Shannon was out with her sisters doing yoga, I made the call to 1800 Flowers and ordered a gift basket to be delivered to the hotel she would be checking into on Tuesday evening. Brilliant. That’s when things went to hell. And they went to hell in stages.

Stage 1: The missing address. Somehow, the polite Indian fellow who took my order (his name was “Jeff,” but that’s another post) forgot to get the address of the hotel from me. He got the name of the hotel and the zip code, but no street address. 1800 Flowers proceeded to call me thirty-seven times in the course of 1 hour while I was sitting next to Shannon. Finally I gave in and answered, which forced me to make up a story about Walgreens calling about my prescription. To get the address, which was accessible by internet, I sneaked outside with Shannon’s sister (thanks Kelli) and pretended to help her put in her car seat while I explained what I needed from her, and her smart phone. On the way to a family dinner, she covertly found the address and wrote it on a receipt that I had sitting in the car. When Shannon went to the bathroom during dinner, I sneaked out again and called 1800 Flowers back. They assured me that, with this last piece of information, the package would be delivered by 7pm Tuesday. One more white lie about my Mom calling and asking for help moving something and I was home free.

Stage 2: The waiting game. On Tuesday, I woke up giddy. I left Shannon a little note wishing her a good trip, and headed off to work. After a long day at work and a long afternoon wondering when Shannon would check in, she called me from her hotel room. She then proceeded to ask me for help with her credit card bill, complain about travel complications, and make absolutely no mention of her surprise at my gift. What the hell? After calling the hotel, it was determined that the package did not arrive. I called 1800 Flowers, but apparently the don’t take calls on Valentine’s Day. I went through their automated system for several minutes, and was hung up on. Cool.

Stage 3: Tracking the problems. On Wednesday, after innocuously determining that Shannon would still be at her hotel that night, I called the hotel again. Still no delivery. The hotel, a Country Inn and Suites, suggested that maybe it was delivered to the Comfort Inn and Suites across the street. Another phone call, still no gift. I called 1800 Flowers again, and actually got to talk to a person, who informed me that the package was delivered on Tuesday. Um…pretty sure it wasn’t. When I disagreed with him, he immediately told me that, even though it was delivered, if I did not receive the package then he could refund my purchase and give me a $20 voucher toward a future purchase.

Stage 4: Decompression. After fuming about poor customer service and the stress of coming up with a fun idea, and then having it blow up in my face, I told Shannon the whole story. She of course thought it was hilarious and thought I was adorable for trying. Since she wasn’t expecting anything, she wasn’t disappointed. And it is a pretty funny story. But I’m still kind of annoyed.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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