Saturday, January 9, 2010

Customer Service Award Goes to....

Something really neat happened today.

And it wasn't something I had to battle the gods that be to get.

I was watching tv yesterday and saw a commercial for Lowe's and their advertised special for $98 carpet installation.


I happen to be in the market for some new carpet in my never-ending quest in remodeling/refurbishing my home.

So I went to their website and started reading the small print regarding carpet installation and I ran across something that did not quite strike me in a good way.

The special installation excluded glue-down and carpet without padding.

Ok, glue-down I understand not being included with there being extra steps involved.

But why carpet without padding?

Doesn't Lowe's know that people in wheelchairs have a hard time rolling across a padded carpet? So if a person in a wheelchair wants carpet it would be easier to have no padding.

But why should they not be included in the installation special just because they cannot use the padding because they are in a wheelchair? Why should they have to pay more if they are receiving less- just because they are in a wheelchair and it is safer and easier for them not to have padding?

So I posed this question to Lowe's Customer Care division.

Within the day I had an email back from "Tracy" stating that she will pose the question to my store specifically.


I love a prompt response.

Then today I heard again from "Tracy" asking if there is anything else she can do for me.

I answered back YES!

I asked her to pose this question to her higher-ups so that company-wide this customer service question could be addressed. We'll see what happens and see if she runs with it. I asked her to get back with me.

Then "Jesus" called me from my local Lowe's in the NE side of town and explained that they would be more than happy to extend the installation special to someone not needing/wanting the padding under these special circumstances but that the 1-year warranty on installation would have to be waived.

I think that's fair.

And I think that's cool that a company the size of Lowe's didn't have to go through every rung on the ladder for an answer/solution.

(Surprising- isn't Lowe's a part of Walmart- one of my least-favorite corporations?)

Now- it would be even cooler if "Tracy" gets back with me to tell me that her bosses thought it was a great idea for the company to include in the small print that special circumstances would be included in their specials- just talk with your local store manager blah blah blah....

Wouldn't it be neat if a person with special needs were thought of BEFOREhand?

Wouldn't it be the cat's meow if they didn't even have to pose the question or ask for special favors in the pursuit of equality?

I tell ya- it would really be mind-blowing to a person so used to fighting for every bit of consideration!

Thank you, Lowe's NE, for some excellent customer service!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

For Her, my Mom

I lay against the pillow, halfway between dream and remembering...

Faster and faster I fall through the undulating fog of warmth.

Where am I?

The sun beats down on my face and fills my heart. Today is never-ending and perfect.

I run.

I play.

I hear thunder and run back to safety in her arms.

I catch baby birds in their mid baby-flight and learn to let them fly free to be themselves.

I am surrounded by love and hope.

I nuzzle against her bosom, inhaling her crisp spring, content to never move forward.

Why should I?

For today is an eternity and that is all I need.

And want.

Summer arrives.

I didn't know it was coming.

Little bees and big bees nip at me, buzzing in my ears and telling me secrets I didn't want to know.

I thought the bees loved me like the baby birds did.

But she says it's ok and hugs me.

She says to love the bees anyway for what they are. And if I need to run into her arms away from the bees she will always be here to hug me and kiss away their sting.

I run on to look for more baby birds, but they are all gone away home.

I hope just for the night?

The sun slants differently now, beautiful and scary.

Casting shadows that try to speak to me.

But I dream of the spring and they go away.

Falling faster and faster, I am flung into sooner.

The leaves look like leaves, but are crunchy and brown and tired.

I am still delighted, but wary of what the leaves want to tell me.

So she walks with me and later waits for me, her hug is bundled with the cookies she baked for me in anticipation of seeing me.

And everything is ok.

Falling yet faster through eternity I wake to bitter bitter cold.

Leafless gray trees try and snag me in the day and creak their scritchy-scratchy on my window at night.

But I am warm inside and she has locked the door.

I lay against the pillow, halfway between dream and remembering...

It's snowing softly outside and I become lost in it's own eternity of hope.

Content to just be.

But soon I feel the need to want to share these snowflakes with her as they whisper sweet in my ear and I know that no one could hear them the same or appreciate them like her.

I lay against the pillow, halfway between dream and remembering...

and wish I were home right now in her arms.

(Merry Christmas Mom, I love you x)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

PC Problems

Having pc problems at the moment and haven't been able to stay online too long- fan went out. Getting it fixed Friday.

Have a few posts in the works and so will try and get those finished and up in the next few days.....

Friday, December 4, 2009

Powerchairs and the Airline Industry

Why has this not been addressed as a safety and customer service issue by the airlines for umpteen years?


have 2-4 seats designated for larger persons in a predetermined section of the plane.


This also got me to thinking how do persons that need a wheelchair/powerchair travel on a plane?

I have never taken my client on a plane but have wondered about some of the logistics.

I have heard many horror stories of airlines insisting that powerchairs be held in cargo and the many chairs being broken because the crew does not know how to take apart a powerchair, or how to transport it intact.

With all the different manufacturers of powerchairs out there and no set universal chair prototype it's understandable. Though it is pretty basic stuff, for that matter.

The headrest needs to come off beforehand. That's pretty basic- there's usually a push button release by it and then you pull up while keeping your thumb depressed.

There's also the arm that holds the joystick and cables, a very important piece that needs to be handled with care. I don't recommend anyone take apart this piece unless they have prior experience. But that also leads to loss of equipment- the more pieces you take off/apart the odds increase for loss.

So why aren't power wheelchairs, let alone manual chairs, allowed in the passenger seating?

I have read that many airlines object to having that kind of chair in passenger seating because of the batteries.

Sounds valid, but this is also based on old data and the closed gel fuel cells that most chairs use today are completely sealed and safe for transport.

Which also brings up the obvious question- how do people dependant on their chairs use the bathroom on a plane?

The answer is- they don't.

They usually "fast" the night or a few hours before, thus eliminating some of the need to use the bathroom in the first place.

They also are subject to doing what alot of people with disabilities learn to do- and that is to adapt and improvise.

In other words, using a blanket or whatnot to cover themselves and use a hand-held urinal. Easier for the guys, what about the women?

I don't see alot of dignity in the choices for people with disabilities as far as this matter is concerned.

I want to be fair to the airlines, and so later today I will conduct a survey and try to find out as much information as possible on these issues and will update this article.

I am very interested in finding out what the airline industry, governed by a federal entity, is obligated to do to accomodate persons with disabilities.

A Christmas Wish

Jaime, Jaime, Jaime.


You agreed to an interview with me months ago and I am still sitting here with a pen and blank paper.

I don't want to do it over the phone- I need to get the feel, tone, mood, nuance of your answers and need to look you in the eye.

That's also why I thought to do the interview while playing pool in a relaxed atmosphere.

But then again, me beating you game after game might change the mood of the interview huh? ;)

I know you're a busy guy, I'm a busy gal.

Christmas is coming up, elections are coming up, taxes will be due......

you're not getting any younger and I really wanted to call the interview "At age 33 (?) the Lionstar Is a Refreshing Young Face with His Thumb on the Pulse of El Paso's Political Scene"- but if we wait any longer I'll have to call it "At Age 93 the Lionstar Is a Cranky Old Man with his Thumb in His Mouth at the Height of His Second Childhood and Saying 'We're in El Paso?' "

So give a girl a break... I'm not getting any younger, either!

The "LIFT" Running Late This Morn

According to Laura Cruz-Acosta of Sun Metro the LIFT paratransit service is running about 30 to 45 minutes late at this time.

There's alot of roads and highways that are slick and even some road closures, so please be patient.

Any questions please call 544-2514

Noreen Jaramillo Leaving KFOX14

I watch all the news channels.

No one particular channel is my favorite.

When I was in Chicago channel 7 abc was one of my favorites, also channel 9 WGN, locally.

Here in El Paso I watch them all, especially abc7 and KFOX14, or whatever they're calling themselves now.

Along with my coffee, that is how I like to start my day, watching the morning news.

So it's been interesting to watch KFOX the past few years, especially how the anchors get along.

Noreen Jaramillo and Ben Swann were an interesting duo.

Noreen practically shined sitting next to Ben. There was a good chemistry, almost a flirtation going on, in a good-natured sense and the broadcast flowed smoothly with news and was entertaining at the same time.

Then Ben moved on and Noreen was left to report alone.

Enter Israel Balderas.

I liked Israel immediately.

He was as "square" as they come and seemed like a real gentleman and just cut from a different cloth.

Yeah, he had a few weeks (or more) of getting used to how the show was run, he kept going to weather when it was time for traffic or vice-versa- which annoyed Noreen Jaramillo to no end and she could barely hide her disgust.

In fact, it was so painful to watch at times I had to switch channels.

The two anchors just didn't click. I don't know if it was because Israel didn't flirt with Noreen or if it was because she didn't get his corny jokes or she was acting the prima dona and he was the greenhorn, I don't know.

All I do know is that Noreen's seat was higher than Israel's and she usually had the laptop in front of her, she let everyone know who the big dog was.

One time, many many months since Israel came on to Fox, I wrote him an email about some story reported and also made the observation of how he and Noreen worked together on air. Israel was kind enough to respond promptly, and in true Israel Balderas fashion, went on to write "let's just say it's been an interesting time for the past year and a half. I think St. Paul said it best when he wrote that perseverance produces character and character produces hope. So I hope people now like the character we have on the air."

I did like Israel.

I didn't like how Noreen treated him.

Then Israel left for other pastures and Noreen was left as sole anchor again.

Enter Stephanie Guadian.

I was wondering how Noreen was going to take sharing the spotlight, especially with another woman.

I was surprised they got on well.

Now we know why- Noreen Jaramillo is leaving KFOX.

Just my opinion- Noreen was no sweetheart of El Paso and she certainly couldn't hold a candle to Estela Casas, El Paso's matriarch.

So I wish her luck on her next venture and hope she learns to play nice (and professional).

And maybe for Christmas she'll get a button-down blouse and some new suitcoats, maybe a new hairstyle. She certainly could use some sprucing up besides wearing t-shirts and baggy shirt-jackets.