An Unexpected Gift

It's the little things in life that count (a seven inch violin)

Getting to know the vendors (office supplies, computers, cameras, bookstore, etc.) who supply your business will pay unexpected dividends. I make the effort to connect with the owners and or managers at all the places I spend money. I’ve been able to finesse my people skills and it has paid dividends…..

I received an unexpected gift yesterday. Upon reflection the setup for this unexpected gift happened last month. I believe in rewards programs and I’m picky about which ones I participate in. (frankly some have so many rules and exceptions, they’re not worth the effort.) I find the Staples Rewards program efficient and easy to use. Staples pays $3.00 per recycled inkjet cartridge, up to ten at a time. They also have a number of cash back, instant rebate, coupons and other promotions that put money back in my pocket. I like that a lot.

I pay compliments to business people who provide good purchasing experiences. I treat my clients the way I want to be treated and when I get the opportunity to recognize an outstanding example, I do my part and participate by letting that person or business know how they’re doing. The Staples store in Pasadena is run by a very friendly manager and when I was in the store last December (turning in 10 cartridges), she happened to be working at one of the cash registers. As she was taking in my spent cartridges I mentioned what a great recycling program they were running and it was the key reason I was a Staples customer.

She was pleased and flattered. She then went on to mention their December promotion was a 2 for 1 and that I qualified to get a coupon worth $60.00 instead of $30.00. Great! The coupon arrives and it’s for $30.00. I sent an inquiry to Staples corporate and their answer states the promotion was for a competing brand of ink and that a purchase of $50.00 worth of that same ink had to occur to qualify for the 2 for 1. I was disappointed. I figured the next time I’m there, I’ll let her know there was a miscommunication. I wasn’t mad but in the interest of helping her I thought I’d tell her what happened.

I’m in the store yesterday and I tell her. We hug and exchange a few pleasantries (small talk to loosen things up first) and then I tell her. Her eyes widen a bit. She asks for my rewards card and proceeds to ring up an additional $30.00 coupon. I said that wasn’t necessary, that I wasn’t looking for anything from her. She said she remembered telling me about the promotion and that she would honor her word. I am very appreciative of her professionalism and commitment to service.

Like I said an unexpected gift.

Michael Stern

My work depicts, appreciates and honors the people who build. Their specialized equipment and stunning challenges are marvels I behold and get paid to interpret. Hope you enjoy this site.

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