Saturday, May 26, 2012

Introduction to the World of PRs

Our youngest son introduced us to something new this spring.


Track & Field.

I know what you’re thinking.

A Peacock kid running?


They don’t call him “Greased Lightning” on the football field for nothing.

(The nickname is ironic, just so you know.  And actually, just to set the record straight, it turns out Tyler can run.  But this is Bryce’s story today).

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yeah, throwing metal objects.  That’s what Bryce did in Track & Field…





And Discus.

I guess they don’t let high school kids play with javelins.  Probably wise.

So here’s the interesting thing.  Well, it was interesting to me, since my kids have always played team sports.  There are amazing lessons to be learned in team sports but what I really liked about throwing is that it was much more about improving yourself instead of beating someone else.


Personal Record.

That was the goal each week—to do better than you did last week.  Someone didn’t have to lose for you to win.  Sweet.

Of course, if your best was better than someone else’s best, then you did get points for your team.  BUT.  The focus was on the individual competing against himself.  Is he progressing?

Bryce progressed.  He was awarded most improved on the throwing team. (Proud mother moment, sorry).



New life lessons with great applicability in real life.  I love the idea that we don’t have to compare ourselves to others to feel successful.  That someone else doesn’t have to lose for me to win.  And I love that the goal is to seek personal improvement rather than winner take all.


I like it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Lost Art of Groveling

I’ve had a hard time spending money the last few months.

Unbelievable, but true.

Put your feet up, it’s gonna be a rant.

Queen Sofa SleeperFirst, I ordered new couches for the living room.  “Oh,” the salesman said, “we have these made to order couches where you can pick the fabric, the size, the arm shape, etc. and it only takes a 1-2 weeks.” 

Sounds good. Sign me up. 

At the end of week 2, I donate my old couches to a yard sale to send kids to soccer camp.  Win-win.  They make money, I have plenty of space for my new couches that are imminent.

That was 8 weeks ago.

I call the next week to get a status report.  They would check and call me back.

“Oh,” the voice says, “the factory would like to have a better picture of what you have in mind with the tufted pillows.”

They’re asking now?  1 week after the couches were to be delivered?  Alright.  I send a picture.

Two weeks later, I call to get a status report.  This is week 5.  They say they’ll call me back.  No call.  I call back two days later.

Oh, the fabric is on backorder.

For 8 more weeks.

Maybe someone should’ve told me that?  Like maybe the first week when they got the order, but certainly by the time I queried week 3?  Is there no follow up?

Um.  I’ve got no furniture in my living room, and company’s coming.  “We can get you loaner couches!”  They say.

Loaner couches? 

Alright.  8 weeks.  We’ll see.  Glad I only put a deposit down. 

Second.  (Yes, there’s more!)

I may have mentioned my obsession with this little beauty:

Well, I got the green light from the hubby so I headed on in to my local dealer and plop my checkbook on the counter.


Well, I guess I must be getting a little picky in my old age.  First I can’t find a couch I like so I have to build my own and now there’s not a car on the lot with the right mix of this-n-that to satisfy me.

I’ve waited 11 years for a new car.  I want what I want.

(Cue the violins, I know.  Everyone should have such problems.)

Of course, I get a green salesperson.  I tell him I’ll make it easy on him, just find me the car and I’ll buy it.  I’m happy to be his first sale.  Ever.

By that evening, he’s still coming up with lackluster solutions and not being creative.  We complain just loudly enough in the dealership that we get kicked up a notch.

The fleet manager will take care of us.  Oh there’s a car that’ll work in San Fran and another in Denver.  It’s late, he’ll try to make a trade and get one of them to me.  If not, we can order exactly what we want and it’ll take about 7 weeks.  Like I said I want what I want and I’ve waited 11 years, so I can wait 7 weeks.  He’ll call tomorrow.

But he doesn’t.  Seriously, the phone works just fine.  Just ask the telemarketers.

He finally calls me a day later.  I’m outside at a football event and there’s a gazillion people around so it’s hard to hear but I do get the gist that neither of the cars are available and he’s ordering my car. 

About halfway through the 7 weeks, I email just to get an expected delivery date and confirmation of the order.  Three days later I call his direct line (which he gave me to show how responsive he was being to our needs when we were sitting at his desk) since I’ve had no response.

“Oh.  Remind me the situation.  Do you have an order #?”

No lie.

No I don’t have an order number.  You told me over the phone you’d take care of me and you were ordering my car.  That’s ALL I know.

So, I tell him and he says he’ll call me back.  But, of course, he doesn’t.

I get busy, two weeks go by.  I call him again.  Of course, he has to call me back because he’s not in the office.  “And what was that order #?”  AAAARGH!!!

I’m done.  I start looking through on-line inventory and by now the new model year has come out so there’s a lot of cars.  None are MY car exactly, but there’s a couple of close ones.   I send in a query, and note in the comments that there may be, possibly, but I’m unsure, an order placed on a vehicle already for me, just in the interest of full disclosure.  I know how to communicate.

So the internet guy calls me 2 seconds later (now THAT’s what I expect from a car salesman!).

He’s happy to sell me the car I asked about but he’ll check on the order for me first.

Now I get a call from the OTHER fleet manager who actually orders vehicles.

“Do you no longer want the car on order?”

“Do I have a car on order?”

“Of course. The order was placed 3 weeks ago.”

Three weeks ago.  Exactly when I started calling Fleet Manager #1 to check on the status three weeks AFTER he said he’d ordered it.  Oops. 

Then Fleet Manager #2 starts telling me how wonderful he is for expediting the order after Fleet Manager #1 failed to order it originally.  Aren’t I just so impressed with FM #2?

What is missing is this part:

“Mrs. Peacock, I’m SOOOOOOO sorry WE dropped the ball originally.  You are so very important to us and we want to make sure you are satisfied in every way in making this VERY MAJOR purchase.” etc. etc.


Yes, I so miss groveling.  It would have made all the difference in my perception of both of these experiences.  Call me and tell me what’s going on.  Even if it’s bad news.  Apologize.  Accept responsibility.  Free stuff never hurts.  That I can live with and even come away with a positive experience.

You just don’t get enough of it these days.