Friends, generosity, quirkiness, and great customer service

Today is kind of a mish-mash post of big and small weirdnesses that are simply part of my life. The weirdnesses are part of my life and therefore all seem perfectly normal, then my life overlaps with someone else who is far more regular and mainstream normal, and I recognize that we are a little, sometimes a lot, kind of quirky.

But M and I – we are okay with that.

This week we hosted runner friends M met at an ultramarathon last year, got to know via email and Facebook and other groups they all belong to, and invited them to stay with us and run with he and his friends a few days while they were here next. They are nice young men, in the US for a few weeks, and wandering up and down the state visiting other runner people they have met in their travels. They were delightful and near-perfect guests. While I want everyone who stays with us to feel at home, I do not want them to be so completely self-sufficient that they fend for themselves to the point that I feel a tiny bit like a poor hostess because I cannot do more for them. Obviously me and more of my first world problems.

I found this sweet thank you note from them last night, and it made me smile. I kind of miss them already and am looking forward with hopeful heart they can return next year.

Then there is friend J, who I have spoken and written about several times on this blog. He is a pillar of my tribe from our long, odd-couple unlikely friendship bond. When I introduce him to new people he has always referred to himself as the “younger brother I never wanted but am now stuck with,” and it is both accurate and endearing.

I admire his generosity and his kindness. For every single instance he drives me batshit crazy, there are at least 20 more that he reminds me how fortunate I am that he is part of my life, and he has no problem listing them in bullet-point format. This time it’s a little thank you gift he sent to trainer J, a bottle of booze in a bag that says “Stay calm and drink on.” Seriously. I’m supposed to walk through my very family oriented gym at 5:30 in the morning with a bottle of scotch in a bag like that? Batshit. Crazy. Love him to death, but sometimes I have to remind him that my sense of propriety is not the same as his. But trainer J loved the gift, so that’s what matters most.

Anyway, the reason for the thank you gift is that trainer J turned him onto a fitness coach and program that is kickstarting a new direction in his return to regular weightlifting. Friend J has been hawkishly watching my progress and the programs trainer J creates for me, partly because he can be neurotically overprotective and partly because he is/was kind of bored with his own training. Now that his hand is completely healed and he was going back to regular weightlifting after several years of powerlifting, the boost from this new program has been great for him. He and M commiserate daily about their aches and pains like gossiping old ladies, so I get daily recaps.

The 2 J’s have no relationship, other than they are friends and such of mine. To most anyone else this would seem weird, receiving a thank you gift from a stranger. But that’s just my very kind and generous friend, in all his brilliant, potty-mouthed, let’s-be-a-little-edgy-and-inappropriate glory. He’s kind of quirky, too.

And on the customer service side, let me just sing the praises of Amazon.

I ordered some minibands for 2 friends who are just now getting back into their own fitness efforts. I ordered them on Saturday, and 12 sets were delivered on Monday and charged to my account. Now even if they had only charged me for the 2 sets I ordered, I would have still contacted customer service about the mistake. Because karma is a bitch. After emailing Amazon about the error and requesting a return authorization for 10 sets, within the hour Amazon customer service got back to me and not only reversed the charges for 10 sets, they said I could simply keep the extras rather than returning them for my trouble.

While it’s true that I do quite a bit of business with Amazon, better prices and free shipping is only part of the reason. Through the years there have been only a few problems with a purchases that required returns or resolution, and their customer service has always been exemplary.

So what did I do with the extra 10 sets of minibands? I gave them to trainer J for present or future clients or to add to his own arsenal of training tools. I certainly do not need them – I already have 2 sets myself and use both from time to time – and he will be able to put them into productive service far more easily. This is not precisely generous, merely practical; if I am not returning them, I may as well give them to someone who will be able to utilize them.

It has been a fun week, despite the bird death of yesterday and the work drama earlier int he week. M was not especially upset about the bird, more philosophical about how awkward and difficult the circumstances of Sweety Tweety’s shortened life. Or extended, depending upon how you look at it. Had M left her where found, she would have either become a kitty treat or expired from starvation.

Fun and happy Friday, for sure, and even more fun this weekend ahead. M and I are going out for family dinner tonight with the kids. Saturday and Sunday are a mixture of exercise, work-work, getting together with old friends in town, and hopefully some inroads on rearranging the furniture and decluttering our household. We have so much crap! Slowly but surely we are whittling it down to stuff that fits our life and lifestyle now, not who we were and how we were cooking and eating and living even 5 years ago. Slow and steady progress is rule 1 in this effort.

Happy weekending everyone!

 

2 thoughts on “Friends, generosity, quirkiness, and great customer service

  1. Life is hard sometimes but no matter what when you surround yourself with loving and caring people Life becomes wonderful in all kinds of day. After all that’s how I found you 🙂

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