It’s particularly frustrating and disappointing when it’s companies you deal with all the time, where you’re a regular, loyal customer. That really hurts.
But then, when you least expect it, somebody comes along who just blows your mind. Does something so sweet and kind it just shocks you. In a good way.
Which is exactly what happened to me last Thursday.
Long story short, I had to sign and return a document to a client. It was their document and, for some reason, my online signature wouldn’t work on it. I tried for at least a half hour, until I was ready to throw my computer off my balcony and gave up.
So I printed out said document, signed it the old fashioned way, with a pen, and tried to scan it, so I could email it back to the client. Well, it seems that a million years ago, when I bought my printer, the tech support guy I had at the time never did whatever he should have done to enable the scanning function. I suppose I could have figured it out, but I don’t trust myself with technology, with good reason, I might add.
By now I was ready to scream.
To make matters worse, I don’t have a fax machine. Why would I? I never fax anything anymore.
There’s a UPS store about three blocks from where I live. They have a fax machine. So annoying as it was to have to go that route, I got everything I needed organized, got dressed and, just before I left, while I was standing at my door, I gave the form one last look.
Drats! I’d made a mistake. Made the correction, printed it out again, went to UPS, faxed it, paid and left. This all happened last Wednesday.
By the time I got home there was an email waiting for me. I’d forgotten to sign it, and a signature was necessary.
My first inclination was to bang my head against the wall. Hard. My next inclination was to self-righteously insist I had signed it. Which I had done. For once in my life, caution prevailed. So I got out the copy the guy at the UPS store had given me. No signature. “What the hell?” I thought.
Then I remembered. I had signed it the first time I’d done it. But when I had to make the correction I printed it out and left without looking at it, or signing it.
Stooopid! Now I was pissed off at myself. It was well after 5:00 p.m. and I was tired and fed up and decided to wait for the next day. Thursday.
Thursday morning, bright and early, I once again gathered up the necessary papers and, this time, checked them thoroughly. Yes, it was signed.
Got to UPS, explained why I was back so soon, and handed the offending paperwork to the owner. It took seconds for the fax to go through and I stood there, $5.05 in hand, waiting for him to ring it up and take my money. I knew what it had cost because I’d been there the day before, doing the same thing.
“Oh no,” he said, “Put your money away. There’s no charge.”
Dumbfounded, I stood there with my mouth open. “Oh no,” I replied. “This was my mistake, of course I’ll pay you. This wasn’t your fault, you’re running a business here, I insist.”
He smiled, looked at me like I was crazy for suggesting it and refused to take the money. I staggered out of there, talking to myself.
In reality the five dollars will not make a difference in either of our lives, but that’s not the point.
What is most shocking is the fact that I am not a regular customer there, nor am I likely to be. I’m barely a customer at all. Since he’s taken that store over, this was my third visit. The first was several months ago. Who knows when he’ll ever see me again. It’s not the kind of business someone like me needs very often. I don’t ship much, I don’t remember the last time I had to send a fax and I have a printer at home.
None of that mattered to him. He felt bad I’d made a mistake and decided I shouldn’t have to pay for it.
I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t even know his name. I was too stunned to ask. But I do know where his UPS is located: 110 Cumberland Street, lower level. The phone number’s 416-968-6233. If you live or work in the neighborhood I hope you’ll give him your business. He deserves our support.