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August 06, 2008

Two askings in one day

August 7. Day 38.

I made two small requests today, which may add up to a whole one.

I) I went grocery shopping at a Whole Foods I don't usually visit and discovered two products I'd been on the lookout for: their store made hummus, which I first experienced on the Fourth of July in Sequoia courtesy of T&T, and a pack of dried carrots, which I used to munch on in Boston and haven't found so far in California.

But I was underwhelmed by both products. The hummus was lumpy and definitely a different style from what I had tasted (perhaps the store version varies by location, or I picked up the wrong kind), and the carrots were incredibly salty.

Old me: toss everything in the fridge. Someone will eat it eventually. Or not. But you don't return food. Not to a grocery store! New me: "Hello? Could I speak with someone in customer service? Thanks. Hi. I bought some things from your store today that weren't what I expected. No, nothing wrong, just not what I was hoping for. Could I bring them in for a refund? Yes, I have the receipt."

Gained I: Nothing, but almost $10 will be restored to my credit card.

II) I was sitting in a cafe (as usual), trying to work (as usual) when I realize I needed to get outside of my head. I had written two intro sentences to a piece I'm already in a rush to finish, and I couldn't decide between them. One was snappy, the other descriptive. So I turned to the first person I saw and asked her if she'd mind giving me her input.

It was kind of random. I definitely ran the risk of imposing. And I had no idea about her tastes or even her first language (she seemed foreign and it was an Italian cafe). But she smiled when I approached her, and she was a reader. Oh, and she could read English. That's all that mattered. I needed to connect with anyone who might come across my opening sentences. She cast her vote -- the snappy version -- with this explanation: "It's more direct. It instantly gets my attention." (No, it wasn't for this blog, but as you see, I took her advice twice.)

Gained II: A reader's opinion, and a reminder to cut to the chase.
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