My mom called me last night around 9:30pm. The first thing out of her mouth was, “I don’t want you to worry,” which of course sent me into worry overdrive.
She was calling to inform me my father was in the hospital.
Here’s the story: On Tuesday, my dad was walking up the stairs from the Metro to his office in the Pentagon when he felt this massive chest pain. He told me it felt like someone was sitting on his chest. The person he was with noticed he was in major pain and asked to be of assistance, but he shook him (her?) off because “Dammit, I wanted to vote!” Leave it to my dad to make sure his vote counts when he’s having chest pain.
Yesterday my father was concerned enough to call his doctor to make an appointment. The naval clinic at Bethesda told him that they do not make appointments for people who are having chest pain, that he needs to go to the ER immediately. He walked downstairs to the clinic in the Pentagon, told them his issue, and the next thing he knew, he was in an ambulance on his way to the hospital.
They don’t fool around with chest pain.
They did bloodwork at the hospital and determined that my father’s pain was not a heart attack and that his heart didn’t seem to show any damage. But this morning they performed surgery on him to determine whether his arteries were blocked. He went in to surgery at 11am, and by 3pm he called me he was out of surgery and doing just fine. Two of his arteries were really, really blocked, and they opened one with angioplasty. They also installed a stent. They’ll go back and do the other at a later date.
I can’t tell you how relieved I was to hear my dad’s voice. I was out running errands at the time, and I was surprised to see his number pop up on the screen. When it was him on the other line, and not my mom, every muscle in my body relaxed. I hadn’t realized till then how tense I’d been.
This whole episode, resulting in the angioplasty, has prevented my dad from suffering a major heart attack and needing bypass surgery. I am so very thankful he paid attention to what he body was telling him and decided to get it checked out!! He was certainly headed for a massive heart attack with the blockage that was present.
As if that weren’t enough, I had yet another bad customer service experience. I’m part of an ornament exchange with my Flickr group, and I had cleared my local Michael’s out of an essential component when I bought the first batch of stuff two weeks ago. I figured that would give Michael’s enough time to replenish what I bought, so today I went back for more.
There was no more on the shelf. I flagged down an employee, a scruffy young man who would looked like he’d fit in better at a guitar shop than a craft store. He reluctantly followed me back to where my needed component was displayed and succintly informed me there was no more. Well, no duh. Was there any in the back? He half-heartedly waved his pricing gun over the bar code, and when it didn’t register, he decided simply to tell me that they didn’t have more in the back, and that another truck of merchandise would arrive on Monday.
I politely informed him I needed the component now-ish, and could he tell me if the component was guaranteed to be delivered on Monday? He went off searching for an assistant manager, who successfully scanned the barcode on the shelf and told me that while that particular Michael’s had no more of what I wanted, that the Warwick store had plenty. She then asked the surly clerk to call the Warwick store for me and put a hold on the items I wanted.
It was at that point I let Kurt handle it, and I went looking around the store with Grace. Kurt told me later that the kid couldn’t even get the phone to work, that Kurt had to hand him his own cell phone for him to call up to the Warwick store to see if we could get the items I needed. By the time we left, I was boiling mad.
What with this item being very seasonal, I decided it would be best for me to head to Warwick to get the item in question. Off I went with both Grace and Mary Ellen, seeing as Kurt had to go back to work for the afternoon.
At the Warwick store, I met a man who was very, very helpful to me (and that’s when I got the positive news regarding my dad). He found where the item was on the shelf in his store, and when I told him what had happened to me that morning at the Newport Michael’s, he headed to the back to search for the items I needed. He was gone a good twenty minutes, the whole time diligently looking for my items. He finally came back and apologized about a million times to me for not having what I needed readily available, and assured me that the items were there, he just couldn’t find them because they had so much new product that was all boxed up in the back. He took my name and number and promised to hold the items I wanted so I can come back this weekend and purchase them.
When I told him what had happened with the surly clerk in Newport, and the fact that the kid couldn’t even work the phones, he was very, very apologetic. I told him it wasn’t his store or his employee, but then he reminded me that all the employees represent the Michael’s company as a whole, so it was a shame I’d been treated that way.
I only wish the folks that worked at the Warwick store worked down here in Newport because the Warwick folks really seem to know what they’re doing, especially regarding customer service.
So I’ll have to go back to Warwick this weekend to get what I need. At least I’ll be able to hit Trader Joe’s while I’m there!