Post #419 Is Customer Service Dead in America?

September 25, 2015 at 12:11 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Despite the title, this post really is going to be about food.  Just not at the start.  First, a little bit of sad news.  A couple of months ago, we lost our Dusty-dog.   We rescued him when he was an older dog and we got to treasure him and spoil him for six years.  He developed some fast growing tumors and the vet said the best thing was to make him comfortable for as long as possible; he wasn’t in any pain.  During the final few days, as he grew weaker, he became a little incontinent and the carpet near the front door became stained.  I worked to keep the area as clean as possible, but I also didn’t want to upset Dusty too much.  After his final vet visit, I scrubbed and washed and got most of the stains up.

Dusty 04

We had three dogs in this house for a year.  It’s a damp area sitting between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay.  During summer and winter the house is closed tight.  During spring and fall, it’s open, but there are humid days.  Scents tend to grab onto things and stick around.  Particularly carpets.  We spread baking soda, and other deodorizers, and once a month I’d get several cans of Resolve and a scrub brush and get as much stuff off the carpets as I could.  But after Dusty left us, we decided it was time to get the carpets professionally done.

Last weekend, Partner/Spouse got online to Sears Home Services and scheduled deep carpet cleaning and dog deodorizing for the three downstairs rooms and the stairway.  Those were the only rooms the dogs went to because we kept the upstairs blocked off.  He set up the schedule for Thursday morning.  We had a guest on Sunday and were out and about a lot, but late in the afternoon, there was a voicemail on my phone.  I listened but couldn’t make out all the words except I could tell it was Sears Home Services.  Later, I received a confirmation email with a contact number.  On Monday morning, I called them back and explained I couldn’t understand their message, and then confirmed the time and the address and contact info.  The woman told me I’d be receiving a call the night before the appointment, and another call when they were 45 minutes away.  She said to expect them between 8am and 12pm.  Standard stuff, no worries, no problems.

Thursday morning, I got up at the regular time and around 7am, after the dogs were fed, I spent 30 minutes moving furniture and getting stuff out of the way.  I forgot my own breakfast, but carpet cleaning is fairly quick so I anticipated being able to fix something quick and easy fairly soon.  I didn’t want to make anything until they were gone because it would be awkward if they came in during the middle of fixing something, etc.  By 12:30pm, I was getting angry.  No call, no show, no food, no clean carpets.

I called and the young lady looked up the appointment and said, “I’m sorry sir, but your appointment was cancelled.  You’re out of our service area.  Someone should have called you.”  Anyone who knows me will be able to figure the next sequence of events.  I was polite to the girl since I knew it wasn’t her fault but she made the notes in my file, etc.  I took to social media, and some of you may have seen it.  I hit FB, Yelp, went to the franchise’s web site, and the corporate web site.  Then I called Partner/Spouse to tell him what happened.  He happened to be on his way home early, also hungry and said he was taking me out for a late lunch/early dinner when he got home.  So I fumed and stewed and slammed furniture around and hit the carpets with Resolve and a brush.  Then took a shower and played on the computer for fun.

We ended up at one of my personal favorites, The High Spot.  It’s on High Street here in our little town.  It has outdoor seating, on street parking, and is just a fun little spot to eat.

The High Spot

We sat at the first umbrella to the right.  It’s an upscale restaurant, a little pricey for just simple casual dining, but it’s so good!  We started with a glass of house chardonnay from a local vineyard I hadn’t been to yet and it was so smooth and so mellow!  I very tasty wine.  Drinking wine in the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday with perfect weather seemed very Parisian and slightly decadent.  We then shared a grilled Caesar salad.  It was an entire half head of Romaine lettuce that had been place on the grill for a minute or two so part of it was charred.  Then the homemade salad dressing was drizzled on it and it was sprinkled with bacon bits, parmesan cheese, and homemade croutons.  (If you’ve never made your own croutons, do so one time.  You’ll love it.)  Grilled lettuce just tastes burned, but the charred flavor combined with everything else was unique.  Partner/Spouse had a hamburger grilled in duck fat with a fried duck egg on top.  It was way to large to just pick up and eat so he plowed into it with a knife and fork and found it delicious.  I ordered the fish and chips and it was perfect!  The fries were excellent, but the fish was deep fried and if it had stayed in the fryer another five seconds, it would have been ruined.  The chef has a very deft touch and seems to know exactly when something is done.

After enjoying our lunch/dinner combo, and finishing our wine and tea/water (he had tea, I had water) he suggested we go to a nearby farmer’s market we hadn’t been to but wanted to check out.  It’s on the Long Wharf and is only open Thursday 3-6.  I know, very awkward hours.  And this late in the season, after summer is over, there wasn’t a lot there, less than a dozen stalls.  However, I did get this:

bowl o' tomatoes

A whole bowl of tomatoes.  (I already had the zucchini.)  Not sure what I’m going to make with it but grilled tomatoes for dinner this weekend sounds good.  But even better, I found a new winery.  New for me, not them.

It’s called Tilmon’s Island Winery.  The guy manning the booth was about our age, big fluffy beard, big straw hat, and a personality as large as the river we were next to.

wine bottles

He let us taste, for free, anything we wanted.  I asked for a dry white and he gave me the a taste from the bottle you see at the front.  It’s called Choptank Chardonnay.  It’s wonderful.  Then he mentioned the chambourcin grape and we had to have a taste of that.  It’s a red wine and in most places tends to be a little heavy, but this was light and pleasant.  It’s called Bay Country Chambourcin.  I went to their web site and found that they are a “boutique” winery, making only small quantities of high quality wines.  We bought four bottles and got them for around $8 each, even though they sell for quite a bit more than that through their web site and store.  So two are in hiding for our upcoming nuptials, and two are out for consumption.  I’ve already starting consumpting the chardonnay, as you can see.  Before we left, he recommended his rhubarb wine.  I don’t normally like fruit wines (although out here on the Eastern Shore they seem to be a way of life and most I’ve tried are very good) this was exceptional.  As a kid, I used to eat rhubarb right out of the ground because I loved the sour taste.  I like rhubarb pie, even the ones with strawberries.  This wine tasted like wonderful wine, with the light taste of rhubarb, and the hint of summer in the background.  So good!

So we went back home, I finished the carpets, dealt with a couple of emails from Sears.  And then realized that overall, despite it’s beginning, it was a pretty good day.  Sears may have sucky sucky sucky customer service, the small town where I live still has people who like and care about other people and are willing to treat them well.



  1. A burger grilled in duck fat topped with a duck egg? I zoned out like a kid wishing for a Red Rider BB gun ! Make it a Bison burger and add red onions and I might have to move out there !

    • Tim got his “his way” (no mushrooms) so I bet they’d make yours anyway you asked as long as they have the ingredients. If you get out here while they’re still serving outside, we’ll take you there. I wouldn’t hold my breath for bison, but you never know!

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