Category Archives: Rant

Why is it so difficult to leave positive feedback?

Complaining is easier than complimenting. At least for one company and at least in my (recent) experience.

Yesterday morning was rainy — not raining necessarily, but moist and the ground was wet. I was also expecting a delivery of flour. I was keeping an eye out for the FedEx delivery truck while I went about my day for two reasons, the first was because I was hoping the delivery would arrive by noon since I needed to make some bread and was out of an ingredient that was in the order. The other reason was because of the rainy day. I worried that the delivery person would toss the package on the porch and the bottom of the package would become damp which could then seep into the flour.

The doorbell rang around 11:30 am and when I answered the door, saw my package leaning up against the house so only one edge touched the wet porch. I was so happy with the delivery I immediately called FedEx to provide positive feedback. I was on the phone for half an hour, with someone who at first didn’t understand that I was not complaining, but complimenting. When he seemed to understand this, he didn’t know what to do, so asked a supervisor. The supervisor was no help, so after some long waits on the phone the FedEx help person said they’d call me back “within an hour”.

The call never came and meanwhile I turned to Twitter where I followed FedEx’s help feed and posted the following:

“a delivery containing flour was delivered on a rainy day. The FedEx delivery person did everything right: rang the doorbell, placed package near the house and tilted so only a small edge touched the (not covered) porch. How can I make sure he knows I appreciate it?”

It’s 23 hours later and no one has replied but since my message they’ve replied to at lease 350 tweets — I got tired of counting.

I get it, but it’s frustrating when you want to provide positive feedback and there seems to be no way to do that.

Dean’s Pal

I sent this note to a friend today, but wanted to share it here. It was her description of how her Roomba was such a convenient way to keep the floors swept that gave Dean the idea that he might like one. I gave him one for Christmas that he ignored for a couple of months until our friend reminded him how much she liked hers. I’ve created a monster.

From: Dona
Subject: I take back my gratitude about Dean liking the Roomba

Dear: Xxxxxx

We have a problem. Dean vacuums the floors far too often. Not only that, he caters to the little fellow a little too much for my liking. (I have heard him chit-chatting with it on more than one occasion.)

For example, he places heavy furniture on other furniture so Roomba can move around easier (see Exhibits A through E below. Not pictured: armchair, floor lamp and clothes rack on bed).

In addition, I saved some Styrofoam packing material to place under the front of the fridge so Roomba wouldn’t get stuck, but Dean has yet to use it and the little fella (Roomba, not Dean) gets stuck under the fridge (see Exhibit F below) on a regular basis and cries for help, but Dean is never within hearing range when this happens so I am forced to rescue it.

I write, seeking your expert advice. Should the Roomba go, or the Husband (or both)? I have already purchased an analog device (a broom) for sweeping the floors.


Sick and tired of saving the Roomba and having nowhere to sit.

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C
Exhibit D
Exhibit E
Exhibit F

Readers are Leaders

I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. Weekly Saturday trips to the library (where my mom would drop me off and pick me up hours later) were sacred. I scored very high on my first grade reading evaluation and often read books above my grade level. I preferred reading to visiting friends on weekends and after school.

But I didn’t like writing about what I read. In 5th grade Miss Jaderman evaluated our reading ability on small book reports we wrote for books we read. After 5 book reports we got a small pin, after 15 we got a better pin and after 25 we got a gold pin. While I eventually earned my 25 book pin, I got low reading marks for a few quarters and was recommended for the remedial reading class for 6th grade.

We were not expected to write much on the book reports, they were less than half a sheet of 8.5×11 paper. The top half was reserved for an illustration. After filling out the title of the book and author, there was maybe room for 100 words. But I hated doing it. I know I read more than 25 books that year, probably more than most of the class, but because I was so reluctant to fill out the book report forms, I was considered a poor reader.

At the end of the year we were given all of our book reports, bound between two sheets of construction paper with brass colored brads. I think my book report portfolio was orange. I think I still have it somewhere, I distinctly remember what it looked like.

A few weeks ago I found the book report pins. Strange how I kept them all these years, despite despising the method of earning them.

I guess this is one of these things I need to let go. My anger at Miss Jaderman for not realizing I was a good reader — just a reluctant writer and the shame I felt being placed in the low reading class in 6th grade (luckily my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Anderson, figured out I was a good reader within days and brought me back to the regular/advanced reading group).

Things like this could squelch the love of reading out of someone. I am forever grateful to Mrs. Anderson for this, as well as for fostering an even greater love of reading.