Friday, January 25, 2008

Zap to it

This happened a while ago, and I just posted this on my friend Nat's blog, but I though it worth mentioning on my own.
Nat has a post about the philosophy of looking after your customers and they'll look after you (although not mutually exclusive), and one of the commentors noted a story someone posted about their experience with shoe merchant While mine pales in comparison to this one, here's my own personal tale of dealing with Zappos:

I ordered shoes through them on a weekday evening from home, and received the shoes- no lie - at work, before noon, THE NEXT DAY.

Unfortunately, they fit bigger than anticipated. On their site, the only option is to return the shoes and purchase another pair - not to do an even exchange. I emailed them before returning the shoes to see if an even exchange was even possible - they responded super-promptly and said they’d be happy to exchange the shoes once they received the originals. I sent them back the same day I received them and…drumroll please…received the new pair the next morning. It usually takes twice as long just to place an order anywhere else.

Early the next week, I received a card at work. When I opened it, it was a HANDWRITTEN Thank-you note from Zappos that read, “Hi Claire, It was my pleasure assisting you with your exchange order with Fitzwell shoes are always great! And I hope the size 8 fits perfectly for you! :) Feel free to contact us anytime with any questions! Have a wonderful day! -Allyson”

Well, blow me over.

They certainly didn’t need to send me a thank you card - particularly a handwritten one - as they already had me at one-day-turnaround. This personal touch, however, is what keeps me shopping at Zappos, even if I find a better price somewhere else.

Additionally, after showing the card to my co-workers, they were so impressed that you can now see new boxes from Zappos in my department on an almost monthly basis. :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hi all,
As many of you know, Mike and I are planning a move to Chicago in the coming year. With that comes the job search that is both exhilarating and terrifying – especially as I get older. :)
I’m looking to move into the non-profit sector, and specifically into the cultural exchange field. This includes organizations that facilitate work- and/or study-abroad programs, as well as international student offices at colleges or universities (some examples are BUNAC -, CIEE -
These programs made possible my stints in London and New Zealand, and I’d love to be involved in giving those opportunities to others.
I’m trying to do as much research as possible so as to best gauge my opportunities in this area. Do any of you know anyone that is currently working in this field with whom I would be able to contact for more information?
If so, feel free to contact me here in the comments section...

Thank you!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy new year!

I don't usually subscribe to the idea of new years resolutions. I have nothing against them, and actually am really impressed when people take the idea to heart and do a little soul-searching. For some reason it never occurred to me to try it myself.
After reading my (brilliant) friend Nat's blog this morning and seeing the manageable and noble resolutions she's planning to undertake, I was inspired to see what I could come up with:

Take time for myself
One of the hazards of living in a big city is feeling the pressure to spend every free moment doing something. The beauty part is that there are those opportunities - there is so much to do, see, experience. However, with that comes the feeling that one (ok, me) is somehow not really living life unless taking advantage of all these things. While in Peoria with Mike and his family over the holidays, I really just savored all of this "down" time not usually afforded here in New York. We didn't do a heck of a lot except eat, drink, sleep, nap, eat, and take a day trip to Champaign (where his alma mater U of I is). I didn't feel bad about it and no one judged us (except, occasionally, ourselves), but then we just turned over and went back to sleep. Or ate a cookie. I found that without the constant stimulation it was a lot easier to take things as they come, enjoy some quality time, let my mind wander, and really live in the present. Which leads me to my next resolution:

Live in the present
How much of our time is really spent planning the next thing to do? I often find that my morning feels a lot darker once my brain switches on and I start thinking about all the things on the slate for the day. Is it just me? Once one task is accomplished there's no time to enjoy it because the next task is at hand. Sure, you get things done, but without savoring it what's the point? I want to try to take it slower, quieter, calmer...and will hopefully not find myself wanting to just get through it all.

Set up a home
Yes, literally and figuratively. I'm ready to set down roots. And I'm finally with the person with whom I want to do that.

That's the list for now. Luckily I have a whole year to keep adding to it...