On our Five Star World

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I just moved to a new town. Two weeks ago tomorrow (yes I’m counting) I went to a new hairdresser to have my roots touched up. I was on the fence about getting a haircut. I absolutely loved the cut I had, and it had only been 6 weeks from the last cut.

 

For years I’d been going to an organic hair salon. I wanted to find one in my new town as well. Whether it’s true or the placebo effect, I feel my hair has been in better condition with the softer products. There was only one salon that purported to be organic in town, so I thought I’d give it a try.

 

As soon as I walked in I knew I would not ever be going back. It was run by a couple who clearly did not have a lot of business or know what they were doing. They were sweet though. So very sweet. When they asked if I would be getting my hair cut, I’m not sure why I said yes.

 

I had a myriad of poor experiences in the short time I was there. It was the longest time I was ever in a salon, let alone just for a root touch up. The experience was fueled by some very old dismal television shrieking the whole time. I find TV in the middle of the day in general depressing. But this was even more depressing. Old shows… Benson, My Three Sons, Bewitched, What’s Happening…., overlooking a busy main strip in the midst of a really beat up strip mall. It was truthfully a scene intended to just quash spirits.

 

When I asked about the alleged organic products, they couldn’t tell me much about them. They’d never heard of Cezanne (which my hair is treated with now). Then while I was being shampooed and asked about the shampoo brand I was told ‘oh a little something different every time’. Later while being blow dried by the woman who was surprised my hair had “memory” and wanted to go in a certain direction (seriously what real hair dresser is surprised by this? Or calls it memory???), I noticed Suave and Dove shampoo under main counter of the shampoo station. Organic? I think not.

 

At one point when my timer went off and I was waiting an additional 4-5 minutes (no other clients even remotely in site), I had the unbelievable urge to just get up out of the chair and leave – with the smock, the goop in my hair and all. Just leave some money on the counter and run. During the washing I vowed I would tell them no haircut. Only I didn’t. I felt bad. They kept talking about the haircut that would follow. As if it were something really exciting. Like I wrote – obviously they did not have much business.

 

I asked for a trim in the EXACT style I had. The man was the one who cut. He kept telling me about a method I never heard of that would make my hair full. I kept saying that I just wanted a trim in it’s existing condition. He ensured me no length would be lost and that my hair would be fuller. I don’t know why I didn’t get up then. I really don’t.

 

Needless to say it’s a terrible haircut. I have layers chopped I never wanted and certainly did not ask for. My thin hair does not look ‘fuller’ with layers, it only looks thinner and more stringy. Oh and the ends are kind of ragged, like the scissor wasn’t sharp or something. Ugh….

 

 

Several days later when I still had the dye around my hairline because they couldn’t seem to figure out how to color hair and not get it everywhere, I decided to write a review. I wasn’t going to write any review at first simply because this middle-aged couple seemed so nice. But that is the problem. We all feel bad about providing needed criticism, so we go on accepting mediocre at best and often just plain old bad services and products.

 

 

I woke up in the middle of the night earlier this morning thinking about all the things we recently purchased that are just so, so, so very sub-par. Canisters that don’t even fit a 12oz bag of coffee in the largest one. A refrigerator that was not a floor model in any store we shopped at so we couldn’t see it before everyone was only to happy to put in the order based on the measurements we had. It’s slightly bigger than a dorm fridge. The ice-maker constantly falls out of it. The inserts on the inner French doors collapse and dump the contents at the lightest touch. The left door almost never closes when it’s pushed at a reasonable strength shut. The ice-maker falls off the wall every few days. It was $1600. It is the most expensive refrigerator I ever owned and the absolute worst in quality. I called Best Buy earlier and because it’s past 15 days they will not take it back. It’s only been 4 weeks since it arrived. I’ve been trying to love it and make it work, but it has been disappointing me ceaselessly daily. I was going to try to live with it until I woke up last night wondering how the world can even with such poor quality running amok.

 

Days after we moved to our new home, a part on our beloved coffee maker that we had for years broke. We decided to buy a new one – thinking new home/new appliances – why not get a new coffee maker too? After 3 weeks it’s going back today. This one was $100. At least this one can be returned. Not only does it make bad coffee, it’s one of the few counter top appliances left on the planet that is not fingerprint resistant. Moments after taking it out of the box it had forever fingerprint stains. Additionally, you can’t get the last ¼ cup of coffee out of it. The top of the steel carafe is so small you can’t even wash the pot by hand. A brush works, but you can’t dry it either. You can let it sit in the dish drain for hours, but that doesn’t really dry it because the hideous odd shaped top pools the liquid around the rim when it’s upside down.

 

How can it be that such garbage products are on the market?

 

A few weeks ago, I drove through 3 different towns trying to return an old router from the old house’s Wi-Fi. When my husband turned it off over the phone, the company told him to bring the router back. Google and their site had an address that did not exist when I arrived at it. While in the parking lot where this said address should be, I called the company and was routed through TONS of prompts, and then to the national chain. Once someone came on the line after nearly TWENTY (yes 20!) minutes the person gave me the same address I had. I told him I was there and wanted to speak to someone locally who could give me directions. I was put on hold again… only to be told the place no longer exists. He sent me to another town with a better address. When I arrived there, I learned that it’s not a center that takes back routers. I was sent to yet another town. When I finally arrived I so happy that there was no chance I was in the wrong place. The employee that greeted me was so nice and helpful. When he logged in to update the accounts indicating that the router was returned, he asked me why I was bringing it back as – the records show that we purchased it and did not need to return it. OH MY GOODNESS. Does anyone know what they are doing?

 

I feel like I’m constantly being hit with a bombardment of terrible products and services.

 

The tailor where I went to pick up a suit of my husband’s in mid-September – when the ticket said it will be done NLT 8/30 that had me sit and wait while she mended the suit….

The pergola cover that blows off with every 5 mile an hour wind regardless of how we put it back.

The island kitchen delivered with the wrong wine rack pieces and the installer didn’t even bother to tell us. The same island where the spice rack doesn’t fit most small sized spice containers because the shelving is so narrow.

The new stove with a timer that beeps only once and so low I can’t hear it from the next room.

Same complaint on the timer on the microwave.

The town hall that lost records and told me 3 different things about closing some open permits.

 

The veterinary clinic where the clerk behind the desk is snapping at the dogs.

 

Some of the world’s most horrible take out from places as we learn which places to dine at. How do they stay open? They look and taste abysmal…

 

The grotesque looking/non-caring cashiers at the large local grocery chain I went to a few times. With employees that didn’t know where anything I asked about is in the store that doesn’t carry as much as cashews that weren’t in a tin as snack food.

 

EVERY single contractor that we had in the past few months took at least 2 days longer (two days were the good ones) than originally quoted. Times when I’m feeling entombed in the house waiting for them to come or for me to sign off papers for when they leave.

 

One set of contractors on the deck took more breaks than anyone I had seen in my life. 90% of the time they were sitting around the corner from the windows smoking and watching television in Ukrainian on their smart phones. Even our electric fence installer who came a few times commented on how unbelievable it was.

 

Don’t even get me started about the mess some of them leave. I don’t know how you can treat a person’s house like some of them do.

 

The dozens and dozens of times we were duped by Yelp, Trip Advisor or Airbnb reviews about some great authentic restaurant, park or apartment that had nothing but Five shining stars and when the food establishments were nothing more than pitiable chain imitations; the dark & gloomy apartments had peeling paint, old ripped sheets, no towels and not as much as something to wash your hands with; and the parks were lined with ripped up grass, graffiti and dog poop.

 

Who are the people who make these ratings? How low of a bar are they used to? Does crowd sourcing work?

 

Or are we living in such a sensitive world that we are all afraid of hurting anyone’s feelings? Or are we scared that writing a bad review will reflect poorly on us? Or that someone will then be out to get us? I know I feel bad about writing bad reviews, but sometimes it has to be done. If not, we just turn Five stars into nothing and the whole point of crowdsourcing becomes mute.

 

I’m doing my part in the world by spending the afternoon rating my recent experiences. Next time the service or product isn’t good – please for the sake of society, write an honest review. It will benefit us all in the long run.

 

 

 

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