Too Much Mulch

It’s my Menards time of year.

One of the upshots of the “more flowers, less grass” way of life at our house is mulch.  We like the look of mulch around all the flowers and now that the front yard and boulevard are essentially all flowers, that’s a lot of mulch.

“A lot of mulch” and “very small Honda Insight” aren’t usually phrases you see in a sentence together.  That’s because you can only put 8 2-cubic foot bags of mulch IN a Honda Insight if you want to continue to see out the back window. (You could transport more if you used the backseat and not just the hatch but that lesson learned was ugly.)   If you go through 25-28 bags of mulch in the spring, that means several trips to Menards.  Yes, I’ve looked into having a boatload of mulch delivered, but one of the things I know about myself is how unhappy I will be with a mountain of mulch that might get rained on before I get to it, is taking up driveway space and is also making me feel guilty until it’s all gone.  And the savings isn’t that great anyway.

Mulch trips are in the morning – it’s cooler, plenty of room in the parking lot, not too crowded in the store – so for four mornings in a row, there I am, with my mulch on a big cart.  There is an older woman who works the first register shift every morning and she is NOT a happy person.  Could be that she resents working so early.  Maybe she resents still having to work at all at this stage of her life.  Might even be that she’s just not a morning person. 

I try not to take this personally, but I’m a chatter.  Every morning I say “good morning”.  Once I said “Eight of them (the bags), if I counted right”.   Couple of times I’ve said “see you tomorrow”.  Yesterday was “Thanks”.   Nothing from this woman.  Not even a smile, which I would have thought would be helpful in a customer service role. 

The mulch trips are probably over for this spring but I have determined that if I need more, I will probably just leave this poor woman alone when I go through her lane.  It won’t hurt me and maybe it will give her a little relief at 6:15 in the morning.  Of course, it’s not as much fun.

Tell me about a time you’ve gotten GREAT customer service!

30 thoughts on “Too Much Mulch”

  1. I noticed last weekend that staff at Menards, Runnings, and Cashwise were unusually welcoming and friendly, as though everyone had been reminded to be especially nice and chatty. It was a little unnerving, since even staff we just walked past greeted us.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Home Depot moved into town. Menards staff was decent for about 3 months but then slid back to their many degrees of disinterest, discourtesy and anger. Same when Lowes opened, now closed.
      Should have been a guy named Mitch to help you manage that much mulch.

      Liked by 6 people

  2. I don’t know if it’s karma or blind good luck but I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve had great customer service in a restaurant. And not just at high-end places either. Across the board at many “middle of the road” places that aren’t big buck places with haute cuisine. We don’t do fast food, but we’ll find local diners or breakfast/lunch places, pizza joints, taprooms, and breweries, so nothing fancy.

    My domain hosting company,, also gives me incredible customer service. Haven’t needed them for a while, but when I did, they fixed the problem incredibly fast and were able to communicate effectively with me to discover what my problem was and send me precise instructions on how to fix it (OR, they’d take care of it remotely).

    Chris in Owatonna (back from a five-day hiatus)

    *BSP* Mainstreet Day in Hopkins MN tomorrow from 9-4, folks. I’ve got my new book out, Dangerous Straits, along with Straight River, Castle Danger, and my short story “Killer Tacos” published in Cooked to Death, Vol. V, Restaurant in Peace.

    Dozens of arts and crafts vendors, small businesses, food, music, and fun for the kids, all between 6th and 13th Aves on Main Street in Hopkins. Need another reason to go? Main St. between 8th and 11th was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places.

    So come on down and check out a piece of history. 🙂 Can’t say I’ve done that too much in the state of MN, especially compared with the East Coast and the rest of the world.
    *End BSP*

    Liked by 5 people

  3. The Family Fare store here has the best boneless chicken breasts, the whole, boneless, two sided breast weighing about 2 lbs. I wouldn’t want to meet a chicken that big in a dark alley! There weren’t any out in the case the last time I wanted some, so the very kind butcher cut some just for me. I sent the company a positive review of her.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. A chicken bred to have a breast that big probably wouldn’t have been able to walk very well, let alone run. You could probably just tip it over.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. The subject of big-breasted chickens brought to mind a Kitchen Sisters podcast episode entitled “Those Cheap, Delicious Rotisserie Chickens”.
        It confirmed all those things I suspected and feared might be true:

        Let’s see if this link works:

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    My hip and knee surgeion’s office (TRIA in Bloomington) has the customer service part of this mastered. Things go smoothly and as predicted,which when you are feeling physically vulnerable, is so important. He has a nurse who interacts with patients and answers questions by calling back very quickly. It is so interesting that they are using some apps to provide information and instructions both before and after the procedure which is very user-friendly. I have been impressed with all of that.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I was thinking that customer service is a cultural issue often times but then you get to thinking about it and the people who are good at giving good customer service are people who are that way and people who are not that way should be confined to a room to do bookkeeping and be kept away from humanity I also think when you’re talking about Twin City orthopedics versus Tria that I must be a person who gives off a vibe of not needing much because I’ve had neck surgery hand surgery and foot surgery at Twin City orthopedics prostate surgery at Mayo heart surgery at the University of Minnesota and my overall experience is that for them it’s kind of like doing an oil change there isn’t a lot of compassion or relationship or interaction they just do the job and tell you that they’ll check back and maybe they will and maybe they won’t and it’s very impersonal

        I find that the restaurants that I call on with my delivery stuff all carry a culture and Panera is different than Taco Bell
        Costco is very different than Sam’s Club Marriott hotels treat you very differently than Sheraton or Holiday Inn or Renaissance but Marriott or Hyatt in Boston or LA or for that matter Hong Kong treat you with the corporate culture as instructed

        Liked by 5 people

  5. I think the advent of spring facilitated improved attitudes of both customers and businesses which resulted in more noticeable good customer service. I am preparing for a knee replacement and cannot get over the organization and kindness of staff and docs at Twin Cities Ortho. I went to my prep PA appt (already saw surgeon) and they had a signed handicapped parking sticker ready for me. Their frequent emails, check lists etc have helped me to feel well prepared. Also I have to compliment the customer service at DMV last Sat. There was a line outside the door as they opened and so many were there that they closed further admissions a short time later. The people controlling intake were unfailingly polite and helpful as they made sure people had the right forms and info, triaged them into appointments and walk . My first Covid test pre-op is tomorrow; I am wearing my mask everywhere and washing hands frequently!

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Go ahead, Jenny. Next thing you’ll know, you’ll have one of Sherrilee’s wonderful cards in your mailbox. They are a real day-brightener.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. VS’ cards always make we wish I was the king of person who did them, too. But sadly I am not. I sure love getting them.

          Jenny, good luck with the knee. I had mine right one done 2.5 years ago, in my bid to determine just how much surgery one person can have in 3years. Rehab went well and the knee’s function is good. I hope you have similar results.

          Liked by 5 people

  6. I find customer service is what I expect it to be, meaning competent. I do not want to build a relationship unless it is in a place I go often and I do not have such a place these days. Have not eaten in a restaurant in close to three years. I do Know lots of the early staff at a Cub by me because I am in there so often. I get the same checkout clerk most of the time, Destyni. I do not think she remembers me, which is fine.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. In most instances, all I ask for is a simple transaction: I give them money or the equivalent, they let me take my purchases off the premises. Lately though, it seems, everyone wants congratulations for their transaction. I’m urged to “tell us how we did!” In an online review or as part of a survey.
    I should note that these prompts for positive feedback are only attached to interactions that don’t merit comment. Anytime there is an error or complication to the transaction, nobody is begging me to “tell us how we did”.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When aclerk (who have clearly been trained to do this) asks me how my day is going, or what I’ll be doing with the rest of the day, I turn it around and ask how THEIR day is going, and what are THEY doing for the rest of the day. Tends to shut ’em up.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yesterday I received one such survey from HealthPartners re. my recent appointment with a dermatologist (at first I typed determologist!). Most of the questions were multiple choice with no wiggle room, but at the very end there was a box that allowed me to write a response containing up to 8000 characters. That left me plenty of room to tell them that the vast majority of the HealthPartners practioners I’ve had contact with were excellent. It also gave me ample space to tell them what I think of the appointment systems, both via phone and online. It will be interesting to see whether or not there’s a response to that input. I pretty much told them that their system stinks and needs to be revamped.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. I was just in a thrift shop where the clerk saw that a young boy (maybe 8 or 9 yrs. old) was pawing through women’s clothing – and hand knocked something off the hanger – while his mom was occupied shopping. The clerk asked him if he liked helping, and she ended up having him help her sort the hangers onto their stands. She talked to him without talking down, and had him engaged in conversation – it was great to listen to them.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. As a customer/patient of a GP, I was impressed with my new guy. At the initial visit, I talked more than he did! I have never experienced that with a doctor.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Usually I fill out the surveys for stores when they ask me to. Having been in a position where I get rated with surveys, I understand how the system works, but I’m pretty sure most people don’t understand the ratings. Most companies use the NPS rating system. Typically you’re asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10, but that’s a sort of a disguise. It’s really a scale of 1 to 3. If you rate someone 9 or 10, that’s good. If you rate them 7 or 8, that’s neutral. If you rate them 1 to 6, that’s bad. Most people think that if they give someone a 6, that’s better than a 1or 2, but it isn’t..

    Now that I understand how it works, I’m pretty generous with the 9’s and 10’s, and don’t rate anyone under 7, unless the customer service is really poor.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I usually do answer surveys if it’s clear that an individuals performance is on the line. Amazon leaving things on my front steps …not so much.


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