My threshold for happiness is pretty low these days but, maybe, I should look at it as finding the silver lining in small things. A tangible example is getting excited about receiving a pretty notebook in the mail, compliments of a mail order company I recently shopped with. The note with it thanked me for my purchase and wished me to put the blank pages of the notebook to good use – write the first few pages of my masterpiece or whatever else took my fancy.
It all started with a catalogue that came with the Sunday Times. It was from a company I never heard from before as I usually do not purchase clothes by mail and anything appearing in my mailbox, to the exclusion of bills, goes straight to the recycling (and that includes Christmas cards so now you know not to bother).
I flipped through the pages and then, uncharacteristically, I left the catalogue sitting on the coffee table for days. Until the afternoon when I got home in need of a pick-me up. Not being in the habit of drinking and too exhausted to drag my ass out to shop, I reached for the catalogue and, impromptu, I called the 800 number and placed an order with a lovely girl who helped me out with sizes and colours and all the nonsense that first time catalogue buyers find compelled to ask.
I forgot all about it until the package came – the clothes, some basics that couldn’t really go wrong, were slightly pricey but good quality. I, again, forgot all about it until the notebook. It could have been that it was the tail-end of a particularly shitty day, but it did make me smile.
When I received a personalized e-mail thanking me in participating in their survey (which I did because the girl who helped me over the phone was patient and knowledgeable and I wanted to make her day by giving her high marks) it got me thinking that this company was spending serious money towards their customers’ service. I was probably the 10,000th person this week receiving a notebook with a funky letter and a personalized e-mail. Like most shoppers, I was willing to pay a little more for being treated extra-nicely.
I subsequently checked their website and found out the company was out of England, it bore the name of the guy who founded it, it sported pretty graphics and intriguing language. The clothes were somewhat “suburban mom with a bit of an edge” and, if I could never be persuaded to buy pants, dresses or shoes without trying them on, there were cute staples I could go back to. All because somebody thought of a notebook and a good e-mail. It’s either good marketing or I am at an extreme low point in my life.