Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Maybe I should become the female Ralph Nader...

If you recall, I had some drama a few weeks back with my love, Target. Without dredging up the whole drama, lets just say that Target and I are still on the rocks.  However, the regional manager and I are on a first name basis and he is really a nice guy. I guess good help is just hard to find here in Miami and I sort of feel bad for him. I'm not done with Target just yet, but I'm going to avoid it as much as possible this Holiday season which may give me enough money to buy Italian shoes.

Speaking of Italian shoes, I had another retail drama. This one has a happier ending.   I pulled out these Tod's Loafers from my closet. They are old but when you spend hundreds of dollars on Italian loafers, you don't expect the rubber soles to ever crumble.

Yes, you read that right, crumbled like a cake. I emailed their customer service center and this is the response that I got...

As I was about to just throw away the shoes, I decided it would be worth the $8.95 to ship them to Tod's. I googled the US's CEO's name and address and mailed him my old crumbly shoes with a short letter explaining my dismay at the obvious defect in the shoes.

I don't know if the CEO actually saw my old shoes or read my letter but someone in New York did because I did get emails from a nice lady named Anna who explained that the shoes cannot be repaired and they would be happy to give me a credit at the Tod's store so that I could pick out a new pair.  Because I did not have a receipt, they would give me the Italian equivalent of a credit. It works out to about 1/2 of what a new pair costs, but I do have a credit in the store and will find something to buy.  Thanks Tod's for doing the right thing.

I have always been a great letter writer, even prior to law school, and I almost wrote a book on how to write effective letters, however, here are my three top tips for getting your letter read

1. Don't email.  My most recent emails to Target and Tod's were not helpful (remember a robot from Target pretty much insulted me and Tod's did not respond at all. )Snail mail is always more likely to get read.

2. Start at the Top. Obviously if you are in a store or even on the phone with a company, try to get your issues resolved at the time of the problem but if you are dealing with something that you would want to know about if you were running a company, write to the CEO or President. Someone from their office will usually funnel your complaint to the right department. It is easy to find out who is in charge as it is usually public record.

3. Don't be overdramatic or embellish. In your letter write out the problem in a short and sweet fashion. Get to the point but don't lie. Someone could seriously lose their job so keep in mind that only the facts are what needs to be said.

4. Don't complain about nothing. My issue with Target was ongoing and bad.  There was a consistent problem with my Target store not being customer friendly.  Writing to the CEO of Pizza Hut because one delivery took too long or if your pizza did not have enough pepperoni slices is probably not worth anyone's time.

5. Always write good letters too. Don't be a complainer. For every bad letter that I have written, I have tried to write a good one. Either following up from my original issue OR just writing about a good employee or experience. I became BFF's with one of the clerks at my local Walgreens after writing a letter to her manager about how she always is so friendly and helpful and I have received personal responses from CEO's of Cruise Lines and hotels after writing about great experiences. 

So pick up those pens and let me know what I should get at Tods!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Totally 80's party...

I was invited to the 50th Birthday party of a much, much older dear friend. The party was held in the ballroom of a South Beach hotel and the invitation said to arrive as your favorite 80's character. Being a big fan of that era, I was excited to see what costume everyone showed up in.  I have not been to a costume party in quite a few years and I have to say that it was extra fun because it was a large gathering and I did not know many of the other guests. Trying to figure out who the people were and who they were dressed as was a really fun party activity.

There were a lot of duplicate costumes. In descending order, here were the top hits. (all costume photos are from

10. Madonnas. They were there in all shapes and sizes. 

9.  Robert Plant Girls.  The more of these, the better. They looked amazing and even went up on the stage at the party with one of the  Robert Plants and lip synched to the famous song. 

7. Top Gun and sexy top guns. Lots of guys showed up in these jumpers and their women were in the sexy version.

6. 80's big hair rockers. All the bald guys donned wigs and were unrecognizable. 

5. Scarface. Hugely popular here in Miami.

4. Magnum P.I. I'm sorry but I still have a crush on Magnum P.I. The fact that there was more than one at the party was like a bonus. 

3. Ghostbusters. One of these guys had a fire extinguisher and was using it to pretend to be busting ghosts. It was funny the first 50 times. Afterwards, not so much.

2. John McEnroe. Easy but very good costume. 

2. Dynasty and Dallas stars. This was popular among the women because they could really go all out with the hair, makeup and jewelry. I actually mistook a woman that I know as one of these but she was actually not in costume. Ooops.

1. Richard Simmons. There were two at the party but it was such a funny costume that there could have been more. 

I went as Private Benjamin. This was probably a poor choice given that I am  the physical opposite of Goldie Hawn. The blond wig that I ordered was far too terrible to actually wear outside of my home so I pretty much looked like an army vet with a "Benjamin" name patch. I had fun anyway and I was the only Private Benjamin there! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I think that Target and I are back together!

     I promise that this is the last that I will write about this subject but I wanted to update everyone on my Break up with Target


  When we last left this saga I had written a letter to the CEO of Target explaining my sadness at the lack of service at my local Target. I first got a form-like email back from someone offering a lame generic apology.  I wrote back to that email and told Target that I was insulted by the email.  I copied the CEO on that email and within hours I received two phone calls from two mucky-mucks at Target. Both of these regional supervisors were nice, apologetic and begged me not to give up on Target. They showed me the love that I deserve after shopping at their store waaay too much.  They listened to me rant for a few minutes and promised to work on it. They both gave me their cell phone numbers and told me to call or text anytime that things were not great at Target.

    I did actually head back to Target later in the week and there seemed to be more cashiers open so maybe my complaining did work. 

    Now onto a much more interesting topic, a costume party.  I am invited to fabulous birthday party where I must attend as my favorite 80's personality.  That would be, of course, Madonna, however, I fear that the entire room will be filled with Madonnas and I don't want to be boring. Any suggestions? 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Update on my break up with Target...

Recently I wrote about my potential break up with Target. I wrote a really heartfelt letter to the CEO clearly explaining what happened and why I was upset. I purposely did not e-mail customer service through the website. I went to the trouble of snail-mailing a real, old fashioned letter in the hopes that the CEO or someone in the corporate office would read it.

It may seem silly but I've been a loyal and regular Target shopper for at least 20 years.  I seriously shop there at least 50 times a year.  That is at least 1000 visits in the past two decades.

I was hoping that someone in the corporate office would, at the very least, drop me a line and say "Sorry Japolina. Don't break up with us. We love you!"

Unfortunately, I only got a email  from someone with only a first name  and it was very form-letter-like in content. 

I've written back in a last ditch hope that Target will give me some love back, but it is not looking very good. Maybe the break up will stick. Think of all of the extra money I'll have in January if I don't walk in there between Black Friday and Christmas! 

I"ll keep you updated. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cauliflower Risotto, mini tastykakes and me as peppermint patty...

I'm seriously trying to blog at least once a week and given my extreme state of craziness these days, here are three random things....

First of all, my friend told me about this Cauliflower Risotto from Whole Foods. It is the holy grail of diet foods. It is just cauliflower cut up in the texture of rice so you steam it and get the feeling of eating carbs while eating just cauliflower! It is nobel peace prize worthy.  I just steamed in the microwave, seasoned it and ate it with grilled chicken. Heaven! It is in the section of whole foods where the cut up fruits and veggies are.  It was about $3.00 for a package.  

Not as healthy, but certainly diet worthy, are these tastykake minis that influenster voxbox sent me. Three are under 200 calories and pretty darn good.

I also made myself into a Peanut's character.  I think I sort of look like a cross-dressing charlie brown or something. This avatar certainly looks like she's been pounding the Tastykakes right?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I may be breaking up with Target.

I love Target.  I love that they get new stuff that I really don't need but want, on a daily basis. I love that they are open at 8:00 a.m. , when everything else is closed. I love that I can buy toilet paper, bananas, shampoo, a dress and an iPad all in the same place. I love that I never leave Target without running into a least one of my Mommy-friends.  I love that with my Target debit card I get 5% off on everything but they money comes right out of the bank account and does not put me in debt like other store branded cards.

 However, the love affair may be over.  Target and I are on the rocks.   My Target experience has been less than stellar lately.  It all started when my Target became a mini-super market a couple of years ago.  It is in nice neighborhood and the store was already quite busy so when they added food, the checkout lines became crowded.  I tried to avoid visiting my love in the afternoons when the store is now insane and still managed to keep the affair going by visiting in the mornings. 

I then noticed that they just started understaffing the checkout lanes during the mornings, so even though the store is not crowded, I still had to wait a long time to checkout. After 20-plus years in this relationship, it was not a deal breaker yet.

This morning I went to see my love to buy cat food and paper towels and ended up with a cart full of stuff that I did not need but had to have including  these two things... 

Sonia Karsuk Spice Market Pallette at Target
(by the way, I rarely buy makeup in drugstores or target so this really was an impulse buy!)
Palazzo Pants

What started out as a joyous date, almost made me ditch old Tar-Jay for good.  They put in those self check out lanes.  They seem good in theory but in actuality, are always more work than just having a human check you out.  The problem is, that they put in four of these self checkout machines and decided to have even less human check out lanes.  I wanted to go home to play with my new makeup and prance around in my new pants and the two lanes that were open were filled with people with full carts. 

I decided to try out the new check out lanes and when I went to pay, the machine froze. The self-checkout checker person came over and could not unfreeze. Then the manager on duty came over and she could not unfreeze. They had to then move all of my crap that I did not need over to a human checkout line and re-ring me up. If I did not need the cat food, I would have just abandoned the whole endeavor.  

While normally I could forgive my sweet Target for the problem, when the manager barely apologized and her excuse for the issue was that they were "new machines", I got angry. If they are new machines, why aren't the people that work there trained on them before they let them loose on housewives like good old Japolina? I am good at many things but checkout clerk is not one of my skills. If they are new machines and no one knows how to work them, why were there only two checkout lanes open on a busy Saturday morning? 

I have written to Target's corporate office and hopefully they will say something besides "sorry they are new machines" to me or the love affair may be over. If I want crappy service I can go down the street to Wal-mart where the prices are lower and I never succumb to impulse buying like I do with Target. If they write back, I'll let you know. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Five Fun things....

I barely ever blog about eBay but I'm trying to post at least once a week so that does not think that I've fallen off the face of the earth. My clients must have read my Konmari (art of tidying up) post because they have been giving me carloads of amazing stuff this month.  I don't know when I am going to get all of it photographed, measured and listed because I am crazy-busy with my other jobs (lawyer, crazy college application mom, regular crazy mom of teenagers, etc).

Here are a few interesting things that I have found time to list. I wish that I could keep them all! 

This is a must for any espresso lover that needs a teapot!

The client who gave this to me actually wore it around LA in the 80's!

I'll try to blog about something more interesting next week, but in the meantime, have any of you been cleaning out closets lately? If so, what is the funniest thing that you have found?