Nobody Got the Memo

It may have taken a couple months, but I can finally say I’ve settled in on the east coast. I’m down to two boxes (OK, I’ve been down to two boxes for a month now… which makes me wonder if I actually need whatever is in those two boxes), and I’ve got my apartment arranged more or less the way I want it.

Settling in has come with it’s share of interesting moments. My apartment is half of a 2-story duplex that used to be occupied by the landlords for the complex. The benefit is that they completely repainted and remodeled everything before I moved in! The downside is that nobody got the memo that the landlords moved out.

Comcast was probably the most frustrating to deal with. I called to order service, and of course the salespeople were very happy to help me out. But, wait… they showed the address I gave them as commercial, not a residence. “Is there an apartment number?” “Nope… just me here. It used to be the landlord, but they moved down the street.” The first representative assured me that it was no big deal. They just needed to flip the “commercial-residence” toggle button (much easier than in SimCity, where you had to bulldoze the commercial building to make room for the residence).

Two days later, I hadn’t heard from the representative, and he was dodging my calls. So I called again. “Is there an apartment number?” “Nope… just me here. It used to be the landlord, but they moved down the street.” “Well, it’s trivial to have it changed. I’ll set it up in the system and call you back.” “…Are you sure? That’s what the last guy said, and he seems to have fallen off the map.” He assured me that it was no big deal and said he’d call me back.

Two days pass, and representative two is MIA. So I called Comcast a third time. “Is there an apartment number?” “YES. It’s apartment 1. I live above the commercial property.”

OK, so I didn’t come out swinging with that line. I explained the situation to him, offered to be listed as apartment 1 if it meant I could get service faster, but he assured me not only that it was a trivial process, but that he’d done it before and had instantaneous results. And indeed - he called me back two minutes later saying it had been done. I can only assume that the first two representatives trembled in fear at the sight of some massive “Commercial — Residence” toggle button and ran crying from their posts.

Fast forward a week, and the Comcast guy is at my apartment to set up my service. I’m walking him through my apartment to show him my TV (downstairs) and my computer (upstairs). As we’re coming downstairs… there’s a woman standing in my apartment, looking quite confused.

It turns out that it wasn’t just Comcast who had missed the memo: It was everyone in the 500-unit community . Swell. Nothing left to do but use my experience in Designing for Service to create a touch point for the landlord’s office:

Apparently the landlord saw it (or heard about it), and a memo did go out to residents, because I haven’t had any strangers wander into my apartment for a few weeks. That leaves me more time to head to the nearby shopping center to try some of Boston’s yummy fare. Everyone recommended JP Licks, so I wandered over there with my boss after he helped me move in. My eyes drifted immediately to one of their specials.

“Um… is the Pad Thai ice cream any good?”
“Ha. No. They actually put peanuts, green onions, and noodles in there. You don’t want that.”

Noodles in ice cream? Apparently JP Licks didn’t get the memo that nobody would go for that.

The conversation continues...

  1. On December 21st, 2007 at 10:19 pm, Kayre said:

    i didn’t get the memo that you were blogging again! in full force! holy crap sam. now i have all these entries to catch up with. glad you’re back =)

  2. On January 11th, 2008 at 10:19 am, Cara said:

    Hey Sam, welcome to Boston! I think you’ll like it here. If you ever see a flavor called “Diablo” at JP Licks (chocolate and cinnamon and a little pepperiness), get the large. Cara

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