I Don’t Understand People

I had a strange and aggravating email exchange this morning and I’ve come out of it annoyed and confused. I entered a road race a few weeks ago for this upcoming Sunday so I went to the race website to make sure my name was listed under the “registered runners” list. I did find my name along with an image that I did not upload. The image was of a painting of a traditional Indian woman complete with tikka (aka, red dot). Some of the other registered runners had images next to their names and some didn’t. None of the other images were race specific so I was a little confused as to who put up the image for me and why.

So I emailed the event info email in a nutshell:

I noticed that we both have pictures next to our names. I just wanted to know who put those up and why?

This is the response I got back:

Anita this is a fun event..I have pictures similar to yours for many-there is no why other than fun..perhaps this event is not for you..I will refund your money today. thanks

I was a bit taken aback by such a harsh repsonse. I definitely did not intend to drop out of the event, I simply just wanted to know the reasoning for that specific image. So I responded with:

I wasn’t trying to be rude at all, and I apologize if you feel that I was. I understand that this is a fun event which is why I signed up for it. I was just wondering, since the image above my name was so specific to my race it caught my attention, I didn’t notice other pictures like that.

If you feel that a simple inquiry indicates that this race is not for me, please do refund my money.

I was hoping this would be the end of the conversation. But I received this:

Bob Vines – a vine crawling up a house? Eve Seigal -a picture of Eve and the snake on a apple tree…Herbert Boge – pic of Humphrey Bogart..should I go on??

same on volunteer page….again Anita …..fun and nothing more.

Now for the record, none of these pictures refer to the specific race of the person they are representing. And I must state, that I was not offended by the image at all, just curious as to why the “fun” image for me was a traditional Indian woman. This question, the organizer never answered. Or as to how he assumed what my race was in the first place. At this point, I just wanted to end this since somehow I let this person get to me and make me feel like the unreasonable one.

I really didn’t mean to make this into the big deal it has become, nor take the apparent fun out of it. It was just a question, and I’m sorry that I offended you. Please refund my money.

His final response was uncalled for and so aggravating that I just couldn’t respond.

I will do this Anita….you asked a question and made a statement also..I answered the question and pointed out that you were wrong in your statement..I will put a check in the mail today

So in the end I am wrong for questioning something that appears near my name on a public facing website that I did not put there. The saddest part of this whole story is that I was really looking forward to running the race, and I never asked to drop out of it. But I guess for some people the easiest way to avoid confrontation is to play the blame game.

What does ‘Going Green’ really mean?

This made my day…

Me: I got a coupon via email, but I couldn’t print it out, can I just show you the code on my phone?

Aldo shoe lady: I’m sorry, you need to print out the coupon to use it.

Me: But it doesn’t have a bar code, you would just enter the coupon code in anyway so there is nothing to scan. (I show her the email on my phone)

Aldo shoe lady: I don’t think we can, but let me look. (Takes my phone and scrolls up and down for about 45 seconds. Then goes to her terminal and starts typing.)

Aldo shoe lady: Ok, I can do it this time, but next time please bring in the printed coupon.

Me: Ok, thank you. (She prints out my receipt and puts it in the shoe box.)

Aldo shoe lady: Aldo is going green, so I’m turning your box into a bag! (She slides a shoe string into two holes in the side of the box to make a handle and tapes the box shut.)

Me: (Now, I’m thinking to myself, do I want to be an a**hole and state the obvious? I decided to go for it… with a smile) I don’t want to be a jerk, but wouldn’t it be green if you could take my coupon code from my phone and you wouldn’t have to use a whole sheet of paper for it?

Aldo shoe lady: Uhh… well that wouldn’t work because then people could use the same coupon over and over again.

Me: And they can’t print out the same coupon several times?

Aldo shoe lady: … well, we have to send the paper coupons to the main office.

Me: (I decided to end the conversation there, mostly because I didn’t have the time to explain technology and the 21st century to her.) Ok, I understand. Have a great day!

Do companies like Aldo just say they are ‘going green’ so they can look like they are doing something for the environment? I would think it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to go paperless, I mean Apple gives you the option to email your receipt instead of printing it out. Express has a code for every coupon they give out, so if you don’t have the physical coupon, they can enter the code in instead. I know it’s possible for Aldo to do a better job of ‘going green’.

And that’s what grinds my gears… back to you, Tom.