It's not often that I have praise to give companies. In fact I had to create a whole new category for this post. You may note that I already have a Rants category.
The first company I'd like to call out is The Men's Warehouse. I chose them for my upcoming wedding because they have low prices for my groomsmen (my tux is free) and they are nationwide. Dealing with them was quick and easy - until the day I had to get measured for my tuxedo. Everything went well until it came time to enter the numbers into the computer. After about 20-25 minutes of waiting the sales person said that the computers were down. Since I was measured and didn't owe any money, I asked if they needed anything more from me or if could leave. They said of course and they'd enter the numbers when the computers came back up. Well, as you can imagine I get an e-mail about a week ago saying that I never went for my measurement. I called up the store and asked how they did business for 3 months without computers - I can be quite wise at times. After a little complaint, they quickly gave me $20 of each of my groomsmen's tuxedos. Going back and getting re-measured was quick and easy - and they remembered my name and the problem without me having to re-explain it. I understand that a company have problems with computers and employees, but they went the extra mile to make the customer happy. That is praise-worthy to me.
The second company was leaps and bounds above The Men's Warehouse. I was recently taking a trip with some out of town guests to Napa Valley. They really wanted to see the Robert Mondavi Winery as Mr. Mondavi is legendary in wine country. The tour was great, though slightly over-priced, but it was after the tour that true character of the company came out. We were on our way back to our car and one my out of town guests spotted something through a completely fogged up car window. It was a dog locked in the Miata convertible! Not that cracking the windows is a solution (and it would have probably helped minimally on this day), but the owners didn't take that precaution. We went back to the winery headquarters to see if they could make an announcement to find the owners and call the police. No one responded. A couple of employees came with us to see the dog - a young woman with some water and the hero of the day, Mr. Kurt Cobbett.
Cobbett immediately went into action trying to get his arm in between the window and the fabric roof. He sustained a couple of pretty nasty cuts on his arm with this attempt. His next plan was one that I considered - cut open the plastic rare window. In most other cars this wouldn't have been an option, but in a Miata it's fairly easy. I hesitated simply thinking about the legal ramifications of breaking into a car. I know it seems silly in retrospect, but sometimes my core values like "breaking into a car is illegal" paralyzes me for a minute or two. With the back open the dog could finally get some air, but we couldn't unlock the car door. Cobbett had given that a try, but the dog, in a state of obvious distress bit him, drawing even more blood. Meanwhile, I sat there largely a spectator trying to figure out how we could unlock the door from the back or get a fan or anything to the dog. It was easy to get him the water, but it wasn't clear if that was enough.
We figured that was pretty much the best we could do and with all the wineries closing we have a feeling that either the owners or the police would arrive soon and take over. The owners finally did come around, about 45 minutes after we cut open the back. They were pretty surprised to see so many people around his car. I had no expectations for these owners to have any reputable characteristics, so I braced myself for one of two consequences 1) an argument and hostility towards us for cutting open his car or 2) a out and out fist fight. To my surprise neither happened and they seemed genuinely concerned about their dog while playing the blame game with each other about whether they cracked their windows or not. The winery owners went back and gave me and my quests each a bottle of wine. One of my guests got a dessert wine from Mondavi's special collection - a year 2000. I thought it was entirely unnecessary, but knowing that it costs the winery less than a dollar to make a bottle of wine, didn't feel too bad about getting a free bottle for myself.
If you are ever in Napa, please consider giving your business to the Mondavi winery. And if you run into Kurt Cobbett, tell him you heard the story about how he saved the dog in the overheated car. He'll probably try to downplay it, but don't let him. And good luck if you need the police - when we took our leave, it was an hour after our call and the police still hadn't shown up.
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