Posts Tagged ‘Parks and Recreation’

In the past I’ve shared my disdain for bad customer service, so it seems fitting to recognize good experiences when they occur. A few weeks ago I ordered some books from Amazon and had them delivered to campus. At my previous institution, having something delivered to campus typically added about a week to its arrival time, since there was a huge lag between its arrival at the mail room and its appearance in my mailbox, but my experiences here had been good so far. One of the books was back ordered, so it was shipped two days after the rest. The first shipment arrived without issue but the second did not, so I waited. And waited. And waited.

A few weeks after Amazon said that my book had been delivered, and after e-mails had been sent to various parties on campus in search of my missing book, I reluctantly informed Amazon that I had not received my order. I fully expected to explain my situation to somebody at Amazon but it turned out that I didn’t have a chance. I simply received a notice that a new copy would be shipped and a link to a prepaid return address label to use if the original copy ever showed up. Of course, the original copy showed up the next day. It had been sitting in a pile in the mail room that had gone undelivered for some reason.

Two days later (and on schedule this time) the new copy arrived, so I printed Amazon’s return address label, enclosed a note thanking them for their help, and prepared to send the second copy on its way back to the warehouse. At no point did Amazon question whether my initial copy was legitimately lost (even though it sort of wasn’t) and I wasn’t asked to pay for shipping costs for the replacement. It was nice to have an interaction with a large organization that wasn’t a huge hassle!

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As an undergraduate, I admired the extent to which my primary faculty mentor was involved with local organizations.  Perhaps because of this, my own goals for faculty life include developing relationships in both the campus and broader communities.  Like any relationship, though, it seems that these connections cannot be forced.  Rather, they develop as one takes advantage of available opportunities, leading to more opportunities and larger roles in the future.

Over the summer, I took advantage of my first opportunity to become involved in local government by responding to a campus-wide call for interested parties that fell within my area of interest.  At the first meeting, which took place in an auditorium, I was struck by the “Parks and Recreation” feel of a public forum.  At the second meeting I was struck by the ability of local government to move swiftly, based on the fact that things had actually happened since the first meeting.  This is in direct contrast to my experience on collaborative academic projects, which tend to move at a glacial pace.

Depending on how official the sign-up sheet that I wrote my name on was, I am officially on a local government subcommittee.  While this will surely take away from the time that I have to spend on other things, I hope that it is time well spent.

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