This is really nothing anyone is probably interested in, but I felt the need to share with you, my wider blog audience, the news of my latest DVD shipment since you were an integral part of it all.
Back in September, I placed a very very very large DVD order with one of those Indian websites. It was more than I could afford, but I figured if I just ordered everything at once instead of in little drips and drabs over the next year, I could save on shipping and be all efficient, so why not go for it?
And then two weeks later, I still had nothing. And three weeks. And four weeks. And then a couple of months. I was emailing all along to the official contact email, but no luck. FINALLY, ages later, I heard back with a very Indian-English sounding email that offered me a personal cell phone number to call.
And then I got nervous, because I knew I was suddenly out of my depth. See, every culture has the little coded language and manners and stuff around bargaining and business situations. In WASP-y American culture, I am golden! I just pretend I am talking to my grandmother, and everyone loves me. I am sweet, I am humble, I never directly ask for anything (because that would be rude!), I just say “I would really appreciate it if you could find a way to…” And then they think “oh what a nice little girl, she reminds me of my granddaughter/niece/daughter, I will give her whatever she wants!” And I end up getting a huge rent refund for my lack of floor, or donated supplies for my Sunday School class, or whatever else.
Now, picture the desi guy who runs a DVD website. Is he going to react nicely to “oh gee, I would really appreciate it if it isn’t too much trouble, please and thank you and have a nice day”? No! He’s going to ignore my emails for 4 months! And then roll right over me in a series of phone calls while I am still trying to gently lead up to asking for something without being impolite.
So, I finally got desperate and decided to play dirty. Usually when I play dirty I turn into an odd combination of my grandmother and my father, “I am very sorry but I think maybe I will have to report you to the Better Business Bureau or Small Claims Court, so sorry again, I hope I don’t have to, have a nice day.” But this is not a BBB type business and I don’t know what kind of a claim I could have filed against some India based website.
(Kind of feels like maybe this would have been the best way to solve it. But I’m much more Shirley Temple than Amitabh in my methods)
So instead, I wrote another email saying “Oh by the way, I want all these DVDs because I run a website for Indian film where I have recommended your website in the past, and hope to in the future, but if this problem with my order is not resolved, I will instead feel the need to warn my readers away and direct them to ebay or Amazon instead.” And then I added “Also, I hope you are enjoying this nice weather and have a good day and thank you so much again for all your efforts to resolve this.” Because, you know, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings or make him think I didn’t trust him! (Did I mention that the first time I went to India I paid $10 for a 15 minute rickshaw ride?)
And it worked! Apparently this is the magical trick to get people to respond to me if the big-eyed polite sucking up doesn’t work! So from now on, anytime I need anything from anyone who seems to be immune to my sweetness, I will just hold the threat of a bad blog review over their head and see what happens.
Oh, also, since they did end up sending me soooooooooooooo many DVDs, I am going to keep my promise and not bad mouth them. So you don’t get to know which website it was! I mean, look at this richness!