Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Belated New Years...

Ah, yes, so the long awaited New Year's Resolution.

I only really have one resolution this year. And it's a weird one. I'm not planning to lose weight. I'm not going to obsess about working out. Nope. None of that this year.

My resolution is completely based on my past blog post. (I'm sorry. I will post more of the comments. It's just going to take a while. I have 269 to look through and I haven't turned on my computer in almost two weeks.)

I want to be clear. I did PAY for the apple juice, in case you wondering. And, apparently, a lot of cynics out there assumed that I did not pay for the apple juice. Which kind of hurt. I mean, why do people assume the worst?

Of course I paid for it. Anything my child breaks, I will pay for (I do not take her into china shops for this reason.) However, I will not be shopping in that store again. It was just the way they handled it.

I told another friend about the incident as we walked by the store a week later. I told her I couldn't go in. I was taking a stand, even though she needed to by some Advil.

"They are strange in there," she said. "They always look at you as soon as you walk in as if you're going to steal something."

It was quite interesting to me to read what people thought of customer service. Some thought that I shouldn't have to pay for it - considering I was buying many other items (I didn't end up buying anything but the apple juice.)

I lean too towards customer service. For example, I bought a crap load of Starbucks gift certificates for people for Christmas and while doing so I also ordered a grande non-fat latte. The barista said, "It's on the house."

This is why Starbucks is good with customer service. It was a nice thing to do, totally unnecessary, but completely nice. I will go back to Starbucks.

Once, at Whole Foods, I was buying mini-go yogurts. One of the lids on one of the six yogurts was slightly bashed in. I didn't care. But the dude gave the whole thing to me for free. That's good customer service. It makes me want to go back.

But even more interesting than paying for something versus good customer service it was completely interesting to see how upset some people were that I DIDN'T USE A CART!

Shoot me! I didn't use a cart!

I'm the type of person who believes I can carry everything I need in my two hands (aside from a big grocery shop.)

And even after a big grocery shop, with twelve bags in my trunk, I still believe that I can carry them into my door with ONE TRIP.

And, you know what? I can.

It ain't easy. My arms are usually bruised and the mark on my arms from carrying the bags leave red marks for hours.

But...still...I'm a ONE TRIP kind of gal.

I've always been like that. My mother always used to say, "Make two trips!" And I'd be like, "No. I can do it in one. Trust me."

I'm not lazy. I'm just a person who likes things done efficiently, even if that means my arms are bruised. If I can do something in one trip. I'm going to do it in one trip.

So, my New Year's resolution is to use a damn cart from now on when I go shopping, even if I'm buying a bottle of shampoo. That's it. Interesting huh?

It was also interesting for me to read that some mother's out there don't feed their children in the grocery store while they shop. It may be wrong. But I don't know. I do it all the time. If my child wants a cracker while we're shopping, I will open a box and give her one.

It keeps The Dictator happy, while I can shop for groceries peacefully. And, in case you were wondering, of COURSE I pay for it. What's the difference if she eats a cracker while we're at the check out counter or if we're on the other side. It's going to be paid for.

Other than that, it's been a nice break. We spent a week in Scottsdale with the family. And I took The Dictator to Mexico (again - I'm over my stomach issues.)

I almost cried when I saw that the Dictator can almost swim by herself now. Such joy.

I wish all of you good health and happiness in 2008. And, I promise, I'll use a cart.

35 Comments:

Blogger Badness Jones said...

We don't assume the worst of you....I think it was how you worded your question! I could've used some better customer service this week, I tried to get the kids' passport photos taken at Wal-mart and the photographer said he couldn't take the Princess's photo in the shirt she was wearing. I told him I was going to run into the store and buy a cheap t-shirt...I'd be right back. He said fine, but when I got back less than 10 minutes later, he'd closed up the studio for 2 hours! Gah!

12:51 AM

 
Blogger Joanne said...

We head to Mexico next week with 2 dictators (11 mo, 2.5 yr) give me hints of how to travel with them. PLEASE!!!

6:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great resolution. I'm like you with respect to the 'one-trip' mantra. I ALWAYS try to make it in just one trip. More than one just seems unnecessary. For a long time I never had a car, so when I went grocery shopping- big trip or small- I would always load up my arms with bags and make the trek, ONE trek. Happy New Years to you too.

7:58 AM

 
OpenID fictionfactories said...

you haven't mentioned the fiance in a long time. we miss hearing about him, too!
btw, i'm an old friend of mark (i called him "marky") gollom. haven't seen him since i moved to los angeles a few years ago. please tell him "hello" from beth in los angeles. i once met you when you were at a movie with him, at the paramount, when i still lived in toronto. i remember being jealous of you because you were so pretty. i'd love to be in touch with him, so if you speak to him, please let him know, my email address is fictionfactories@aol.com

9:26 AM

 
Anonymous Nicole said...

Rebecca - I've noticed in the blog world that there are a handful of women who are way better moms than the rest of us. They never make errors, ever. As for the rest of us....

I live within walking distance to a grocery store. For large trips I take the car, but for small things I walk, with the children in their stroller. Do I leave the stroller at the front of the store so I can take a cart? Do I leave the stroller outside for potential theives, so I can take a cart? Of course not. I take the stroller and put my things in the basket - AND SOMETIMES IN MY HANDS WHILE PUSHING THE STROLLER.

Another thing, I normally have snacks, drinks, etc., with me but on occasion I have forgotten. On these occasions, occasionally the children will need a snack or drink. When that occurs, I open something I was buying anyway, and give them a sample of it. Of course I always pay for it.

Now, I understand some people never err, but some of us do!

BTW, just read Wiped, and found the PPD description very moving.

12:34 PM

 
Anonymous Kate B. said...

Happy New Year!!!

People shouldn't get so freaking hung up over whether you paid for the juice or not... Ugh. You were asking for opinions, not judgement calls.

I had the worst customer service experience of MY LIFE with an Avon rep. I can't even post it all here as it was just too much.

I usually get AMAZING Starbucks & Chapters service but once, several years ago, I wanted a cold drink on a hot Toronto summer day, I did not want a coffee. A juice, water, a soda... and when I said 'give me something cold please, anything!!' to the guy in a happy way he said, "THIS IS A COFFEE HOUSE. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT US TO HAVE?'

7:27 PM

 
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I also open stuff at the grocery store for my son (and pay for it). My theory is that if it's not something that has to be washed or weighed (like fruit) it you are going to pay for it why not.
It much nicer to have my son eating in the cart than freaking out cause he's hungry. I don't see what the big deal is. If I'm thirsty I would get a drink. No biggie.
Glad you had a nice New Year's.

2:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously. How old are you? Still sitting in your corning pouting because 100% of people who read your blog called you on how sad and pathetic you are. I used to read your newspaper column and thought it was kind of cute, but it was so much of your self-involved, vapid stuff I stopped reading. I looked up your blog a year or so later and was disappointed to see more of the same.

Can't wait to see my comment posted. As well as the other 269.

4:10 PM

 
Blogger Santi Marie said...

Belated Merry Christmas and, still, a Happy New Year!!


Greg and Family from the Philippines

1:28 AM

 
Anonymous Steph said...

Happy New Year! Looking forward to your blog entries and hopefully a new book this year!

5:12 AM

 
Blogger The Life of An Ambitious Book Girl said...

Yah I don't deal well with new year resolutions, I think they are bogus. If you want to do something or aim for a goal so badly than you should have no problem with it...period!

11:21 AM

 
Blogger Ali said...

starbucks did the same thing for me ;) love.

happy new year, Rebecca!

11:57 AM

 
Anonymous notatwood said...

You know who needs a book deal... The Nanny!

2:22 PM

 
Blogger primetimetvaddict said...

Happy New Year!

I laughed - the bruises and red marks on my arms from my "one trip" mentality is often the butt of many a family joke.

Ah, the shopping cart. The ploy of the stores to get you to buy more (statistically people will tend to fill a cart if they have one). Incidentally, I used to think that was ridiculous until I watched my own buying patterns. Sadly, I too fell into that trap and I should know better!

Best wishes for 2008!! Looking forward to reading your blog again this year.

6:17 AM

 
Blogger Jen said...

I don't understand so many people.

I have given my son fruit sometimes too (because I'm a GOOD Mommy!) and try to pay at the checkout, and sometimes they will charge me for an extra banana and sometimes they suck up the 25 cents. I'm not trying to get away with anything here, I've got a banana addict on my hands!

Anyway pooh-pooh to the judgey judgersons and vive la difference!

8:04 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DON'T USE A CART!!! As a fellow, load my arms up with items and bags that leave bruises, or load everything up onto the stroller until I'm doing a balancing act fit for a street performer, I say stick with your style of shopping!
And I WOULD NOT have paid for the juice, NO WAY! A plastic juice bottle should be able to handle the half a foot drop from a little girls arms to the floor. DAMN that store for making you feel anything other than OK about it.

8:40 AM

 
Anonymous Julie said...

Well said!!! Nice resolution.

6:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm all about good service as well.

Oddly enough, lately I have been finding big box stores to have the BEST service and the boutiques to have the worst. A far departure from previous holiday seasons!

6:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it depends a lot on how much leeway the person working at the store has. If they're a minimum wage flunkie, they probably have to make you pay for something like a juice. Some people can get away with giving you a free latte, some can't. I don't think good customer service should always mean you get something free. I've had great customer service on a normal transaction. Order, pay, leave = but still go away feeling happy and like they were nice.

6:20 PM

 
Anonymous MB said...

Hey. Just read your Macleans column :-) I checked out the parody blog and I can't believe they are allowed to have that site up considering how hateful and awful it is. Is there any way they can take legal action considering how they are stalking and harassing you? It's really creepy how some people have no lives and obsess over others. I personally enjoy your writing. Wish you the best in dealing with the cyber-bullies.

3:09 PM

 
Anonymous Chantelle said...

I miss your entries. :(

5:31 PM

 
Blogger barbmia said...

For some reason it bothers me (a lot) to see parents feeding their kids with unpaid groceries. It just seems to be instilling in them a sense of entitlement to something that isn't even paid for. I'd also imagine that they would expect it every time and it would be mindless snacking, not exactly the healthiest way to eat.

I would hope that my child could wait an extra 10 or 15 minutes until the item was bought and paid for. Then again, he's still a baby so we'll see if I feel the same when he's older...?

11:20 PM

 
Anonymous Ilana said...

I liked your Maclean's piece. I've seen that awful blog about you. Someone has got way too much time on their hands.
The part about her leaving her kids to drive to Toronto was very funny.
Good job. An article about them in a national magazine is really the best revenge.
I know this has nothing to do with your post; it was the only way I knew to reach you.
Some people are truly nasty.

4:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally that hate blogger shut down her poisonous site. You win! Good for you to persevere.

1:50 PM

 
Blogger MELVIN ZDARSKY said...

Starbucks is great!!!! Sometimes I don't really like their "music" but they don;t give me a HASSLE when I need to use their washroom!! The coffee is very burnt but "beggars can't be choosers" in a sense!! I don't "beg," but my friend Jacqueline will only take me there, so there you go!!
-"Mel!"

7:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,
I just started reading your blog because I read the article in MacLeans. Those people who held the Anti-Eckler "party" obviously have a lot of issues. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think your blog is really funny and I can relate to a lot of the things you say. Keep up the good work :-)

6:45 PM

 
Anonymous mom25 said...

Hi Rebecca!

My name is Julie and I will always be looking forward to any book you write. I have read Knocked Up and Wiped. I cant wait to read Toddlers Gone Wild. Totally awesome, you are so funny. I love reading memoirs and I have a 4 year old and another coming in June. I know what you mean about rude store clerks. I was in a convenience store and wanted to let my son pick out a treat. We surveyed the store once walking around with the guy staring at us. Then we went and Tyler (my son) picked up a chocolate bar. He put it back and the guy says 'hurry up, hurry up'. I said excuse me did you just tell him to hurry up! The man nodded and repeated hurry up. I said fine we'll go somewhere else then. There wasn't even anyone else in the store waiting or anything! How rude. Then Tyler starts crying because he doesn't understand why I am dragging him out with no candy. Needless to say I will not go in there again. Anyways you'll always find rude people around I'm used to it now. You know how it is when your kid starts screaming and everyone looks at you like your abusing her or something. It's awful. You know what a wonderful mother you are though and thats all that matters, right? Thanks for reading my comment. From Julie your #1 fan in Richmond Hill, Ont.

7:14 AM

 
Blogger Joanne said...

Just started receiving Macleans this year and was proud to see you in there. I hope to read more articles from you in there and can't wait to read book no.3!

Miss your 'blogging'! :(

4:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are you?? I SOOO miss your funny stories. Please write soon!

11:33 AM

 
Blogger Billie said...

I keep checking back. Are you gone for good??

11:18 AM

 
Blogger Nathalie said...

I so totally missed you! (ok, so I haven't thought of you in a little while. but whenever I shop for shoes, I think of this column you once wrote wrote. I think I saved it somewhere. it was hilarious!)

hope to see some more posts.

5:20 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Cow! Could you post something new. Jeez. Why bother having a blog?

7:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our neighbourhood grocery store just came out with "mini carts". They are about half the size of the regular ones. I LOVE them!

2:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Rebecca! Are you still out there? Would be nice to hear something from you again. I hope everything is well with you and your family. Do you have spring yet? Here it´s starting, although a bit reluctantly. How is your writing outside of the blog? I´m not in Canada, so I have very little info except what is written here. I also write, but not about children since I am not a mother yet. Thanks for an entertainig blog! All the best,
Sara
(in Stockholm, Sweden)

1:55 PM

 
Blogger Knit & Purl Mama said...

Rebecca,

Hi. I am going to leave a comment here because I cannot find your email address if you have a public one. Anyhow, I am in the middle (actually almost finished) your third book, Toddlers Gone Wild. I ordered your book Wiped online from Chapters. Your first book, however, is impossible to find! I want to know if you know of any sources where I can acquire a copy of your book? I'm Canadian, in Montreal. I've called around all my local bookstore (new & used too) to see if they had any copies.

Hoping maybe you can help!??

Thanks, Another Mommy blogger, Robyn

6:54 AM

 

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