Sunday, May 22, 2011

There are times when a congratulations is in order, but I don’t think this is one of them


I’m about to make a mountain out of a molehill here, but something happened a couple days ago and it’s been stuck in my craw ever since; do you mind if I share?   This all started a year or so ago, when I decided to remove the vertical blinds hanging in my apartment and replace them with real drapes.  

(My sister Shawn was overjoyed; she hated them.)  Anyway, I was pretty attached to those vertical blinds--they were no maintenance & allowed just the right amount of light in here.  Okay, so they were old even when I moved in here back in ‘95; a couple of them were split at the bottom, and I had a few of them scotch-taped to the slider rail because the clips had broken off.  (But that’s one of the nice things about being a single guy, you can get away with such things.)  

So last year I finally (and tearfully) ripped them down, and installed one of those patio-sized curtain rods, and hung a VERY cheap pair of curtains on them (until I figured out what I really wanted to hang, which drove my sister a little nuts as she hated the cheap curtains even more than the vertical blinds).   A guy can’t win!

I’ve spent the last year buying (and returning) probably 10 sets of drapes.  If I had known it was going to be this difficult, I would’ve just stocked up on scotch tape instead.  I hated lined curtains, they blacked out the whole apartment, and patterns that looked modern in the catalog turned my place into Pee Wee’s Playhouse.  Sheers were…well, sheers (sissy) and “eco-friendly” was just a clever way of charging 200 bucks for burlap.  I was ready to throw in the towel when I found this ‘two tone’ set of ‘flax/ivory’ grommet panels at Crate & Barrel.

Aren’t these nice?  I get lots of light & most important, they don’t look girly

In fact, I was so pleased how these turned out that I thought I’d do ol’ Crate (and customers like me) a favor & write a positive review about them on their website. 

So I’m on this product’s page, I write up something nice, hit ‘Submit’ and a window pops up:  “Your submission has been saved for review; please allow 72 hours for us to contact you if yours is selected for publication.  Good Luck!”   Waitaminute—I thought I was just leaving a review for a pair of curtains, it’s not like I entered an essay contest or submitted a funny story to Reader’s Digest… they make it sound like there’s going to be a prize.  Um…Is there going to be a prize?

A couple days later, I get an email from Crate & Barrel; this is what it says (and in a much larger sized font too):


Your submission has been approved & selected for our website!  Click here to see your review

Hmm—there’s my review alright (& if you click on the link above, I’m ‘Singleguy’).  Now I don’t mean to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but—wait, there is no gift-horse ‘cuz I got nothing out of this, so why am I being congratulated?  What they should’ve sent was:


Or, they could’ve just said ‘thanks’.  Okay all kidding aside, if I helped a little old lady across the street, she wouldn’t say “Congratulations, you just helped me across the street!”  SHE’D PROBABLY SAY  "THANK YOU”.

.          .          .

Well, I didn’t mean to sound petty here (I know, too late for that) and I don’t resent the fact that I’m helping a multimillion dollar company sell their product—that’s why I wrote the review (and to help male customers like me, hopefully).  I just wish it didn’t feel like they were the ones doing ME the favor.  Just sayin’!



  1. Hey Doug~

    I agree that is completely tacky! Obviously Crate and Barrel is afraid of honest feedback. What a joke...

    I can completely commiserate with the stress (and therefore avoidance) of replacing a patio vertical. I have been paralyzed for three years now. I am definitely a girly girl, but I have gotten away with stapling the pieces that keep falling out of the little grippy things. Sometime last year, probably in the depths of winter, I just didn't possess the raw energy to get up on a chair for the 396th time and keep adding to the glob of staples. I noticed this week that I have to face the music because about 5 of them have fallen down and that creates a gaping hole on a south-facing exposure.

    Wish me luck?

  2. Haha--Holly Marie, thanks so much for your feedback. To be honest I'm a little embarrassed, I took this post down a few months ago (too silly) and then a few weeks ago, came across it & thought "Ah why not". Anyway, I'm glad to know someone else out there who "feels my pain". For as much as I grumbled about those old vertical blinds, I had a lot of trouble finding some drapes that were both wide enough for patio doors -and- let in lots of light (while maintaining privacy). Yes I do wish you lots of luck, please keep me posted on how things with you turn out. PS. Good to hear from you too :)


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