Thursday, May 23, 2013

On a Wing and a Prayer: My Students WILL Get to Take Their Exam in the Blue Exam Booklets Like I Promised

I came home early from school today in the pouring down rain and boy did the temperature drop. Chilly and damp. I'm NOT complaining because my flowers so needed a drink and a break from the heat. But then so did I. My classroom can get quite stuffy and stinky with sweaty freshmen boys who just came from gym class. Eeeeewwww.

Anyway, I texted Michael to bring in the mail so it didn't get soaked by the rain. See, we haven't replaced the old mailbox yet (it's been almost two years since the siding was done on the house, and the mailbox was removed at that time) and when it rains the mail tends to drown to the point where I have to get out the blowdryer. You get the picture. My point is that I was expecting a package from Amazon, and I didn't want it to get wet.

Michael brought the mail in, and when I got home he brought the package to me. It was a thin tan envelope. I thought to myself: How in the world did Amazon fit 25 Blue Book Exam booklets in that thin little envelope. Well, they didn't. I opened the envelope to find not 25 booklets, but ONE. One. Booklet. I have 25 students in my Honors English class. 25. They cannot share ONE booklet.

This is the second time I have placed this order. The first time the booklets came the pages were grids. I donated them to the math teacher on my team. I figured he could always use graph paper. He kindly thanked me for my contribution.

Panic squeezed my throat. My kiddos have been preparing for the essay exam this whole week, and I told them they would be writing them in Blue Exam Books like students use at the college level. Their exam is TOMORROW. It was now 4 p.m. Where was I going to find Blue Books by tomorrow morning?

Google. I googled Blue Exam booklets and found them all over the internet, but I would have to order them and have them shipped. I needed a store. A place I could drive to and purchase exam booklets for tomorrow. Staples. No. Office Depot. No. Walmart. No. No. No. No. There wasn't one store that carried them. I had to order them from the online version of the store. I sat there staring at my computer screen wracking my brain for an answer.

Then it hit me. The bookstore at Bowling Green State University Fireland's campus that is located in Huron. Just 12 miles down the road. It was now 4:35. I called the bookstore before heading out. The young lady said yes they did have the Blue Exam booklets. I asked if she had 25 booklets. She said yes. I asked her what the hours were for today. She said the bookstore closed at 5 p.m. I told her I was leaving now from Vermilion and coming there to purchase 25 of the exam booklets. I thought I could make it.

I grabbed my purse and keys and ran out the door yelling to Michael over my shoulder that I was heading to BGSU and would be right back. At 4:42 I pulled out of my driveway. Once I got to Route 2, I literally flew down the highway. I asked God to send an angel to make sure I made it there in time, safely, and without getting picked up. It was still pouring down rain as I frantically drove the 12 miles to Huron. I also asked God to send an angel to the bookstore to make sure it was open when I arrived.

At 4:58 I pulled into a parking place, shut off the car, popped open my umbrella, and made a mad dash in my red dress and white high heeled sandals for the bookstore. When I got to the main door I pulled it open and thrust my umbrella through. Right. I didn't even put the umbrella down.

The girl, a college student by the looks of her, stood just inside the doors of the bookstore speaking with someone. I ran to the doors finally putting my umbrella down. The young lady behind the counter said "Can I help you?" Huffing and puffing I told her I was the woman who called about the exam booklets. She said "Oh. Yes. They're right over here." She led me to the shelf and asked me if I wanted the smaller version or the larger. I chose the larger.

We walked back to the counter. My breathing began to quiet. She told me she hoped I hadn't rushed too much. She said, "After you called I decided to keep the store open for a few extra minutes to make sure you got the booklets you needed."

"Bless your heart!" I beamed at her.

God answered my prayer getting me safely to the bookstore in time and without getting a ticket. He also answered my prayers in the form of a lovely young lady who was kind enough to give me some extra time. Talk about wonderful customer service. I'm writing a letter to BGSU to thank whoever hired this young woman and sing her praises.

I walked out of the bookstore with my orange BGSU bag filled with 25 exam booklets in hand. Unlocking the car door, I placed the bag on the passenger seat, put my umbrella down, and sat behind the wheel. I thanked God over and over again. When I turned the key in the ignition the low fuel light came on. I hadn't even realized how low I was on gas. I couldn't tell you if it was on while I was driving to the bookstore or not. A sense of calm came over me, and I just sat and breathed in and out. Smiling from ear to ear.

Thanks to God and this young lady, my students will get to take their exam in the Blue Exam booklets I've been telling them about.

I just had to share this with all of you because usually you hear people complain about poor customer service. Not this time. What a nice surprise.

When's the last time you received great customer service? Please share.

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