Fort Lauderdale Cares: Part One

May 1, 2018 12:49 am

When I first joined the service, my recruiter once told me:

“We have a high bar for customer service. You’re going to get used to the level of service in the military and anything else will seem insulting. Try to keep your cool.” I have never said the words, “my recruiter lied to me.”

That never seemed more true than today.

Every year, the City of Fort Lauderdale organizes Fort Lauderdale Cares Day. It is a Saturday in April where everyone that wants to help can volunteer to clean up the streets, plant more plants, work on the parks, etc. Neighborhood Associations can and should plan events around this day, because the city will provide every thing you need. GG, the volunteer guy from the city, will help you with all the resources. Between kids activities, waterway clean-ups and entry ways beautification, this year there were about 30 events happening around the city.

The year that the husband was president of our association he got a local nursery to deliver us $1000 in drought resistance plants. He talked to both churches in the neighborhood and they both agreed to come and help clean up. We planted a butterfly garden. The husband got the local brewery to brew a special beer for the cleaning crew for free, for after the clean up, and I got a local band to come play for the after party that had grilled burgers and hotdogs. GG provided all the trash bags, pick up sticks, gloves, water and he got buses of college kids to come help our neighborhood. The local high school also came to clean just their school, but still. People that cared about the neighborhood came out to help, and we all had a really good time. This was maybe three years ago, and that event went so well that GG won an award for Neighborhood Beautification. We went to the ceremony and I accidentally sat in one of the commissioners seat without knowing! But I digress.

This year, GG arranged for some neighborhoods to get some plants, paid for by the Rotary Club, I don’t know how many neighborhoods got the grant, but it was an average of $150 per neighborhood.

Madam President is out of town with Mr Melania, and GG emailed us to let us know that we needed to pick them up within forty-eight hours and to come with a list because they were too busy to give us recommendations. Nobody else in the entire neighborhood wanted to do it, so I agreed to go pick them up. But since I don’t have a truck, I asked the Writer to meet me there with her husband’s truck.

I called the morning of to make arrangements to pick up the plants. The woman on the phone tells me that, “she hadn’t received any emails from GG”, but to come anyways. That should’ve set off an alarm, because GG is amazing at communication and keeping everyone in the loop, but I didn’t think anything of it. I said I would be there at 12:30 (because that’s when the writer was available) and she said, to get there earlier, cause they had to go to lunch at 1pm. Ok.

I made sure to arrive at noon. I thought I would grab the plants and just wait until the Writer got there, load them up and go home. When I walked in, the woman I spoke with earlier, pointed me to a man. I gave him a list of the plants I wanted, making sure I didn’t go over budget. I watched him write them down. Evelyn, the woman, told me to go with him, but when we got outside he said NO. To wait there. OK.

I go back inside to wait. About 20 mins in, my friend is outside with the truck for the plants. We are just standing there waiting with 2 kids at 12:40. I go back inside, to ask where the guy is and Evelyn tells me, “she has no idea where the guy is.” I’m not sure what that means, or what am I supposed to be doing, so we wait some more, go back inside and she says that, “he had to take another customer because You weren’t there.”

At this point, it’s almost 1pm and Evelyn tells me not to worry, “cause she never goes to lunch and neither does that guy.” You told me to be here at noon. I’ve been waiting for almost an hour. You haven’t put your phone down, I rushed the Writer there, and now I don’t have to worry… What?

So to recap:

I got there on time, gave the man a list of SIX plant (not six different types, just six plants!), he leaves to get $150 worth of plants. I couldn’t go with him. Apparently comes back and doesn’t have the plants with him because I’m not there so he takes another client. Where were the plants? If he had them, why didn’t he drop them off? What kind of employee just stops working with one client and goes to the next one before completing the task?

First of all, we DIDN’T go anywhere! It’s a big open space. There’s no where to go that you can’t see and we were the only ones there… How do you miss two MOMS with TWO 4 year olds?

Then I go back inside and that awful woman, Evelyn, says to me: our client is the city! Really? Cause I’m the only one here buying stuff from you!

Horrible work ethics! Horrible woman and incompetent employees! I couldn’t believe it! Over an hour and I left without the plants. $150 is not a lot of money, but for my neighborhood and my neighbors it would’ve gone a long way. I didn’t have to volunteer to do any of this, but I did to make the world around me a little bit better and these two horrible people and the entire organization ruined it for me. I hope this business fails. I know that the only reason these two people still have jobs is because you can’t hire cheaper labor.

Keep that in mind: nobody is willing to pay more than the minimum required by law for these two people. I bet they’re proud of their lifes work.

To be continued….

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