While I was having my own “nemesis” moment with the printer, I received a most unusual gift message request. It accompanied an order from Bryan who was sending bon bons as a birthday gift to a friend. The gift message area in our online shopping cart does not put a character limit on gift messages, and Bryan had taken full advantage of this extra little service we offer our customers. He had written a cryptic note (or should I say novella?) that began with a unique salutation and ended with a reference to us:
My Dear Nemesis,
I thought you could use a bit of a pick-me-up....(then a long message chock full of inside jokes. It ended with)...P.S. I wonder if the people preparing and sending your gift are reading this message and think I'm crazy...? Hmmm....
Of course, Bryan couldn't know that at the time of his order I was hand-writing all gift messages myself due to a printer issue. Even using a 10-point font on a printer, I would have been hard-pressed to fit all of his prose on our standard gift card; fitting all of those words on there by hand was simply out of the question. I would have to use a large 8.5"x11" card stock we reserve for singing telegrams and trade show signs. This meant I would have to fold the message in order to fit in inside the package. It was going to look odd. Since I could tell Bryan had a great sense of humor, I decided to turn the gift message dilemma to my advantage by attaching my own post-script below his lengthy message. I wrote:
Note From South 'n France: We do not think he is crazy, just verbose. We had to print this message on paper that is four times the size of our normal gift card. (Smiley Face.) Happy Birthday and Joyeux Anniversaire from us too!
A few days later, I received an email from Bryan. He explained that he and his friend have a tradition of exchanging funny gifts and messages that “make each other laugh.” They had both appreciated our post-script to his message. He wrote:
I don't know who it was, but both she and I thought it was absolutely great that someone responded with a message of their own! We both laughed! Me especially, because I was thinking that no one or no company would ever include their own message like that...I'm so glad you did!! It was perfect! It added to a gift that I already knew she would love...so thank you!
And there you have it. A persnickety printer and gift message dilemmas had frustrated me for weeks. But had they not happened, we wouldn't have had an opportunity to delight two of our customers. Maybe that's why our printer was acting up (and has since magically stopped). Thanks to Bryan, Ms. "Nemesis", and our printer for showing us the sweet center at the heart of our technological glitch.
P.S. When I told Bryan, I'd be writing a blog about him, he wrote:
My friend Amy raved about South 'n France to me a few years ago. I bookmarked the website and waited for the right occasion. She LOVED her gift! She's been telling me that she's enjoying them a little too much! She said she shared one of her bon bons with her two kids. But not one each...they each got half! To her, it's that type of treat that she just wants to keep all to herself. Needless to say, they were definitely a big hit! I'll be on the lookout for the blog.
Here it is!