Our flag-line uniforms came in today.
When I heard the news, I was super excited. You see, last year we had problems with the company. They misinformed me about the payment schedule and when the money didn’t change hands at the correct times, our uniforms were pushed to the back of the very long line. So we ended up scrambling at the last minute to come up with uniforms. Four months after the original order date, we finally had uniforms on the field. Even still, we ended up taking the uglier in-stock uniforms so that they could be made quickly.
So, this year, I had everything double and triple checked. We payed EARLY. And having the uniforms arrive three weeks before the first football game seemed like a fabulous reward for my hard work.
Two girls sat with me in the sweaty, spit-smelling band room and we divided up the sequined tops and black lycra bottoms. We made sure the inventory was correct before we distributed them. And while I was reviewing the inventory I realized that the sizes had been converted from number sizes over to letter sizes. So the 10’s and 12’s were now M’s. And the 14’s and 16’s were now L’s. I should have realized right there that we were going to have trouble. But I never saw it coming.
I called the girls up to receive their uniforms and they skipped to the bathroom to try them on. Then I heard shrieking. My stomach sank.
“Mrs. STREAMS …. this don’t fit. Look at this. It be so baggy! My Mama’s goin’ to be so mad.”
The comments kept coming. Almost half of the uniforms were the wrong size. Which, in hindsight makes sense, because the company basically had a 50/50 shot at getting the size right. Girls who needed a 14 but could have squeezed into a 12 really should have gotten a medium. The company should have called me to ask what sizes the girls needed. But instead, they guessed. And they were wrong.
So, I called to complain. The company offered to take a look. They want us to ship the uniforms back and if they deem that the mistake was theirs (the lady on the phone admitted that they’d made a mistake before she started back-pedaling) then they will alter our uniforms and send them back to us. At no charge. In FOUR weeks.
Our first game is in three weeks.
I told her that 1.) we need the uniforms before then and 2.) the company OBVIOUSLY cannot get an order right, so why should I trust them with the uniforms a second time? I want money. Do you hear me lady? MONEY. I want you to pay for the uniforms to be altered here in our town. I want to get them back within a week. I want a person I can speak to face-to-face.
She said she couldn’t do that. I said we would be taking our $6000 worth of business elsewhere next year. She said, “Okay.”
So I sat all of the girls down. I told them the facts. 1.) The company messed up. 2.) They are offering to fix it consider fixing it but we will not have them before the first game. 3.) We want them to pay for a local person to do it instead.
I asked them to call their parents on their cell phones. Because there’s nothing like an angry Mama to get things done in these situations. Each girl called and explained. We gave the parents the phone number and the woman’s name. They went to town. I instructed the girls not to call on their own behalf because they would just get a reputation as misbehaving teenagers. I only wanted the parents to call. Because ultimately it’s the parents who spent the money.
The parents rallied 100%. I even got a few calls back about who said what and what the lady said in reply. So far she hasn’t budged yet. I have a feeling she’s kind of mad at me for sending the parents after her.
Now I’m not sure what to do next. Should I call her again in the morning? One parent suggested moving up the chain of command to her supervisor/ the owner-of-the-company, etc. Someone else suggested going to the Better Business Bureau. I am not sure what to do next. Got any ideas?
Filed under: drama drama drama, stress, teaching | 7 Comments »