Friday, October 3, 2014

Customer service praise – this time for a big box store

From time to time I will praise a local business that gives good service and / or goes above and beyond to offer exemplary examples of fortitude in trying to correct an issue.

This isn’t to say a large corporation cannot do the same but due to their large size and the diversity of their employee pool it can be a crap shoot.

When “they” get it wrong, I let them have it. When they get it right I should scream just a loudly and that is why I have written this post.

This was my recent experience with Staples (online) which has a store location here in Wallingford (the email I sent to Staples Corporate is below).

SUBJECT: Premium Customer Service Received regarding my Staples Pink Mesh Chair order 

To All concerned,

I wanted to take the time this morning as I commute in to work on Metro North to NYC to express my thanks to Tracy Combs (primarily, as I worked with her directly and extensively) as well as Matthew Robinson who assisted in helping me to resolve multiple issues with my order of the Staples Pink Mesh Chair.

To be completely fair, Staples lost money on this order. Between the courtesy credit to part of my order for the troubles and the amount of “manpower” dedicated to resolve the issue, this was a cost to the corporation.

I want to offer a little back ground on the issue because it was not something simple to address so please bear with me on the lengthy email. I promise you, it’s worth reading every word to fully appreciate the entire situation.

My wife and I recently bought our eight year old daughter Angela a desk for room to work on her laptop I repaired (second hand) and to do other school work. When I logged on to the Staples website to let her pick out her chair this is the one she wanted:


So we went about placing the order on Saturday September 6th and received an email stating “Expected Delivery: September 12, 2014”.

Much to our surprise on Monday the 8th we received an email that Order 9712990805 was out of stock, the order was cancelled, and that the item is expected to be back in stock in 5-7 business days. I didn’t tell my daughter and I was a little disappointed after it showed in stock but it happens so I just would re-order it.

On Saturday the 13th I went back online to see the item in stock again (the same way it was listed prior and shown above as “In Stock Online”) so I placed the order (number 9713268047). On Monday the 15th I got the same form email that the chair was out of stock, the order was cancelled, and that the item is expected to be back in stock in 5-7 business days. I contacted support via email and asked them to NOT cancel the order but to just fill it when the chair came back in stock but they couldn’t do that as it was already canceled and they had no way to override the system automation. I also asked “why is this still showing as “In Stock Online” but I never got a follow up.

I asked my daughter at that point if there was another chair she might like as there was an issue with ordering this one and she looked around disappointedly but really was set on this one (although she did choose another one). I try to look at things pragmatically but when it comes to some simple things like a favorite whatever that is going to make my kids happy (my daughter or any of the three boys) I try to make it happen. We don’t spoil our kids but we know life can be a tough ride so the little niceties – we like to try to deliver on them.

So with that mindset, on Wednesday the 17th I decided to try the order again (9713439416) and it was cancelled – again. It was at that time I called the service center and began dealing with Tracy Combs. She is the epitome of customer service. Throw away whatever training manuals you use presently to train staff and let her write them. She took my call, listened to every word I said, understood the problem from a practical sense (ordering and fulfillment). She was genuinely empathetic, understanding that I was emotionally upset over the whole scenario – from the amount of time and effort I put into this and due to the fact my daughter was set on this chair. Tracy was sympathetic to the problem and made zero excuses – she looked over the three orders and didn’t know why (at the time) they were showing available for ordering and kept cancelling out. She engaged Matthew to help her as she was going to be out for planned time off and he stepped in and followed up over the weekend and into Monday.

On Monday the 22nd I tried the order again (9713589090). Tracy basically “watched” it enter the system and fail out. She had followed up prior and found out the ordering system issue (internal pricing error) and escalated it so that it could be corrected. Basically because of that pricing error, the chairs WERE in stock but the orders were being cancelled because of that issue. She was hopeful that it was corrected for this order but it wasn’t.

She continued to work on the issue over the week and on Monday the 29th we entered order 9713834969 which was finally successful as the internal pricing error was corrected.

All the work and effort produced this result on the evening of Wednesday October 1:

As I said before, Staples lost money on this order. Between the courtesy credit to part of my order for the troubles and the amount of “manpower” dedicated to resolve the issue, this was a cost to the corporation. What Staples has gained is my further loyalty to a corporation that takes the time to care about one customer despite having hundreds of thousands of others.

I’ll make sure to let as many other people that I can know about this as well.
In the meantime I wanted to make sure the people that helped make my daughter happy, that helped resolve the issue to make that possible, received my personal thanks and that people in Staples Corporate knew these details as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email in its entirety and I hope everyone has a great week and weekend.

Jason Zandri

Sunday, September 28, 2014

As time moves by…

A little more of a personal thing than a “Wallingford” thing but I felt like sharing it anyway.

At the beginning of the year I had the chance to buy two sets of three ticket packs to Fenway Park as part of a small package deal.

Little did I know at the time that I would be picking two great games versus two great opposing ball clubs for the 2014 season – The Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees.

I couldn’t have known at the beginning of the season that Baltimore would be in first place and that the Red Sox vs. Yankee game would be the last game that Derek Jeter would play.

So let me set you the stage – I am a die hard Red Sox fan since the early 70s.

While I didn’t go to many games as a kid with my father to Fenway or Yankee Stadium (I think it may have been three games in total over my whole childhood) I did get to see some greats play.


I was able to watch these greats over at Fenway Park (as shown above in 1977 at the ripe old age of eight with my then seven year old sister who would not be caught dead in a Sox hat these days). 


And over at the arch nemesis Yankee Stadium and the House that Ruth built:


I couldn’t tell you where I was when any of these players played their final game. I only follow baseball casually (as much as I still maintain my claim as a die hard Sox fan).

What I can say is I remember 2004 and 2007 vividly (for obvious reasons – again, as a die hard Sox fan). I also realize that 2018 is coming shortly and from 1918 forward things were tough for Sox fans for that little bit of time.

I don’t know if my kids are able to follow the game as I did; I was really into it then (and I still have some of my baseball cards!) and I wanted to introduce the game to them.

I have taken them a couple of times now to McCoy Stadium to see the Paw Sox play. (Alex even got a game ball!)


A few years ago I bought a package to tour Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park and I took Andrew with me (he was seven at the time in 2011).



I don’t know if the kids will remember the exciting games, or if it will be the hot dogs, or the time in the car, or maybe Dad dancing with them to “Dancing with Myself” or singing along to “Sweet Caroline”, or perhaps the sportsmanship shown on the day Jeter retired or any of the number of other things that went on during the game and the time at the ball parks. The impressions left on each of them will be different.

I selfishly hope that when they look back that the thought that crosses their minds starts with “I remember that day – I was there with my Dad when…”


I am not destined for greatness but that will not stop me from attempting great things and if all I manage to do with my life in totality is to have been able to keep four kids well grounded, excited to learn, grow, and engage, then I have achieved more than I ever thought I was capable of.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday Alex

My youngest child is my son Alex – born on September 4 2009 at 10:20 in the morning (5 days early).

He weighed in at 7 pounds 11 ounces and measured 19 3/4 inches in length.

Like each of my four children, he has a strong personality and a happy and wonderful nature. He reminds me, without knowing otherwise, that living life simply is such a wonderful thing. Alex is my daily reminder of this.

So on your 5th birthday Alex and as you start Kindergarten this week, I want to wish you all of life’s simple pleasures – no one I know will get more from them than you.

Be happy, be strong, be gentle, and be kind; the rest will work itself out in the fullness of time.

I love you Captain.



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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Happy 10th Birthday Andrew

It is hard to believe but ten years past on August 8th, 2004 I became a father for the first time.

I would become a father three more times but Andrew was my first.

I miss him – he and his mother, sister, and two brothers are away in Poland for their annual holiday.

Another year goes by and I don’t get the chance to see him on his birthday but I take some comfort in the fact that I know he is enjoying his time and his extended family in Poland

Happy birthday little man – I’ll see you in 24 days.

I love you













Zandri Family 077ecrop



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Upcoming Public Information Meetings regarding improvements to be made at railroad grade crossings in Wallingford and Meriden


The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) will conduct two public information meetings regarding improvements to be made at railroad grade crossings in Wallingford and Meriden.
The meeting in Wallingford will occur on Monday, June 16th, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Community Room of the Wallingford Public Library, located at 200 North Main Street.
The meeting in Meriden will occur on Wednesday, June 18th.
The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Griffin Room of the Meriden Public Library, located at 105 Miller Street.
All persons interested in this project are welcomed to attend the meeting(s) and discuss the project with Department personnel. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014




Come out for a chance to get to know your fellow Wallingfordians!

Admission is free, so bring your family, friends and favorite outdoor game for a good time.

Burgers, hot-dogs and water will be provided, 
but feel free to bring a dish of your own to share!

Hosted by:
The Wallingford Democratic Town Committee – District 7
Questions or Concerns?
Call Kaitlyn Romania @ 203.747.0396

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday Adam

My third child and second son Adam Jozef was born on this day on May 17 in 2008 at 3:29 in the afternoon; he was 3 days early.

He weighed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce and measured 19 inches in length.

So on his birthday, (and every day), I wish him all the happiness he can come into on his own and all the success that he has the opportunity to obtain. As he gets there, I hope he learns to appreciate “the little things” that life has to offer and returns to the world at least what he takes from it. 

Happy birthday Adam; I wish you many more. I hope I can continue to be half the father you think I am as that is still ten times more than I thought I was capable of.

Love, Daddy.











Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Transit Oriented Development Pre-Development and Acquisition Fund announced

Gov. Malloy Announces Fund to Spur Economic Growth and TOD Along Expanding CT Transportation Corridors.

On April 30, 2014, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the creation of a $15 million Transit Oriented Development Pre-Development and Acquisition Fund to provide financing that will encourage developers to carry out transit-oriented development (TOD) in communities with station stops along the CTFastrak and New Haven-Hartford-Springfield (NHHS) transit corridors.

The state and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) will each contribute $1 million to the fund, which will be added to $13 million of private capital provided by LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) Connecticut, who will also serve as the fund manager. Transit-Oriented Development prioritizes the development of a mix of uses – new housing, retail and commercial office space – near transit hubs to encourage the use of mass transit, reduce reliance on driving, and foster more dense, liveable, walkable communities.

“With the investment of $1 million in state funds and $1 million from CHFA, we will leverage at least $13 million in private funds from LISC and potentially millions more from banks, developers and other investors in order to create jobs, reduce congestion by encouraging mass transit ridership, build new affordable housing in walk-able communities near transit and improve our quality of life,” said Governor Malloy. “Since taking office, we have invested in projects like CTFastrak and New Haven-Hartford-Springfield line because we know they will be catalysts for further growth and private investment that will revitalize communities. As we focus on promoting mixed-use, sustainable development statewide, this fund will serve as an important component of our tool-kit in these two corridors as we work with municipalities, developers and other organizations to lay the foundation for long-term sustainable economic activity and ensure these are livable, walkable communities for employees and employers alike.”

The TOD fund will be a $15 million fund comprised of $1 million from the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), $1 million from CHFA and $13 million from LISC. LISC was selected to serve as the TOD fund manager through a competitive process based on the organization’s experience funding and administering TOD projects as well as their knowledge of the unique needs of Connecticut’s transit corridor towns.

“This predevelopment fund will expand economic opportunity by connecting residents to jobs and education and LISC is excited to partner with Governor Malloy’s administration on it,” said Andrea Pereira, Executive Director of LISC Connecticut. “LISC stands ready to work with the Governor to encourage economic growth along Connecticut’s transit corridors and to realize our shared goal of a more economically and geographically integrated region.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Legendary Locals by Tarn Granucci at the Wallingford Public Library

Sunday, April 13: 1:30 p.m. in the Community Room

Calling all those who know and love Wallingford! Come and share your family photographs, personal stories, and local legends at this community gathering celebrating your hometown. Local resident Tarn Garnucci will be gathering the information for an Acadia publishing project entitled Legendary Locals of Wallingford.

All participants will have a chance to win prizes from local merchants and restaurants. The DVD Wallingford in the 1930s will be shown at the conclusion of the program and copies will be available for purchase.

All are welcome. Seating is limited.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle

Learning @ Wallingford Public Library 

Wallingford Public Library
200 North Main Street
Wallingford, CT 06492 (203) 265-6754

Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle

12 Years a Slave? More like 80

Please join us in the Community Room on Wednesday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. for a moderated discussion of Slavery by Another Name documentary film.  

One of our most cherished assumptions as Americans is that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Slavery by Another Name, a documentary film based on Douglas A. Blackmon's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, turns that belief on its head.  The film documents how after the Civil War, repressive labor practices and laws pulled thousands of African Americans in the South back into new forms of slavery that lasted well into the 20th century.

Discussion of the film excerpts will be moderated by Richard S. Stewart, a teacher of U.S. History at Choate Rosemary Hall. Mr. Stewart attended Westminster School and has degrees from Allegheny College and Wesleyan University. His major teaching interests are movements for social reform and political history

This moderated film series will resume in the fall with The Loving Story, and Freedom Riders, which are scheduled for September 24 and October 7, 2014 respectively.

This program is free and open to all. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Jane Fisher Library Director

Monday, March 31, 2014


Presented by

Mark T. Sheehan High School Music Parents Association

All proceeds will go directly to the students in the Music Department to purchase instruments and for scholarships.

DATE: Sunday, April 6, 2014

TIME: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: M T Sheehan High School

142 Hope Hill Road

Wallingford, CT 06492

Donations: Adults $6 Seniors (60+) $5.00

Children 5-17 years old $1 Under 5 FREE

There will be OPERATING LAYOUTS and VENDORS of model train items and die cast vehicles. Over 50 dealers and 1,000 spectators at our 2013 show. We will also have the “Roaming Railroad” to take passengers for a ride on the school property for a $3 fee. Free parking, handicap accessible, no stairs, great food on premises, door prizes.

This year’s show will include 17 vendors of non-train related items. The additional vendors this year will include: LD’s Chocolates, Birdhouses Plus, Jumbo Gourmet Candy Apples, Comfort Baby Creations, Grand Slam Sports-UCONN Items, Lovely Lathers homemade olive oil soap, Wildtree Food, Lynne Kramer Pendants & Scarves, Tupperware, Thirty-One Gifts, Rosa’s Gems, Otter Tree Candles & Gifts, Lady Bling Jewelry, Lisa’s Soaps, Joyce Sannizzaro Ruffled Scarves & Jewelry, Longaberger and SILPADA Jewelry.

For more information, contact PHYLLIS DRESCHER

(203) 265 0223

Friday, March 21, 2014


Thursday, March 27, 7:00 pm
Miller Memorial Library, Thornton Wilder Room
2901 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden, 06518


Thursday, March 20, 2014

CT Common Core Standards and SBAC Assessment Information Sessions

CT Common Core Standards and SBAC Assessment
There will be an information session to learn about the CT Common Core Standards and the SBAC Assessment on the following dates/times:

April 8, 2014 @ 6:45 p.m. – Rock Hill Elementary School
April 10, 2014 @ 6:00 p.m. – Pond Hill Elementary School
April 23, 2014 @ 6:00 p.m. – Yalesville Elementary School