Sunday, September 7, 2014

swirling thoughts #230 LESS is MORE (on expectations and happiness) as illustrated by the Toshiba situation

It started out with a brief email conversation between me and Bob from Israel to New York.

Toshiba laptop battery not holding a charge. Pls advise.  

A week later we revisited the Toshiba situation with customer service. A benign phone call from Bob’s home office would have gone unnoticed if Bob’s office wasn't also the bomb shelter and a rocket alert hadn't also sounded mid-call. Continuing his call, now with an audience of 7, Bob quickly realized Toshiba was less than amenable to helping us fix the laptop in Israel (and as such, the kids got a lot of giggles when Bob told the customer service rep that, although she had been most pleasant to deal with, he was VERY DISAPPOINTED in Toshiba). The kids laughed about this for days.

Many animated phone calls and emails later, it turns out a Toshiba laptop CAN be fixed in Israel. Fast forward to today. Our big adventure. A Bob and Lisa special day. First we figured out that the Toshiba service center in Petah Tikva was closer than the one in Netanya. Funny that neither of us instinctively knew this. Then we phoned ahead. They assured us it would be no problem to diagnose and fix the computer. Based on that assurance, we lowered our expectations accordingly. 

Bob said he'll be happy if they don't take the computer for 2 weeks. 
I said I'll be happy if they don't break it more.
We both agreed we'll be pleased if we arrive at the address and there really is a Toshiba repair shop there.

I recently pointed out the difference between new Israelis and veteran Israelis is all in their level of expectations of customer service. When you lower your expectations, you will just be happier!

On our drive to Petah Tikva we passed a Coca Cola tanker. We had passed a tehine tanker on our last "getaway" to the Carmel Spa (definition of “getaway” has been somewhat broadened). We debated then whether or not the tanker was filled with tehine (I said yes) or oil with a tehine advertisement on the truck (Bob’s argument).  We never settled that debate. This time, however, I think I made a strong case that the Coca Cola tanker was indeed filled with the syrupy beverage when, just after we saw it, we passed a Coca Cola distribution center. I mean, come on! What are the chances?

Toshiba was exactly where the GPS said it would be. Parking was as expected - more than one turn into a promising lot resulting in several minutes of awkward backward maneuvering to exit said (full) lot. We found a 13 nis/2 hour lot right next to a 15 nis/full day lot but chose the former as it was slightly less full. The attendant, a woman who could have easily been one of Bob’s Tel Aviv aunts, asked how long we'll be.
Bob: I just don't know!
Attendant: Well, it has to be less than two hours.
Bob: It could be 20 minutes. Or it could be 2 days!
Attendant, laughing: 2 days? Go home!
Bob, explaining: We have to fix the computer so it could also be that I won't survive the ordeal and then someone else will need to pick up the car.
Attendant, laughing: For a computer it's not worth it. Buy a new one!

And so we went. And they took the computer and sent us to lunch.
Toshiba lady: We will fix it now. Go get lunch.
Bob: We only have 2 hrs parking! What does now mean?
Toshiba lady: Don't worry. Now means now. It will be ready before 2 hours.

And so we had lunch. Breakfast really.
Me: Do you think they will have fixed the computer when we go back?
Bob: No. I think they will be out on lunch break when we go back.  

Alas they DID fix the computer (note: this was not even on our radar as a remote possibility!). We got the computer and left Petah Tikvak in exactly 2 hours. And spent the rest of the day HERE. 
Thank you, Toshiba!

While bob did point out that the El Al business class seats are more comfortable than our beach lounges (a post on the sub-culture of commuters another time), it turned out to be a day that exceeded all expectations. A true getaway!

And guess what?