Thursday, December 18, 2008

Setting a Memorable table...

I thought that since this will be the last Christmas Brandon spends at our table as a Civilian for a while I would update our Christmas dinnerware to set a Memorable and extra Special table. 

After weeks of looking at different Options I kept going back to a place setting I found at Macy*s... Unfortunately, my shopping experience at the Macy*s here was nothing like I'm used to at the Macy*s in Monterey where consultants are plentiful and they actually want to Help you put something Amazing together by offering Design input. But, no, that did Not happen here. When I couldn't find the pieces I required on the sales floor and I couldn't find an associate in the fine china Department to help me, I had to go in Search of someone myself. I finally found a man who promised to get Someone over to help me but the person he sent over (from bedding) was so Intimidated by what I asked her, which was simply, I want this, could you find out if you have eight place settings available, that she actually walked away from me without saying One word, and never came back. 

When I went back to the man who called her over and told him what Happened, he promised to call someone else - well, while that woman offered to help me, she stopped on her way to the Stockroom to help another Customer and let me Wait. Hello!? Finally, after Way-too-many minutes, I gathered up all the Pieces of the place setting I wanted, walked back over to the man Kind enough to call people for me, handed them to him with my business card and told him that when he Found someone willing to Sell me eight of each of those pieces, to have them Call me. I was Steamed! I mean, retailers are Supposed to be hurting in this recession we're Supposedly having and Fighting for every consumer Dollar that walks through their door, Right? Well, you wouldn't know it at this Macy*s!  

So, when I returned to my office I went to Macy* to let them know about my Miserable shopping experience at their store and, much to my Delight, within a half hour of submitting my comments, someone called to say they would have the Store contact me right away. Long story short, the General manager of my Macy*s tracked down the place settings I wanted in Ohio, agreed to Break them up so I wouldn't have to take the coffee cup and saucer Usually part of this place setting, (because we don't care for coffee and don't need them) and she Agreed to honor the sales price and any Coupons valid at the time I originally wanted to purchase the china, Regardless of how long it took for it to arrive. And, she said if the Price went any lower in the meantime, she would ensure the price I paid was the Lowest price. And, in the end, while she was unable to get me a Service for eight, she was able to get me service for Six, which is all I need any way. I'd like to have eight to include any Future daughter-in-laws and my Parents; but, a service for Six will do just fine! And, do let me tell you that when I went into my Macy*s yesterday to pick up my china, I was treated like Royalty! 

The woman I was asked to see when I arrived Refused to speak to anyone else while she Worked with me, even when two other Associates wandered over to interrupt us to ask her questions for their Customers. Oh, no! This woman wasn't Letting it happen! She stopped them Cold, said she could not be Interrupted and told them to hold their Questions until she was finished with me. As she rang up Each of my pieces, she Insisted I inspect them to ensure I was satisfied and then she Ordered another girl over to wrap and even Corrected her when she tried to use Tissue paper and plastic bags... Instructing her instead to use the heavy Bubble wrap and large Gift boxes. After our transaction was complete, this associate Walked the receipt around to my side of the register Counter to go over it with me and to show me that I received a total of 85% off the Original cost of these place settings, and 50% + 20% off the placemats and Chargers I selected. And then... are you ready for this? She invited me to pull around to the Loading dock where she said she would Meet me so I wouldn't have to carry the large boxes through their Store with me. Now that's the Macy*s service I'm used to. Heck! I don't get that kind of Service at Saks or Neiman's! Of course, I wrote a Glowing recommendation of this woman's Service and handling of my Visit with her at Macy* Bravo her!

I believe these place settings were Worth the effort...   
I especially Like this accent salad plate I chose...
Without it, I can use this service for Occasions other
than Christmas; however, with it - it's all about Christmas!
I think the Silver-tone charger works well against the Platinum band
around the plates. The placemats, also from Macy*s, are by Lenox
I'm off Tomorrow so I'm going to check Pottery Barn for some white Linen
dinner Napkins and see what I can find in the way of a white Table runner
Now, the Macy*s china is for our Christmas Eve dinner, which is always
more Formal. I remember the most Beautiful dinners served by my Oma
in Germany on Christmas Eve... Christmas Eve dinner before Mass is formal,
quiet, Candlelit and all about a Good fish. For many years, before Christmas Eve
dinner, we'd take my Oma to the fish monger so she could pick out her Trout. The
man behind the counter bashed the Trout in the head to kill it and then wrapped it in
paper. This is also Why I never ate the Fish! But the dinner is also about things I love,
like Blaukraut and mashed potatoes with Dill and butter! I will prepare either Sea bass
or Halibut. And, of course, wieners and Weisswurst for the boys who are as fish-adverse
as my Brother, our cousins and I was when we were all Little kids around our Oma's table!
But! For our casual Christmas Day dinner, I picked out this New dinnerware below. It's actually
a nice Stoneware that I can throw into the Dishwasher, unlike the Macy*s china, which I will
have to Wash by hand. Any way, I like this little Holly berry pattern, which I think works quite
nicely with the placemats and Dinner napkins I already have. I think my Christmas table's all set!  
Now, the Trick will be to clean out and Organize my china cabinet to somehow
make room for All of these new pieces... Because I was out of Space a long time ago!

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