Buenas Noches mi Amigos. We’re coming to you from LAN HQ this evening on our first “Taco Night”. ‘Cept Tracey is kickin’ up the tacos carne asada style. We’ve poured our first margaritas this evening to celebrate the occasion (thanks Aunt Kay for sparking the idea) and the Red Rocker has taken the stage in the LAN Great Room with Live Hallelujah.
Lazy yuppy scum margarita (double the ingredients for more fun):
3 parts margarita mix (I sold out tonight to Jose Cuervo’s mix in a bottle)
1 1/2 parts Cabo Wabo Resporado Tequila
1 part Grand Marnier
Some lime juice
One fresh lime – half in pitcher and the other half used for garnish
Tracey’s Tacos de Carne Asada Dinner:
2 lbs of Beef Stew Meat (she’s thrown it into a dutch oven and cooked it down until tender)
Spices (who the hell knows what she threw in there but it tastes Mexican)
Black bean salsa = diced red onion, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, avocado, and black beans
And the refried beans bring me to the topic of the evening… one I’ve pondered for a couple of weeks but feel now it’s time to let go. (No not what you’re thinking about refried beans – get your mind out of the gutter.) Sit down and grab a hold of this concept… St. Louis, the town of Half-Ass. The concept comes from retailers and vendors that do half-ass work, then are amazed when you express your dissatisfaction. A couple of short experiences:
1) Car detailing. The latest in this saga stirs me to write. The local dealership called to conduct a survey on my last service visit. Going back to move week I had left the new hotness at the dealer for it’s first routine rotor rooter + detailing. After leaving the car in their service bay for a couple of days during the move I picked it up to discover tree sap on the roof and the interior in the same condition as it was when I had left it days earlier. The service agent and then the detailing supervisor were amazed at my dissatisfaction. After confirming the car had been inside for the days I was gone the detail guy said “well sir there’s allot of trees around here.” Inside the service bay?! Today I was called for a survey on the service – same deal. The service agent was amazed at my dissatisfaction.
2) Merry Maids. Ok so we’re moving in. The house is empty. The contractor is finished. I hired Merry Maids to come in and clean the house top to bottom because my contractor certainly wasn’t capable of clean up. Tracey comes in on move-in day and discovers all kinds of dirt and dust all through the house, of which we are still cleaning. When she calls Merry Maids to get another crew out to do the job right the service agent was silent. “Excuse me I would like you to send some others out to re-clean,” Tracey asked the second time. “I don’t know what to say,” said Merry Maids. “We’ve never had anyone call to complain.” We were refunded a partial amount but they never sent anyone else out to do the job right.
3) Lowe’s. Good god I could write three pages just on Lowe’s alone. First the carpet order got screwed up and all the sales agents blamed each other, their vendor, my contractor, and me. But the coo-de-gracey was my new refrigerator which when connected to the water line and turned on, spewed water from the ice maker. Upon inspection we discovered that a part was missing, a control valve that controls the water flow into the freezer on the backside. At Lowe’s and speaking with a manager “oh we remove parts from floor models all the time” admitted the manager. It is standard practice to sell new refrigerators without all their parts here at Lowe’s in the Lou.
There are tons of other experiences to share. The dry cleaner that can’t hang up clothes (I finally took my clothes to another cleaner this morning). The ADT security guy that left cigarette butts in my driveway. And my slack contractor who had do over and do over after do over on countless simple items because he shortcutted about everything he could think of (another three pager that I won’t go into because I would rather fill my glass).
As I explained to some folks at work I think this is us being in one place for 7 years and knowing the ins and outs and coming to a new place. I also think this is a little being taken advantage of. And there’s certainly some southern hospitality and work ethic lacking in St. Louis. Where’s Charlie Daniels when you need him?
An now as I type, Mr. Hagar has broken into When Its Love. All I can explain about living in St. Louis to date is “it’s just something you feel together.” St. Louis has got to give me some love just as much as I gots ta love it back. And I love it. I just gots ta feel it.
We start tomorrow with a little air show action before a trip to the Soulard farmer’s market before coming home to HQ for a throwdown. Bobby Flay won’t want any of me tomorrow.
Happy Friday. Salut!