Posts Tagged headache

Ozzy Bonobos

Today, I am bringing you a tag team post created for you by myself and another one of my faithful Australian readers, J. Argenta. I hope you enjoy.

Recently, I posted about Bonobos. As a result, one of my readers, J. visited the site and did a little shopping.

“I’m one of his avid readers and couldn’t help but check out the Bonobos site after he spoke so highly of it! I found some great stuff on there, but when I got to the checkout and it was $91 to get stuff shipped to Australia! — More than the pair of pants I was going to get. I was basically a stranger and hoped what I was about to ask wasn’t too strange, but I asked if he wouldn’t mind placing the order for me and sending it over for me? I offered to transfer you the money to cover it all and do so before he placed the order. I just don’t happen to know anyone in America and figured the shipping would be cheaper this way. I knew it was a long shot, but I hoped he would be comfortable with this.” – J. Argenta

This posed many challenges. I wanted to help him out. I was totally game to do whatever I needed to do, but this would certainly force me to give up anonymity. He would need to know my name and address to mail me payment. I didn’t feel comfortable breaking down the fourth wall.

I thought about how else I could help. I knew as a blogger, I had a certain level of power. I could reach out to the Bonobos PR team and see if there was anything they could do. I sent them an email:

Hey there Bonobos PR team. 
I am one of your biggest fans (I bought the Shortboards – Lapis Lazuli and ABSOLUTELY love them! and have since bought some pants and hats because I love how everything fits me well. I digress) I have an odd request to make. I am a blogger. My blog mainly (but not limited to) attracts a specific audience, but one that fits well with the Bonobos brand — the gay community. You can check out my daily blog at onegayatatime.com. That being said, I love Bonobos products and am not shy about telling my readers about this. In one of my posts, I mentioned your brand and how much I enjoy it. Afterwards, I received an odd email from one of my readers in regards to your products. 
[I attached his original email]. 
I’m not 100% comfortable making this transaction for him, but I was hoping maybe by reaching out to him I could help him solve his high-priced shipping problem. I told him I would reach out to you and see what you could do for him. I work in media, so I know the value of word-of-mouth. You can expect me to continue to speak positively about your products in my blog and can be assured I will make special note if you find a viable solution for my reader. Thanks for your assistance with this issue.
I look forward to hearing from you!   
— O.G.A.A.T.

I was CC’d on an email to the Ninjas who take care of this, and they replied back, “Done. Thanks.” I was surprised how brief the response was, but I decided to wait and see what they sent to J. Argenta. I also asked them to keep me up-to-date with what they were doing so I could share the positive story. I got an email in response:

Sure no problem. Sorry about the curt email. Your message was forwarded to us from the PR team so I though I was giving her a direct reply. My apologies if that came off as short. I can definitely keep you updated. I didn’t know your friend/fan’s name but I shot him an email outlining our international shipment options (we actually pay for outgoing shipments but have to do it manually due to shipping negotiations and site shortcomings). 
Thanks for reaching out on this.
Cheers.  

— Nick

“I told O.G.A.A.T. they offer free international shipping, but because of ‘how the young program is and various logistic negotiations/planning/tweaking,’ Bonobos covers the cost of shipping manually in the form of store credit. Nick also said I would have to cover customs charges, but I’ve never had to do this with other international orders from other sites. I’m not sure if other sites maybe cover this cost or just include it in their selling price.” — J. Argenta

I emailed the Ninjas again and told them the issue:
Because of this, I think you may be losing a sale and a customer, and I am disappointed in how this problem is being handled. I was hoping to report a viable solution on my blog with a happy story of great customer service to match a great product, but as of now I can’t do that. A store credit of $91 doesn’t sound like a viable solution to me. The problem would just represent itself when he attempts to apply said store credit. I would hope you would further investigate this issue or possibly escalate it to a higher level. I look forward to hearing a happy ending to this story.
Thanks for your help!

This is when Nick really went above and beyond to clarify the situation and make sure he had a satisfied customer. He quickly sent me a reply:

Hey again,
Let me start off by saying that I don’t think your friend will have to pay duties. Sorry about the confusion here. I think maybe there was a miscommunication on our part. Basically the deal with customs is that we (or any company/site/vendor) have no control over duties and customs charges. These are determined solely by the host countries and reimbursing recipients for customs/duties is a legal ‘iffy’ area.
[He then went into detail on international shipping and customs policies, as well as breaking out costs and examples].
So basically our feeling was since we lack the ability to predict or control customs costs in other countries we would make it up to the customer by not charging them for international shipping a la the store credit option. I think the confusion here might have been due to when and how the store credit is applied.
The idea was that the most viable way of compensating for our systems/logistics shortfall was to offer a free shipping service until we could finalize a partnership with an international shipper.
Sorry for the long-winded email, I just wanted to make sure I was specifically answering your concerns in regards to, “The problem would just represent itself when he attempts to apply said store credit,” since the store credit actually resolves the problem of shipping costs, not make it worse.
I know it’s a bit of hassle if you’re an international customer which is why we really do try to do as much as we can at the moment given the resources available to us. It’s a big headache on our end as well as we would love to develop an international customer base (pants = the universal language). It’s just proven to be a much bigger bag of worms than anticipated and therefore has been much slower going in terms of negotiating with a shipping agent.
The short answer for your friend is that he will only pay for his clothes, we will cover shipping, and as far as I can tell he won’t have to pay for duties (though again, my knowledge of Australian customs law is cursory at best). The only catch is that he has to shoot us a quick email or give us a call so that we can drop the credit to cover shipping into his account. 
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to shoot us another email or give us any feedback. I always love talking shop. 
All the best.
— Nick

I was duly impressed, and I let him know:
Hey dude. Thanks for the explanation. I indeed appreciate the long-winded email. You know your sh*t. I also appreciate the time it took to write and explain. I’ve passed along the info to my reader. I will continue to give nothing but rave reviews going forward of Bonobos and will not the extra effort you made to make a customer (and myself) happy.
THANKS!

He replied once more:
No problem dude. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. We’re definitely a little behind the eight ball when it comes to international shipping so your (and your friend’s concerns) were well founded and we appreciate you keeping us honest. We’ll be in touch and feel free to give us a holler any time you have a question.
Best.
— Nick

I relayed this information to J. Argenta to make sure he knew how this would go down.

“I finally understood what they were talking about. It all sounded good! All this for a pair of pants! But, I thanked O.G.A.A.T. for being so persistent and placed my order. It’s nice to know there are people out there willing to help out a stranger in need (of some new pants).” — J. Argenta

I was happy to hear the transaction come to a positive outcome. I am happy to bring the story to you and highlight Bonobos customer service on this issue. They once again proved they are a company with not only top notch products but also top notch service. They really went above and beyond to help an Ozzy out who needed a pair of pants…

I’m Jason by the way. I live in Australia, obviously! Hello! I’ve got a blog as well — Not one that I advertise much at all, but I’ve sort of been branching out a bit with it lately. Not sure if it would be your type of thing — It’s a bit random really, just about everyday goings-on, and things that I find interesting like racism and gay-related things. I wrote my own little gay life story a few posts ago after coming across so many gay-related blogs. Anywho, check it out if you like — jaargenta.blogspot.com – and I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

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The Fog Lifts

New Year’s Day, Smiles woke me in the morning. I was in a complete fog. I immediately began wracking my brain to remember how the night ended. I knew we had sex, and once again, I could only remember a tiny flash of the intimate moment we shared the night before but no more than a flash. I could remember being p*ssed at Smiles on the walk home for walking five paces in front of me. And, I could remember smoking on the balcony.

I had now realized I completely wiped my phone, so anyone who texted the night before would certainly not be receiving a response from me.

Smiles was up and about walking around the apartment. I searched the room for my briefs, but couldn’t locate them. He came in the room and retrieved them for me from deep within the sheets. I had a massive headache, so he gave me some pain killers and water. It was sweet of him to take care of me in my still inebriated/hungover state. I asked Smiles about leaving the party, and he recounted the details for me. It was clear he wasn’t thrilled about it, but he also wasn’t holding it against me. The he uttered, “And I haven’t even gotten to the fun part yet!” he added.

He was going to leave it at that. I told him he couldn’t do that to me. He had to tell me what else I did. He asked if I really wanted to know, and I insisted. This is the “fun” part:

Apparently, the advances made by the guy on the balcony didn’t end there. Clearly he was persistent, and clearly I was vulnerable and well intoxicated. Smiles recounted a scene for me that drained all the blood from my face. “[The guy who sang my praises to Smiles] came up to me and asked me if you were okay. When I told him you were fine, he replied, ‘Are you sure? Because he’s making out with someone else on the couch.” I nearly passed out. I couldn’t believe it. Was I really capable of that? Could I really do that to another person after witnessing N do that to me? Was I that heartless?

I racked my brain trying to remember any bit of a make-out session on the couch. A vague image came to mind of this man kissing all over my neck. I remember asking him to stop, but also couldn’t remember putting up a strong fight. I’m not sure if my mind was making this up or if it was reality. Either way, my actions were deplorable.

I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t believe he was still speaking to me. I couldn’t believe he still had sex with me that night after that. I was mortified. What was going on? My head was spinning!

“What did you do? Did you come over and stop it?” I asked. He shook his head no.

“[Smiles], I don’t know how to apologize for that. I can’t believe I did that! I can’t believe your still speaking to me right now. I can’t believe you didn’t leave me there. I don’t have words for how sorry I am. I don’t remember any of that. At all!” I plead.

“It’s okay. You were drunk. It was New Year’s Eve. Don’t worry about it,” he said.

Don’t worry about it!? I made out with another guy in front of you, and you tell me don’t worry about it?! Should I be happy you’re not that upset about it, or should I be even more hurt that you’re not phased by it. “I still don’t know what to say. I can’t believe I did that,” I added. He just looked back at me with a face that said, “Yeah. You did that.” I wanted to slither away into darkness and forget the world.

We continued to get ready for brunch and walked out the door. As we walked, all I could think about was how disrespectful I was to the man I’d grown so fondly of. Sure we had our moments where I questioned our relationship, but what I did was unforgivable. I would not have been able to forgive myself for what I did. When N did it to me, it signaled the end of our relationship.

I did this in front of his friends — Many of which I told I was dating Smiles. I made myself look like a complete whore, and I made Smiles look like a fool. The man who was singing my praises was the man who witnessed my greatest downfall. This was one of the worst things I’ve ever done in my life, and there was no making up for it and no undoing it.

I continued to tell Smiles how bad I felt about the whole thing. He was trying to make conversation and ignore the subject, but it was all my mind could fixate on. “It’s fine. Stop worrying about it,” he kept saying. We ate breakfast and talked about a few things I can’t recall because my mind was completely elsewhere. I was crushed. I almost had to leave the restaurant, Extra Virgin — His favorite restaurant, so I could go outside and cry.

It was a gorgeous day, and Smiles told me he wanted to go for a bike ride. He asked what I had planned for the day. I couldn’t think. I had no plans. I was hoping to spend the day with Smiles, but clearly that wasn’t an option. I decided I was going to try to meet Boston before he left the city, even if it was at the bus stop. I had to tell him what I did. I knew he wouldn’t look favorably on me, but I also knew he wouldn’t judge me. I left Smiles with a kiss as he walked south, and I turned and walked north. I decided to walk off my disgrace.

As I pounded the pavement from 11th street to 43rd, I tried reaching Boston. He wasn’t answering the nearly twenty-five calls I made to him. I needed him. I needed someone to talk to. I decided to hit up my roommate and see what she was doing. Maybe we could curl up on the couch and watch a movie to help make the day pass by. I talked to her for a bit, but she had plans. I couldn’t bring myself to tell here what I did. I was too ashamed. I would tell her later.

I decided to call Smiles during my walk. I wanted to make sure he knew how broken up I was about it if we were to survive this. I reiterated how bad I felt and how wrong I was as I tried to choke back tears and a vocal quiver. “Listen. It’s okay. It’s in the past. It was New Year’s Eve. You were drunk. That was 2011. This is 2012. Don’t worry about it. It’s alright,” he assured me. I think he realized how upset this made me, and that was all I could do. My fate was in his hands…

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Boyfriend Duties

Sunday morning I was awoken as Smiles got up to use the restroom. I’d spent the entire weekend with him so far, so I certainly woke up on the right side of the bed.

He volunteered to make us coffee and breakfast. Smiles has never been much of a cook, so I was enjoying sitting back and watching him do it. It’s not that he can’t cook. It’s simply that he doesn’t do it very often. I came in the kitchen to kiss on the back of his neck and wrapped my long arms all the way around his body holding him tight. There’s something about hugging someone in that way that really warms me at the core.

I borrowed his computer and checked my emails/Facebook while he finished making me an amazing omelet. He brought it to me with coffee made just the way I like it. I’m sure my pleasure was written across my face as I thanked him. This was another great morning waking up with Smiles.

When he finished making his breakfast, he came into the living room and joined me. I told him how impressed I was with his omelet. It really was great — Better than I make myself.

When we finished eating, he told me his plan for the day to move all the boxes out of his apartment into storage. He’d finally moved everything into one storage center, and he was finally able to box everything up in his apartment he no longer needed on a daily basis. Now he just needed to transport them over to his storage unit. I volunteered to help, so he gave me a t-shirt, and we were on our way.

He reserved a Zipcar to do the job, so I gave him a ride to the garage to pick it up. I sat on the motorcycle outside the garage waiting for him to pass by and honk to follow him back to his apartment. A long time passed, but I just assumed it was taking a while to get his car. Little did I know, he was already on his way back to his apartment. He called me asking where I was, and I couldn’t figure out how he managed to pass me by without noticing I was still there or me seeing him drive by.

I stepped on it and sped back to his apartment. We packed the car to the gills and took a lot of things over to the storage center. In the meantime, Smiles was experiencing the onset of one of his chronic migraines. I felt so bad for him, but there was nothing I could do for him. We returned the Zipcar back to the garage and walked back to his apartment trying to find as much shade as possible on such a gorgeous November Sunday.

I put him to bed and went on my way about the rest of my day. I went back through the Holland Tunnel to may apartment. I had the better portion of the day ahead of me, so I decided to be productive while doing something relaxing. I finished all my grocery shopping for the week and began to cook food for dinner and lunch through the coming week.

Later that evening, he went out to grab dinner. On his walk home, he called just to chat. I expressed my concern for him and his headache, and he told me it was feeling slightly better slowly but surely. He told me he slept most of the day to try to relieve the pain, but there were still some lasting visual effects. He also told me he called to see how the rest of my day was. It was a sweet gesture considering I left him only a few hours earlier. The gesture proved to me he cared about me enough to call with no purpose.

Looking back over the weekend, I began to think about how much our relationship grew. It was a pretty special weekend overall. We spent about 45 hours straight together, and he was still not sick of me — So much so that he called. I would never say it out loud to him, but I started to wonder if I had managed to land a boyfriend along the way there somewhere…

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