In honour of NHL hockey returning I thought it would be fun to commemorate an experience I witnessed, that’s visibly hockey related. For us Canadians it’s our beloved past time, we live and breathe hockey as like it’s the fabric of our lives. As per my “About” page, remember I love hockey.
After concluding errands and draining my wallet, the time was perfect to pamper myself, so I sped off to Pro Hockey Life in hunt of some weaponry. I already possessed a viable hockey stick at home but the heart was pulsating for the “latest and greatest,” keeping in mind not to eclipse my $125 cap because exceeding that is unjustified.
(Courtesy: Google Images)
As I parked the car, I looked over at the Pro Hockey Life retail sign and smirked with joy like a kid arriving at “Toys R Us.” My family and I opened the doors and traipsed in hunt of daddy’s “dent in the wallet.” My evolution from wooden stick to composite stick transpired years ago, mostly for ease plus weight and couldn’t envision rewinding, though the composite sticks shoulder a hefty baggage, in terms of price.
“This one looks sick,” I elatedly said as my wife’s jaw plunged in amazement. “That’s $250,” she coded with a thrown appearance. I continued ogling all the eye candy the display walls offered, but their presentation wasn’t alluring. Finally, I noticed her from the bend of my eye! I choked to pry my eyes off her while cincturing the display shelves but her maroon body eluded me, coercing my return to her. Yes “her,” it’s just a guy thing that we distinguish our cars, trucks, hockey sticks, lawnmowers as her, you know what I mean.
I gently advanced her and inaudibly unfettered her off the prison shelves, her figure and mass were nothing short of satisfaction as I handled her firm body. “Not bad,” I muttered to myself. With my hands running down her physique, I firmly identified her holding spots as if our fate wasn’t coincidental. The brand name glistened with brightness as if she was winking at me, “Warrior.” The curve was flawless and the flex number (flexibility number) was impeccable. “Isn’t this a beauty?”, I spiritedly cheered. The only quandary was the price. Oh man! I was dismayed to learn that she was pegged at $229 and quickly quarantined a salesperson like a fraught drug addict set loose. “Is this the final price on this stick?”, I respired. “Let me go investigate,” slurred the rep. It felt like he imitated an eternity but the rep returned.
“Your lucky sir, that stick is marked down at $179,” gleamed the rep. “Crap it exceeds my cap, but she is nice, might last a while,” I pensively debated. “If you really want it, get it,” said my wife. Upon hearing that, my eyes opened up like shopping mall doors. My stomach birled with glee! “Seriously, that’s a lot of money, we can do a lot of groceries with that price,” I uttered. “It might last you longer than those other sticks that you buy,” she explained. This baby was coming home as the sales rep vanquished his sales pitch, tacked along my obsession with the stick. As I cashed out I was insinuated of the standard 30 day manufacturer’s warranty (replace in 30 days) and to have her length downsized (cut down), if needed. “Since this stick is pricey, I’m only using this stick for my ball hockey league games,” I told my wife while departing the store.
A month vanished, the stick and I acquainted every Friday, not that the she was furnishing the lion’s share but there was a sense of comfort in my game now, proportional to the comfort a person would have driving his own car. The stick’s weight and sleek was a welcome addition, ensuing several players inquiring her origin of purchase. About a week later, an old friend by the name of Gary inquired if I was up for playing outdoor ball hockey? “Does a bear crap in the woods? Of course I’ll be there!” I laughed.
The day landed to play with my Gary’s group as I quickly fitted my hockey bag and clutched my beloved stick. It was a morning game and I was pumped as never before, what could I say, I’m a morning person and to add the fact that I haven’t seen Gary in ages. Chugging down the highway, I finally arrived at the outdoor arena where I scrambled to perceive a vacancy within the parking lot. After cycling a few laps, I finally spotted a gentleman leaving and quickly claimed occupancy. Rushing out of the car and tossing my bag on the ground, I realized I brought both sticks with me, my good one and the backup. “The surface looks a different from what I’m accustomed too, should I take the good stick?”, I mentally debated. “Ah, what the heck,” I said as I quickly grabbed her and routed myself to the battle field.
Gary’s and his friends greeted me blissfully, considering the long hiatus. “Guys, we can hug and kiss later, let’s start,” chortled Gary’s friend. The teams were finally segregated and it was game on!
(Courtesy: Google Images)
I found my groove with time but was unaccustomed to the outside atmosphere while still scoring a few goals and digesting some bruises. The sun addled me while running in specific directions since this wasn’t the norm in an indoor arena, obviously. The tiled ground was smooth but sticky at times, reconsidering me in reverting back to my older stick amidst the game. Half the game was done as the guys segregated out whilst discussions among one another. “Raj, how’s your wife and my kids?”, said one guy satirically to his long lost friend. Raj wasn’t to thrilled, his face amplified in anger and I honestly thought he was minutes from turning green. Boys will be boys.
The game started up again after the brief break where I ended up in a zealous foot race. During the chase, the tip of my stick got stuck with the square tile (smaller square, picture below) where she snapped from the curve all the way up! “What the heck?”, I questioned to myself. It felt like the world just crashed down on me. Here we spent almost more than a month united and you die out on me already, this is insane! “The prettier the stick, the faster they go,” said one player as he briefly divulged his experience with the deceased. In my heart I was disheartened but couldn’t hang my face as my manhood was on the line, especially in front of all these players and their machismo. I ran back to my car and dispersed her two pieces and grabbed my older stick, who didn’t disappoint me.
(Courtesy: Google Images – Outdoor Arena Floor Tiles)
We concluded the game and I briskly contacted the store to see if the stick could be reinstated. I finally reached the manager after consuming minutes of waiting who was strict on the 30 day warranty and would need to physically examine the stick before he declared a reincarnation. When I got home, I told the tale to my wife who was the least thrilled, especially the money I shelled out for this hockey stick. At last, I found the crumpled receipt and tallied 47 days from the original date of purchase. “The manager will never replace that stick, it well exceeds 30 days,” said my wife. “I can only give it a shot, lets see what he says,” I mumbled.
An hour later, I got changed and routed myself to the store where I confronted the manager. “I’m here to see John, the store manager, I called about the broken stick,” I politely replied. Coincidently that gentleman was the manager as he commenced the examination. His eyes intently scanned the stick as he grinned with suspicion, as if I was hiding marijuana in there. “These sticks are pretty good aren’t they? They usually have a longer life expectancy,” he dictated. I attempted to translate his facial expressions but it was tough, his demeanor was very capricious as I held on with suspense.
“Ya, I’ll swap her out for ya,” he hollered. “You will!”, I surprisingly said. “Yeah, it shouldn’t be a problem, if it was heavily used than I wouldn’t be able to do it but you said you’ve only played about 4 or 5 times so it isn’t that hideous,” said the manager. I can’t believe it, the manager just did me a “solid” (a favour). That’s customer service I thought to myself! Within minutes, the manager was accompanied with a replica of lady luck. “If this one breaks, I can’t replace it again, it’s only a one time swap only,” he stressed. I signed the receipt, downsized her length and was wholeheartedly fascinated with Pro Hockey Life’s customer service. I was really lucky, not only to be serviced well but to be reconvened with “her”. Good new is that she still lives and still going strong!
Have you ever been so obsessed with an item that broke where customer service exceeded your expectations and replaced it? I got lucky cause I was a regular customer.