Actually I don't hate the Wall Street Journal - the actual paper. I only despise the Wall Street delivery person that obviously derives a perverse pleasure in screwing me out of my WSJ paper on a very regular basis. Sometimes I will lose two papers a week to the bushes, the mud or the sprinkler systems. Then again, some weeks my paper actually lands close to where I have requested that it be thrown and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Today was the final straw when I arrived at my office, on a Saturday, to find my Wall Street paper totally and completely soaked. The paper wasn't just a little damp mind you, but completely drenched to the point that the pages were absolutely glued together. If I didn't know better, I might think that the paper had survived the flood in New Orleans and then was picked up and dropped in the parking lot outside my office door.
For some reason the delivery person, when not throwing my paper into the bushes, where it can't be retrieved without rolling in the mud or getting scratched by vicious branches, will throw the paper in the exact spot where the automatic sprinklers go off every morning.
Even when the paper is pre-wrapped in plastic, when thrown so that it is laying in the direct path of cascading streams of water, the paper gets completely and absolutely soaked. Which is a given. If you throw a newspaper into the path of water, it will get soaked. Well duh.
Blow Drying My Wall Street Journal?
I wish I had the patience to use a blow dryer on the completely waterlogged newspaper, but the reason that I like to read about business news is because I have a business to run and time is something I tend to be short on. I barely have enough time to blow dry my own hair, let alone a newspaper that I paid to be delivered to me in a usable condition. Maybe I am missing something and forgot to check the box on the subscription form for "dry and readable".
Yes, I look forward to receiving my WSJ every day when I come to the office because the articles are well written, edgy, carefully researched and very insightful. I picked up the WSJ habit way back in business classes in college when one of my professors demanded that every class open with a discussion of the latest news on Wall Street.
I obviously don't agree with everything that the paper stands for. Nor do I like every topic that is covered. However, I do read the journal from cover to cover on a daily basis. I constantly find new business inspiration related to how I run my two companies. I like the fact that the Wall Street Journal seems to have their pulse on current and emerging business trends. When I pick up my paper, on a regular basis, laying dripping wet in the parking lot it is beyond infuriating. Now that I have given up my daily Starbucks habit, is it to much to ask for a dry newspaper that I already paid for be delivered to my front door in readable condition?
Deaf Ears At WSJ Customer Service
Even though someone calls to complain (politely I might add) every single time that my paper arrives drenched, full of mud or in the bushes, replacement papers never appear. Yeah, the Wall Street people offer a credit. But so what? I still am missing papers that I can not ever read because they have been so carelessly delivered. Yeah, its nice of them to give me the credits but I want the newspapers. Which is why I bought a subscription in the first place. I want daily delivery, not whenever the paper is delivered correctly.
Is it too much to ask for a delivery person, who is presumably in a truck or car, to make sure that my Wall Street paper is thrown in a spot near the door that avoids the sprinklers, the standing water in the parking lot, the muddy grass or the bushes? I would even consider paying a little more to guarantee that my paper not be completely destroyed during the delivery cycle. It's sad that I would have to pay extra to guarantee something I already paid for reached me in readable condition. But it is what it is and I just want what I paid for.
I'm just not so sure how hard this can be? I don't own a ferocious dog, don't have impenetratable security gates or shoot-to-kill orders posted for newspaper delivery people. The front door is just a few feet from the parking lot. What could be so hard to throw it a few feet so that it hits right near the front door which is out of the way of sprinklers, mud and bushes?
Bad WSJ Delivery Deja Vu!
Sadly this is not my first bad delivery experience with the WSJ delivery machine. A few years ago I had a regular paid daily subscription and experienced similar delivery mishaps on an ongoing basis. I finally cancelled my subscription back then in total disgust and vowed never again to buy another. Truth be told, I missed the Wall Street Journal and its edgy business reporting. In a recent moment of weakness and with high hopes that the former delivery dummy had retired from my route, I agreed to try again. Either the same incompetent delivery person has maintained the same route as before or I had the misfortune to luck into a different but equally incompetent delivery person. Or maybe I just have bad Wall Street Journal karma?
Maybe the reason that the Wall Street Journal pushes their "free trial subscription" so aggressively is because after they get paying customers like me, they lose them just as quickly due to incompetent delivery people. Regardless, my favorite topic of conversation lately is this WSJ topic. It really is true that one unhappy customer tells a whole lot of other people. It has become my opening line when people innocently ask me how I am. In fact, the condition of my latest WSJ has become a running joke at my office. Just yesterday I told the bored grocery store checker, the non-English speaking guy at the 7-11 and a pushy phone solicitor trying to sell me something I didn't want. All were sympathetic to my plight. Well at least they seemed to be and the non-English speaker smiled and nodded as I ranted. So I'm sure he was on my side.
WSJ Water & Paint Gun Ambush
One complete stranger that suffered through my ranting about the latest sorry state of my Wall Street Journal suggested that I hide in the bushes in the wee hours of the morning with a power water or paint gun and shoot the delivery person in the head every time that they throw the paper into the path of the water, the mud or the bushes. Hmmmm. I'm not really into physical violence or hanging out in cold bushes in the wee hours of the morning. I do much better with the written word. After all, I am a writer by profession. Which explains my current venting to the Internet world.
I'm sure the Wall Street Journal management doesn't really care that some devoted customers, like little ole me, are being abused by incompetent delivery people. But here's a business scoop for a business journal - true business success lie in the details. And making sure paying customers get the product that they willingly paid for, in good enough shape to use it, is a major business detail. I'm sure The Donald, wherever he is, would agree. But then again, can you even imagine what The Donald would do if his morning business papers arrived covered in mud or drenched through and through? Hmmm, I guess someone would get fired.