Nordstrom III: You give him just one more chance

This is the third installment of my Nordstrom saga. Previously I wrote about their customer service and gave an example of how I was crushed by a negative experience, promising to never shop there again.

Well, of course I did . . . because I am nothing if not a sucker for convenience.

This time was meeting a dear friend and former coworker, who coincidentally works in the same building as I do, for lunch. We surveyed our options and ended up at Nordstrom Café, the quaint restaurant inside Nordstrom.

It was during the Great Tomato Ban of ’08 and everything that sounded good to me had tomatoes in it. My friend ended up with a salad sans tomatoes but I could not decide. For some reason I thought the ban was lifted, or that the particular type of tomato used on the margherita pizza was not included in the ban, so I ordered that. “No tomatoes,” the woman behind the counter said flatly. I let out a big sigh and stood there looking sad and probably a little dejected.

“Can I help you, ma’am?” said a kind-looking gentleman also behind the counter, who would become my knight in shining armor. I explained how I really wanted a margherita pizza but was told there were no tomatoes, so I was at a loss for what to order.

“I can make the pizza with roasted tomatoes for you, if you’d like,” he offered. I brightened immediately and took him up on his offer. He made out my ticket and I went and stood in the line to pay. As I stepped up to the cash register, my knight came around the corner. “I am so sorry, but we don’t have roasted tomatoes either,” he said sincerely. “Would you like a just cheese pizza?” I agreed to that solution and he instructed the cashier to charge me the price of a kid’s pizza, which was significantly cheaper than what I had planned on spending.

As my friend and I sat down, I relayed my order dilemma—how the nice guy tried so hard to find a solution and that I was happy with the cheese pizza and really appreciated his efforts. And then he appeared. “Excuse me ma’am,” he said. “We do have sun-dried tomatoes, would you like those?”

Now, I was blown away. He already sought two solutions; the most recent solution I gladly accepted. I was really impressed and flattered that he would continue looking. It feels cheesy to admit, but I felt special, valued. Like I mattered. I took him up on the sun-dried tomato offer, and it was a damn good pizza.

“Okay, Nordstrom,” I said to my friend. “I forgive you.”

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