Customer Service Has Not Died

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Despite all appearances to the contrary, customer service has not died.

Nope, there is still a small patch of wonderful service to be found in Southern New Mexico.

You’ll recall a week ago, I wrote of my joy and my subsequent despair regarding buying actual New Mexico grown chiles here in Northern California.

In that blog post last week, I mentioned that I wrote a rather terse letter to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, complete with photographs, about my sorrow.

In fact, I’ll let you in on the text of my actual letter, sent to Mr. David Lucero at the NMDA:

_____

Dear Mr. Lucero – I found your email address from the www.nmda.nmsu.edu
webpage, though I’m unsure if you are the right person to contact.

I am a native New Mexican now living in Northern California and while on
a Southwest Airlines flight, I was happy to see an ad in their inflight
magazine for Hatch Green Chile coming to a long list of supermarkets in
my area.

My husband and I plan to buy a lot as we enjoy our green chile
throughout the year by finding kind friends back home to bring us the
good stuff.

While at Whole Foods recently in (town name redacted), California, I saw a sign for “Hatch peppers” and I was very happy (Whole Foods was on the list of stores that would carry the product).

As I picked a few from the pile, I looked closer at the sign and I
noticed it said “grown in California.” (see photo attached)

Now, I’m confused. Is this the “real thing” as advertised by the NMDA
and just mislabeled? Or has someone appropriated the Hatch name for
not-Hatch peppers?

I chose not to buy any that day as I’m unsure.

Hence why I’m coming to you for advice and guidance.

Are Hatch chiles going to be available in the Northern California Bay
Area? Also, is someone perpetrating a terrible fraud by selling
California grown peppers under the branded Hatch name?

On behalf of my family, we thank you and appreciate any guidance you
would provide.

All my best,

Karen Fayeth

_____

Honestly…I expected no reply.

Imagine my surprise when not only did I receive a VERY nice email from Mr. Lucero thanking me for providing this information, he also told me that he’s taken up the issue with his national Whole Foods buyer (who was cc’d on the email) and also with his shipper, Seco Spice (also cc’d on the email).

Then, and here’s where my mind gets blown, Mr. Lucero indicated that a Mr. Ogaz from Seco Spice would be happy to send me along a box of roasted and peeled chile if I’d be willing to pay shipping.

Holy jumping jehoshaphat!

So I’m currently getting shipping costs from the very kind Mr. Ogaz.

That’s amazing.

I want to publicly thank both Mr. Lucero and Mr. Ogaz for helping a poor New Mexico expat find her way home via the ol’ dinner plate.

By the by, I checked with my friends down in the greater Las Cruces and Anthony metropolitan areas and they know the Ogaz family and Seco Spice and can vouch that they are top notch people and growers.

So here’s a HUGE public thank you and a plug for the good people over at Seco Spice and the NMDA.

: sniffle : It makes me very proud to be a New Mexican.

The Things I Could Talk About Today

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Every morning after I wake up, stumble over the cat and yawn three times, I start to think about my day.

Part of that thinking involves devising a topic for my daily entry to this little ol’ blog.

Over the years, the topics have varied widely from news of the world to news of crevices of my mind. And food. Lots of talk about food.

So I thought quite a bit about what to write about today for this, my 997th post in the life of Oh Fair New Mexico.

I could write more about the really awful fire in San Bruno last night. About the stutter-stall from PG&E in addressing the situation, about the homes and lives lost.

I could go on a rant about the nature of mega-corporations (*coff*BP*coff*) and their inability to respond in crisis situations.

I could even write about the fact that my own employer is a way-too-huge corporation, and sometimes that worries me.

I might even wander out of my local area and riff on that wack-a-doodle “minister” (I use sarcastic quotes on purpose) who is so filled with hate and not a small amount of insanity, that he would endanger the lives of people around the world and American military troops just to get a little publicity for his wack-a-doodle 50 follower church.

I seriously considered discussing the conversation I had this morning with my boss, who is here in the US for three weeks, but who usually lives in London. He is a very kind, gentle and mellow man. He said to me this morning, “I don’t understand this man who wants to burn the Quran. Can you explain it to me?” I couldn’t. It is beyond my grasp.

I could discuss my growing dread regarding the upcoming California governor’s election in my state.

Or my belief that on both sides of the political spectrum, our US Congress has run so far off the rails that I’m unsure how we will ever find our way back.

And I could talk about how, really, this must be end of days because I can’t fathom this world where being so rude, being so self-centered, and being so utterly oblivious are acceptable. And yet, it is.

I even considered discussing how I’m what is considered a very sensitive person. In fact, there are books written on this subject, “The Highly Sensitive Person” and such. And because of that, how my choice to watch a blazing fire on my television all last night is really NOT good for my soul. How tweaked out I am about this whole thing.

Yes. I considered all of those topics and more.

But it’s Friday, and I’m exhausted. Three weeks ago one of my dearest friends died and I still can’t seem to climb up out of that grief.

And watching people lose their homes and their lives last night really did me in.

So today, I’m going to talk about a dog.

My first god dog, a heeler and Chihuahua mix, has been a good dog. She’s deaf and near blind and still very sweet. But she doesn’t run around and chase the ball like she used to.

My second god-dog is an adorable little beast. I’m not good with dog breeds, but I think he is a boxer. He’s a big, muscular dog with a menacing bark.

But he’s the sweetest little pea-pod of a dog I’ve ever known.

And he likes his godmom back.

There now. Let’s not think about the jacked up things in the world.

Look into those eyes. Doncha just feel better basking in the glow of this little bubba of a dog?

I know it makes me feel better.

Everyone just pat a cute dog on the head and love your neighbor and hug your family.

And let’s all have a nice weekend, ok?

Utterly Speechless Thursday

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The Bay Area city of San Bruno is still on fire after a gas main exploded about 6:15pm and continued to burn pressurized natural gas for almost two hours while our utility company, PG&E spent those hours denying the pipe was theirs.

Home were burned to the foundation in a matter minutes and the fire kept burning.

I’m angry at PG&E.

But I’m incredibly grateful to the fine people with the fire, police, ambulance, rescue and medical services. Oh, and the Red Cross.

What a horrible thing to happen.

I have a special place in my heart for the California Fire team who mixed slurry and got planes off the ground. Their precision drops along with helicopters dropping water were the only ray of hope I saw for almost two hours of raging fires.

This is one of those tragedies that will take a long time for the town to recover from. Send up a good word for all those people.

Photo from SFGate.com