Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Point - Click - Whoops - and Happy Birthday!

This is another installment of "My brain's on vacation, but I'm still playing with hi-tech devices." For a brief history, click here.

This year I wanted to do something really cool for my dad's birthday. So, a couple of weeks ago I started placing phone calls to my mom and sisters to see what ideas they had...

My mom suggested we buy a real estate website package as a surprise for him because it's something he's talked about off-and-on through the years and is something he would really enjoy.


I spoke with my sisters and I was to take the lead on this project because I still have a bit of free time I'm looking to fill and I know a good vendor back in Junction with the right product.

After emailing back and forth with the account manager about our plans to surprise my dad with this gift, I went online to begin the purchase process. I would purchase the plan under my name and then present it to my dad on his birthday so he could finish building the site.

That was the plan.

Here's what I ended up doing instead...

I filled out all of my contact information EXCEPT for the email address. Yup - it asked for the real estate agent's address...well, that's my dad's email. So that's what I used. Never mind the fact that I had already filled in MY name for the agent, but evidently it is harder to run a laptop and keep track of the Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins playoff game than I thought.

When the confirmation page popped up I was horrified. It looked like this:

An email has just been sent to (dad's email) with the details of your sign-up. That email will also include instructions on how to proceed to get your website set up as soon as possible. Check your email in-box in a few moments. If you don't receive an email within 15-20 minutes, give us a call at 970.241.6482, or email us at support@flexisswinr.com.

Kinda hard to surprise dad when the confirmation email goes directly to his address rather than mine. After muttering a sentence that included the key phrases "what, shit, and kidding me?, " I figured I needed to make another round of phone calls to let my co-conspirators the cat was out of the bag - early.

By now I'm giggling at myself. I call mom first and explain the chain of events...how I was not able to draw the correlation between an online purchase order and correct contact information.

She's now giggling too.

Then I ask to explain to dad that he's has an email that's may seem a bit confusing, "Hi Dad...Tomorrow you're going to go to work and sit at your desk and turn on your computer and check your email and see an email that gives you instructions on how to set up a website for Realtor "Dani." But it's not my website, it's your website and it's for your birthday and it was supposed to be a surprise - so surprise and we all worked on it but I accidentally put in your email address instead of my email address so it came to you instead of me...Happy Birthday!"

Yes, the message came out of my mouth as badly as it was typed above. He was kinda quiet on the other line so I was having a hard time telling if he was surprised, confused or both...I'm pretty sure both with a side of "hee, hee, funny" at my slightly inaccurate analytical skills.

Mom took the phone back, still giggling at me. I made the rounds and called my sisters, who also giggled at me - it's typical behavior of me to get really excited about something and then get the delivery just a bit off when it's time to move forward (note: this is why I don't do toasts at weddings and typically need a script when delivering a critical message).

But that's not all...Today my dad forwarded me a copy of the receipt from flexisswinr.com with the purchase amount of his surprise birthday present in the body copy.


Dad: I hope you have an awesome birthday and enjoy your new website...You're the best!
- love all of us

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