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Awkward phone calls.

True story: when Fancy Hands founder & CEO Ted Roden needs a status update from an employee and he's in the mood to be funny, he has a Fancy Hands assistant call them and ask them for it. 

Our engineer got this call this morning: "Hi Kurt, it's Mandie. When will the new version of the iPhone app will be ready to test drive? Thanks."

Delegation at its finest, and laughs all around the office.

Meet Lena Service: Assistant

It must be fate that Lena’s last name is Service. She’s one of our most beloved assistants, well known for her attention to detail and her desire to go above and beyond for our clients. She consistently receives a “thumbs up” feedback. Here are some tasks she’s recently received high praise for: 

“Find a specific pair of jeans for my girlfriend that I’ve not been able to locate.“

Lena tracked down this highly desired denim for a customer by calling multiple stores across the country. When they were located, she worked with the client to get the jeans ordered and shipped in time for them to be wrapped and waiting under the Christmas tree for one lucky lady. 

“Set a lunch with Mr. Williams somewhere that works for both of our locations and schedules.”

Did you know that your Fancy Hands assistant can set appointments and put them in your calendar for you? This is one of those requests that sounds simple but can actually take a lot of work and time to complete. 

The above request, for example, ended up with Lena sending 27 emails. She found openings in our client’s calendar, worked with Mr. Williams to find a coordinating opening in his calendar, found a restaurant that was well reviewed and convenient for both men, confirmed the appointment with Mr. Williams, and put it in our client’s calendar. 

…then our client had a conflict come up and asked her to reschedule the lunch. Lena started the whole process over, happily. 

“I want some juices from the organic juice place in my town delivered to me. Here are the flavors I want, can you figure that out for tomorrow?”

Turns out the eco-friendly folks at the organic juice place deliver by bicycle only, and the client lived out of their delivery range. Lena arranged for overnight shipping, so the juices were on the client’s doorstep the next morning, just in time for a blueberry flax-seed, hemp-oil, tofu-infused breakfast treat. 

“My credit card keeps getting charged a monthly fee for something that I don’t think I ever signed up for – can you sort this out and have it stopped?”

When our clients need things handled with their private accounts, our assistants can patch them in briefly so that customer service can verify their identity and confirm that the assistant is authorized to speak on their behalf. 

Lena was successful in getting this client ‘s recurring charges canceled, and she scored them a $330 refund for 8 months of inaccurate fees. Lena made 5 phone calls for this task, and spent a total of 54 minutes on the phone.

A little background info about Lena: 

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Yacolt, WA ... Really the middle of nowhere!

WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS?

Reading, writing, art, computers, languages, law, accounting and FASHION!

WHAT ARE YOU GOOD AT?

Hunting someone down on the internet. My skills are lethal!

WHAT'S THE MOST MEMORABLE REQUEST YOU'VE SEEN FROM A CUSTOMER?

We get fashion related requests from a client, asking for inspiration. I love that!

WHO IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?

A cat...Taco, the wonder cat...

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

My two children - how smart and amazing they both are! Followed by my ability to retain and recite information. 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE 16 YEAR OLD VERSION OF YOURSELF?

Enjoy school - you'll miss the socializing during lunch times. The real world is harder than you think. And take the lapidary course that you were offered!

Take note: don’t pass out around Lena. She will…play poker on you!?!

Work must get done!

You don't want to do the work, but the work must get done! 
Fancy Hands customers are busy people, and they’ve simplified their lives by using our service. 
Our assistants handle those annoying little to-dos that pile up so easily.
Check out some recent requests that our clients asked their Fancy Hands assistants to tackle. 
TASK #1: FIND NEARBY RETAIL LOCATION AND CONFIRM INVENTORY
REQUEST: 
Where can I buy a medium-sized white lab coat for $23 or less near my apartment? 
Looking for some place within 1 mile from me.  
Need to buy it today or tomorrow.
RESPONSE: 
OK Uniform is located 1.2 miles from you. 
They have a men's full length lab-coat available for $21.98. 
I called to confirm, and they have a medium in stock. 
I’ve listed the address, phone number, and hours of operation below. 
Regards, 
Angela S. 
TASK #2: ARRANGE EXCHANGE OF BROKEN ITEM   
REQUEST: 
I have a Nike Fuel Band. It seems broken. 
Here are the details of what the error message is…
Can they send me a new one? Or can I exchange it at a Nike store here in NYC?
RESPONSE: 
You have a new Nike Fuel Band waiting for you at the Nike store closest to you. 
That’s located at 21 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10013. 
The store phone number is 1-212-226-5433. 
Just bring the old one along with a valid ID. 
Your reference number with is 121114-016623. 
If you have any questions, just let me know!
- Michelle J.
TASK #3: MAKE A DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT
REQUEST: 
Can you make me a Dr.'s appointment?
I have a head cold that I can't seem to shake. 
Here’s the phone number.  I’m a new patient. 
 
RESPONSE: 
I booked you an appointment for tomorrow at 2:45pm. 
I called and spoke with Ashley. She entered you into the system. 
You will be seeing Dr. Jamie Morrison.
Regards,
Joanna F.
TASK #4: RESEARCH TWITTER ACCOUNTS   
REQUEST: 
Please find Twitter names for all of these people. 
http://www.inktalks.com/people/speakers 
http://www.inktalks.com/people/staff
Send back to me links to their Twitter profiles. 
RESPONSE: 
Please see the attached Google doc of all the Twitter accounts that I could find. 
Best,
Julie B.
TASK #5: MAKE A PLAYLIST  
REQUEST: 
Please search all of my You Tube videos and make a playlist, 
starting with the earliest one I posted, of all my "for NAME" videos from India.
Call the playlist "Video Requests in India 2011".
RESPONSE:
Here is the link to the playlist that you requested.
All the best, 
Katie S. 
TASK #6: RESEARCH PEOPLE
REQUEST: 
Can you send me 10 unique news articles about these art dealers? 
Specifically I am most interested in any paintings that they have been involved with the sale of.
RESPONSE: 
Please find the attached articles that mention your requested art dealers below. 
Regards,
Mandie S.
It's a win/win! 
Fancy Hands assistants got the opportunity to work, and our clients moved this stuff from "ugh" to "done".

International Incidents.

One of the most popular questions that we’re asked is, 
Can you work for me even though I don’t live in the US? 
You bet your Fancy Hands we can. 

The Request Hall of Fame

Your Fancy Hands assistants are an amazing group of people. Based all over the United States, they’re a wide variety of moms, dads, students, artists, and geeks.
(We're big geek fans here at FH!)
We asked some of our assistants to share the most memorable request they’ve ever completed for a Fancy Hands customer and, together, we took a trip down memory lane.
We had a customer who lost a dog.  We worked on a number of requests related to finding him, and guess what…we did! - Allen L. 
I found destinations in Europe for an awesome bachelor party that involved guests from all over the world. - Caroline R. 
Someone asked me to calculate the circumference of the earth in centimeters. – Reuben P. 
I researched a vasectomy for an interested client…there was a video involved…I’ve never forgotten that one! - Mandie S.
I looked for carpet cleaners in New York. It brought me back to the time when I lived there. –Evangelina R.
I once answered a request to call a gentleman's mother (who was a volunteer summer school teacher) and encourage her to continue because her contribution was invaluable. In looking for quotes to use, I found nothing that conveyed his description of her service, so I chose to write her a poem just for her. He later sent me a thank you telling me that she called him crying because she loved it so much, and she wanted to know who the author was. I emailed him a copy to which he replied, “your kindness had no measure today. Thank you for all you did.” I will always remember that task. - Tina C. 
We have a designer client who asks us to pull images with different themes for his mood boards. I love that.   - Lena S. 
I was asked to call a girl's mother at work and deliver a 'singing telegram.' I created an original, pretty wacky rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song and sang my heart out. It was fun! - Tasha S.
I negotiated a press pass for a client to go to the Running of the Bulls in Spain.  - Shauna L. 

Outsource Your Research!

Your Fancy Hands assistant can save you precious time answering your random questions. 
Rather than diving into a Google search, you can: 
*shoot us an email request
*leave a task on the dashboard of our website, or 
*leave us a voice mail via phone
Before you know it, you’ll find answers in your inbox! 
Here are some questions that our clients asked us about this week: 
What are the three highest rated mattress stores in my area? What are their hours? I would like to go to all three and try a wide variety of brands and types. 
I need to buy some Koi fish to stock my pond in my backyard. Where can I buy them, and how much are 50? 
What’s the difference between Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos? We like blackjack and the spa. How do these two properties compare in guest satisfaction and price? 
I’m going scuba diving in Thailand during the Thanksgiving holiday. What are the best diving schools there? I need to see the reviews on safety, and we may need a refresher course beforehand. How much is the refresher, and how much are fun dives? 
Where can I buy coconut water in Cape Town, South Africa?
Can you find X Box controllers cheaper than the prices on Amazon? 
How many calories are in the typical Indian dish Chicken Tikka Masala?
We’re happy to have helped with your new bed purchase, your pretty pond fish, your casino vacation, your scuba trip, your coconut drinking, your video-gaming, your spicy eating, and so much more…

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Planning travel can be so time consuming. 
One visit to Google can send you 
down 
the 
rabbit 
hole 
of 
search, 
and the next thing you know, four hours have passed, you still haven’t booked your flight, but for some reason, you bought a wine rack that you didn’t need. 
 
Fancy Hands can cut through these distractions. 
Tell us what you need and you’ll get a concise report with the answers to all of your questions. 
Well. We can’t tell you why you bought that wine rack. 
Here are some travel requests that we’ve helped our clients with lately. 

Best October Ever.

October is here, bringing two of my favorite things; fall weather and Halloween. 
If you’re finding it hard to find the time to sneak away for a drive through the leaves, and if the word “Halloween” is making you feel stressed instead of excited, we can save you from a last-minute meltdown.
You know the one – running down the aisles of the grocery store on October 30, desperately searching for one last bag of candy, calling every costume store asking them what superhero costumes they have left in your size. 
Fancy Hands can prevent all of your last minute frustration. 
If you have kids, the assistants at Fancy Hands can track down hard-to-find costumes for you. Or if the kids haven’t yet decided on a character, our staff can research some great costume suggestions. 
My personal favorite is Baby Lobster. 
If you don’t have kids, no worries – Dog Lobster is also an option. 
And, of course: 
Feel like going all out and decorating the house with a light show? 
If your inner Clark Griswold is dying to staple some lights up, let our assistants know what color and style bulbs you’re looking for, and we can track down as many strands as you need, at the best price. 
And when it comes to Halloween parties, we can help you source whatever you may need, and find the best prices. 
 
Have a happy Halloween month, and don’t overdo it! 
 

Owning A Pet Doesn't Have To Be A Pain!

Pets. We love them.

 

According to a national survey, Americans have 78.2 million dogs for pets, and 86.4 million cats.

That’s a whole buncha cute.

Wedding Planning Made Easy!

 
He popped the question. Awesome! Congratulations! Now comes the WORK. 
Getting engaged is a blessing…and a curse. Planning a wedding is like having a second job - except you write paychecks, you don’t cash them.  

Making The Big Move.

Meet Nick Mercer. He’s living the dream. 
Well…okay, he’s not living the dream just yet. But he’s working towards it. 
Last month, Nick strapped his worldly possessions to the back of his motorcycle 
and drove five hours from his hometown of Syracuse to NYC.
Nick is a developer here at Fancy Hands. He began his first day twelve hours after he moved to the city. He was a couch surfer by night and a coder by day. 
 
After his first week, he came into the office with a sad face and said, “People are sick of me crashing at their place. I gotta find an apartment.”
How lucky he is to work at Fancy Hands! We put our assistants on the case, and here’s what they did: 
TASK #1: FIND AVAILABLE APARTMENTS IN BROOKLYN. 
We gave the assistants Nick’s budget and a few neighborhoods that he was interested in. They sent back a list of 25 available apartments,  links to pictures for each one, and the contact information of the leasing companies. 
TASK#2: MAKE APPOINTMENTS TO VIEW APARTMENTS. 
Nick reviewed his choices, picked 8 that he liked the looks of, and the Fancy Hands assistants set appointments for him to check them out. Once the appointments were set, the assistants entered them into Nick’s Google calendar along with all of the pertinent information. Easy breezy.
TASK #3: FIND A MATTRESS STORE WITH LOW PRICES.
Nick signed his lease. Yay! Next, he needed a bed, because, although his box maze was a lot of fun, it wasn’t very soft. 
The assistants sent Nick a list of 5 of the most reputable, affordable mattress companies that would deliver a queen-sized mattress to him on a weekend. Boom.
TASK #4: ORDER MATTRESS AND SET UP DELIVERY FOR SATURDAY.
(NOT TOO EARLY. NICK LIKES TO SLEEP IN.) 
Once Nick decided which mattress he wanted, he gave that information to an assistant and they took care of the rest. 
TASK #5: ORDER GROCERIES TO BE DELIVERED AROUND THE SAME TIME AS THE MATTRESS. 
Nick needed toilet paper, paper towels, cereal, milk, a broom, a sponge, shampoo, conditioner, soap, potato chips, and of course, beer. A Fancy Hands assistant placed the order for him and scheduled a Saturday delivery. 
TASK #6: RESEARCH ROUTES TO WORK FROM NEW APARTMENT. 
Sometimes, Nick will power into work on his bike like a modern James Dean. 
But he also needs to know how to take a bus and a subway to Fancy Hands HQ. The assistants sent him step-by-step instructions for all three modes of transport. 
TASK #7: RESEARCH RESTAURANTS IN THE NEW ‘HOOD, SUPA-CHEAP & MEDIUM-PRICED.
The assistants sent Nick a list of ten local dives and ten local date spots. 
Which leads us to…
TASK #8: FIND AND BOOK A CHEAP HOUSEKEEPER TO CLEAN THE APARTMENT ONCE A MONTH. 
Because every girlfriend likes nice restaurants, and roach-free apartments. 
Nick is now happily settled in his new home, thanks to the assistants at Fancy Hands, and we’re glad to have him on our team. 
I did try to convince him that the locals say “Bapple” – short for Big Apple, hoping that he’d start saying that a lot, like “Yeah, I’m just chillin’ in the Bapple, what’s up with you?” but he didn’t take the bait. 
Already skeptical of what people tell him…he’ll do well in New York. 

My New Assistants Rock, and They Can Be Yours, Too.

Am I busy? Duh. These days, we all are.

Don’t let that cute smile on my face fool ya, I’m stressed out.

Almost every night, just before I fall asleep, a nagging thought leaps through my brain. You forgot to make that important appointment. Again.  Something has always fallen through the cracks.

Enter: Fancy Hands. Not only a solution for the problem, but my new employer, as well.

Make life suck less. We can help you!

Who's going to win? 
While these guys fight for control, there’s no debate at Fancy Hands: our customers are winning. 
Also: Romney & Obama with their hair switched? Good stuff. 
Here are some things that our Fancy Hands assistants have done for our clients this week. 
Monthly Yearly
Up to 15% off yearly plans

Basic

5

Requests a month
$6/request
-20%

Professional

15

Requests a month
$5/request
-12%

Premier

50

Requests a month
$4/request
-4%
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