I spend seven hours a day, five days a week trapped in a windowless box of a room staring at a computer screen. On most days I only hear two sounds, apart from the voices of my co-workers – the noise of the rain on the flat roof and the asymmetrical thwack from next door’s food mixer. Commercial planetary mixers have a distinctive sound which I remember from the one we had on the farm.
From this point of view it’s not surprising that my days all merge into one and offer little of interest.
Most interesting today was a customer who ordered a Cigarette Card Catalogue from us. They are big heavy books and it had arrived damaged. His letter of complaint was querulous. It seems that it was hard to blame the post office for the state of the book when we were the ones at fault for our poor packaging.
We could, it is true, pack them better. If we did so it would increase the weight of the parcel, and its thickness, and put it into another postage category. They are already expensive to post and the extra cost would probably mean nobody bought one. We send one or two a month and this is the first to get damaged.
I would have taken issue with his comment about the post office. The book had clearly been dropped on its corner (hence the damage) and it had also clearly been messed about, as the envelope was seriously creased and tattered. Something had gone badly wrong and as it had been fine when we handed it over it was definitely the fault of the post office, despite the assertions of the customer.
The truth is that it had been damaged by a combination of bad treatment and insufficient packaging. All tyhe customer needed to do was send pictures (which he did) and ask fro a refund. There was no need to start attaching blame or criticism.
Anyway, we apologised and offered him a partial refund or a replacement book. This provoked another long email about blame and fault and unfairness and made it quite clear he was looking for an argument.
Sometimes you wonder about what goes on in people’s minds. However, rather than argue we carried on smiling and being nice. We have already lost money on the book, no point in spending time (which is, as we know, money) on arguing about it.