Author Archives: quercuscommunity

Confusion, Customers and Covers

Fourteen hours have passed and the day is drawing to a close. I have been to work, cooked a massive stew (with potato, sweet potato, onions, carrot, parsnip, swede, lentils and turnip) and taken Number Two Son to work. As a result I’m feeling virtuous.

Tomorrow we will have vegetable soup, which will make me feel even more virtuous as it is full of veg and is a good use of leftovers.

I’m now watching TV,  which seems to be the theme of the day.

In the shop we’ve bounced from one problem to another for a couple of weeks now. The swearing customer, cancelled orders, non-paying customers and the so-called “defective coin” problem have passed, to be replaced by the negative stock situation.

Someone ordered seven Princess Diana coins on covers and I could only find five of them. In quantity, whilst I’m gripped by panic, they all start to look the same. It turns out we had sold the other two a month ago but, eBay, at the end of 30 days, had relisted the sold items again. It’s partly the fault of the system and partly my fault for using the wrong setting when loading the covers.

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The Queen – Coin on Cover

Fortunately the customer is being quite cheerful about it.

The examples I’ve used have the Queen on them because those are the pictures I have, but they give an idea of what we are dealing with.

I did have to spend an hour going through all our drop down menus checking the settings. I seem to have set three incorrectly, but fortunately none of the others have sold anything. It’s all correct now, and it’s just gone midnight, so, though I was going to post this on Saturday, it will now be posted on Sunday, which may cause confusion as I have referred to “tomorrow” in my soup plans. I mean, of course, “later today”.

Such are the problems of late night posting.

Just Watching TV

 

Southwold from the Pier

I’m watching Fantasy Homes by the Sea before going to work. “Fantasy” must have changed its meaning since last time I looked. It now seems to mean “imperfect”, “badly decorated” or “adequate”. They are nice enough but they don’t get my imaginatiob going.

The interesting thing is that they have been to Cromer and are now in Sheringham. So have I, in my search for piers.

They are just looking at beach huts. You can buy one for just £59,000 and rent it out for £60 a day.

They are now looking at a cottage at Bacton. It has flint walls, pantiled roof, a walled garden and seals on the beach. As fantasy homes go, it’s pretty good, though  I just looked Bacton up on Wiki – with a gas terminal, a takeaway and a holiday village I may have to reduce the fantasy rating.

The woman on TV doesn’t really like it. She wants to redecorate and remodel.  Or “rip it all out and start again” as she just said. I predict that, as usual, they won’t like it enough to buy it.

 

 

Haiku Challenge – Day 66

I’m two thirds of the way through the challenge and it wouldn’t bother me if I never saw a haiku again.

I’m still plodding on, because I don’t want to give up on it, but it’s becoming a chore.

On the other hand, when I had to write thirty last night to catch up on the last few days I managed it in an hour, so my fluency has definitely improved. This is a good thing, despite the accompanying negativity.

And that’s my post for the day. I’m two thirds of the way through the challenge and it wouldn’t bother me if I never wrote another report on the challenge again.

 

 

 

A Short Note on Difficult Customers -Part II – and a Case of Really Bad Packing

We settled the complaint. The boss offered him 100 extra coins and that seems to have done the trick. This was pretty much what we had expected.

During the discussion it became clear that the customer didn’t have a great deal of coin knowledge and had ordered the wrong thing.

You have to take this sort of thing philosophically…

Meanwhile, having secured a new item for my collection, at a cost of £27 plus £2 P&P I have a new low to report in packaging. The item is a watch fob and is just over an inch high. It was delivered in a box around six inches square and 3/4 inch deep. It’s an excessively big box for a small item.

Worse than that, the fob was just thrown into the box loose without the benefit of any protection or padding.

Regardless of the fact that it arrived undamaged it doesn’t inspire buyer confidence to see things treated this way.

Ah well, moaning over for now.

A Short Note on Difficult Customers

Sometimes on eBay you run up against an immovable object. With over a thousand items listed for sale at any time we are obviously going to make mistakes. In nine months we’ve sent the wrong item twice and had one complaint about quality. That’s less than quarter of a per cent.

We now have another complaint. With hindsight we should have expected it as the buyer asked for a discount before buying. We politely declined but he ordered anyway. We then had a letter of complaint telling us this was the worst lot he’d ever bought and various other things.

We offered him his money back.

He’s just replied that we’ve missed the point. He doesn’t want to send them back for a refund, he wants to struggle selling them and moan that the charity he sells for will lose money. He’s very keen to tell you he sells for charity.

There’s not much you can do to help some people.

Cynicism prompts me to suggest that his next note will contain a threat about negative feedback and another suggestion about discount. After all, he does sell for charity you know…

White Rajahs and Other Stories

Today started with a blood test. I aimed for ten past seven to avoid the arguments we had last time and arrived at 7.16. Instead of the machine there was a box of printed cards, which didn’t inspire confidence. I took card number 18.

On a brighter note, there were only a few people waiting and when they called for Number 15 I realised some people were waiting for other things.

The day started to look better.

After a swift test I was able to get home quickly enough to take Julia for breakfast and then get her to work on time.

They are hoping to get the ticket machine fixed tomorrow. Apparantly it was chaos on Monday when it broke.

Taking things back to Monday night, the main news is that I’m booked in for a tooth extraction next Tuesday and a blood test on Monday – it needs to be within 72 hours of the extraction, though I’m not quite sure how it helps. I’m on anti-coagulants so I’m going to bleed. You don’t hear about too many people bleeding to death from tooth extractions so I’m not too concerned. If the dentist wants to worry that’s up to him. Or her.

They rang to arrange that just as I was leaving home for the monthly meeting of the Nottinghamshire Numismatic Society. The subject was The White Rajahs of Sarawak, and was very good. It was reasonably entertaining and I learnt quite a lot of interesting stuff. One of them lost an eye in a hunting accident when in his 80s. He was known for being careful with his money so popped down to the local taxidermist (he was living in Devon in the days when towns had taxidermists) and bought a job lot of glass eyes. His favourite, it seems, was an Albatross eye.

If he’d been poor he’d have been regarded as an idiot, but as he was rich, with a private kingdom, he was merely eccentric.

 

 

A Good Start to the Week

Just thought I’d mention that if you happened to be browsing Haibun Today there are a couple of haibun in there under my name (Wilson, that is, not Quercus).

I was just looking through links, deciding which editor to inflict my next group of submissions on, when I remembered that they should be out. They are, and I had a pleasant moment seeing my name in print. In fact, there have been intermittent feelings of happiness all day, with a touch of smugness now and again.

It’s a mixed feeling. I’m happy to see them published, but I’m also slightly embarrassed because there are far better ones published in the same edition and am now thinking that I really should do better.

It’s similar to the problem I’m having with my next round of submissions. When I had nothing published I had nothing to lose. Now that I have had a couple of acceptances I have a standard to compare myself to, and work that would at one time have been sent out, is now sitting in a file because I’m now not sure it’s good enough.

I suppose this is fear, and fear is why we don’t do things. It’s good in some ways, because I’ve avoided lions, poisonous snakes and bungee jumping, which are all potentially fatal. However, the fear of foreign travel, salad and failure may well have held me back from a more interesting life. I do try to see failure as a step on the way to success, but it can be hard.

I am now going to look at my name in print again. Despite my misgivings there are worse things to do.

The photos have nothing to do with the subject of the post, but everyone loves a baby seal, apart from fishermen and furriers, so I thought I’d use it again. The seagulls are just there because I decided I wanted a floating bird of the day.

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Black-headed Gulls in winter plumage