Tag Archives: moaning

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.

It’s Not All Bad

There have been one or two bright spots recently despite my catalogue of disasters.

For instance, it brightened my day immeasurably to see a stretched Hummer broken down by the side of the road.

At first I thought it might just be resting, but the sight of its prop-shaft lying on the road beneath the car confirmed that it was broken. It happened to me in an Escort estate car once. Suddenly I lost power and there was an urgent knocking on the underside of the car. It was thirty five years ago and I still remember it.

I would say that it was in the days before I had reliable cars, but the evidence of the last few weeks suggests that I still don’t have a reliable car.

I’m not particularly in favour of 4×4 vehicles in towns – they aren’t necessary. Even if you live or work in the countryside in the UK, as I did for years,  they aren’t really necessary unless you live down a farm track or need to feed livestock in the fields.

They are bulky, uneconomic, polluting and often driven with a degree of arrogance. As evidence of this arrogance I will not only cite the average driving techniques of 4×4 drivers, but point you to the part of the Hummer link that Hummer drivers get five times the average number of traffic tickets per 100,000 miles driven.

That’s before we get onto the “stretch” bit.  Judging from the article I’ve linked to, there are more reasons than good taste and a suspicion of American imports to be dubious about stretch limos.

And that concludes my moan for the day.

I Forgot to Say…

What set me off on my day of misery was the glass in my sandwich. Luckily I felt it with my teeth first, and didn’t swallow it or I may well have been writing this from hospital. I can only imagine the inconvenience of swallowing glass, though I expect this is nothing compared to the awkwardness of dealing with it at the other end.

Anyway, I didn’t swallow it.

I did, however, lose any vestige of cheeriness my day may have contained.

This wasn’t just because of the glass, but as it was in a sandwich with cheese, pickle and seeded bread I don’t know who to blame. I may write to all three of them. I am 60 you know, and I’m allowed to complain. I’ve spent the last thirty years practising for being a miserable old git; it would be a shame to let it go to waste.

My attitude is further darkened by the fact I cut one of my fingers whilst cooking. That’s an occupational hazard, the really annoying thing is that it’s my typing finger and the plaster keeps causing typos.

Anyway, must go now, as I have a meal to serve.

Assuming that it’s cooked properly and doesn’t poison us I will probably burn myself.

It’s been that sort of a day.

Evening and Annoyance

It’s not been a productive evening.

I  bought two lots on eBay last night and both transactions have turned complicated. One is my fault because I forgot to press a button and sent my home address instead of the shop address. I tried to alter this by email later but the vendor had already organised the post and sent it amazingly quickly. He has now apologised three times for what is actually not his fault, as I keep trying to tell him.

The other is having problems with the address too. Despite me confirming the address he still says he is confused. I think that’s because the system allows me to use a delivery address but shows my home address too. He either cannot handle ambiguity of thinks I’m embarking on a major fraud for £46. I’m not sure which. All I know is that I’ve had to write to him twice tonight (so far) trying to sort it out.

It’s not easy writing polite emails as there’s always the possibility of causing accidental offence, even without the added problem of being irritated, having connection problems and wanting to plan tomorrow’s trip.

Then I wiped off an entire answer by accident and had to do it again.

And I had to double check some auction bids I sent in haste this morning. I bid too much for something but I’ll let it stand as I hate cancelling bids and messing people about.

Number Two son did his final exam this morning. The landlord had chosen this day to decorate the room and wouldn’t delay to allow for a more relaxing lead up to the exam. When he returned in the afternoon they had also replaced his bed. They had, however failed to empty the storage drawer in the old one and had taken all his shoes away.

Idiots.

Julia is trying to watch The Woman in White on BBC i-player but it’s not going well. We appear to lack bandwidth, despite paying an arm and a leg to BT every month. She couldn’t watch it last night as we went out for curry.

I have to cook tea now.

I suppose I’ll probably burn it.

Tomorrow we are going to Bempton Cliffs to see Puffins. Looking at what happened last year I’m worried we might not see many. Fingers crossed.

And, as I try to find Puffin photos the system has seized up again. I really must write to WordPress. For Puffin photos you will need to use the last link.

The featured image is just plucked from stock at random. I wanted something calming with blue sky a fresh green trees.

Lagging Behind, and Misery in Derbyshire

It’s Wednesday today and I’m still blogging about Monday.

Eventually we reached Carsington Water, where I discovered I had left my stick at home. Though I have a spare one in the car it is one of my Dad’s and is about two inches too short. It actually causes more problems than it solves and is only there for emergencies.

It was a handy excuse for not walking round and freezing. So we went to the shops. Julia spent the points off the RSPB loyalty card on crackers and cards and I poked through the books and bird food before deciding that I didn’t feel like spending money.  I never feel like spending money, but at Christmas I can at least get into the character of Ebeneezer Scrooge and claim I’m entering the spirit of Christmas.

We went into the Air Ambulance charity shop after that. It was a miserable experience.  They seemed to have taken delivery of a new consignment of stock, and most of it was stacked in front of the books so I couldn’t see the interesting books.  To make things worse, the staff member who was on duty seemed to go out of her way to obstruct Julia as she tried to look round. It takes a lot to wind Julia up but she wasn’t very pleased by the time she’d finished.

We like the air ambulance, and though the kids never needed it, we have been at events where other rugby players have been whisked off for treatment. We also like charity shops. Things are bad when I use the words “miserable experience” about a visit.

I was able to look at a cookery book – James Martin’s Great British Winter Cookbook. I won’t add a link as that might tempt someone to buy it. None of the recipes grabbed me, and one, Tomato and Cumin Soup, didn’t seem particularly British or wintery. I mean, where are all the winter tomatoes? In Spain.

Then we went for tea and cake. A day that features tea and cake can’t be all bad can it? And the restaurant is always good. I say “always”…

Julia liked her mince pie. I thought my raspberry and orange cake was a bit dry. And deficient in raspberries, though as I served myself I only had myself to blame. Then I started to think I detected the aftertaste of artificial sweetener. It may not have been, but it was definitely an unpleasant aftertaste.

To cheer things up I suggested a trip to the bookshop at Brierlow Bar.  I wasn’t expecting much, but as we were on the doorstep thought we might as well go.  To be fair, some of the book stock does seem to be improving, after a bit of a slump, as does the card stock. However, we bought cards and stationery and no books, which doesn’t look good for the future.

We couldn’t even eat cake as we are dieting and had already had our daily ration.

In my dreams of next year I see myself standing outside the shop with my nose pressed up against the window looking in at the bright lights. Inside, people enjoy tea and cake, buy expensive bird food and select books that I wouldn’t enjoy.

Sadly, I cannot participate and I gradually fade away like the ghost of readers past…

I will leave you with that picture.

The next post will be more cheery.

 

Belfast, Salad and Blogging

We went out to lunch at Harvester today. It’s not fine dining, but the Early Bird menu offers a good plateful for £6.99 and you get unlimited access to the salad bar. Believe it or not, it was the salad we went for. We’ve been a bit light on veg lately and I want my bowels in top condition for Thursday. From Wednesday I’ll be making notes, as nurses seem fascinated by my inner doings and ask some fairly detailed questions about bowels.

I would hate to be detained in hospital due to lack of fibre.

We are calling it a research trip, because we were looking at Julia’s bus route options for her new job.

I’m now going to moan.

There was a young woman in our section who completely destroyed the ambience.

She was loud, so it was difficult to hold our own conversation.

She was dull.

She’s a student.

When her companion occasionally tried an answer she didn’t listen.

She has trouble parking her car during international cricket matches (she must live near Trent Bridge);

She thinks, due to a list of ailments she’s suffered over the year, that her immune system has been compromised by the flat she lives in. Whatever she’s had has not affected her lungs.

She is going to New York to celebrate finishing her finals.

Her mother has already bought four outfits trying to find one that is just right for her daughter’s graduation.

She hasn’t even finished her finals yet, but she’s clearly confident of passing.

When she returned to the room after multiple trips to the salad bar she started talking (or shouting) while she was still yards away from the table.

Worst of all, she had a Belfast accent. (If you aren’t familiar with the Belfast accent, it’s abrasive and always reminds me of a chainsaw).

I was glad when she left.

She’s probably a lovely girl and clearly gets on well with her mother. I hope they have a good time at graduation.

But I never want to be in the same room as her again.

Do people have no sense of volume? Or do they just think we will all be interested in details of their banal life.

Ah, I suppose, when you think of it, I may just have described a blogger…

 

 

In which I have some Brilliant Ideas

I dropped Julia at work this morning then went to the jewellers.

We didn’t talk about jewellery much, but we did set the world to rights and form the idea for a new TV programme.

The programme will take place in two shops in Nottingham and feature two groups of miserable old men sitting round moaning about how things used to be better. We already have one shop with three miserable old sods (even though one is quite young, he moans with the best of us) and have another shop and group of old gits in mind for the second one. We’re going to pitch it to a successful producer we know and see what happens.

People like antiques, reality shows and grumpy old men so I think it has legs as an idea. Personally, I’ll be looking for some advertising and a book spin-off. If Scarlett Moffatt can do it I’m sure I can, though, looking at her profile, I may need a new middle name. Karloff seems good. It has the right ring to it and you can see why William Henry Pratt adopted it as a stage name.

We were talking of the things that used to worry us, like Russia invading Afghanistan. Do you remember that – we all thought how stupid they were for trying – it rarely ends well for the invader.

Now we worry about recycling and financing kids through college.

We also spoke of the good old days and a local dealer who just bought a forgery of a rare coin, losing £2,000 on the deal. It was offered to him, gleaming and uncirculated, in the middle of a parcel of average worn coins. There’s a place where enthusiasm for coins, and the love of profit muffles the alarm bells that should be ringing.

How, he should have asked, did such a remarkably well-preserved coin end up in a batch of worn silver? It takes remarkably little wear to downgrade a coin in the eyes of a collector. Terms such as bag marks and cabinet wear are used to denote the sort of damage that can be done to a coin even before it is circulated. Bag marks are the marks that occur during manufacture and packing into bags. Cabinet wear is the light scuffing that occurs when a coin moves in a cabinet as you open and close the drawers. That is how fussy they are.

Anyway, he didn’t ask, he paid the money, and he can’t get the seller on the phone number he supplied, which gives me an idea for the next TV programme – CSI Coin Shop.

Stranger things have caught on…