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Friday, December 30, 2011

Miracles take Longer

Complaint of the day:- Hi my sister hasnt received this book yet would you let me know why and when the book will arrive please. Thank you.

I have no problem with these kind of enquiries.  I understand that little uneasy feeling when you get when you order something online, from a company you've never heard of and the need for reassurance that everything is going to be ok.

But - the book ordered on the 20th December, hasn't yet Canada - which is quite a long way from Dunstable!  The post offices of both countries have been shut for 3 of those 10 days and in actual fact taking into account weekends there have only been 5 working days since the date of the order, which incidentally was posted via airmail same day as ordered.  A little patience Grasshopper! A little patience!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reasons I love my job - number 275

People send us Thank You cards when they are pleased with their books saying things like this - "The Penguins and I just wanted you to know that they arrived swiftly and safely in their beautiful snug wrappings, and that we are all very content. Thank you for your wonderful service."  This has made me very happy!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Greta and Me

For me, the very worst thing about working from home is that I am never left alone. I swear that my family have me on suicide watch.  Like planes at Heathrow airport - one goes out, one comes in - so far this week my record for time spent in solitude  is three and a half minutes.  Tony popped out to town and I thought I would get a chance to put on some very loud music, but I barely made it to the CD player before KW came in - and that was the end of that. My family just don't get it. If I mention it, they exchange looks which roughly translate to 'mum's a nutter.'  If I politely point out that I could just do with an hour to myself, they accuse me of not loving them.  Oh please.  I have a friend, who misses her children terribly when they are away with their father, and moans on facebook about how lonely she is and longs to be cheered up.  People are, understandably, extremely sympathetic and post her jokes and links to funny sites in an effort to make her happy - invariably it fails though, as she is bereft without her children there. Honestly, when I read her statuses, I want to go round and shake her and let her know just how lucky she is! (She knows I adore her really.) It's been such a long time I can't even remember how it might feel to have a whole night to myself.  Anyway  I am very much looking forward to spending my old age moaning to my children about how lonely I am - just like my aged grandparents did, but secretly I will be dancing with joy to VERY loud music and hoping that they don't pop round for tea and a chat!  So now you know what I have in common with Greta Garbo - apart from exceptional cheekbones of course!

Friday, June 17, 2011

You Scratch My Back...

We had a phone call yesterday from someone asking whether we would copy a page from an old Chamber of Commerce Directory and send it to them.  They didn’t want to buy the book – just wanted a copy of the one page and were happy to pay for the service.  Being a  helpful sort of bookseller, I  obliged, and as it really took very little time or effort, told them not to worry that there would be no charge.  About half an hour after sending the e-mail with the attached page, we received a request asking if we would mind sending another page, and again insisting that they should pay us for our research.  So for a second time we did the honours -   for free – honestly it’s not a problem when I’m not rushed off my feet.  A bit later in the day I clicked on the website link in their e-mail, and discovered that they were a firm of  London plumbers – and that was when the penny dropped.  Plumbers are so used to charging a call-out fee that they don’t expect anyone else to do something for no payment.  I once had a leaking down pipe and the plumber came and changed a washer in the valve thingy in the loft – he was here for a maximum of 15 minutes and 10 minutes of that time was spent drinking tea and revelling in his good fortune that he could fleece me!  40 quid  it cost for a little rubber washer (and that was 10 years ago.)  The same plumber used to service our boiler every year, but, so peeved was I at being mugged, that after that we never used him again.  So maybe I should have been a plumber, but at least I can sleep at night. And the moral of the story is the next time someone rings wanting a service that I would normally provide for free - I’m going to ask them what they do for a living.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Beginnings - One Step at a Time

I just found my old blog which I casually abandoned nearly 3 years ago.  I was going to just start again but when I read through some of my old posts I quite liked them, so I've left them as they are and off we go again. So we are still selling books and still enjoying doing so.  At the moment we are listing the lifetime collection of a lady who was a London Blue Guide - and as so often happens, have learnt a great deal in the process.  My favourite book so far is a modern one about a tenacious old biddy,  Phyllis Pearsall, who on being unable to find a decent map of London, took to the streets herself and devised her own.  The map was so successful that she ended up founding the Geographer's Map Company - which is still going strong today.