Thursday, April 25, 2013

Go Ahead. If You Dare

We have a new pet.

He lives near the defunct doorbell. Eight long, slim legs, tiny stripes, little bits of hair, numerous eyes.

Our new friend has taken up residence in a crevice. Looks like dirt if one is unwary.

But go ahead. Ring the bell. If you dare or just because.

Either way, we won't hear it. It's broken. Has been since before we moved in. I'm only willing to fix it with an old fashioned English pull type bell.

So ring away!

P.S. If you really want our attention, knock on the window. Or text us. We'll let you in.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Buried Treasure - Really!

Once upon a time, when buying a new home, one also purchases a new yard and the mysteries therein.

Case in point. We have lived in our new (turning old) home for about 3 1/2 years. There is never a dull moment in restoration, repairing, remodeling, and carving our nest into the dream of our minds. Every project, as our grandson loves to say and help with, leads to surprising discoveries and even more questions and projects. The List of To-Do, a cloud like planet hovering over our little square of Planet Earth, is constantly evolving, digressing, and increasing.

For instance, as we attempted to fix lights, we came upon wiring and switches that went nowhere. They did not work, hooked up to nothing. The opposite of where one would assume the connection went was what actually worked. And let's not even talk about the ceiling lights that fell off, one by one, leaving us working in the dark, literally, shadowy kitchen. Interior illumination is immensely important and ill fitting for this home.

Come spring, it was time for adding sprinklers to the back yard and garden area. FYI - digging ditches, and any form of dirt plus water, is a great past time for the ten and under group. But that is beside the point.

As my go-to-man was steadily burrowing around the yard like moles in cartoons, piles of dirt and ankle breaking lines of mud littered the yard. Instead of putting away pirated prizes, treasures began to jump to the surface as my digging man and his trusty shovel conquered the project.

To my delight, each day, when I returned home, a new unearthed treasure would be resting on the blue door table under the patio. First it was a pretty gold decorated china bowl. Next it was a cheap plastic Barbie brief case. Previous backyard ventures had turned up a rusty filagree barrette, old glass chunks, and bits of metal. Buried treasure! I looked forward, not only to the ease of watering in summer heat, but to seeing what else turned up in the midst of the excavation.

Who lost the dainty bowl in the dirt? Why? What child played behind the shed and surrendered toys to soil? How long ago did someone wear the hair piece? Did they notice the disappearances? Were they searching and worried? Did anyone get in trouble? Was there a game involved? Imagination?

It seems, for now, we've reached the end of our archeological finds.

But not the end of the stories that go along with the treasures of old.

Waiting for the next digging project.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We Do Not Live in a Post-Customer-Service Society

Yes, it is hard to believe. But America is not a post-customer-service society. Unless I've missed a major 'changing of the era's.'

I've seen evidence lately that some have jumped on the PCSS bandwagon (Post Customer Service Society). And it really is one of my pet peeves. After all, I have some hard earned (and yes, hard earned is what teachers, mothers, wives, husbands, preachers, police officers, fire fighters, checkers, bankers, children, parents, and all other workers with jobs have - hard earned money) cash burning a hole, albeit small, in my wallet. I would like to spend it in your establishment. Or I need to spend it at your place of business. Yes. The one where it is obvious that your employees have joined PCSS. In fact, I need to tip you off that several are dues paying members. Maybe even charter members.

You. Yes you. The one who ignores me when I walk in and wander around, glaringly obvious as I search for SOMETHING. But you continue with your team conversations and/or gossip sessions. If I do get totally frustrated and approach you for help, do you realize I have counted how many employees have studiously avoided eye contact with me? I did notice the one who turned the opposite direction and waltzed off to perform some invisible task. I do see you working on the computer (or playing a game?) with your partner. So sorry to interrupt your free time with my questions.

NO. PLEASE. Don't worry. Don't bother with showing me or even kindly giving me directions to locate what I am after. For sure, I like it best when you are curt and irritated with my question. Because you know, I don't work there. How can I know the specific aisle and shelf for each thing. Perhaps the best approach for you would be to have your back to me so giving assistance would be more challenging. Presenting an intimidating back, or scowling front, would really keep those pesky customers from sneaking in and spending money.

Not just stores. But other fine places of business. A recent personal favorite was the phone game. Please listen closely as our menu options have recently changed. (Just a tip. I've called before. They are the same options. It is still annoying to have to listen to them all. Especially if I do not have a specific person in mind with whom I want to speak. Nor do I have their extension number.)

Push number 1. Choice number 4. Zero. Zero. Zero. Operator please! Please give me a person. Not a computer. Then, despite pre-recorded messages warning of the phone call being monitored for quality control, the harried, cranky person answers. Puh-lease.

This is America. There are other choices. As a consumer, if I am bothering you or am not valuable enough to warrant courteousness or manners or help or a smile (for Pete's sake, whoever Pete is) or a thank you for coming...I will go somewhere else. Somewhere that is oozing over with customer service ambiance. Not necessarily expensive or high class, but places that cater to the customer. Places that want to stay in business and earn loyalty and return trips by pleased customers.

Oh, yes. That is me. The customer. I have had GREAT service in many places. I return regularly to those places. And I offer you a heart felt round of applause and cheers of joy. But you know what they say. It takes one bad experience...

Buck up, America. Down with PCSS! Bring those positive customer service attitudes and habits back into our society. Want to stimulate the economy? HELP the customer - whatever type of customer you happen to have.

I know we can do it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Work of Children

No. Not child labor. But actual work! Children do work. Their work is PLAY. But watching them as they focus in total concentration on whatever work project (task, activity, game, adventure) they are involved is amazing.

Mr. Bubba spent over 30 minutes at this job. Cutting. Lots. And. Lots. of tiny pieces, raining all over the floor. But boy, was he happy and content.

Meanwhile, Sister was busy having snacks with Papa. Food is work and play for her. Notice how decorative she is as she munches.

Snack time for all.

Helping make food is a favorite job for both. We had crescent rolls with cheese. Most of the cheese was on the pan and not many rolls looked like crescents, but my grands had helped and they were happy.

Back to the cutting. Day 2. It's much more comfy to work at cutting while wearing just chonies and a t-shirt.

Sister found a new job. Organzing walnuts. Into many containers. And then delivering them all over the house. Thank you for the help.

For the child, play is the job.

Oh, to be child-like and take fun in all of the 'jobs' we must do.