The Meerkat Muse – 8/3/23

Here we go again, it’s Meerkat Muse time!

Racoons are cool. Not meerkat levels of cool, but cool nonetheless.

Bus Mishaps

It seems there is a growing trend of late, for buses to be… awkward. My wife has recounted to me more than story where she has rung the bell, and the bus hasn’t stopped. This also happened when I was on the bus the other day, as I brought my daughter home from school. An older gentleman pushed the buzzer, and the driver didn’t stop. He went to the front of the bus, bringing with him his little trolley full of shopping, and asked the driver to stop. In fairness, the driver did stop, a little further along, and let the guy off by the side of the road.

The side of the road happened to be a patch of grass, and whilst the bus lowered for the benefit of the guy and his trolley, it was hardly an idea exit, and the poor guy ended up falling over. I happened to be at the front of the bus, so I leapt off to try and help him up. The driver joined me a moment later, and we were able to help him. It was, for a moment, worrying. The guy didn’t go down hard, but when there’s no idea how vulnerable or frail someone is, and they have a fall, there is alarming potential for harm.

I don’t know what it is with local bus services lately, but between randomly switching out routes, and missing stops, the quality of them has gone downhill.

Word Mishaps

Oh man. I shouldn’t confess to this one, but it’s too funny not to. My daughter and I ventured into a local supermarket after school, as she wanted some yoghurts. On the way in, she paused by some packs of cinnamon buns. She kept insisting she wanted them, and I kept reminding her that her mother had bought donuts the day before.

My daughter can be persistent, but I wasn’t going to yield. I turned to her, and told her ‘I am not buying, uh, cinema bums.’ Needless to say, we laughed. I couldn’t quite believe I’d mixed up my words so completely, as to say ‘cinema bums’. Well, my wife is eying up seeing the new Magic Mike film, that will feature ‘cinema bums’…

The Promise

I guess you could call this a promise, though I don’t quite know if promise is the right word. A customer recently had some issues with a delivery, and he assured me that if said problems were not resolved within the timescale he deemed appropriate, he would escalate the matter. He was understanding that delivery issues are not the fault of the store or myself, but unfortunately, my colleagues and I are the first ones in the firing line.

Here lies an issue with retail sales. When a problem arises that’s no fault of the store, it’s still the staff in the store who end up getting moaned at (and in some cases, shouted/screamed at). It is the staff in stores who are asked to call customers to explain delays to deliveries, and we are the first port of call for damaged/defective goods. We are on the ‘front lines’, and that is not always a pleasant place to be. There is only so much we can do from the showroom to resolve a transport or warehouse issue.

Customers want assurances, or indeed, promises as to when these issues can be resolved, but to make matters even more complicated, customer service teams aren’t usually available at weekends, and the warehouse and transport teams run skeleton crews at weekends. This makes getting a resolution to problems in these fields much more difficult. A meerkat cannot promise a timescale if he cannot even speak to the relevant department!

I do understand the frustrations of this particular customer, who has always been completely fair towards me. Unfortunately, my power to help him is dependent upon other departments, in other locations. Like I said, it is frustrating.

Turmoil and Tragedy

My daughter had an unexpected couple of days off school the other week. She was not unsurprisingly not upset by this, though that was before we all understood the reason. I was taking her to school, and as the bus rounded a corner, I received a text, informing me that due to an incident, her school would be closed. We were able to hop off the bus and head home, and my wife called me, to inform me she’d had the same text. I told a few kids who go to my daughter’s school of the news, and I brought my daughter home.

We didn’t learn the reason until later. Sadly, a member of staff at the school was taken ill, and died. In wake of the news, the school would remain closed the following day as well. Once again, life reminds us that it is precious, and to be cherished, because you never know when it may be snatched from you.

Site Issues

It seems that Jetpack and WordPress are no longer cooperating for me. I am no longer getting updates via the WordPress or Jetpack apps, so if you leave a comment, or like a post, I won’t know until I get into the site via the admin page. I don’t know what’s caused this hiccup, but it’s a tad annoying, as the app is particularly good for letting me write posts on the go.

A Quiet Spell

I don’t have a lot to say of this Muse cycle. You might say it’s been a relatively quiet spell. Work has trundled along as it does, and home life has trundled along as it does. The only thing of immediate note is that I might have a hernia! I have an ultrasound book for the end of March, so we’ll see what that determines.

Beyond that, there’s been further work on the sequel to The Awakening. I’ve reached a pivotal moment in the story, and the fallout from it is going to be huge. That’s all I will say!

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