This isn’t exactly a post about any particular act of kindness; more a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has dropped by to read, comment, like, follow and nominate – bless you! – me on my little journey. I’ve had so much fun sharing my experiences, and getting to know you and reading your posts!
Now, I know different folks enjoy different genres of music, so I’ve chosen ‘middle of the road’ songs that I feel reflect the kindness message to share with you all. I’ve included three songs for any little ones you may wish to play them to.
Anyway, please enjoy. Click on the italicised song title to link to the YouTube video (I’ve opted not to use the video screenshots here as eight rectangles at a go looked a bit much 😎).
Don’t get me wrong – I realise they are critical. Where else could we go if something’s gone wrong and we need to consult somebody?
But, really, do I have to tap this many numbers to establish my identity, my language preference, the type of service I require … after listening to lists of options where I’ve forgotten what Option 2 was because I’m trying to decide if Option 7 is more appropriate?
Then I hold, and listen to scratchy 80s music on a never-ending loop, interrupted by recorded messages announcing how the customer service officers are all busily engaged but I will be attended to shortly. I’m lucky if I get to speak to an actual person within 22 minutes, despite my call being of utmost importance.
So I dreaded this call to my library. You see, my phone died on me. Despite valiant resuscitation efforts, it became clear I needed a new phone. Fortunately, I’d backed up the old phone fairly recently so I was able to transfer data back from the computer, except for the ebooks I’d borrowed via the OverDrive app. Those books completely disappeared.
I reinstalled the app, logged back in, registered myself all over again … nothing. Now, I wouldn’t have minded if I’d lost my own ebooks. But these were library ebooks – would I now be liable for eternal e-fines because they would be forever overdue?
Life, as I’ve learnt, always has surprises.
A lady answered after five rings (yes, I counted). She was polite, cheerful and supremely apologetic that she was unable to help because she wasn’t familiar with OverDrive. If I would please hold, she’d transfer me to someone who could help.
Lionel Ritchie barely sang three bars before another lady answered. She patiently walked me through what I’d done, making encouraging noises along the way. Then she explained where I’d erred. I won’t bore anybody with the details but I understood her explanations, followed her subsequent instructions and – behold! – the ebooks were back in my new phone.
But she wasn’t done. She suggested I logged out and repeated the steps so I’d remember what to do “next time, just in case”. That done, she asked that I borrowed another book, just to check that the app was working fine. It was. She wished me well and said to call back if I had further problems.
It was the most pleasant conversation I’ve ever had with anyone from customer services. Cynics might interpret this as, ‘well, it’s a library, not the ABC Store with 250 call-ins a day’ but I don’t think it changes how pleasant and helpful the ladies were. The second lady, in particular, was unbelievably kind enough to go the extra mile: she could have hung up after my books were downloaded.
Some of you may have noticed a change in my blog theme. Some of you may have even noticed this is the third change in as many days.
You see, I’d wanted to tweak the blog a bit, given that it’s been two months since I first posted anything (has it?!). Then I discovered the theme I’d been using has been retired. So I chose another one but somehow it didn’t feel right. I left it for a day and couldn’t see myself keeping that look.
This morning I made the decision to change the theme again. I sat down and devoted myself to selecting something that would be restful and pastel, inspired by those awesome macarons (and a quick lesson on the difference between a macaron and a macaroon, which led to more pictures of awesome treats … ).
Then came fonts and headers and colours. Did I want a header image? Did I want to use combination fonts? Should I have drop caps? By the time I was done, it was two hours later. The whole process was a maze in tech-land. Can you tell I’m not a techie?
Long story short, it’s done.
Thank you all for your support and for dropping by, reading, liking and commenting. I hope you like the makeover.
It was barely 9:00 am and it was already one of those mornings. The printer had a mysterious paper jam that nobody could find, the photocopier had run out of toner but nobody knew where the spare was and if there was one, the discussions were frustratingly unproductive … you know, those mornings.
Then the message came for us to head to the break room. Our automatic response was: what else had gone wrong now?
Turned out: nothing.
One of our colleagues had brought trays of muffins in various flavours and wanted us all to partake before they all got cold. And he (yes, he) had also refreshed the coffee makers so the first cups were on the way. The man had woken up early to bake because he felt it was ‘the right day’.
He was a tad late for work but nobody minded, not even the boss. He had completely turned the day around with one giving, gracious gesture. Thank you.
This recent weather calls to mind a trip years ago, when the family and I were scheduled on a flight out of Newark to Washington, DC.
That day, it rained. And rained. And rained some more. Some might say the rain was mild compared to what’s happening now, but the impact was no less dramatic.
The Airport was chaos; all flights were cancelled, passengers were frazzled and staff were overwhelmed. We were presented with the option of staying somewhere – no guarantees of a room anywhere – overnight and hopefully get a flight out the next morning, or taking the train.
We chose the train. There was a mad dash to get to the station where, by some miracle, there were five seats left on the train leaving in 17 minutes.
The train arrived and we boarded, after some fumbling with the luggage, with no idea where these miraculous five seats were. We eventually found two seats in one carriage, with one seat in another. The problem was, the two seats were single ones.
Ordinarily, The Man and I would have had no problems sitting separately. But a three-hour journey with a six-year-old? Separated from either parent? With one parent in another carriage? Not an ideal situation.
I plonked The Munchkin into the nearest vacant seat, and prepared to ask if anyone minded swapping seats, beginning with the occupant of The Munchkin’s companion seat. Then the train started moving. And I heard a voice.
“Need a seat together, do you?”
Well, yes please, but who spoke? Several rows down, a gloved hand waved. And a tall man heaved himself out of his seat.
“Well, come on, then. Come sit here so I can go sit over there.”
So the seat swap took place and The Munchkin and I sat together all the way to Union Station.
I will forever be thankful to this complete stranger who made all the difference on this journey. I thanked him then, and I’ll say “thank you” again now.