Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Elsa naps between the Christmas stocking pillow and the soft doll angel

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am extremely grateful that I don’t have to travel over these holidays, especially with the weather problems and the fact that airlines aren’t actually interested in providing service for customers, just taking as much money away from them as they can. At this point, most of the major airlines deserve to tank. They’ve been in business for enough years so that when they’re hit with bad weather, they should be able to reshuffle their schedules and planes in order to get people WHO PAID THEM where they’re going in a timely, safe, and pleasant manner. That includes providing food and hotel vouchers in bad weather, or setting up food and shelter areas in the terminals — not expecting people to sleep on the floor and continue to pay outrageous terminal prices to eat during the ordeal. The new legislation limiting time on the tarmac is an improvement, but not enough.

I didn’t have that many errands to do yesterday, but I forgot to to mail my letters at the post office. I walked right BY the post office, but I was so excited about the Buche de Noel I bought that I forgot!

And you gotta watch those clerks at CVS. The one up the street from me is dreadful; the ones a few miles out are fine. But everything I needed to do was in walking distance, so I went to the dreadful one. I bought what I needed, she rings it up, and tells me the total. I hand her a bill and say, “Give me a minute and I’ll get you the change,” and I start counting the change out.

She looks at the bill, sneers at me, and says, “That’s not enough.”

“I SAID I was getting the change.”

She rolls her eyes at me.

No, I did not haul off and bitch slap her, although she deserved it. I kept digging for my change, then looked at the total and said, “That’s not right. You overcharged me.”

She rolls her eyes again. I pull out the item and show her the price on the sticker, which was several dollars less than what she rang up. She rolled her eyes AGAIN. I put my hand in my pocket this time to keep from slugging her and said, “So, you see, now YOU need to give ME my change.”

She voided the price, re-entered it, handed me the change with this “uh!” noise, and I said, “Cut the attitude, chickie, this is your job.” The manager wandered by and asked if there was a problem. I said, “If you won’t hire the competent, at least hire the polite” and walked out.

We all have bad days, but when you are dealing with customers, it is your job not to take it out on them. I’ll always start with politeness, but if you push me, I WILL push back, and if you start something with me — especially when you’re wrong — you WILL be sorry.

Remember when I said I couldn’t remember if a Mars retrograde made me stand firmer or stand down? Obviously, it makes me stand firmer. In other words, do NOT get in my face for the next two months, until it goes direct again! 😉

On the flip side, the staff at the French bakery were absolutely delightful. I walked in, and it was like entering a Wonderland. Turns out all the ex-pat French, French Canadian, and Brits in the area hang out there, so I’ll probably start spending more time on site! Anyway, I get in and see that they’re offering the Buche de Noel by the slice — and they’re lovely. The woman behind the counter asked if she could help me and I asked if I could buy a whole Buche. She said, “But of course!” and proceeded the delicate task of rearranging everything in the glass cabinet so she could get at it, packing it beautifully, and making sure the box was in a convenient bag. I admitted I was buying one because I was too much of a coward to make one, and she said, “And that’s why we’re here.” Totally lovely people. If they had eclairs, I’d be there every day.

I will still frequent the Salzburg Patisserie (which is only two blocks away as opposed to five), because it is wonderful, I’ve gone there for years, and I love their quality. But I will ALSO go to this French bakery.

And yes, I’ve scoped out bakeries in the areas in which I plan to relocate! A good bakery in the area is as vital to me as a good bookstore!

I have to do an errand for my mom and then pick up the turkey for Christmas Day dinner. I marinated the pork roast this morning, so by the time I put it in the oven tomorrow, it will have marinated for 30 hours. Just perfect.

Excellent writing day yesterday. Really pleased with the progress. The piece I’m working on has hit just the right tone — it’s funny and a little scary and a little sweet. Wish that had happened, like, three weeks ago!

We received the final packages we expected, and got confirmations on all the stuff that’s shipped. One more big box will be delivered to the family in Maine on Christmas Eve. Wolferman’s has been my go-to place for food gifts this year. Their quality is terrific, prices reasonable, and they are completely reliable. Great quality and great customer service means I’ll keep coming back. And no, they didn’t give me anything to say that! 😉 Actually, I’m about to shoot an email to them thanking them for their lovely service.

Guess what? The bookstore in town that was supposed to close in January has been saved. There was such an outcry, it’s staying open. It’s tiny, it’s not very efficient, and it rarely has what I need — but it’s there, and I do use it, so I’m grateful. Christmas miracle, anyone?

Violet says that we have to have play time RIGHT NOW, so I’ll play with her for a bit before going back to the page.

Happy day, all!



  1. Have a wonderful day. 🙂

    I’ve noticed when clerks do it right. The young man at Bath and Body Works greeted me with a huge smile that radiated throughout his being. He was polite and sincere. When you notice it, it’s special.

  2. Loved reading through the run-down of another’s day! Your CVS visit sounded like a TJ Maxx one I had recently (complete with rude youth, who acted like I’d asked the world of her, not just her job), and I’ve vowed not to go to that location again.

    On another note, thanks for stopping by my blog, Something She Wrote, in support of missing person Kathleen McBroom. It’s great to spread the word!

    Merry Christmas!

  3. I hear you on the bakeries. I stop in at a couple old-world type bakeries here in the south end of Hartford every Christmastime. Amazing pastries and spinach pies for our holiday table. Have fun with Violet, too … If she’s anything like my cat, 10 minutes play, 4 hours nap 😉

    Have a very Merry Christmas, with all best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

  4. Checking you out at Natalie’s suggestion and love your blog (especially the name. lol). SO glad to hear a bookstore was saved! Merry Christmas and look forward to following you from now on. 🙂
    Click for my holiday message!

  5. Ha ha ha – LOVE your response. Mine would depend on what mood I was in. So that’s either sickly-sweet-with-sugar-on-top or you-start-it-I’ll-finish-it.

    I had someone yesterday put my change down on the counter. So I kept my hand held out until she picked it up and gave it to me properly, and then I took an eternity standing in the way of everyone else while I put it nicely in my purse (wallet). I put my money in her hand, least she can do is put my change in mine.

  6. I love your picture! Adorable!

    I hate getting overcharged. Happens all the time.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  7. When I was in HS I worked in retail and ALWAYS was polite, poor customer service grates on my nerves. I complained to a company about this last month, about the service at one of their temporary kiosks in our mall.
    The bakery sounds lovely! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  8. Sweet kitty. I can never remember to post letters either, and all I need to do is stick them in my mailbox. I agree about a good bookstore and bakery making a town. It’s good to hear yours has been saved. So nice to connect with you. Have a Happy Christmas!

  9. I’m so glad to hear that the bookstore was saved.

    Good customer services mean repeat service.

  10. The weather has been very bad indeed. Going out? ‘fraid no.

    Merry Christmas.

    Greetings from London.

  11. First of all, I love Elsa. She is doing what I want to do for Christmas.

    Secondly, The airlines are without mercy. They don’t care. They just want the money.

    #3 Today, I went to the grocery store and vowed to be nice. I didn’t just wisk by everyone, I looked at them. It really changed me…and those around me. Not one nasty person did I witness.

    Play, Violet, play.

    I wish you the best of the holidays. I really enjoy reading your blog.


  12. Just the idea of not having a bookstore to go to is very depressing isn’t it? I have to second your Wolferman’s recommendation. We got a box from them this year and I froze some of the muffins to save for Christmas morning – outstanding!
    Have a great holiday, Devon.

  13. Aw, bless. That’s a wonderful pic of Elsa.

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Devon!

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