Search

Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

Category

Shopping

Keep a Look Out

I’m lucky. I haven’t heard of any packages disappearing off anyone’s porch in my neighborhood, but I know it happens. With two days ago being cyber Monday, today is the day people start looking for their purchases. I could be wrong, but I think this is the heaviest delivery day for  UPS, Fed EX and the post office. That being said, it is also the best day for thieves to spirit packages away from unsuspecting receivers.  Continue reading “Keep a Look Out”

Delivery Drivers

We have all become accustomed to on-line shopping, me included. But have you ever taken a moment to think about the driver of a UPS or Fed-Ex truck? My son is a UPS driver, going on 25 years with the company. His shoulders are shot from all the heavy lifting, the eighteen (or so) inch step out of and into the truck over 200 times a day has gotten to his knees and he gets to see his daughter on weekends, because at the age of five, she is usually in bed by the time he gets home at night. On an exceptionally light delivery day during the year he might get home by 7pm; between Thanksgiving and Christmas it is usually close to 10pm.  I’m not trying to complain, just educate. Yes, he makes good money, but it comes with a price. Continue reading “Delivery Drivers”

Keep Them Open

I’m guilty……I order from Amazon…..but only when I can’t find what I want locally. Why, you ask? It is so easy to shop in your pajamas, just look online and click that button to order. The excitement about getting a package builds, and the anticipation of your new whatever carries you through the waiting period, even if it is only two days.  Continue reading “Keep Them Open”

Cyber Monday

My sister has a new knee, Thanksgiving weekend is over, lots of us shopped on-line on Cyber Monday and are now awaiting our packages via the US mail, UPS or Fed-Ex.

Have you ever thought about the driver of a UPS or Fed-Ex truck? My son is a UPS driver, going on 23 years with the company. His body is shot from all the heavy lifting, the eighteen (or so) inch step out of and into the truck over 200 times a day, and he gets to see his daughter on weekends, because at the age of four, she is usually in bed by the time he gets home at night. On an exceptionally light delivery day he might get home by 7pm; between Thanksgiving and Christmas it is usually between 9 and 10pm.  I’m not trying to complain, just educate. Yes, he makes good money, but it comes with a price.

During the month of December a UPS driver can actually be fired for calling in sick, or taking time to go to a friends funeral. That’s where Mom gets to help. Today I will be going to the funeral of my son’s best friend’s wife, who died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 50. I am going with my daughter-in-law for moral support and as a stand-in for my son. It’s a priviledge to be able to do these things for my son, but it bothers him emotionally that he has to tell his wife, or friend he can’t be there for them because his job is at stake.

I’m not looking for sympathy, but empathy would be nice. Next time you get a package delivered whether from Cyber Monday shopping or any other day, think about the sacrifices your driver may be making to get that package to you on the day it is expected. And if that driver is a little crabby during the next month, think about the fact he/she might be letting his family down during this busy season. Thanks for listening.

Recognition Goes a Long Way

I’m not quite sure why they chose the above picture for Get to Know Your Customers Day.  I would have taken a picture of someone paying for something in a small retail store. Hopefully you have a good memory of a local Mom and Pop store where your parents shopped and the owners called them by name, or you now have a friendly coffee shop where you don’t have to tell the Barista how you want your drink prepared or a bartender that sets up your beer as you walk in the door.

I’m a name nut.  I can’t remember who sings what song, but I can probably tell you all the names of my high school class mates.  Mind you, there were only 72 in my graduating class.  I can even tell you which teachers were my older sister’s favorites.  When my children were dating, they didn’t tell me about a new interest without being able to tell me who she/he was related to in our area because they knew I would ask.  My sisters call to ask about family connections from our original hometown when they can’t remember.

I worked in a quilting fabric store for thirteen years.  I could greet about half of the people that shopped there by first name.  It’s easy for me and I believe it made each customer feel welcome and special.  My boss might tell you I did too much personal talking with them.  I might agree with her, but I bet most of them aren’t greeted that way now that I no longer work there.  In fact, I had another of the employees tell me one day I made the rest of them look bad because I did use first names.  When I think of that comment it makes me sad.

My memory is not just about names.  I hear from friends and family that they enjoy what I share here; I write about people, passions and experiences that have become part of my life, some are pretty old.

The big box stores and on-line shopping have taken personal customer service out of our shopping experiences.  And we all know, getting decent customer service via telephone is often unsatisfactory.  There is an answer.  Shop local, in privately owned stores.  Introduce yourself to the owner and let them know they are meeting your needs.  You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get to know each other’s names.  I promise they will appreciate getting to know their customer.

National Mail Order Catalog Day

I’m not quite old enough to have torn a page out of the catalog to use in the outhouse.  I don’t think I missed anything.  I wonder if the youngsters of today would even know that actually happened.

The first “catalog” was just one printed page; put out by Aaron Montgomery Ward in 1872.  It eventually grew to 540 pages with 20,000 items.  Sears soon followed with their first edition in 1896.  The appeal was the middleman or store was eliminated so the prices were lower.  By 1971 there was 250 million dollars in just postal revenue.  That’s a whole lot of packages and excited faces when they arrived.

I remember both the Sear’s and Ward’s catalog arriving when I was a kid.  It was usually early fall so you could order “in time for Christmas”.  I would sit and go through it page by page with a magic marker circling all sorts of things I wanted.  (Skipping the ladies lingerie.)  Wanted is the key word there.  My mother was a very practical person and we usually got one want and lots of needs.  I still think that way.  My kids hate shopping for me because I don’t do frivolous well.  I ask for things like a hatchet, a tree branch trimmer, saw horses, fabric shop gift certificates.  You get the picture; things I can use.

The big department store type catalogs have disappeared as we now go to our computer to shop on-line.  It is so easy to type in the name of what we want, price check and often make our decision on who doesn’t charge for shipping.  My latest large purchase was a new battery operated hedge trimmer.  I shouldn’t admit how many times I cut the cord on my old one then had to splice the wires.  The new one isn’t much lighter but it sure is less of a production to use when the mood strikes.

I still get excited when my new fabric catalogs arrive from different sources.  If at all possible I shop at my local quilt shop, but every once in a while there is something in a catalog that I haven’t seen in a store and I succumb to temptation.

Since I retired I have gotten into the bad habit of staying in my pajamas unless I am going someplace.  When I am expecting a package I get dressed early so I can go out and get the mail as soon as it arrives.  The excited face when I see the box still happens.  Some parts of me will never grow up.

 

 

National Thrift Shop Day

I know someone who would never dream of wearing another person’s cast off clothes (because of germs.)  My feeling is if you give them a good wash, your body will never know the difference and your wallet will be happier.

I am jealous of the woman who can eat all day, and not gain any weight; or the one who no matter what she puts on, looks great.  I don’t fit in either category, and I like to eat.  Therefore, when I go to a thrift shop, the clothes that have the best selection are the size I have grown out of.  I didn’t get the exercise gene either.  I need to learn portion control, but what fun is that.  I am also short, so finding a pair of pants or dress that I don’t have to hem is almost unheard of.  The result is, I really don’t enjoy shopping.

In my locale we have Goodwill stores and multiple privately owned thrift stores.  We even have one that caters to the crafting crowd whose proceeds go to help local senior citizens.  I know some people who buy all their business clothes in thrift stores so they can afford to have more outfits to wear.  They are mostly those thin ladies I find irritating.  They are also the ones who stop at the second-hand shops on a weekly basis to make sure they don’t miss something good.

Last summer I bought a beautiful needle felted sweater at a craft show.  I was told the original sweater came from a thrift store.  It’s a beautiful maroon and has a huge dragon fly and flowers on the back.  I wear it proudly.  I also have a couple of blouses that I always get compliments on, an old leather coat that is going raggy on the cuffs, and a “new” one waiting for this winter; they are my “finds” from second-hand shops.

Every once in a while I get into a sewing project that requires nylon, leather, or silk.  Rather than try to find new pieces of fabric I go to the thrift store and buy something inexpensive that I can cut up then put the remains in my rag bag to wait for the next idea to strike.

If you are looking for bargains in the clothing or household area, visit your local thrift shop.  You may find an unexpected treasure.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑