Ordering a Book is Easy isn’t It?

It’s going to be a rant, like the old days. I have been looking at buying some books and normal I go to Amazon because I can collect nectar point if I go through the nectar website, however Amazon did not stock this particular book and would be charging the princely sum of £2.80 to have it shipped to my front door. ‘Forget that for a bag of coal’ I said to myself and quickly began to type the book into the Google and with my mouse I hovered my pointer over the side tab of ‘Shopping’ and clicked. Like magic Google once again came up trumps and displayed several stores that stocked the book, all would charge for the privilege of placing it in the post. ‘This won’t do, it just won’t do…. Hang on… Whats this? Waterstones, cheaper and free delivery”.

Quickly I logged on and created an account, and chose for it to be sent to the store as I always miss the post at home and end up trekking to the post office with the postman’s calling card of ‘Sorry we missed you while you were in, but we could be bother pressing the door bell card’.  Other shops, like Sweatshop will email you when the order has been dispatched, email you to tell you it’s arriving at the store, and then the shop itself will phone or email to say it’s ready for collection. I ordered my book, and the next day got an email to say it has been dispatched. I quickly marched to the store a couple of days later.

“Hello I have a book to collect”

“Whats the name?”

“Mr Scott”

With that the assistant went to the other end of the large counter and unlocked a cupboard to reveal tens of books piled in no order and slowly started to sort through them to find my paid for item.

“I’m sorry Sir, it’s not here. Did you get an email?”

“Yes, a couple of days ago”

“Oh I’m sorry Sir, we don’t have control of them, as it’s just sent to out to the store”

Don’t have control, don’t have control, surly HQ must send a list of which orders are being posted to them, so when they arrive they can tick them off, and maybe being that you work in a book store you could put the books in boxes grouping letters together that corresponds to Surnames. This went on for a week, until a helpful shop assistant phoned the internet help line, and was told I should wait 10 working days as it’s being sent with royal mail before they can do anything. At no point did it say this when I purchased the book and selected for it to be sent out. ‘Items may take ten working days to arrive’ Plus I thought being it was coming from the warehouse they would place it on the same wagon as the shops orders and customer orders taken over the counter. If I had know they would have sent it by royal mail to the shop, like any old address I’d have picked my own house. At least that way I would have got a ‘We couldn’t be bothered to knock on so your parcel is at the sorting office’ card.

The annoying thing is when I was a kid to earn some extra money I worked in a photo shop, and as peopled dropped of their holiday films off, I would place them in the wallets, and scan it into the computer, it would then be sent off and the warehouse would scan the wallet, and develop the film, and scan it again. It would then arrive back and I would scan it into our system. In short you could type the customers name into the system and see where the package was along the production line. So when said customer came in to pick up their snaps, rather than going to the boxes with marked indexed cards you could type the name into the computer and see it had arrived back, before trawling through the hundreds of wallets.

The point all be it a long one, and like the road to Norwich from Manchester I have taken a long time to reach my destination, is that Waterstones could do something similar. The warehouse could scan the book out and when it arrives the shop could scan it in. When a customer comes in to say “I got the dispatched email” the shop could look to see if it had arrived, if it had then they could go to the cupboard behind the counter and look at the index card marked ‘S’ that contained all orders for customers whose surname began with ‘S’

It’s really not that hard, my teenage job was doing this simple system 15 years ago, why Waterstones can’t do it I have no idea, and the best part is the staff don’t care. They just shrug it off and say ‘not out department’ or ‘we don’t deal with it’ or ‘we can’t check as we don’t know what has been ordered or being sent to us’ All those things may be true, but the store could be notified that they will be receiving a book for such and such, in this world of automation it is not hard to write a simple program that generates an email to go to the store.

Anyway the book has a arrived, and I will soon be reading it once I have picked it up.

The lesson here is stick to what you know, and maybe for the price of postage staying with Amazon would have been better.

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A Call to all Runners

Very short post. As many of you know who follow me you will know that I have trouble running at a slow pace, well on the run today, I was running at a slower pace than I have been use to. Still far to fast to keep it up for more than 13.1 Miles but never the less, I was not doing my 6 miles in the usual 45 minutes. Now I put this down to one reason and one reason only and that is the music that is pumping into my ears. I always put my music onto a random selection so I will occasional have some up beat rock followed by some Miles Davis and then some dance track only to be slowed with a bit of Leonard Cohen. Surprisingly I normal keep within the same pace I have set out with even with a mix of songs, unless there is four or five up beat tracks and then I will up my game.

The question is what do other people listen to. I need my music to keep me company, unless I am running some where new and scenic and as I run for longer the idea of keeping myself company for two hours is not a thrilling one, after all I do know how boring I am. I do read these blogs back (the spelling and grammar mistakes may suggest otherwise)

However while I was out running the other day, there were two tracks that came on back to back from the same album, and I suddenly found myself slowing right down, and enjoying the running while listening to the words. The Album was ‘Jeff Wayne War of the Worlds’ this made me hit upon the idea that maybe I need to run to audio books. So here’s the question.

1. What do you run to?

2. Do you listen to Podcasts or audio books and if so which ones?

3. Which books would you recommend are worth a listen, (I’m not a big reader but I have done all the usual suspects) But are there some good books out there read by good actors that are better listened to than being read. I always enjoy the Radio 4 play and book at bedtime when I’m driving so maybe I have been missing out on this hidden world and lets face it I don’t want to be running around Manchester for 26.2 miles to ‘Soul Wax and 2 Many DJ’s’ at 6 min/mile. I do want to still be alive come the finish line.

Oh well I will leave to you many readers to discuss.

And before anyway says anything I know that Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds also has music in it, but it was the scripted story and narration that helped to slow me down.

Welcome to ‘Jurassic Park’ (Again)

I’m writing this as I have just started and almost finished a book. The book is Jurassic Park and I have forgotten how good it is. Truly is great. It is a real page turner and so much better than the film. Don’t get me wrong I love the film, and have seen it several times and have  read the book twice despite the thumbed copy that I own giving the impression of more reads.

I can remember that I begged my mother to buy me the book from the newsagent, saying that I would go without sweets for week. She gave in and I got my copy of the must have book in my class. You see me and mt mates were Dino freaks. Real dino freaks. we all had the Magazine ‘Dinosaurs’ and had all the books and sticker albums. I could name and spell several Dino’s, I was basically a nut case. Everyone else who didn’t understand thought we were on the craze with the rest of country as the Film was about to be released. But the truth was we had been Dino fans for a good few years before Stephen had shouted action on the first scene.

I remember reading one chapter of the book where Denis Nerdy gets his intestines ripped from his stomach. reading this paragraph when I was ten eating my chocolate fingers in bed is a feeling that I will never forget. And as I re-read that paragraph the other night I felt the same sickening sensation go through me. The book is amazing and I wished they had kept more faithful to the novel when they turned it into a film. As Grant hates kids in the film, buts loves them in the book, many characters who die in the film stay alive in the book with the exception of Nerdy and the computer guy. The only good thing about the film is that Lex is not an annoying little brat who should have been eaten by the T-Rex. She is one of the most annoying and irritating moaning whingeing little girls that any author has put pen to paper. The Novel is easy to read and is a true page turner. You are always looking over your shoulder and feeling the immense pain of those who get savagely attacked or the high emotions of being lost in a prehistoric world where you have no control of life or destiny.

But hey, that is my favorite book at the moment, and I am loving reading it again. Jurassic Park is one of those books that I can read again and again. There are not that many. If you have failed to read it then I recommend you hurry to the book shop and buy one. I would lend you my copy but it seems to be falling to bits as several people have also thumbed the pages of this extinct world.