I was expecting my new bath to arrive this lunchtime, so I decided to have my lunch early so I wouldn’t be busy when they came. They arrived early just as I was finishing my food and drinking my coffee.
It never fails, when you are expecting a delivery or a serviceman. Putting the kettle on always brings about the arrival. Perhaps they have an extremely good sense of smell and could retrain some as sniffer people for drugs or bombs.
I was travelling First Class both ways on my trip to Yorkshire yesterday.
Going up to York, I used East Coast Trains and although I got coffee, there was nothing else I could eat that was gluten-free. But it didn’t matter as I was going to see friends for lunch.
In some ways I often feel cheated in First Class, as others get all sorts of goodies and I get nothing. It’s usually worse at the weekend, as all that is available is sandwiches.
Coming back from Hull on Hull Trains, I effectively told the steward I was gluten-free by declining the biscuit with the coffee. So when it came to selecting the complimentary meal, she apologised and thought, they might not have anything suitable. But she did say they had one chilli left.
Now my chilli con carnes and many I’ve had in pubs and restaurants have been gluten-free! So I suggest that she checked and she returned a minute or so later with the packet and a big smile on her face.
The pouch said the food was suitable for coeliacs and I gave it a go. There’s more details on the food here.
Unfortunately, the tortilla crisps weren’t marked and I just chanced a couple.
The meal was excellent and I got no adverse reaction at all. So my gut liked it too! Perhaps, I should have had more of the crisps.
The steward then got the bit between her teeth and checked all the other things they served including the chocolate. Admittedly, First Class was by no means full.
After all coeliacs may not be that numerous, but statistics show that about one in a hundred of the UK population may have the disease.
The steward had certainly remembered the two things you don’t lose in any form of customer service; enthusiasm and your temper.
It was an enjoyable and enlightening journey after a bad day at the football.
So well done to Hull Trains and their staff! And especially to Steph!
I walked into Starbucks on Upper Street this afternoon at about five. It wasn’t busy and I was able to walk straight up to the till.
Before I knew it and without saying a word, a tall cappuccino in a mug had been placed by the till. I asked if it was for me and they said yes, as I handed over a fiver. Afterwards, I felt a bit mean, as I had just spun a five pence into the tip bucket. The speedy service deserved more.
I suppose I always have the same, so it’s easy to remember what I have! But even so, it’s rather professional behaviour.
I should say that I keep one credit card, my rail passes and my Freedom Pass in a little folder that I keep in my pocket, so I can just pull it out to touch the various Oyster readers on buses, trains and tubes.
On Saturday, I managed to lose the folder on a bus, as my nose was running so much, that I must have dragged it out with a tissue, which I was using every minute or so.
I’d just cancelled the credit card and reported the Freedom Pass as lost, when the bus driver phoned to say, he’d got the folder and would take it to the depot at the end of his shift at 19:00. He had got the number from a card I keep in the folder containing my e-mail address and mobile number.
So I went to the garage at Leyton at the time he said and after a few minutes he turned up and gave me the folder. So job done! Stagecoach didn’t even have a charity box for a reward, but I rectified that on-line to one of the charities I support.
By Monday, my Freedom Pass was reactivated and then yesterday, I got a new AMEX card.
So we may complain about service, but I can’t fault anybody here.
I just saw one of the most efficient pieces of cleaning, I’ve seen in a long time.
I had boarded a DLR train from Canary Wharf station towards Stratford, when I noticed the floor in one section was absolutely filthy. It looked like someone had spilt a full carton of coffee.
At the first station out of Canary Wharf, West India Quay, I was surprised to see a lady, in a high visibility vest enter the carriage, with what was best described as a good old-fashioned mop and pail in plastic. By Poplar, she had it finished and left the train and a beautifully clean floor.
Everybody was rightly impressed. The cleaner was even pleased that she finally discovered the errant coffee carton, that had hidden itself deep under a seat.
The trouble is that if I’m going to football, as I am today, it doesn’t really leave much time for me to get to the shops, as I have to leave by about midday to get the train.
So this morning, I got to the Angel, by bus at just after 8:30. I actually took a seventy-free, as if you sit at the back and get out of the rearmost door, it’s much easier to walk to the four shops, Carluccio’s and the physio, that I visit at the Angel.
Today, it was just Boots for some rat poison, Marks and Spencer for some gluten-free sarnies for the train and a beef Stroganoff for tonight and Waitrose for two large carriers of heavy stuff like alcohol and Coke. I went to Waitrose first and found that if I shopped immediately, could get it delivered before the start of Fighting Talk at 11:00. I think I rather caught them on the hop, but hopefully it’ll come on time. But I do have two hours of total float in my critical path, so if they come by one I’m OK.
The only problem, was that Marks didn’t have the gluten-free sandwiches, but then I’ll pass three of their shops that stock them on the way to Liverpool Street. If they don’t have any, then I shall complain. If there aren’t any, it’s probably because they are too good and all those food fadists on a gluten-free kick have snaffled them!
I was back home listening to Danny Baker by ten o’clock.
It sounds like I’ll be repeating this on Saturdays in the future.
The routine could be even better, if Carluccio’s opened at 8:00 for breakfast on Saturday, as they do in the week.
Update at 11:20 – Waitrose have just delivered, so I have plenty of time to catch the train to Ipswich, after scouring Marks for some gluten-free sandwiches.
Thinking about this post. When C and I lived near Newmarket we would go shopping early, often visit one of our horses in traing and then we’d generally be back home around eleven.
I suppose, I’m only repeating what we did together by myself. In some ways, it was easier in Suffolk, as Waitrose opened earlier. But then I had to carry the shopping from the car to the hall. Here, that is all done by the van driver from Waitrose.
Who said manners and service are dead.
I reported the ticketing problems, I had on Wednesday to National Express East Anglia by e-mail to the company yesterday morning. I received a reply late in the afternoon, which was in my view pretty quick, as they needed a bit more information. At ten o’clock last night, after an exchange of e-mails, the issue reached a conclusion, which was very satisfactory for me. I hope it was satisfactory for the company too, as it wasn’t anything serious and more of a computer or handbook glitch.
It just shows how companies can handle problems quickly if they put the right systems in place, with the right people manning them.
Other companies should take note!