Monthly Archives: January 2013

John Lewis Your Delivery Sucks


by Jake McMillan

Zanussi ZWG5148P Washing Machine

I’ve written a few silly letters in my time, but this time I have a very legitimate complaint about the exceedingly poor delivery service provided by John Lewis.

Mr Lewis,

Do you mind if I call you John?

John, I need to tell you a tale. It starts as an ordinary tale of a man ordering a washing machine and a kitchen tap and ends  … well, this epic tale has only just ended and I’m not sure I have taken it all in yet.

 I live with my wife Judy and have recently taken in her emotionally-challenged sister Maggie. Maggie’s troubles are too numerous and involved to get into, but her arrival a few months ago has caused a massive increase in the use of our ageing washing machine. Hence the order of a new Zanussi ZWG5148P Washing Machine from your website, that and a new kitchen tap.

This online order triggered two delivery phone calls from you. Not from you personally John, of course. The first was to arrange delivery of the washing machine, this would take place sometime between 7am(!) and 1pm. The second call was to arrange the delivery of the tap. The latter was a lengthier call than expected as I was quizzed on what floor I lived on, whether there was parking? a lift? etc. Both items were set to be delivered on the same day.

Delivery day arrived and I arose from a poor night’s sleep (Maggie had been having more of her troubles) eager to receive the new washing machine and for the old one to be taken away. At 10am, the buzzer buzzed and I ran down to see one of your vans with my brand new washing machine.

My happiness was squashed after a short exchange with your burly delivery gents.

“Sorry mate, we don’t deliver to the third floor, you need the 3-man heavy lifting crew who have the proper trolley”.

Maggie’s friend Keith had come over to have some bagels and offered his kind services to help. I enquired if I could borrow your trolley and we could take it up to the flat ourselves? A resolute “No” was the answer. There was concern I would sue if your trolley broke. I said I wouldn’t, but that didn’t seem to be enough.

Further discussion revealed that this trolley could be used to deliver to first floor properties. I persuaded your delivery chaps to take my new washing machine to the first floor and then Keith and I carried it up the remaining two floors and installed it. They couldn’t take away the old one but would arrange for a 3-man crew to come and collect it as soon as possible.

Was this the first washing machine you have delivered in London John? I hate to break it to you, but there are probably millions of the population who live above the 1st floor and so maybe you should perhaps ask about this before organising a delivery? Just a suggestion.

30 minutes later a separate truck of yours arrived. Despite them having all the information on which floor I was on and the location of the car park, I still ended up having to go out on the street to collect the kitchen tap. The delivery man could not find the package in his van and so I was left hopping about in the freezing cold until he eventually located it.

Fast forward three weeks and the old washing machine is still yet to be picked up. I had a missed call and the long rambling voicemail was from one of your colleagues asking to know if the washing machine had been picked up or not as they didn’t have the information? I helped plug this gap in your knowledge and I had another missed call from an unknown/withheld number asking me to call back at “my convenience” to arrange the pickup. Of course, the message didn’t leave a phone number so I couldn’t actually call back. Another missed call supplied this information and a reference. I called back, but apparently there was only one person I could speak to about this and they were not there, but they would call me back.

I did get a call back a couple of days later. I was told that one of your trucks was 3mins away to collect the washing machine?! No one had told me, but I happened to be home that day so all was good. The buzzer buzzed and I ran down again to meet your colleagues.

They ask, “What floor you on?”, “I’m on the 3rd floor”.

“Is there a lift?”, “No, just stairs”.

“Oh, you need the 3 person crew and a special trolley for that”. They drove away quicker than you can say ‘spin cycle’.

Phone calls and apologies ensued and was told this Friday that a 3-man team would come and collect the washing machine. They would come between 7am – 1pm. Despite another night of Maggie difficulties, I was up and ready to receive your colleagues from 6.50am.

In the end, they were only 2 hours late (3pm arrival) and it was simply a joy to watch the professionalism of these three men: one man put the washing machine on the trolley, one stood in front of it just in case and the other chatted to his friend on his mobile.

So thanks John! Thank you for turning something that should have been a very straight forward simple tale into an epic tragedy. Or is it a comedy? I can’t quite figure it out.

Best,

Jake, Judy and Maggie

 

Related Posts:
Service as Quick as Coal
A Complaint About The New Forest
A Complaint About Vagisil


Poll: Would you rather be a Starship Captain or a Ghostbuster?


by Jake McMillan

Ghostbuster Vs Starship Captain

It’s 2013 and you have a choice to be a Starship Captain or a Ghostbuster? Which would you rather be?

Both have their positives and negatives (see below).

STARSHIP CAPTAIN

Positives
– Adventure of discovering new worlds
– Meet aliens (maybe even sexy ones)
– You’re the boss
– Travel at light-speed
– Battle other species
– Act as ambassador/diplomat for humankind
– Use cool technology

Negatives
– Star travel day to day will likely be very boring
– You may never meet aliens, you may spend years on a floating office only to discover some new fungi
– You have to wear the same uniform every single day
– You are away from friends and family for a very long time
– Everybody hates the boss
– You will very rarely go outside and breathe normal air
– The food is likely to be very boring and not fresh
– You might die

GHOSTBUSTER

Positives
– You’re a famous hero with the potential of saving your city from a disaster of biblical proportions
– Day to day you tackle the paranormal and meet people from other dimensions
– You get to wear the Ghostbusters uniform and proton pack
– You work with a fun close-knit team
– You live in an old fire station and get to use a fireman’s pole
– You get to drive in the Ectomobile and sound the siren as you race through town

Negatives
– There are no such thing as ghosts
– Nobody calls
– The only clients you have are mostly insane in the head
– It’s basically a glamorous janitorial role
– Your life as you know it may stop instantaneously and every molecule in your body explode at the speed of light if you cross the streams
– If you fail there will be human sacrifices, dogs and cats living together and mass hysteria

 –

My friend Adam and I discussed this at length as we had opposing views. The argument resulted in with us both wanting a Holodeck, but no definitive answer to the actual question.


My Dark Secret Revealed


by Jake McMillan

Reveal a Secret

I am making public a dark secret I’ve kept hidden for nearly 15 years now. I’ve already told a couple of close friends and they are appalled and disgusted. One of them has barely said two words to me since I let them know.

However, I can’t keep this in any longer. I am not ashamed.

Society should be able to accept me for who I am.

[takes a deep breath] well here goes … I like Dawson’s Creek. I liked it when it was on originally and I still like it now (I’m currently re-watching it).

People have often mocked it for having teenagers that talk like 30 year olds, but I love it for it. 

As a movie geek, what’s not to like about a central wannabe film-maker character (James Van Der Beek) who is obsessed by Spielberg and that has many episodes with homages to classic films, e.g. The Breakfast Club? It was all about relationships, not just romance, but friendships and family relationships from both a male and female perspective. It could be dramatic, it could be funny, it had a good heart but wasn’t completely up its own bottom that it couldn’t be self-deprecating  at times.

Dawson's Creek Title

Also, what’s not to like about the beautiful and lovely Katie Holmes (Joey) and Michelle Williams (Jen)? All the main and supporting characters grew with each season and became more developed as people as their characters became more experienced in life. They started as young adults and the show finished when they had grown up.

Created by Kevin Williamson (of Scream and Vampire Diaries fame), Dawson’s Creek ran for 6 seasons from 1998 – 2003 (128 episodes in total).

It was one of those shows, a bit like Friends, that people absolutely loved in the beginning and then later it became cool to knock it. Friends has become cool again, maybe the same will happen of Dawson’s Creek?

Anyway, stop your judging. I like Dawson’s Creek. Deal with it.


Me and My IM Nail (Part 8) – 3 years on


by Jake McMillan

<<< Me and My IM Nail (Part 7) – 2 Years on

Broken Tibia X Ray

X Ray of IM Nail in Tibia

Three years ago I broke my tibia (see X-ray above) and fibula and the brand new term IM Nail (Intramedullary Nail or Rod) was introduced into my life … and my leg. Three years on I can still remember the pain, thankfully I don’t have that any more. Since the accident I’ve been blogging about my recovery as there was so little  information about it on the internet.

Unfortunately, three years later, there still seems to be very little information out there. However! One positive has been all the people who have taken the time to get in touch with me and comment on this blog to share their experiences of going through the recovery as well. A massive thank you to all who have commented and especially those who have said kind things as I really did not expect anyone to read my long posts about limping and pictures of scars and hairy legs.

For those who are not aware or have not yet filled it in, I have put together a short survey and will produce and share the findings with everyone. I’m just waiting until there are a 100 responses, with 80 people having filled it in so far (at the time of writing).

Scars and bruising
Over the three years the scars and bruising have gone down, but have not completely disappeared. Being a hairy-legged man helps cover them up.

Bruising and Scars after 3 years

So, three years post operation how is my leg doing generally?
It’s very similar to being a normal leg, it just has niggles. For example, if I leave it in one position it feels stiff/sore and kneeling on it is not comfortable (but is a bit better compared to a year ago I feel). There are some days it feels better than others, but generally speaking I can walk about, run and dance as badly as I ever did.

I am still cautious when it is raining and slippery, as if I expect my leg to cause a problem and always feel relieved when it is perfectly fine. I was in Singapore in March last year and I was wandering around, exploring after it had been raining and on a slippery stone I managed to fall straight down to the ground on my bad leg. It was just a case of poor grip, but I was so happy that I hadn’t hurt my leg or broken or bent my IM Nail I actually forgot the embarrassment of falling over in front of lots of people.

I haven’t done a lot of sports or exercise this last year but that has nothing to do with my IM Nail, it is been more me not making the time and effort to do it. I fully aim to do much more this year (we all say that don’t we?).

Last Sunday, I went to Richmond to meet some friends and I did so with some trepidation as it was a repeat of the exact same activities I did three years ago that ended up with me breaking my leg on my way home at Clapham Junction Station. I’ve been to the station and walked through the underpass (where I actually fell over and broke my leg) many times before so it should not really have been a big deal.

However, a friend made a joke over Facebook that they would break my other leg. They did not mean or intend any malice by this, just making a joke, but I did not take it in my normal good humour and realised that breaking my leg, the operation and its recovery was still a big deal. Apart from the pain and discomfort of the main recovery period, I was self-employed and it meant I couldn’t fulfil a contract that January or go for one the following month. I almost went bankrupt and barely managed to get by. My attitude remained positive, but it was a really tough time that I would not want to go through again.

In Clapham Junction Station Underpass

In Clapham Junction Station Underpass

As I walked through the underpass at Clapham Junction station last weekend I remembered the time laying on the ground 3 years ago whilst my friends decided that I actually did need medical attention (I had told them to leave me and I would hobble home to bed). I hoped I would not have a similar fate that evening. I am pleased to report that on my journey home I had completely and utterly forgotten about the accident and that it completely escaped my mind. Although, to give full disclosure, I had realised I was totally desperate for the loo and that was utmost on my mind. Nevertheless, although it’s something I still think about, the whole incident is very much in the past and the ongoing niggles of my leg don’t affect my life or bother me that much.

Will I have the IM Nail removed?
I have given this some thought and have still not yet arranged an appointment with a consultant to discuss this. I will do this as would like to know more information and will, of course, share it here. I would like to remove the IM Nail as would prefer it not to be in my leg, I think most people feel this way, but the question is whether it is worth the risk of further complications and pain. It does worry me what happens if I have another accident, how the metal might cause more damage, but then I cannot predict how bad that accident would be anyway? Some have had very successful removals and I know others where it has not given the desired result and caused further pain and problems. As I don’t get much discomfort and it doesn’t really prevent me from doing anything I think a consultant would say there is not enough justification to do it.

Sharing Your Experiences
Please keep doing this, I will continue to keep updating this blog and it really does help others to hear about as well as give support to others going through the same or very similar experience.

Thank you again to everyone who has contributed to the blog and wishing you all the very best with your recovery!

Jake


Sainsbury’s Lovers Bagels


by Jake McMillan

Sainsbury's Pack of 4 Multigrain Bagels

I’ve written another letter.

You know, one of those silly complaining ones like I did to Hampshire Council about the New Forest not being new, and to Combe Inc. complaining about the name ‘Vagisil’ or even my application to the English F.A. to be the new England Manager. This time it was to British supermarket Sainsbury’s about their lack of lovers bagels.

‘Lovers Bagels’, or now  just ‘LBs’, is what my flatmate and I call Sainsbury’s multigrain bagels (shown in the photo above). I am not that much of a bagel fan but these ones are really, really good and they are only £1.00 for a pack of four.  However, they run out very quickly at my local Clapham Common store so if I see them I will get them for my flatmate and I, and he does the same for me. Even so, there have been many times we have gone in only to find they have run out. I decided to write a letter … but in my own special way. I found out the name of the manager of the store and posted to him the following:

*** IN CONFIDENCE ***

Dear Vimal,

I am writing to you in the strictest of confidence to request that the bakery at your Clapham Common store make more of what I call Lovers Bagels and to which you have given the moniker ‘pack of 4 multigrain bagels’ (which you currently sell for £1.00). I’ve tried emailing you, but have not got a reply?

Out of all the bagels your store makes, these are most definitely the finest and tastiest. Many times I go into the store just to purchase these bagels and am too often very disappointed to see you have run out of them.

As a perceptive person you may have gathered that this request is not simply about my love for your bagels, it is about another love. An unrequited love.

You see Vimal, it is these bagels, Lovers Bagels or LBs as they are affectionately known by Keith and I, that are so much more than a baked yeasted wheat dough treat.

The thing is, and this must remain between you and I, Keith is the friend of my wife’s emotionally-challenged sister Maggie. He first started coming round last year and I gave him one of my bagels when seeking his marketing knowledge and insight for a cream project I was working on.

Keith loves these bagels as much as I do. If I am in your Sainsbury’s store I will buy them and share them when he comes round, or he will buy them and then share them with me.

I will text him with just two letters ‘LB’ and he will know.

This is why it is so aggravating that you run out of the Lovers Bagels so often.

Vimal, you will have experienced unrequited love I am sure. It hurts doesn’t it? Every time I go into the store and see the empty area on the bagel shelf, it feels like my heart has been ripped out … as it means I won’t get to see him.

You must put in place arrangements to make more on a regular basis, there is much more at stake than you realise.

Be a lover, be a baker.

Jake McMillan

[Below are scanned images of the actual letter sent, just in case you doubt how sad I actually really am]

Lovers Bagels Letter Page 1Lovers Bagels Letter

I waited for a month, but did not get a response. As I had gone to all the trouble of printing the letter and buying a stamp and everything, I sent a follow up letter and gave the option to reply to me by email. I am pleased to report, Vimal sent me a reply:

Vimal Chandarana Sainsburys Reply Email

A massive thank you to Vimal for responding professionally and with good grace/humour!

Also, since my original letter the availability of Lovers Bagels (and other bagels) has increased. They used to have just one shelf, now they have two!

Bagels Sainsburys Clapham Common December 2012