No editions of the blog published over the last few days. Been a bit tardy I suppose. Not lazy, just tardy.
Obviously I got up , had the ‘must have’ mug (it can’t be a cup, it just has to be a mug) of black coffee and spent my ‘quality’ (well I consider it to be quality time) on the veranda (first floor, western side) with my iPad which provides me with access to the rest of the world. You can travel wherever you want without getting out of your seat!
So whatI have been doing to occupy so much of my time that I couldn’t spare some time to publish an edition or two I hear you thinking (really stupid expression that isn’t it. How can you hear someone thinking?).
Well, I had intended to spend some time clearing some of the debris from the around the house ((the guys had cleared a lot of rubbish (garbage for non UK readers) before Daniel Camal, the building contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize, ‘handed’ the house over to us)) but we are still coming across bits of PVC piping, off-cuts of tiles, empty plastic bottles, polystyrene food containers, bits of wood, etc. But the rain put a stop to that. Every time I felt the urge to start the clean-up the rain came down. And down. And down (is it really necessary to point out that the rain comes down? I’ve never heard of it going up!).
We continued to ‘do battle’ with Walmart to place orders for the stuff that we want to ship from the States for our new home.
We’d placed orders so many times only to then have them cancelled. I written to Mike Dukes he CEO and then I received emails from Sharon, a Resolution Specialist. So, last Friday morning we placed the orders again full of confidence (misplaced as it turned out) that THIS TIME all would go through smoothly. They didn’t -the cancellation emails hit my In Box in a flurry.
So I checked with my debit card company. No, they hadn’t blocked my card. Walmart had reversed the charges!
Another email to Sharon (copying in the CEO) and within a few hours I received a response from Elena (Sharon had taken a day off) of the Walmart Executive Escalation Unit promising that she would look in to the problem and try to resolve it.
We didn’t get too excited. We’d ‘heard’ this before. Our hopes were raised only to be deflated. Why would this promise be any different? Well it was.
Elena emailed me late in the day to advise that the Billing Department had identified the problem and fixed it and that we should re-order. We were pleased to receive this news but not so pleased that we set about re-ordering straight away but on the Saturday morning (knowing that Elena was working over the weekend -I’d asked in an email) we went ‘at it’ with a vengeance and within two hours (I’ve mentioned before the slow Internet speeds here in Belize) we had completed the process. So, we just sat back and waited for the ‘cancellation’ emails to arrive. Pessimists? You bet after the experience we have had.
But … they didn’t come. Thank you Elena. And Mike Dukes. It’s good to know that a CEO of a major, major company the size of Walmart gets so involved. Respect Mike, respect.
It would be remiss (and very rude) of me to bring this Walmart episode (or is it a serial?) to a close without mentioning (and paying tribute to) the very kind offer of Michael Johnson who has recently started to reading this blog.
Michael is a manager of a Walmart store (I have no idea where) and very kindly offered to “do what he could do” to help us place our orders. I declined his offer (well actually I asked if I could put it on hold. I believed that persistence would (eventually) pay off. I subscribe to the view that Calvin Coolidge espoused :” Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not : the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
I may not have talent. I might not be a genius. But, I am persistent.
We now look forward to all of the stuff that we have ordered because although we just love our new build a house is not a home until you have the creature comforts in it.
Walmart didn’t consume all of my time though. Rose and I managed to open a few more crates and reveal more ‘old friends’. Two of which (it feels like it should be ‘whom’ given that they are old friends!) I will share with you now.
Bought for me by Rose when she I visited Hong Kong (we also ‘took in’ Singapore and Thailand) in 1989.
I got this (I think) in 1993 when I was working for Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper business. Where, by the way, I enjoyed the best years of my working life making many friends, including my best friend (Rose is actually my best friend but you know what I mean).
I spent time (sheltering from the rain on the veranda) watching birds (haven’t a clue yet what they are but in time I will).
Foraging for food.
A study of contemplation?
House building. Been there, done that!
Yesterday (Sunday) Rose and I spent a little time placing orders on-line for our patio furniture and then decided to do what everyone else (well nearly everyone else) on island was doing. Enjoy ourselves. So we took a drive to town for lunch and a few Belikins and on the way took a few shots of other people enjoying themselves on a very sunny Sunday.
As I bring this edition to a close I’ll leave you with a few shots I took this morning of the sun coming up.
The headline for today’s edition is based on the single (released a the B side) in 1964 by Dionne Warwick which (although not a chart success remains one of my favourite songs) reached number seventy-one in the US Billboard Hot 100.