Category Archives: Simon And Garfunkel

Trying To Keep The Customer Satisfied

Yes, pretty much a major part of work in any call centre I’ve worked in, but in honesty, thats not what this is about. Well, there was one call centre that seemed to want to annoy their customers, but enough of that…

Loyalty cards, or more pertinent with many firms nowadays, loyalty accounts, without the card.

Yes, I’ve got a few, and its fair to say that they do influence my choices. Hotel wise, I’m always likely to give first glance to Choice Hotels, before others, because I’m a member of their scheme, and get respected, and treated accordingly. Indeed, its fair to say that if one of their hotels, and an opposition one offer a similar deal for LA next year, I’ll probably be loyal! See, they work!

For the same reason, 3, now 2 airlines always had a pull over others for the same reason. Delta, and their partners, and now, American Airlines (the other was US Airlines, who are now one and the same) have the same advantage over others. I am actually a Silver grade at Delta this year, but of course, never got the chance to use it! Ah well…

But yes, in terms of free nights, or cheap flights (you have to pay fees), I’ve not yet got enough to profit from them. Mainly because the hotels are pretty much all in the US, and the Airlines would require an international flight (far more points), but slowly, I’m getting there.

So fine, the more exciting freebies are still a little bit beyond me at present, but on a more mundane level… Especially when you’re trying to keep every penny possible, finding somewhere nearby, relatively cheap for lunch, while working, was pretty important. Thankfully there are 2 that fit that bill. So yes, I’m the proud owner of a Subway loyalty card, and slowly building up a few points on that. I have no idea how many points I have to get to for a free lunch, but someday I’ll get there! I also have no idea if I will be able to use it in the US, as well as the UK, but thats a while off, anyway.

But the pertinent one, is a lovely little bakery shop, called Greggs. So every time you buy a coffee, even as part of a lunch deal, you have this little card marked, and when you’ve bought 9, you are entitled to a free one! Wednesday, I bought my 9th coffee, with my lunch, and was due a free one. So when, on Friday, I had a straightforward journey to work (first time in weeks, due to roadworks), I arrived at work with a few minutes to spare, so I went and got myself a nice cup of coffee, for free!

I know, its only a small thing, but given it was my first reward for customer loyalty, hey, it was fun! I know, easily satisfied lol!

The video, for those as old as me, or with good memories, you make have worked it out. If not, wait no more…

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The interview, a drink, and some old friends

OK, lets try and catch up on things. I’ll own up to one issue with this, I cant for the life of me remember what I did Thursday. I know, blonde and all that, just calm compared to the other 3 days, so…Maybe I was time travelled back to the 30’s, to work in the movies as Jean, and they had to erase my memories afterwards (yes, I am joking, I think?), but anyway…

Wednesday was an early start for me, in the sense I had to leave here on the 10.00 bus. OK, fine, I can follow its progress online, and at some point it had got delayed, and only left about 10 past. As I say, the beauty is, I knew that, so had a few extra minutes here. Oh, I eventually let Jean Harlow influence me, and wore a white summer dress for the performance, some at least will get the connection.

The interview seemed to go fine, I had no idea the half hour was actually up until Alexia started winding things down, to be honest. Its garnered a few questions on Sqeeqee, so clearly a good number watched it at least. I think it went well, but I’ve had no comments on that line, nor any offers from generous benefactors, so who can tell? Fine, my lack of success has probably jaded me on such issues, so…

Afterwards, I headed to Universal Studios, not to make a movie, or to go in the adventure park, but for a bit of lunch. I then had 2 choices. I could either come back here, relax, and wait for the fan mail to come pouring in (ha ha), or I could travel out, and see a few more places. So, I did the latter. The Orange line of the metro doesnt have rails, or indeed a train. its a bus, but it doesnt travel on public roads. I went out to the Warner Centre, where maps were suggesting there was a shopping centre, so I thought I could have a coffee, or something, before heading home. OK, this is the shopping centre that the public forgot! Very few people, very few shops, so I gave up, and headed home the same way.

Thursday, as I say, if I ever remember what happened, I’ll let you know!

Yesterday, I started watching the play off game from Toronto, which started about 9.30 in the morning over here. My thought was that I would watch that, then head down into Hollywood, have a late lunch, and do a little sightseeing, before heading back here, to change into something vintage, and head for the Art Deco society cocktail soiree at Union Station. Fine, 14 innings, and about 5 hours later, the Toronto game ended. By which point, if I’d headed down town, I would barely have eaten, before I had to come back up here to change. So…I started watching the remains of the Kansas City game lol. I went with the blue summer dress, rather than anything more old fashioned, because it was very light, which was handy, given it was about 100 outside! Fine, its a 50’s look, but it was the most modern looking outfit by about 20 years! It was a lovely evening, but for 1 thing. Union Station lacks for air conditioning! Therefore, given the place was crowded, and the heat, oh my, it was hot.

You’ve noticed one thing, no main meal. So when I got back to Hollywood/Vine station, I went looking for somewhere quick (and hopefully cheap) to eat. I found a place called Feast, which fitted both roles, and was solidly filled by chicken, rice, and veg. Beyond the personal thing about firm veg, it was great for the price! Then, I walked it off, coming home.

Today was equally hot, I might add. (It was 99 earlier, now calmed down to 86, but this is after 7 pm!) Someone was booked on the Art Deco society guided walking tour of Hollywood Forever cemetery. Some of it was shaded, but unfortunately, most wasnt. Even with a bottle of drink, it was hot work, for over 2 hours! The tour was fascinating, and I now know a lot more of the history of LA, both in a movie, and business sense. Afterwards, I headed back into town, found somewhere indoors (and air conditioned) to eat, and took my time, allowing my feet to recover, and my body to cool down slightly!

One snag I’ve discovered over here, is that not all sites over here will take a UK credit card. They want a zip code in your billing address, I havent got one, so nothing happens. So I tried to get a movie ticket in person for tomorrow night, instead of online. I tried to explain this to the guy at the theatre, but he wasnt getting my message, and besides, their ticket office didnt open at weekends, so…! I came home, and tried my luck. Fortunately, its one of those sites where it does work. So tomorrow night, on a rooftop setting, I’m off to see Sunset Boulevard. Yes, the 1950 film, not the street, though the latter is not that far from the theatre! Given tomorrow night’s low is forecast at 70, I dont think I will get cold, even if I just wear a nice dress!

Further plans? Well, the same place is showing Breakfast At Tiffanys on Tuesday, so could well end up there. I know, a bit modern for me, but I’ll live. Yes, the Hepburn movie, not the music video from the 90’s! I also want to get to Pacific Palisades again, and Pasadena for the first. Beyond that, we will see?

Right, the video, before this hits 4 figures for words. You could say I met a few of these, from the movie past today

Railways and holidays

Here in the UK, in theory we get a new railway timetable every 6 months or so. Thing is, I’ve lived in Huddersfield since 2005, and as far as Trans Pennine Express is concerned at least, I dont think the times of the trains have changed in all that time…until now! Indeed the only change I remember between Huddersfield and Leeds, was when the 2nd stopping train an hour was switched away from us, to provide Brighouse with a better service.

But this Sunday, everything changes in a big way. From now on, we get an extra train per hour during the day en route, and more carriages too, not before time! Though the cynic in me does wonder if that just means one extra set of train delays per hour, or cancellations through them not having enough staff for the new service! But lets give them a chance…

The only irony with all this, because the stopping trains have also had to be tweaked, it means that when I finish at 8.00 or later (up to 9.15, due to getting a taxi on a 10.00 finish), I will lose out! My last race for the 8.13, or 9.13 stopper is done! That will now leave at 26 minutes past the hour, and assuming the .41 TPE train is on time, will be passed by it. Please note, I did say assuming! So now, not only will the .50 bus be impossible to get (always a piece of challenging fun), getting the o’clock one will be very tight, unless the train is bang on time. Yes, stop laughing back there, I know!

But during the day, it should, should be better, lets wait and see.

So today, I made my last journey on the old timetable, and yes, you guessed it, we were late! 6 minutes late leaving Huddersfield, increased to 15 by the time we reached Manchester Piccadilly. A hasty turn around, and with their lenient scheduling, we were about 10 late by the time we reached the Airport station.

Yes, Manchester Airport, as tomorrow I fly back to Jersey, after over 30 years. Yes, its fair to say it will have changed, and fine, I barely remember what it looked like anyway! So…but given people I knew back then, its still going to be sort of funny going back, especially as the hotel I stayed at is no longer there.

But yes, for the next week or so, you can get blogs from Jersey, if you’re good. What its like now, my reaction to returning, and other things too, I’m sure. So watch this space.

The video, perhaps the most famous song inspired by waiting at a rail station, something I was doing earlier today

Is it me, or is it me?

Its just one of those funny things, most places I go, or pass through, I dont worry too much about what people think of me, or about me, its not like I’m going to see most of them ever again anyway. So if someone laughs, or says something, I just walk on by and ignore them, its just the easiest way.

Its not like I’m controversial, I have worn a skirt out a few times, and no one has even blinked. I have even worn dresses out, but not often, and only in a group, I’m not that daft! Well, not strictly true, I walked across the block to the staff dinner last December in a dress, and heels, all on my own. But given it was a December night, not in the centre of Leeds, beyond the hotel reception area, no one was even going to notice it.

But as I lightheartedly (to some degree) posted on my Facebook account today, at work, I think it would be fair to say my nickname could be marmite. Yes, you know what I mean, it seems I’m either loved, or disliked, and seemingly nothing in the middle. Now, to be fair, you’re never going to be liked by everyone. Well, not genuinely so at least, though a few celebrities might think they are lol!

No, I’m not perfect, and not just in the transgender sense either. I’m a typical Yorkshire lass, with the habit of saying what I think, even if its not always the best thing to do. So yes, my bluntness, especially with a few delicate souls, might just annoy them somewhat. And agreed, I’d be amazed if there werent some who didnt dislike me, for not being the ‘perfect woman’ shall we say, in bodily form at least. I suspect there might even be a few who dont like me for both reasons, who knows?

Dont get me wrong, the vast majority are lovely, it might be with a few, that its only to my face, but thats fine by me. Its just those few that either ignore me as much as possible, or if they do have to look at me, just glare, and tend to walk on by without saying a word. Personally, if they do have a good reason for it, I just wish they would say what it is, but of course they never do. Dont get me wrong, I try to be nice to them, but sometimes its like hitting your head against a brick wall.

Alright, frustrations over, just been one of those days I guess?

In other news, I’ve seen the pictures of me, some of them are truly amazing, it has to be said. And yes, I will post at least a couple on here, in good time, but its likely to be a few weeks I gather. Seriously Boudoir Couture do some fantastic stuff, so if you want some glam pics done, either Google the name, or ask me for details, I’ll happily provide.

Sadly the new story seems about as popular as the plague at present, not sold one copy yet. ūüė¶ Alright, the fact that people can read it for free elsewhere may play a part with my reader market, but all the same…So a little reminder

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/merrybrooks

They are also available at Amazon, and a few other good ebook stores, if you prefer, or certainly if you own a Kindle.

Alright, advert over.

The video tonight, is one by a pair of performers who I only regret never having seen live in the flesh. Never got to a reunion concert, and probably never will now, but I wish I had. Some would say this title is in tribute to a few at work

Letter From America

Yes, this really is, from my suite I’m staying in here in Boston for the week. And yes, there were only 2 songs that came to mind for this blog, Simon and Garfunkel lost out, no prizes for working out which song. So if you want to go and find it…

But in all honesty, it could only come a distant second to this song, which if its based around the Scottish clearances, rather than the major Irish one, well I dont begrudge the Proclaimers that in the slightest. Yes, the Irish potato famine is about to raise its unruly head here lol!

I know, I was born in England, and all that. Doesnt stop me hating the English for what happened to all those poor¬†Irish people 150 years ago, or slightly more. Equally I dont claim great historical knowledge of the events, only what I’ve read in various places, and seen monuments to in the West of Ireland especially. Its hard, at this distance in time to know just how badly the English treated the¬†Irish at the time, but generally reports state it varies from very badly to horrifically!

Did I lkose any relatives in that time, either to famine, or the mass emigration in those awful ships to North America, no idea. But I suspect I must have done, and indeed but for a quirk of fate, I might be an American writing this, and not understand cricket in the slightest! Instead somewhere around the start of the 20th century, both of my ancestral families came to England.

I guess hating the English for what happened then is a bit harsh, life and times were very different, and so were attitudes, but all the same… There is Irish songs about the treatment of native folk by the English, but none provoke the same feelings for me as the Proclaimers song about the Clearances in their country.

So therefore, supporting the Celtic statement of English hard handedness in the past, I present

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-OzdiaJZkw