Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tired and Kranky

How to start???????  It was a pretty uneventful week, no work for David this week nor last.  Had some nice  outings, took Ralle to Bruces Skog for one.  That is a nice forest with a large enclosed area where you can let your dog run around and have fun, without anyone hanging on to the other end of the leash. A very special "dog park" you might say. Ralle likes it a lot and we do too.

Yet another short trip was to Wallakra Stenkarlsfabrik / Stoneware factory.  We took a lovely walk in the surrounding nature reserve where birds were singing, and spring was almost evident.   We also had a lovely lunch there in an old water mill house.  In the stoneware factory we had a spirited conversation with Åsa the talented woman who has revived the very old factory.  We met some nice chatty people, as we often do when we are out with Ralle.  He is a definite magnet!  The shy, withdrawn, reserved Swedes seem suddenly unable to help themselves, they actually talk to us!  It is hard even for me, the Swedish person that I am, to understand this lack of interest, this desire to never acknowledge, to never have eye contact with  the people you meet, the people you stand in line with at the grocery check out, or rub elbows with on the walking street in Helsingborg for example, or at the shopping center?  No nodding, no Hello, no smiling. It seems so strange to me and I do wonder if I will ever get used to this.  It is far from the camaraderie at Raley's, where most people in line were talking to each other, or at least somehow recognizing the other customers that were standing there.  It is no longer my style to be so anonymous, so of course I  often start up some sort of conversation while I am standing there. The other people then must think  I am on drugs, or a bit weird, when I do that, I am told. So be it!  It seems to me, that these people kind of enjoy it, just as I do. What do I know?

Something else that I would like to talk about because I so wonder about it,  is the enormous lack of service here.  A subject to be covered another time.......

 Or, if you call on the telephone, another source of annoyance.  You either end up "on hold" and are informed of the fact that you are number fifty seven in the phone cue, or you have to press 1 or 2 or 3 etc. etc. depending on you  errand. There is hardly ever an answering machine where one can state ones question and have someone call you back with an answer.  The other day I called a business with a question about a spare part for example.  I was told the "spare parts person " was out to lunch!  I was directed to call back around such and such time.  Could Mr. Spare Part call me, I asked, upon his return? No, it is better that you call back.  Or you call to find out they have "telephone time" between nine thirty am to ten am!  Or, no one is answering the phone due to the fact that everyone is out to lunch!  Crazy as I am,  I wonder why everyone is out to lunch at the same time!  Or, why is there no answering machine where I can leave a message and they can call me back with an answer after lunch?

Today I have been trying to get a hold of a chimney sweep. We would like to have the tall chimney in our storage room checked out by a Pro, to see if it would be usable if we installed a fireplace or an iron stove there?  The first business I called did not answer at all and there was no answering machine. The second business asked me many questions, did I want an inspection, or did I want something else or this or that?  Questions I did not really know how to answer by pushing buttons one, two or six! Or, I was instructed, look at our Web page.

OK the third time was a charm!  I got to talk to a REAL PERSON!!  I tried to explain that we had a chimney that has not been used since time immemorial, we'd like to know it's condition etc. could we have it checked out.  Yes, I can come and have a look at it.  Do you have a ladder to get up on the roof he asked?  So, a person who is in the chimney sweep business does not have a ladder asked David, after I was off the phone?  Can that be so?  Is that the way it is??  Then of course I seem to remember, when I was  a little girl and I would see the chimney sweeps around Uppsala they would be riding their bikes with all those big round brushes and long rolled up wires. They did not have ladders on their bikes. They did have tall hats I recall and I would marvel over how sooty they were.  But today?  Would they not have their own ladder?  Guess we will find out?

I just ran out of steam!  Boy, do I feel tired and cranky!!!!!
Thank you for allowing me the soapbox.

It is 6:30PM and it is still light outside.  Joy.

David's turn next.

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