Saturday, November 9, 2019

Customer Relations

Gormenghast has changed a little, and the reason it's changed a little is because I have no memory of what I was planning for N-Scale this winter. I have stared at the project, but not actually touched it yet, so it's a confusing time and the last thing you really want to hear from a Telephone linesman is that the frigid temperatures and horrible little wind in the outdoors suits him fine. "Perfect Weather," he called it. I did raise an eyebrow, and he explained "I'm big." It's not the telephone line I tried to be helpful, "so no need to spend the next seven days looking for a fault in the line," and I went on about flashing modem lights, and how traditionally the modem at this end of the telephone line continually dropped if the speed of electronic packets being blasted down the line was too fast, the delicate system couldn't take it and neither could I, the whole streaming movies thing was a total waste, and anyone who played games on line had something seriously wrong with them, when all a person really asks from his internet connection is that it doesn't have the electronic equivalent of a nervous breakdown every ten minutes...

In the back of my mind as I rambled on, I was very aware of my own cruel experiences of the customer class, yet I seemed quite incapable of reining myself in. Poor chap must have been warned, "You want it slowed down?" "Yes please," I replied and off he went. In the aftermath of the exchange I thought back to the years I spent delivering milk to door steps. When new management arrived to boost our productivity, all kinds of absurd enthusiasms, like glossy pamphlets offering door step delivery of eggs, cheese, bacon, something called yogurt, one of our number who'd grown up in the coal valleys, a card carrying member of the communist party and our union representative called a meeting. "Kapital doesn't know the job," he said. "Gets this Bee up it's trouser leg, and you just got to let the Bee run it's course. I can't do it because, you know why, but you can." And he pointed at innocent me. I had the Cogan run, poorest part of the city, row houses, front door steps. And indeed absolutely no one in their right mind in the early hours of the morning would have left six eggs, or even a yogurt, on the door step of a house in Cogan. That month our Milk Yard won a great victory, sales were up, receipts were way down. "What can I do?" I explained. "Customers say it keeps getting stolen." And our lives quickly got back to normal

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