Thursday, 23 February 2012

A surprise keeps things interesting.

Anne Sexton
 (1928 -1974)

  Today I was surprised by the service I received
 ordering a book online.   It was a good surprise.
  One that reminded me of something that happened
 a few years ago. A bit before the internet was in
common use. I was married and we were living in
 a basement apartment at the gate of High Park 
 in Toronto. I had read a poem by Anne Sexton
that I really liked. She  had transformed the fairy
 tale Cinderella into something a bit more modern
(for the early 1970’s). It is a long poem so I have
just included a few line here:

                                                  Cinderella (exert)
                                           You always read about it
                                          the plumber with twelve children
                                         who wins the Irish sweepstakes.
                                          From toilets to riches.
                                          That Story.…………
                                         Or a milkman who serves the wealthy,                         
                                         eggs, cream, butter, yogurt, milk,
                                         the white truck like an ambulance
                                         who goes into real estate 
                                         and makes a pile.
                                         From homogenized to martinis at lunch.
                                         That story………...

                                        Cinderella and the Prince
                                        lived, they say, happily ever after,
                                        like two dolls in a museum case
                                        never bothered by diapers or dust ,
                                        never arguing about the timing of an egg,
                                        never telling the same story twice
                                        never getting a middle aged spread,
                                        their darling smiles pasted on for eternity.
                                        Regular Bobbsey Twins.
                                        That story.

                            (Click for the complete  Cinderella poem)              

John Lord

  I was interested in reading more of her poetry but couldn’t find any.  I checked many bookstores and libraries with no luck – her books  were out of print. I was working in sales at the time and my territory included a small town north of the City – Stouffville. On the Main St. was a new  and used Bookstore John Lord books. I had driven by it a few times and could see it was jammed full of books and lots of  people. I stopped in and got the same story. Sexton’s work was out of print and they rarely saw a used one. They asked for my number and said if they found one they would give me a call.
  Two years later. We had moved out of the city to buy our first house
-in Stouffville. With a new baby and busy career I wasn’t thinking
much about poetry, until I got a call. It was John Lord books. They had found Anne Sexton: The  Complete Poems and wondered if I was still interested in it. I couldn’t believe it. Two years later and they were still looking for my book. That’s what I call customer service.

 I was reminded of that today with the delivery to my house. It was another hard to find book I needed. I was busy launching our new contest iPad so I didn’t have the time to go to book
stores. Yesterday  afternoon I checked online at Amazon and they had a copy. I picked  the free shipping option for 2-3 days
delivery. It was delivered early this morning.  Ordered in 5 minutes and  delivered in less than 24 hours, for free. This is great service.

 Amazon is not unique in delivering great service, ordering jeans from Sears on Sunday evening means a delivery by Tuesday morning.
 My Friend ordered a laptop from Tiger Direct. It damaged in shipping. She called Tiger Direct and they sent a replacement overnight at their expense with no hassles.
If it was bought in a store think how long it would take to return it. Finding time to go back to the store, taking the time to travel to the store and spending  time  waiting in line for customer service.  It would not be as convenient  as having it delivered to your doorstep the next morning.

 If you haven’t tried online shopping you might be in for a good surprise
 as well.

 If you are wondering about John Lord books - the store closed in 2001, but he is still in the business. You can find him among the thousands of booksellers on AbeBooksAbeBooks is an online marketplace where you can buy new, used, rare and out-of-print books.  
  We added it to yhoti last month.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story! I love online shopping and I will need to check out your links here!

    1. Thanks Jayda it is nice to share stories, and good deals on shopping too!