Friday, 27 February 2009

This Week at VS Music Supplies


My daily walk to the post office no longer requires me to muffle up in scarf, gloves and hat, so spring seems to be on the way now.

At this time of year I tend to sell more specimen sight-reading tests as students prepare for exams.  These books are really useful, providing practice tests before the real ting in the exam.  They cover all instruments and for most (but not all), they cover more than one grade - usually 1-5 in one book and 6-8 in another book, so you don't have to buy new ones each time.   Just put "Specimen Sight-Reading Tests" into the search engine.

It's also been a big week for Music Theory in Practice, the best theory workbook on the market.  Recently revised and reprinted, it is now very user-friendly.

And finally, Regency Oboe Reeds have been a big seller this week.

As an internet retailer, I am dependent on Royal Mail for my parcels to get to their destination. In October, I had one disappear because, according to Royal Mail, "the address does not exist".  The people who lived in the house disagreed with this for obvious reasons.  If the address is not on the Royal Mail database, it does not officially exist and if you are unfortunate enough to have a postie who is new to the area, chances are your post will not get there.  This does happen regularly with new houses, as there can be a considerable timelag in getting the address registered.  I sent a second parcel, it got there and in January the first parcel was returned.

This week I had another parcel returned, with a note saying it didn't exist.  I checked the postcode and found that everything about the address was right - name, house number, postcode and first part of the street name.  Unfortunately the second part of the street name said "road" instead of "fold" and so the jobsworth postman did not deliver it.  I was livid.

My own postman asked about it next day, wondering why it had been sent back and when I told him he expressed a pithy view about the postman in question, not really suitable for this blog!  He said that he delivers worse-addressed post every day than that one.  I can believe it.

One of the advantages of living in a semi-rural area is that the postmen are really conscientious and seem to use their brains (and compassion) rather more than their urban colleagues.  Our postman never sends parcels back to the sorting office but always finds somewhere to leave them to save us the trip, a badly addressed letter is more than likely to find the right person even if the house number/street is wrong and they are always pleasant.

So I have now sent the returned parcel again, and paid for it twice.  Let's hope it gets there this time.

One of the problems here is that if the regular postman or courier is off on holiday, the replacement doesn't know where the address is, where to leave deliveries if the person isn't in or who is who.  I had a parcel delayed this week due to a public holiday in Germany, checked it was on its way this morning only to see the courier (substitute driver) sail past in his van without stopping.  Aargh!

Let's hope I have fewer postal frustrations next week...

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