Thursday July 27th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the no-show.

Picked blackberries for local orders this morning. We managed to get 41 pints, which is pretty good. We had orders for 43 though, so not quite good enough. Kat did get a pint of raspberry to make up for one customer being shorted, and the other customer ended up getting extra peaches to make up for it anyway.

Not exactly a restful day, but part of me appreciated getting to be out on the farm doing a different sort of work.

And the rest of me just wanted to nap.


No-shows are my least favorite part of doing local orders. By. Far.

On our first one this year, the last customer to show up arrived at 5pm. I waited until 6pm for the final customer to arrive and... he never did.

On our second one the last customer came at 5:30, which left me waiting for another half hour for... someone who never came.

Today, on my insistence, we shortened the pickup window from 4-6 to 4-5:30. If I'd fully had my way, it would've been 4:30-5:30, but whatever.

I didn't notice when the last customer arrived, but it doesn't really matter. Because this time there were *two* different customers who never came to collect the produce they had ordered.

Produce that we had taken the time to pick and prepare for them. And now have to spend time making additional arrangements for them to get.

Or, you know, forget them and their order and never take orders from people who no-show on us (without good reason) ever again.

I will let you guess which option I currently prefer.


Greg said...

I guess for the no-shows you need a cost-benefit analysis: what's the cost to you to chasing them down and trying to get them to receive their order, vs the benefit? I can see that the cost is the extra effort and the ill-will it engenders, and the benefit is that people are likely to commend your efforts and talk about you with their friends in a positive tone, but there will probably be more on both sides. Allowing only an hour's pick-up window unfortunately feels a little bit too tight: accidents do happen and can take 40-60 minutes to sort out so you might end up with a no-show that's entirely you're own fault in that case. The original two hours sounds reasonable, as does 90 minutes -- is there nothing you can take with you to do while you're waiting on people?

[Posting twice as it's too long, it seems. Sorry!]

Greg said...

The no-show
The habitat was pretty much all stainless steel throughout, though there were hangings and coverings and rugs and carpets and the occasional panelling to try and make it seem a little more like a home than a medi-drama. Lieutenant Rache had firmly disengaged Madame Howager's hand from mine and led me away; I turned back and blew a kiss to Madame Howager who blushed. And from the way her eyes widened, I can guarantee that she hadnt' been expecting to blush, and I knew that if I could get back here this evening I could have my way with her. Her wallet, to be exact.
"This way, Harry." The way he emphasized my name was his way of telling me he didn't believe he hadn't just captured Mar Coquan, Intergalatic Thief and Society heartbreaker, wanted in 87 habitats for crimes of romance and rather more for much more boring crimes that were only listed in police spreadsheets. "Do watch your step, I've heard so many stories of you esca– I mean, so many stories of Mar escaping from custody by feigning an attack of... well, something. The list seems endless. I was particularly impressed with the time you fa– I mean, he faked total lung collapse and then spat a mild nerve gas in the face of the guard trying to resuscitate him."
"He sounds very adventurous," I said. "I like to read novels about accountants and play tic-tac-toe against my house-AI."
Lieutenant Rache smiled. "That sounds very law abiding," he said. "Though I believe there is a habitat orbiting Rigel-4 that hates accountants so much that reading novels about them would be considered seditious."
"I sometimes win at tic-tac-toe," I said.
Lieutenant Rache paused, his foot still in mid-step and looked at me. "That's not possible," he said. In front of us a stainless steel door slid shut with the soft, familiar thud that meant that the seals had engaged and the door was now airtight. He looked at the door, and then back at me.
"I know you're not in contact with any AI," he said. "I'm futzing EM in a 3metre radius. So I can reasonably assume that that wasn't your doing, but I don't think I will. Open it."
I shrugged and tried to open the door with my bare hands, predictably failing and leaving smudged fingerprints over the shiny, cold surface. Lieutenant Rache watched me for a few seconds and then pressed a button on his jacket cuff that looked like all the others.
"Report," he said into his collar. At the same time my clothes seemed to shiver across my body, and he frowned at me.
"All systems normal," said a squeaky voice from him collar. "A generator has gone down on the habitat but there are redundant supplies and no concerns. Unless you shot it, boss?"
"I'm cold," I said at the same time. "These doors don't get heated much."
"You're an idiot," said the Lieutenant, possibly to both of us. My sleeves contracted gently here and there as Meredith talked to me. "If anything else happens before I reach you assume malfeasance and act accordingly."
"What do you mean, boss?"
"Exactly what I said. What didn't you understand?"
"You boarded with the prisoner 3 minutes ago, Sir. We have departed the habitat."
Lieutenant Rache stared at with with undisguised hatred in his eyes.
"I guess we're a no-show now," I said smiling. "I should have been more accurate earlier, perhaps. I beat the AI at tic-tac-toe 9 times out of 10."

Marc said...

Greg - heh, one of these no-shows was named Simon. He had put in a $5 order. We have been referring to him as 'Simon of the small order' ever since.

And... we did not bother trying to make additional arrangements for him. Obviously not worth the time or effort.

I know an hour isn't really enough time, I was just grumpy. 90 minutes is a reasonable compromise, I think. And I've been taking pen and paper with me to do some writing but I usually end up making notes on my phone for writing ideas rather than actually getting any writing done.

Very happy to see this continued once more. Quite enjoying this tale :)