Tuesday, June 04, 2024


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

PS I no longer participate in WWW.WEDNESDAY via that link because her blog won't accept Blogger comments. I mention this only to save you the frustration I experienced trying to link up.

1. What are you currently reading? If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout. Otis Jarrell is a millionaire businessman who lives in penthouse with his extended family. He's sure his daughter-in-law is "a snake" and hellbent on destroying his son and his fortune. He hires Wolfe (and his associate, Archie, of course) to find the evidence he needs to convince his son to divorce her. What begins as an easy case with a big fee for uncovering marital shenanigans and perhaps industrial espionage becomes murder and nothing is as easy or obvious as it seems.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Fairy Tale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio. RoseMarie was John Kennedy Jr.'s personal assistant at George and she shares her insider's view. It was exciting and fun -- chatting with Marlon Brando on the phone, celebrating her birthday with courtside seats for the Knicks, helping Carolyn Bessette pack for that super-secret wedding -- until it wasn't. When John's plane went down, she lost her boss, her mentor ... and her job.

In short order her best friend died suddenly, then JFK's plane crashed, and her father lost his battle with illness. The book could be infuriating and tone-deaf at times, but the universality of her struggle and loss at the end redeems it.


3. What will you read next? More fiction: Siracusa by Delia Ephron.

I deserve ice cream

On the way home from the card shop yesterday, I stopped for a cup of mint ice cream. I deserved it. I got two -- 2! -- compliments for my work. 

First, my boss Ceecee held the first of what will be regular monthly meetings of the assistant store managers. I found afterward that Jen, the manager I work with most often, reported how well I was doing. I don't know the details -- I'm going to be formally reviewed this sometime this month -- but Ceecee wanted me to know. 

I appreciated hearing this because I'd been a little anxious about the review thing (I thought I'd left that heinous ritual behind when I retired from advertising) and because when I first started at the shop six months ago, Jen and I were like oil and water. Since she's become more patient with me, I have been doing better.

Then something extraordinary happened.

A woman called the shop. She wanted a narrow gift box for a tube of mascara. I recommended a gift bag -- we have plenty of those -- but no, she wanted a box. So I carried her with me as I checked our box stock. None on the display on the east wall ... none under the gift display in front ... none in the overstock on the back wall. Sorry. No gift boxes that would be perfect for a tube of mascara.

She asked to talk to the store manager.


I told her I'd be happy to put Ceecee on the line, but she should know that we are corporate owned and don't have a lot of influence over the stock we carry. "I still want to talk to the manager," she insisted.

I took the phone back to Ceecee, who was in the office, and told her who the lady was and what had happened.

Ceecee listened for a moment and then said, "Thank you. Very nice to hear .... Our store has been here 30 years but the Gal is one of our newer employees ... I will tell  her ... We hope to see you in person soon ...."

She was that impressed by how "pleasant" and "extremely helpful" I was! All I did that anyone else might not do was, instead of putting the phone on the counter and looking around, I brought her with me and told her what I was seeing. Not that big a deal and it felt very natural to me. But it was a big deal to her.

Here's what I learned: If you receive good service, compliment it. I never before realized how much it matters.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

You're not imagining it

We have been here before. MAGA supporters are just like Nixon supporters ... on steroids and with the internet.