Let the Drums Roll Out!
I mentioned at the start of the story a couple of weeks ago that the topic was something that might not interest you, and this week my warning is that some of what I say might disgust you! (Actually, there is nothing to worry about - it's simply that the location of the episode is the place that we euphemistically refer to as the 'smallest room in the house'.)
Most people - and certainly most people my age - have a pretty well-established morning routine. Beginning at the moment we open our eyes, and getting to the point where we 'go to work' (or whatever we will be doing that day), the step-by-step process of beginning the day probably doesn't vary much at all.
There is so little variance in our actions, that we even find ourselves stepping into the same 'footsteps' time after time - turn away from the closet, reach for the light switch, step out onto the landing, left foot on the first step, etc. etc. The movements are almost totally robotic. This is certainly the case with me.
At one point though during this 'morning dance', I get to a little 'fork in the road', where the routine can vary, and as I implied above, this happens in the bathroom. Don't jump to conclusions though, as this is nothing to do with what I am doing in that room, it's what happens over in the living room, and which I can hear through the thin walls.
I had better explain.
After getting dressed, putting away the bedding, and then coming downstairs, the first thing I do is go into the 'living room'. I open the paper screens to let light into the room, then reach over and touch one key on the keyboard of the computer, so that it will 'wake up' and thus begin its own morning routine - checking email, running a backup, and refreshing some web pages for news sites. I don't sit there watching it, but continue with my own routine, heading for that small room to stand for a minute or so ...
And it is while I am standing there that we reach the 'fork', and the pattern of my next actions will be decided. I listen carefully for the sound produced by my email program as it finishes its download of the mail that has accumulated overnight.
Now all modern email programs can be programmed easily to play a 'You Have Mail' sound, usually some kind of beep or chime. If my email contains just 'normal' messages, this chime is what I hear through the wall as I listen. But I have also programmed the software with a number of different sounds, which play accordingly when various types of emails are detected. One particular sound tells me that there is a message from one of my daughters, for example, although honestly speaking, I don't hear that one very often!
One that I do hear more frequently is the sound that plays whenever I receive an order through my website - and this is a short and sweet orchestral fanfare! Congratulations!
So I am sure you can understand my feeling as I stand there every morning, doing my little business and waiting ... and waiting ... my ears pricked, ready to find out what is in the mailbox today. If there is no music, I finish up what I am doing, and continue with the rest of the mundane morning routine, getting breakfast, reading the news, etc. But when I do hear the fanfare, taking care of the order becomes the priority, and before I pour my granola, the order will be wrapped, packed, and placed into the entranceway ready for dropping off at the post office. This is Japan, and customer service is king!
And why do I write about this just now? Because today was the fifth day running that I heard a fanfare, a nice little 'streak'! Mind you, most of these orders were simply for a CD of my printmaking eBook, and we aren't talking about a terrific amount of money here, but that's not the point.
Start the day with trumpets and drums ... Henry VIII didn't have it any better!
(And for those who are curious, here is the fanfare that (frequently) greets my morning relief action, in .mp3 format.)
Story #234, June 20 2010
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