In A Jam

During my father in law’s illness, I have often been the family member to escort my mother in law, Barb, to church. When we were leaving today, she mentioned that she needed to stop by the fellowship hall to pick up Christmas jams and jellies she had ordered from the annual jam/jelly sale.

When she and I arrived at the jam/jelly sale, one of her friends said she had put Barb’s purchases aside, since Barb had prepaid. When I went to pick up the box of approximately 16 jars of jelly, the friend asked me if I needed help. A couple of conversations overlapped at that point. I was telling the friend that I was fine (I guess the question had to do with me carrying the box while Barb was holding my elbow in the usual position that a blind person does for mobility assistance). While I was saying I would be fine, the friend was recruiting her son, who looked to be around nine, to help me. Although I truly was fine, I also recognized that the mom was trying to encourage altruism in her child and I said something to her like, “well, are you looking for him to have a job to do?” Eventually it was agreed that her son Ryan would carry the box of jams.

Our little procession started out of the fellowship hall, with me guiding Barb in front and Ryan carrying the box a few steps behind us. We were stopped by quite a few people since everyone wants to know how my father in law is doing. We made it a few steps, and got stopped by another well wisher. At that point, a gentleman came up to Ryan and asked if he needed help. Although my eyes-in-the-back-of-the-head weren’t working, I think Ryan was actually doing fine but the adult made it clear that he wanted to take over.

I didn’t have time to explain the whole “his mother wants him to have a job” deal. And frankly by this point the afternoon’s obligations were stacking up in my mental calendar and I just. wanted. to. get. out. of. there. So we all got to the car, the jams were loaded, and Barb and I went off on our way.

The situation with Ryan reminded me of the time when Wayne Kevin was quite young (six or seven) and had run an entire 5K. He was faster than me at the time so I was behind him. When we crossed paths I knew he was farther ahead than he should be, and he told me one of the traffic control personnel told him to cut it short, I guess because he was “little” and “cute.” I was so annoyed!! And I was annoyed because Wayne had been doing fine on his own. Although he really didn’t care about his time in the race, the official time wouldn’t be accurate because he had not run the whole course and he wouldn’t have the pride of having done something he was perfectly capable of doing had an adult not intervened.

It seems a bit mean-spirited to snark about the adult who helped Ryan today. He was tremendously gracious and, like almost everyone we have encountered as we navigate the additional needs for transportation, food, and moral support as Wayne’s dad deals with his current medical situation, he just wanted to help.

But the situation sparked off a question in my mind so I thought I would share it with you readers and get some thoughts. (And it is World Kindness Week so feel free to remind me that the kindest thing I could have done would have been to delete about 627 words of this post and make it, “Thank you Ryan and you, Mr. Nice Guy who wanted to help.”

What a jam.

Intercept the Mailman? (A Mama Kat Writing Post)

This post is based on the following Mama Kat prompt:

Write a post about an argument you recently had with someone from the moment of conflict to the moment of resolution in 15 lines or less. 
Barb (my mother in law, who is blind (a fact that matters for this story)): 

Suzette [a relative who was helping out] accidentally requested the order be shipped to 721 Roseberry Street instead of 771.

When she realized the mistake and called Lands End, they said there was nothing we could do…………..except try to intercept the postal deliverer and tell them to deliver the package to us when it arrived.


Wait a minute, Lands End, home of “Guranteed. Period.  ©” said the only option was to intercept the mailman?

They want a 77 year old blind lady to stand out on the street, catch the mailman, and explain all this?

Why didn’t they just ship an order to the correct address?


I don’t know. Can you see what you can do?


Tweet to Lands End – “I have a consumer issue and need help.” [no response received]

Email to Lands End – [it would take more than 15 lines to replicate the email]. The short version was, “why can’t you just ship a duplicate order to the right address instead of asking the blind lady to stand outside at the mailbox and try to intercept the mailman?

Response from Lands End – a generic “email received” stating it could take 2 business days for a response.

Instant Message Attempts #1 and #2 to Lands End – the representative and I introduce ourselves to one another, after which I am cut off (which may have been my browser).

Lands End:

Email response back (received within an hour of being sent!), “Well, she can order a new one and we’ll send it.”


Why can’t you go ahead and send the duplicate order? When and if she receives the original order, we will make sure you get it back.

Lands End:
We don’t have the new address so we can’t send it out.


It is 771 Roseberry Street. Can you please resend it?

Lands End:

[Via Email] We are sorry to hear you did not receive your original order. A new one will arrive within 5 to 7 days.


[Tweet] – Kudos to @LandsEnd for great customer service.

And that, my friends, is the end (the Lands End) of the story! The package arrived as promised within 3 days. Who knows where the original package ended up?