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Customer Service Style. . .



During a few spare moments between tasks this Friday morning, I called David Mercer of Mercer & Sons to check the status of an order and make sure he had my payment information.  

We had the nicest brief chat about the winter weather everywhere, cross-country skiing, and related family outings while he quickly double-checked on everything for me.  He was also kind enough to give the impression, at least, that he remembered me when he answered the telephone although it has been a few months since last we spoke.  

The entire exchange was polite, friendly without being obsequious, capable, rapid, and the conversation was ended as pleasantly as it began.  A very pleasant, short follow-up email came later in the morning, wishing us good skiing sessions this weekend.

Folks, all of this is how it's done.  Hats off to Mercer & Sons for their always exemplary customer service. 


I picked up my favorite suit, a 6/2 double breasted model in gray glen plaid, from the cleaner's yesterday afternoon.  A well-made suit that has just been cleaned and pressed is a thing to behold.  I don't know whether to go on admiring it now back on its shaped wooden hanger, or wear the suit for online office hours next Monday.  

Too much?  Probably, but then even appearing in a sports jacket sans necktie is probably more than most of my students have ever experienced in their interactions with adult males.  Still, there is nothing quite like the feel of a well-fitting, cherished suit (With a necktie, thank you very much.  You will, I trust, excuse that particular micro-aggression).  What a pleasure it is to put on garments like these in the mornings.

Yes, I realize I am completely out of step with about 99% of the population at this point, but marching to my own drum is something I have done all my life.  No reason (or plans) to stop now.



It's Friday once again!  Along with our usual bottle of good red wine this evening after The Young Master's bedtime, something The Grand Duchess and I began just after January 1st to  celebrate getting through another week on the endless treadmill that has been professional and family life since Covid-19 hit the world a year ago, we'll celebrate a small personal milestone this evening.  Although no official communication has come through yet, I have it on good authority that a long-awaited promotion of sorts has finally been approved at last for yours truly. 

Taken with our additional inch or two new snow in the night and plans for family skiing Saturday and Sunday, it looks like the weekend is shaping up rather nicely.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


  1. Congratulations, Heinz-Ulrich, on the well deserved promotion. I agree with you on the joys of good quality clothes, clean and pressed, worn with a dress shirt and tie and (I would add) well-maintained and shined shoes. I have continued to wear a coat and tie nearly every day over the past year, whether working from home or the office. It gives one a lift, and I still get compliments regularly when I venture out of the house. Like you, after accumulating nice clothing over several decades, I see no reason, and have no desire, to stop wearing them now. Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Thank you Charlottesville! I suppose that, given the various challenges everyone has faced during the last year or so, we find and take our small pleasures as and where we are able. Nice clothing, wine by the fireside, and getting outside for some fun in the snow surely help.

    Best Regards,


  3. Congratulations on the promotion. Here in New York, we've gotten more snow than I can remember. Snowshoeing and sledding is our favorite winter pastime. Always enjoy this blog and look forward to more.
    Happy skiing!


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All opinions are welcome here. Even those that differ from mine. But let's keep it clean and civil, please.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

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