A clean sheet

Nov 08, 2013

I awake at 4:30am not sure why, but I'm awake. What to do? Write a letter of course!

I’ve slept well the last few days so can’t complain. This stress does wierd things - for one I’ve lost my thirst for beer at home. For the past two nights I really wanted a beer, yet could only manage 1/2 a pint and had to throw the rest down the drain - weird and worrying.

I lie in bed wondering why I’m awake and I realise that I feel bad about the ear bashing that we had given John Lewis Customer Services.

Anyway, to make good I decided I’d turn it round and I started drafting an email in my head and I decided to get up and write it down before I forgot it. Being the procrastinator that I am, I started drafting this blog post first! Well I read this post first: 25 auto correct fails I saw it on facebook and it brightened my morning considerably! Here’s my email to John Lewis:

Hi Aimée,

Thank you so much for getting the washing machine and tumble dryer delivered. You have single handedly restored our faith in John Lewis. Our thanks also go out to those others in the background who made this happen.

Julia and I are both 36 and we have two children Imogen, 7 and Felix, 5. Three weeks ago after 5 months of back and forth with the NHS Julia was diagnosed with breast cancer. These have been the most stressful and emotionally turbulent 3 weeks of our lives. In preparation for the hard times to come Julia put me in charge of the laundry, the day after we ordered the washing machine our own washing machine took umbrage and broke down completely.

I've been thinking (I awoke at 4:30am thinking about this) and would like, if possible to ask two things from John Lewis:

1. Julia dropped quite a bombshell on your colleague in the call center (I think her name was Karen). It can't have made her day to have someone crying on the phone whilst describing our situation, and although she couldn't help us speed things up, she was kind and tried to help. Please make sure she is ok.

2. Compensation. We don't want any, we have a working washing machine and would much rather John Lewis donate any compensation you would have given to us to charity. Julia has run 7 Race For Life's and never thought she would be running her own personal race this year. She is determined to get round the Race For Life next year. If you could donate the money to a cancer charity, I'm sure they would be grateful - as would we.

As part of our journey and as some form of therapy we are blogging our journey at http://teamrj.co.uk and I'd like your permission to post any response there.

Yours sincerely,

The Lawleys

And I got a fantastic response:

Hi Ross,

Thank you for your email and your kind words, your thanks are truly appreciated by myself and the others who have assisted me. It really has been a pleasure getting this issue resolved, you have been patient and courteous in allowing me time to get things done.

I think it is a beautiful gesture and would be happy to offer a donation to a charity of your choice. I would like to offer £100 which I know your chosen charity will put to great use. ...

I honestly can't imagine the stress you and your family have been under lately and I am genuinely sorry that John Lewis has contributed to this. I would like to offer my best wishes to you all and I hope that you succeed in your new role as the chief laundry man.

You may share your experience in your blog, you have my absolute permission. This is a wonderful idea and as you say a great form of therapy. I hope Julia enjoys the Race for Life, I'm sure she will do herself and everyone proud.

Kind regards,


So John Lewis have made good, the washing machine has arrived, been installed and is working nicely. Whats more the tumble dryer has been installed in the conservatory - a revelation! Glad thats all sorted.

At lunchtime, I took Julia to have her hair cut and now it’s short, quite like it was when we first met - she looks gorgeous.

Imogen sees my old award (if you can call it that) in the study. It’s a picture of me when I was 8, I had just been gunged by the Hash House Harriers in Riyadh. It’s titled “Ross Lawley the biggest little shit” - Imogen struggles with the last word, then repeats it 5 times “shit, shit, shit, shit, shit”. Oh brother. Julia is not going to be happy with me! I have to tell Imogen she’s not allowed to used that word as it’s a swear word and I tell her it means “poo”. Imogen runs downstairs to tell mummy, “daddy is the biggest little poo you know”. What can you do!

This evening, its been Imogen’s gymnastics and then a curry - all good!

Signing off for now - Chief Laundry Man