But I’m The Customer!

 

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When did it become ok to treat your customers as an inconvenience?  Has technology put such a barrier between a businesses staff and the people that spend money with them?

What’s more, why are customers putting up with this?  I shouldn’t be impressed when someone does their JOB!  But more and more I am; this shouldn’t be happening.  I’m now conditioned to be let down by the organisations that I want to spend money with.  I’m actually surprised when something does go to plan. Technology is meant to free us up to focus more on what matters but it seems to be doing the opposite.

For the past few months I’ve been dealing with an International hotel brand that will remain nameless and more and more I feel like I’m an inconvenience with an open wallet to these people.  I know with only 100 people at the event that we are a small party in their world, but you know what, this is the first time I’ve been made to feel like that by a venue in a very long time.

I’m angry that I’m being made to feel apologetic for daring to want to hold a successful event that suits my customers at their venue.  I’m angry at myself that I’ve allowed a business to make me feel this way.

Is it that I’m being unreasonable?  I don’t think so.  I’m beginning to think that it’s because I’m an email to these people that I’m not “real”.  Even phone calls haven’t seemed to soften the hard line our way or the highway and you’ll pay for it as well attitude that I’m getting.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind paying (gouging on the other hand, don’t get me started on hiring AV equipment for a function!) businesses are not charities; they need to be suitably remunerated.  It’s when they know they have you and then the additional charges for every little thing come out of the woodwork.

So are we losing our ability to connect with people and is customer service dead?  With AI and automation set to become an even bigger part of the customer experience how do businesses make sure that their employees see customers as important and real?  I don’t know the answer but I do know that I’m not standing for it any more, you want my money, you treat me as valuable!

I’m Surrounded

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I’m surrounded by booze at every turn!  It’s wine o clock Facebook tells me, emails show up from frequent flyer loyalty programs offering me award winning reds, updates from sober blogs come in from Twitter, colleagues telling me to relax with a glass after a stressful day.  I don’t event have to leave my desk to be bombarded by triggers telling me to have a drink!

When did our society become so obsessed with alcohol… hmm is it society, or just me obsessing?  Perhaps that’s a mirror better not looked in LOL!

Anyway, that’s my whinge (whine??!) for the day.  Have a healthy, happy day wherever you are.

Disappear?

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Ever get the urge to run away, disappear and start over again?

It sneaks up on  me from time to time. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy enough with my life but occasionally my tiny mind prompts me to just run away.  That little voice whispers “It wasn’t supposed to be like this, it was supposed to be glamorous and fun, not normal and dull.  Let’s just jump on a plane and go, tell no one.”

I fantasise about being the exotic mysterious person swanning about NYC or Europe freelancing in whatever it is I’m doing in this made up life, never being pinned down to reality and responsibility.

I even think about how I’d let the people I care about know that I was still alive without giving my whereabouts* away .  I don’t let the mundane issues of having a husband, cats, friends, bank accounts and earning actual money get in the way of these plans; glamorous people just have stuff come to them and they get invited to interesting exclusive events every night of the week right???  😉

I generally shut that little voice up with something expensive or with booze.  Neither of these are a great option, I get that.  I do know that I can spice up my life, but I also wonder how stopping off at a new shopping centre or trying a new way home from work became an exciting thing to do, I’m sure I’m not that person.

So is it just me that wonders how life got dull and normal that has this urge to run or do we all suffer from slight delusions of interestingness occasionally?

*Super Sammie, you ever get an unsigned post card from Guggenheim, I’ve gone rouge, tell the others I’m fine!

Where Will Your Road Lead?

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where my road is leading me and I’ve decided that I won’t get old without a fight.  I won’t let my road lead to nowhere.

I’m watching people that were passionate and impulsive and full of energy let their lives slip away and I don’t want to go that way.

Please understand I’m not talking about aging, that happens and quite frankly I’m debating the whole botox issue* with myself at the moment. Crazy Cat Boy has taken to calling me “Angry Bird” and having just seen myself on screen, I’m inclined to agree with him.  It’s that gradual loss of a sense that anything is possible and doing interesting things with life that scares me.

So even though I’m in the second half of my life I’ve decided that I wont get old without a fight, I won’t give up on seeking out new opportunities and I sure as hell won’t allow taking a different way home from the shops to become an exciting thing in my world.  I’ve been as guilty of this as the next person, life gets busy and somehow we forget to live it along the way as the days and then months slip by.

I want to have an answer that is more than “oh, you know, just busy” when someone asks me what I’ve been doing.

I wont be scared, I refuse!  I’m issuing the challenge to anyone who wants to play along – What will you be able to say when someone asks “What have you been up to?”?

Where will your road lead you?


*There is a post coming on this.

These Slippers are Toast!

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Seriously what’s the deal?  I’m not a 90 year old woman and I’d prefer not to advertise the fact that I’ve got a touch of bogan in me* to the world. So how is it that I can’t find a tasteful, stylish, hell, I’d settle for bland and boring at this point, pair of slippers to save myself?

The market seems to consist of either “fun”, read I’ve got the taste and intellect of a 12 year old and want a pair of shoes with ears or a face on them or “fugly”  ugg boots or old lady shoes.  There is simply nothing in between.  All I want is a pair of plain black slippers that don’t draw attention to themselves, I’m not asking for much am I?

For the last six years since moving to wine country I’ve been on the hunt – it gets cold out here and now I have a yard that I venture into some mornings (only to scare the birds away so the cats don’t eat them you understand, I don’t stroll around surveying my domain, well not that I’m letting on about anyway!) so socks or bare feet won’t cut it anymore.

Besides, I’ve invested a lot in nice sleepwear and being a long term fan of the correct accessories I’d rather freeze than ruin my “look” with the wrong shoe.

An extensive internet search the world over led me to Macy’s who had dull but tasteful ballet slippers that met my two major style criteria;

  1. No “old lady” bow
  2. Not made of velour

I joyfully ordered said slippers, and, while I was at it a new cocktail dress, to justify the postage you understand – No, I didn’t fool me with that logic either, but I ordered the dress anyway.  Two weeks later the dress showed up but no shoes, apparently there had been a run on the only acceptable footwear  I’d found (probably by frustrated, well dressed middle aged women, but I digress) and they had sold out, not to be restocked.

Frustrated I began my search again, convinced that somewhere in the world there would be an acceptable pair of black stylish slippers.  And you know what I was right, for the asking price of a mere $600 I could have a pair that almost looked the part.  Even though I was desperate by this stage my inner tight arse suggested that $600 was a touch extreme even for me when I’m annoyed  – I can be impulsive, mostly it’s charming, sometimes irrationally expensive!

So I took myself off to the nearest shopping centre and slouched my way through the various stores muttering** to myself that none of it was good enough and finally I bought the marginally acceptable “items” that you see above.

I took them home and optimistically teamed them with my lovely robe and night gown and you know what, they look dreadful!    So, these slippers are toast and my hunt goes on!

*it’s an Australian thing, we all do, we can’t help it.

**It wasn’t all doom and gloom however to cheer myself up I bought two new shirts from Cue that I’m loving.

PS: As you can tell I have so much distain for the slippers I didn’t even wipe the toaster down before taking the shot LOL.  Also, I was going to use winky faces in this post but have just discovered that giving your face a “nose” is now old fashioned, when did that happen?   I must be old  😉  … a face needs a “nose” right?

There’s Cat Vomit In My Shoe…

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Sometimes life is like that, your day is cruising along, nothing special and then bam,  something as innocuous as entering the walk in robe and recoiling in horror from the smell that assaults your senses can change your outlook from sunny to “it’s all to hard”.  That was my Saturday….

Dry retching, I investigate the horrifying odour only to discover that in retaliation for feeding him the tablet he needs to control his Thyroid problem, darling Monty Cat has thrown up in my sneaker, across the carpet and up one wall of the walk in.

While only a small vomit, the minced beef must have been “marinating” overnight (it didn’t get below 25 inside that night and the walk in holds all the AV for the home theatre room adding to the heat factor in there, so the smell was unearthly.   Can deal with visual ick, but smells, especially inside my house I don’t cope with.

(Thank god I didn’t get up at 4 am and dress in the dark to go for a ride like I was considering doing!!)

This “delightful” find brought on a dummy spit of spectacular proportions, irrational thoughts of torching the shoes and everything the disgusting mess had touched and topping it off with booze.   “I’ll never be able to go for a long walk again, that’s it, I’ll be an unfit, tubby woman, so I may as well have a drink”.  Yep, that’s where my brain took me.   Aren’t you glad you weren’t there?  😉

A cup of tea and a slighted saner train of thought saw me try to clean everything and think through my though process.  A drink wouldn’t solve anything, and seriously, the lack of one pair of shoes is going to put up such a barrier that it will derail my entire fitness program?  Bloody hell Crazy Cat Lady, get a grip!

So why was this tiny “problem” such a big thing in my head.  Perhaps it’s all the stuff I have going on at work, perhaps it’s because I didn’t sleep well last night, perhaps I’m seriously messed up and destined to burn my house down because of a bit of eww on the carpet!  Who knows?   LOL

What I do know, and I guess where this post is going is, don’t let the cat vomit in your shoe distract you from what you want to achieve.  These small things are sent to try us and we can’t let them derail our focus on what is truly important.

PS: The carpet is now, thanks to the loan of a carpet cleaner from our next door neighbour, but my shoe smells like a wet dog – nothing worse than a sneaker that has to be soaked!  I’m pretty sure it’ll have to go, but I’m holding out hope and investing in Glen 20 shares.

PSS: 20 days no wine today and feeling great

Still Here

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Well, I’ve just done my third sober weekend in a row.  Who’d have thunk it, not me that’s for sure!

I survived a stressful week at work and turned down Crazy Cat Boys kind offer to get me wine on Saturday because, and I quote “Perhaps  you’ll sleep better if we drink”.  Nice try honey, but that’ll do the opposite.

Despite the fact that I have a calendar that would give Salvador Dali nightmares and “fluid” is the closest corporately acceptable way that can be used to describe the current state of all the events I’m trying to coordinate (shitful is the way I’d describe it, just in case you wondered),  it’s all pink clouds and fluffy bunnies here for the time being.

Peace out internet peeps!

Painting: The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali

Pop, Fizz, Glug, Glug….Crash!

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Yep, that was me falling off the wagon in spectacular style.  Coming into my third Friday night sober with 15 days under my belt, the wheels came off.

We’ll just have a quick drink before dinner, like responsible adults.  Yeah, right, we all know how that ended don’t we?

I don’t remember going to bed.  I do know that three bottles were involved; the evidence was there for all to see the next morning.

Speaking of morning, that wasn’t pretty.  We were looking after the neighbours animals and the dogs are inside overnight and must be let out early (6.00 am early!) so they don’t make a mess IYKWIM.

So, feeling dreadful, I dragged my sorry, bloated arse out of bed pulled on my walking gear (if I had to get up, I may as well exercise) and set off to see if I couldn’t walk off the stupid.  It was lovely day in wine country, kangaroos, kookaburras, the odd lorikeet, hot air balloons floated serenely through the dawn sky.  I appreciated NONE of it as I just tried to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Talk about enjoying life, not!

I managed my usual 8km and decided that bacon and eggs would sort me out.  Crazy Cat Boy had made it from snoring in bed when I left to sitting vacantly on the lounge watching TV.  “I don’t drink any more” he announced to me as I flopped down beside him.   “Yep, me neither” I replied.  Mind you, we’ve both said this before, numerous times.   Talk about slow learners.

Breakfast was duly consumed.  I lasted until around 10 am and then went back to bed.  I thought a lay down with a book would help, nope.  In my hungover state the poison in my body meant that trying to focus on words actually made me feel nauseous.  Great.  I’ve done so much damage to myself with one decision that I’ve lost the ability to read.  God help me if there was an emergency and I had to drive – well, I couldn’t anyway; I’d be over the limit still by my calculations.

Three days later my one consolation is that while I threw away 15 days of feeling on top of the world I know that I must have been doing something right if my body* reacted that acutely to something that only a few weeks ago it simply would have shrugged its shoulders at and gotten on with the day.  I’m lucky; I’ve clearly come to my senses in time that my body will heal itself relatively quickly.

So, if you are still thinking about stopping/cutting back, learn from my mistakes and give it a red hot go, you won’t regret it.

* Physically my hair felt like straw, my face was blotch and yuck. Mentally I’ve been sad and kind of listless, only just starting to feel happy again now on day three.

This not drinking thing…

 

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For anyone wondering what a short period of not drinking is like here’s my short story…

Waking up not hungover for a second Saturday in a row has its merits. We are on day 14* of 2017 and we’ve only drunk once, on the 4th.  I’d like to say that we had a civilised glass over dinner and that was it, but of course we drank two bottles and were cranky the next day.

So what does ten days sober look like for this Crazy Cat Lady? Glad you asked…

  • I feel better, both physically and mentally
  • My skin looks clearer, less red.  I have Rosacea and not drinking is absolutely helping
  • I’ve lost some weight. I’ve been exercising more, but not drinking 3 or 4 bottles a week has to help.
  • I’m calmer
  • I kind of feel like I used to before I drank a lot – it’s a weird hopefulness or happiness that I can’t explain I like myself better
  • At the risk of sharing TMI, I feel sexier
  • I’ve got a stack of time on my hands – we painted the house over the break in the time we would have spent drinking
  • My hair has stopped falling out (OMG, what the hell is booze doing to me exactly??)

I’ve not had any withdrawal issues that I’ve noticed. I deliberately reduced the amount I drank over Christmas and new year. It helped me deal with the stress of dealing with family and all the attendant fun stuff that comes with the holiday season (Christmas day is a post on its own!), so perhaps that helped.

I’ve read a lot about people replacing wine with deserts etc when first giving up but I’ve not experienced that. It could be (Crazy Cat Boy has been mainlining sweet stuff like there is no tomorrow, so perhaps he is) that I’m not really a sweet tooth, I’m more a salt and fats kind of girl.

I even went to bed sober NYE and it’s been years since I’ve done that.  It used to be in my party days I didn’t drink NYE as I thought waking up hungover to start a new year was a bad idea. What changed is still an unanswered question that I’ll have to look at later on.

So, where to from here? CCB wants a new TV ( we don’t need one, he just “wants” one- boys and gadgets, sigh), so I’ve struck a deal whereby we don’t buy wine for four months so the money saved can go to pay for it.

This means for the next four months at least I’ll not be drinking.  I’ve got some usually heavy drinking work events in February  however a change in management is also changing our culture in that area so I’ll have an “out” so to speak.

My thoughts so far on not drinking are give it a whirl, what’s the worst that happens?  You might feel better and save some cash.  That sounds like a win to me.

 

*In case you think I can’t count, I wrote this Saturday but was too lazy to fire up the PC and post it. Somethings not drinking hasn’t changed!  LOL

The Christmas Insanity Has Begun!

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Well, it’s on again for another year, Christmas!  And with that looming large comes the usual round of well meaning family insanity.

Let’s start with the first bit…

Every year Crazy Cat Boys family do a Kris Kingle.  You know, the angst inducing activity where you have to buy a gift for a family member you barely remember and have NO idea what their interests, hobbies or allergies are?  Yeah, that one.  So early in December someone takes it on themselves to send out the list.  Great, I’m buying for a 30 year old woman, I can manage that (Gift cards solve everything).  But wait, two weeks later a “revised” list comes from another family member (clearly she wasn’t happy with who “got” her so she’s shuffling the pack for a better outcome.  I’m now buying for a 60 something woman who I’ve actually met more than once – Score, but to bad if I’d already bought the other gift!

Now the part where my well meaning but with a tenuous grip on logic SIL who’s hosting Christmas lunch special planning skills kick in….

The list of who needs to bring what on the big day arrives.  Now I don’t know about you good internet peeps, but I’d ask the people who are driving from interstate over a couple of days and staying in a hotel to bring something non perishable…. crackers, nuts, dried fruit, chips, lollies, booze, 400 water balloons, whatever.  Nope, in the world where temperature does not exist and logic can be defied, I’m bringing , wait for it….

THE ICE CREAM!

Yep, 900 km in a car is apparently doable*.  Sigh…

Hold on to your hats people, it’s going to be a long few weeks until Boxing Day – Wish me well!

 

* Yes, I know i can buy it there, but really, is it just me or is that poor planning?  I know what will happen as well, they have a very small house with one freezer and I’m tipping no room for ice cream for 29 people.