My life

Lurching from one disaster to another...just a suburban princess trying to get by!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Customer service...what's that?

During my working life I have always worked in client (or customer) service roles.  I like to think I excelled...after all, it's not hard to both do your job and give people a positive experience at the same time!

This past week I experienced both the best and worst customer service I've seen in a while.

Firstly, the good.  I recently changed hairdressers.  The old one was OK, but the salon was a bit noisy, a bit unprofessional...a bit "cheap" ie tacky.

My new hairdresser works for a trendy company with quite a few salons.  I will call him..."Sam".  He is an absolute joy.  Well presented, friendly, chatty but not overly so...makes a mean cup of coffee and gives a fantastic head & neck massage.  He is everything you want  hairdresser to be, with the possible exception of the blinding cost!

On the other hand, I have recently started getting my nails done at the local salon of a well known chain.  I go there as they do a good job and are substantially cheaper than their competitors.  The problem is the people skills of the staff...they have none!  As they don't introduce themselves I have nicknamed them all Surly, and they live up to it! 

I don't expect the world, but I do expect that staff in the businesses I visit have a basic level of customer service.  It's not hard to paste on a smile and be pleasant to your customers after all!

I know I sound old fashioned, some would say just plain old, but I remember a time when customer service was a priority for businesses, not a rarity.

Love Jo xxx

Monday, 4 November 2013

It's been too long!

I was going to say I have no idea where this year has gone, or how I can't believe that I haven't written a post since January, but the sad fact is I know exactly where it's gone and why it's happened.

I've had a hell of a year.

In no particular order, I've had a major surgery causing a dramatic lifestyle change, a serious bout of depression leading to a couple of months in hospital and another month visiting relatives and recovering.  Exhausting.

I need to learn to look after myself better, to recognise when I'm going into a decline before it gets to the point where I have to spend so long in hospital.

I accept that there will be occasions where hospital is necessary, it seems to be the nature of my particular brand of mental illness, but I need to learn to get help sooner, to try to shorten those admissions.  Hopefully I can limit my stays to medication changes only rather than extended stays. 

I have to keep myself busy, building new neural pathways, doing a range of new things (or old things I had stopped doing).

Part of my recovery includes writing, something I haven't been able to do for much of the last year.

So for better or worse, I'm back.

Love Jo xxx

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

I'm a statistic...

Today I became a statistic.

After dodging skin checks my entire adult life (yes, I am a complete idiot), I finally put on my big girl panties and went to see a specialist.  The result of this was that today I had to have two excisions ie. chunks of flesh the size of the top of your finger cut out. 

That's going to hurt when the numbing wears off!
No pic of the one one my back, you get the drift from this one.
Now it didn't hurt (except for the local anaesthetic needles), and it still doesn't yet, but it will.  A small price to pay for peace of mind.

Now I just have to wait a week for the pathology results, but the surgeon believes they were Basal Cell Carcinomas.  Bad enough but not lethal.

The damage was done when I was much younger.  These days I cover up, wear sunscreen, a hat, sunnies.  But I didn't always.  That was part of my illogical reason for avoiding the subject, I was convinced I was riddled with skin cancers, so I ignored it all together.

Now, with all the zeal of a reformed smoker (yes, I am one of those too) I will preach to everyone who will listen.

Rather than listening to me though, it's best to go to the source, in this case

"Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia, with 80 per cent of all cancers diagnosed in Australia being skin cancer.
Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. More than 430,000 Australians are treated a year for skin cancers. Of these, over 10,500 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed. Each year there are around 1600 deaths from melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.

Preventing skin cancer

The major cause of skin cancer is too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Skin can burn in as little as 15 minutes in the summer sun so it is important to protect your skin from UV radiation.
Skin cancer is largely preventable. Be SunSmart. Protect yourself against sun damage and skin cancer by using a combination of these five steps:

So be brave, get checked, use common sense and follow the guidelines.
Love Jo xxx

Monday, 28 January 2013

Wet, Wet, Wet

Summer in Queensland can be a little unpredictable.  One day it's stiflingly hot, the next coldish & rainy.  Then there are the storms, we do summer storms well up here! (or badly depending on your point of view)
The Australia Day long weekend in Toowoomba was a bit of a fizzer weatherwise, pouring rain, fog, howling wind and flooded creeks.
Thank God we didn't have a repeat of January 2011 here on the range, but it's still a pain in the ass.
We had to venture out yesterday for supplies, so being a good little blogger, I took my camera and snapped away.

East Creek, Toowoomba
East Creek overflowing onto MacKenzie St, Toowoomba
East Creek overflowing onto Kitchener St, btw James & Herries Sts, Toowoomba
A bit scary to come around a blind corner and see this!
I shall call this Whirlpool on Burstow...sounds like a restaurant
West Creek, looking towards Toowoomba City. Still showing signs of unrepaired damage from Jan 2011.
Hopefully this disaster is over for our town.

We have a leaky roof, and a lounge full of stinking, wet carpets.  I liken it to what I imagine the smell of a thousand tomcat's piss would smell like.

Now thoughts turn to our fellow Queenslanders who are not as lucky as we have been.  Be safe, stay strong, we are praying for you.