Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Can I help you?

I spent many years working in retail in sales, management and staff training. I was a successful salesperson because I didn't try to sell just any old thing, but had the skills to listen to a customer's needs and find the right product or service for them. That just means that I knew the features and benefits of the products for sale, and genuinely wanted to meet the customer's needs so that they would come back to me the next time they wanted something (which many did). For the years I was with a nationally branded women's clothing store, I consistently had the top sales figures for the state even though I was only part time. A good work ethic is vital: the desire to work as part of a team but step up as an individual when required, to do the best possible job no matter what the profession,and give an honest day's work. I've also worked as a "mystery shopper" which involves going undercover and checking out customer service in various stores to make sure their staff are meeting the company's expectations. Interesting work, although I don't do it now. You must remain objective and follow the instructions issued prior to the visit, including different purchase scenarios complete with objections and problems. So why am I on this soapbox? I've just been to a shop I hadn't visited for several weeks, and the last time I was there a trainee was pleasant, friendly and helpful. This visit I encountered a young woman I believe has been employed there for some time, and she barely made eye contact, kept doing another task while "serving" me and even started talking to another staff member while I was paying. Not good enough. A couple of weeks ago I wanted to buy some boots and was cashed up prepared to spend $150-$250, so I went to a local sho store I'd visited before. 2 senior staff were talking behind the counter, and although it's a small store, neither acknowledged my presence let alone came over to offer assistance even though there were no other customers. After picking up the same boot 4 times I took it over to ask for my size. I was told that they probably didn't have my size, because "We don't usually have big sizes" .I asked if she would mind checking, but her mobile phone rang so she sent the other woman who returned with a pair 3 sizes smaller and informed me "Nup, no big sizes". The was no suggestion of other styles or any apparent desire to sell me anything that day or in the future. I am an obliging type of person, so I won't be going back to disturb them again. My point: if you are receiving payment for doing a job, or even if you have volunteered for a job, please DO your job, and to the best if your ability. I don't care if you are a salesperson, garbage collector, politician, lawyer, dog catcher, bus driver or brain surgeon. Just do your job! There are certain checkout operators I avoid at the local supermarkets because I don't want to hear how they can't wait to get away after a 4 hour shift because they hate their job. Or the ones who believe that throwing items across the scanner and cramming them roughly into bags is being efficient. Many employees just don't receive good training, but a good attitude and work ethic can overcome many obstacles. Well, that's my venting over for now. Oh, and "Have a nice day".

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Thank you for the smiles

It was a beautiful sunny Tasmanian autumn day today and our backyard was full of bird life to observe and smile about: 3 Tawny Frogmouths sleeping in a tree, Cockatoos & Bronzewings feeding from the seed trays,a pair of Ravens making their daily visit plus an assortment of other species going about their business. It was the Tawny Frogmouths that made me smile the most today, because they were squashed up together in a fork of the tree trying their very best to look like another branch. We often go outside at dusk to watch them stir and take off for a night's hunting. We also have frogs in our yard, but perhaps the Frogmouths know that already! Other memorable smile moments today: chatting with my husband over a morning cuppa, a delivery driver who smiled and didn't complain about having to work today, a smile and wave from our neighbor as we both got in our cars, the young lady on the supermarket checkout who accidentally pulled a lid off a tub as she passed it through the scanner, the lady behind me at the checkout when I gave her those supermarket school sticker, teaching a friend the basics on the ukulele and seeing her joy at being able to immediately play a few songs, my husband arriving home from work and spending an evening together, and numerous other smiles at thoughts, sights and sounds during the day. A special day? Yes, every day is special, so is every smile. I'll close with a poem I wrote in 2009 called "Smile" If I say and do silly things it's all worth while If just for a moment I can make you smile Allow me to give you a little advice Frowns make you look ugly, but a smile looks nice! Make that frown disappear and in its place Let a smile spread out across your face! Even if just for a moment forget your woes Put a smile on your face; just under your nose! You'll be quite surprised once it's there That it's such an easy thing to wear. There's no need to put it away: You can leave it there for the rest of the day. And if there's an occasion it needs to hide You can wear a smile on the inside!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

I am still having adventures!

I obviously haven't blogged for some time, and in fact haven,t written many poems or songs for a while either. It's not from lack of inspiration, rather just a case of re-direction: I've been creating some new craft items, taking holidays and celebrating birthdays. Apart from making some simple (but fun) door hanger signs for my market stall, I've embarked on a journey of discovery with resin jewellery, using glass shards, rhinestones, enamel, even spider punches to create various styles in pendant bezels and on flat discs. I haven't really presented them at markets yet, so this month will be their earliest outings. Missed out on a market yesterday as it was pouring with rain, which reminded me why I normally only do indoor/undercover markets.

Musically I had 3 full weekends off, and suffered withdrawal symptoms quite early on. I took a ukelele on holidays, but only had one little play for a few minutes. Back to my regular performances now at Brookfield Margate, Southern Lights Hotel, open mic and seniors groups/ nursing homes. I really must create some time to record my album of comedy songs this year: too many things have delayed me in the past 18 months.

That's the thing about being different people; well, I am really just "me", but I have different areas of my life overlapping and blending all the time. Singer, songwriter, poet, crafter, marketer, mc, wife, mother, daughter...... Oh yeah, just like most women!

I love life.