Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Friendly client service ... a foreign notion?

Isn't "client service" important to some companies any longer? I question myself. It may be that my yesterday's experience with a sales clerk isn't representative but ... yes, but. Sometimes, I fear it is...
Let me tell you what happened.
I had ordered some Christmas presents on the Internet for some of our clients. Yesterday, I received a big box by post and when I checked the contents, I noticed that 15 of the smaller client presents were wrong. The delivery note was correct. The goods not.
I called the company.
Firstly, I was transferred four (!!) times until I finally could talk to the right person.
Secondly, the lady was not friendly at all and doubted that I was telling the truth. She simply said: "I'll check and will call you back." Her voice was implying: what a jerk!
Thirdly, she kept calling me by my frist name: Mrs Simonetta. Can't she read the order correctly?

I hung up feeling slightly pissed. I tried to remain fair-minded though because working in a client service department is not easy (I've done it and know how it is).

When she called back, two hours later, not only she kept calling me Mrs Simonetta (even though I told her TWICE that Simonetta was my first name!!) but her voice was all business and again not friendly at all.
Luckily for her, I was feeling friendly yesterday and was in an excellent mood. Otherwise, I probably would have yelled at her, because it was their mistake, not mine but she kept treating me as SHE was the one who was pissed off because SHE now had to solve the issue even though I could have kept the wrong merchandise and make HER life easier, couldn't I?
Do you get the lady?
However, what finally pissed me off most was that ... she never said "excuse us". Never. NEVER ONCE. Is this what they call "service to the client"?

I hung up, without adding more words. It's clear though that not only we will deduct the postage expenses on the bill but never ever again order some Christmas presents in their Internet shop.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Yes, it's about New York. Again! While I was posting my old NY pictures, a while back, I remembered that an ex-colleague of mine (when I still was working in the bank) currently resided in New York, improving her English. I was so happy when she agreed to answer my questions. It wasn't only because of the perfect timing (meaning my post and hurricane Sandy) but also because I thought that you (and I as well, of course!) would be interested in what she had to say about living in a city like New York.
I don't know J. very well, I must admit. We went to lunch a couple of times and I always loved our talks, especially when we were talking about traveling! She has been to many places but she loves America as much as I do and that connected us. I am a bit jealous, I have to admit, of her staying in New York for such a long time! Imagine how cool that is :-)

Let's find out what she has to say. The pictures are hers, by the way. And you'll find the English version of her words at the bottom (my translation and therefore the mistakes are mine as well SMILE):

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I love this word: perseverance (Ausdauer, Beharrlichkeit). I just read an article about perseverance in yoga pratice. It had me think (here we go again!!).
I spent the last 9 months doing Yoga every Friday evening. The article made me think of how frustrating my first yoga lessons were. I was standing (or lying - depending on the Asana) there and (often) thinking: I am never gonna be able to do this. I will never get it. I will never take pleasure in this.
I kept on going though, every Friday. I perservered. I learned. With time (and perseverance) some Asanas became easier. There were even some that I no longer thought about - I just did them. Yoga became pleasure. Other Asanas, however, remained challenging but I had no hard feelings against them. I knew that someday I would be able to do them (and if not my life wouldn't crash!).
I am pretty proud of myself. I learned that preseverance has not much to do with ambition. Perseverance, as I feel it, has more to do with patience and time.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Where did time go?

I can't believe it's already November. NOVEMBER! What the hell? Where did time go? Where did this year go? Where did autumn go? Wow. I'm usually not the kind of woman who is always "bloody" busy but these last few weeks, I must admit, I have been pretty busy. Busy in the very good sense of the word, mind you.
I have all these ideas (more than usually, do you believe that?) and, unlike other years, I seem to have a lot of energy to realize them.
Looking back, I realize that it started during summer: I have an idea, think about it for a short time (a SHORT time - this is what makes it unusual - I usually tend to overthink stuff) and then take off to realize it. And usually it works. Ok, mine are not big, earthchanging ideas but they enrich my life. That's what's important :-)
I've discovered, talking to my friends, that everybody kind of is pretty busy these days. A very nice kind of busy. A productive kind of busy. It must be something in the air. Maybe there is more energy due to 21.12.12. Who knows? I have read somewhere that, astrologically speaking, we're living strong times.
Must be that.
Well, in any case, I hope you're enjoying the ride as well!!

2004: Toscana trip

Remember? I promised to share some pictures of my trip to Tuscany back in 2004...

on our way to Tuscany: Mantova

The Tarot Garden by Niki de Saint Phalle

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New York (2005)

The city and its inhabitants had quite a week: the pictures in the news where you could see downtown without any lights? Gave me the creeps. We tend to forget that nothing is stronger than nature.
These pictures were taken back in 2005 - my first trip all by myself to the US!

Looking for a travel companion

As mentioned last week, I am looking for a travel companion with the help of an ad that I placed in a travel magazine.
I received quite a few e-mails and decided to meet with everybody: out of respect (it's nice of them to have answered my ad) and out of curiosity (SMILE). Well, two people I didn't meet. One wanted absolutely travel to Egypt in December (I can't in December and Egypt is not on my list) and the other one was one of these super sporty guys that goes on a trip to bike or climb or run or to do whatever sportive  activity you can think of. He gave me a headache just reading his words - imagine, traveling with such a guy. Always under pressure. Always to prove whatever to whoever. No thank you, I said. Not for me. Ah well, and there was another one who just wrote: please call me at ... A definite no go as well. Who does he think he his?

I had never placed an ad. Therefore this was a totally new experience for me. It's kind of a blind date but without the date issue SMILE (most of them were women anyway!). I met 7 out of 9 people already and I had the time of my life... talking about traveling all the time and listening to others talking about traveling! Wonderful. Summing up I can say that I will do some hiking tours with almost all of them (separately, of course!) and maybe some small trips with a few of them. I haven't met anybody yet that will travel to Angkor Wat with me in January. The last person I will meet (in two weeks) is the only one left that was interested in such a trip and that had actually time to go on a trip in January. We'll see...