Friday, July 30, 2010

That 1%

the-customer-is-always-right-quote-unknown-8876 I stumbled upon this blog posting today from SoSherry.

That 1%

What Sherry is saying that if a customer is unhappy, do what you can to make it right, even if the customer is at fault for not reading your policies.

Sherry poses very good points, why spend the energy fighting the 1% customers who aren’t happy?  I’m on the fence.  If you feel strongly about your business policies you should stick to them.  If the 1% is upset due to your own fault, of course make amends.  However, if the customer is expecting something unreasonable what should you do?

How you decide to handle a customer service issue is up to you.  The toughest part is to keep your emotions out of the situation if things go awry.  My experience in the retail sector, I’ve come to realize that for the most unreasonable customers, it doesn’t come down to money.   It’s satisfaction that they ‘win’ over us lowly peons and get exactly what they feel entitled to with no compromises.  It’s frustrating and demoralizing at times when you realize you have to ‘give in’ because it’s makes the best business sense for that situation.

Remember, you are running a business to make money.  If the time and energy isn’t worth the value of the argument, I agree with Sherry, make it right and move on.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Feature Canadian Shop: kukubee


At the beginning of this year, I did a feature of kukubee on my craft and handmade blog.  They have wonderful artwork and they live right here in Vancouver, BC!

Go Vancouver Store! Favourite Shop: kukubee

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Parking Spot that shouldn’t have been

Last week we went out for a lunch with my friend and the only parking spot we could find is this one.    There is a cement overhang that extends lower then most car roofs!  As you can see, a few people scratched their roofs!

As you can see, my friend parked there anyways but not after us getting out to be his spotter.  Honestly, I couldn’t believe it.

IMG_0052 IMG_0053

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bubble Tea Cartoon

My husband brought me a bubble tea this week because I was having a very bad day at work.  I was vent messaging him and he felt so bad that he came buy and surprised me with a strawberry slush bubble tea with pearls.  It came with this cute cartoon on the top label that sealed it!  Made me smile.  If you are East Asian, I think you’d understand the cartoon

Sorry for the blurry picture, but I think you can still read it.  I’m still getting used to my iPhone camera. 


Sunday, July 18, 2010

It Was Either Love What I Do or Hate What I Do. I Chose the Former.

It Was Either.jpg

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been receiving newsletters from a business cartoonist Hugh MacLeod who made a name for himself by cartooning based on the corporate workplace.  Each week, I get a featuring one of his cartoons and his 2 second advice based on his years of experience.  This one hit home for me as lately I haven’t been loving my day job lately and I forgot, we all have a choice.

On that note, what will you decide?

This is Hugh MacLeod’s Advice based his cartoon:

When I was younger, an older, wiser woman once told me, "90% of being Happy is just making the decision to be so."

As a big advocate of the "Love Thy Work" mentality, somewhere along the line I decided I wasn't just going to turn up and collect a paycheck, like most working stiffs I knew at the time. Somewhere, the decision was made to do it differently than them. Sure, it took me a few years for reality to catch up, but whatever, it was worth it in the end.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Swimsuit Design - FAIL

Late last year, there were a few ‘end of summer’ sales at the mall.   Looking through the racks, we found one of the worst design ideas for a child’s swimsuit.

Who thought it was cute to embroider a crab on the bum?   What was the designer thinking?


For anyone who doesn’t understand why this is a bad design, I’m referring to crab lice that also infests the same general area.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

15 Things You Should Know About Caffeine

I’m a coffee addict lover and I just went through a bought of caffeine withdrawal over the long weekend.  I generally only drink coffee at work and the past couple of days I got the headache, slight depression and was generally over tired.  It’s a good thing I came across this.  I don’t think I’ll be giving coffee up, but now I know I need to cut down!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How to discreetly make yourself at home at work

 jsin245l If you work in a corporate office I bet you spend at least 8 to 10 hours a day there.  In many cases, including myself, more.  If you are going to be there for the majority of your day, might as well make yourself as comfortable.  These are the few things that I do. I know many of you can’t implement some of these comforts, but look at your own situation and see what you can apply to your work life.

Listen to music

If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your MP3 player out, for less than $10 you can get a cheap pair of ear phones and a jack extension and listen to streaming radio through your computer.  Your favourite radio station probably has a live feed but there are thousands out there.  Just google ‘streaming radio’

I use headphones, not ear buds to make it obvious that I’m listening to music.  I’ve built a reputation that my wearing headphones is a signal not to bother me as I’m in deep analytical thought.  (Basically it better be important!)

Put your feet up

I don’t like wearing my shoes and take them off at my desk.  I often sit cross legged on my work chair.  Now we know that for many offices that’s not appropriate.  So I moved my console under my desk perpendicular to me and put my feet up on it.  It’s pretty discreet and it helps me relax.

Get a mini fridge or a mini cooler. 

Then you can always have ice cold drinks in the summer.  I got creative, I used to work upstairs and there’s a overhang outside my window.  No one can climb up there.  So during the colder months I used to put my weekly pop can just outside.

Bring your own coffee, tea or hot water

Most of the offices I’ve worked at or visited, someone has to make the coffee for the rest of the group.  No one wants to make it or the coffee may be so old it’s winking at you.  If the tea is supplied, it’s usually orange pekoe (not my favourite tea yuck!).  If you are a picky coffee drinker, make it at home, put it in a big thermos and bring it with you. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Don’t Burn You Bridges

burn I’ve been with the company I work for over 10 years.  During this time, there were many people I worked with that came, went or even came back.   Many burnt their bridges.  I’d like to share two stories of two past employees this mistake came back to haunt them. 

How They Burnt their Bridges

Past Employee #1

There was a period of huge growth. Within 18 months, I was promoted twice in 18 months.  There was one assistant who kept getting passed over.  He didn’t have the experience or skill set but he felt he was ‘entitled’ as next in line.  After the 3rd or 4th newer employee got promoted over him, he found another job and left with no notice.  My manager at the time was in a meeting so he submitted his resignation to the CEO and simply left the same day. 

Past Employee #2

We hired one employee who had no idea of personal space and struggling to meet his job demands.  He took offense when I brought it up with our manager after ignoring my repeated requests not to take my hat and scarf off my desk and wear them.  The combine stress of not fitting in and job pressure was too much but didn’t relay this to our manager.  Within 6 weeks of his 3 month contract, he found another job and gave us 2 weeks notice.  My company decided not to enforce the contract.

In both cases, we were left in a lurch and the workload of course got dumped on the rest of us. 

How the Burnt Bridge came back to haunt them

Since we just went through (or still going through in some industries) the worse economic downturn since the depression, many of us were let go and looking for job.

Past Employee #1

This happened 10 years ago.  Last year he called to find out who was still here.  He wanted to apply for an open position in the same department and ask not to divulge how he left. 

I am one of two who were here during that incident.  I professionally told him I won’t put my reputation on the line and was better not to use me as a reference.  Even with this hint, he asked me to personally forward his resume directly to my manager and bypass our HR.   So I did with a note to check to look up his past records and talk to me . 

My input put him on the do not interview list.  This employee was never aware that he lost this opportunity.  The cheeky part?  He contacted me again in 6 months to apply for another open position.

Past Employee #2

For about one year or so he put myself, my manager and various ex-team mates as his references.  He even used high level managers who never worked with him.   We were shocked, he never asked us to be a reference!  One high level managers just forwarded the calls to me since I actually worked with the guy.  We just stated the facts: he was hired on a 3 month contract and he violated that contract.  From the industry grapevine, he was immediately removed as a candidate.  Since this happened over such a long period, we think he never found work for that year.

Moral of these stories

Obviously, don’t burn your bridges!

I remember in school people used to say that it was illegal for people to give you a bad reference as it can be considered libel.  Maybe my old peers thought this way.  It’s not libel when you only disclose the facts.  These events were documented on their employee records. 

Not every workplace will be the right one for you.  I enjoy working here but I’m aware it’s not for everyone.  If you are unhappy, go ahead and look for something new.  Just make a gracious exit.