anger, Food, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Whatever

Curry and customer services.

I work at the sharp end of customer services. I spend my days thanking people for something. Often apologising for the lateness of something, whether its the delay for an appointment, a letter being held up, or more often than not a professional who is running late, because of the complexities of the job. I’m used to juggling things, and over the years I’ve honed the skills to avoid dropping those balls I’m furiously keeping in the air!  So I know what you need to be a good customer service provider.

Above all you need to be attentive to the people who are your customers, and you need to keep your eye on all those balls your juggling. You also need to make sure your team are well trained, and you have rigorous Standard Operating Procedures . That way everyone is clear of their expectations and your not let down by someone who doesn’t understand what is expected of them.

Let me tell you what happened last night. I went out for dinner with my husband who insisted that as it was his birthday we go out for a curry. Great I thought, we both love curry, and had been to the restaurant before, so knew what to expect.

We ordered a drink which arrived promptly. And I asked for some poppadum’s to keep us going (which actually never arrived). We ordered our meal. A starter to share. My husband ordering two 1/2 portions of something hot and tasty, while I had a rice dish, and some nan bread between us. She asked if we wanted rice, I said no, my hubby would have some of mine, as he only ever eats a small amount of rice. She went away, and we waited for out meal. The surrounding were calm and quite. The restaurant wasn’t 1/4 filled, and there were ample serving staff. I’m setting the scene, as its often the busy times and staff shortages that cause the most problems, believe me!

It never occurred to me that she didn’t get the order right. It also didn’t occur to me that she hadn’t read the order back to us to confirm she had understood what we had asked for.

The food arrived, and it was wrong. She had completely got my food order wrong. Instead of a biryani – a rice dish, it was a vegetable bhuna – a very different dish altogether. So she took it away. But  after 5 minutes I had to go and ask for them to take my husbands food away too, so it could come back out with mine. I wanted to eat with him, not have his food sitting getting cold on the table!

One of the waiters came and apologised, and offered us a drink as a token. We thanked him, and we would have a coffee or another beer after the meal. 5 min later two more beers arrived.

The main meals came back as ordered, together with a fresh nan bread.  Each person who served us apologies for the error, so it felt like the whole team has been involved in the disaster!  If only she had read the order back to us in the first place, it wouldn’t have happened, they wouldn’t have lost at least  £40 in free beers, replaced foods, loss of tips (sorry I couldn’t bring myself to leave anything) and a cancelled booking for later on in the week!

Is it any wonder the high streets are suffering? Restaurant chains are cutting back and  shutting branches. They now have to be on the top of their game to entice people to spend their hard earned cash in them.  They need to get it right, or loose profit and customers.

 

 

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Families, Family, Inspiration, real life, social media, Uncategorized, Whatever, women, Writing

Exile from social media….what have I missed?

Its been 11 days since I decided that I would take myself away from social media. I’d read this blog and it has inspired me.

Unplugging and Reinventing

So I signed off from Facebook, my Instagram and Twitter account went cold.  I realised that these things were taking over my life. As soon as I woke up, before I had even put my feet out of bed, I was on my phone scrolling through ‘social media life’ and what had happened while I had been asleep. Every spare minute I was catching up with the life of others, where they had been, what they had eaten, what they were wearing, and who was celebrating a birthday or a friendship!  All the time neglecting my own life. Neglecting my blog and the other more important things – like talking to my long suffering husband. Cuddling my grand children.

At first it felt weird. I kept thinking ‘what is so and so doing?’ and then gradually as the time has gone on that feeling of missing out has diminished. Of course I still get the notifications when I log onto my computer, but I don’t follow the link back into the twisted world of Facebook. It was todays notification that prompted me to write this blog.  Apparently I have 90 notification and I had been tagged in 5 pictures. I know it doesn’t sound very much to some people, who get hundreds and hundreds a day, but its quite a lot for me.

Do you know what I miss the most? Seeing the pictures of my grandchildren that are posted by my daughter in law! I also missed two events that friends had arranged I had forgotten to put on my calendar. There is an awful lot I don’t miss. The sometimes boring lives of others who endlessly post about their pets, the weather, who has parked over their drive, cakes, and what their favourite celebrity is doing. And I’m sure there is a lot that others miss about me…or not!

I have about 4 weeks left of my exile. I know it will teach me something. Remove things that don’t enrich my life. Don’t bother to follow pages that are a fad, or if I do as soon as I fall out of love with those pages – un-follow them. Simple.

Social media in one form or another has a place in anyone’s life, but not as a replacement for real life and communication.

See you on the other side.

 

 

 

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Families, Family, Inspiration, loss, love, mental health, New life, real life, social media, Spirt and soul, Uncategorized, Whatever, women

My life

Looking back on the story of my life, I see a time punctuated with love and laughter, with sadness and joy.

From the poor childhood filled with green and grey memories, the grass and the slate, the rain and the rain!
A life filled with loneliness and rituals.
Sickness and long corridors. Crying and sadness.

Lifelong friendships made on bus journeys, new experiences, and places.
Others lifestyles, and others laughter.
Finding love and loosing love, finding it again – only for it to drift away as young lust does.

A change of life, a change of culture, change of pace and language.
A change of love, a father figure who was anything but an ideal role model,
and thankfully never a father.

Memories left behind, together with the bruises and what little hope there was of happiness.
Anger and rage, rules and rebukes.

A knight in shining armour, a prince who had shared my memories before.
He who gave me back my hope and love, unconditional and everlasting love!
And in return I gave bricks and mortar and sunny times.

A time of sadness, a time of loss again and again.
The ones who loved me in a sea of others, stolen away without saying goodbye.
Without being able to share my hopes and telling that better life story I’d planned with my prince.

Stolen love and kisses at 1am gave milky smiles, not once but twice.
Tiny hands clutching at hair and sleepy eyes, and the smell only new born have.
Blue and blue double trouble!

Lasting memories of A&E and adventurous toddlers.
Nuts and bolts, falling off logs and stitches, diving for alligators, snails, M&M’s and runny noses.
Each word conjuring up a memory of boys and daily life in the household! Words when said, run like a film clip in my mind of those events.

Chaos and bike chains, swimming lesson, dirty football boots.
Discovering difficulties and challenges, jam and pizza.
Mundane and regular.

Summer holidays with kites, camping and caravans.
Rain and sun cream all rolled into one. Lasting friendships made – for 10 days.
Dancing and slush puppies.
Family holidays under the dome, ducks and deer, silently watching the apples and the bread through the glass of a cosy warm chalet.

 

A time of horror.
Of long train and bus journeys, of sadness and pain.
Innocence gone in the blink of an eye. Scars carried like armour, making him strong, but still so very innocent.

Driving and cars. One, two, eight or is it nine?
Young love, innocent and gentle. Shared beliefs and dreams.
Counting the years, counting the homes and now counting the babies.

A time of joy. Of long train and car journeys, of happiness and new experiences.
Hard work, and new technology.
Missing the long and lean boy sleeping on the sofa, mixing with the rich and elite, a new life experiences, built on hard work.

And now in the autumn of my life, I look back on this colourful patchwork of events. Some with sadness, most with joy.
Each nugget of memory lodged in my heart to bring out in conversation with family and friends.
Not too dissimilar from other’s lives, but my memories never the less.
Each day, each year, each smile, each tear punctuating hours and years.

It’s not over yet, more memories to have I plan and hope.
More holidays, more sun, less of something.
Lets see!

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Families, Family, Food, Inspiration, Laughter, love, real life, Uncategorized, Whatever

Dear Paint Manufacturers

Dear Paint Manufacturers

As a grandparent, a parent and an enthusiastic DIY’r I wonder if I may be so bold as to make a few suggestions for the names of paint? Paint that parents could relate to, instantly imagining what the colour was like. A easily washable paint that didn’t take much work to maintain. You have a captive audience here I think, and I feel you’re missing a trick.

I’m asking this as I’ve just had my 1 year old granddaughter for the morning, and we shared lunch together. Of course this isn’t the first time she has been to my humble abode, but it’s the first time I have notice how much more interested in feeding herself she has become! Needless to say there was more food on the surrounding areas than in her little tummy. The simple plastic spoon became a weapon that any archer would have more than proud of. And her plastering skills were second to none!

Of course these new skills came with a sense of humour on her part. Each time she accomplished getting the food to where she wanted it to go, there was a huge smile on her face. This didn’t entail the food going in her mouth – oh no – more of it was on the wall and the floor!

So these are my suggestions to start with, I’m sure there are lots of parents out there with other ideas, something more seasonal, or families who eat different food ranges. Chinese – sweet and sour chicken perhaps. Indian – chicken or Paneer tikka, Dhal. The range could be endless.

Omelette – today’s colour of choice, a mild yellow with a few streaks of orange and yellow and green.

Lunch and desert – a sort of rainbow colour really. Imagine the colours of a wrap filled with fish fingers, tomato sauce, and some cucumber and lettuce, followed by blueberries. The colours would be vibrant and fresh, like a salad.

Tuna and Pasta – a subtle light pink colour, with a cream sheen. Restful and calm. Unlike lunch times.

Soup de jour – well that is anyone’s imagination. Whatever paint you have left at the end of a run, green pea and ham, to a vibrant orange carrot and parsnip or a subtle yellow, with a hint of green and yellow for mixed veg. The choice could be yours.

Bolognaise – a bright red would be just right for this, perhaps with a little soupçon of brown just to give it more of an authenticity. Or it could be in the range like suede, and glitter, with a bit of a bumpy surface?

I hope this has given you food for thought – no pun intended. After a long hour of cleaning the walls, I have very little sense of humour left. If I can order a litre of Bolognaise for next week, she’s back with me soon, I can arrange my meals around my wall colour.

Yours sincerely,

Nanna Pat

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Inspiration, Laughter, Uncategorized, Whatever

29 degrees

Goodness, it is so very hot. We aren’t used to this kind of weather in the UK.

The weather when you need to leave your windows open, so every mosquito and moth and bug can come in and have a party in your living room. Feasting on your blood, and leaving those itchy red welts for days to come. Or flying into the lights, and casting those ghostly shadows on the walls, as they dance the dance of light, before falling down to the ground in exhaustion.

Strappy tops and burnt shoulders are not a good look, or sandals with socks. But we insist on going out in this summer uniform until it cools down.

Last night my bedroom was 29  degrees, hot enough to cook an egg, if I had the energy to try! I slept out of the covers, or should I say I tried to sleep out of the covers. it was too hot. Then it was too cold, then it was too hot, it went on and on!

Well today is another day, a day of cool and calm. Actually I had so little sleep I think I’m hallucinating – it’s still hot – in fact its even hotter. Its not calm as I rush from room to room looking for some shade.

I’m going out soon, my car has air conditioning, its going to be a long car ride!

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Families, Inspiration, loss, love, real life, Uncategorized, Whatever, women

Memories of mam

Those around me are drowning in sorrow at the minute. It’s such a very sad time.

And it has made me remember my mam, and how very much I loved her, and still do. And every day I miss her so very much.

I’m listening to stories of long drawn out illnesses, and brave battles fought again and again. And long lives lived and memories made with young families. And with the greatest of sadness, a life not much older than mine being snatched away, while those around are helpless, and wordless – but not without a river of tears.

I had no time really to say good bye, just good night. The next morning she had gone, before I had time to tell her our plans of grandchildren and weddings. I know she didn’t want to go, it wasn’t how she planned it, I’m sure of that. Her favourite shopping was for hats. But life is both blessed and cruel. On one hand a fine engagement ring, on the other funeral plans. I’d just come back from Paris, where my kind loving boy had given me his undying love and knelt under the tower to ask me to be with him till death do us part.

I’d found one love and lost another – in the blink of an eye.

That’s why we need to say ‘I love you’ every day, with genuine feeling in our eyes. We need to build memories, not hide secrets. And treasure the family we have, for as long as we have them.

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Families, Inspiration, real life, Uncategorized, Whatever

Best laid plans, and all that nonsense.

I don’t often plan my life, it rolls along quite randomly. I might suddenly decide to go shopping, or I might suddenly decide to go out for a sneaky drink with my poor long suffering husband.

Not today. On the way to work I said – ‘I’d love to go for a drink tonight, a cool cider would go down a treat. It’s a hot day, and the  local watering hole Woodies Freehouse would be just the kind of place to stop’

OK he said. So a plan was hatched.

The problem is – I’m now the emergency baby sitting a sleeping granddaughter, and not holding a cool pint of cider. Things sometimes don’t turn out as you plan do they?

Perhaps next time I’ll stick to the randomness of my life.

 

 

 

 

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