Service Please!

Like the majority of the people on this planet, its pretty easy to keep me coming back to your business- all you need to do is give me what I am paying for.

If you include good service and perhaps a smile, I am virtually guaranteed to come back! And I will tell others about your business, without expecting something in return. If you screw me over however, the same applies. I will tell others about your business. And statistics have shown that poor service experiences are shared far more than good ones!

When I need electrical appliances repaired, I am far more likely to contact a well known company than someone I know who happens to own a pair of pliers and some insulation tape. Largely due to their advertising, the first company that springs to mind when I needed an appliance repaired is Bergen’s Appliance Repairs & Spares. I’ve used them before when I needed my oven seen to, and I had pretty good service from them without it costing me a kidney.

Now let me tell you a little story about a washing machine.

My washing machine stopped functioning- mid cycle and half full of water- about a month ago. I called up my nearest Bergen’s and asked them what my options were. Their answer was that they would fetch my machine, tell me what was wrong with it and we could take it from there. I got a phone call the next morning to tell me that the repair would cost me well over R1K, but that they had a used, newer model of the same make of machine that I could have for pretty much the same price as the repair. I spoke it over with my hubby, we had a look at some new machines, and decided to accept their offer.

Please note though- none of the appliance repair companies I have ever used will give you any money for the broken machines they take off your hands. They’ll sell you something else or repair yours (for a price of course)- but if they don’t fix it and you ask them to take it off your hands you get nothing. If you decide to keep the broken appliance, you will most likely end up with a garage full of spares that you can do nothing with…

Bygones.

They delivered the replacement machine- much later than they said they would- but it was here. It was then used twice, and it functioned dreadfully! It didn’t spin or drain properly and the clothing was coming out wet. The next day I placed another call and he said they’d come and fetch it to check it out. They eventually fetched it- a day later than they said they would- and it took a couple of follow up calls from me the next day to find out what was potting. They found something wrong with the drainage pipe and some or other motor. This they were going to repair, at no cost to me, and return the machine the next day. Nothing happened. Each time I called I was promised that whatever the planned action was it would take place that very day. Several phone calls from me to Bergen’s followed before they arrived days later- with another machine entirely! Another phone call from me established that my machine was not yet repaired and I could use this one in the meantime. I said “no dice” and sent it back.

Take note- this took place over several days and I had to make all the phone calls to Bergen’s- I was never contacted by them.

When I called again the next day, I was told the truck had broken down and they were waiting for it to be fixed but that I would get my machine as soon as the truck was repaired. Another day I was told the machine was on the truck and they were on their way to me. Then the man I was dealing with wasn’t in the shop. This trend continued for about a week. No contact from them, and empty promises when I phoned and spoke to someone there.

Can I just state here that not once did I raise my voice or use bad language- and this is quite something for me! I am not shy to complain, but I don’t always manage to do so without throwing my toys completely. I did tell the shop manager how unhappy I was- in no uncertain terms- but I maintained control.

When I called again a couple of days later- and the store manager now recognises my voice, by the way- as soon as he started making promises to get the machine to me I told him I was no longer interested in the machine and I wanted my money back. He didn’t argue, he said that was fine and he’d bring me the cash. I asked when this would happen and I was told it would be that very day. This was followed up with 2 more phone calls from me over the following five days, which included a weekend.

The last time I phoned the shop I did raise my voice. He again started promising me I’d have my money today ‘coz it was month end, and, and, and, and when I asked if it was really going to happen today he said I could fetch the cash if I wanted to. I said I would and I went round to the shop an hour or so later. I must state here that not once did he raise his voice or get annoyed with me, but he also never called me to tell me what was going on- that the part he was waiting for had not yet arrived or that the truck had broken down. Nor did he call me back after I had called the shop.

I got my money back, but sadly I will not be doing business with Bergen’s again. They really need to learn to under promise and over deliver.

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Update!! Today, June 2nd, I went and bought a brand new, 8kg Samsung top loading washing machine for just R300 more than the second hand one cost me! I’m very chuffed! It was on special at Makro!

…come play on my roller coaster…

So Much Of Excitement!!!

5-rings-of-nervous-tension

I so badly want to tell people because I am so excited about the possibilities- but my boss and my colleagues read my blog so I can’t be too “open” about what’s going on of late for fear of jeopardising my job.

Not that my boss would or could fire me for talking about looking at other options- but you know what I’m getting at.

 

My darling Glugster and I have been chatting for some time about me stopping working, and taking on some of his projects as well as starting some of my own. Wedding and event planning, baking, make-up… there’s lots I can do for some income, but nothing will be anywhere near my current income. Not for a long long time!

And to be completely honest, it all scares the bejeebers out of me! I cannot tell you how much.

I do know there are several people out there who will understand where I’m coming from though… 😉

The thing is, I have always been financially responsible for myself and my knucklehead. Car, rent, medical aid, groceries, insurance… I paid it all myself. I still pay most of it myself but I don’t have rent or school fees and such anymore- which has allowed me to get out of debt and actually start saving a wee bit. See I never had maintenance of any kind from his father because that was what we agreed on when we split… and leaving my job would mean handing all my financial responsibilities over to my sweetheart. For a looong time. And of course, if I do pack it in now to take on an adventure- I won’t be able to buy myself a new car either…

And my sweet Glugs is not unreasonable or delusional. He is prepared to “carry” me until I can start earning a bit of an income, but he is not prepared to do so indefinately.

 

Oy.

 

Anyhoodle.

 

The thing is you see, whilst I like what I’m doing and I like the continuous learning that my big boss makes possible… most of my clients and one or two of my colleagues drive me totally bananas! I have one boss who is exceptionally negative and critical ALL the time, and I don’t like the fact that I am happier when he’s not in the office. It smacks of my previous job- and a similar situation was one of the reasons I left. And it’s not just me who feels this way about him. It makes our work environment a shitty one, and it never used to be this way. Being a consulting firm, we tend to end up all sitting in the same space wherever our clients’ decide they can fit us in, so its not like he has his own office or anything either.

As for my clients… their sheer idiocy makes me see red with anger more often than not, and that’s so not right! Just seeing one of them walk into the office we all share infuriates me almost instantly.

I don’t like that.

And of late I seem to have developed an aversion to new work!

I am quite happy to maintain stored procedures and Crystal reports, give support where necessary, and QA my colleagues work (because I’m very particular *coff* anal *coff* about things like spacing and uniformity, they’ve made QA a part of my job), but I don’t want to take on new projects anymore!

At all!

If I could, I would simply refuse!

And then my poor sweet Glugster gets it in the ear when I get home and bitch about my day or complain about my boss.

 

Of course, it’s no secret to anyone that I love wedding planning, and have been doing it on a small scale for a long time. Its also no secret that I want to make a career out of it one day, so with a little coaxing from my Glugster, I started looking into it in a little more depth.

There is a market for it, but it’s a tough one to get into.

To try and get a foot in the door I emailed a whole bunch of the big wedding venues and asked if they would be amenable to some kind of coordinator apprenticeship so that I can learn the ropes. One replied and asked for a CV, which I duly emailed, and the other phoned me back. The dude who called me was particularly negative about how limited the industry is and how few people succeed at it unless they are affiliated to a big company and how there’s no money in weddings. He then took my irritation at his talking for such a long time as disappointment that he had “burst my bubble”, as he put it. The other place has yet to get back to me 🙁

I still want to do it though.

There are a few business possibilities I want to look into as well, but I just don’t get around to it!

I also want to delve deeper into advocating for ADHDers and their parents (not a legal advocate, but advocate in the support/ activist sense of the word). There isn’t really anything like it in South Africa as far as I can tell. And whilst there are tons of websites and ADHASA does a lot in terms of conducting studies, running support groups and creating awareness; schools, shrinks and doctors have no-one specific to refer parents to when they are dealing with a new diagnosis or with drama at school. If I have the time to do so, I would like to provide a more personal level of support for ADHDer parents (kinda like I do now with several families via email and over the phone) and perhaps even affiliate myself with ADHASA somehow. I want to help those parents who need someone to tell their woes to, who will understand where they’re coming from. I want to help parents prepare for teacher parent meetings and such and give them a little information for when they see their doctors and specialists- especially since doctors don’t tell you enough.

 

And I have signed up for a wedding planning course that will take place once a week for four months as of next year March, and I can’t wait! It covers all aspects of planning a wedding and then some! It’s going to be so cool!

 

I just know, over all, that I would be happier if I weren’t here.

I have reached a point in my life which I always thought would start including things like studying further and perhaps starting my own business- because Damien was getting finished with school. I put everything off so that I could focus on raising him, and now I don’t want to put it off anymore.

Lawd that sounds so selfish… :/