Monday, March 31, 2008

Mobile phones and customer service

Today I printed up a couple of signs for the shop.. " Customers will not be served while talking on a mobile phone. "

This was brought on by two incidents in particular. Firstly I was sitting having an in depth conversation with someone regarding their medical condition and treatment options, not a minor condition either, when their phone rang. They answered it but instead of saying they would call back they just took up a conversation with whoever it was, whilst still sitting in front of me.

Would they have done this to the doctor.....come to think of it they probably did and that was why I was trying to explain these matters to them. I fumed for about thirty seconds, then stood up and walked away to do something else.

This person actually complained that I had been rude in not waiting for them to finish their conversation, which as far as I could tell was about whether it is true that Brad and Angelina had got married.

The second incident was as I was sitting at my desk working away on an three crate prescription order when a yuppie type flew in, talking on the phone, and thrust their prescription up my left nostril without catching a breath or looking at me.

One of my assistants removed said prescription from my nose, and me from the ceiling, but couldn't attract the yuppies attention. So I dropped his prescription on the floor.

Twenty minutes later when he had finally finished averting war, arranging for photo evidence of a faked moon landing to be published, and received the go ahead for a nuclear launch against uzbekhistan he asked where his drugs were.

"Which prescrition is that?" I asked. "I handed it in before" he said. "Oh dear" I said, "who to? " Of course being as he hadn't actually looked at a single member of staff during the time he was with us he couldn't say.

I did find his prescription, anti w****r pills as it turns out, am I bad?

The final straw was when a lady tackled one of the front shop girls about overcharging her.The lady in question had several similar items and the girl questioned her, but was unable to get an answer, in conversation with higher beings as the customer was, so shrugged and carried on.

Apparently her crystal ball was faulty as the lady had only wanted to compare the prices and ask which was better....whilst on the phone to someone else apparently.

When did it become acceptable to drop peverything to talk on a mobile phone, and why is the person n front of you less important than the one on the other end of the phone.

Fine, use your phone, but move away from my work area to do it. When you are in the middle of a conversation with some-one hang up and call back, or apologise and excuse yourself.

I have to say ninety-nine per cent of people who come in the shop have commented that they love the signs and agree whole heartedly, the other one per cent were too busy talking on the phone to see them.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Long pants or shorts?

It is a measure of life in Far North Queensland that our council elections have just taken place and the biggest issue that any one commented on were the hair styles of the respective candidates, and the fact that the first thing the new mayor did was get a new haircut.

The second thing she did was issue an edict that council workers must wear long trousers for work. Such contoversy has not raised its head for some time. The debate is the largest to stir our part of the nation since the local MP refused to take his hat off in the airport to go through the metal detector. (That's true).

Factions have formed and hostilities are soon to be declared. On the one side are the office workers that have decided from their air conditioned offices that they can save lives long term by preventing skin cancer by enforcing long pants on the work force.

On the other side are the poor sods out in the heat. Bear in mind that temperatures during the day here rarely drop below thirty degrees centigrade, and that it is a dry day if the humidity is less than ninety five percent. Every day life here is like living with a hot wet towel wrapped around your head.

It would probably not be so bad but the council seem to have bulk bought five thousand pairs of trousers suitable for the Antarctic, some sort of nylon kevlar blend with a fleecy lining. These go with their last bargain buy, high visibility shirts in nylon with no air vents.

Now imagine digging holes and resurfacing roads in a sauna whilst wearing a bin bag over your entire body.

So the council is saving lives long term, but is probably going to pay out a lot of money in sick leave for heat stroke and dehydration in the short term.

It is recommended that out door workers here drink up to ten liters of water a day (yes ten). When the new rules come in each worker is going to have to get a new hat with some sort of mobile IV drip attached to the brim. In the evening when they go home they can detatch the saline ( that has been following them in a tanker all day) and attach a stubbie of beer.

I have an idea that I could probably patent some sort of trousers that are a pair of shorts with mesh legs attached to get around this rule, but that brings me back to extra sick pay caused by burst hernias with the workers laughing at each other.

This is not the first time a far northern employer has come up with such a brilliant idea however, the airport workers have all been provided with day glo yellow waistcoats for wearing on the runway, with non detachable fleece linings. Apparently they love them in Sydney...I'm sure they do, its a lot cooler there and no humidity.

Aircraft can now spot the runway during the day by the line of airport workers collapsed along it with heat stroke.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A bloke thing

The thing is I have a horrible feeling I might know these blokes, and you know it can't end well.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Any one want to buy a teenager?

Teenagers, I tell you it's a good job babies are cute because teenagers sure aren't. Having met Side show Bob's parents, Dopey and him broke up, tears , hysterics, the end of life. Oh but now they're back together again and laughing and giggling together in corners.

Grumpy disappeared again with a group of teenage girls, obviously a relationship as he calls it can involve a large group of admirers all at once. I expect I should be glad he's so popular but I keep having flashes of some angry parent turning up on my doorstep with a pregnant girl in tow.....I just keep telling him to put a hat on it and he keeps saying awwwwwwwwwww....mum.

My nerves and those of Homer are in tatters, and I am sad to report it was a good enough excuse in my mind to start smoking again. I shall stop again next Wednesday. (Did that sound definite enough?)

We had to drop something off round at Sideshow bob's house today, and took Happy and Psycho with us ( thats #3 and #4 ). Having been there before (once) they set off like a pair of whirling dervishes around the house with me ineffectually calling after them.

After a few minutes they rediscovered the games room and all went quiet. I was sitting upstairs having a very civilized cup of tea chatting with Bob's mum when out of the corner of my ears I heard some one say, " He threw the dog off the balcony". I leapt to my feet, whilst at the same time clutching my chest and staring wildly around for #4. omygod omygod whats he done now!

Good job Bob's dads a doctor he had to give me CPR and a glass of brandy before explaining that it was a childhood story about Sideshow Bob as a toddler that he'd been sharing with Homer. Every one thought it was hilarious that I could think that #4 had done this when anyone could see that he was quietly playing on the playstation.

All I can say is they don't know him like I do.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Meet the parents ( in law)

Tonight was the first formal meeting between side show Bob's parents and ourselves. You know the formal meeting, rather than the leaning out of a car yelling "Get in now! I have three minutes to go twenty miles so as not to miss the school pickup" kind of meeting.

We went to their house, very nice indeed, the views out over the mountains from their deck was amazing. They have a cute baby which I cuddled. The first baby in the history of the world to take an instant dislike to me.....maybe he could feel the fear.

I hate meeting new people and was a nervous wreck before we got there. Decided alcohol and valium was not a good approach, what with him being a doctor n all, so we just took some with us to break the ice, alcohol that is.

Lovely people I have to say. Dopey was a bit put out as we got on well. That was not part of her plans. We greed that if one of the happy couple was grounded, then they both were, if Sideshow smoked we would tell his dad, and that children need discipline. I think the happy couple were more hoping for a sticky chatless evening but they are as yet unaware of the true nature of alcohol.

Sideshow's dad I have to say makes a truly terrific version of port. We may be forced to do a break and enter into his house to get some more.

Grumpy meanwhile was out hunting, or being hunted, by teenage girls. The troll may truly be in his past now, although she still rings occasionally. If I answer I put on the worst chinese accent in the world " Velly solly, no Glumpy here, long number, so solly" and hang up. I know she knows its me , and she knows I know, but what can she do. She's playing out of her class.

I did warn him however that he should make sure that before he puts his thing anywhere he better make sure its wearing a hat. Awwwwwwwww Mum...anyway better safe than sorry. He also claims he's after a "relationship". I do wonder if my definition of this and his are different but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Customer service....and why I sometimes fail

Just back from a loooong day at work. I think there should be some sort of order of merit for any one who manages to work directly with "the public" and not be arrested, or get sectioned under a mental health act.

So far this week we have had

1. The man with the gun. He brought his hand gun into the shop to show us.He produced it in the shop without warning and started waving it about, he then proceeded to load the magazine, in the shop. We know him, and reported him to the police. He returned a few days later to complain to the manageress that we had caused HIM some STRESS. Apparently it was " joke". He then asked one of the girls to be a character witness for him in court, after threatening to run his car through the shop windows...

2. The woman I spent half an hour with regarding her cough. I suggested various options, then she said, " But I don't want medicine, it doesn't agree with me." I asked her why she was in a pharmacy then, um she didn't really know.

3. I spent half an hour finding the ideal iron preparation for a customer who didn't want constipation or stomach upsets, and a natural product, and , and ,and. Anyway I found something for her needs, at which she requested in addition a product available over the counter that is well known to cause stomach ulcers, stomach upsets, nausea and constipation. When I pointed this out to her, in view of her previous requests she replied that ," She didn't care she wanted them" Grrrr.

4. Having dispensed a lady's contraceptive pill to her she asked me, two children in tow, if changing her brand of contraceptive would mean the she would get pregnant with a girl ............

5. I asked a lady buying nit lotion if she needed a nit comb, to which she replied.." I wouldn't buy anything here, you only sell crap" ( and I do quote) . But you just bought......oh never mind.

Well my halo is slightly bent and I could live without seeing another human being again for a while, but back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The road home

This is the way home? There's a road and a bridge under there... promise

Check out the clouds more water coming

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Smoking is bad?

Day two on the giving up smoking trial...yes trial not trail. Still hanging in there, but I can honestly say people know it. They know ALL ABOUT IT.

I love support from my supporters, but from the people I don't like when they say "Well done" and " Good Job", I just feel like lighting one up and blowing smoke in their faces. "Think of your health" one said today, "Think of your own and back away" I thought.

Stop preaching to me, I wouldn't be trying to give up if I thought it was good for me. If you carry on telling me how well I'm doing you may find out how good for YOU me smoking was, removing me as it did from your immediate environment.

OOh good , now you can have lunch with us, said one today, Not if I slit my wrists first I thought.

I will succeed and to those with helpful encouragement, mainly ex smokers who feel my pain Thank-you. Thank-you and thank-you again. To the rest of you, Get a life, platitudes do not remove homicidal tendencies and I know you don't know what I feel like from the look on your face. Just steer clear of me while I do the psychotic bitch part of giving up. I may become socialised again in a week or two but at the moment my short temper is going to harm both of us.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

DCS has guilty mother woes

My DCS ( see link on left) has had her first visit to A& E with her baby. Frankly I am a little amazed that this is the first one, as a fully trained medical professional I know that meningitis, mumps, ebola and the Plague are surprisingly often suspected in the children of health professionals.

Give a health care worker a good book and some one they care about and they can probably diagnose a complaint or two for each letter of the alphabet. I suspect that her common sense is all that has actually disuaded her from leaving the house with her child tucked under her arm a few times, following her diagnosis of this and similar illnesses.

I just keep thinking what will happen when her baby walks and talks...and opens cupboards. I remember finding child #1 and #2 making a cake for me in the kitchen, well strictly speaking on the kitchen floor, one day as I tried to unblock the toilet ( One small jeep, three lego blocks and something that may have once been green).

I found out #1 could climb when he fell out of his cot at 3am going for a drink, and that #2 could walk when I found her on the stairs, ( #1 had helpfully opened the gate). Luckily experience led me to have #3 and #4 swimming early as the only people pool gates stop are adults. Children stand on each others shoulders to open them.

#4 is also very handy with a screw driver, having dismantled three air conditioning units, a fridge, the car seats and a television before we found out where he was hiding his tools.

#3 helpfully informs me that chickens can't swim like ducks....luckily a test carried out in a washing up bowl.

DCS is in for a shock I think. She always thought my children were badly behaved, and they can be, but they are also inquisitive and intelligent, a deadly mix.

Teenage Piercing / I give up Smoking

Apparently to be popular when you are a teenager you now need a piercing, the more piercings you have the more popular you are.

The way teenage boys slope about is directly due to the weight of metal dangling of various parts of their body. I discovered this when Grumpy got a new piercing and suddenly the house was full of teenage girls come to look at it. MMMM.

Bedroom doors were to be open at all times. One particularly snotty girl told me that at HER house they were allowed to do whatever they wanted, I told her to go back to HER house then. ( She didn't.. but I think "stories" about me may be circulating the teens in the neighbourhood as several of her friends whispered in her ear and dragged her off.)

Today I have given up smoking, which has led to even more psychotic behaviour on my part than usual. I warned every-one in advance, so no blood shed so far, but I have a wide exclusion zone around me. If the UN want a nest of terrorists routing they can send me in. As long as none of the terrorists offer me a cigarette they should all choose to leave fairly quickly.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bread maker issues

For Christmas I got a bread machine, something I've been after for a long time. I love it. It is a bit slow, but the time factor is not an issue as I haven't got to stand watching it,( except when I want to).

Any one who knows of a machine in Austarlia that makes normal sized and shaped loaves would be a friend for life though. This one makes loaves the right diameter but only "half length" compared to a normal loaf. With a family of six the bread doesn't last long.

Any hoo the issue is this. I've lost the darned measure for the bread machine. Experimentation with measuring by eye has proved to have mixed results. I've done a loaf that had to be scraped out of the machine and was last seen threatening a cat blob like in the corner of the garden and I've done one that I threw to the chickens. It didn't bounce and the chickens are using for a door stop.

Terry Pratchett's dwarf battle bread was made by me in my kitchen!

I am now going to have to go out and buy metric weights ( I know , only two decades late) to make bread with.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Very Wet Indeed

Oh my, in Forest Gump whilst he in Vietnam he experiences a monsoon. I have just experienced a monsoon.

It isn't so much rain as someone pouring huge gallons of cold bath water over your head continually. But it's still hot. This is the largest outdoor sauna in the world.

After three days of this the ground was full,it was so full that water is actually coming up through the floor in places at work, this meets the leaks in the roof quite nicely.

The roads, where you can find them, are being washed away. Us locals have found a solution to this. We get in a line behind a backpackers combi van and wait for it disappear into a pothole, and then use the vehicle as temporary bridge. The council later come along and pour hot tar over the combi van to hide the evidence, who says we don't care about our tourist industry.

The local bridge which is suspended about ten metres in the air, usually over a semi stagnant babbling brook had five meters of water over it. The good thing about that is that once the water level dropped there were no trees attached to the bridge, they'd all gone over the top of it.

Of course now that the water has gone down we have a problem with the wildlife. All our freaky snakes etc have been washed down stream , to be replaced with some stunned looking crocodiles and snakes that had been busily minding there own business, feeding on the occasional unwary tourist, and now find them selves in my backyard.

Most of the roads have moved about three feet East, the run off direction. Regarding run off I hope they are ready for the tsunami in LA. Australia pumped some water into the Pacific the last few days.

The good thing is that us locals are used to this rain fall ( 40cm in twenty four hours over a large area) and just complained about the standard stuff, like, why were we not all at work, couldn't we swim, or get boat? Why had the mail not got through? had the bottle shop run out of beer? ( Answers: We were at home drinking beer watching shocked crocodiles be washed downstream, No the mail couldn't get through, we were cut off, and finally ,No the bottle shop didn't run out of beer, at least not until we got there.)