Over for another year

Christmas has come and gone.

It was a great day, though I’m glad that we were in air conditioning all day. The forecast high temperature in Perth was 39 degrees but it reached a maximum of 40.7 just after 4:00 p.m. (105.26 degrees Fahrenheit). Today the people at the weather bureau say that it’ll get even hotter.

Today is Boxing Day, a wonderful opportunity to lie around on the couch recovering from all the celebrations yesterday. Well, it would be if I wasn’t at work this morning but I do intend getting in some couch time this afternoon.

How was your Christmas Day? Did you have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends? We had a wonderful time having lunch with my side of the family and then dinner with Pauline’s family. I certainly ate a lot of good food but I managed to avoid that – “Oh my goodness I ate too much and now I feel sick” – kind of feeling. I paced myself and enjoyed some scrumptious treats without overdoing it. Mind you, I don’t really feel all that hungry today.

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A Christmas Scorcher

It always seems strange for me to see images of Christmas that include snow and winter scenes. It really doesn’t match my experince of Christmas at all.

Here in Australia we’re in the middle of summer and that’s very evident here in Perth today with a forecast high of 39 degrees Celcius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit). I cycled to work about 8:30 this morning and it was already very warm.

Tomorrow it’ll be warmer still with the mercury set to hit 40 degrees Celcius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

So what kind of weather are you having for Christmas?

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At work on Christmas Day

I’m always amazed that so many people think that I shouldn’t have to work Christmas Day.

Each year when I tell people that I’ll be at work on Christmas morning they seem to think it’s rather sad but of course you can’t just switch off a radio station so that everyone can have the day off.

I’ve got to admit that I don’t really mind working on Christmas morning. It does take me away from my family for a few hours on this very special day but it’s not too bad.

No matter what day the 25th of December falls each year, all the regular weekday announcers at 98.5 Sonshine FM make their way to the studios to spread some Christmas cheer.

I’m sitting at the broadcast desk right now. I’ve got Christmas music playing and I’ve been talking about Christmas stuff all morning. Each year for Christmas Day we play Christmas music for the entire 24 hours. In fact, we started playing only Christmas music at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon and we’ll keep it going until midnight tonight.

I’ve already had a couple of listeners phone to wish me, my family and the rest of the team here a very happy Christmas. I’m sure there’ll be more calls before the morning’s over.

I’ll still have plenty of time to spend with family but it’s wonderful to be able to join the celebrations of thousands of other families on such a special day.

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Peace on earth and goodwill to all

It’s Christmas Eve already and the big day is almost upon us. (I’ve even finished my Christmas shopping.)

I know that many regular readers won’t be getting their ‘blog fix’ tomorrow so I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy day as you celebrate together.

Thanks to the many people who have already emailed me with Christmas wishes.

Remember to pace yourself throughout the day so that you don’t regret it all on Boxing Day and don’t forget to take time out to reflect on what Christmas is truly all about.

Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men. – Luke 2:14

I’ll probably still throw a post or two together while I work on Christmas Day. I’ll be doing my normal radio programme from 9:00 a.m. to midday on 98.5 Sonshine FM so I should get a chance to send a few words into cyberspace.

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OK … so I'm an idiot ….

…. but it’s not your job to remind me of that.

Got any good ‘customer service’ stories this Christmas?

I had an interesting experience on Saturday morning while shopping in Myer at the Galleria, although I suppose I should go back a little way to begin the story.

I can’t remember exactly when it was but possibly as long ago as a couple of weeks back I spotted something I thought would be perfect for Pauline for Christmas.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the money at the time. Last week I wandered past the same area and spotted it again. This time there was a sign telling me that the items on that table were discounted. Brilliant.

Unfortunately at that time I still didn’t have the money. (The household budget’s taken a bit of a battering lately.) I figured I’d grab one later. I walked past almost every day last week and two of the items were there. Even lunchtime Friday they were there.

Saturday morning … pay in the bank … off to Myer I went. Yep, they were both gone.

The lady behind the counter really wanted to help me but couldn’t. She asked another lady from the same department who was extremely dismissive. She might have used a nice voice and put things politely but she pretty much told me that it was only a couple of days before Christmas and that I was a bit of an idiot to think that I could get what I wanted. Behind her veneer of politeness it was obvious that she would rather I just disappear and stop bothering her.

Back to the first shop assistant. She apologised that she was out of stock. She offered to ring other stores and then call me back. She apologised that due to the Christmas rush she wouldn’t be able to do it immediately. She apologised that even if she did find one she wouldn’t be able to get it delivered to her store and that I would have to go to the other store (which I fully expected). All those apologies for something that was my own fault.

When she called me later she gave me the news that I knew was coming anyway. None of the other stores had what I wanted. She told me which stores had run out and which didn’t have the stock in the first place. She apologised again for something that was my own fault. I’m the one that should have grabbed it earlier.

She finished the call wishing me a happy Christmas. I thanked her profusely for all her efforts. I knew that it was unlikely that I’d find what I wanted but being treated with respect by someone who was willing to do everything possible to get a result helped me to get over the dissapointment.

Rita, thank you for your excellent customer service. Thanks to you I will certainly shop at Myer again. Oh, by the way, you might like to let your fellow worker know that it’s stupid customers like me who pay her wage.

(And no, I won’t tell you what it is I wanted to buy Pauline. I don’t want to spoil the surprise if I manage to find it for another occasion.)

Maybe the dismissive shop assistant should have read Seth Godin’s post, What’s the point of this interaction? Maybe then she would have realised what a bad job of marketing she was doing for her bosses.

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