Unpacking The Past


I’m working with my psychologist to try and unpack some of my bad work experiences – this incident came up in our last session. I’ve written it down in an effort to get the events clear in my head, and also so I can easily refer to it in the future. My memory is not as good as it once was. ;)

One of the best managers I ever had was once totally undermined by a team leader underneath her. Because it was a 24/7 call centre, my manager saw this team leader for a maximum of 2 hours a day and for those two hours, this team leader was on her super best behaviour. It was a total accident that what this Team Leader was up to behind her back was discovered.

My manager called me into her office and told me that she was getting feedback that I was “dismissive”. I said I wasn’t really sure what that meant. Could she please provide me with a specific example. She said she could not, because then I would know who gave the feedback and asked me just to keep it in mind. I said ok, but I can’t fix this without more info, so please ask the person giving you this feedback to speak up and let me know when it happens, and/or ask them if they are ok with you relating a specific example.

A month or so later when we had another catch-up, she said she was still receiving feedback that I was “dismissive”. She had asked the feedback provider re relating an example and the answer was no. As no specific example could be provided, I said, “Sorry, I can’t fix this without knowing more. Plus, now I am starting to feel concerned that the person giving this feedback isn’t adult enough to put their name to it. Maybe there is a reason they will not put their name to it”.

Probably three weeks later, I was walking past the managers office and I heard my name and that word. Her office was glass, so I could see who was in there with her. It was one of the team leaders. The manager and I locked eyes and she knew I had heard it. After that person left, she called me in. I apologised. I did not mean to overhear but I was walking past. Then I said – now I know who is giving you this feedback, I actually know what the problem is – and I am not being dismissive, I am simply too busy to “debrief” with her.

This person was a team leader and if I had a question about how to handle something I would ask her. She would tell me to do X. I’d accept her answer on face value and do exactly what she said to do. Once I’d done what she said, I moved on to the next task.

Two or three hours later she would come to me when it was quiet and try to have another discussion about the question I’d asked. I’d be like.. I did what you said, it is handled, and I’ve moved on to other things. And she’d be like “No, we need to debrief”. And I’d be like, I’m sorry, I don’t have time to debrief. I have 6 other tasks in my queue that need to be completed. The situation was solved and I’ve closed it off, so we don’t need to debrief.

When I explained this, my manager said I was doing exactly the right thing. She actually felt that how I was handling this issue was too polite and she told me in future to be a lot more “dismissive” about these debriefs and just to give a simple no, and she would talk to the team leader directly about this.

My manager then asked me why I had not mentioned this situation to her. I explained that this team leader had told me to always go directly to her if I had an issue with her and she would do the same with me.

I had spoken directly to the team leader about it, and she told me the debriefing was her way of doing things and I should debrief whenever she wanted me to debrief. I said lets do a compromise – if I say that I have work I need to do, let it go. If I’m not busy, we can debrief. In that job, it was rare for me not to be busy, so 99% of the time I’d say I had work to do.

The manager was very unhappy about this “feedback deal”, and on further investigation she found out this team leader had made the same “feedback deal” with every single staff member. She sent out an email making it very clear that any issues with team leaders were to be raised directly with her, and no “feedback deals” were allowed.

I was also very unhappy that this team leader was saying to my face if she had any issues with me she would raise them with me, and from then on, I did not trust her.

All of a sudden, all the issues with people had with this team leader were going to the manager. It turned out this team leader was doing a lot of not great things and the spotlight was well and truly on her. The long cigarette breaks, the disappearances, her refusal to answer her phone when it rang, the non completion of tasks, some bullying of staff members, the times she would leave early and have someone else cover for her, the inappropriate flirting with clients on her calls, all of this came to light.


Because my Best Manager was truly that – an excellent manager – she kept a very tight leash on this team leader once all of this came to light.. but when my Best Manager left, this team leader had free rein to act inappropriately. That was not a fun time for me, but I knew to keep a very close eye on her, and to call her out on her bullshit.

She did not appreciate my calling her out, and she used a new staff member to try and oust me by having them make false complaints about me. Unfortunately for her, I was already in the process of complaining about her behaviour with management and when I pointed out that there were witnesses to the event this staff member complained about and that management should ask them for their version of events, it was discovered my version of events was the correct one.

After that situation, I stated to management that I no longer wanted to work with that team leader, and we adjusted my schedule accordingly, until I eventually left the company, mostly because the new manager was not a patch on Best Manager, and I no longer enjoyed the job.

Eventually, she ended up being demoted from her team leader position. Karma, it happens. :) Though sometimes it takes longer than we would like, and sometimes we are not there to witness it happen in person.

angry snoskred, work

Housekeeping part 99 zillion trillion

Chickens, just chilling.

I’ve updated the blogroll page – the previous blogroll was a code from Google Reader but once they went kaboom the blogroll also vanished.

This blogroll has been hell to create involving the other half, magic coding and secret tricks to alphabetise the list, plus then I had to go through the list and make sure the URLs were correct which involved manually clicking through to each blog.

Please do not think that if you are listed last that means anything other than your blog begins with Z. The list is alphabetical.

In fact, in my feedreader everything is contained within folders, and Zazzy would probably be shocked to know she is in my very first folder which is rather oddly named aaaafaves. Frogdancer and her fellow Aussies are just below in AAussies


The aLadies folder is where people like Jocelyn from Mama’s StyleTia Cherie and Suger would find themselves.

But wait, a couple of these are Aussies? Yes, this is true. I have to go through a massive list of new blogs I subscribed to over the past 6 months to work out if they should stay in Ladies or head to Aussies. I was on a fashion blog subscribing spree and not considering the long term organisation of my feeds.

Don’t worry Ladies, you still get read on the day you publish a post – and organising my feeds is presently high on my todo list, after fixing my blogroll and choosing and customising a new blog design.

As I have been clicking through to the blogs on the list, I’ve noticed a lot of them have not updated in a while, some dating back to 2006.

After going through the entire list, there are 321 blogs listed – and that is after I deleted those which went to a wrong place, no longer existed or had not updated since 2007.

I don’t delete a blog from my feed reader unless the blog no longer exists, which means if and when people return to it, I get the next post they write. If it is on my blogroll, it is in my feed reader. :)

My current cut off for the blogroll is – 2008 – if you posted after 2008 and you are in my feed reader, you should have been listed on the blogroll.

If you are reading this and you have a blog and you are missing from the new Blogroll list please let me know in the comments for this post.

Each day I would have somewhere around 150-180 new posts to read. Some of the blogs have 5-10 posts a day, though, so numbers are not really a fair representation of, well, anything.

I’m going to put together a little featurette on some of my most favourite blogs in the world, as well as my most favourite bloggers. I might even try to get some of them to answer a few questions if possible.


A small update on the work front – this is going to be a longer process than I’d hoped. I’d love to be able to talk about it here but it would not be especially safe to do so. I might put up a protected post later if this drags on too long because I might want to rage type it all out. If I do, all you need to do to get the password for it is email me – best to use the contact form here on the blog. :)

blog housekeeping, work

A little bit of scheduling error!

So, I scheduled 2 posts for one day a couple days ago, well done me. :)

I’m having a really tough time at work at the moment. As far as I am concerned, I am going in for my second to last shift ever tonight. And just by doing that, I am giving management bullets for their gun with every single call I take.

By the time you read this, I’ll have been there for a good couple of hours, and I’ll be counting down the minutes till I can leave.

It is an awful way to feel. It is an awful place to be. It takes every last millimeter of willpower within me to drive there, get out of the car, and go inside.

I’ve taken pretty much everything I own home already.

There is a meeting set for next week during which I fully expect to be fired, perhaps for making a joke, or for doing my job correctly but having that mis-interpreted by someone who has never ever done my job.

Imagine – whatever field you might work in – me, who has never done your job and knowing nothing about your job, coming in to sit in judgment of you. Or not me. Imagine it is some random you pass in the street.

The one good thing about todays shift is – it will be the last time I ever work with someone (possibly 2 someones) I truly despise. This time, I might even say some of the things which have been festering inside me out loud, in front of other people who know those things I have been thinking. That might feel good.

I’m just letting myself wing it now – not making any plans and not really caring much about the outcome because I’ve already made my decision. I don’t want to work there anymore. I’m ok with not working there anymore.

After six months of being a fake shell of who I am, too scared to say anything for fear I would be fired, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it *will* happen. Now, I’m gonna be me, whether people like it or not.

I’ll have more to say about this here, once the meeting is over. Or maybe I will just make one post, let it all out, and then move on. We’ll see. Play it by ear. Wing it. :)


Who Is It?

The Year Of Me is more difficult for the people around me than it is for me.

Sometimes people will want you to change. They will tell you how they want you to be. They will call it growing up or making progress or something like that. They will use words like “Assertive” “Honest” “Open” in combination with “be more”.

When you do what they want, they quickly discover that what they actually wanted was for you to stay the same. And then they get all bent out of shape because you did what they asked you to do and became who they said they wanted you to be!

So, what does Me do when that happens? Does Me turn back the clock and go back to who Me was before, or does Me say to that person.. get used to this Me, forget the old Me.

I’m not going back. No way. No how. I’m feeling comfortable in this new skin. This is who I am now.

about snoskred, work

Turning Upside Down

I’m on the 6pm to Midnight shift for the foreseeable future. By that I mean the next week and a bit.

While I am a bit of a vampire usually – preferring dark time to be my awake time rather than day time – I am finding this more difficult than I expected, and I don’t think it is something I could do long term at all.

The negatives are eating at very strange times, waking the other half up when he should be asleep, going to bed when it is light time outside and therefore all the animals – chooks, next doors dog, kitties – and also the humans are more active and noisy than if you are sleeping at night time, so it is harder to get a decent solid sleep.

Plus, you want to make a doctors appointment? Good luck being awake when they are there, lol.

You need to plan better in order not to wake up the other half – this means making sure everything is ready for my arrive home from gym shower, clothes to get into after that, night clothes are in a place where I don’t have to open a noisy drawer to get to them.. etc.

In fact for the first time since Sephy visited over a year ago, I used “my” bathroom for my after gym shower tonight instead of the ensuite.

There are some positives, most importantly being the gym being completely empty which I love, less traffic, the night shifts are much more challenging to my brain and tend to be moments of absolute insanity balanced out by enormous boredoms. Plus I get to work with people I like (this week shit bitch is on holidays YAY!) and in one case, people I deeply like. The pay is higher for the late shifts.

I’ve already been to the gym twice in 2013 and it is not daylight of day 2 yet, lol. :)

As a part of the year of me, I need to make work “work” for me. Which means I need to pick times I can work that suit me and my lifestyle. Two 6pm-midnight shifts a week would be ok-ish but it does kind of throw everything out, and I wouldnt want the next shift to start at mid-day because I generally don’t manage to sleep until 5-6am.. in fact I think I would have to cut out the mid-day shifts for the most part and stick with afternoons and evenings only.

The trouble is, I know there are other people who want to cut back on their evening shifts. So who knows if work is going to be a fan of the year of me. :)

I have already done a couple of “me” things mostly involving saying what I think, not what I think people want to hear. It felt good.


Focus On Me

Sometimes my life is not what I want it to be.

For a long while there things were going great at work – I had a boss who was awesome though strict and you always knew where you stood with her. And if you had a problem and took it to her, she sorted it out. Usually within a week of going to her with the issue, it was fixed.

Now I have a new boss whose performance has been.. wait let me find the right word.. Nonexistent? Imaginary? Ineffective?

I’ll give you a quick example of this. When she first took on the manager job, she had everyone into her office for a one on one chat. I raised an issue with her that I felt was a problem – we did not have a policy on how to deal with X situation. She agreed with me that this was a problem and said “Leave it with me, I’ll get a policy together”. That was in August. It is now December and absolutely nothing has happened, even though I have reminded her several times and she asked me to send her reminder emails about it.

This is not the only issue I have gone to her with only to have nothing happen. There have been several instances of inaction.

On top of that, she sends out these emails which are negative, uninspiring, unclear, and cause unpleasant gossip in the work place.

She’d sent out an email about the internet policy a few weeks ago – saying we had all signed this policy when we started working there, and we were not allowed to go to sites not work related. This ended up with

– a team leader going around monitoring screens and telling people they could not go to sites that *were* work related

– staff telling clients they could not look up information for them because they were not allowed to access the internet!

– a lot of upset people after one of the staff members recollected the policy we all signed included instant dismissal for looking at non work related sites

– the manager who sent out the email gave permission for people to play solitaire on the internet and that is the only non work related thing they can do

– the manager then had the team leader go around and tell people to hide the solitaire screens if any of the “management” people walked in.

So after a lot of whinging and whining and discussion, I decided to put my own neck on the line and go in to let the manager know what was going on. I mentioned all of the above things. The manager told me that she did not intend for people to take her email so literally and that how it was interpreted was not how it was meant.

She said the reason it was sent was because some people were posting things on Facebook from work. I told her that as far as I knew, people do that from their phones, on their breaks. I have never seen anyone access Facebook from their work computers.

She said and I quote “Why wouldn’t anyone else come to me and talk to me about this”. She told me to encourage others to come to her and discuss it, which I said I would do, and I did – because when I say I am going to do something, I actually do it.

She told me she would send out a clarifying email (she did not).

She told me she would talk to people one on one about this (she did not as far as I know).

It has been several weeks since this happened and nothing has happened.

I have struggled against this for a good couple of months now, this lack of action when issues are raised. After all this time, I have come to the following conclusion.

I officially give up. I surrender.

I go to work, do my job, then I leave. I’m not going to pay any further attention to the other stuff. I’m not going to try and improve things. I’m not going to go in for pointless meetings with someone who does nothing – and if I get pulled into the office for any kind of meeting, I am going to do one of two things – keep my mouth firmly shut, or let the manager know I think my saying anything is pointless and I’m not going to do it anymore.

I’m going to cut back to less hours after the holiday season, too.

My problem is that I grew up in a family business. I tend to take work a lot more seriously than other people do. I also think issues should be addressed head on, quickly, and things sorted so they do not fester.

I can’t keep fighting this like a fish caught in a net. It robs me of sleep. It exhausts me. I waste too much mental energy on things that I cannot control. No amount of my time is going to make anything different. I have tried and it has not worked.

It is time for me to focus on me.


Three Strikes..

This is going to seem a bit crazy. I’ll put that out there right up front.

Lately I have had some interactions with people in real life that made me very unhappy. I’m not going to go into huge amounts of detail about it because the majority of it is work related and I don’t know how comfortable I feel with telling the whole story to the internets at large.

These happenings, and a teevee show that I have been watching recently, have started to change my mind on some of my long held values and beliefs. The one value that I now feel I should rip up and throw out the window is “Three strikes and you’re out”.

As in, kick me in the teeth once and I’m willing to consider it a mistake. Kick me in the teeth twice and I’m going to start considering maybe the first time was not a mistake after all. Kick me in the teeth three times, and I’m going to assume you absolutely meant to do it all three times. Plus I probably have no teeth left.

I used to give people second and third chances even when they did things that should never have merited another chance. I liked to think this was decent of me, the right thing to do, a good thing. What it actually is – is stupid.

The reality for me now is – I will no longer give people a second chance after the first teeth kicking. I like my teeth, and I’d like to keep them in their original condition.

Not everyone is like me, not everyone has that same value system as I do. So what have my basic values been?

– Treat others as you would like to be treated
– Accept others for who they are regardless of race, sex, religion, size, finances, etc
– Be excellent to each other
– Do the right thing
– If you can’t do the right thing do the closest to the right thing that you can
– Be generous with time, treats, money
– Act professionally at work regardless of how you feel about the others working with you
– Treat others as a part of the team even if they are not acting like a part of the team
– Help others – if you know the answer to the question speak up
– Get to know people before making a judgment on them
– probably many more – I’ll keep thinking on this

Let me give you an example of how I am learning this lesson now. It is a very minor thing compared to some of the things that have happened, but it is a good example of why I am saying goodbye to the three strikes rule.

We have to share desks at work, and in one room there are people regularly in the same space where they need to be able to write things down. Every time I would come in, there would only be one working pen (it happened to be a red one) and all the other pens would not work, or would start to write and then stop..

Work does not provide a lot in the way of stationery. Ok, they provide nothing. Everyone brings in bits and pieces that they pick up – the NAB bank free pens have been extremely popular.

But this one red pen, it kept going and going. It seemed like it was going to last forever. And we had to write in red quite a bit, so everyone remarked on how awesome this one red pen was. And one day, I was at Officeworks, and I saw the same brand pen (it isn’t one you can find just anywhere) and I thought I would buy them and take them to work. But these pens were not cheap at $14 a packet. I bought one for work, and one for myself to keep at work in my own container.

So I sent out an email letting people know I had put 6 brand new pens in the office that were the same brand as the awesome red pen, and that I hoped they would have the same longevity as the awesome red pen.

For all I know, they are having that longevity in some other location. Within 4 weeks of the pens being placed in the office, all 6 had vanished – and then, the awesome red pen vanished too. That awesome red pen had been there for over a *year*. No joke.

So me being the idiot I am, I brought in a second set of pens. Not the same expensive brand, no, these were much cheaper. Those lasted a little longer, I guess because they were not as awesome. However there are now just two left of them.

I have here at home a huge box of cheap Officeworks pens, you get 50 in a pack. They are the worlds crappiest pens. Sure, they will write, but it is the ugliest result you will ever see. And I had been tempted to take in that pack of shithouse pens. It is the level of pen that these pen stealing heathens deserve. But I won’t do it.

I still have the 6 good pens in my pencil case, and there they will stay. I get the joy of writing with them but I make sure I put them away when my shift is over and that I know where they are at all times. Ain’t nobody stealing any more of my pens.

If I look back in my life, I cannot give you one example where someone treated me badly just the one time. I gave them second opportunities to treat me badly and they took that chance to treat me badly again. If I gave them a third opportunity, they took it.

I know one person – a person I considered to be my best friend – she treated me badly so many times I lost count. But I kept forgiving her because I thought she was my best friend. She was not. She was a user – she would take constantly but never gave anything back. And let me tell you, she is still doing that to people today – until recently she was doing it to my own sister.

So what teevee show is changing my mind on this and other things? It will sound bizarre. The show is called The Walking Dead. It is a show about a Zombie Apocalypse – not like plants and zombies on iPhone. These are not cute little animated zombies. It is horrible to watch. It is gory. But it has made me see things in a completely new light.

I haven’t completely formed my thoughts on it yet but I think there are things I want to say about this show and how it relates to the society we find ourselves in. I’m still processing and when I can get the words together in the right way, I’ll put them here.

What are your values? Have they changed over the years?

television shows, work

Snoskred Is Getting Organised – Are You?

I am all for making positive changes in all areas of my life, but sometimes you have to put the blinkers on and focus your sights on one specific area. Right now for me, that area is organisation – or organiZation if you’re from the US – and time management.

I have good reasons for wanting to get organised. I want to start a business over the next two months. I realise that if I started a business now without having the right skills in place it just would not work. So it is time to take a deep breath, suck it up, and get to it. At the start of this week I made a personal commitment to myself – I am getting organised.

Now some of the stuff I am going to say here is going to seem.. lame.. silly.. possibly even stupid. In order for you to understand where I’m going you need to know where I am at now. I’m not going to lie to ya’all. ;) here’s my major issues.

I am easily distracted.

I have trains running just fine on the tracks but then suddenly they crash. IE – I can be in the middle of doing something and then my mind throws out something else I need to do, and I will stop and change direction.

I’ll be in the middle of writing something and remember I wanted to check a website. I will be in the middle of one task, and remember one that needs doing RIGHT NOW. Yes, this is happening as I type. I haven’t updated the Aussie Blogs List yet, cos I took a day off today.

It happened again just then, as I was typing this. I noticed my glasses were dirty. This brings us to another issue I have –

I don’t put things back where they belong.

I was watching a West Wing in the lounge room yesterday. Part way through, guess what happened? I noticed my glasses were dirty. So I came in here to my desk and took my lens cleaning cloth out to the lounge room. I had to stop typing this post to go and get it.

My computer is a mess.

On the inside, that is. Information goes in, but I have no easy system, no good way of finding things, my desktop has always been a nightmare of files just dumped there. In fact here is how it looked at the start of this week.


I need to take charge NOW.

When I am running my own business, working to deadlines? All those little distractions and things not being where they should be and not having a system of where things get put and how to find them again on the computer – these things are going to add up and drown me. Especially because the business I want to run is computer orientated.

So how to fix it?

Step One – Done!

Get my computer organised and start a system of where things go that will work for me.

Thanks to this wonderful article – How to Keep your Desktop Organized (without getting insane) my desktop now looks like this.


Step Two – In Progress

I am a digital packrat. There are folders full of files. Take for example our photographs. We have a lot of them. We never had a system for organising them other than to put dates on the folders. Consequently, we now have a lot of this –


Yes, that right there is the date we began putting some kind of name on the folders. But the no name folders go back to *cringe* 2 years before that date.

There is no magic wand I can wave here, but thanks to another article I read – A 3-Step Cure for Digital Packrats, and How to Know If You’re One of Them – I now know how to cure it.

I’m looking through two folders a day, naming them, putting aside good photos I want to use for the thought of the day photos. I am also looking through two bookmarks folders a day, sorting, deleting, moving. This will take time – If I tried devoting one day to it, I’d still have a lot of folders not labeled. Better to do little chunks daily than overwhelm myself right now.

Step Three – Time Management – Done Daily

1. Create a daily list of tasks.
2. Give each task a priority A, B, C,
3. Ensure that you work on the “A” tasks first.
4. Handle each piece of paper on your desk only once.
5. Ensure that you make the best use of your time.
6. Don’t postpone anything – Do it now!

Step Four – Day Planner


I have done this for the last three days and spent a day preparing for it before that. It’s rocking my socks, ya’all. You have no idea how focused I feel right now. It’s a happy feeling. :)

Step Five – Checklists


Yes, this is possibly the most lame of all the things I am doing, but it is helping me remember the things I do daily. I plan to update it in a week or so when I have identified more things I do daily. This is laminated so I can tick the boxes each day with a whiteboard marker and then rub that off ready for the next day. Yes, in the past I would forget my head if it were not screwed on, apparently. Now I have the checklists, sitting right in front of me, there’s not much chance of that.

Step Six – Email Check

One of the ways I get distracted is by the little envelope that pops up when I have new mail. Solution – open the mail in the morning, check emails, reply emails, close emails. Open again at lunchtime, dinner time, before bed. So if I don’t reply urgently, now you know why – and you can know when to expect that reply.. approximately.. ;)

Step Seven – Time Off For Good Behaviour.

This new stuff I’m doing is pretty intense right now, because I have a lot of organising I am doing. The major two things I need to finish are sorting my google reader and going through my archives here. These are both time consuming. So at lunchtimes, I step away from the computer for an hour. At dinner time, I step away for two hours.

I plan on having at least one light schedule day each week until I have a good handle on things, but I still want to make sure I get two of photos and bookmarks done each day. I took today off, got a haircut, went to see a house, put in an application so we might be moving, got my glasses fixed, did a little shopping. Whoa, what was that? Yes, we might be moving to my dream location. More on that tomorrow.

Step Eight – Buy In Bulk

The inexpensive things I find myself looking for, I need to purchase them so I can have one in each location I may need them. The lens cleaning cloth is a good example. They’re not expensive and it will cost me less to buy 2 more of them (I have 2 now, one in the car – one on my desk) than my time is worth to keep chasing them from room to room.

Step 9 – Put Things Back

The things that I can’t buy extra of, I need to put them back when I’m done. Simple, hey? It’s not as easy as it sounds, but I am committed to doing it.

What happens next..

I’m taking it one day at a time right now. I am hopeful that in three to four weeks I will become unconscious competent in being organised. However I think it may be a habit I need to keep working on and these skills of time management are going to be so useful to me in my business, I’m going to keep using them.

All I know is, I’m feeling motivated. I’m sleeping a bit less because when I wake up, I want to get onto the daily tasks I have set. I’ll update you urgently on developments. ;) so stick around!

get organised, how to guides, life lessons, mistakes I made, moving forward, work

Please bear with us – technical difficulties

If you are viewing this with Firefox, it will all look fine. That’s because Firefox rocks. If you are viewing this with Internet explorer, you will see one entire sidebar missing which is now at the bottom of the site somewhere. That’s because Internet Explorer is pure evil.

Let me not get into my.. hmm, how can I word this.. prejudiced view of people who use Internet Explorer. I’m not racist or sexist or any other ist, except for *browserist*. ;) It’s wrong of me to think like that, it is unfair and I know I’m a browser snob but I can’t help it! I just don’t know how anyone could use Internet Explorer when Firefox exists. I know a lot of people end up using it by default and switch over when they know more about the interwebs.

I know a lot of workplaces make people use Internet Explorer but damnit, people, RISE UP and fight such stupidities! It’s pure discrimination in the work place, forcing you to use one kind of browser. In my opinion, this is just as bad as saying “you have to be heterosexual to work here”. But they’re saying “you have to use an evil piece of software to work here, and compromise everything you know to be right and good in the world”.

And no offence intended to you if you’re using it by choice. But if you are, this site will look pretty bad until Sephy and I figure out how to fix this. May I recommend..

Mozilla Firefox – get it here.

blog template, internet, work

The Only Thing Stopping You..

My Grandfather started a business in his shed many years ago, not long after the 2nd World War. By the time I was 13, it had built into a successful business with 5 stores. My Dad was the general manager. Of course I spent a lot of spare time at the stores, and in school holidays would go to work with my Mum, who was the courier for the company and took stock from the central warehouse to the stores.

Coming up to Christmas that year, I begged to be allowed to work in one of the stores. I *said* I would wrap Christmas presents, but I had a secret hidden desire that nobody knew about. My parents finally agreed to me working in the main branch, where my Dad was, so he could keep an eye on me. On the very first day, he had a meeting and left the store shortly after it opened. By the time he got back, I had sold $500 worth of small appliances. I’d written down each item I sold on a little piece of card. There were 28 of them. Dad hit the roof! I was supposed to be wrapping presents, not selling things.

I knew then that I was born to be a salesperson, and this was just second nature to me, and I explained it to him, and the next day there was no more talk of wrapping things, I got out there on the floor and sold stuff all day. A passion was born, and I was hooked.

I learned a lot from my Dad. He was the best salesperson I ever knew, but he was also one with plenty of bad habits, all of which I picked up. The good did outweigh the bad and I survived for years on what he’d taught me, working in several of the family’s stores. There was no mention of training, because I was doing just fine.

There came a point where I had to go out on my own. If you can sell, you can work pretty much anywhere, but I was drawn to the same things the rest of my family was. Electronics. I went out into the real world to discover that the place my parents had owned was unique in terms of looking after your staff, being as loyal to them as they were to you. In the real world, someone would have a knife in your back while smiling to your face.

I’ve done a lot of training over the years now. You can approach training from several angles but the two most common are – this is a waste of my time and I’m not going to get anything out of this so I’m going in with closed ears – or – I’m willing to listen and try new things out to see if they work for me. I always chose the second path. I have seen many people choose the first and I always find it hilarious when they get left behind because everyone else in the store is trying the new stuff and it WORKS.

One thing salespeople hate to do is “ask for the sale”. It’s something I have struggled with all my life and it really is ridiculous. Imagine for a moment that you were the customer, and I was serving you. You wanted a washing machine. During the time we spend together, I would ask you a number of questions. It’s sort of like a funnel. We salespeople ask all the questions, we listen to the answers, and then we think about what product is best going to suit you – and that is what pops out at the end of the funnel.

So by the time we get to asking for the sale, I probably would have asked things like –

– How often do you wash?
– What kind of washing machine do you have now?
– Have you been happy with that machine?
– What do you most like about that machine?
– Would you prefer a front or top load machine?

All those, and probably a bunch more. So a salesperson will have been asking questions for a good 15 minutes, then they show you the options you have. At the end of all that, many salespeople are too scared to ask the most important question, which is essentially do you want one? Though you have to find the right way of wording it.

I struggled against it like a fish trapped in a net. I would just rather not ask. I felt like if someone appreciated my service they would buy from me. Until one day I went to a training session and finally understood it when someone explained that I’d already asked them a lot of questions, what is the harm of one more? I just had to find a way of asking the question that I was comfortable with. And I did, and my sales figures went up and up.

Sometimes it is about someone presenting it to you in the right way.

Sales is a bit like sport, many people compare it to that and they are right to do so. You can not improve unless you are willing to try new things, experiment. And one of the things so important to a sports team is to think positive. Imagine if you went out onto the field thinking “I can’t win this game”. Imagine if when you lost you took it very personally and that negative self talk starts up in your head. “I’m no good at this game. I lost last week, and I’ll lose this week. I’ll always lose. I’m a loser”. You’re defeated before you even walk out onto the field.

This quote from Arthur Golden’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” explains my philosophy on negative thoughts in your head..

“I made up my mind to be like the fisherman who hour after hour scoops out fish with his net. Whenever thoughts of the Chairman drifted up from within me, I would scoop them out, and scoop them out again, and again, until none of them were left.”

You have to scoop those negative thoughts out, or else you end up dwelling on them. But you have to replace them with something, too. My preference is to replace them with a positive thought.

So, in light of this, each day from now on I will be posting a “thought for today” as well as my usual blog post. They might come from the cards I use here, they might be quotes from books or other places. I hope you might find them useful. If any of them really speak to you or you feel like you want to work on that thought, it might be an idea to write them down and put them in front of your computer screen.

If you have any thoughts to put forward, just email them to me.. ;)

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