Goodbyes Are Not My Thing

As you’ve already read in my karma post, I’ve been on the lookout for another job. There were several reasons for that, but the main reason was a “trust-thing” that I just missed at my current job. Things changed, and I felt out of place at my current job. I was almost due to get a new contract for an indefinite period, but I didn’t think it was going to happen. And yesterday something happened that seemed to confirm that suspicion. Since I’d been miserable for quite a few weeks now (coming home from work in tears and all that shit), I decided to step the fuck up and go to one of my bosses to see what the fuck was going on.

I’m still not sure how to describe what happened next. We talked for quite a while, and it turned out that my suspicion was in place. I could’ve gotten mad, I guess, but I didn’t feel anything like that. I was happy that I finally knew what would happen. And at the same time, I was sad because despite everything that had happened in the last few months, I love that company, and before that I’d always expected to maybe stay there “forever”. My boss offered me time off until the end of my contract, so that I would have enough time on finding a new job, which I really appreciated. Now I do have to say, I have seen people come and go all the time, but never like this. They usually get kicked out, brutally, and then we go on like they never even existed in the first place. But not me.

I think the best way to define yesterday’s conversation was “happy-sad”. My boss was great, and there was no hostility between us whatsoever; we even had some laughs. The last few months didn’t wipe out everything I’ve been doing there for the last three years, she told me, as well as that this has been one of the hardest decisions she’s ever made. That felt good. I didn’t tell her about the new company though, just in case (and I still have to go there, they moved the appointment). In the end, we’ve decided that Monday is going to be my last day. She asked me if I wanted to say goodbye to everybody, and I said yes. I can’t just get the fuck out of there like nothing has happened. But I hate goodbyes. I already know that I’m gonna cry like a little baby; I’ve met some wonderful people there, which I’m going to miss a lot. And hell, I’m even gonna miss the director’s random-ass yelling (he’s a bit of a loud mouth, and this is an understatement). Can you imagine?

In a way, I’m looking forward to Monday, because it’s going to be a happy ending. But I’m really obsessing about what I’m going to say. I hope I’ll manage to be the “clown-me” they’re used to. If nothing else, I’ll just make a huge (belated) April Fool’s joke of it. So… Wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it went.

Love,

ML-X

Song Of The Day: Anouk – For Bitter Or Worse

Today, it’s time for another Song of the Day! And this time, it’s not a happy song, but a sad one. Despite that, it’s a beautiful one, sung by what’s in my opinion one of the best Dutch singers out there: Anouk. Take a listen for yourself:

And? What do you think? Is that girl talented or what? I’m actually wondering if y’all have ever heard of her, because according to my stats the Dutchies visiting are a minority… Must’ve offended them in the Crazy Dutchies post haha :)

Anyway, gotta run, woke up this morning thinking it’s Saturday, which it unfortunately isn’t yet :( I hope you’ve enjoyed the song!

Love,

ML-X

 

Annoyances: Part III – Customer Service

Once upon a time, I used to be a customer service agent for an online firm (sounds fancier than it is), and I can say that I’m beyond pleased to have switched jobs. People can be so damn annoying about the most ridiculous things.

1. They never read.
Hell, why read a (pretty elaborate) product description, when you can waste money and a customer service person’s time and effort by calling and asking unnecessary questions? My personal favourite: “If I order today, when will I receive the products?”, especially when the delivery times are stated on every freakin’ page of the site. Preferred answer: “Could you please hold on, I’ll check it out for you” and go out for a smoke. Or pee. Or both. And come back 10 minutes later. HA!

2. They never think.
Early morning calls; “I ordered yesterday at 9:00 AM and I didn’t receive my order yet, but you guys advertise with 24 hour delivery when ordered before 8:00 PM” – Yeah, all of a sudden they CAN read. But interpretation is a different story…

3. They never understand.
A couple of our phone calls and e-mails were from people asking at what time their parcels would be delivered. People, it’s common knowledge that PostNL (Dutch postal company) can never give you a specific time frame. So in this case, the preferred answer is: “Could you please hold on, I’ll check it out for you” and go and do whatever, and come back with “Well, it should be there anywhere between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM. Enjoy your purchase!”

4. They never call when they should.
What do you do when there’s a problem with your order? Exactly, contact the CS of the company you got it from. But there’s another option: Spam every review site you can find by telling everybody said company is shit because there is a problem. That’s gonna get your problem solved for sure. Not.

5. They simply don’t get it.
Or maybe I’m just missing the point here. I was going through the Trustpilot reviews for a company that I planned do order something from. Reviews are key; no matter how great your company is, if you have shitty reviews  you’ll have a hard time. Unfortunately, bad reviews are easier to obtain than good ones, simply because people tend to bitch in public when something’s wrong, while they tend to keep good experiences to themselves. Anyway, back to Trustpilot. Based on the number of “stars” people give your store, you’ll get an average grade between 1-10. This, in itself, is pretty good, were it not that people are stingy with giving out stars. You can give up to 5 stars, and write about your shopping experience at that company. But what I don’t get here, is why in hell people give say 3 or 4 stars, and then write that everything went excellent. Why, people, why? If you’re happy with the company, please just rate them accordingly. Don’t confuse other potential buyers!

6. They lie. A lot.
I can write pages and pages about all the lies I’ve heard back in the day. They vary from “I didn’t receive my order” (well how the hell were you able to sign for it then?), to “I strictly followed the user manual”, to “It was broken when I received it” (right, then why does it look so used?). My favourite, by far, was one guy who returned his product (a hammock) for the third time because it was broken. He didn’t lie about the broken part, but his weight changed three times during our phone conversation. I was like, “wow, you’ve lost 20 pounds in the 10 minutes we’ve been talking, what diet are you on?!” In the end, I decided to offer him a refund because we believed that he was just too heavy for the hammock’s frame (didn’t mention it to him, though!), but that just pissed him off. The end result: my first death threat!

7. They’re really, really cheap.
Maybe it’s because they’re mainly Dutchies, but they always bitch about things being expensive. I’d say, go find it somewhere cheaper and leave it at that, but noooo… They sometimes even put it in the order comments AFTER paying. What the fuck? Why buy it if you don’t like the price in the first place? They also love to bargain. “If I buy two, can I get a discount?” Ehm… How about hell no?

All in all, I have to say it was an interesting job, even with the death threats and all that. Some customers were so awful, that the entire company knew their names. And when that happens, you’re fucked for life. It’s really sad that sometimes, they don’t understand that you really want to help them, but that there’s only so much you can do because you have to follow protocol.

I do have to be entirely honest here, there were great customers too. Customers who had a problem that we solved even beyond their wish. And that’s always been the best part; a thank-you e-mail or phone call or review. I even had two customers whose problem I solved sending me pictures afterwards. One was with the product (a star projector) being used during a play at the church, the other one was a pic of a young boy playing happily with the gift daddy got him and the CS lady fixed. And that’s what you’re doing it for. Making people happy, and giving them a great shopping experience.

I’ve learned a lot from my time there, and being an avid online shopper I’ve encountered a lot of problems myself. I understand the frustration when you’re a customer and everything’s wrong with your order, but I also understand that the other side of the line is trying their best to help you (although I have to admit that there are some CS bastards out there as well). So next time if you have a problem… Please don’t yell at the Customer Service ;) (damn, this is turning into a “customer service awareness”-thing haha)

Anyway… Thanks again for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed!

Love,

ML-X

 

WordPress: Wtf?

I love to play around with numbers. Statistics, math, you name it, I like it. Hence, you can probably already guess that I can count pretty well. But WordPress is confusing me right now. I checked my stats, and yesterday I had an x amount of views. But the published post had more likes yesterday than there were viewers. How the hell is this possible? I’m seriously starting to doubt myself here! Somebody please tell me if I’m losing my mind here (could be, I’ve spent a lot of time in the sun, boiled brains and all that)!

Love,

ML-X

P.S.: Thanks for all the reads, likes & follows… I can hardly believe people are actually enjoying my rants!

Newsflash: Chocolate Makes You Skinny!

Being an avid chocolate lover, you can imagine my surprise (and sheer delight) upon reading in the paper this morning that American scientists have discovered that eating chocolate seems to have huge dietary benefits. In other words; it doesn’t necessarily make you fat, it can even make you skinnier!

Delicious! And good for you as well!

In short, a couple of scientists from the University of California, San Diego, conducted a research, where they found that the subjects who ate chocolate had lower BMI’s, despite having a higher calorie intake. The scientists state that moderate chocolate intake leads to a lessened uptake of fat, which compensates for the extra calories. Of course, this counts for moderate chocolate eating only, so don’t even think of getting super slim by eating 200g bars at a time ;) You can find (an excerpt of) the article on the Archives of Internal Medicine website. It’s gotten me super curious, so I’m gonna try to get my hands on the entire article. Tips and suggestions are very welcome; I’ve lost all of my access to medical journals etc. after leaving Uni and I don’t feel like coughing up $30 for this article :( Better to spend it on chocolate!

But seriously, is that good news or what? It surely has made my day! So thank you, dear scientists from the University of California. I think your findings will make a lot of us very, very happy!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Love,

ML-X

Football/Soccer: Here’s Johnny!

I love football (what some of you know as soccer), and I spend a great part of the weekend watching the Eredivisie (the Dutch Premier League) with my man. I don’t watch every game because not all of them are interesting to me, but since the man is a huge Feyenoord (Rotterdam) supporter, I’ve taken over some of his “hooliganism”, and we’ve seen pretty much every game they’ve played. And oh, what a difference to last year it is! Not only is 2011/2012 in itself probably one of the most exciting Eredivisie seasons I’ve ever seen, but Feyenoord has been playing insanely well. Where they finished last season somewhere near the bottom, right now they’re in the 5th place with 7 more games to go! Which means they’re still in the running to become America’s Next Top Model this year’s champion!

One of the reasons of their sudden awesomeness is… John Guidetti! Feyenoord loaned him from Manchester City for a year, and by god, I don’t remember seeing somebody play as passionately as he does. And with result; Feyenoord hardly ever lost a game, partially due to John’s talent for hattricks.

Guidetti, a.k.a. Driedetti, since "drie" is the Dutch word for "three".

For a long time, things were going great for Feyenoord, until Guidetti got suspended a few weeks ago for taking off his shirt (I still disagree with the fact they punish the players for that). Long story short, he missed only one game, but when he played again he just… Well, sucked. For a few weeks in a row. No more goals, no more hattricks, no more nothing :(

But yesterday that changed; he scored again! Only once, but hell, it’s better than nothing, and it’s a good sign, right? This is gonna sound really lame, but my eyes filled with tears after that goal. Ladies and gentlemen, Johnny’s back! Unfortunately, it’s also been announced that after this season (the remaining 7 games), he’s going back to Manchester City :( I really hope he’ll get his original groove back now, so that we can at least enjoy his brilliance for these few games left!

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

Crazy Dutchies: Part I

Dutch people are an amusing interesting folk, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like them. Some of the things they do are just plain weird. Curious? Get ready for a little summary:

1. The Law
As in every other country, the Dutchies have their law. But not only is it the least strict law known to humanity, it’s also the strangest one. Why? Well, let’s say you cross the speed limit with 3 kilometers per hour. You’ll get a large fine for sure. But, if you decide to spend 10 years of your life stealing money from old people (and we’re talking a total of several millions here), they might put you in prison for 2,5 years. Yes, might. Being in prison is expensive, so they might just let you go because that’s cheaper. Murder gets you 2-5 years as well, by the way, so if you ever need to get rid of somebody… Haha, just kidding. Moral of the story: crime pays here. But only if you do it right. 

2. Prisons
Dutch prisons are unlike any other prison I’ve ever seen (on TV that is ;)), and mostly they’re reminiscent of four star hotels. A Dutch prisoner has a cell of his/her own, 4 meals a day, TV in the room, and if desired a PlayStation/XBOX/whatever can be brought in. They have time “off”, time to exercise, and what not. So if and when they put you in, enjoy. Because in this country, for a lot of people life in prison is by far more luxurious than daily life.

3. Politics
Politics-wise, this is a strange country as well. Every idiot with an x number of supporters’ signatures can start a political party. And that’s how, in 2006, we had a pro-paedophile political party, the “Party For Neighbourly Love, Freedom and Diversity”, which we “normal folk” called the “Pedo Party”, because that’s what it actually was. Luckily, it turned out that they didn’t get enough support to become eligible for election, and the party was dissolved in 2010. But seriously… Pedo party?

4. Legalization
As known to most of you (since that’s what the Netherlands are famous for), soft drugs and prostitution is fully legal here. The reasoning behind the first one is that, if it would be illegal, more people would be using because everything that’s illegal is attractive. Pretty smart, huh? If you ask me, both of these points are merely there to generate more income from tourism. Because, let’s face it, there’s nothing to see here, really.

5. War
Unlike a lot of other countries, we haven’t really had in-country wars after the 1800’s. Sure, during World War II we hated the Germans (still do) and printed illegal newspapers, and sold out our Jewish neighbours (although everybody will tell you they didn’t), but apart from that… But we love to meddle help out other countries. So we’ve messed around in Bosnia during the Bosnian Wars (up to date, nobody really knows what happened there, but it sure was sufficient for the entire 2002 government to resign), hated Serbia during the Kosovo war, and we’re currently involved in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libiya. And when one of our soldiers dies during war, it’s national news. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t death a risk during war? I doubt that Americans -who have by far more soldiers stationed there- collectively cry every time something happens. On top of that, it’s not that we’re in to help out all those Afghans/Iraqi’s/whatever, noooo… We’re in to support the United States. Because if and when we’ll have warfare of our own (terrorism and all that), they will support us back… Which makes sense, until you realize that the Netherlands are so freaking small, that war here would be the most pointless thing ever. And not only because of the fact that if you drop a bomb here, the whole fucking country is gone. Terrorists are idiots, but they’re not that stupid.

See what I mean? They’re just plain weird… In fact, there’s more, but  I’ve decided to make a series out of it because it’s way too much for one post. And we wouldn’t want any Dutchie overkill, now would we?

Anyway… Feel free to share your thoughts and as always, thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X