Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Misplaced and expired license stickers

While sitting in traffic you may noticed the number of expired license plate stickers you see? I have noticed that, some people don't notice or care that they are driving a vehicle where the sticker on the plates have expired. As a driver it is your responsibility to ensure that your license plate is up to date. I was sitting in a traffic jam and the vehicle in front of us had a sticker for Jan14 and it was May 14 so that was a truly expired plate sticker.

The other thing you notice is that at least in Ontario your sticker for a personal vehicle is suppose to be in the upper right hand corner of the plate. I think I have seen stickers in every area of the plate which is a ticketable offense. It must be interesting when these vehicles are pulled over by police, how do you explain why the sticker isn't in the location it is suppose to be.

Back plates with no stickers and stickers on front plates of a car. In Ontario, the sticker is to be on the back plate. This makes me wonder if the license plates really belong to the vehicle they are currently on.

Another thing to notice is the condition of the back license plate on vehicles. Some plates look like they have seen really bad days but the front plate is in mint condition. It really makes you wonder if people are tampering with their license plates making them hard to read from behind. This is an issue when you are trying to report a vehicle for breaking the law or even for some of the toll highways to read the license plates.

The license plate is a means of identifying the vehicle so make sure it is in good condition.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dealing with difficult situations

As a consultant, I deal with informing clients about good and bad situations. The good situations are easy to deal with. It's the bad situations which are hard to tell clients.

In some cases it's about a piece of equipment that needs to be replaced and other times it could be a situation that has been discovered while trying to document something. It doesn't matter what type of situation it is, if it's going to cost the client some unexpected money or time it isn't something that I like telling them.

If you go into a client site and you are asked to find problems and give recommendations that is one thing but it's the finding of the unexpected problems which are the worst. In some cases it can be a quick fix and another time it can require a great deal of time or money and in some cases both time and money.

I recently had a situation that I had to let management know of a situation that wasn't going to be pleasant and it was extremely difficult for me. I knew that no matter how I worded the situation it was going to result in some unhappy people. As you can guess, I let them know the situation and sure enough some unhappy people. Yes, the client needed to know the issue and it was my job to disclose the situation once I discovered it, which I did. Once I told the client the issue I knew that I was going to have some upset staff as well as management and that is what I had. The good news is once the initial shock wore off they understood that I hadn't been out to find the problem, it just got discovered in me doing my normal work.

Situations like this are always difficult no matter if it's to a client, partner, child or someone you supervise. No one likes delivering the bad news but there are times when it has to be delivered.

Dealing with the difficult situations can assist someone in understanding what you do, your method of working, as well as finding out something that can be improved in their area. Deal with the situation in a professional manner and know that you are doing the right thing by letting them know. It's better to tell them of the situation than them find out about the situation another way and you getting questions about why you didn't tell them.

Know that you can deliver the news and it be received in the manner that you intended it is very important. Also having ideas to help solve the problem can really help instead of just delivering the bad news. The most important thing is know how you are going to deliver the news and make sure you can prove it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Customer service

Knowing how to deal with customers is very important especially when in the retail business. For us even being in the consulting business knowing how to deal with customers is very important.

Here are some things that have happened and these are situations that shouldn’t be happening:
  1. Things a cashier should never say “Customer service is open, I can’t handle all of you” and this was heard while standing in line at an express line at a grocery store. Does this person want a job for long? The lineup wasn’t long and most people had one or two items. The express line was for customers with 8 or less items.
  2. Trying to find a bakery department in a grocery store under renovation – walk through store looking for sign but cannot find one, go to where the bakery section was, ask and be told to go to the new section of the store. Finally locate some cakes under a large sign that says “Produce”. Ask where I can pick up a cake that was ordered, one guy goes to find someone in the back of bakery, comes back talks to another produce guy and then goes to the 3 meat department guys only to have 4 guys go out the back and page someone from bakery. Finally get someone from baker to find the cake. Yes this is what you can say is a confusing situation. When a store is under renovation, signs are very important if you want to keep your customers.
  3. Staff that don’t see all customers and only select who they want to serve and this isn’t something that should be done. All customers in a store should be treated the same as the next person no matter what. Also staff has walked into me and then said they didn’t see me and that is difficult considering I am over 5 foot tall. If you are in a store you should be treated with respect and also understand that you need to treat the staff with respect.
Customer service is very important because staff can impact if a customer will return to the store or business again and what if they speak favourable about the location or not. Word of mouth can really effect a business.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Writing as an escape

So many people ask me why I write and it’s simple. I write because I enjoy it and also for me I can help others when I write manuals and other work documentation.

I don’t just write for work I also write for enjoyment. I am someone that likes to keep busy and I find that writing is an escape from my normal routine. Yes I journal, blog and am trying to write some short stories.

I know professionally when I say that I enjoy writing I get some very funny looks especially from people in IT. See IT should involve documentation but so many people just don’t like putting into words what they do and how they do it. For me documenting procedures is something that I find easy to do because watching what people do and how they do it is easy. I will also look at how things can be improved and made easier.

Writing for me personally is a lot of fun because I can write about ideas that come to my head and am not limited to what a client wants or needs. The writing for me involves all the different things that I like doing as well as crazy ideas that come to me. The blogging is not limited to this blog as I find that as a crafter I like showing off what I do so that is something that I keep separate from this type of blogging that I do.

Writing in so many ways for me is an escape because when I am writing I can totally lose myself into what I am doing and the world around me disappears. Writing needs to be something that you enjoy doing if you are going to do it for a living. For me writing is enjoyable and that is why I can do it both personally and professionally.