Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Food courts - are they busy?

Recently, I had the opportunity to be in downtown Toronto and in the financial district at lunchtime. I haven’t been down there very often since I worked there, but during this trip, I saw a big difference compared to what I saw a year ago. It is amazing how much of a change I saw and yes, I know that I was there on a Wednesday which is probably one of the days that a lot of people are in the office now.

April – 2022

  • A lot of the tables were either empty or there was just one person sitting at the table enjoying their lunch.
  • There were no lines at the various restaurants within the food court.
  • The overall noise level within the food court area was rather low.

June – 2023

  • A lot of the tables were full of either two or three people sitting at the table, and they were chatting and enjoying their lunch.
  • People were looking for tables because the food court was that busy.
  • There were lines at most of the restaurants within the food court.
  • The overall noise level within the food court area was rather loud.

Yes, there was a very big difference between the same food court a year. One of the biggest factors for the change is that more companies are back in the office at least part of the time. It is amazing to look at how things have changed within the last year, and in a lot of ways it has changed for the better.

Something that had changed from last year was the number of restaurants that were closed. There were more locations this year that were closed compared to the ones that were closed last year. In some ways, I think the stores were trying their best to survive after Covid, but then it came a point that they couldn’t stay open any longer.

Yes, it was nice to see that the food courts were busy again and that people were getting back to going out for lunch with friends and co-workers. The food courts may never get back to what they were like daily before Covid, but at least now with staff back in offices at least part-time it does help other businesses survive.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Vendors - why they can be frustrating

 Today, I received a phone call from a vendor that I met at a trade show a few years ago. I had wanted to find out what they did, and through my investigation I figured out that they weren’t a match for our business. Not every vendor that I talk to ends up being someone that I want to work with moving forward.

After that show, I received several phone calls from this vendor, and they kept telling me how great their product what and I should consider working with them. I very nicely said that it wasn’t a match for our business and would they please remove me from their call list. Some vendors are great about removing you from their list, and then there are the ones that don’t seem to understand the please don’t call me again.

Today the business phone rang, and it was this vendor again. I was trying to be very nice to the person, but it started to get frustrating, especially when he said that he had looked at our site, and he wanted to know what type of consulting that we did. Of course, it says within the first line of our website that we are an IT Consulting firm. He then continued to ask me questions about what type of work we did and were we getting into working with Cloud products. I did say yes, and he immediately asked who we were working with, and I said it was none of his business.

During the call today, he told me that I should look at their company because I need to know more about them. Of course, I have continued to look at their company, and it still doesn’t meet our needs or our focus. By this time, I was getting very frustrated, and I finally said that I had asked to be removed from their call list quite a few times. The guy said, “Well, when was the last time someone called you from here.” I don’t keep track of all the vendor phone calls that we get, as it would be rather long. I said I didn’t know, and he said it was in 2021. He at least knew when they had lasted called, but what he didn’t respect was I said, “do not call me, I will call you if I need more information about the company.”

I ended the call today, letting him know that they were to remove me from the call list effective immediately. Yes, vendors can be very frustrating, and they have to respect that if someone says “Do not call me, I will call you.”

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Listening to the rain

It is so different listening to the sound of the rain in the city compared to listening to it in the country.

In the city, you really don't get to hear much of the sound when it rains. In a city, there are too many other sounds that the rain just happens. Yes, there can be times that you can hear a bit of rain hitting the window, but it is blended with all the other sounds around you.

I am currently sitting in a house in the country and enjoying just hearing the rain hitting the window as well as hitting the metal roof. It is so calming and relaxing just hearing the rain. Where we are staying, there isn't a lot of traffic, so the rain is the sound that you get to enjoy. I am sitting looking out of the window and enjoying seeing the rain and just listening to it fall.

There are so many sounds that we miss when living in a city. In the city, all the sounds seem to blend, and you don't get the opportunity to hear the different sounds separately. Taking the time to just enjoy some of the different sounds can make a difference. Being able to appreciate the quiet when it's available makes such o difference.

If you have the opportunity to spend some time away from the city and away from all those sounds, you will hear things differently. One thing you will notice is how different it is to hear sounds separately compared to just hearing the blended sounds. Enjoy the time away from the city and if it rains enjoy the sound of just the rain.



Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Remembering the good times

I am sitting here at my desk thinking about you and of all the fun times that we have had. It didn’t matter what we did, we found a way to have fun doing it. A couple hour shopping trip downtown resulted in some laughs because of something that we saw or did. Looking at stuff just for “fun” was something that we quite often did.

We found that we could sit and talk over a cup of coffee, and it was a great way to just spend time together. It didn’t matter that we lived in the same house but going and sitting in a food court and chatting was something that we both enjoyed doing. We would talk about anything while watching people pass by. Of course, we would then see an outfit on someone to be something that we wouldn’t wear, but we would talk about it for a while just because it was something different.

We made tons of Christmas decorations over the years as it was something that we both enjoyed doing. Our tree was always full of different decorations, some that we bought on vacation and others that we made. The memories that those decorations are what made our tree so special over the years. We would decorate the tree together when I was younger and laugh at some of the hand-made decorations because they would bring back memories of making them. As I got older and was working, you would decorate the tree, but then I would come home from work and sit, and we would again talk about all the different hand-made decorations on the tree and around the house.

Growing up and knowing that you were always there for me helped a lot. On my wedding day the photographer asked you to give me a piece of advice and I remember what you said, “You fool” and then started to laugh. That picture is one that I look at and laugh at because I will always remember you saying that to me. It was special because you knew that I was happy and that is all that you wanted me to be.

It’s hard now seeing who you have become, but I know that the mom that I love is still there inside. She still laughs a bit and smiles a bit, but I just need to remember all the good times that we have had through my life. I hope that you still remember all the crazy things we did together because I know those are the things that I remember.

I remember all the good times that we shared.