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Friday, 21 November 2014

Service with, or without a smile.

Good service is something I am always surprised at and this is a sad indictment of our world today. We should be appalled by bad service, not expect it, but this is how life has become. Despite high standards being demanded by business proprietors, the staff on the ground just do not deliver.

After working in retail, catering and childcare before I decided that admin was a better path for me, I know the pressure put on staff, the bad conditions and the low wages. Having also worked in the personnel department of a large supermarket, I am well aware of the standards expected by the owners of businesses. They put pressure on the people below them and that goes all the way to the people on the ground. They, in turn, take it out on the customers with bad service and bad attitudes. The expectation of what each staff member can do will often be far more than is possible and this comes about by companies cutting staff budgets while trying to increase productivity and profits.

There will always be hard workers among the staff in an organisation and they tend to take up the slack of the people who don't care, can't be bothered or are so demoralized that they do the minimum they can. Sadly though I have found that doing any job, however bad, to the best of your ability, is ultimately far more rewarding than doing a job badly. Your sense of pride should make you want to do a good job and it also makes your working day go faster.  A good work ethic is always a good example to the people around you and your children too.

I am sure there are many people working in jobs they hate who have been ground down  by the day to day issues they face combined with problems which are not work related., however , that is not the fault of the customer. If you go into a business, whether it be a retail business, your doctors surgery or travelling on public transport, you expect to be treated decently. However badly my day is going I know that I have to slap on a smile and treat each patient in a decent manner. Being polite costs nothing, smiling costs nothing, treating people with respect also costs nothing. There are rewards for treating other people in a decent manner, knowing you have helped someone is a good feeling. I know it is hard when you are at work and someone decides to be rude to you because you cannot deliver the impossible or they had a bad day, but you have to rise above it.

I have had some fantastic service and always make a point of giving positive feedback. For example, Specsavers in Guildford always give good service and cannot do more to help the customer. When I broke my glasses leg in my lunch break, which was totally my own stupidity, they had four members of staff finding a leg that would fit and they did it free of charge. On another occasion I was given a free spray and cloth when I asked for advice on the why the coating needed so much cleaning. These little things mean that I always recommend them to people.

Boz's Fruit and Veg in Woking opened this year and their service is brilliant. The quality of stock, the prices and the service of every staff member is fantastic. it is a simple enterprise but it works as they concentrate on those three key elements. (A good product, a fair price and a very high level of service.)

The third example of a high standard of service was in fact in Ogilvy's in Woking. I went there for lunch with my Dad for my birthday. The food was delicious, there was a lovely atmosphere and, most importantly, the waitress was brilliant. They had one member of staff serving all the tables. She had to take the orders, deliver the food, deal with any queries, present the bill, clear the table and get the table ready for the next diners. She did this with speed, efficiency and a smile. There were no mistakes made and she was friendly and polite the whole time.

These examples do show that it is possible to deliver top level service in all jobs. You can rise above the rubbish that is thrown at you on a daily basis and treat people how you would like to be treated.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Quote 5

I am not sure who wrote this, but I like it.


"Somewhere someone dreams of your smile and finds your presence in life so worthwhile. Remember it's true that someone somewhere is thinking of you."

Monday, 10 November 2014

Filofax..... My collection

I love Filofaxes and I am not bothered by the eighties and yuppi labels they bring with them. It is easy for people to see them in this way and ridicule this organisational obsession. The main reason I like them is that you can be ultra organised in your own way, mistakes can be rectified and they are, to be honest, beautiful things. There are so many designs, colours and materials used and insert  possibilities are endless.


This is my current favourite Filofax. It is a personal., purple, patent Original. My diary and day to day planning is in here and it goes everywhere with me.  I have a homemade, laminated flyleaf,  my diary, a list of numbers in case my phone goes wrong and sections for things I am currently planning. There is always spare paper, stickers, sticky notes and 2 pens in my planner. I use Paperchase  week on 2 pages as the layout is clear and uncluttred.

I do have a large collection of Filofaxes which I have collected over time and they all have their uses. All my family and friends have given me various Filofax gifts before and they are all lovely. 

There is a fantastic online community , mainly based around the Philofaxy blog and Facebook group, where you can discuss every aspect and possibility of Filofaxes. People from all over the world and from all walks of life  are users of either the Filofax system or a similar one. ( Van der Spek, Franklin Covey, Kiki K, Gillio, etc)

My collection also currently includes a red, pocket, zipped pennybridge as my wallet, a black A5 metropol as my blog notes Filo, a personal red butterfly for all my writing notes, a personal, ochre malden for financial, a purple, compact saffiano for health and beauty notes,  a purple, personal songbird for addresses, a blue personal domino for home notes, a personal heart which was for food lists but currently am not keeping a food diary, an old black patent personal for last year's diary,  a burgundy deskfax for Fiofax related information,  a pocket denim for listing websites and blogs, a grey pocket sketch for birthdays and other occasion planning, an un branded, black , leather pocket size for log in info, hints to passwords etc,  a mini metropol for interesting words and 2 pocket petals, an aqua pocket finsbury and a pocket spot, all with book and reading notes.
There are 12 other Filofaxes all  used for storage too. 

I will be doing various blog posts in the future on individual set ups for my different use planners but this is a little taster of my collection. 


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Spider!!!!!

For quite some time I have been warning people about the impending spider apocolypse, but sadly no one listened and they kept "putting the spiders outside" with no thought to the increasing numbers and species in the country.  I have noticed in recent years, and this year in particular, that spiders are getting more prolific, larger and nastier. It is easier for the dangerous spiders to get in to the country now, They come in accidentally with fruit and other imported products. They can also be seen queuing at airports and docks, passports clutched in their nasty, hairy hands. Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but I do think that the importation of exotic spiders is on the rise as people look for more bizarre pets.

To be honest I cannot see the contribution that spiders make to the world. All this rubbish about eating flies is nonsense as most of us clean away the cobwebs. As far as I can see cobwebs are the only way for a spider to catch a fly. I can honestly say, and I am pleased about this, your average English housespider does not jump into mid air grabbing flies as it goes. ( shivering at the very thought) This is mind, how do they do any good?  They string webs around in hard to see places so we walk in to them. ( this may cause hysteria in some people .... me!) and do little else that I can see apart form lurk around waiting for victims.

At 5.30 in the morning a few weeks ago, when confronted with a psychopathic, killer arachnid in my toilet; I knew I had a fight on my hands The rather large furry beast that I had encountered had come with one intention..... to kill everyone that he could find. I knew this because he was weilding a large baseball bat (really). I am not saying he was a little scary, I am telling you he was a monster with eyes like saucers and fangs like a acouple of ice picks. A scuffle ensued and the hellmonster was slain at the hands of a broom weilding maniac. Another eight legged attacker dispatched to spider hell.
My advice to anyone who thinks to attack  me at 5.30 in the morning; do not hide behind the toilet cleaner bottle!!! 


     

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Why the Colour Orange? ……………. How I Named My Blog

I have always been a red, black, purple and blue kind of a girl and as a child blue was my favourite colour. However, a few months ago I got hooked on the colour orange.

I love my orange dress and plan to update my wardrobe with some more orange pieces when I need more clothes. I won’t go for the head to toe tango look and I cannot wear wishy washy peach tones, but a few good, vibrant orange pieces would be rather nice.

To be honest I am also leaning towards the orange accents in stationery too. Paper clips and post it notes in orange have come up in the sales recently and I am happy to see that Paperchase has an orange range of stationery in now. My Filofax “unicorn” is an orange A5 Finsbury, rather elusive but I hope to find one eventually.

So to the origins of my blog name. Originally I was going to call it “The Girl in the Orange Dress” but sadly I discovered there was a book, and an internet link to the book, of the same name. I wanted a name which didn't reflect just one thing that I wanted to write about as I didn't want to be tied to one subject. My feeling was that by allowing myself to write about whatever I chose I gave myself a larger prospective audience and a more interesting range of subjects. Restricting myself would be counter productive as I have far too much to say about so many subjects.


I chose to put coffee in the title purely because it is my favourite drink and I was born in 1969 so added that in too. Throwing the three random things together gave me a unique blog name without narrowing my field of subjects and hopefully draws in readers as they do not know what to expect.

Emails

Emails are a very useful, very quick way of communicating; an ideal in our modern, technological world. They can be a source of interest, amusement or even disbelief if it is a spam email.

In my junk folder this week I have emails from four banks that I do not have accounts with, sending me urgent security updates to which they say I have to respond or my (non-existent) accounts will be frozen.
My junk email folder also contained an offer for a penis extension despite the fact that I do not have one to extend. Call me picky but sending that kind of email to women is asking for trouble. Either it is of no interest and will annoy them or give them ideas that their men may require a little help.
The funniest suggestion by far was an email telling me “how to shrink your clothes” Hello! An email telling me how to stretch them might be more useful. Thinking about it I think the internet spies have seen by Facebook profile picture and just thought they were being hilarious.

Email does work well to link you to websites, online stores and blogs but it can generate an incredible amount of emails. Amazon send me so many offers on a daily basis, as do Odeli. I have never signed up with Odeli.  I tend to sign up to things that may be of interest and send them to junk if the content turns out to be uninteresting.


Whatever happens, whether you sign up to emails or not, they will find you and they will bombard you with emails and some will make you laugh at their total inappropriateness and others will be of interest.  However many friends you do or do not have, once you open an email account you will always have a full inbox. (Whether you want it or not.)

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Quick quote

Today we have a quote  from  a women I know.

" It takes more than hopes and dreams to survive, but life would be endless without them."

Monday, 29 September 2014

My Love of Books

I was recently asked to name my top 10 books and this was hard. It would be easier to name my top 100 or 200 to be honest. The following is the list I came up with.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Minotaur Takes A Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Onion  Field by  Joseph Wanbuagh
Day Of the Triffids by John Wyndham
King Solomon's Carpet by Barbara Vine
A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson 
Armadillo by William Boyd
To Do List by Mike Gayle
Killing Floor by Lee Child


A strange and eclectic collection I know but as I read 70 plus books a year I need a range of genres to choose from. I mainly read fiction with the odd factual book thrown in. If I had to choose just one genre it would be thrillers, or maybe classic horror or even general modern fiction. Ahhh, too many to decide.

I am very anti electronic books. If you want to read them it is up to you but I love my proper books. Normal books have soul, fantastic covers and a comforting feel about them. I would say that the only use for electronic books is for huge factual volumes or out of print books. I still would personally prefer the real thing. 

If you love reading there are some fantastic reference  websites. Fantastic Fiction is amazing if you want to look up the other books an author has written and get suggestions for similar authors. Goodreads is a great place to track what you have read, follow and join in book related conversations, read quotes and find new authors to read. You can track what you have read on the Goodreads challenge. You set how many you want to read for the year and add them when you start them. At the end of the year you see what you have read and how many. It is very interesting to look back and see what you have read over the year.

Reading goes very well with my love of organistaion and Filofaxes. I do have 4 pocket size Filofaxes where I catalogue, alphabetically the books I have enjoyed. I am also hoping to start doing book reviews too, this is something I have been meaning to do for some time.

I read while eating breakfast, on the train, in my lunchbreak, in the evenings and weekends, so really anytime I have a spare five minutes. You can escape into a book and get lost in a world different from your own, you can learn new things and find the answer to endless questions. There is always another book to read, a new author to discover and different worlds to explore.

Monday, 22 September 2014

My weight and sugar........I have won the battle, now to win the war!



Weight loss has been a  massive issue with me for many years. Gone are the days when I just eat what I want and think nothing of it.  I was in my early twenties when I first realised I had a problem with food and it has been with me ever since. I have been fat, slim and been a normal weight. I have tried different diets and also had an eating disorder. I have attended specialist clinics and I have paid for hypnotism. I had my gallbladder  removed when I was 30  as my gallstones were so bad. ( I have since found out they are  hereditary on both sides of my family)
Eating problems and weight issues do seem to have an effect on those around you which is another reason to keep a healthy attitude to food and, especially, weight.

Last year I lost 20 pounds after being hypnotised at a private clinic in Guildford. This cost me £160 for the first two appointments but it was worth it. He seemed to get to the root of my eating problems and sorted my mind. Sadly, after 6 months of weight loss, healthy eating and  a positive mindset, I started the bad eating habits again. There were a few triggers and my mind just seemed to over ride what I had gained from the hypnotism.  Within 4 months I had gained 17 pounds back and was eating ridiculous amounts of cakes and chocolate until I felt ill. Sadly hypnotism did not work this time.

Three and a half weeks ago I was stuck in bed with a flu type bug and had no sugary food in the house. After 3 days without cakes, chocolate, biscuits, puddings etc, I decided to see if I could keep it up.    24 days later no treats  have passed my lips and I have lost 12 pounds in weight. From somewhere I have pulled in some will power, but I have absolutely no idea where from. I have also been using techniques that I learned when I was hypnotised and just trying to eat as healthily as possible. My appetite has shrunk and I feel so much healthier without the sugar.

I am eating quite a bit of fruit, which I know has natural sugar and have had jam on my toast a few times, but all the processed, sugary, fatty foods are gone. No bingeing on cake or biscuits, no buying multi packs of chocolate because they are cheaper and then eating it all and no nipping into Greggs after a bad day at work and buying buns. I am eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains and some meat. I have been eating healthy meals for years but my portion sizes are smaller and I am not hungry.
It is a great feeling not to feel bloated and heavy and being able to get back in to certain clothes is such a good feeling. The lack of sugar has given me more energy  so I am moving more and burning even more calories. I am hoping this is not temporary, I need to keep up the momentum.

If I could bottle the willpower I have right now I would be a very rich woman. As I can’t I shall just keep boring everyone round me and hope that someone is motivated enough to find their inner will power too and hope I can keep motivating my self to continue at the same time. :-)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Quotes

I do love quotes so here are two about relationships.

The first one is my own:  "Men are like fireworks, you should never go back to them."

The second one has been attributed to Charlie Sheen but I have no idea if  he actually said it:
 " The only way not to have your heart broken is to pretend you don't have one."

Friday, 19 September 2014

Magpies and a walk on the wild side

I have a walk to the station every morning to go to work and it is fairly quiet. Not too much traffic, not too many people, good thinking time. This morning was totally different; I thought I had walked on to the set of a remake of Dr Doolittle. I really was walking with the animals and muttering at them under my breath would definitely constitute talking to them. Let me explain that I like seeing the odd squirrel, bird, fox or cat on my way to work. They all have a place in this world of ours, but all of them in one half an hour walk, and not just singularly, that is a bit too much. As I came out of the estate I saw a fox across the road nearby, just minding his own business, no problem. As I went round the corner a little brown dog with his owner, which I see regularly, went passed, a little excitable but still no problem. Walking along I realised that there were rather more birds in the air than usual, reminding me of a certain Hitchcock film. Even though I was worried about being the recipient of their target practice, still no problem. Then I saw what had been recently causing me to develop a slight “obsession” ........ a single magpie. When I say a single magpie, I don’t mean the kind of magpie that needs a dating agency, I mean a lone magpie, a"one for sorrow" magpie. I instantly scan, trees and rooftops in the surrounding area to see if I can see one of his mates; but no, he is part of the conspiracy.
You see, what magpies do is fly around in gangs until they see a slightly stressed looking person and they send out one of their kind. While the cocky one struts up and down in my line of vision, the other malicious, feathery devils are hiding behind a bush, rolling around with laughter at the unsuspecting human who they are taunting. I am convinced I sometimes see a snippet of black and white tail bobbing about behind the bushes. There are mornings when I would  cheerfully grab the black and white joker around the throat and demand to know the whereabouts of his mates. As yet I have managed to control myself as I do not really want to be taken in and put under strict psychological scrutiny or, even worse, be subjected to hate mail from the Bill Oddie bird watching club.
Anyway, back to the morning in question. After the fox, the dog, the birds and, of course, the magpie ( singular) I was quickly sidestepping a thin, evil looking black cat who was giving me  a condescending look because  I was clearly in the way,  when I realised I was actually muttering away like a wee- soaked old bag lady.  Seconds later a squirrel, who I could only presume  was being pursued by the Hounds of Hell, shot past me so fast I almost spun a full  three hundred and sixty degree pirouette trying to get out of the way. ( Can I add that I never actually saw the hounds)
One more cat and numerous birds later I finally arrived at the station., happy to be among that most exotic of creatures....... the commuter. ( but that is another story)



Wednesday, 10 September 2014

My first quote is....

I have always loved quotes and find they can be insightful, witty, interesting or just say what you want in a few words. My first quote comes from my Dad and is very useful in one of my work roles, Health and Safety manager. "If in danger or in doubt, run in circles scream and shout."

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Introduction

Hi everyone. Welcome to orangecoffee69. This is where I am going to ramble on and chatter away about all the things that interest  me.
Anyone who knows me will be very aware of my love of Filofaxes and being organised. I have many Filofaxes and use them all so will be blogging about them quite often. I have to be organised, it is a way of life.
One of my other big passions is reading. There are never enough hours in the day to read and so many books to read. If I had to choose only one genre I would say thrillers, however I really don't want to choose one type of book when there  is an abundance of amazing books to dive into. I am  very anti electronic books and only love the real thing.
My weight, food, baking, architecture, salsa dancing and  fashion are other areas of interest for me which I will definitely be writing about.
I dislike shopping with a passion, cannot stand rude people and don't get me started on religion. Yes, there will most certainly be regular rants on here.
For as many years as I can remember I have been writing. Not necessarily  anything good, but it is something I like to do so will be looking at the notes of things I have written and may include some pieces on here.
I am a big fan of quotes so will be putting quotes on regularly. Some will be my own and some will be from other people.

I will upload some pictures and proper posts very soon.  Enjoy. :-)