Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pets, Sales, and Crappy T's

Owning your own small business has many perks.

But it also has some drawbacks.. as in, since I am the only one in the company I also have to do all the crap jobs.

That is what I am avoiding right now. Crap job aka cold calls

I've been avoiding the cold calls for about 3 weeks.

I don' t like the idea of pestering people. I don' t want to annoy my clients. I don't want to hear them say no.

But I have to do them, if I want them to know about new products.

I've tried it all, I've booked off time, I've set up who I need to call and what I'm going to say.

I even told more than one person that I'm doing it so that I can be held accountable.

Still haven't done them.

To be honest, I should be doing them right now, but I'm writing this weeks blog instead.

I was supposed to do them last Friday morning, but I decided to head to the city early before the Jane event I was scheduled for.

(Yes I went and did sales for another spa, yet decided instead of working on my own I would go shopping)

My shopping list included a dog toy and some tarps from Canadian Tire, and there I found a lesson in sales that I need to try to apply to my own life.

By the time I got to Bridgewater I was already late, so I was rushing through Canadian Tire like a crazy woman in search of crack.

I made it to the pet section, and started scanning the wall for the special toy that is the only thing that keeps my dog entertained enough tot keep him in the yard

It was here that I was approached by the bravest salesman I've met in awhile.

"You look like you're searching intently for something"

"Yes I am"

And I was, which was why I made no eye contact or really paid any attention that someone was talking to me.

"Hey how may steps are you up to"

I wear a pedometer, I think it's pretty self explanatory, so I didn't bother to think about why he was asking me.

I just looked at it.. mumbled 3000 and that I had been driving a lot, then went back to mad pet-toy scanning.

Nothing there, so I moved to the next aisle ready to give up and move on, when the guy came back.

"What is it exactly that your looking for?"

Dammit, now he's going to try to help me and he's going to spend twenty minutes wasting my time looking for something that I know for a fact isn't there.

"Oh just a dog toy, but it's not sold in every Canadian Tire, so I'll have to pick it up in Dartmouth"

"Oh.. to bad you have to go that far"

"I'm heading there anyway, it's okay"

At this point I'm doing one of those, talking with my body turned in the other direction as I step away. because I'm really bad at ending conversations without resorting to typical work type "Thank-you and have a magical day" phrases.

He steps with me... we are now looking in the kitchen and bathroom cleaner aisle for pet toys... somebody should call PETA.

"What kind of dog do you have"

This is the start of a conversation that only dog owners have... you will rarely find a cat owner, or a fish owner who cares what breed your dog is.

Much like you will rarely find a single business woman who cares what brand of diaper wipe you think is best at clearing up your two-year-olds rash.

So I realize he must be a dog owner/lover and I'm about to be sucked into the typical compare your dog small talk.

I give up, and give in, I was never going to make it to MicMac before 2pm anyway, what's another 5 minutes.

"He's a husky, so he runs... this toy is the only thing that gets him to come back."

Following this sentence is generally the point where the other person says what breed of dog they have, and a cute little anecdote about their pet.

He doesn't.... he introduces himself.

I shake his hand and give him my name.

It feels a little like we just decided to have a business meeting about pet toys.

His people will call my people, and my dog will have a lifetime supply of squeakers if I just sign up for a three year contract and promise to sign up five family members.

This is my first signal that this "salesman" is a little odd.

His next sentence is "I don' t actually work here, I just thought you had a nice smile and seemed easy to talk to"


Woops... how rude of me.. I hadn't even bother to pay attention!!

This wasn't a worker.. he was just some random man that thought I was having trouble finding something and wanted to help.

how nice...

Just like in Sobeys when you are muttering profanities to your self because they've moved to stupid pickles again and someone decides to let you know they think they saw them in the ice-cream freezer next to the cake flour while they were looking for canned tuna.

So I just smile again, because that's what I seem to do when I don't know what to say, and he must have thought that was an invitation to keep talking.

So he did.

He tells me that he's a sports therapist, from Halifax, asks me what I do, I answer, with a weird feeling that we're no longer talking about dogs or toys anymore. I'm not really sure how we got into this conversation.

Or why....

"I just happened to notice that you don't have a ring on your finger so that's why I figured it was okay to talk to you"




He's hitting on me.

In the pet section?

Of Canadian Tire???

Now forgive me, I understand that I have been off the market for quite sometime now.

But I did put in a good 10 years or so of dating.

I don't remember Canadian Tire being on the list of best places to hook up.

Although, now that I think of it I probably would have had better luck there than the Tavern.

I quickly try to regroup as he sputters on about coffee and numbers and my smile.

He has been hitting on me.

And apparently I've been letting him.

We've actually gotten to the stage of our relationship where he's replaying how we first met. ( Seven minutes ago, two aisles over)

I need to quickly let him know that I am not interested.

I try to do this nicely as I've already spent half our relationship mistaking him for a friendly Canadian Tire worker.

I feel bad for judging him before getting to know him... or apparently looking at him.

So I say something that makes perfect sense to me. (The happily unmarried person who would never want a ring for the pure fact that my dog would swallow it, or I'd flush it down the toilet, or something equally as obscure and devastating)

"Oh, I'm married I just don't wear my ring"

I think "for safe keeping"

He thinks what every other sane person in the world thinks "because I'm stuck in an unhappy marriage"

Sometimes when one door closes a window opens.

I closed the front door but gave him the key to the back entry, with a map and a flashlight.

As soon as I see the look on his face I realize what I've said is wrong.

This is the advantage to being picked up in a bar... at this point you would mumble something, that he wouldn't hear because the music was too loud, and run and hide on the other side of the dance floor.

There was no dance floor.

And even if there was a dance floor, there wasn't a crowd of people to put between us anyway.

Now I'm late, without a dog toy, and feeling GUILTY for leading some random guy on.

He still talking... he keeps saying coffee, and I keep thinking... dammit.. if I had of just gotten a second coffee this morning I maybe could have been alert enough to have avoided this entire thing!!

I finally interrupt him, something I am not good at and usually reserve solely for telemarketers.

(yea those people who make cold calls, I hate them, I never let them get their first two sentences out....wanna take a guess as to why I've been putting off my cold calls??)

I set him strait as quickly as possible, no ring, happily unmarried, please go away.

And then I turn and run.

I wind up circling the entire store twice looking for the stupid tarps.

(They are really hard to find when you won't look up past knee level for fear of making eye contact with anyone.)

As I drove the rest of the way to Halifax and thought about the weirdness of a person that just walks up to a random stranger in the pet section of Canadian Tire and tries to start a relationship with them.

He is just one of those people who sees any opportunity and takes it.

He saw a girl, into sports (or at least into knowing how many steps she takes each day), who liked animals and was not wearing a wedding ring.

It was like I was a walking E-harmony profile.

And what did he get for stopping and asking me out... well, nothing.

Except a little rejection.

But he was not really any worse off than before he stopped and accosted talked to me.

(I think I was actually the only one scarred by this series of events)

There was no harm (to him) in asking for something.

So that is something I will keep in mind as I work up the nerve to do my cold calls.


Or maybe Friday.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Doctor is In(correct)

It is a mathematical fact that fifty percent of all doctors graduate in the bottom half of their class. ~Author Unknown

There are a lot of things and people in the this world that drive me nuts, but at the top of that list lately seems to be dear sweet Dr Oz.

Every woman who watches his show takes what he says as gospel.

It's the same phenomenon as the Oprah effect, only worse.

Because Oprah is just telling us what movies to watch, or books to read, or that we should turn our cell phones off and starting praying more and eating less.

Dr Oz is giving medical advice in 10 min increments.

He is curing heart disease in between commercial breaks.

I'm not the only one out there that doesn't like him either.

Go ahead and Google "Dr.Oz controversy" and see how many people are complaining that his claims are all sensation and no science.

He actually doesn't even have the worst information out there.

The show "The Doctors" has more misleading things than Dr Oz. But they are so busy talking over one another that no one can understand what they're saying anyway.

These other medical doctors out there concerned he's giving misinformation, or partial information.

In case you didn't know, I'm not a doctor.

I'm not actually concerned, I'm just annoyed.

Then why does he bother me so much?

I think it is because most of my clients all seem to watch him. They will take his advice over and above anything else they have ever heard.

He might as well be Elvis.

Or the Pope.

What ever he says, they repeat, as if it is brand new ground breaking information.

I overheard a conversation today about the great Doctor.

He says if every mother and child would start taking Vitamin C, in mid September, then they would not get a cold or flu all season.

Look at that!!!! He's cured the common cold!!

With a little over the counter pill!! Who knew??

Don't you think if all it took to stave off colds was a daily Vitamin C tablet they would be handing them out left and right at the schools??

Just like the measles, rubella and diptheria vaccinations they make us get??

(Let's not get into the fact that I just found out that HPV is vaccinated in schools now in Nova Scotia. No choice,lets just experiment with our teenage daughters please.

Not that I have a problem with 13 yr olds getting vaccinated for sexually transmitted diseases, I only have a problem when that vaccination is accompanied by the "abstinence" theory of teaching about other ways to prevent STD's

oh wait.. I seem to be getting into it.... I digress)

He also tells us things like "Broccoli will help us stay young." Good for your thyroid, and helps prevent cancer....

Yes... and opening your eyes helps prevent walking into walls.

Or using a fork to eat prevents one from nibbling our own hands off accidentally.

And it's not just the vegetables that he's promoting.

He also advises everyone to carry an Epipen in the summer, even if you're not allergic to anything.

Just in case..... you know you're walking by someone and it looks like their lips are swelling up.

Maybe THEY just got stung by a bee, and maybe they ARE allergic. Then you can stab'em with a little medical injection and save the day.

Unless of course they've just gotten their own injection of the Restylane kind and then instead of a hero's welcome all you get is a lawsuit for attacking someone.

There's also Equine Assistant Therapy.... for depression and anxiety.

I'm not certain but I'm pretty sure a bottle of Ativan takes up less room in your medicine cabinet than a Shetland pony.

He has let a woman put kitty litter on his face as a detoxifying mask.

Yet he has also declared the bathroom as the most "toxic" room in the house. (I'm pretty sure you don't need to be a doctor to figure that one out.)

I'm also going to glaze over the rant about the fact that he poses questions on his "What's your True Age" site only to hand all the personal medical information over to pharmaceuticals companies for advertising.

Or that his "Ask Dr Oz" section of his website is answered by other medical professionals, a homeopathic doctor, and a spokesperson for Dove???

Right.. that company that's helping us all have better self esteem. (by buying their products)

I guess my point is, there is something we need to remember about the man who wears surgeons scrubs all the time to put oomph behind his words.

He's a cardiologist.

Not an immunologist, or a dermatologist, or rheumatologist or an anything else-ogist.

Would you let your dentist give you advice on your foot care?

Would you like you chiropractor style your hair?

Would you let your mechanic rewire your home??

Then wtf are we doing listening to the a heart surgeon tell us how to reverse the signs of aging, reduce out risk or breast cancer and increase our sex drive??!!

(His answer is garlic for all three I believe)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Alright stop, colaborate, and listen.

In honour of Thanksgiving I'd like to list this things in life I am thankful for.

Yes, I know two holiday themed posts in a row.. well like I said, it's my favourite holiday.

(Hmmm maybe the list should include that I'm thankful this is just a blog and I don't have an editor somewhere saying "find a better subject")

Starting with the obvious, family, friends, and good health.

Even though family can drive you to want to jump off a cliff sometimes.

And your friends can convince you it's a good idea to jump

("C''ll be rad man!! Everybody's doing it!!!")

And your good health record may further convince you you're invincible and can survive anything.

("Hey I haven't broken any bones yet, I doubt those ragged rocks at the bottom of this cliff will do anything")

They are all still good things to be thank full for.

But there are a few other things in life that I am thankful for.

Like this morning I was thankful for Philip Dexter.

Even though I cursed him from about 9:18 to 9:23 for driving so damn slow.

At approximately 9:26 as we passed a cop car.

Since I didn't get pulled over for the speeding that I would have been doing if I hadn't been stuck behind him, I immediately removed him from my "curse him" list and stuck him on my "thankful for" list.

I am thankful for my in-house bathroom I now have at my new Liverpool location.

In Packets Landing, I had to leave my desk (and cash box) unattended, go down the hall, and unlock the bathroom.

Not to mention the fact that every time I went, I would see the physio ladies look up and wave to me.

Sometimes after about the third trip they would save me the embarrassment and just pretend they didn't see me.

But I know they did, and I am quite certain they all snickered and talked about me and my bladder over coffee on their down times.

Yes.. I'm sure they had nothing better to do than discuss me.. at least my paranoia believes that.

But now no one notices if I go to the bathroom a zillion times a day.

I can up my water intake to ten gallons without worrying that anyone will think I'm a weirdo.

Well, no one but Kayla, but I'm pretty sure she already knows I'm a weirdo.

I'm also thankful for the no-cell-phone-while-driving law.

Yes I know some friends have threatened to disown me for not answering my phone any more.

But I've saved over $900 since it was announced. Not to mention it has probably kept me from an accident or two.

Now if they just outlaw eating Subway, painting nails, spraying hairspray and dancing to Latino music while driving I'll be the safest driver out there.

(well as long as I'm stuck behind Philip with no passing lanes in sight)

And lastly I'm thankful for Dolly Parton.

Really do I need to elaborate on this??

Nine to Five. Better Get to Livin'. Her entire Kenny Rogers Christmas album. Her entire outlook on life and the beauty industry.

"You'd be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap!"
Dolly Parton

Life would be a little less glittery without her. We should all put her on our "thankful for" list.

And maybe we should all put on a little more lipstick.

```` okay, my post was going to end with Dolly... but I just found one more thing to be thankful for.````

Vanilla Ice has his own show on the DIY network.

The man who sang the lines

"I'm killing your brain like a poisonous mushroom"

"With my rag top down so my hair can blow"


"If there was a problem, Yo, I'll solve it
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it".

He is a general contractor. And he has his own "How to do it yourself" show.

And I am thankful, thankful baby.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An empty belly is the best cook.~Estonian Proverb

Those Estonians are a hardy bunch.

This weekend is Thanksgiving, and seeing as it is my favorite holiday ( yes even above Halloween) I would like to post an oldie but a goodie that shows my exemplary skills in the kitchen.

(The recycled story has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was off to a Jane conference yesterday and couldn't get organized enough to have a post ready earlier. )

Stop judging and just enjoy the culinary ride back to 2005 when I was living in Yellowknife.....

Sometimes I forget that I'm not a good cook.

Sometimes I forget that it takes more than a few ingredients and hope to make food turn out right.

Or even edible.

Maybe, that's why I'm not a good cook, because I truly do believe that if you have good intentions, and you mix a bunch of stuff together and put it in the oven, it will turn out a master piece.

I blame all the "house" we used to play, when the sand and the mud and the moss would go on the rock oven and turn out to be dinner.

That's what I tried to make tonight.

(dinner, not sand-mud-moss cake)

With not really a lot of stuff in the fridge my options for supper were, cereal, toast, eggs, or pasta and vegetables...

Now wait a minute you say, that last one sounds like a great idea.

And it was a great idea, the past five nights that's what I've eaten.

I just wanted something different

Matt's suggestion was obvious (to him) Boston Pizza!!

They must deliver.... but ordering out is not within the budget I have planned.. so I decide, "hey, I can make my own pizza".

I don't have meat, or mushrooms, or peppers... or anything else that I like on pizza.

But I do have garlic. And Broccoli.

Garlic and discount broccoli, (why was it discount, I don't know, I've been eating it for a week, and it hasn't killed me yet!!).

So I decide to make garlic fingers. A Grande Plan Sam...

I don't have any yeast for the dough, but resourceful old me finds a recipe on the internet for yeast-less bread.

You need flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and vinegar.... great!! I have everything but vinegar.

Opps the vinegar is the most important part, makes some sort of acid reaction.... so i check out my fridge for something else that is acidy. And I find a grapefruit.

(Let me just point out, that it is past 8:00pm and I haven't eaten since lunch at 2:00pm, so this next move I make may be part stupidity, but it is also fueled by a delirium of hunger.)

So I make grapefruit garlic bread... and no I don't measure.

(What would i measure with??? I'm Sitting on the floor and eating out of zip-loc containers here people, I did NOT splurge on measuring cups and spoons).

I just dump.

Lots of flour... some of the other ingredients, lots of water... oops, it was supposed to be a little water... so in goes more flour, and then the grapefruit juice... squeezed right on top.

Mix'r all up, flop it on the pan and in thirty minutes I am topping my heavy, crusty, lumpy, (guess I flunked the mix'r up part) with cheese, garlic and broccoli.

And then I ate it, and you know what it wasn't so bad.

I ate half the loaf. Kinda like my own little personal pan pizza. Just a little doughy (I was supposed to cook it for forty minutes, but my stomach decided when it was done instead of my common sense).

The regret is small, because as I look at my plate there is about three bites left, and I am actually considering them.

I apologize if you thought this e-mail was going to have a doesn't.

I just thought if I don't wake up tomorrow, then at least people will know why.

At the funeral you can get Boston Pizza to cater. Then you can all go around shaking your heads and sighing

"The poor girl, if only she would go grocery shopping, she wouldn't have gotten her self into this mess."

But what ever you do, please don't blame the grapefruit bread... it really wasn't so terrible... I'm sure it won't kill me.

I just don't trust the discount broccoli