Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why are we celebrating the douchebags?

It is one of the things that annoy me most in modern culture, when large numbers of people (predominantly thanks to the media) continuously celebrate, encourage and often highlight the behaviour of world’s biggest assholes (Sorry about the language but I feel it is called for).
They are the losers who seem to get more publicity for breaking the law/using drugs/being violent/cheating on their partners etc. than they do when they when acting as relatively sensible, even if sometimes deluded, citizens.
I have three very obvious and current examples, which make me cringe at their thought. I can’t even bring myself to name them, but I am sure you will be able to figure it out:
·         American singer, convicted for violent assault on female partner:
o   How this guy is still making music, touring and consequently that people are still paying him for this astounds me.  After seeing the horrible pictures of Rihanna after he violently beat her, I thought there was no way he could come back from that. Although what now annoys me further is that when asked about the incident, he shows no remorse, instead getting angry and trashes his room backstage and gets away with it. Is it just me or are there more than a few things wrong with this picture?   
o   I came across a great piece on this situation below that I totally agree with -

·         Australian football player, cheated on wife with model, admitted to various addictions and unusually sized head/nose.
o   Talk about chances? It seems as though this one has a reminder in his outlook calendar that reads “Misbehave” set to go off every couple of weeks in order to boost his profile. From cheating on his wife, to urinating in public, to allegedly flashing females, admitting to gambling addictions and just in general acting like the biggest dickhead you are likely to meet.
o   What gets me most upset about this one is that after being kicked out of one football club for bad behaviour, another club pays big bucks for him. Then despite them giving him another chance, he once again misbehaves and they have no choice but to let him go. However it gets worse, as even though he is the one who misbehaves and forces them to break his contract, he is still paid out close to $1 million dollars.
o   I wonder what I need to do in order to have my employer pay me out 1-2 year’s salary, just to get rid of me?

·         American actor, who constantly wearing horrible bowling shorts and thinks he is winning  
o   Okay so I before I start this one, I must admit that I did get some enjoyment initially after watching this whole situation explode but the more I watched, the sadder I got, as I realised we were building a monster.
o   Firstly we have a guy who gets paid more than anyone should to wear horrible shirts and repeat the same bad jokes week in & week out, whilst playing a womanising loser on tv. Life imitating art or vice versa?
o   This is the same guy who has been in trouble with the law a few times in the past & openly admits to serious drug use.
o   However the more he acts out, is rude to those who employ him and the world tells him he is winning, the higher is profile is and more than likely the more he is rewarded. Arrrrrggghhhhhhh………
The list goes on but for the sake of my own personal health & to get my blood pressure back down, I’ll leave it there.
I just wonder why aren’t we celebrating the true heroes of this world, the doctors, the volunteers, the researchers or the men/women who are kind, courteous to others, hard-working and refrain from excessive drinking, illegal drugs, assaulting others and committing crimes?
I just don’t get it!
Becstar x

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Good karma at the bank!

A friend of mine has recently started a brilliant new blog called The Smile Collective. The main aim of the site is help brighten your day and will be filled with stories, pictures and posts to make you smile. Check it out at http://thesmilecollective.com.au/

The launch of the site was perfect timing, as I had just been witness to a great ‘smile’ story and shared it with Kel, who posted onto her blog.

I thought I should also share it with you.

My smile moment for today happened to me while at the bank.

I was waiting patiently in line for the teller to become free when I noticed an older gentleman standing adjacent to the queue. At first I thought he was trying to push in, however he was obviously trying to go back to talk to the teller that he had previously dealt with.  

I was called to the teller  and while waiting for my bank cheque to be drawn up the man was called back to his teller and she asked him “Did I do something wrong?”

He pulled out a wad of cash, which he had obviously just withdrawn and proceeded to say “It’s just that you gave me $100 too much”

She took the money recounted it, realised her mistake and took the $100 back.

After blushing she then thanked him, as there was no way she would have known her mistake. He simply said “No worries, have a lovely day” and walked out.

Both tellers looked at each other in ultimate disbelief and she said “Well that certainly doesn’t happen every day”

I was also in a state of shock and looked around to other people in the queue who were either smiling or shaking their head in disbelief at this man’s honesty.

I walked out with the biggest smile on my face, just hoping that karma comes back around and pays him back for his honesty and reminding me that the world is full of amazing people.

Hope this made you smile.

Becstar x

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weddings – What’s not to love!

I have just returned from 10 days in Perth, where I had the pleasure of attending 2 weddings, my 2nd & 3rd of 2011 and I still have 4 more to go this year alone. However I am certainly not complaining, as I am completely willing to admit – I LOVE WEDDINGS!
I suppose most girls (and some boys) love a wedding, I mean what is not to love? Everyone is in a good mood, dressed up in their best outfits, the food is good (usually), drinks are flowing freely (and often at rapid pace) and love is in the air. I reckon if you don’t have a good time at a wedding then it’s your own fault.
But there are certain moments throughout the day, that I look forward to the most –
·         Enter Bride: Obviously when the bride comes into sight for the first time, the crowd will gasp with delight but this is the time that I tend to turn my attention to the groom and watch his face light up as he watches his bride come towards him. Priceless!

·         Introducing the new Mr & Mrs ???: The first time that the bridal party get introduced at the reception and you can immediately tell that the stress & nerves from the ceremony have been washed away. Especially after a few champers out in the sun while taking photos, you can tell that they are now ready to party.

·         Speeches: Now I understand that speeches can go either way but there aren’t many times in life when people publicly share stories about you to 100+ people or more importantly tell that many people how proud/inspired or lucky they are to know you/be your parents or to have just married you.

·         Dance Floor: There are not many occasions outside of weddings when the dance floor is so diverse. From nanna, to seedy uncle Bob, to the young kids and everyone else in between nobody is left out and all types of dance moves are welcomed and often encouraged. The YMCA and the Grease Megamix would have been ancient history if it wasn’t for wedding DJ’s.

I also love the way that a day that is usually so similar in proceedings can be so different in depending on the couple. I suppose all these things are what supposedly make the day “The happiest of your life”? I will just have to wait and see…….
Happy days……
Becstar x
                                                         At the Mr & Mrs Ivey Wedding
                                                         At the Mr & Mrs Fritchley Wedding
                                                          At the Mr & Mrs Gill Wedding

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You'll be ANGRY if you miss this!

If you enjoyed “Summer Heights High” or “We Can be Heroes”, do yourself a favour and keep an eye on the TV Guide for Chris Lilley’s new series, ANGRY BOYS,  soon to be shown on the ABC.
If you haven’t seen either of his previous series, immediately duck down to the ABC Shop and grab a copy. You won’t be disappointed.
Then you will be joining me in counting down the days until this hilarious new show comes onto our screens.
If all Aussie comedy was this good, then there would be absolutely no need for the big networks to repeatedly show re-runs of outdated American sitcoms.
Get on it!
Becstar x

Monday, March 7, 2011

Customer Service: Is it really that hard?

So last week, I have finally got around to ringing all my service providers (Insurance, phone, bank, super etc..) to have them change my postal address, rather than just relying on Australia Post’s awesome redirecting service.
Unfortunately this task involved a painful amount of time on the telephone, listening to automated voice prompts, being left on hold, sent to yet another department and then being put through to seemingly uninterested or dare I say, incompetent people. This is a generalisation and there were a few super helpful and lovely people; however it got me thinking about what constitutes good customer service and constantly asking myself “Is it really that hard?”
My immediate thought is like yours is a bit fat NO! But maybe it’s easier to judge than to practice? My ideas regarding customer service are simple –
Nothing worse than being on hold for ages to be answered by ‘Huh, Max here. What is the problem?’ Well thanks Max, I’m so excited I just spent my valuable time to interrupt your super busy day, as it sounds like you would much rather be at home playing video games.
Smiling in person is obvious but especially important if you are dealing with people on the phone. It’s sounds cliché but people can hear a smile and they will like you more with, as it’s hard to be rude to a smiling person.

It’s a fact of life that people love the sound of their own name, so I love it when they use my name, as it makes me a feel a little bit special. It was interesting to note that various times throughout the week, I was asked if it was okay if they called me Rebecca, which is an interesting thought to consider, especially if you were dealing with more mature adults, who may wish to be referred by their title/surname or perhaps those stranger folks who prefer to be called by their alien name, such as Felix or Trixstar.

·         PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES (Even if they are an ugly, old pair of sneakers)
This one works both ways…..But imagine how many times they have to deal with angry, crazy people who are not as level headed and nice as us. If you are the one in customer service, you should know how it feels to have been hung up on numerous times.

Just because the last caller was rude and angry, does not mean that I will be the same (Unless I you hang up on me and miraculously I get you again when I call back. Though we all know this never happens). Again this should also be considered for the caller being put through to another customer service assistant. The next person you speak to could be the angel that fixes all your problems swiftly and enthusiastically (They do exist but are a rare species. Treat them nice or they will become extinct).

I don’t care whose fault it was or why it happened (3 times with one particular bank this week) just call me back immediately. Otherwise this is the best chance that I will call back ready to explode at whoever is lucky enough to pick up the line.

I don’t care whether you are the leading IT Developer at Apple or you are a checkout chick at IGA, I can’t understand why everyone isn’t striving to be the best at their job???

If you are not a people person, you are moody, don’t have great social skills or just don’t like interacting with different people, then don’t pick a career in customer service…..EASY!

Okay I will get down off my high horse now, as I am sure that I have broken all at these rules at one stage or another and almost exploded at customer service assistants (Telstra assistants at Gateway, I apologise), but each time I learn that it gets me nowhere. And while being super polite and accommodating is sometimes super annoying, it also makes me feel like I am being the better person and usually gets me what I want. (New iphone- wohoo!)
Give it a go and you’ll be surprised to see where it gets you….
Happy days.
Becstar x

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Completed Bucket List (To date....)

As suggested in my past post, I have been lucky enough to tick off a few things that were previously on my bucket list.
And whilst I am sure there are a few more that were on here, especially from when I was younger, like “Go overseas” or “Go to a concert”, these are the more specific ones that I can remember.
Remember to reflect on your own achievements on what activities that you may have already completed. Often we pass a milestone, achieve a dream or do something we have always wanted to do, without giving ourselves the praise and recognition that we took steps to make it happen.
1.       See the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona
(A 6 month around the world trip in 2004 accomplished most of these)
2.       Go surfing in Hawaii (2004)
3.       Climb up the Eiffel Tower (2004)
4.       Regular volunteering with a Charity
      (With Starlight in the Express Room at PMH)
5.       Complete a Half IM (Busselton 2006)
6.       Complete a university degree
       (Undergrad in Science at UWA and postgrad OHS at Curtin)
7.       Live in another state than WA (Melbourne 2011)
8.       Watch an NBA game (Seattle v Toronto 2004)
9.       Gamble in Las Vegas (2004)
10.   Win a bike race (State Crit Champs 2008)
11.   Sing solo at karaoke
(Confession it was Kylie’s ‘The Locomotion’ and I wasn’t even drunk)
12.   Represent WA in national sporting competition
(First time was in 2000 for triathlon, then in 2009 for cycling)
13.   Purchase my first home (With Matt in 2008)
14.   Go to the AUS open (2011)
15.   Go to the Olympics as a spectator (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004)
16.   Visit India (Well this wasn’t on my list until I completed it, but still an amazing experience)
17.   See John Farnham in concert
(Okay dorky I know but I loved it, circa 2002.
Yes I was old enough to know better!)
18.   Live at the AIS (May have only stayed 4 days but it still counts 2010)
19.   Go skiing (Whistler 2004)
20.   Meet a movie star (Met Mandy Moore outside Saks, Fifth Ave, New York in 2004)
Happy reading.

Becstar x

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Bucket List (Well this week's version)

Bec’s Bucket List (Current Top 50)
I have always been fascinated by the idea of having a bucket list, with all the things that you want to do before you ‘kick the bucket’. I have a word document that lists all my ideas, although I am constantly adding new things or crossing them off as I go.
I recommend that everyone creates one and don’t let your mind limit you, you can achieve anything you set your mind to……..
Here are my current top 50, in no particular order -
1.       Go on an African safari
2.       Attend the Melbourne Cup
3.       Watch Eagles win AFL Grand Final
4.       Give a large cheque to charity (over $10,000)
5.       Follow the Tour De France
6.       Ride up Alpe Du Huez
7.       Snorkelling on Great Barrier Reef
8.       Spend Christmas in New York
9.       Go to Disneyland
10.   Have something named after me
11.   Own an Audi
12.   Drive a Ferrari
13.   Own a house less than 500m from the beach
14.   Attend the Superbowl
15.   Take Matt to Premier League Match to watch Chelsea play
16.   Take family on all expenses paid holiday
17.   Build a life-size snowman
18.   Go skydiving
19.   Learn to scuba dive
20.   Learn French
21.   Own a pair of Manolo Blahniks
22.   Learn to snowboard
23.   Run a marathon
24.   Ride a horse
25.   Complete an IM
26.   Ski in Switzerland
27.   Swim solo to Rottnest
28.   Live like a local in France for a month
29.   Go to Japan
30.   Be a contestant on a gameshow
31.   Drive a race car around the track at high speed
32.   Have someone ask me for my autograph
33.   Meet Lance Armstrong
34.   Be an extra in a film/tv/commercial
35.   Learn more about investing
36.   Learn to play poker and win
37.   Attend the tomato festival in Spain
38.   Start my own business
39.   Write a book
40.   Break a Guinness world record
41.   Represent Australia at a sporting event (Not necessarily as a professional)
42.   Have $1 million worth of property by the time I am 30 (This goal made when I was 16)
43.   Get married
44.   Have babies
45.   Swim with dolphins (So cliché, I know)
46.   Help make someone else’s dream come true
47.   Ride in a hot air balloon
48.   Go to Oktoberfest
49.   Live to be a relatively healthy 100 year old
50.   Be happy, healthy and enjoy life

My next post will include those items that were on my bucket list but that have already been completed.
I hope this gets you thinking……..
Becstar x