This has nothing to do with sex. But I need to rant somewhere, and by the little page views I get, unless I'm pimping out Sommer or Alison, this seems the safest place. This is about being positive, sort of.
These days, whenever anyone gets lousy customer service, the first instinct is to complain. After all, how can the company improve if they don't know where they're going wrong, right? And there's always the chance that the complainer will get something for free - which, let's be honest, is the main goal in today's society. But there's also the chance that someone could lose their job over that complaint. We're all human, we have bad days.
But it is a rare occasion to be sure, that someone sends management a letter, or makes a phone call, with a compliment if something is done right. If you're in a store and a clerk goes out of their way to find something in the back for you, or if you're in a restaurant and your server makes absolutely certain that there's no onions in your dish, because of an allergy or an aversion, or if they give your kids extra chocolate sauce on their sundae, their management should know about it.
Or when you bring your children to an event, and the usher points out something that the kids would love, and might otherwise miss with everything else going on.
Those people need to be commended. Yes, it's their job, but it's the attention to detail, it's the way they do their job, that needs to be known. Their supervisors, the venue - they need to know that these people aren't just phoning it in. It could actually make the difference in them keeping their jobs at contract renewal time. Not everyone is unionized. Third party contractors, such as those at a hockey arena, rely on contracts. And while it's most always a money issue, sometimes if the venue management knows what a great job their ushers, security, or food and beverage cashiers are doing, they might just re-consider the money.
This is currently happening to me. One of my other jobs, in my "non-writing" life is that of a security guard. And we work at one of the city's hockey venues. I've been there for ten years. So have two of my supervisors and a lot of our guards and ushers have been there three years or longer. We are not paid amazing money, by any stretch of today's standards. But we don't do it for the money. We do it for the fans. For the building. For the friends that we have chosen as family.
The building owners preach the importance of teamwork, and tell us that the whole building is one big family. That our fans are a part of that and we have to give them a family experience. But my company is third party. In this "family" we're the fifth-cousin-on-Aunt-Cindy's-husbands-side-twice-removed. In other words, we're not a consideration. But we are the only ones who will not throw each other under the bus to get ahead. We are the only department in that venue that has each other's backs - and everyone else's. There isn't one department that we don't help out. We cover up and deal with mistakes from every department, from sales to game crew to food and beverage. And yet, when there's a screw up, security is the first department to get thrown under that bus. Whether we're implementing building protocol and following their rules, it doesn't matter. As soon as there's a complaint, it's automatically shoved on us.
And we take it with a smile. We put up with abuse and accusations, and we have no champion on the corporate side. But for eight years under the current owners, we've persevered. We've worked ourselves to death every November for ten days straight to pull off the annual event there without a hitch.
We go above and beyond for our fans, not for recognition, but because it's what we love to do. The season ticket holders are considered family. We do so much more for them because we love to see them smile. Even if people are only there for one game, it is our mission to make sure they get the most possible enjoyment out of it. Whether it's showing the kids the best spot to stand to get high fives from the players, or bringing a kid across to sit on the zamboni so his dad can get a picture of it, to see the smiles on their faces is such a joy. And it's not like it's in our job description to do it either.
And when sales crams us with double the maximum amount of kids for our fans tunnels (despite knowing what the max IS), so much so that it becomes a safety issue, we smile and deal. When they double book a zamboni ride and don't tell us, we smile and deal. When they misdirect the post-game rental to one side of the arena instead of the other, we smile and deal.
Because we love our jobs. We love the building. For some of us, the start of hockey season means coming home.
Now, at the end of the month, we're losing our home. Another company is coming in. And I know that this is the type of things that happen. But if just one person per game in the last eight years had sent head office a complement, a little note saying "So and so, our usher, made the game amazing for us." Or "So and so in security made us feel right at home by doing this...", maybe we wouldn't be losing it.
Now, we don't have another contract where our ushers can work at, so chances are we won't be seeing them again. One of my supervisors, who has been like a second dad to me, this was the only building he ran, so I doubt we'll be seeing him. And with the rest of us scattered across the city, the odds of us seeing each other with such frequency as we do now, are a thousand to one.
And the fans that we work with? We can kiss that part of the family good-bye. I've been crying over this for a month now. And as the days tick down to our final event, my heart breaks every time I walk into that building. I know all good things must come to an end, but we've put our hearts and souls into that building, where the rest of the departments just do it for a paycheck.
So the next time someone goes above and beyond to make your experience, whether it's eating, shopping, or at an event, a better one, do them a favor. Acknowledge it with their management. Let them know what an awesome job that person did.
You'll never know the difference it will make.
Monday, March 31, 2014
This has nothing to do with sex. But I need to rant somewhere, and by the little page views I get, unless I'm pimping out Sommer or Alison, this seems the safest place. This is about being positive, sort of.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
It's what I feel I'm trapped in these days. Just when I think I've got everything under control ....BOOM! I make a wrong step and everything's back in disarray.
I know that I'm often writing these posts about how disorganized my life is. But it's so true. I guess I keep thinking that if I write about it enough, magically I'll gain the super powers to become super organized. Fat chance of that, but hey! Worth a shot.
So, at this time, work is out of control on both job fronts. At one, I feel like I'm babysitting a bunch of infants, and at the other, it feels like the walls are falling down on top of us, and no matter how hard we try to keep them up, it's no use.
My writing space, which I was so proud of when I got it finished, has become the "pile of clothing" space. And it seems like that pile is never ending, no matter how many times I go through it and put things in their proper place. So it's a little tough to concentrate when a simple glance around the room shows too much left still to do.
I'm attempting (still) a lifestyle change, which means learning how to cook good food, not just getting take out. Plus gym time, not just with the trainer. Finding the energy to get off the highway after work and turn right (to go to the gym) as opposed to turning left (to go home) is exhausting on it's own.
School is another thing altogether. I'm almost finished my certificate program. Just two classes left (I think - I do have to double check that). But the one I'm in now is just - meh. My instructors are great and the other students are nice and we have fun. But I need a great grade to keep up my GPA, and I'm not sure I'm going to get it. O_O
And then there's my writing list to do:
- I owe Alison Tyler about fifteen reviews (for what I can't remember which is really driving me bat shit)
- I owe Sommer Marsden about the same amount (GAH!)
- I have deadlines for calls that I want to sub for, but those keep creeping up on me and then passing me by altogether
- my own project that I wanted to get off the ground is still lying there, flat, after being run-over by the out of control bus that is my life
- I'm sure there's a few other authors I owe reviews to. I know my Kindle and iBook apps are full of stuff still to be read - and that's NOT including A Game of Thrones, which, thanks to my brother, I am now addicted to.
AND, the lastest, biggest thing EVER...my New York City trip in June. Best friend of 33 years and I have been planning this for the last eight months. We're going for our 40th bdays - hers is in June, mine's in July. We planned it for June (her birthday) because that's when the Tony Awards are going to be (and Hugh's hosting again - NOM NOM NOM). And to go to the Tony's would be, well, a dream come true. Both of us had dreams of being on Broadway when we were younger. So I've been planning, and looking at hotels, and stressing over what if we DON'T get the tickets. Because there are very few being sold to the public. They go on sale April 30, and if we don't get them, I'll be so disappointed. We've already booked our flights. I'm spending a whole week down there, she could only get four days- but one of them is her birthday! We've got tickets to see the incredible Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp in a hot new musical called If/Then.
after we booked the flights, Travel Broadway Across America sends out an email that has a whole Tony weekend package, INCLUDING Tony Award tickets. And wouldn't you know it - we've already booked our flights and I can't get an answer from the BAA people as to whether or not we could possibly make adjustments to the package. Even if we wanted the package, it's only for three nights and I plan on spending the whole week in the Big Apple.
Can you understand why I feel stressed?
ANYWAY, if you've read this far, thank you. I appreciate it. And while you're here, I'm going to direct you to Sommer Marsden's Ninth Writer-versary! A whole month with guest bloggers and prizes to be won! You must comment on the day's blog to win that prize, but every comment puts your name in the fishbowl for a grand prize! And her guests are so crazy and fun, it's been an amazing party. I can guarantee you'll not only find some amazing new authors for your bookshelf, but you'll be immediately adding some of the featured books to your TBR (to be read for those who are new) list. Follow the link to Day one and go from there!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
It's that time of year again. Alison Tyler's Smut Marathon, the 2014 edition. As Alison herself describes it "For those just joining in, "The Smut Marathon" is a contest I invented about five years ago. A group of writers all (amazingly) agree to fulfill one (bizarre) challenge (I come up with) every month. I post their work here and readers vote for the favorites. There are winners for each round and one writer (or several writers, depending on ties) leaves after each voting period ends."
I must be a sucker for punishment to keep participating. The competition gets more and more intense as the Marathon gets older and writers get wise to how much fun it is to take part.
So - sigh - here I am again for another round of getting my arse kicked. Come on over and meet this years line up. Some familiar faces, some new to the game.
But all immensely talented.
You'll see what I mean when you stop by Alison's for Round One. Every great book I've ever read has started with an incredible first line. There are fifteen (yes, you read that right fifteen) amazing ones to choose from.
But be careful! You can only vote for one. Heartbreaking I know, but it's the way it goes.
But share and compare with your friends. Do it in pairs, hell, do it in groups. Just vote and show these writers that you appreciate the fine art of the first line.
Poll closes Thursday so be sure to visit on Friday to see if your fave made the cut.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Well, y'all were here for Alison's Dark Secret Love Tour, when she stopped by and answered a few questions for us.
She delves further into the darkest corners of his mind - all the while trying to find her way into his heart. With the further introduction of Alex into their relationship, Sam is constantly questioning her place with Jack. The paths he leads her down are darker than the ones she's been down before, and although she seems reluctant to accept that this is what she wants as well, she's eager to show him she'll do anything to please him.
Even when it involves watching him with another woman while her heart gets ripped from her chest.
The use of Alex as another tool in Jack and Sam's arrangement is nothing short of mesmerizing. I find myself liking Alex more and more, and disapproving more of Jack. I find him over-the-top arrogant, and, in certain places, totally without a soul. With Alex, you can see through his snotty veneer, and maybe it's because he mirrors Sam in so many ways, that he tugs at my heart.
When he's at his most vulnerable, I want to take him in my arms and rock him like a child. It's moments like that when I wish Sam would turn her back on Jack, despite the fact that he is giving her exactly what she wants, even though she's never quite aware of that in the moment. But I can't see her and Alex making a genuine go of it, as they are remarkably similar, and that would lead to boredom and confusion rather quickly.
I'll admit - I know nothing of BDSM apart from reading about it. But this series so far, gives readers a good insight into the world, without window dressing. It strips it bare, and is unapologetic for it. Alison's writing has always been honest and straight forward. It's pretty without being obvious. And it appears effortless, though most of us know better.
The results are always highly entertaining plot lines, characters to fall in love with, and an insatiable appetite for the next one.
As always, when it comes to Alison's books, I am on the edge of my seat, eagerly anticipating the rest of the journey.
Catch up with the rest of the tour! Find the schedule here. And while you're there, find out what our favourite Trollop with a Laptop is up to.
If you don't have your copy yet, check out The Delicious Torment at Amazon UK, Amazon US or at your local book store.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Ok, so we're nine days into the new year, but it's my first chance to sit and talk to y'all.
So let's talk resolutions. We've all made 'em. And once January is over, we all tend to break them.
Whether it's to lose weight, eat healthier, take better care of ourselves. Whether it's to do more on our bucket lists or to do more towards our futures. Come February first, we're all back into the deep fried snacks, neglecting the gym, spending more time in front of our computers, televisions, mobile devices.
That new guitar that we learned three chords on is sitting gathering dust in the corner. The date book filled with coffee dates and plays that we wanted to see is suddenly blank.
I go through this year after year.
I'm going to eat better.
I'm going to go to the gym four days a week.
I'm going to keep the house clean.
I'm going to, I'm going to, I'm going to.
It always breaks down to - I WAS.
This year, I've decided to not make specific resolutions. I've made only one.
For 2014, I'm going to be the best me I can be in that moment. I'm not going to put pressure on myself to be something right away that I obviously can't.
I'm going to do my BEST to make the right choice. It won't always work out that way. I'm going to fuck up.
That story I started for that deadline will probably sit half finished until the day before I have to send it for submission.
The laundry basket will pile up.
The television will be on when I should be studying.
And I will be daydreaming when I should be working.
BUT, not every day will be like that. There are days when the laundry will get done, folded and put away. And there will be that one, maybe two, stories that will be submitted a week or two before deadline.
There will be those days where I finally clear my desk. And there will be weeks that I do make it to the gym four days out of seven. And those will be very good days.
I'm not going to beat myself up anymore or stress over shit that's really not important in the grand scheme of things. I won't hate myself if I overdo it on my calorie count. I won't glare at myself in the mirror if I drive by the gym and go home instead.
And above all, I'm not going to let assholes and bitches take away my good moods anymore. I will no longer be a doormat, but I'm not going to let hate poison my life.
I am going to accept that I am who I am, and I'll change if I want to - not to make someone else happy.
And if you can't accept me the way I am - with my heart of gold on my sleeve who's a little selfish at times but who really does want to be a good person - then get the hell out of my life.
There's no room for negativity this year.
This year, I turn 40. And I couldn't be happier about it. I've got big plans for this year.
But I'm ok if they all don't happen.
But that's an entry for another day.
May 2014 bring you all health, and happiness.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Happy December 23rd y'all!
Life has finally slowed down (a bit). But of course now that I've said that, it'll start to get utterly fuck-tic hectic. Where's that wooden block I have....?
But I have started to write again.
Writers often say that it's not about writing when you're inspired to, it's about writing when you're not. And it's so true. Like anything, you have to practice, and keep at it, and push, even when you think you have nothing to write about.
That's how you become great at it.
But, inspiration did hit me the other night. I started working on this piece, and while I know it's going to be a short one, I'm not quite sure where it's going right now.
But I ADORE the beginning lines. And I'm posting here, for your opinions.
Because I love you.
Tonight, I wanted you.
Shamefully, embarrassingly, desperately wanted you. I know I shouldn't, for so very many reasons. But then again, I've never been one to pay attention to rules, let alone play by them.
I wanted your attention. I was a whore for it. I dressed the part - short, flirty skirt with knee high fuck-me boots. Holey sweater with tight glittered tank beneath. Red - festive.
Glittery eyes - black and red. The night's theme.
Laughter throughout the night. Side glances down the table. Comments and innuendos, playful, flirty, fraught with meaning, hints.
Whipped cream on my coffee, lifted by a scarlet tipped finger, sucked into glossy lips and a promising smile.
Did you notice? Were you aware of me as I was of you, when I grabbed your arm and leaned in a little closer than normal? Could you smell my arousal, my thighs slick under my skirt? My black and red thong was no help against the rush of lust that coated my skin. Simply because you were near.
Well? Whatcha think?
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I love Christmas. I always have. The second December 1 shows on the calendar, all I listen to is Christmas carols. It's the same ones over and over, different versions by different artists, but I love them all just the same.
Over at Sommer's place, she's sharing Christmas memories. So I thought, why not share one of my own?
When I was a child, my grandparents had a huge house. Five bedrooms, four levels. The tree was HUGE, with so many decorations you'd get buried under them. It stood right next to the fireplace, where we'd have a roaring one going as we tossed ornaments, fake apples and tinsel at each other. We'd roast chestnuts - the old fashioned way - and have hot chocolate. And we'd laugh. So much laughter, our bellies would ache. When we got tired, we'd curl up with my grandmother, and watch as the grownups finished trimming the tree.
Then every Christmas Eve, we would have dinner - all 35 or 40 of the family and various stray friends with nowhere to go - and then we'd tear down dinner and gather in the living room. My mom would play the piano, we'd pass out song books, and sing carols for hours on end. (*Just a note on those song books - every year mom & I would go through them, replacing ripped pages, and putting new songs in. It was a PAIN*) We'd have a couple of breaks in the action, where we'd raid the treat table, refresh drinks, and then sit back down, calling out carols and page numbers. Our measuring stick was the 12 Days of Christmas. If we could get through all 12 days, the adults clearly needed more alcohol. To this day, that's one tradition that's remained the same.
When it was time for us to go to bed, my brother and I would trudge upstairs - under protest - and get into our jammies. After mom tucked us in, she'd go back downstairs to the festivities, and we'd sneak out into the hallway, sitting on either side of the large doorway, and listen to the fun, and wish we were old enough to stay up.
In the morning, we'd be up early as we could be. Under the same roof would be us, my parents, my two aunts, my two uncles and my grandparents. And we'd have so much fun waking them all up. We didn't realize until we got to be adults that they were up until two or three in the morning, not just tidying up after the caroling, but putting together my dollhouse or my brother's train set. We had no mercy.
As the adults pulled themselves - under protest - out of bed, my brother and I would run downstairs, hopping up and down eagerly to see what was under the tree. My father would come down and start the fire, my grandfather would pour out the traditional Christmas morning shot of liqueur, and my mom would take her place next to the tree to start handing out gifts.
If I close my eyes, I can still see it all - the twinkling lights on the tree, the red-orange flames, the horrible shag rug, the green furniture...and I can feel it.
The love. The warmth.
I loved how I was the only one I knew who had her whole family under the same roof for Christmas. When my grandparents sold the house, and we no longer had that tradition, well, I was bitter. But nothing lasts forever right?
It's going on ten years since we lost my aunt Gail to pancreatic cancer. My father has been gone for three, and my grandfather two. The family scatters now. We're all getting older, there's not as many children to keep up traditions for.
But come Christmas Eve, we'll still be trying to get through the 12 days of Christmas.
Just add alcohol.