Shoes – Glorious Shoes!

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Do you know how wonderful it is to wear a pair of shoes for the first time in more than 3 months?  Obviously VERY low heels – but I’ve long given up wearing high heels anyway.

BUT, most importantly, the swelling is down enough for me to actually get my feet in the shoes.  A couple of visits to the physio and meticulously doing my exercises have paid off!

Still need lots more exercises and physio appointments to get me back to where I was but well on the way.

And I AM VERY HAPPY! 

It’s not too late for Adelaide and Perth!

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I’m back home after attending the full two days of ‘Researching Abroad’ in Melbourne – ONE major complaint!  I didn’t want it to end!

Friday was predominantly Chris PATON on Scottish, Irish, and English research.

Saturday was predominantly Dirk Weissleder on German and European research.

Which was best?  I just feel sorry for the people who had / have to choose between one or the other – I was lucky as Melbourne was a two-day experience and I absolutely loved both and learnt so much from them.

In addition to Chris and Dirk I really enjoyed the MyHeritage presentations, Part 1 and Part 2 with Rosemary and Eric Kopittke – definitely worthwhile.

I caught up with a number of friends and former colleagues and was delighted to meet up with my fellow ‘Official Ambassadors’ – Anne Young (left) and Jennifer Jones (middle).

Apart from my own German ancestry (New South Wales) there were a lot of German immigrants to my ‘local’ region – Geelong and District.  I’m definitely keen to follow up more with the German-Australian Genealogy and History Alliance and the International German Genealogy Partnership.

It was a great two days – you still have a chance to attend the Adelaide and Perth sessions so jump up and do it!

A WEEK full of family history – and a haircut!

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From famine to feast!  I’m making the most of my newfound mobility minus the moon-boot and with wheels!

It all kicks off today with the first Family History talk I’m giving for some months – at the Wyndham Plaza Library in Werribee – TWO talks this afternoon – they’re free and you can still book.  I’m really hoping I’ll catch up with some old friends there.

Mind you I WILL have trouble seeing people there because my hair is SO LONG as I haven’t been able to get to the hairdressers for SO LONG.  I have to keep pushing the hair out of my eyes!

Things will improve by Wednesday as that is when I will get my hair cut – Yippee!

Then I am SO looking forward to listening and learning instead of talking on Friday and Saturday at the Unlock the Past Researching Abroad event at Bulleen in Melbourne.  It is just so great to be out and about but even more-so to get to this event.  Yes – I’m an ‘Official Ambassador’ and more than happy to promote the event because the two days are SO relevant to my own family history research:

  • I have German ancestors
  • I have French, Swiss and Italian ancestors
  • I have Irish and English ancestors
  • I’ll be catching up with Chris Paton who I haven’t seen for a number of years!
  • I’m a great fan of My Heritage
  • My brother and I have both done DNA tests
  • AND I’m sure I’ll be catching up with a number of friends.

Hope to see you at Werribee or Bulleen or both!

Where things come together!

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It is just over three weeks before these three images connect for me – and if you have any German (or European) ancestors it might just be where things come together for you.

What I’m talking about is the Researching Abroad Roadshow in Melbourne on Friday 18th August and Saturday 19th August, or check out the web site for other locations.

It is not just my German ancestry that makes the ‘Researching Abroad Roadshow’ in Melbourne an essential date in my calendar:

  • I have other European ancestors
  • I have Irish and English ancestors
  • My brother and I have both done DNA tests

The last time I wrote about this fast-approaching roadshow I was celebrating the fact that by now I would be free of my moon-boot.  Unfortunately not quite there – 3 weeks added to the immobility – BUT I WILL be free of it by the time I head to Bulleen in Melbourne.

Something I’ll share with you – for many years I avoided researching my ‘foreign’ ancestors – put it in the too hard basket because of the ‘language’.  It was much easier to concentrate on my English-speaking ancestors.  The trigger to me plunging in off the deep end was reading various journals from the Burwood & District Family History Group that included many articles on German immigrants to Australia.  I made amazing progress and I am looking forward to the next chapter at the Researching Abroad Roadshow.  If you’ve been frightened to take that step into ‘foreign’ research, this is the opportunity you want to grab with both hands!

See you there.

ADDENDUM: Oh, and while you’re looking at the UTP web site about the Roadshow you’ll find references to ‘OFFICIAL AMBASSADORS’ as per the logo at the beginning of this blog.  Yes, I’m an Official Ambassador and really appreciate the opportunity to promote the Researching Abroad Roadshow.  There was always the possibility that I physically couldn’t get there due to my broken ankle and I’m so glad that I’m going to make it.

That advice?

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OK – trying to count to 20 and take some deep breaths.  I can’t believe that a so-called Customer Service person can be so aggressive and use a tone of voice that was just outright bullying.  This is the continuing saga from my last blog!

Yep, I raised my voice in the end and then pulled myself up and lowered it.  I asked if he believed his attitude was that of a good Customer Service person and what happened to the old adage that a customer is always right?

I don’t think that some Customer Service people from WOOLWORTHS understand the term ‘Customer Service’.

He wasn’t interested in the mistakes or lack of Customer Service made by WOOLWORTHS – and that image above is straight from the WOOLWORTHS online ordering web site.  All the ‘Customer Service’ supervisor wanted was to tell me what was on the Whiskas site.

He tried to tell me that 1+ was for ALL cats – kittens, adult, senior.

Well, why have 7+ items on the Whiskas web site?

And why have ADULT ones on the WOOLWORTHS web site?  The Customer Service expert said it was a mistake and shouldn’t be there and he’d get it removed immediately!  I asked why I had received one of those exact same boxes in the delivery last Wednesday (together with two totally different boxes)?  Obviously the last one on the shelf said the Customer Service expert.  And kept referring me to the Whiskas web site.

Well, it wasn’t Whiskas who delivered the incorrect items – it was WOOLWORTHS.  It wasn’t Whiskas who made promises on the phone – it was WOOLWORTHS – although I’ve given WOOLWORTHS 72 hours – not the 24 or 48 they had promised would result in a least a phone call.

I asked for and received a refund for the last order – that will take 3-5 business days.  I think the ‘Customer Service’ expert was pleased to be able to tick off another successful customer put down!  Still no food for my cat but I honestly can’t put up with the sort of aggressive conversation I had on the phone tonight.  It’s hard enough not being able to go to a shop / supermarket and find something suitable for my elderly cat without having to put up with that as well.

Some really good advice!

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AdultCatFoodNOTI can hear you saying – what has this got to do with history?  Simple – it’s part of MY life that I am recording here as part of my personal / family history!  Apart from that, it was so ridiculous and unbelievable I needed to share it with you.

Large Companies and organisations pay mega-bucks to other companies to be consultants and provide a report full of ‘helpful’ advice.

I am not charging one cent to give some really good advice … do NOT aggravate or upset someone who:

  • is in pain
  • is forced to use a service they don’t want to use
  • has to rely on that service for essential items
  • is completely immobile (adding to the frustration levels)
  • has a lot of time on their hands
  • doesn’t appreciate non-delivery of a service – not ONCE, not TWICE, but THREE times
  • loves writing blogs

OK – I guess that sums me up at the moment.  The only thing I’m not doing in this blog is NAMING the company – that will happen if they don’t rectify the problem by midnight tonight – as requested.

If you haven’t caught up on ‘the news’ of the moment, have a read of an earlier blog.  And, yes, Virgin Airlines definitely did the right thing as you’ll find on the follow-up blog.

So what has upset me this time?

Due to my immobility I have had to use online supermarket shopping and delivery.  Initially I was reasonably impressed and I particularly like the way my previous purchases over a number of months were displayed to I could purchase EXACTLY THE SAME PRODUCT as when I was mobile.  My first order and delivery was early in June.  That order included 3 boxes of

Whiskas adult cat food oh so meaty poultry dishes 12x85g

And they delivered the correct items – selected from my previous purchase list!

My next two orders didn’t include this item but my order last Tuesday, for delivery on Wednesday, did include it – 3 boxes, again selected from my previous purchase list.

If you haven’t used this service before, the items are delivered in plastic shopping bags and placed on a bench or table.  You are then required to sign the order form or the iPad so the driver can leave and get onto the next delivery.  Then you start to unpack each bag full of items.

WEDNESDAY – what happened to my 3 boxes of the above item?  I got 3 DIFFERENT boxes – one box that I HAD ordered, one was meat chunks (not POULTRY) and one box was clearly marked “1+” meaning for a 1 year old kitten – definitely not ADULT.

I called the number you’re supposed to ring if your order wasn’t correct … and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and eventually got onto a human being.  I explained the problem and received the expected platitudes.  I explained that my ADULT cat would only each the poultry dishes.

Action:

  • was given credit for the two incorrect items
  • was given a bonus voucher for $15 for my angst
  • I had to put in a new order for the ‘correct’ items
  • I had to order a minimum of $50 worth of goods to get a free delivery
  • notes were taken to guarantee that the RIGHT items were delivered

NOT HAPPY but I put in a new order to be delivered the next day – Thursday – so my darling cat wouldn’t starve – I wanted the food to get ‘us’ through to the date I hoped I would be moon-boot free and have a bit bit of mobility.

Because I had to order $5

0 worth of goods, I ordered 5 x boxes of the ADULT POULTRY items and two packets of the Whiskas biscuits he eats – that got me over the limit to get free delivery.

THURSDAY – items delivered.  Stupid me let the driver leave as soon as I’d signed the delivery docket.  He plonked the bags down and was well gone by the time I limped to the table to unpack them.

2 packets of biscuits were the right ones – selected from my previously purchased list.

5 boxes of Adult Poultry items – WRONG!  Instead I received 5 boxes of 1+ kitten items.  Check the delivery docket – definitely had the ADULT ones I requested.

To say I was gob-smacked would be an understatement.

On the phone again – waiting, and waiting, and waiting etc. etc. etc. etc.

I politely made it clear that I WASN’T going to order another $50+ worth of goods to get free delivery.  I was reassured that as the impossible had happened – incorrect items two orders and days in a row, I would get an extra credit voucher, I would get an extra free delivery voucher, and on top of that I would receive a delivery the following day – FRIDAY – of the 5 boxes and no charge for anything.

So, it shouldn’t have happened twice but to be absolutely certain I asked if it would help if I photographed one of the correct boxes and emailed it to ensure the pickers couldn’t possibly get it wrong a third time.

What a great idea!  So I photographed the last box in my pantry and emailed it to ‘the Company’ ready for the delivery the next day.

FRIDAY – I’d been reassured it shouldn’t have happened twice in a row and that it definitely couldn’t happen three times / days in a row but guess what they delivered – 5 boxes of the 1+ KITTEN food!!!!!!!!!!!

When the driver arrived I said I wouldn’t sign anything until I’d inspected the contents of the bags,  I was explaining what had happened previously – and showed him the INCORRECT 5 boxes sitting on my table from Thursday’s delivery as well as the earlier 2 boxes from the Wednesday’s delivery.

We were both gobsmacked as we opened the bags he delivered to find the WRONG boxes – all 1+ KITTEN food.  He was furious, grabbed his phone, and rang the ‘special’ number.  11 minutes later he still hadn’t got through!

In the end he had to leave – and he left behind all the wrong boxes – said there was no point in taking them back until they delivered the RIGHT boxes.  He DID take an empty box from the delivery at the beginning of June – to make sure the pickers got it right – the FOURTH time!

Take a look at the picture at the top – can YOU pick the ONE correct box?

They deliver on the weekend – I requested a delivery Saturday or at least before midnight tonight (Sunday).

IT’S NOT LOOKING PROMISING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I excited? YES!!

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No – I’m not mobile yet – still in a moon-boot – BUT I have got something fantastic to look forward to.  I’m not sure how much the excitement is due to (fingers crossed) maybe getting rid of the moon-boot in 3 weeks and getting some mobility OR going to the ‘Researching Abroad Roadshow’ in Melbourne.  I think the latter – after all a bit of pain, discomfort and lack of mobility definitely doesn’t dampen the excitement of discovering more about my ancestors!

And why does this Roadshow excite me?

  • I have German ancestors
  • I have other European ancestors
  • I have Irish and English ancestors
  • My brother and I have both done DNA tests

I’ve got heaps more to say about this Roadshow but time for that in more blogs.  In the meantime reserve Friday 18th August and Saturday 19th August for the Melbourne Roadshow, or check out the web site for other locations.

I hope to see heaps of you at Bulleen in Melbourne – mobile and moon-boot free!

And something my caring and thoughtful brother posted on my Facebook page!

He really does care!

Image result for smiling emoji

ADDENDUM: Oh, and while you’re looking at the UTP web site about the Roadshow you’ll find references to ‘OFFICIAL AMBASSADORS’ as per the logo at the beginning of this blog.  Yes, I’m an Official Ambassador and really appreciate the opportunity to promote the Researching Abroad Roadshow.  There was always the possibility that I physically couldn’t get there due to my broken ankle and I’m so glad that I’m going to make it.

YES Virgin Airlines DO have a heart!

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We all have the right to complain when we believe an organisation has done the wrong thing.  More importantly if they then do the RIGHT thing it’s really important to say Thank You.

And that’s what I’m doing.

Thank you Virgin airlines.

Last weekend I created a blog asking Virgin Airlines to reconsider my case.

Overnight I received an email from Virgin Airlines – they had reviewed my medical documents again and offered a credit for my flight which I can redeem in the next 12 months.

Yes, I had a sad birthday last weekend but it’s so much easier knowing that once I’m fully mobile again and have a clearance from the orthopaedic surgeon I will be able to fly to Adelaide to spend another weekend with my dear brother.

So thank you to both Virgin Airlines and Jetstar who have both showed compassion.

Both organisations deserve a public Thank You!

 

Do Virgin Airlines have ANY compassion?

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Sometimes you just have to speak up – this is one of those times.

Back on 17th May, although I really couldn’t afford it, I booked cheap flights to go to Adelaide to spend my 65th birthday with my older brother.  I hadn’t seen him for some time and he is not well enough to travel.  Instead of spending my birthday on my own in Geelong I could think of nothing better than spending it with my brother and his family in Adelaide.

It wasn’t going to be a long trip – Friday 9th June to Adelaide on Jetstar and back on Sunday 11th June on Virgin – mixed flights to get me there and back.

YES – today is my birthday, and NO – I’m not in Adelaide.

What happened?  

On Thursday 25th May I had a fall – broke my right ankle and had tendon and soft tissue damage in my left ankle.  Absolutely no mobility!  Spent 24 hours in hospital.  Follow-up appointment with orthopaedic surgeon on Monday 5th June – under no circumstances could I fly, apart from the problems of getting from Geelong to Tullamarine Airport.

Both legs were cheap fares that did not allow changes to the dates / times etc.

I even paid for travel insurance just in case.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

Travel Insurance – I have to pay the first $100 to change or cancel and get a refund.

Jetstar – after reviewing medical certificate etc., on compassionate grounds they have given me a Travel Voucher for the full amount paid, valid for 6 months.

Virgin – said the equivalent of “stiff xxxx”!  They want $80 to change the date / time of travel.  They do not accept the medical certificate as grounds for leniency!

So Jetstar can show compassion but Virgin CAN’T? – exactly the same scenario – one a flight from Melbourne to Adelaide, the other a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne – just 3 days apart.

WHAT DO I WANT?

I want Virgin to show they have some compassion, just like Jetstar did.  I can’t afford to pay another $80 and I certainly can’t set a future date for my trip until after I have clearance from the orthopaedic surgeon.

I am unemployed – looking for work but difficult to get to interviews at the moment.  Today I become an old age pensioner!  That’s my income.

I have found the ‘Complaints and Compliments‘ form on Virgin’s website – I will be attempting to get them to show some compassion and give them a link to this blog.

Can you help – not sure if they are interested in hearing from others but at least I’m going to get my message out there!

Gosh it would be a great birthday present if Virgin actually replied and showed some compassion.  I don’t want my money back – I just want to be able to book a flight after I become mobile again, at no extra cost, so I can visit my brother and his family for a very belated birthday celebration!