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Archive for November, 2007

The Art of Customer Service Nov 15

Having lived in Japan for over two years now and going back to western countries I am left with the a huge respect for the level of customer service provided to the everyday consumer in Japan.  Its not something you get at expensive stores.  It something you get everyday, to the point where sometimes you just take it for granted, until you leave.


During the ‘rush hour’ of 4-8pm at my local supermarket there is an elderly gentleman at the exit. He spends time going it and clearing the shopping carts or baskets that people may have left, the rest of the time he is at the door saying thank you for shopping with us.

At my work building you leave the sky lobby in the lift and make eye contact with the receptionist you will get a bow as the elevator doors close.

On the Shinkansen trains the ticket collectors enter the carraige with bow, and when leaving will turn around and bow back to the carriage.

Whereever you go and whatever you do here you will be presented with this type of service.  It doesn’t cost much to be this polite and in reverse you are polite back, so what cost for social nicesness.

My friend and I often talk about this and contemplate that if we go back to a full customer service role and can afford it I would bring all the staff to Japan just to see how it can be done.  Whenever I chose to leave here it will be a very lasting memory.

Cancer Survivor Nov 15

Two weeks ago I went back to the hospital for another check up.  I’ve been really bad as after the last ‘all clear’ test I jsut didn’t want to go back for the next monthly check up.  It sounds stupid, but hey you go through this and then you may understand how bloody depressing these tests are.  You must always keep in somewhere in your mind that the results will be "you have cancer again"

I say it again, as I’ve already been through it once, and the biggest lurgy monster in all our minds are those words "its back".  For reader who haven’t had cancer, or been really closely associated it I apologise.  I decided when I was back in the UK that I would change my status depending on these tests.

So. I’ve now upgraded my status, I’m no longer a cancer patient.  I am a cancer suvivor. May sound odd but from my perspective thats a huge change.  It means I can put alot of it all behind me and rejoin the ‘world’ again.  It by no means its gone away, or will do for many years yet and the checkups will probably still be as bad, but for everyday life for me its a significant change.

Hope you understand

When is it Organic? Nov 13

Having lived in the UK for a number of years and seeing the organic food movement take off, I myself try to buy organic when I can.  Yes it does cost more, which I think is more a supermarket get rich scheme than anything.  But I do realise that producing organic food is more expensive than the run of the mill food.  More

The birth of Customer Service Nov 09

I’ve written a few entries lately about the trip back to the UK and how annoying certains aspects of it were.  I wrote a few comments on things to two different customer service departments, one at the request of the restaurant ‘Fifteen’ and the other to Virgin Atlantic about comments I overhead from there groundstaff.  I’m totally delighted to say that I got back two very well written emails from each.

Cambodia Revisited Photo’s Nov 07

Well, it took some time, and alot of head scratching, but I’ve trimmed the photo’s from Cambodia down from 900 to 288. I wanted to get it down to just 50 really good ones, but after going over them many times now I just couldn’t do it as there was so much to see, and it the pictorial needed to be shown in whole! I have realised I need to spend way more time framing my shot and making sure the horizon is correct!

The photos are all in the Coppermine gallery here. Sorry it took so long to get them up. Then again, I should have posted my Middle eastern photos and they have only just been scanned in. oh scratch that, just realised I deleted them all as I wasn’t happy with them, back to the scanner, and also putting the comments into the Cambodian ones!

The NTT Phone Police Nov 05

Learnt today what happens if you miss a phone bill and the single reminder. They cut you off! Certainly a very effective way of getting you to pay, cos no phone. I found that I’d missed by monthly bill from September and must have not seen the small reminder notice. I was expecting to get another bill with both the amounts on it and could pay it all together. But thats not the way it works here.

whoops – exhausted! Nov 02

Its finally the end of the week, and I can turn the alarm clock off!  Trip back was fine, but the whole period of so little sleep has caught up with me abit!  Also worked into a mountain of work, so time to get stuck in for a while!

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