Sunday Column (318)

We are back from holidays and since Wednesday I am back at work. Whilst it is great to be away, it was nice to come back home. A record driving time thanks to an early start resulted in a chilled out afternoon prior to going back to work. It feels like spring is finally on its way. My hands are still sore from the cold, and yes, I did put the fire on again this week.

Grateful. I think that word came up a few times in discussions this week. Grateful for a job, a good health and the ability to raise the kids, have kids, have a healthy family and a gorgeous dog. To have had a great and safe journey, no problems with the car, or traffic or forbid an accident. I stopped taking things for granted. Ever since the, at the end positive, diagnosis and uncertainty earlier this year, it seems as if we shouldn’t. I am almost a bit more spiritual as a result of it.

Interesting enough I listened to Tim Ferris’ podcast this week where he interviewed Glenn Beck. I wouldn’t have heard of him, but in a nutshell Glenn was an alcoholic and his life was in a mess by the time he was 30! He turned it around and became a well known TV figure in the US, a celebrity and made millions. What a great story.

gratefulness

I am writing my own story. So are you. Every day of your life! Every day you should evaluate whether or not you are doing the things that are taking you forward, achieving your goals. What have you done to get where you have got? Are you being successful? Then don’t stop doing that and take it to the next level, improve on it rather than slowing down as you reached a certain level. Don’t take things for granted.

For the ability to serve, we are truly grateful – Rotary. For the opportunity to be grateful, I thank my wife and my family. Life seems content at the moment yet as you know me, I am not content, ever…really ;-) But that’s a different story.

For me personally, I am getting a lot clearer on what I want to achieve in life. This includes a healthy lifestyle, a great future for the family and myself. Define ‘great': positive, loving, caring, grateful, helpful….we define it together, as a team. The Ballueder team, as I like to call it.

What I learned this week? That our dog is still pretty much a puppy and that rushing her into becoming a well trained dog won’t work. I also learned that spending more quality time with my kids is super important and I got so much more back. It is very nice to spend so much time with the family. It was so nice to be able to spend more time with them during the day being off work. I get to know them so much better than just seeing them at the weekend and partly during the week. I am blessed and grateful.

I also realised that travelling with kids and dogs for long distance in the car is less painful than anticipated. That the Euro to pound (GBP) ratio is awesome for stocking up on wine and salami. I “calibrated” that my attitude towards life is right and in line with what people would expect. I learned that there is a lot more I want to and I will accomplish in life – starting today!

With those thoughts, I want to leave you for the week. Easter and the four day weeks are over. Let’s get cracking!

Have a great one,
Volker

PS: I still haven’t checked Facebook for the past 10 days. So apologies for anything I didn’t miss. Facebook however starts sending me messages, one a day, making sure I don’t forget about the 1000 of messages, updates etc. I ‘missed’. Times of change.

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Sunday Column (317)

A week with snow, long drives and mixed feelings lies behind us. Happy Easter.

We spend a few days with my parents in Germany. The long drive, and the crossing via the Channel Tunnel’s train, went very well, given our 3 little companions. Latter includes the dog which of course was terrified but coped very well. The boys behaved fantastically.

The kids loved spending time with the grand parents and exploring Germany. I am still hopeful they pick up German at some point, becoming more familiar with both the country and language. They genuinely enjoyed the trip. We had some snow, spend quality time as a family together and quality time as a couple whilst Oma and Opa were baby sitting.

It is good to be back in Detmold. Good to see that I still like it and that things are still the same but evolving. Could I consider moving back? I would be (emotionally) able to, but no. I am very much settled in the UK, my life and family are there. That’s my home. Yet, and I never thought I would say that, I like the little town of Detmold.

I heard good and bad news this week. The bad news is that my old teacher died of cancer suddenly. He was diagnosed with it about a year ago, I heard, and died about three weeks ago. Only about 4 years ago, maybe less, I visited him and he said to me “I always knew that you wouldn’t stay in Germany, Mr. Ballueder”. We had a “closing chat” without knowing it was our last encounter. He helped me through my A-Levels when I was struggling in German, struggling in life I suppose, after having spent a year in the US as an exchange student. He was a great man of his profession. A true mentor. May he rest in peace.

people come into your life for a reason

On the positive side of things, and I am not sure I remember the whole story, but when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, so about 1985/86 we had a refugee into our class. I remember being friends with him, playing with him, and we might have had him over for lunch a few times. If I say I remember we helped his family I might be making this up. But that’s the memory I have of the time. Now he showed up in the local newspaper supporting some Iraq project for a charity associated with some football tournament. It fills me with joy to see that people that came to my country with probably not much else than the cloths they were wearing, to turn into someone helping others and using the opportunity of a new start.

Whilst not a refugee myself, having moved to a different country, I also used the opportunity to become who I am. It is a new start, a new opportunity if you can start afresh. One must use it! And wanting to contribute and make life happen is a great opportunity that I feel sometimes gets lost if you are stuck in your own rod and your day to day life. Being able to break free is good. I hope that makes sense.

As so often the good and bad things are in balance. Life cycles I suppose. The good and bad things, the help to support and the unintentional closures. One must love life. One must accept its ups and downs. Use the opportunities one has. Meet with people one likes. Seeing my grandma, now almost 95, next to her great grandson, not yet 5, is an amazing picture. Old and Young, Ying and Young, Good and Bad, Hot and Cold.

I enjoyed my week off work.
I love life! I am positive!

With best wishes for the remainder of the Easter weekend, I leave you with deep thoughts of people that come to your life, where you make a difference and who make a difference in your life. Often those move on, sometimes they stay. But everything that happens in life, any person coming into your life, happens for a reason.

Grab the opportunity whilst you are on it.

Love and Happiness,
Volker

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Sunday Column (316)

Sitting at 42,000 feet writing a blog post and face timing the family is new. It was my first in flight wifi experience, a day after the still unreal Germanwings crash. No one expected a Germanwings flight to crash, nor any heavy regulated European airline in Europe. I feel for the families and friends of the people that died. On the flight home we got confronted with more terrible news on the cause of the crash. It leaves me speechless.

Being connected in a plane is a new experience. For my kids, both under 6 years of age, this will be normal. My eldest is asking for the iPad daily to play and started asking to own a phone. I understand that but my parents told me that I wouldn’t be allowed a computer until 10th grade, that was 16 years of age in Germany. Life has changed and the technology advancement is accelerating. What seems new to us who haven’t had iPads or phones 20 years ago, seems normal to the youngsters.

keep calm and attention

How must my parents feel who were around my age when personal computers came to life. My dad, I remember vividly, used a manual board to arrange the different classes for the teachers, allocating rooms and making sure there was no overlaps in the timetables. There are programmes today but even Excel would have been so much easier. Having no Sat-Nav when driving somewhere new? How well has Uber served me this week in Stockholm. A new city but the same, easy to book and easy to pay taxi service.

Being a bit of a Geek and working in the tech space, I enjoy technology advancement. I am debating to get a fitness tracker, e.g. a Jawbone or Fitbit. Latter doesn’t sync with Apple health, former’s model with a pulse sensor hasn’t been released. I guess in a year or two I buy an Apple watch. How couldn’t I?

Quarter one came to an end this week too. It has been busy and Friday we celebrated. I had a glass to the end of Q1, my colleague his leaving do. Unfortunately the restaurant we wanted to go to burned down just minutes prior to us going there, just opposite the office. We easily found an alternative.

A Hassocks dads’ night out, a catch up with friends and family, and lots of time with my boys over the weekend. Sounds like I did nothing really but to be honest, after another busy trip, on which I was lucky to catch up with a very good friend, I was cotent to take it easy. I have been travelling a lot lately, working non-stop as it seems, now is time for some downtime. Easter break. The fire has been on whilst it is raining outside. Summer time started. The dog is content at my feet.

I hope you get some time off, to spend time with your family and loved ones, and let life sink in a bit. Let things calm down a bit and give your loved ones the attention they want. They need. You need.

Have a great week.
Volker

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First wifi flight

This might be a small step for most of you but for me, Norwegian Airlines offers me my first in-flight wifi experience. 

Guess I will get used to that. So far I enjoyed disconnected time. 

   

 

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Sunday Column (315)

How has your week been?
How often did you hug your kids this week and tell them that you love them?
How often did you have the fire on, sat back and enjoyed the atmosphere in your living room – your home?

I did that a lot this week.
I also invested in a few new apps, optimising the set up of my MacBook Air. I am, after getting an external screen, now fully equipped to own a productivity machine at home rather than a ‘laptop’. New 2do app and SimpleMind mind-mapping will increase my productivity, making me less dependent on my iPad and having all tools in one place. I am pleased. My new post on productivity over at Linkedin is doing well. I got a lot done this week!

Also, this week started with great news. If the official confirmation will happen tomorrow, I was tested for some potential “illness” which of course I didn’t believe I had. Yet it had been a roller coaster ride, thinking “what if” and “what would happen to the family”. It makes you think, and gladly it came out this way. Maybe it was too premature to assume anything, but one has to check things out. I don’t think it was ever that dramatic, or I was ever really considering the option that anything bad would happen, but it was on my mind. It eats into your thoughts and it does affect your everyday thoughts. Yet it is over now, it is, and tomorrow I should get the official “all clear”. I am grateful.

And given all those videos on Facebook and elsewhere, showing how people don’t help other people that need help made me think too. I finished Anthony Robbins’ latest book on finance and investing and he finishes it off in terms of: ‘make a difference and help others if you can’. He started to pay for other people’s Thanksgiving dinners. Now he is paying for and helping millions of people get fed. Take a massive action to make this world a more positive place. Today. NOW!

Take massive action

What did I learn, thinking about the scenarios? I learned how to prioritise family. How to be with the family more. More intensive and giving them more attention. Putting my phone and distractions aside. How to cherish the moment, and how to enjoy life. Yet did I really? Yes, it made me think a whole lot and I am improving. I make sure I am. You know when you think of this lottery win, what you would buy and what you could do with the money? One is going on a similar “mind ride” yet less positive. And the lottery win as anything else might never happen, but you never know either.

I don’t think I am a better human because of it, and I don’t want to overdramatise things at all. Yet I like to think that the possibility of not being there in the future, so soon, gave me food for thought.

The rest of the week was less eventful. To be honest, I could do with a week that wasn’t. The first week for months without travel, without back to back meetings and a more relaxed atmosphere at work. It is nice to be able to take it easy-ish for a week ;-) More travel again next week.

My knee after some running two weeks ago is still sore. I had enough todo at work, attended lots of client meetings, a conference and followed up on a lot of stuff. Yet it was nice to not have to work 24/7 for a week and managing to see the family a lot.

At the weekend we had a spontaneous visit from the family: my cousin and husband were here. We also went for a forest educational walk organised by the friends of my oldest’ school. It is nice to be involved in the community and feel at home in the village. A new car tyre, a chat with the local Scots and pulled pork and wine was just what I needed. Not being able to run makes you sluggish but I hope to be back up and running (literally) very soon.

Next week is already the last week of March. This quarter, as aforementioned, really flew by. It is good, I love what I am doing and there are lots of prospects moving forward. 2015 is going to be amazing.

Take massive actions NOW. Don’t waste time thinking about doing good. Just do it. We are here to make a dent in the universe, start somewhere today.

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (314)

Is it Friday yet?

The week started with me wanting to order some shoes from Marks. After they apologised for their mistake, I got a voucher I wanted to put towards some new shoes. The order was marked as despatched and I was hoping to get it this week. An email, a call and a few more annoyed days later, no shoes as once of a sudden they were out of stock. After they were sent? Never mind, back in stock in a few weeks time….

Now, the official week started with work in Hamburg. The red eye to Hamburg on Monday morning, meetings, preparation, work, long evenings, a conference, more long hours in the hotel room, abrupt changes, more meetings, networking and so on. You get the picture. Just a normal business trip. Great to connect to the online industry in Germany again, meeting old and familiar faces. It has been a good and successful trip, and that is great. I arrived home rather tired on Wednesday night yet somewhat satisfied with the progress.

Travel is a lot at the moment and probably I am living through the busiest Q1 of my career. Not ever do I remember a quarter being that full on from Monday after Christmas to the end of March. It is a good sign. Recovery of the global crisis, an interest in TV Data and TV Sync. I am very excited about the space I am working in, gladly contributing to the strategy and direction for our product in Europe.

Hamburger Binnenalster

So things are good. The family is good too. Speaking to so many people that week I haven’t seen for a long time; it is good to connect, see what familiar faces are up to and how we can cooperate. It is a small industry, many friends and good camaraderie. I so enjoy the space I am working in and cannot repeat it often enough. This must be better than any other industry. It just has to be. And, I am allowed to be part of it too!

Enough about work, really ;-) Then again I saw the family too little this week. I miss them when I travel and I look forward to a week in London next week. It has been busy but Easter in sight, there is a break to look forward to. My camera lens from my iPhone broke a while ago. I figured something wasn’t right and then remembered my youngest throwing it down the stairs and me dropping it quite a few times. Luckily I am due an upgrade sometime soon…in July :-( And there was mother’s day. Hurray!

My weight training, physio and exercise along with my weight loss is going well. If we are connected on Facebook you know that I lost just over a stone (7 kg) since Christmas. How did I do that? I foremost started drinking less. I even managed the conferences and networking in Germany without alcohol as they kindly provide alcohol free beer. Not drinking when travelling is kind of hard but possible. I run 2 times 10K a week. This is to keep fit rather than losing weight. So the key are two things: one is to do weight training 4 times a week and then to eat less overall. No snacking on nuts and chocolate unless you have a bad day. Chocolate is a treat now really. Then no more nuts and seeds during the day but bananas. I eat up to 5 bananas a day. Whilst lunch is normal, yet no bread (another key to weight loss), I eat little at night: cracker-bread/Ryvita with humous, an egg or two, some olives or gherkins. That means I have enough energy during the day, I am not hungry at night and won’t put on weight. With less alcohol consumption one doesn’t have to worry about the amount of food one eats, as there isn’t the need to fill the stomach lining before a night out.

Let me know if you have any questions or need advice. I still need to learn to eat a bit more about food for when I am travelling or I am at conferences, to not fall over ;-) But overall I am doing well and will continue the above routine. It is all about habit and making it work, a bit of will power and consistency. But don’t beat yourself up, something I tend to do and get all fussy about what to eat. Particularly not eating bread is difficult.

Now that’s all for the week. May you have a fantastic week ahead. I am sure I will, only travelling my usual 3 hour commute per day. With Monday being my wfh day, so will be able to catch up of this rather eventful week.

Have a good one.

Cheers,
Volker

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Sunday Column (313)

Now it is March. I finished another 10K run outside last weekend, and probably by time of posting another one. As usual I am ahead of writing posts, and I have been travelling to Paris this week. Next week it is Hamburg again. Then one more trip before Easter. The finish of Q1 came around quickly. It also looks like spring is in the air. It is all good, but times are busier than usual in Q1. A new spring for the economy maybe?

I have been thinking at lot these past weeks. About life, life’s goals and all. I read the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Not a new book or new principles and it almost seems as if I have read it many years ago, but it gives you a kick in the butt.

For what do you want to be remembered?
Why do you put focus on where you put focus on?
Why do you procrastinate, or waste your time watching the news?
Give a 100%. Every Time.
Always strive to achieve your goals.
Work on your goals: what are they? What do you want to achieve in life?
Reduce the clutter, stop reading the news.

For me, to answer those questions, gets easier and easier, the older I get. Besides some recent developments that help me thinking and refining, I can say that I want to create a meaningful life. A life where I want to look at and say “it was good for me and others, I made a difference”. I aim to make a difference for others and help others to create a more meaningful life. Whether this is through subtle changes, leading by example, help by making a life changing decision or just being there when they need someone. Small or big.

habit

And foremost, I want to be that person for my family. For my kids. To makes sure they grow up with a desire to create a meaningful life for themselves. That might mean something else for them, then it does for me. Yet it is important to define those goals and work towards them. NOW. Not tomorrow.

One never knows how much time is left on the clock. No one knows how much time we have left on earth and whether it is over tomorrow or in 30 years time. I personally don’t want to go just yet. I am just at the beginning of figuring it all out, my kids are young and I am in full swing of my career. I love working and strive to be more successful and grow into a bigger role. I am keen on moving up. Yet at the same time I am keen on spending more time with the kids, help them grow and help them to help others or help their friends to figure out life’s priorities for themselves.

There is so much to do – probably one of the reasons why I always go 100 miles per hour and think I can fit 70 minutes into an hour. There is no time to waste or time to stop and hang around. Always give 100% to achieve your goals, take actions towards them and be inspired by your goals. Make them happen.

The Compound Effect gave me another kick in my butt, yet there is so much going on in life, that I realise that I have to appreciate more of what I have. Whilst I have it. And I do. You never know when you stop having it.

I am probably one of the luckiest men alive, why shouldn’t I be the happiest also, and share my happiness with others?

There is no reason not to.

Have a great week and life. Make the most of NOW!

Yours,
Volker

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Sunday Column (312)

Two months into the new year. It has been a busy start with an acceleration towards end of Q1. I just came back from a trip just to go on to another, then another, a bigger pitch and an exciting conference plus another trip. Wow, the next few weeks will be busy. Good busy. 

I enjoy the travel, and have written about it at lengths. They are a bit of an escape and an opportunity to carve out disconnected time. Disconnected time you usually don’t take, as I feel like I am constantly connected, 5 am to 8 pm. That is wrong, no question, and I will deal with that over the next few months. It affects my sleep and downtime, however I have big goals for self improvement this year. Losing weight, changing my diet, running up the South Downs are part of a bigger picture. And I started. 9.9K up the South Downs, down to almost 90kg from 95 at Christmas. Dropping chocolate, snacking and disconnecting more often is next. 

The main challenge I have at the moment is tiredness. Whether this is the 5 ams catching up with me or the vivid dreams, the disconnectedness or some other stressful things in the back of my mind, I am not sure. Getting 7 hours of sleep should surely be enough, yet the animated, vivid dreams are what seem to crack me up. No nightmares but processing things way down my past history. I believe there is a certain stress factor with challenging times across my life.

A computer generated image of a chain with a broken link.

What I mean by that is manifold. The above mentioned travel and associated business at work cause a strain of course. Don’t get me wrong, it is good and I enjoy it, but life is coming with some challenges. I have some challenges outside work I don’t want to discuss here, but it never pours, it rains. Life is good though, with those precious moments; and we should never forget that, I get reminded when going to bed and seeing the little ones’ blanket off, when you pull it back over their tiny bodies, hugging them, and enjoying the moment to feel so close to them. To be able to teach them gratitude and to challenge the status quo. To build their own vision yet pursue their dreams, regardless of money. I want to be able to support them to do that. 

Those moment you can perish. Enjoy the hugs, and hug them a bit more. Sharing the love. When you, out of the ordinary, take their warm milk to their bed in the morning. When they wake up and smile at you. The smile saying that, I love you dad, and thanks for me being able to stretch in bed and drink my warm milk whilst waking up. The love you feel. The satisfaction you get from them being able to have some special moments. Small things in life.

And when you set up the first computer profile for your son to use the computer. And you explain him what a profile is. And you ask him to find out about which games he plays in school, and what he likes to do at home on a computer. They are growing up so fast. My parents always said you have to be 12 to use the computer. But things change of course, technology and exposure to it accelerates dramatically. Mad.

The ever accelerating spiral of technology advancements. The connective-ness and strain, faster moving world, pressure to perform, reply to emails quicker and deal with more in shorter time.

That is it for the week. My WordPress doesn’t show me the visual editor, just the html one, so the post might look out of order.

Love and Kindness.

Volker

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Sunday Column (311)

I started my week with some travelling. Frankfurt this time, just in time for “Rosenmontag”, the night of carnival in Germany. Neither my client partner nor I had this on the radar yet we managed to get three great meetings out of it. I also flew with a small airplane from City Airport and enjoyed the more “elite style” flying experience. This wasn’t because it wasn’t Easyjet, I love my Easyjet, but more because it seemed to be more intimate, 2 seats each side of the gangway, closer to the sky somewhat and faster. The City….

Once I arrived in my hotel, I realised the higher standard leads to the hotel being a bit more complicated. The computer system, the room service, the housekeeping…..oh dear, I am just made for simpler things sometimes. That includes simply customer service, like Marks, but that is now all solved too. Just a shame you need to kick a fuss to get attention :-(

In the hotel, I got all those things for comfort I don’t need, and I miss those simple things I am used to, like decaf instant coffee. Working in start ups for most of my life, being brought up on modest pleasures. Yet it was a great stay for one night and I didn’t end up in a hotel in the red light district, so that’s a bonus. That’s what could happen when you are working with external booking agencies that don’t know the country ;-)

Carpe Diem

I enjoy travel, and believe that you should feel comfortable when you stay away from home. It is a burden to you and the family. However, I am still a big advocate of spending a night or two away from the family sometimes. It makes your heart grow fonder as they say, but it also gets you and your partner some ‘me time’. I usually get more work done and write more posts, work on presentations etc. Shutting off the screens when travelling seems to be harder than at home, as you are out of your routine. Your weight bench is replaced by “own resistance” exercises unless you got a gym in the hotel you are staying at. Soon, I am contemplating of taking my running shoes. All depends on the length of the stay.

This week I finished another book on Steve Jobs and Apple. Working off a Mac now on a daily basis for two years, I couldn’t go back to any other system. It just works. I am waiting to upgrade my iPhone as the battery life on mine is appalling, and I am contemplating of replacing my iPad sometime this year to upgrade after about three years. Hmm, we shall see. I used it mainly as a kindle and for mind mapping, then as a laptop replacement at home. I could do all I do there on my laptop but if you are in confined spaces on a plane or train, you end up preferring a smaller device. Decisions decisions.

Whilst this week has been a bit of a roller coaster ride too, I will write a more detailed post about some other developments later this month. All is well, and sometimes we just have to be very grateful for what we have. I have experienced a deeper connection to my loved ones recently and a an urge to spend more quality time with the boys. I feel like time becomes so precious if you start thinking about it.

Overall it was a good week. Work has been busy too. I have been thinking a lot, laughing a lot and continued with my framework of “no drinking days” and exercising despite travelling. Or at least in moderation, and that is a good thing Food wise, I managed to order a kid’s portion without chips to keep off the weight. No need to eat a big meal before bed, is there? Just by being more aware of what you drink and eat, you can keep a healthy and balanced lifestyle without the need to overeat, put on weight and ultimately being unhealthy and unfit.

I also managed my first 9.5K run outside (my calves and shins are still hurting from the hill up to the South Downs) in 54 minutes. For a first time this isn’t too bad. For me, 2015 is about positive change. Better healthy diet, better exercise, outside running, more quality time with the family, more balance at work. I am making progress on most points.

We need to enjoy life, yet in moderation and balancing the good and bad days, without beating ourselves up.

With these thoughts, have a great week.
Volker

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Dear Marks….

I have been a bit peeved recently with Marks and Spencer. Since we seem to be unable to communicate via phone or Twitter, here is a copy of the email I just sent.

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Hello,

I am fed up to put it outright. I tried helping you to help me but I came to the conclusion, that Marks and Spencer, once known for best customer service, just doesn’t seem to care.

It all started on Valentine’s Day. I got flowers ordered, as I normally do for every occasion, normally always do via Marks, but then I got an email at 7 am telling me that you aren’t sure whether you can deliver on the day? What is happening there, I thought.

Your customer service didn’t answer until 8 am, so finally I got through and the lady said that she could neither confirm or deny that the flowers will be delivered in time and if they haven’t arrived by 7 pm I should call back. I said that this is useless as I am not going to wait until 7 pm to find out that, potentially, the flowers won’t be delivered, as at that point I couldn’t go out and buy new ones. Whilst she clearly said that she got my point, there was nothing she could do, as the order was processed and she couldn’t stop it for a refund.

As she got my point and she then couldn’t do anything, I asked to speak to her superior who wasn’t available but according to her “would call me back soon”. I waited.

By 10 am I figured it would be good to double check. The rep on the phone said that the flowers are out for delivery and reassured me. Also, someone from the management team would call me back within 24 hours. So by 10 am Sunday 15th.

The flowers arrived. Beautiful flowers, wife loved them, great! Thanks. The quality and service I expected. But why the hassle and email misleading me, causing much aggravation?

I thought I can wait 24 hours. By Monday I hadn’t heard. I aired myself on twitter, and @marksandspencer got involved. I emailed my order number and email address and still no reply. Finally on Tuesday, so 72 hours later, I got this call from Fiona. Missed it as I was at work. Called her back as I was on the airport and she wasn’t available. Asked for her to call me on Wednesday.

Of course that wasn’t passed on and someone, I don’t think Fiona, called me when I was about to take off in a plane. I tried to be as polite as possible saying please call me back tomorrow. Your rep however insisted the account is in my wife’s name. NO, I said, we cleared that up on Saturday. The flowers and all orders go to my wife’s name, but I am the account holder, cc holder and so on. You must be calling because of my complaint, I said, so please call me back tomorrow.

It is now 8:30 pm on Wednesday. You could argue 108 hours past my first contact with Marks. The issue isn’t about the flowers anymore but that neither your twitter account (and I just aired my frustration to them again) nor the lady from yesterday or anyone has been in touch. You could have sent an email saying “when is good to call” or tried calling again.

I am now under the impression that Marks and Spencer quite frankly doesn’t care anymore. Yupp, that’s it, I think. My wife’s birthday coming up. Mothers day coming up. I spend on average probably around 30 GBP on flowers, 60 GBP spend elsewhere. Plus lost opportunities moving forward.

Shame?

Not for me. In this day and age it is so easy to change supplier. To move along and go elsewhere. Less guarantee on quality and less guarantee on … oh wait a second, the customer service aspect has not been true this time. Whilst for everything else I bought at Marks, my sofa and chairs (which we could argue about the quality), the customer service was outstanding. Returning my shoes in the past (and I wear shoes from Marks since 2006 I’d say), my underwear, jackets, my wife’s underwear, suits, jumpers and of course stuff for the kids…..why would you want to annoy me.

I guess you don’t. I guess you just having a bad week. We all do. Yet…..what are you going to do about it.

Likelihood when you try calling me again this week I won’t be able to answer. I am busy. So are you. So are we all.

Email me, let’s arrange a time to sit down and talk.

Aren’t we both grown ups?

Yours faithfully,
Volker Ballueder

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