Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day in the life... Feb 27th 2010 AVIS Brisbane EXPENSIVE petrol

Just a QUICK gripe!!!

Hired a car today from Avis Brisbane Airport... great rate $56 for the day... which beats the taxi fare from Airport to Brisbane Mercure and back...

If you have been to Brisbane recently there are lots of new roads and they now DONT go passed the airport service station, so on returning the car tonight, I reluctantly decide to let AVIS top up the fuel...

Have a guess at what the fuel for a round trip of 35kms cost me... go on... in a car that does that distance on 2 liters of unleaded which is for sale at $1.25 a litre...

Well they charged me $14.10 for 2 litres!! $7 a litre - that is roguery!!

Day in the life... Feb 26th 2010 Mercure Brisbane

I promise I was on my VERY best behaviour on this trip - 8,000 km round trip to present at Aaron Parsons Business Commandos Bootcamp in Brisbane... no tantrums, no loud voices, just the "nice" me...

The red eye from Perth was packed but I slept the whole flight and was refreshed when I made it to Brisbane Airport. Quick "walk up" car hire from Avis and a shinny new Hyundai i30 was my chariot for the day...

Arrived at Mercure Brisbane - had booked and paid for Friday nigh, even though I was arriving 6.30am Saturday and experienced the wonders of a full service carpark [$47 a day] where no-one comes in on a Saturday until late...

But first: on Thursday I searched for Mercure's OWN website to book direct. It has the usual pleasantries about Best Rate etc., and one I haven't seen before - "People like to book various ways... you can Phone, Fax, Email, Web etc..." So, for a room to freshen up the best rate I could find was the Mercure site at $151. Armed with that info, and wanting to be sure I could have a 2pm check out, I rang the Brisbane number for Mercure.

Now this is where I think the Hotels have lost the plot!! Yes I can handle that for you, my best super duper rate is $209. "But," I protest, "YOUR website says $151??" "Yes sir, if you want that rate, you will have to book there... when you have the booking number, ring me back and I will be happy to make the notes about late check out".

Can I suggest you read that again... "I should go back to the website, book at $58 less, then phone her back and she will add notes to my booking??"

As I am sworn off "venting my frustration on people who are just following the rules" I do as told...

Fast forward to Saturday morning, 6.45am book in counter at Mercure Brisbane where no staff offer to assist with 4 pieces of luggage [but that's par for the course..]

"Welcome sir... are you booking in??" Yes and I gave my name.

"The printer is working well this morning, it will take a while to get your check in form" which was duly presented... as I sign, I notice it isn't me... and the ONLY common details is the name started with a M..

I explain the situation... Friday night booked with 6.30 am Saturday check in.. aaahhh the young lady say, now I have it. The printer is quicker this time BUT it isn't my details other than this one had my name but details of someone from far north Queensland... still smiling I fill in the correct details and hand back the form.

Did I mention that I am a A-Club Priority Member, regularly stay at Accor Hotels, and have given them my details hundreds if times... mmmm like I say they have lost the plot.

Check out?? Well I was wondering how a change of shift might cope with what is basically a "day rate" in Hotel terms.

I am checking out of room 1411 and apart from the car parking and some photocoping, I shouldn't have anything to pay... "That will be $249?? for the second night, late check out fee and car parking..."

By now I would be quietly fuming on the inside but the new me the "pleasant suffering travelling customer" gently retells my story... it takes many smiles [from me], much thrashing of computer keys [from her], 25 minutes and an ultimate sigh of relief, and I have a $41 bill to settle.

I really think the hotels have lost the plot!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Really.... what is one to do??

Just had a phone call from someone claiming to be receiving emails from me... which is my business.

The lady says she is surprised that I would answer the phone?? What did she expect me to do?? I am in business to do business with customers.

Would I give her my email address - obviously yes, which I did.

"Do you want to come off my database??" I asked... of course she replied. "What is the email address you want removed.."

"Do you think I am stupid" was her retort... and she went on to say she would report me to ACMA and that I should check where I buy my lists.

Now I ask you... what am I supposed to do? I answer the phone - WRONG - I have a conversation with the lady - WRONG because I am obviously the scum of the earth - I offer to stop sending emails WRONG - she would rather have the Government whack me with a big stick.

My question... is this the same Government who happily ignore safety warnings with the stimulus Insulation program, safety concerns which ultimately lead to 4 deaths and at least 93 house fires... the Governemnt that thinks email about educating the Australian workforce should be punished with multi million dollar fines... funny country this Australia.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The two frogs

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.

The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story teaches two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.

2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them.

Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path. The power of words... it is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in difficult times. Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage another.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day Thought by Paulo Coelho

Great one minute read - The accommodating point Published on February 11, 2010 by
Paulo Coelho on The Paulo Coelho Blog

"In one of my books (The Zahir), I try to understand why people are so afraid of changing. When I was right in the middle of writing the text, I came across an odd interview with a woman who had just written a book on – guess what? – love.

The journalist asks whether the only way a human being can become happy is to find their beloved. The woman says no:

“Love changes, and nobody understands that. The idea that love leads to happiness is a modern invention, dating from the late 17th century. From that time on, people have learned to believe that love should last for ever and that marriage is the best way to exercise love. In the past there was not so much optimism about the longevity of passion.

“Romeo and Juliet isn’t a happy story, it’s a tragedy. In the last few decades, expectation has grown a lot regarding marriage being the path towards personal accomplishment. Disappointment and dissatisfaction have also grown at the same time.”

According to the magical practices of the witchdoctors in the North of Mexico, there is always an event in our lives that is responsible for our having stopped making progress. A trauma, a particularly bitter defeat, disappointment in love, even a victory that we fail to quite understand, ends up making us act cowardly and incapable of moving ahead. The witchdoctor finds and gets rid of this “accommodating point”. To do so, he has to review our life and discover where this point lies.


Because, according to the story that we were told, at a certain moment in our lives “we reach our limit”. There are no more changes to be made. We won’t grow any more. Both professionally and in love, we have reached the ideal point, and it’s best to leave things as they are. But the truth is that we can always go further. Love more, live more, risk more.

Immobility is never the best solution. Because everything around us changes (including love) and we must accompany that rhythm.

I have been married to the same person for 30 years, but methaphorically speaking, the same marriage contains several “new marriages” during our relationship. Our bodies and souls changed, and we are still togeher. If we wanted to keep on as we were in 1979, I don’t think we would have come so far.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Piss Poor - what does it mean??

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor".

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low.

Thanks to my good mate Jennifer Craker who sends me this "riveting stuff"