Thursday, 29 May 2014

Will I Tip You? Exceptional Service

Dear Service Industry Workers,

Do you want to know why I'll tip you MORE the industry standard?
You probably do some of the following:
  • I get greeted with a smile and am made to feel welcome.
  • There's not a cell phone in site. You didn't have one in front of you when I walked in, and if a computer is in front of you, it's open to something that looks like work (and not Facebook).
  • You approach me and ask me if there is anything you can help me with.
  • You think about what I will need and address it before I ask - cold day outside and door wide open: "Can I close the door for you? That breeze looks like it's whipping inside and making you all cold". Glass of water has a few sips left: "Can I get you another drink?".
  • You attend to my most absurd requests with a helpful attitude. "I haven't heard of that restaurant down the street, but let me check with someone and see if it's good." "You're looking for a doctor, even though this is a restaurant? Let me call my manager for a recommendation." "You're wanting the greek salad, without tomato or cucumber? No problem. Can I add some dressing on the side?"
  • On my 3rd or 4th visit that week, I'm greeted by name and asked if I would like to start off with your usual insert-name-of-favourite-drink-here.
  • I leave thinking "Wow, he/she was so helpful. I can't believe the service at that place. I'm definitely recommending it to all of my friends."

If you've missed the other posts in this series, click here and here to see them.

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Sunday, 25 May 2014

Will I Tip You? Average Service

Dear Service Industry Workers,

Do you want to know why I'll tip you the industry standard?

Restaurants - it's not only up to your staff.
If you train them properly, they'll perform to the standard you expect. 
You probably do some of the following:
  • Put away your cell phone when I walk in and acknowledge I exist.
  • When I ask for something, my request is taken seriously and addressed without too much hassle.
  • Minimum service expectations are met. Sometimes with a smile. Sometimes with a serious face. But at least when you talk, I can hear you and understand what you're saying.
  • I leave your workplace thinking: "Hmmm, that was nice, the waiter/waitress/receptionist was OK."
  • When I'm finished, it takes a while for you to come and see if there's anything else you can help me with.
Click here for the previous post in this series.

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Will I Tip You? Bad Service

Dear Service Industry Workers,

My tip is proportional to the service I receive. So, do you want to know why I don't tip you as much as you expect?

Probably because you:
  • Ignore me when I arrive at your place of work.
  • Drag your eyes away from your computer/laptop/cell phone/the TV when I say "Hi".
  • Stare at me like I've walked out a block of mouldy cheese when I ask if you're going to be able to help me.
  • Carry on taking your clearly personal phone call even though I've just walked through the door, then hang up with a sigh and an "I'll call you later" when I stand directly in front of you and you are unable to pretend I don't exist any more.
  • Mumble sweet nothings into the air around you while you "help" me with a perfectly reasonable request like "Please may I have some cream".
  • When something is taking a long time, you think that it will go away by ignoring it and by not telling anyone why, exactly, it takes so long for you to swipe my card at the machine.
  • I leave your establishment thinking: "Oh my word - I'm glad I'm out of there and don't have to interact with that person again".

black puppy sleeping on floor
Don't expect a tip if I feel that you're sleeping
on the job...

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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Balloch Wedding


I'll hie me away to Balloch, 
The sweet and lovely glen - 
Deep hidden in the mountains grand,
Far from the haunts of men.
There's healing there for wounded hearts - 
A balm for every pain;
And if you've been to Balloch once, 
You'll sure go back again

It's lovely in the summer time
Beneath the sun's warm glow - 
It has a "happy fireside climb,"
When hills are white with snow.
For friendship true and real is there,
And love and peace do reign -
And those who've been to Balloch once, 
Are welcome back again.

The hills that compass it around
Raise rugged peaks on high,
And towering crags where eagles next
Stand out against the sky; And
Through the glen the mountain steam
Sings such a sweet refrain - 
How could you come to Balloch once, 
And not come back again?

How silently the evening falls
And stars begin to peep;
The only sounds - the river's song
And bleat the mountain sheep.
Such peace and rest in cities great,
You'll look for that in vain;
Then come with me to Balloch glen
Again, and yet again

This lovely poem decorated the tables of the guests who came to the first Frost cousin wedding at the farm; hidden away in the mountains of Barkly East in the Eastern Cape. I'm not sure of the author (does anyone know?), but I know it was written by a guest to Balloch farm and sums up the farm that is so beloved to family, friends and visitors.

As it was over Easter weekend, many families missioned to the farm to celebrate this wedding. Most made a long weekend out of it to maximise family time. What a celebration it was! Whoever thought that farms were boring have definitely never spent a New Years party (or wedding) in Barkly! True to form, the dance floor stayed packed from the time it opened until the early late hours of the following morning; the most active participants were the beautiful bride and grinning groom!

I don't think my words could do this weekend justice, so here are some pics instead.
The bridal getaway car

The whole family pitched in to help!

It was given a thorough cleaning...

... Before decorations started getting added 

Taking a break from the hard work

Exercising our lungs

Doesn't the car look grand? (And slightly tiny against
the beautiful backdrop)

Lindi and Linzi
Along with another Linzi (an actual Frost cousin) things sometimes got a bit confusing.
But scroll down to find out what was even more confusing!

A long body poplar (according to My Frost)

The groom

How cute is this little guy?

The lovely bride

These guys were just too adorable

Drinks and snacks under the cave

Wedding cake - mmm, delish!

Frosty and I.
Pretty much everyone is called Frosty in this family! It gets very
confusing when you hear all the girlfriends/wives talking about Frosty,
but you get used to it pretty quickly.
Frost Cousins
Marion, Frosty, Thelma, Frosty, Frosty, Rich, Frosty (Linz), Kev, Kirst, Frosty, Frosty
(See what I mean - and these are only the cousins!!!!!)

Balancing Rocks

Scotty and Lindi

Frosty and I

Our smart servers - love the bow-ties!

Keeping the party going!

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A Trip To Clanwilliam

The weekend after the Balloch wedding, Frosty's folks spent a weekend in Clanwilliam and we got lucky enough to be able to go along for a treat.

This quaint town is about 3 hours drive from Stellies and is surrounded by some awesome wine farms (as we found out on the Saturday!)

As luck would have it, some good family friends of the Frost's were also staying the weekend in Clanwilliam and we were able to spend a lot of the weekend with them. Apart from our wine tasting, we had a great fish braai the night we arrived. Frost's dad was convinced that there wouldn't be enough fish to feed us all, but the next morning there was still fish left over! On the Saturday night we had a braai at the Coopers house which overlooked a beautiful dam. And on the Sunday we took a drive into the hills to go and find some bushman paintings and enjoy a leisurely lunch before the trip home.

We had a great Saturday wine tasting

And the we had a braai while we looked out at this view

A different perspective on the same view
It turns out that we took wine tasting a bit more seriously
than expected - a surprise birthday gift to Colin from the kids  
The start of our bushman paintings hike at the Sevilla Rock Art Trail

We had to lie on our backs underneath this rock to see some paintings!

Shaun found a rock with a hole in the middle of it!

And Scott decided to show us how to get out of a tight 

I was thrilled to see some paintings of ellies on some of the rocks!
And after a rather hot walk, we decided that a swim in the river would be the best way to cool off!

All in all, a great weekend. 
Thanks Frosty's and Coopers :)

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