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I Should Have Gone to Another Optician's...
Customer care, advertising slogans and an update on my journey to publishing my novel - with even more exciting news!!!
Apologies for the short absence but life has been a roller coaster of a ride recently.
A close family wedding took me away for almost a week and I wasn’t in the right place to write, mentally. Besides, it was a busy time catching up with family and friends and I needed to kick back and relax.
Writing can be a lonely occupation and is also very draining. If I sit at my desk for several hours throughout the course of my working day, taking short breaks for a cup of tea or to grab a snack, at the end of the session, it feels as though my batteries are well and truly run down. Sometimes a quick nap or a change of scenery like a brisk walk or a short car journey and I’m as right as rain again. So, rather than churn out any old rubbish, I decided to plump for quality and hope you forgive my short hiatus which has done me the world of good as I feel refreshed and invigorated.
I should have gone to another optician’s
After my short break away from home, I was keen to collect the contact lenses that I use instead of reading glasses. They are fabulous and I would be lost without them. I had my check-up with the optician three weeks ago and was keen to collect my new prescription lenses. Imagine my horror when the lady handed me two huge rectangular boxes which seemed rather heavy compared to the small, lightweight square boxes I usually have. She didn’t seem particularly bothered and said the packaging must have changed. I was not convinced and was not going to be fobbed off with somebody else’s lenses, which they clearly were, being dailies, not monthlies.
I won’t bore you with the painstaking wait while she rummaged around in various cupboards, pored over a lever arch file and checked on ‘the system’. Needless to say, I was not amused because generally the service I receive is very good and I have enjoyed a seamless journey of keeping my eyes in good health with their help.
After what seemed like an eternity the young assistant said she would have to re-order them to which I suggested she expedite them because I was wearing my very last lens. She said she would do that and give me a call when they came in. I left the shop feeling a bit miffed because not once did she apologise for their error and did little to give me confidence for any future visits, which I might well re-assess, based on how she deals with my replacements which, I hasten to add, are all bought and paid for.
For those of you who haven’t ‘crossed over’ to using contact lenses instead of reading glasses, it transforms your life. No rummaging around for glasses the instant you need to read some small print (which happens more and more frequently the older you get) - is it me or does the writing on packaging get smaller and smaller? - and as for my working life, I pop the lens in first thing in the morning and take it out before I go to bed. Just as I snuggle down under the duvet to read my latest riveting read I realise that I don’t have a pair of reading glasses next to the bed…if only I could wear my contacts all of the time but obviously our eyes need a rest and besides, the optician warns against falling asleep in them.
Whatever happened to customer care? A quick apology for the mix-up would have smoothed things over and I felt that the young assistant could have taken a lot more care in dealing with me, her customer than she had. If she’s not careful, I might mistake another optician’s shop entrance for theirs…
The power of advertising slogans
As we all know, the brilliant advertising slogan of the opticians I was referring to is so on point that you feel compelled to visit them. The advertising campaign, one of which showed a young woman alighting from a train and kissing the wrong man on the station platform with the catchy phrase, ‘She should have gone to ‘that opticians’ reinforces the power of these slogans.
Another of my favourites is ‘You shop, we drop’ by Tesco, one of the major supermarkets in the UK. Simple but effective.
And, another one I like is from Vinted, the online marketplace for selling, buying and exchanging new or secondhand items: ‘New clothes don’t have to cost the earth’.
Do you have a favourite advertising slogan? Who remembers the old TV adverts which seemed funnier, wittier and much more interesting than those we have to endure today? Sometimes, I don’t even know what is being advertised!
Here is a fabulous selection of old TV adverts which were around when I was growing up.
My favourite was the advert for Smash, a dried potato substance that you poured boiling water on for a pretty tasteless but instant mashed potato. It’s hilarious and I can remember my Dad giggling away whenever it came on.
My journey toward publishing my debut novel
As many of you know, I have always wanted to become a full-time novelist for as far back as I can remember. To walk into a bookshop and see one of my books on the shelf would be incredible. No great shakes I can hear you say. Maybe not. But for me, it has been a personal crusade that I have been working on for so many years with breaks here and there due to life getting in the way and having to earn a living, raise a family and generally try to keep things going. However, as I head towards retirement (although these days the government in the UK seems to keep moving the retirement age further and further away), I would like nothing more than to hang up the transcription earphones that I use daily as a Legal Secretary and focus entirely on writing novels.
I am awaiting the contract from the publisher who requested the full manuscript of The Mysterious Disappearance of Marsha Boden which is being finalised and I have joined the Society of Authors in anticipation of sending them the contract to read through, as recommended by an author friend of mine.
More exciting news!!!
I heard today that two children’s books that I submitted have also been accepted for publication so will now receive three contracts at the end of next week. I cannot tell you how excited that makes me. When I see them in print, all three books, I think then I can call myself an author. Validation of my writing and the long, sometimes arduous journey, will have all been worthwhile.
I was told that the next step after signing the contract for The Mysterious Disappearance of Marsha Boden is to kick back while an in-house editor works through the manuscript picking up any inconsistencies in the plot, narrative, characterisation and so on. And then it will be over to me to work on the manuscript to incorporate the recommendations/amendments and to return it as soon as possible. That is going to be the tough part and I am looking forward to working with the publishing house which sounds very empathetic toward their authors.
After that, it will be down to designing the book covers, marketing and a PR tour - which I am so excited about for when the books finally launch. That day will be the day that my dream actually comes true. For real.
Thank you to you all of you for your interest and support and I will continue to keep you posted - who knows, we may get to meet in person if you come along to one of the events which I will keep you updated on both here and on my Twitter account.
In the meantime, it has been a busy week at work both in the legal and theatrical worlds that make up my four-day ‘pay the bills’ job so today, after writing, editing and researching this post, I am off to play a round of golf with my buddy to enjoy some fun, outdoor activity and get close to nature. Golf courses are very therapeutic!
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Have a wonderful week.