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Showing posts from 2015

When do you expect payment for services rendered?

So I stirred up quite a conversation on my Facebook wall yesterday when I posted:

Got this line in an email today:

"it's just that we don't prepay anything we always wait to receive the services and then we pay just like anything else in life for the most part."

Think I can use that to pay for college?

A few of my friends replied with:
Please tell me this person was no older than 16.People just don't understand that the person performing the services has to make the commitment ahead of time to be there so the people attending have to make the investment ahead of time. It is an investment, often with those you do not see the return immediatelyI attend many seminars and trainings as a nurse and as an educator myself and it's always prepaid. Sorry Gail. I think you should require prepayment in the event no one shows you still ought to be paid in full. Good luck!Have to say..I've always had to prepay (Both for business and personal commitments), this way the pres…

Newsletter spam

Lately, I've been receiving some new newsletters in my inbox, from businesses that I have really no idea who they are.  It took me a few weeks to figure it out why I was receiving them.

I had attended a networking meeting.

Co-incidentally I had also been receiving some FB friend requests from people I did not know.  Turns out they were from the same networking group.

So here's the thing;  If I don't know you personally I'm not going to accept your friend request.  Nothing personal, it's just that I try to keep my business and my personal life separate online.  If you want to know more about my business then please like and follow one of my FB business pages or check out one of my blogs.  It's also a good idea to actually meet in person and introduce yourself, again in person, rather than blindly sending out FB friend requests.

Also, just because you are in the same room with someone, and have access to their business card, does not mean you can add them to your…

CPR by Donation is back!

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After a summer/fall hiatus CPR by Donation is back!

Things got really busy this summer with my kids.  We planned our first serious family vacation around a college touring schedule for my eldest daughter.  I also volunteered and worked at 2 different summer camps.  This was my first paid camp position and I had a super fun time!

The school year started off with a bang and a lot of on-site class bookings.  With so many classes it just was impossible to add more to my calendar!

But as the dust of a busy Fall settles, I'm thrilled to be able bring CPR by Donation back later this month!  The program will still run roughly every other month beginning in 2016.

For information on the program and to register for the next course on November 21st please visit my CPR by Donation webpage.

Would you steal a sticker off someone's bulletin board?

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Saturday evening when I was leaving my class I found a thumbtack on the stairs.  I thought it odd since I don't have anything on the walls in the stairwell.

Today I discovered where the thumbtack came from.

I have a bulletin board in the hallway in our studio.  I post stickers, business cards and postcards from different business I have taught at.  There are also some lovely notes posted there that folks have sent me.

I went to add a card to the board and discovered that a sticker I had tacked to the board was gone.

Who would steal a sticker from a bulletin board in someone's office?

It had to have disappeared on Saturday as there was no tack on the stairs when I arrived that morning to teach and I had tucked a business card behind the sticker that morning.  I found the business card on the floor.

So to whomever from one of my Saturday Heartsaver courses that took my Portsmouth Kayak Adventures sticker, I hope you're enjoying it.  I will pick up another as not only did I …

Numbers

So seriously, we have so many numbers running through our heads on a daily basis.... how can we keep track of all of them?

I had someone come up to me the other day and ask my hourly rate for proofreading.  (sigh)  I supposed I looked rather unorganized or clueless, but off the top of my head I just don't remember.  It's not a number I have memorized or that I'm asked on a regular basis.

In case you're wondering, I looked it up.  And now that I've got a number in my head the chances of anyone asking me today have decreased exponentially.

Shameless plug:  If you are in need of a proofreader, editor or content/ghost writer please visit my alter ego at http://www.somethisandthat.com

When it rains it pours

Last year I was hired as a substitute teacher for a local school district.  Technically I was hired at the end of the previous school year, but didn't get any calls.

In fact my phone really didn't ring at all.  For months.  However things picked up and I started subbing a bit more last spring.

Why did I become a sub?

My primary business is a feast or famine business.  I'm either really busy or I'm listening to crickets.  My secondary business is also very, very small.  Since it is primarily short-term & occasional projects, it is not a steady source of income.  I also left my steady, but low-paying, part-time job last winter.  Subbing was a way to bring in some income without limiting my availability for booking classes.

I was really surprised to start getting calls on the second day of school this year.  I figured it would be several weeks before teachers were out sick or needing to take a day off.  Wow, was I surprised!  But September was pretty booked with class…

Sales spam

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I think every business owner gets lots of unsolicited emails from companies trying to sell products and services to them.  I usually ignore them.  They usually send 2 emails.  The second outlining why I need them.  The second usually more informal, like a friend catching up, using comments like... "I haven't heard back from you".  Yup, right... you didn't hear back from me because I deleted your email.

So today I get a third email from this company, it was kinda entertaining.  Identifying information on the company removed.  I might find this amusing, but they might not like being the subject of a blog post.

Gail,
I have been trying to connect with you over the past two weeks, to learn about your programs and who the best person to speak with on this subject. Being that I haven't heard from you, this leads me to a few possible circumstances:

1) You’re all set with suppliers at Coastal CPR and First Aid LLC, and if that is the case please let me know so I sto…

My Fabulous Four

It's the morning of First Day of School Eve.  A morning I wanted to sleep in.

Well, that didn't happen.

The Bickersons were in full force at 7am in the living room fighting over who was sitting where.  Please note that between the couch, chair and glider there was more than enough seating.

Lying in bed I realized that they all have super hero-like bickering qualities.

My Fabulous Four are:

The Delegator is quick to tell everyone what to do while managing to not do what she is supposed to as she has attempted to delegate it or has to rush off to work, band or softball.

The Manager hides in her room and appears to tell others how to do whatever she thinks they need to do in explicit detail and then disappears.

The Justifier has to preface every poor choice or action by explaining how he was wronged by someone else first.

The Instigator has the uncanny ability to wind up the others with words or actions and then emphatically states that it is not her fault.


Can they become a force fo…

Can you help? A plea for the Parent's Music Club.

There are so many things that municipal budgets don't cover, and that's why there are so many booster and parents organization that fund raise to cover the difference.

And that's what I'm writing about today.

I volunteer.  A lot.  A friend told me the other day I have not learned to say NO yet.  And despite my denying it, she's actually right.  I'm a sucker for a good cause and I volunteer quite a bit with organizations that my kids are involved in and things I'm passionate about.

Which is the topic of this post.

In addition to the Newington School Supporters (I'm a past chairwoman, past treasurer and current race co-director), and Girl Scouts, and myriad other things, I'm also helping out with the Parents Music Club of the Portsmouth Schools.  My oldest is a member of the Marching Band and I have spent quality time this past week sewing and altering band and color guard uniforms.  Yes, I sew.  I actually enjoy it and sometimes dream of having more …

The tale of 2 orders

Sunday I ordered CPR & First Aid supplies from 2 different companies.  Two because the supplies for my new AED trainer are not carried by the company I normally order from.

Why do I have loyalty to one company?

Because tomorrow, Wednesday, my order from the usual company will arrive.

The status on the website or the second company is "order processed" and I have yet to get a delivery alert to my email.

This is only my second time ordering with this new company.  They even sent me a lovely handwritten note thanking me for my order.  As much as I thought the note was a nice touch, I'd rather receive the stuff I ordered.

Sprint is not my friend today

This is what I typed in the 'how was your interaction with us today' box:

I went online to upgrade my phone.  Somehow the phone I was looking at got put in a 'saved cart', that I am unable to access.  It asks for my email, I put in the email on our account (my husband's) and it tells me it is invalid. :(  I had to call - first call went to call center that NO ONE was on the line.  I could hear the background noise of the call center, but no person.  So I hung up and called again for customer service, who transferred me to the call center.  Maybe I'm tired, but I had a hard time understanding him.  Order placed (took forever), and then I ask... how do I access or clear this saved cart?  He transfers me.  I'm on hold with overmodualated music (you really should fix that, it's obnoxious).  So now I'm on hold, typing this and I  look at my phone and realize I've been on the phone for 40 minutes to place an order and wait for customer service.  This i…

Summer camp!

Despite my best intentions, I've neglected all my blogs.  I can blame part of the reason on summer camp.

I'm working at 2 camps this summer, well.... technically volunteering at one and paid staff at the second.

I should have begun doing this years ago.

Okay, so I've been volunteering at Cub Scout day camp for 3 years.  As a volunteer my Cub Scout attends for a mere $25.  My daughter can attend with me as a tagalong for free.  Yes.... FREE!  2 kids at 1 week of camp with swimming, archery, etc...... for a mere $25.  It's the deal of a lifetime.  I am also outside with them all day.  I really enjoy it.  The past 2 years I have the tagalongs den which means I watch the children of all the parent volunteers.  So I have boys to young to be Cub Scouts and girls.  Our mixed age/mixed gender group always seem to get along really well and the kids are just plain awesome.

This year I took a paying staff position at Girl Scout camp.  Totally different than Cub Scout camp.... and…

Valuing others time

This past weekend I attended mandatory camp training.  This is required every 2 years to review the staff guide, emergency procedures and health & safety info.
This could have been an awesome training opportunity.  Instead it turned into a colossal waste of time.
The training was scheduled for 5 hours.  In the first 3 hours we heard more inside stories of incidents that occurred over the previous years than we did actually covering the material that was provided to us.  2 hours into the training class I was irritated.  At 3 hours I was just sad. When it ended 4 hours later I just wanted to go home.
I was sad because this was an opportunity to learn and review some pretty important information.  But the rambling stories and “… several years ago we …” detracted from the small reviews of the printed material.  A good portion of the emergency information was glossed over or not covered at all.
I had to drive almost an hour to attend, and of course almost an hour home.  I learned more…

How I schedule classes

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Add the subtitle:  and how creating schedules in my house is like herding cats.

Online only certification programs, again.

I've previously written on online-only training programs (see Certification Mills vs. Blended Learning and What is Online Certification?).  I've been seeing this happening a lot more recently and took a peek at one of the online-only programs that is becoming more popular.  I'm not going to name them because I don't want to get into a huge debate with them, but I'd like to point out why I'm uncomfortable with their program.

This site is like a lot of others.  You pay them, you take an online course that includes an exam and you print your card at the end of the course on your printer.  For the low cost of $39.99 - $49.99 it seems like the easiest way to get certified, right?  Their website even states that the course meets AHA Guidelines.

So I've spent $40-$50 bucks, took a course and printed my card.

But the AHA and ILCOR Guidelines require a practical skill component.  I can't do that in an online course.  Again, see What is Online Certification?

So t…

Bittersweet

Today was a bittersweet day.  I’m excited to become pretty much a full time entrepreneur, but I’m sad to be giving up my regular part time job.
I am a librarian, or actually now I can say I was a librarian.  I only worked 8-10 hours a week.  I planned and ran children’s programs, shelved books, planned a move, cataloged books, moved books and in general did all the little things that helped to keep a small library running smoothly.  I loved what I did!  It didn't pay much, but it was a steady small paycheck.
So why did I leave?
My life just got busier.
I have 4 children, a small but growing business, a second business that is slowly growing. I’m a substitute teacher, road race organizer, and lead a Girl Scout troop.  I volunteer in my community and I don’t get a lot of sleep at night.  Originally I set up a part-time schedule that would allow me to have enough time to balance family and work.  It worked for a while, but lately it hasn't.
This was a really tough decision.  My …

Small world

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I meet all sorts of really great people in my classes.  At last weekend's CPR by Donation class I met Cindy.  Turns out we have mutual friends and enjoy the same nutritional products!  She took a picture of me with my protein bar.

Thanks so much for your kind words!

Speak up, show up, or shut up

In the past few months I've attend a few public meetings in which some members of the audience have been outraged over the actions or spending of an elected town board.

Complaining after the fact is like repairing a dam after the slowly building crack has dumped so much water that there is no need for the dam.  Odd analogy, but I couldn't think of another one off the top of my head.  Or waiting to tell someone that there is a leak in a can of paint or cup of coffee until after all the paint or coffee has spilled all over the floor.  Okay, enough obsessing over analogies, you get the idea.  Too little too late is not useful for anyone.

Because here's the thing...  Being an armchair quarterback might make you feel better for venting, but your words would have far more meaning and impact if you actually got out of the audience and got involved in the process.  Don't complain about decisions being made when you chose not be involved in the decision making process.  Your ne…

Weather is not my friend

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Last week it snowed.  A lot.  The meteorologist on TV suggested taking 3 measurements in different areas and average them to determine how much snow we received.  In  my yard it ranged from 22" to 27".  No matter how you average it, that's a lot of snow.

This creates an insane amount of havoc on my class schedule.  Last Tuesday I had a class scheduled, which meant I had to reschedule.  One person I tested alone, one switched to a class this upcoming week, the others I have not heard back from.  This is a healthcare provider renewal, so if they need it they'll call or email.  I don't chase people down.

This week we're getting snow.  Again.  On Monday.  When I have 3 classes scheduled.

{sigh}

I just spent 20 minutes figuring out how to fit more classes in over the upcoming week to reschedule all these students.  Normally I can squeeze it in.  But for the last month, and in this month I am working more hours at my part-time job. I always thought I'd like mor…

Self promotion

I've been at 2 things this past week where I was expected to talk about myself.  {sigh}

I'm primarily an educator.  I can stand in front of a class and discuss and teach on a variety of topics.  But talking about myself is different.  Its ... , well, ... personal.  It's that awkward I-want-to-share-everything-but-don't-want-to-annoy-everyone-sell-overpromote-myself.  I don't want to come across as pretentious and I don't often talk about myself.

What's worse is when it's a networking event.  And I'm sitting waiting my turn.  As everyone talks I think of what I'm going to say, and that just makes me nervous.

If I was giving advice to someone I would suggest they write down what they are going to say and practice it.  I've tried it ... but it makes me nervous or I forget the carefully crafted words.  I'm also a writer, and I like to write, review, write, review and then post/publish/submit.

So Wednesday I started with what I wrote above in…