Archives for category: Ramblings

OK, I know it’s been almost one year since I made the commitment to write a daily blog post. And I know this might have ment 300 post by now.  I also know no one is reading this but I felt the urge to try again, and maybe, just maybe this time I’ll stick to it more than a week.

So what happened this past year? Well, mainly life happened. We started thinking about relocating around Christmas, we narrowed the options to Belgium and started looking for jobs here, by March we had landed two freelance software developer jobs, moved to Brussels, the moved to Wépion (they have the strawberry museum, who wouldn’t want to live there), and finally moved to Sambreville and then enjoyed the summer.

It was fun but I’m happy we stopped moving at one point and finally settled. It was difficult to find a furnished rental in the Belgian countryside, not to add that we work 40km away from each other but God was good, and He gave us a cozy apartment in an old mill outside a small village near my husband’s office. The owners live in the rest of the house and we share a cute yard and are surrounded by woods. It’s quiet, green, flowery and rather cold due to the fact that we are in a valley (a stream passes just under our windows). We love it!

I started keeping a journal a couple of weeks ago (after a long pause of a few years), and I really hope that bringing writing back in my life I will be able to channel all the thoughts that flood me daily into something creative and structured. Indeed, I feel overwhelmed at the quantity of ideas and thoughts that pass my mind each day and I cannot help regretting that most of them are forever lost to me since I do not take the time to reflect upon them and make sense of them.

So, I pray at his new beginning that God may lead me where He knows I should go and that I may become more like Him as I strive to live a more mindful life.

I little more than a year ago we relocated to the French Riviera. It’s a wonderful place to live and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

I couldn’t say I had anything close to a cultural shock but living among French people has left me “bouche-bee” quite a few times.

It seems that the customer is often an unwelcome irritant.

You must know I suck at bargaining over stuff and I usually avoid to to it if I can. I also consider myself a fairly reasonable person. But I find it difficult to deal with shop keepers who practically throw you out of the store 15 minutes before closing time, that being no later than 7PM. Not to mention their opening hours 10AM – 7PM. So for someone working the normal 9-6 schedule, those 15 minute are really important. I might have taken it more easy if it was at 10PM.

Calling a public service for information at 12:05 you will be greeted with “Spit it out quicker it’s already past 12!”. I wouldn’t have called if the opening hours on their website mentioned a noon break.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t believe the customer should always be right. The Chief Happiness Officer gives 5 reasons why this shouldn’t be your customer service golden rule. However, his point is that when dealing with abusive customers you should protect your employees at the risk of loosing the customer. This, of course is said in the context of a culture that knows the basics of commercial common sense and can distinguish between obnoxious customers and nice ones. Let me tell you France has a long way to go to make that the norm.

So I wasn’t surprised at the advice the leading actress gives to her British friend helping her as a waiter, in the movie A good year: “Remember, no matter what, in France, the customer is always wrong!”

Hello world! Don’t you think this is a very optimistic way to start addressing your readers, considering their overwhelming number (is zero a number, anyway? )? Optimistic or unrealistic, I will be writing for the world, and while they may not yet be reading my posts they will sooner or later.

I decided to take Seth Godin’s advice and just write, just jot down whatever crosses my mind (well, ok, maybe not just anything). He suggests two ways of getting at it: “clear, crisp, honest” analytical writing and educational writing.

I have no idea what my voice is,  I may have a penchant for analysis, but I’m ok with experimenting, even with writing poorly. It’s something new for the perfectionist tyrant inside of me but that should teach her a thing or two.

That being said, I’m aiming for daily posts that should take less that 30 minutes to write, and nothing more. No topic or size limitations. No style or academic standards. Just jot!