Props to window cleaners

Walking down South Bank today (after the fire alarm kicked me out of the building I was blogging in) I noticed something a little different about the skyscraper I see everyday.


It was the relatively small arm sticking out of the slanted roof at the top, I assume it is for the window cleaners to do their thing and I hope, take a few Instagram shots whilst they’re at it.

How terrifying is that though? Being inside a building of this height makes me feel a little uneasy*, let alone outside on a few strings hanging above a huuuuuge drop. Every gust of wind a reminder of how fragile our lives are.

Saying that, what an opportunity to see a city from this perspective. Again, assuming that this is indeed for window cleaning. What a view!

 

*Evidence of this can be read over in my recent posts Fear of Heights and My Sister did the SkyPoint Climb and it Looked Terrifying from the Q1 Tower in the Gold Coast, the tallest building in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere.


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

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Happy blogging,

Sam

To those that don’t realise how great their lives are and why asking for free things destroys productivity

Today’s post will be dedicated to the people out there that you would expect be better people. Better because of their line of work, sometimes working with some very disadvantaged people in, what I would imagine to be, a very rewarding job. I have had a draft saved for some time and I thought I would use it as I have been reminded of this on a couple of occasions.

Picture the scene. I am working on reception in a previous hotel job, a fairly busy day of check ins. Despite this I am having a pleasant day and the steady flow of arrivals means that I can engage in conversation with most people. As always, 90% of people I engage with are very pleasant and are happy to have a chat about the day we are having. This puts me in a good mood and helps with my performance at work. I like to be in a good mood, I give off this good vibe to guests and they therefore receive great customer service and feed off it. They go out and have a great day, as do I. It is a great cycle of happiness and well-being but not everyone is happy to be in this cycle. Some people want to puncture the tires of this cycle with a dagger of misery and anger.

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Take this lady. Lady X as I will call her in this post. Not that I remember her name anyway, I prefer to try and remember the good people out there. Life is too short to have precious brain-space taken by those that aren’t. She came to the desk in a fairly polite manner however with an agenda to get something for free. After carrying out tens of thousands of check ins over the years, I can now see it a mile off.

A little advice from a hoteliers point of view, if you go to a reception desk and think you are alone in asking for that cheeky upgrade or late check out, you are probably the 50th person that day. By all means go for it, but it certainly helps to be nice. Being nice goes a long way!

Lady X didn’t have this approach. She came to the desk and as she was finished telling me her name, she said something along these lines:

‘So I have had a crappy day to be honest. Firstly my flight here was delayed by THREE HOURS, and as I work for a charity with blind people I missed my lecture in the city. A lecture to a room of blind people. 

Now I haven’t been to this hotel before and I would love to give great feedback to the charity that has put me up here, and if you could give me an upgrade to a nicer room during my stay considering the day I have had, that would be great.’

What didn’t help this ladies case was the half condescending nature and tone of the delivery. It may read fairly polite, but the tone really changed it. If she was calm, understanding and less expecting in the way she asked, I would have at least tried to see it from her perspective. She has had a bad day, I get that. But we all do, and this doesn’t guarantee an upgrade to a hotel that has not contributed to this bad day at all.

I had to tell her that unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to do so as the delayed flight was out of our hands. She could of course view a room and if she would like to pay for an upgrade, we would action this as we have availability.

‘No, sorry I cannot accept this. Can I speak to your manager please.’

That was truly her response. The classic can I speak to the manager line, upset at the thought of not getting free things.

‘No problem’, I replied. I went to the back office and spoke to my manager, who was as confused and humoured as I was after I briefed him. He came outside to speak to her directly, introduced himself and repeated that we wouldn’t be able to action a free upgrade, but of course upgrade her if she wishes to add it to the bill. Not getting anywhere on the quest for free stuff, she asked for the keys and walked to the elevator.

I couldn’t believe the greed seen here. If we missed her wake up call on check out and she therefore missed her departing flight, of course she would get a complimentary upgrade on a future stay. But having a bad day and blaming us for it? Madness. I should have left work after my shift, found the nearest restaurant and demanded 50% off because of the stress I received at work. I know how that would have went.

Just a couple of hours after this, I had a very similar issue. You know what they say about waiting for a bus and then two come at once. I remember this one just as well as I couldn’t believe how soon after the first one I found myself in a similar situation.

This time, a member of cabin crew for an airline came to the desk after already checking in. We had airline pilots and crew stay with us due to our close proximity to the airport and it was great to have. Again, the majority were really nice. This one was an exception.

Lady Y questioned why she didn’t have the coffee machine in her room like her previous stays. After looking up her previous stays with us, it turns out due to lack of availability we upgraded her to the next room type on every single one of her previous stays, maybe apart from one time. I told her that the room she currently has was the one shes always booked, however every other time it wasn’t available. I was hoping that telling her about her previous complimentary upgrades would make her more grateful than anything, but it didn’t. She again asked for the keys, took them and without another word, huffed and walked towards the elevator.

To me, this kind of attitude is toxic. I don’t know why some people are unable to control their inner greed, but it seems a very hard thing to do. I try to think of the kind of day they have had that would lead to such misery, but I really cannot justify it. If the person has a low mood, fair enough. But to unleash that misery onto someone they have never met before, there is no excuse. And how bad can a day be?

I mean, the first guest worked with blind people. Shouldn’t she be taking this time to reflect on how lucky she is? I imagine working for a charity would help keep me in check and constantly provide an enhanced perspective in life and the things I should be thankful for. Not here. And the member of cabin crew… surely they know what hospitality work is like? She is the very person she probably hates dealing with on the flight.

The irony.

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I remember the day my dad died. As soon as we left the hospital room, we were walking through the corridor and out of the hospital doors when a person was holding up another person. It looked like they were having a stroke or a seizure, I am not sure what it was but my mum, sister and I ran to the nearest room of doctors and nurses and alerted them of the patient in the corridor. They attended to the person and we walked out of the hospital. I am not sure what happened after that.

Seeing my own father take his final breaths was not an excuse to be an asshole. It never was and it never will be. Granted, there were times when I was totally demotivated to speak to anyone and had occasional bursts of anger, but I never had the energy to go out of my way to put that misery onto someone else, nor the desire. I would have also been in no mood whatsoever to ask for an upgrade or free coffee machine on my next hotel stay, and being turned down for these would not have been an issue at all in comparison. This is why I find it very hard to have sympathy for people that don’t realise how good they have it, lucky to be in a job that flies them to five star hotels with occasional delays. What a great life.

But of course, I don’t know what happens behind the scenes. What may cause such negativity. But putting this stress onto other people and using them as some kind of verbal- or worse- physical punching bag is weak. There is no excuse for this.

This has made me realise that although I greatly appreciate free things, I would much prefer to work hard and earn them. It is the same with saving money. I have always been terrible at it and still am, and I would much rather work hard to be able to free myself of a low income and give myself the opportunities to have what I want when I want, instead of sitting around and waiting for luck to come my way. It helps me to try and be creative and keep myself going, trying to better myself and improve wherever I can.

So here is my advice to myself, and maybe you feel the same way. Don’t expect free things, earn those things. If I want to be first class on a flight or receive an upgrade to a nicer hotel room, I don’t want to limit my productivity and use chance as the deciding factor. I would much rather work hard every day so this is a guarantee. It will make me feel much more accomplished in the mean time and I will have developed so much more in the process. It is the same with lottery tickets. I don’t buy them because that gives me an excuse to sit back and hope chance favours me this time. It gives me an excuse to refrain from following my passions and achieving my dreams. And life is too short for us to not take control.

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Featured Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Angry Face by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Happy Face by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

I am hoping for 365 of these

This must be a new notification from WordPress because in all my years I have never seen it before.

I like it. It keeps me going.

Is it possible to see this message every day for a year? Of course it is! But is it possible for me? I will have to see. There is nothing stopping me from posting daily other than my own motivation. Something that I admittedly struggle with however the more I post, the more of a boost it gives me and helps me to get the ball rolling. I want that ball to get as big as the one that almost screwed Indiana Jones over all those years ago. That is a ball that makes waves.

Blogging is like going on a long run. The first one isn’t easy. Not just whilst on the run, but to actually get out of bed and go for it in the first place. It gets easier over time, knowing what it feels like once we have achieved. That ‘feel good factor’ can be addicting and I feel it with blogging.

It is what I want to do in life. Be able to give my undivided attention to providing my thoughts in whatever way I can and not have to work another job in the mean time. Life is too short to work for other people and other peoples businesses. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the places I have worked, I do, but I am just not 100% satisfied. I would be much more satisfied in this life if I can express myself and give my thoughts and opinions on some of the biggest topics and questions we have in existence today, and make it a career. To have more free time to write a book and try to find ways to be creative and experimental. Travel has helped with this a lot. I am often free in my spare time and have time to write, but as I am constantly in new places, travel is the number one topic I write about right now.

But it won’t always be, as it hasn’t always been. Religion, politics, current affairs, morality, philosophy… you can find it all here amongst the 1000+ posts.

Some people have told me they wouldn’t want to blog full time. It may become boring or routine and therefore the passion dies. I understand this, but I honestly feel the passion wouldn’t die. It would become more of a passion with more responsibility to provide great posts and more time to do so.

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And with this I ask you, would you blog as a full time job (aka a paid blogger) if you could?

 


 

Featured Photo by Manasvita S on Unsplash


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging!

 

 

The dead end job can be a blessing

I wonder- if I was able to live through my teens again- would I have went to university? It was a great way to meet new people and the internship I had in the States after I completed my course was probably one of the best things I have ever done. However these are the cherries on top of the cake. The cake of course being a degree. Was that cake good enough for me to recommend?

For some, it is a necessity. If you are going down a certain career path, a degree may be the door into that career. There isn’t another way about it. For others, such as myself, a degree wasn’t necessary but a faster route into a job. I studied ‘International Tourism and Hospitality Management’, mainly because all I wanted to do in my teens was travel. I didn’t have a career in mind, and I still don’t. Heck, my 60+ year old lecturer told me he still didn’t know what to do with his life. As a 20 year old this put me at ease.

I probably would still choose university if I had the option again, but only for the benefits around the degree. The social skills and the job in Texas that filled me with confidence, gave me some lifelong friends in another part of the world and truly allowed me to see how amazing travelling is. But I have told my friends that didn’t attend university that living in hostels abroad is very similar to university life. Endless parties, so much diversity and noodles for breakfast. Except there is no lecture to attend hungover the following morning. You could say hostel life is university life 2.0.

But back to the post, my reasons for attending university was to avoid the dreaded dead end job. I didn’t want to go straight into work without any skills at all and get stuck there. However what I have learned as I mature is that these kinds of jobs aren’t always doom and gloom, and can have the opposite affect. For some people, it has launched them into a career and success they could have never imagined. It can be a gateway to freedom if utilized in the right way. We are taught at a young age that we don’t want these kind of jobs, jobs that we get stuck in with no viable way to progress or develop from. I have found that these kind of jobs can be much more liberating and provide more potential than your more career focused peers.

Take Casey Neistat. I have mentioned this YouTuber before as I watch his videos a lot as inspiration and to remind myself that he was once in a very dead end job. He used to be a dishwasher in his late teens, living in a trailer park with his girlfriend and infant son. He moved to New York City, worked hard and as of today has just under 10.5 million subscribers.

This is one his videos, Do What You Can’t.

I remember in an interview he said being a dishwasher had value, as he knew he most definitely did not want to do that job ever again. He made the most of his job but says that:

‘If you don’t know what you wanna do in life, spend as much time as possible doing something you fucking hate doing.

When you do that 50 hours a week you spend a lot of time thinking about what you wish you were doing.’

It worked for him.

Another example I have is someone a little less well known. A rap-battle camera man that now works for UNILAD. Rap Battling was a passion of his and through this he became a well known figure in rap battles. I am sure many of you may be surprised that I like rap battling. I enjoy the British scene as it is less guns and more jokes and British humour. I watched an interview with Liam Bagnall– who made his name doing great camera work in the UK and also overseas- talking about his progression. He once worked nightshift and was out of touch with the battle rap scene. By working overnight, he managed to watch endless videos that he wouldn’t have been able to in another role and this benefited him greatly. This sleepy job at the dead of night made it possible for him to follow his passion and lead him to where he is now, currently working for a huge online website and company.

It made me think that these kinds of jobs can be the complete opposite of dead end. If you have an idea of what you want to do, or in Casey’s example even if you don’t, there is not just a way out of these jobs but a great opportunity within them. There are some people out there in a stable career that are so busy that they have very little time pursuing their interests and hobbies. A job with less responsibility can free up precious time to think and even build on something you want to do. This is how I have been able to blog as much as I can and watch it grow it along the way. Working nightshift? Use the quiet time to draw up ideas and build a website. Dishwasher? Put your phone against the wall and watch videos to learn and gain inspiration from.

For me personally, I try to squeeze as much out of every day as possible, especially in the times that time is easily wasted. On a commute to work or standing in a long queue, these are opportunities that are largely wasted as we gaze out of the window. These are the times that can determine how successful we can be, the times that are truly precious, very valuable and can unlock plenty of potential. If your job allows you the time to scroll endlessly through social media or watch episodes of your favourite TV show, these are times that can launch us into a career that we have always wanted.

Lets use it whilst we can.


 

Featured Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging!

Ambition

In 2008 my university lecturer told me that he still had no idea what he wanted to do in life. He must have been in his early sixties. If that wasn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what was.

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In 2017 I can relate to his statement. As I grow older I do not feel like the only person that can relate to this. I also find that more and more people are good at hiding this indecision, which has probably been the case all along.

I have never known what I want to do, apart from things that were above my ability. You know, the typical astronaut/footballer jobs which would require me to be a one-in-a-million individual. The only thing I really enjoyed consistently was the idea of traveling and as long as I have a job that allows me to fund travel I am happy.

I could choose to be in some kind of higher management I guess if I really stuck to it, not promising a fantastic salary but one that would get me by just fine. The problem with this is it will take a great deal of my time up and I worry that will take time away from my desire to blog every day and get a book out there. I worry that becoming more ambitious in a career will jeopardise my ability to express myself and my individual thoughts. How ambitious would that be?! I don’t like the idea of spending my life in a career that will ultimately help someone else get a tan on a private yacht somewhere in the Med, you could argue that this could be us if we put our minds to it, I guess it could. I could also spend my life trying to get there to enjoy a retirement that never comes…

So at the moment, I personally feel a good career move is to go to Australia in September and travel with short term jobs, spend my free time from now until then blogging, engaging with the community and building content for a book as I save as much as I can. This helps me to sit down and focus, not worrying that I must be out eating, drinking and partying if I don’t want to waste time watching my life fly by. I keep these cards close to my chest, I have told people I am travelling but that’s it, for now. I have also learned that the more I keep to myself the more I can focus on work that is purely mine without the inevitable input from others.

Some people are shocked I am leaving my current job. ‘I can’t believe you are leaving a job to go travelling!’ I hear. I advise anyone, don’t let a job get in the way of you enjoying the life you want to live. You probably have the potential to give your own input and talent in one form or another if you seek it, whether it’s in blog form or stand up comedy. We all have to work, often in jobs we didn’t dream of, just make sure you have enough energy to do what you are passionate about around that. Your employer can always replace you, you cannot replace your time on Earth.