I Broke Your Heart Today.

Nobody ever actively sets out to hurt their child. Sure, things may happen while raising a kid that will hurt them, but nine times out of ten those thing are beyond your control. Crime, accidents, bumps and bruises. These are all things that – try as we may – we cant always prevent.

Today, I knowingly and actively went against every single good piece of parenting and broke my sons heart. Knowing full well what I was doing. And I’m feeling like a pretty un-spectacular human being because of it.

I’ve always been the first to tell you all that marriage is hard – having a kid is nothing compared to the daily work a relationship entails, and anyone who tells you it’s easy, is bullshitting you. It’s fucking hard.

Barry and I got into a fight. It started yesterday over something so silly and innocuous, but on day two had grown into such a large festering ball of anger, resentment and trudged-up-he-said-she-saids from 2011 that it finally imploded at 6 am this morning in a very ugly screaming match. I did and said things I wasn’t proud of (I’m hoping he feels the same) and short of airing all our dirty laundry, it escalated so badly that my poor little two-year-old who was sitting on the bed during the incident burst into tears and sobbingly cried and begged us to stop.

It broke me. And today I am a complete wreck, because I took away a little bit of innocence from my perfect, pure boy and showed just how ugly and mean humans can be. Worst of all, I brought him into a situation that he didn’t deserve to be in and I showed him his mommy and daddy acting like idiots.

I like to think that we removed him from the situation quite quickly, sorted our shit out (like we should have done in the first half an hour of the stupid fight) and that he will never ever remember this, but I do believe that I’ve done some damage to his sweet little soul. The way he sat on my lap hugging and kissing me afterwards hurt me inside until I felt bruised.

Growing up I barely remember my parents fighting. The only time I can recall is on an overseas holiday when I was about 12, and I vaguely recall my mother storming out the hotel room and my dad chasing her down the street. Does it make it easier or worse that we were seldom exposed to it – that I remember that one specific event? Is it normal for our kids to witness such ugliness, and if so, is it wrong?

All I know os that I cant wait to go home his evening and see my little dude, feel his little hands monkey themselves around my neck and to make sure he’s OK. I also want to tell him how very sorry I am for making him the adult in the situation, and for forcing him to watch a screaming match (that may or may not have involved a cup of coffee being hurled across the room).

We do the best we can, but yoh, sometimes the guilt just eats away at us.

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Coping in Client Service

This is a blog post I wrote for my company’s website and newsletter. It’s all about working in client service. If you ever feel like the most hated person at your organisation or people hide behind office pot plants to avoid you demanding work from them –  then this is for you. 

Middle men – they’re everywhere. Insurance companies use them, banks use them, even the healthcare industry uses them (need meds? Sorry – you’ll have to go through a Doctor first). So why then, are these middle men some of the most despised people in the work place? Think about adverts you’ve heard or seen recently – large corporations proudly bragging how they’ve cut out that middle man – they’ve gone ‘direct’. Even a certain hippo has jumped in on the no middle man buzz word.

I tend to disagree with the theory of the missing middle man – as us working in client service are exactly that – you could call it an occupational hazard – we bridge the gap between client and our team, and to me that’s an incredibly valuable role.

Those in client service often refer to themselves as the soldiers of the team – we go into battle every single day and going unprepared can often be fatal – if not for the person, for the client relationship.

As a client service person I have thought long and hard about my role within iProspect. I have to be a jack of all trades, yet am master of none. I deal with client requests, meetings and demands and I need to ensure that what the client wants is exactly what is fed back to the team. With this in mind, I’ve come up with 7 important steps to avoid the dreaded broken telephone syndrome between client and the team executing the work.

  1. Know your shit. This goes without saying but it is vitally important to have a holistic understanding of what your company offers and what your client needs. This means doing your research, learning the lingo and ensuring you know enough about the request to relay it back to the team who needs to make it happen.
  2. Ask questions. I have very quickly learnt that it’s easier to ask a question, than it is to ask for forgiveness. The world of digital is tricky at the best of times, and things change every day. It is perfectly acceptable to confirm or clarify something with your client before implementing the wrong work for them. You don’t want to be that person who gets their GDN crossed with ORM or their SEO. Know what I’m saying?
  3. It takes a team to become an army. Regardless of how Suzy in accounts has sent the incorrect invoice or James in media ‘forgot’ to do the very important, time-critical report for your very important high paying client – smile, nod, agree, mollify, assure it will be fixed and never throw your team mates under the bus. It is imperative that a client sees you and your team as a solid and united front. One crack in your façade and they will pounce.
  4. Follow up. On everything. Take notes, send minutes, keep status documents and make sure you leave a paper trail for everything you do. Yes, this may seem laborious and time consuming but it can be a lifesaver when it comes to sorting out any issues that may occur.
  5. Be honest. Nobody knows everything – although some may think they do. Things are bound to go wrong. The worst possible thing you can do when that happens is start pointing fingers or ignoring it until it (hopefully) goes away. Suck it up, apologise and commit to fixing your mistakes. Your clients and colleagues will respect you so much for it.
  6. Feedback. I got married last year and planned the entire wedding. At one point my now husband sadly accused me of leaving him out of the entire event. I was confused, I knew exactly what I was doing, my suppliers knew what they were doing and everything was on track. What I happened to forget was that just because I was managing something 100% I hadn’t told him that – and my silence to him read like I was hiding something. Remember – keep in touch with your clients and make sure they know that you are on top of thing at all times. Just like a quiet toddler in the next room means trouble, so does a quiet client service person.

And lastly

7. Communicate. Emails are great, but to the person on the receiving end your ‘brief’ may be as vague as a parliamentary budget speech. Pick up the phone, arrange a meeting and make sure that everyone is on the same page. This extra work will result in a massive time saving when the client receives work that is on par with their request.

You can read the original article here

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