Tag Archives: Newfoundland

Another example of great customer service: Paragon Travel

I write a lot about good customer service because it so often goes unnoticed in our busy world.  Paragon Travel deserves recognition.

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Thursday I flew to St. John’s, Newfoundland for my annual trip to visit our property manager.  On June 21st I had the major surgery on both feet (as you know).  I was led to believe I would be substantially more recovered than I am, however Wednesday when I was doing some “running” around, I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to stand in lines at the airport…or walk substantial distances to my Gate (which in my life I knew would be at the far end of the airport).

So at 4:50 p.m. Wednesday I emailed Paul at Paragon Travel and said “Paul, is it way too late to try to organize a wheelchair for tomorrow?”  My flight was at 8 a.m. so I figured he would laugh at me.

Nope, no laughing, he got on the phone and sat on hold for an hour…and got me wheelchairs in both airports both coming and going!  Now Paul’s shift is over at 5:30 but he stuck it out until he had accomplished what he set out to do.

Paul could have completely ignored by email, pretended he didn’t see it, but that is not the service that Paragon Travel provides.  in the beginning, Paul worked with me to make sure I got flights that worked for me, getting me to St. John’s as early as possible and back from St. John’s early enough to actually still make it to the cottage on Friday.  I couldn’t find them when doing the research myself.  This final request was above and beyond and ridiculously last minute of me.

But once again, Paul and Paragon Travel came through for me.  As someone who has never used a travel agent before, I now completely understand the value of using a travel agent and will highly recommend them to anyone needing travel assistance and a pleasant experience.

Way to go Paragon Travel!

 

 

 

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Filed under customer service, disability access, Health, travel

Can you have too many friends? by Liz Saunders

In a recent blog I mentioned that we were late leaving for the cottage one weekend because of family.  Well, there was an interesting story that came out of that family incident.

We were expecting out-laws to come in for a wedding and stay with us overnight.  When I hadn’t heard from Jeff an hour and a half after their plane should have landed, I texted him saying “how was your flight?”  The response was “I think you might have the wrong number”.   And continued:

Me:  ?

Jeff:  who were you looking for?

Me:  you, of course…this is Liz…isn’t this Jeff?

Jeff:  This is Brian

This is Brian!

????  What?  Where’s Jeff?

Needless to say, I was very confused.  I know I had the right number but clearly it was no longer Jeff’s.

Eventually Jeff and Tina turned up and it turned out both had new cell numbers that I was unaware of.    So much for staying up to date!

But my conversations with Brian continued.   On the Saturday (the day we ended up in that terrible restaurant, Rombo’s) as we were driving north, I was thoroughly entertained texting with Brian and learning bits about him.  I discovered that he is a student at MUN, he likes Black Sabbath (I texted my daughter to get her to Google Black Sabbath for me which didn’t help.  When I finally Googled them and found that they had done War Pigs, I had an idea what we were talking about – who knew it was Ozzy?!), plays the bass, had a good summer job and is a fairly active individual.  I found out all of this while managing not to tell him that I am old enough to be his mother!

I admit to a certain amount of guilt at not telling him more about me but I was having such a good time, it was really stretching me to carry on this conversation and frankly, I was afraid he would run a mile.

Eventually, I did come clean about the fact that I am old enough to be his mother (a good thing that he knows, as I know he will read this story) and fully expected not to hear from him again.  But to my delight, not only did we continue to text, we are now also Facebook friends.

Didn’t you prefer it when you could talk to me directly?

There is so much talk about technology actually reducing the amount of time we interact with each other in a real time way but I feel that I’ve made a new friend in St. John’s and look forward to texting with him.  And in fact, the other day, I was messaging with Brian and a client needed to know something about the HST in Newfoundland.  I was able to tell him in an instant – faster than he was able to Google it; who knows, there could be more incidents like that in the future,  now I have a foot on the ground, so to speak

In the meantime, I have a new friend, can anyone have too many friends?  Now, should I tell him I’m a grandmother?

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Filed under customer service, The Virtual Alternative, Virtual Assistant

Life at 38,000 feet

The baby in the row behind me and on the other side of the aisle has been grizzly since we took off (but I can’t really blame him because my ears are popping too);  the guy in the seat behind me is too tall for an economy seat so he’s been bumping my chair every few minutes for the last 2 plus hours – very annoying; and the gal in front of me is reclined as far as one can recline.  But it’s -43 degrees Celsius outside so it could be worse…the window could be open.

One of the first things that happened on board was the offer of food…not a great thing for me.  The menu included all kinds of food I couldn’t eat:

So I had to settle for snacks, which I could eat:

I’m returning home after what, I would have to say, was a very successful trip to visit our rental properties on Conception Bay, Nfld.  I have figured out how to get rid of one tenant who is filthy (thanks to mein host at The Spaniard’s Room – a great B&B in Spaniard’s Bay.  This was my second visit to The Spaniard’s Room because we had such an amazing experience last year when we stayed for a week) which my property manager will carry out AFTER collecting his rent on August 1st.   Unfortunately she tells me that we are going to have to send a professional cleaning crew in to fumigate the apartment – enough said.   Definitely time for him to go.

On a positive note, I met with our new tenant, who seems very nice and reconnected with 2 of our long-standing tenants who are terrific.

Had a great dinner last night including my first ever taste of moose!  Still haven’t seen a moose in the flesh – which is probably just as well when hurtling down the highway at 120 because I had a plane to catch and I left late (I’m sure my husband will be astonished to read that) – but now at least I’ve tasted one.  Last year it was cod steak, which was to die for.

Got to the airport and I had gone $100 worth over my kilometre allowance.  Thanks to the staff at Thrifty who couldn’t help me with it this year, but told me how to handle that next year to avoid extra charges.

All in all, I had a great time and thoroughly look forward to my annual visits to The Rock and am so grateful that I own property there, which gives me the excuse I need to visit.   Thank you Yvonne, Greg, Lorraine, Wilf and Betty for once again, making my visit memorable.

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Travelling to Newfoundland – for 24 hours

Well, finally a reason to like my MacBook Air…it fits on the tray of an airplane seat – even when the seat in front of me is reclining as far back as it can go.

I am about a third of the way to St. John’s. The man beside me is sleeping, the man across the aisle from me has a terrible cough (great, eh?); Les Miserables is getting tedious because Victor Hugo is describing the Battle of Waterloo in great detail.   But at least I got an aisle seat so I can move around if I have to.

Apparently one of the requirements to work at Toronto International Airport is being a jerk (I would use a stronger word but it’s a family blog) and I wouldn’t want the Swear Police (Jaden) to put me in jail.

But at least Toronto International has joined the 21st century and the wifi is free. It wasn’t all that many years ago when travelling back and forth between St. John’s and Toronto when the wifi in St. John’s was free and in Toronto it was $9.95 plus tax. So, just before boarding I was able to check my email and send updates to a couple of clients before shutting down. When I arrive in Newfoundland, before getting my rental car, I will get back on the internet to check for updates – I’m expecting at least one important update from a client and will have to book an appointment for her at 11 a.m. EST.

That’s the beauty of being a Virtual Assistant. I can be anywhere as long as I have an internet connection. And these days they are everywhere (even Toronto International Airport). So, I will take 10 minutes at the airport to get on line, bring myself and my clients up to date, get my car and be off to Spaniard’s Bay. Maybe even upload this post.

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Filed under Restless Leg Syndrome, Virtual Assistant