Tag Archives: Virtual Assistance

On our way to Fort Lauderdale…No Wait, Make that Montreal by Liz Saunders

 It has been a very interesting start to our vacation.  First thing this morning, I heard from daughter Siobhan – my computer would not connect to the internet.  This is a serious issue as she’s looking after The Virtual Alternative while I’m away.   I think it might stem from the fact that yesterday I had someone trying to help me with my internet connection and clearly he changed some setting or other.  He will remain nameless.

As today is B.C. plus 43, I managed to stay…well, relatively…calm and worked through how Siobhan could reach nameless (of course, his business card is at home on my desk).  So she’s taking care of that.  And he better show up or he will be named!

Then, husband dearest chose the wrong shuttle to take us to the airport, getting us there 2 minutes too late to catch our flight to Fort Lauderdale.  Who knew that they close off accepting luggage an HOUR before the flight?  Carry on luggage only from now on.

And of course, there was no room on any flight going to Florida – anywhere in Florida.  We asked about connecting flights in New York, Atlanta, Chicago…nope.

So, here we are, $150 poorer, sitting in the airport in Montreal where we have 1 (yes that’s right ONE) seat confirmed on a flight to Fort Lauderdale.  Thank god for free wifi!

There’s no doubt in my mind that without B.C. 43 days ago, I would not be handling this as well as I am.  So, thank you Witchy Woman for that.

I know that Siobhan will get the computer issue sorted out and in the meantime, I can check email as long as we’re on Canadian soil (which will be until about 3:45 p.m. today) and forward anything she needs to deal with directly to her.  So, The Virtual Alternative is taken care of – at least for today.

And husband is still alive to tell the tale.  Witchy Woman, I’ll tell him he owes you.

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An interesting month… by Liz Saunders

Where did the last month go?

Back at the beginning of September (I know, that was 2 months ago) I signed up a new virtual client, who was actually someone for whom I had worked as a subcontractor for a colleague, a few years ago.  Great fun, booking appointments, talking to lots of people on the phone; I am really enjoying this client.

In the meantime, another potential client has firmed up, their email is set up, I’m ready to go but haven’t heard what the client wants from me yet.  Hope they decide soon as in two weeks I’ll be winging my way to Florida and a Caribbean cruise.  Thank goodness I have my own assistant to leave the business with (I practice what I preach).

On top of that, the client for whom I do minutes of meetings has had one meeting a week since the beginning of September (I know, I know, that was 2 months ago).  So all in all, I’ve been very busy.

Almost too busy to notice what’s been happening since taking the B.C. (now that was a month ago – September 27th to be exact – although it feels like 2 months).  Since then, I’ve been writing blogs (as you’ve seen) but I have also kept notes on my calendar so that I can keep my naturopath up to date.  I guess I need to put them together for tomorrow’s appointment with my own personal  Witchy Woman.

Mostly things have been pretty good, although yesterday I was crazy itchy!  Overall, I do think there has been improvement in many areas though.

One other exciting thing that I did recently, I didn’t want to write about until I had heard from someone that she was aware it had happened.  Well, nothing has been heard, so I guess she’ll see it here too.

On my way to the Bala Cranberry Festival a couple of weeks ago, I stopped at a café in Bracebridge to pick something up.  Before I left, I said “when will she know?” and I was told “Oh, we’ll call her this afternoon”.  So I waited and waited and waited, patiently, for her phone to ring.  Nothing.  Then I waited for an email from her.  Nothing.  Well, I can’t wait any longer:  Wendie…Look what I own!

My first original Wendie Donabie!

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And the journey continues….by Liz Saunders

It’s now been 17 days since I took the B.C.  I had a meeting with Witch Keila on day 12 and she tells me that based on certain incidents over the first 12 days, it’s working.  For the record, despite my threat to Google B.C., I have restrained myself.

I mentioned in a previous post that I thought I noticed improvement in my itchy head and painful hand…fleeting, but there.  Well, apparently that’s an improvement and I can’t argue with that.

 

One of the most stunning things that happened was letting my brother know, after yelling at me for things I couldn’t have understood, that he was out of line.  Sounds like something so simple, doesn’t it?  But it’s not something I would have done 6 months ago…indeed, not sure I have ever done something like that in my life.  I’ve always been too worried about losing something that might be important rather than standing up for myself.   Had another similar incident on day 15 with another family member that I still can’t believe I did.

After a very stressful weekend, a condition I have flared up (not surprising) but what was extremely surprising was that it only lasted 36 hours!  Instead of a week!

So… little steps.

Then the other night, I went to bed at the usual time but at 12:30 I was awake…not because something was on my mind, not because I had to take Jaden to the bathroom but because I had full body twitchies!  Unfortunately, although Witch Keila told me I can continue to take the Calc. Phos. for arthritis pain, I am NOT allowed to take my Cuprum Metalicum for my RLS (or full body twitchies).  Oh my god, it was agony.  I tried my Mindfulness Meditation breathing, I tried putting an extra blanket on my lower legs (heat and weight).  After about 2 hours, I finally went back to sleep, so very tired the next day.  But I’m sure Witch Keila will see it as a good thing.   She should try it some day.

But if that’s part of my progress, then I guess I will just have to find a way to cope.

On another note, there must be some emotional change going on for the good.  I’ve always believed that you send out vibrations to the universe and if your vibrations are negative, good things don’t happen.  When my friend, Bob, took his life, within 6 months The Virtual Alternative was almost defunct.  I had only one client left and she was a very small but loyal client.  When I finally came out of my depression over Bob’s death, business picked up.  Lately, not only did I pick up a client from a colleague who couldn’t accommodate his needs (5 day a week phone service), then an organization that I started talking to about 2 months ago finally committed and we start working together next week, but on Saturday I got another enquiry because of a LinkedIn connection.   If this keeps up, my daughter Siobhan is also going to be very busy.

On a personal level, yesterday when I woke up, my first thought was about a situation about which I had only had negative thoughts for years and that thought was “hmmm maybe if things keep improving, this can be fixed too”.  First positive thought in …I can’t tell you how long.

Woot woot! as my daughter Olivia would say!  Oh and for the record, my scalp is starting to feel like a scalp!  Another Woot!

 

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B.C. plus 9 by Liz Saunders

B.C. or not B.C.?

B.C. or not B.C.?

You will recall that 9 days ago, at 6:20 a.m. (in accordance with Witchy Woman’s instructions) I took my dose of B.C.  I was hoping to report back on changes or experiences but there’s been little to report.

I had no idea what to expect – which is probably a good thing because I haven’t been disappointed.  So far, I have not experienced anything that I would say was relief.  At one point (maybe 3 or 4 days ago) I thought maybe, just maybe, my head wasn’t as itchy as it’s been.  But no, that was a temporary reprieve that only lasted one day.  On another day, I thought maybe, just maybe, my left thumb didn’t hurt as much…also a temporary reprieve.

Emotionally…no change…physically…no change, except for this rotten cold which I’ve managed to pass it on to my husband.  My nausea/heartburn has returned and gone, my head is itchy and my hands and feet hurt.  Oh, and I’m not feeling very creative or funny.  Good thing work lately hasn’t required creativity!  This week was mostly about sending out faxes, capturing and recording information written on the back of postcards, booking mediations and minutes of meetings.  Nothing requiring thinking or creativity.

Can’t wait to see Witchy Woman on Tuesday and say “now what?”  Oh, and Witchy, if you’re readying this – the heck with you…I’m going to Google B.C. before I see you on Tuesday!

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!

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B.C. plus 2

Nothing much seems to be happening so far, other than I finally caught the cold that’s been chasing me all week. Not sure if no obvious change is a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s a thing.

My left thumb might not be as painful as it has been – or is it just that I haven’t banged it, over-used it, picked up anything too heavy for – just not sure. Although, you would think it might be somewhat painful after doing minutes of a condo meeting and a meeting I do regularly as The Virtual Alternative, in two days.

Still …early days.

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Naturopath or Witchy Woman? by Liz Saunders

My journey continues with the CCNM but now I’m not sure whether I’m dealing with the Witchy Woman that the Eagles sang about all those years ago or not.  She definitely has black hair and today makes me wonder.

But let me digress.  I mentioned in a previous post that I wasn’t sure why I was doing the contrast showers.  Turns out that, for some reason, the contrasting temperatures act as a gentle detox – just like the castor oil packs – and my massage therapist, the wonderful Natalie, confirmed this.  I’m sort of used to them, although I missed it one day – just couldn’t face the cold water.  Nat tells me I don’t have to do really cold because it’s the contrast that counts.  I forgot to check with Witchy Woman to see if that’s true…perhaps she’ll post a comment here.

So, I’ve been going along with contrast showers, my castor oil, chia seeds, more fish oil, no strawberries and whatever else Keila has thrown at me.  The Calcarea phosphorica homeopathic has helped with the pain in my hands, somewhat, although the pain at times has been excruciating, so much so that I’ve made an appointment with the hand surgeon as a backup. 

Today just before my appointment, I heard Keila tell the patient immediately before me that if he didn’t follow her instructions, she would hound and haunt him.  At my appointment, Keila announced that it was an exciting day as she had a potential solution for me …but I’m not going to tell you what it is.  Suffice to say, it’s the name of a “beautiful colour” so I’m going to call it B.C.  The reason I won’t tell you the name, at this point, is that Keila wouldn’t tell me the whys and wherefores of choosing it, in order not to jeopardize B.C.’s efficacy (apparently, if I think I know what to expect it might affect how the B.C. works).   Keila referred to B.C. as a “deep” remedy and tells me that B.C. could have physical effects and/or mental/emotional effects…or not.

So, despite the most intense desire to Google B.C., I have not and will not.

B.C. has been ordered from Riverdale Homeopathic Clinic and will arrive tomorrow.  I must keep it away from odours, electronics, sunlight and heat until I have the opportunity to take it (if this sounds familiar – don’t tell me!!!).  This is where the Witchy Woman thing comes in:  I have to take it at twilight or early in the morning.  Seriously?  Cue Twilight Zone theme.

As a Virtual Assistant I have been asked to do some strange things:  baby-sit some legal documents in a basement, pick up and deliver a certified cheque (a courier would have been cheaper) but this twilight thing is just weird.  However, where in my business the client is always right – it is a service industry after all – in the case of Witchy Woman, I have to assume that she’s right and trust her to know what she’s doing.

Next step:  record anything that is “out of the ordinary” for me, whether by thought, word or deed.  In order to do that, I need any of you who know me, if you notice anything different, please tell me.  Then I might as well record the changes here so you can all enjoy my discomfiture.

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Can Political Correctness Actually be Dangerous?

A client of mine was recently approached, through her ticket desk (me), to speak at an event at St. Paul’s Church in Jarrow, UK.  The request allegedly came from Bishop Mark Jarrow.  I thought it odd so I did some research on the internet.  There is a St. Paul’s Church in Jarrow, UK (in fact, it’s the home of the Venerable Bede) and the local Bishop’s name is Mark Bryant aka Mark Jarrow.

This is where the political correctness comes in:  the language in the ticket and in subsequent emails wasn’t that of a native, English/British speaker.  My first reaction was scepticism but then I told myself, wait, maybe you’re being unnecessarily snobbish or prejudiced.  Britain is well known as a melting pot of many cultures – not all of whom speak English the way you or I do.  I remembered that at my Uncle’s funeral in a small town in northern Central Ontario, the Catholic priest was very Spanish.  Would he have been able to write an email in English that was completely grammatically correct?  Ditto a Catholic priest in a church in the Beaches area of Toronto a few years ago.   So, on with my political correctness hat and I let my client know about the ticket.

However, something never quite seemed right.  They sent a contract, which my client signed and returned (now they had her signature).  They needed her passport info, d.o.b. and full name to book her flight.  Then came the bombshell that she would need a work permit and would have to pay for it herself.

We both tried contacting the British Consulate here…they want $3.20 a minute to talk to a live human being.  After a tortuous search of the website we agreed to have the permit pulled in the UK – despite the fact that the British Consulate’s website said a Tier 5 permit would be 190GBP and the contact in Jarrow said it would be 430GBP.  I suggested they use part of the deposit they were going to send my client, but no…that was coming from a sponsor and not immediately available.  In any event, they said they were going to reimburse the cost so we were going to go ahead.

Still, something didn’t feel right at this point and when they asked me for the second time, when my client would like to travel, something clicked in me and, on my own time, I started really digging.  First I compared phone numbers and postal codes on the contract and the website (they were different).  Then I emailed the rector listed on the website and was put in touch with the real Bishop’s PA (who writes impeccable English).   Turns out it’s a scam that the local constabulary are well aware of but interestingly enough, the Toronto cops couldn’t care less about.

Thank goodness we figured out it was a scam before my client actually wired any money to them.  Oh, and for the record, my client looked up the IP addresses and they are in Nigeria.

So, when does political correctness become dangerous:  the minute we stop relying on our instinctive reactions and mask them with political correctness and the desire not to offend.

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