Brexit — The EU Referendum

I have been following the Politics related to the referendum from afar. I am a British person living abroad. It’s shocking to me some of the things I have read on Facebook. The Result is shocking for a lot of reasons.

First, people voted without really knowing what they were voting for. There were a lot of really ridiculous decision for voting out. Lots of reasons that were based in fear and in xenophobia and in bigotry. There was so much fear mongering on both sides of the campaign for Europe, but the thing that is most shocking to me is that people listened to what was basically propaganda instead of doing their own research. They fed into the lies that were perpetuated by UKIP and Nigel Farrage. They didn’t look to see how leaving would affect them, our economy, our trade relations with the world. They failed to see how leaving Europe would hurt our holidays to the continent; how it would hurt our currency.

Second, a lot of what I have read about the Leave campaign votes suggest that people failed to believe in Democracy — that their vote would count.

There was a guy on the BBC who didn’t think that his vote was going to count. I feel like there were more people like this in the pool and really just voted to leave because they thought it wouldn’t count. It’s just mind-boggling that people have so little faith in the Process that they turned out the vote thinking that nothing would happen. It’s an astounding notion to have.

There is currently a petition out to trigger a second referendum because the turnout was less than 75% (72.2% turnout) and because the Leave campaign was half of that, it’s not really representative of the nation. I feel that a second referendum may encourage more people to turn out and really think about what they are voting for.

The most interesting thing that I have seen is the breakdown of Leave and Remain by age. The following Tweet shows the results of the YouGov survey. It seems that the older generation voted for a Britain that the younger generation don’t want.

Screenshot (21)

I’m waiting to see what Brexit means in the long term for Britain and its relationships with Europe and the World as a whole. I’m astounded and shocked that majority of those who voted, voted to Leave. I wish the repercussions were more transparent. We now enter a period of uncertainty.

*~*~* Determined Creature *~*~*

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Maybe I’m Car Seat Crazy

So, since giving birth to Max, I am all about the safety of him and his car seat and our cars. Maybe I’m crazy about it? I guess a lot of the new studies that recommend rear-facing until 4 years old are not widespread. But I was reading the science behind it and it all makes sense to me. It was insane. Like, did you know that children’s bones don’t harden fully until 4? At 2, they begin to harden, but it’s not a full on changing of all cartilage to bone overnight. It is a gradual process that takes years to finish.

So, after learning all of this information, I was like, “Well, surely, Max will get uncomfortable trying to origami his body to fit in a space without much leg room.” But, then, if you look at how kids — even adults — choose to sit, it’s never with their legs dangling or anything. They are always bending their legs, or sitting criss-cross, or with their legs out to the side. Max will accommodate and make his legs go where they need to go.

“Their legs will hit their face in the event of a crash.” It’s another thing I thought. Well, no. Firstly, the laws of physics make it that even bent legs fling outwards away from the face, rather than into it. And, furthermore, even if he busted a lip or a nose, it’s better than having an immature skeleton and getting seriously injured by turning him around.

“Surely, their at more risk of breaking a leg if their legs are on the back of the seat,” I thought. Again, nope. Forward-facing children are at more risk because head on collisions are more common and forward facing children often prop their legs up on the back of the front seats. But even if there were this higher risk, I would rather that than internal and external, potentially life-threatening, injuries by turning my son around too early.

Those were my main concerns. But as I watch Max in his seat, he loves looking out the back window of my car and he is perfectly happy.

So here’s the skinny: Children under age 4 are 500% safer rear-facing as opposed to forward facing. The law is slow. In many states, it is still “law” to be able to forward-face at 1 year AND 20lbs (children need to meet both requirements before they are legally allowed to forward face). In most states, however, like Oklahoma and Georgia and about 30 others, it is stated in the law that children under XX are to be properly restrained in a car seat. That means that they are proper use states and that if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as to when to forward face your child, you could be fined anywhere from $50 to $500 plus court costs.

What does proper use mean? It means that you must follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on car seat use. For example, if you use a Dorel seat (they make Eddie Bauer, Safety 1st, Cosco, and a few other brand seats), you cannot forward face before 1 year AND 20lbs AND 34″ tall. Your child has to meet all three requirements to forward face when you are using the seat properly. If you were to be pulled over, you could be fined for improper use.

Tune in tomorrow for a new blog post about checking whether your car seat is outgrown

source: http://www.csftl.org

America

So, we arrived in America yesterday for the first time in about 7 years that I have been over here. It’s strange. I don’t know. I guess I just thought that I would never come back or that I would have a baby and a husband to come back with. I like it. It’s awesome and fun. My in-laws are fantastic — as I knew they would be. 

The flight was so long. It was 12 hours of travelling and then 3 hours to get to the airport and another hour to get to my in-laws house. It is not for the faint hearted. LOL. Max was surprisingly fine with flying and he is a seasoned traveller now. LOL. I love that kid. The flight attendants were great and really understanding. 

Our bags got delayed, as they didn’t make our connecting flight, so they arrived this morning. That was a pain in the behind. LOL. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen on the way home. Blargh. Well, I just thought I would update and I really need to blog more. I miss it.

Determined Creature xx

Why do they do that?

So, yesterday, I had a bit of a run in with someone who will remain nameless. Basically, I had commented on something on Facebook that my father had posted. And this person decided to rib me about how rude and disrespectful I was being. Umm… Excuse me? I am an adult and can say whatever the fuck I want to say. Honestly. It was this, “you’re a parent now. You need to set a good example and teach your son to respect his elders.” Firstly, don’t fucking tell me how to raise my child, nor tell me that I need to teach him to respect his elders. Umm.. DUH! He is gonna respect his elders. Just because I wrote a jokey post on my dad’s check-in doesn’t mean I don’t respect him! I am just so glad that my dad has a sense of humor and doesn’t get all butt hurt. I don’t need you to get all butt hurt for him. If he had an issue, then he would have said something. I’d like for this person to stay the hell out of things that don’t involve them. Leave me alone. Stop taking digs at me at every fucking corner, painting them as “advice”. Take your advice and shove it, because I am so tired of you judging me. First it was about having an induction, then about this. Leave me alone. 

It’s been a while…

So it’s been a while since I have blogged. So, here I am…

The last year has been incredible! I never thought that my life could be like this. With all the things I have been through, I have now entered the happiest time in my life and I am feeling great. Last November, I met the most incredible man. We have been attached at the hip ever since. And in May of this year, I got to marry him! I never thought someone could show me the fun and exuberant life that i could lead, but he has. He has been amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better man to call my husband.

I got pregnant at the beginning of the year, and I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on September 28th. He is perfect and, though the pregnancy wasn’t without it’s troubles, he is so worth everything. Every sleepless night, the pain of labor and delivery, everything. My husband was a rock star throughout the whole pregnancy and was amazing during labor and delivery. We are so pleased with our new addition. 🙂

The last year has not been without its share of unpleasant moments, though. The fact that I want to go back to school to get my degree in Sociology and teaching got some people’s backs up. Why? Because they were being very negative saying I can’t do that and be a mom. But I think going back to school to get my degree would make me a *better* mother, as I could provide more for my child, and save for his higher education. This whole situation did cause me to fall out with a couple of people. But I am not one to hold grudges really.

My friends are my friends. Sometimes, you disagree with how someone chooses to handle that relationship, but I know that I am a good person and nothing will ever change that. I choose not to hold on to hate or anger as it’s a waste of energy. I have forgiven this friend, but I have chosen to dissociate with her husband, as he had no purpose getting involved in a spat between us, and he said some very hurtful things. I chose to separate myself from that because it’s unhealthy and I was only ever acquaintances with him because of her.

Anyway, over all life has been good. Great, actually. Being a mother is challenging, but worth every second of every challenging moment. Life can only get better.

Lots of positivity.

Xx Determined Creature xX

Complain? Me? Never!!!

So, my mother and my husband think I should start a blog on how to complain effectively. I can’t imagine why! 😉 Possibly because over the past 6 months, I have complained numerous times and gotten a free meal (or two, or six) because of how I complain.

A lot of people think that complaining is just a way to get free food or items from the company you are dealing with. Although this is usually the outcome, it shouldn’t be the only reason you complain. It is a perk of knowing how to complain though! 😉

You should complain for reasons deeper than just getting things for free. I only ever complain (mostly to restaurants) when both hubby and I agree that the service or food left a lot to be desired.

Reasons to complain at a restaurant even if your company doesn’t always agree:
* There was a hair in your food.
* You felt forgotten (server didn’t come back to refill drinks, or at all except to deliver your food).
* Your food order is wrong, or you have undercooked meat.
* You got food poisoning after the fact.

The above are non-negotiables for me. And, you may wonder why I feel so comfortable complaining at a restaurant… well, because I have worked in catering for years and I have insider knowledge on how things are meant to be done.

Other rweasons I have complained to a restaurant:
* I was in a party of six and someone’s meal was forgotten.
* Someone hadn’t received their meal when the rest of the party was nearly finished eating.
* More pin bones in a piece of fish than I can count on one hand (that’s too many).

So, you had an issue with how your evening out was? How should you complain?

If you are in the restaurant and you can see your server, call them over and get it sorted right then. If your server is busy, or you haven’t seen them in a while, look for a supervisor or manager. They usually don’t wear the typical uniform — they usually dress smart, in trousers and a shirt or blouse. Walk to them and let them know what is going on. It is always best to let them rectify the situation at the time. In this case, you would probably get free drinks, money off your next visit or the meal in question taken off the bill if it’s a legitimate problem. Things to not complain about while in the restaurant are things like the service from your server, feeling forgotten, etc. Use common sense.

If you can’t complain while in the restaurant, either because you can’t find anyone or you feel you weren’t taken seriously or you got ill after-the-fact, the next effective way to complain is to write an email using the “Contact Us” field on the company website or to find the direct email address for the company. Usually, it’s something similar to info@companyx.com or feedback@companyz.com.

Formulating the email takes a bit of time because you don’t want to come across unprofessional or out to make a quick buck. Most companies respond well to constructive criticism. Let’s say you felt forgotten by your server. The most ineffective thing to do is to come across as a complete asshole, saying things like “Did you not train your staff?” Or “Your staff are lame.” Believe me, i’ve seen it done. And it gets you nowhere fast. The most effective way to complain and demonstrate that your server was not attentive is to provide lengths of time that you didn’t see them, or say things like, “She walked past our table on numerous occasions, but never stopped to ask if everything was okay or if we needed anything else.” These kinds of statements make it sound like you were noticing how often your server passed your table woithout stopping to check on you, thus, making you feel forgotten.

Tips for writing a complaint:
* If you feel you are waiting too long between courses, keep time. Anything over 15 minutes, unless the restaurant is super busy, is something that the manager will take issue with.
* If your server has not been back to check on you, keep a mental note of how many times (s)he passes your table.
* Keep track of how long it takes to be asked for drink refills.
* Make a mental note of your server’s name or description.
* See if your dining partner agrees that things are taking too long, and possibnly have them write a complaint too.
* Refrain from cursing or accusing them of improper training procedures.
* Expect to have to justify your complaint with further emails or phone calls.
* Always, always, always include information on how you can be contacted –via email and phone. Don’t provide your address unless asked — it proves they read your complaint and aren’t just trying to buy you off with free things.
* Be civil.
* Don’t write emails if you are angry. It only leads to complications and exaggerations of how the service actually was. If you are angry, wait a couple hours before drafting your email. In the meantime, write down pertinent information that you don’t want to forget!
* Keep records of who you talked to, incase you have to take it further. Keep copies of emails, both sent and received.
* Also, remember to include what your ideal solution to your complaint would be. (i.e. full refund, vouchers, to talk to the manager, etc.)
* Be honest.

The very last resort should be taking things to social media. Although this can speed things along, it can make you look desperate. But if you have tried everything else, then use social media to let others know that you have had a bad experience and that you have not been taken seriously.

Part II: How to complain effectively to a business that isn’t a restaurant… Coming Soon!

determined creature

Complain? Me? Never!!!

So, my mother and my husband think I should start a blog on how to complain effectively. I can’t imagine why! 😉 Possibly because over the past 6 months, I have complained numerous times and gotten a free meal (or two, or six) because of how I complain.

A lot of people think that complaining is just a way to get free food or items from the company you are dealing with. Although this is usually the outcome, it shouldn’t be the only reason you complain. It is a perk of knowing how to complain though! 😉

You should complain for reasons deeper than just getting things for free. I only ever complain (mostly to restaurants) when both hubby and I agree that the service or food left a lot to be desired.

Reasons to complain at a restaurant even if your company doesn’t always agree:
* There was a hair in your food.
* You felt forgotten (server didn’t come back to refill drinks, or at all except to deliver your food).
* Your food order is wrong, or you have undercooked meat.
* You got food poisoning after the fact.

The above are non-negotiables for me. And, you may wonder why I feel so comfortable complaining at a restaurant… well, because I have worked in catering for years and I have insider knowledge on how things are meant to be done.

Other rweasons I have complained to a restaurant:
* I was in a party of six and someone’s meal was forgotten.
* Someone hadn’t received their meal when the rest of the party was nearly finished eating.
* More pin bones in a piece of fish than I can count on one hand (that’s too many).

So, you had an issue with how your evening out was? How should you complain?

If you are in the restaurant and you can see your server, call them over and get it sorted right then. If your server is busy, or you haven’t seen them in a while, look for a supervisor or manager. They usually don’t wear the typical uniform — they usually dress smart, in trousers and a shirt or blouse. Walk to them and let them know what is going on. It is always best to let them rectify the situation at the time. In this case, you would probably get free drinks, money off your next visit or the meal in question taken off the bill if it’s a legitimate problem. Things to not complain about while in the restaurant are things like the service from your server, feeling forgotten, etc. Use common sense.

If you can’t complain while in the restaurant, either because you can’t find anyone or you feel you weren’t taken seriously or you got ill after-the-fact, the next effective way to complain is to write an email using the “Contact Us” field on the company website or to find the direct email address for the company. Usually, it’s something similar to info@companyx.com or feedback@companyz.com.

Formulating the email takes a bit of time because you don’t want to come across unprofessional or out to make a quick buck. Most companies respond well to constructive criticism. Let’s say you felt forgotten by your server. The most ineffective thing to do is to come across as a complete asshole, saying things like “Did you not train your staff?” Or “Your staff are lame.” Believe me, i’ve seen it done. And it gets you nowhere fast. The most effective way to complain and demonstrate that your server was not attentive is to provide lengths of time that you didn’t see them, or say things like, “She walked past our table on numerous occasions, but never stopped to ask if everything was okay or if we needed anything else.” These kinds of statements make it sound like you were noticing how often your server passed your table woithout stopping to check on you, thus, making you feel forgotten.

Tips for writing a complaint:
* If you feel you are waiting too long between courses, keep time. Anything over 15 minutes, unless the restaurant is super busy, is something that the manager will take issue with.
* If your server has not been back to check on you, keep a mental note of how many times (s)he passes your table.
* Keep track of how long it takes to be asked for drink refills.
* Make a mental note of your server’s name or description.
* See if your dining partner agrees that things are taking too long, and possibnly have them write a complaint too.
* Refrain from cursing or accusing them of improper training procedures.
* Expect to have to justify your complaint with further emails or phone calls.
* Always, always, always include information on how you can be contacted –via email and phone. Don’t provide your address unless asked — it proves they read your complaint and aren’t just trying to buy you off with free things.
* Be civil.
* Don’t write emails if you are angry. It only leads to complications and exaggerations of how the service actually was. If you are angry, wait a couple hours before drafting your email. In the meantime, write down pertinent information that you don’t want to forget!
* Keep records of who you talked to, incase you have to take it further. Keep copies of emails, both sent and received.
* Also, remember to include what your ideal solution to your complaint would be. (i.e. full refund, vouchers, to talk to the manager, etc.)
* Be honest.

The very last resort should be taking things to social media. Although this can speed things along, it can make you look desperate. But if you have tried everything else, then use social media to let others know that you have had a bad experience and that you have not been taken seriously.

Part II: How to complain effectively to a business that isn’t a restaurant… Coming Soon!

determined creature