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Please Don’t Say I’m Moaning, But….

Now, I don’t want to seem like I’m grumpy and that, being back a couple of weeks I’m bashing the UK already, but….

I’ve got 2 issues, both related, which are really starting to tick me off a little. I don’t want to think that having experienced North American customer service, that this is clouding my opinion….

Firstly, 2 weeks ago, we went to look at a house with a view to renting it, in the South East. We called, and set up an appointment, were there at the allotted time and things were looking good. A very nice place, well within budget and all the space we’ve ever wanted. I should have known things weren’t going to pan out, when it turned out to be the owner who was the one to show us around as opposed to the letting agent….

So, having shown an interest in renting the property, we called the agent the next day, with our offer.

And that was the last we heard from them. We called back a few days later, to be told our offer had apparently been accepted. Great, we thought, although someone might have let us know, and they were calling back later with a moving in date. But, no call ever came. So a day later I called back, a little irate as to the why I was having to keep chasing them. Apologies and excuses of training errors in the office didn’t exactly put my mind at ease.

No word was heard from them over the weekend, (and why would there be? I mean when you hear on the news that the country is in dire straits, you don’t expect people to actually be hustling for work do you……). Yesterday, as the letting agent was "with a client", we were told he’d call back later. Guess what? No call.

Which leads me to the second similar issue….

I have tried to register with a tutoring agency, to rustle up some work and bolster the coffers whilst we’re here. However, the woman in charge seems in no hurry to reply to emails at all, when a couple of days after sending her a couple of questions, I’m still waiting for a reply. When I worked for a similar agency in Richmond, the lady running the business, would return my calls, not emails, within the hour, even if it was to say, she was a little busy and would be calling that evening, which, I might point out, keeping her wotd, she did. No emails, no text messages, no Facebook or Twitter update, a call, on the phone….. So, if this is the case, is it really feasible that this new lady is going to be able to find me enough work? I’m doubtful, I’m afraid to say.

This is the 21st century for crying out loud. How hard is it to keep clients or customers informed? A 2 min call to say we’re still working on a date for moving in, or a quick email reply to a question? That’s too much to ask is it? In this day and age, when everyone has iPads, "sweet" iPhones ("sweet" iPhone? Another grumble, for another day…..), smartphones and laptops to keep organised and improve their productivity and make their work life so much easier, everyone seems to have forgotten that at some point, you’ve got to stop fart arsing about on your gadgets and do some bloody work, which entails speaking to your clients and prospective customers.

And before I get, "if it was so much better in Canada, bugger off back there", I would point out, that when we went to view properties in Richmond Upon Thames, the agents were only to please to fit me in that day and were, and have since, been keeping me informed on a daily basis.

If my experience is anything to go on, it’s not hard to see why London get’s all the jobs…..

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Full-body scanners are waste of money, Israeli expert says….

Genius….

Thanks for asking if we wanted them, government of Canada and thanks for doing the homework on them before you forked out the cash, OUR cash. Let’s hope someone kept the receipt….

Full-body scanners are waste of money, Israeli expert says

A leading Israeli airport security expert says the Canadian government has wasted millions of dollars to install “useless” imaging machines at airports across the country.

“I don’t know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747,” Rafi Sela told parliamentarians probing the state of aviation safety in Canada.

That’s why we haven’t put them in our airport,” Sela said, referring to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, which has some of the toughest security in the world.

Read Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/384jrob

Oh well, it’s not like we need the cash is it. I mean, who needs skool buses anyway….

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The NoGoingBack Clothing Range…

With nothing much planned, the kids thought it time to update their online clothing store,…

If it keeps them off the Wii and the tv turned off, it’s got to be a good thing, plus it means they get to play around with different colors and styles developing their artistic side. They’ve got NoGoingBack ones, 100% Organic ones and more coming after dinner…. Click Here to visit the NoGoingBack Online Emporium!

Actually, I might have a little play with this myself, when they’ve gone to bed….

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Of Credit Cruches and Bail Outs….

At this precise moment in time, it’s worth watching this documentary again….

…. and then a couple of articles I was sent by a reader….

US Senate backs new bail-out bill
‘The Senate has approved a new version of a $700bn (£380bn) rescue plan for the troubled US financial system. Senators voted 74 to 25 in favour of the emergency legislation, which is designed to buy up bad debts and stabilise financial markets. It includes tax breaks for families and businesses, among other measures designed to win over sceptics.’
Get Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/4mnwua
(– so, they basically agree to give money to the banks to loan back to the people at interest… but – woohoo – with ‘tax breaks for families’…The Phantom)

Not one dime!
‘For nearly a year, we have been asking ourselves why the investors and foreign banks that bought up hundreds of billions of dollars of worthless mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from US investment banks have not taken legal action against these same banks or initiated a boycott of US financial products to prevent more people from getting ripped off? Now we know the answer. It’s because, behind the scenes, Henry Paulson and Co. were working out a deal to dump the whole trillion dollar mess on the US taxpayer. That’s what this whole $700 billion boondoggle is all about; wiping out the massive debts that were generated in the biggest incident of fraud in history.’
Get Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/4omzlw

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Gas Prices Up, Barrel of Oil Down….

Last week, due to the hurricanes in the U.S., the price of gas here, jumped 13c in one day, a 10% price. This as the price of a barrel was dropping. Go figure….

And, to be expected, the people all began moaning. Quite rightly, but, well, now, what did you expect? This was exactly my point a couple of posts back. I hate to say it, but Canadians are some of the most ill informed people, politically, I have come across. (Not all of them, so please don’t take offence. There are some pretty ill informed people in the UK, and Europe too…..)

I was warning Canadians of the NAFTA agreement over 18 months ago and was met with totally apathy. Not interested. Well, guess what, stop whining. Yeah, the U.S. price went up only 1c, so you got well and truly screwed and unless you do something, you’ll get screwed again. Only next time, it might be your freshwater as well as your gas.

So, we are due a drop, apparently, as of tomorrow, of roughly 8c. Still not the same as the jump though is it,  you fair and friendly gas companies.

Pump watcher predicts gas-price drop
Gas prices will drop nearly a dime Tuesday after a record one-day jump last week, a Liberal MP predicts.
(http://tinyurl.com/6qk4ru)

Blatant profiteering, if ever there was any. Don’t give me that “well, they’re in business to make money.” crap. If anyone can explain to me how the price at the pump can be as high as is it was when the barrel was $150, nearly, I’d love to hear it. Now it’s dropped below $100, how we should be grateful for an 8c drop is beyond me. Crooks, oil companies and governments, the lot of them. And we’re all idiots for putting up with it.

Maybe, you’ll start educating yourselves now. But I doubt it.

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$100 Offer, Expires August 28th 2007….

OK, this is a quick one, the offer runs out on the 28th August, so you need to think fast and make a decision.

The people over at Sitesell are running a "buy one site, get a second for $100" promotion.

If I haven’t spoken to you about this lot before, let me give you a quick introduction.

They provide you with all the tools you need to build an income generating, web based business, which can be built around an existing knowledge, skill or hobby.

How’s that? Short and to the point. (For a more in depth look at what it can do for you, click here)

Most of the web business are losing money, that’s a fact. However there are some, mainly smaller operations that are managing to make a go of it and earning a living. (Want proof? Click here.)

The trick is not a flashy, super technical designed site, but a simple one that gets the "click", as they say. The SiteBuildIt does just that. $299 gets you access to tools to create a site that would normally cost well over $5000 if you did them all separately.

Here are some specific links to some general areas where people are creating there own sites and income from the Internet. These are not get rich quick scam ideas. If you’re looking for that kind of thing, forget it. Go somewhere else. (For the whole picture, from selling hard goods to real estate, head over to the main SBI page, click here)

Work At Home Mums choose not to take paid work outside the home, so that their family can be their first priority. SBI! can provide the flexibility, income generation and personal fulfillment you are seeking. Click Here

University/College Students – Students spend tons of their spare time on the Internet. Now, SBI allows them to use that time to build a profitable small business that could pay them an income for life. Click Here

Retirees – retirement can mean freedom, enjoyment and extra income! Click Here

Work from Home – Just about everyone’s dream is a job that they can do at home. No commute, no bosses, and a chance to work in your ‘jamees. Well maybe not. Anyone looking for a new life and new possibilities… moms, retirees, people with health problems, and anyone looking for a job they can do from home. SBI! has the power to deliver. Click Here

If you’re unsure whether your "idea for a business" is a match for SiteBuildIt, ask them directly. click here, to speak to someone there, get in touch with me, OR just get the site using the special offer, and then get in touch and we’ll figure it out later. The second site can be for you, as a gift for a relative or friend or something you just keep for now and create a second business once the first is up and running.

I’m off to register another couple of sites now.

To find out more and order yours click here

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Mathematics Tutoring, again….

I’ve just been having a Skype call with a new client, she IM’d me a link to the following article, from a UK newspaper this morning….

Record GCSEs mask poor results in Maths and English
The rise in A* and A grades at GCSE masks a relatively poor performance in English and particularly in maths. GCSE results, which are released tomorrow, will show a lower-than-average percentage of A and A* grade passes in the two core subjects – despite millions of pounds spent on catch-up classes by ministers for youngsters struggling to master the three Rs.
(Read Full Article)

…. which would explain the rise in calls and emails I have been getting, from the UK people wanting me to tutor again.

School starts in a couple of weeks, the bookings have begun. If you want some sessions, then please let us know ASAP. We’re already running out of space. If you want to take advantage of our special offer, click here or go to our Bookings page.

If you have any questions, you can post them as comments, or email us directly, mark[at]mathsmasters[dot]com, remembering to replace the [at] and the [dot]. We’re trying to cut back on the dreaded spam we receve!

Thanks,

Mark

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Starting a new venture….

Last year, it was t-shirts, this year, it’s blogs and websites.

With nothing much to do, (although he’s left me with the task of sorting out some of the coding, while he pops down the beach with a friend!), Samuel is launching a new site, based on ice hockey, the Canadian passion.

It’s in it’s early stages and we are starting it small, to test the water, but feel free to visit it, from time to time, to get your fill of the upcoming season and updates weekly,  up until the Stanley Cup in 2008. So, head on over to IceHockeyWorld (http://icehockeyworld.blogspot.com) to see what’s happening….

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Last Minute Xmas Presents….

A web based business, based around a hobby, an interest or skill. If that doesn’t beat last years socks, I don’t know what will…..!

If you’re stuck for a ideas for any last minute presents, I have a special offer for readers of the blog and it could well be your best investment for a child, relative or friend (Or even a treat for yourself of course…). This offer ends 25th December, so get your skates on. You could be packing your job in, in 2007!

The people over at Sitesell are letting me offer a "buy one get one free" package, of their tremendously popular web business design software. You don’t need to know anything about computers, apart from turning them on obviously, as the software takes you trhough everything from brainstorming the best ideas and themes for your wbe business, to getting the search engines to take note of your site amongst the millions of pages out in cyber space. It really is an "all in piece of kit", as a recent client said to me.

And this little pressie will still be paying off long after the batteries have died down on the latest must have gizmo! (Click here to be taken to the offer page)

(Want a video tour of what SBI is all about? Click here)

Xmas Offer

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How to claim back penalty charges….

OK, one for the UK readers mainly, I have ni idea if this will work anywhere else in the world.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to claiming back your bank account, credit card and store card penalty charges. We have also provided you with templates for form letters that you can send to your lender.  (Click Here to Read Article)

Good luck, anything you can get back is better off in your pocket than theirs….