VS2

While packing up for my trip to Tampa, FL., to escape the icy, frigid weather in NYC, I was so excited by the thought of wearing light clothes and bathing suits that I completely forgot to pack my knickers! To my utter shock, I unpacked and found I’d left them all at home! I immediately opened my laptop, Googled the nearest mall, and found a Victoria’s Secret 8 minutes away from my hotel.
Thanks
to Uber and Google maps, I found my favorite knicker provider, Victoria’s Secret, in a ginormous mall. I stormed into the store, found a sales clerk, told her what I needed and in what size, and I was done in 2 minutes flat.
Phew… Done (I thought).

The Problem:
I walked to the checkout desk to pay, and to my surprise, there was only one active sales clerk. The other one was on the phone talking to a customer (or so I assumed). There were 3 people in front of me, and within 5 minutes, I was second in line—but there were 6 guests waiting behind me. Meanwhile, the second sales clerk was still on the phone!!

No one showed up to help. It was getting a little ridiculous, as the person in front of me was returning a bunch of items and the active sales clerk was getting frustrated and seemed to be arguing with the customer! Oh, dear… I really don’t have time for this, I thought, and almost left, but then, seemingly magically, the other sales clerk hung up the phone and screamed, “Next customer, please”!!!

The fix:
I’m not sure where to start, but there seems to be a global problem with the VS staff and their training. There seems to be no attention to courtesy, integrity, or pride. I’m starting to think that this attitude comes from upper management and is trickling down to the sales floor.

It seems to me that management needs to be shaken up (for a lack of a better term) and the staff training needs to be both increased and more rigorous in order that the employees and sales clerks can feel pride in the organization they’re a part of. Right now, the attitude seems to be that no one gives a F*&^% 🙁 It’s a bit sad to see this…

A few weeks back, I was super excited to get the opportunity to travel to Tampa, FL for business and the chance to escape the frigid NY winter weather. Phew…a very much needed break from 26 º Fahrenheit to 72 º and sunny 🙂 A mani/pedi + bikini wax were required before my departure as I planned to spend some time by the pool between meetings.

I arrived at the Hyatt Tampa Bay in the late afternoon after a rather eventful flight, checked in, and immediately got in my bathing suit and went to the pool.
Oh, what a delight, I thought as I swam my 30 laps which felt amazing.

The Problem:
After my swim, the team decided to get dinner at nearby restaurant so we rendezvoused at the hotel bar for a drink before going to the restaurant. We sat at the bar for about 45 minutes and I noticed that I was really cold. I ran upstairs to get my winter coat and noticed my nose and arms were turning blue with cold. Then I saw that the room AC was on full blast! Wait, I thought, it’s only 62º outside—why is the AC on full blast?
When we got to the restaurant, it was the same situation: the AC was on full blast and I wasn’t sure I would last a whole meal without ordering a hot soup and a cup of tea – which I ended up doing because by the time the waiter showed up, I was shivering! My colleagues were freezing too, and we asked if they could turn down the AC. The manager came over and said that they had turned it down, but unfortunately, we couldn’t detect any difference 🙁 We got the check and left.

The fix:
If hotels and restaurants are going to insist on making “green” claims, such as: organic ingredients, non-GMO, farm-raised protein, and “we don’t change towels in your room unless they’re on the floor” (which is a big BS in my mind, just a typical Greenwash), why don’t they devote any thought to the energy they’re wasting? Do they ever think about how much CO2 goes into the atmosphere from cooling (and heating) buildings? If they really want to be “green,” then climate control is an issue that management must focus on!

I’ve been flying with JetBlue since its early inception and I flew with them every other week from SF to NYC from 2000 – 2008! I truly loved flying with them, and they loved me. I was even greeted by name by some of the flight crew as they all seemed to have seen me at least twice on this route. Some of them joked that I should come and work for the company as I knew the aircraft as well as they did! What I liked about JetBlue was they had a really friendly crew, a friendly ground staff, and they were forward thinking in terms of what they served onboard, such as Blue Chips, health snacks, and interesting drinks. The staff seemed to be well-trained and super proud to be part of the JetBlue Family.

The Problem:
Fast forward to 2018… JetBlue has lost its charm, hiring crews that don’t seem to have any interest in their job or any care for their customers. On a recent flight to NY, it was disappointing to see how ungraceful and inattentive the crew members were. If a question was asked, the flight crew members barked back bitterly.
The pilot only came on the PA system once, and the flight attendant walked through the cabin to take orders only once. After serving the drinks, the attendants quickly walked through the cabin with trash bags (or rather, they bitterly walked through elporno.org the cabin after serving the drinks and snacks!), only to sit and read or chat amongst themselves.
When my colleague rang the bell to ask for more wine, the flight attendant came over and asked, “What do you want?”!!! What happened to “How can I help you”?!?!

The Fix:
Whatever training manual was used in early 2000 should be brought back!!! HR should probably demand a fitness test before hiring crew members and a seminar on hospitality etiquette would also be helpful.
Advertising
and sales/marketing strategies can only take you so far if you don’t have a strong team of employees both on the ground and at 30,000 feet!

In an International beauty member newsletter, I recently read about a product called Blue Lagoon Hydrating Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30, which is apparently THE waitlist worthy product to try!

What? Really? I’m not buying this. It says, “Contains minerals, geothermal seawater, and silica, direct from the Blue Lagoon in Iceland,” and claims benefits that are supposed to “protect and strengthen the skin’s barrier function” while also “minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles”! Wow, that’s quite a mouthful. I don’t think I’m buying this in a 50ml tub for $89.

The Problem
There is no such thing as natural or organic geothermal seawater. The geothermal water from the Blue Lagoon is the excess water from a nearby geothermal plant that is pumped into a lava field right outside the plant. Secondly, this “magic cream” seems to do too many things at the same time, and in my book, its claims are so extravagant that I simply don’t trust it.

The Fix:
First of all, the International Skin Care Sales Manager for Blue Lagoon Iceland should know the difference between features and benefits and not make claims that might not even be true, as they aren’t supported by clinical studies—at least, not any I could find.

Secondly, do your research before entering the international market with regard to what claims are acceptable and what claims are not, as they vary wildly from Europe to the US.

Thirdly, I’d like to suggest that the BL management stick to what they know best, which is catering to tourism, something they’ve managed very successfully for over 10 years.

Also, I find it super sad that the Blue Lagoon has completely lost its focus on the root mission, which has always been to help people who suffer from psoriasis and severe eczema.
If you have time, dig deep and you’ll find the true story of the Blue Lagoon.

Strolling from Tribeca to Soho to meet our friends for a late afternoon drink on Sunday, we were accosted by a MAD flock of street vendors screaming “Roless, Roless, hadbag, hadbag,” (Rolex, Rolex, handbag, handbag)! That’s all we could hear aside from the enraged honking of annoyed out-of-towners trying to get into “the tunnel” (not naming any names). “Oh dear,” I thought to myself as I started to explain to my friends (who just had moved to New York) that the situation had gone from somewhat nice and fun to INSANE ;-(. Back in the day, there were local artists mixed in with those hawking designer fakes, all selling their goods from Greene Street to Canal on Broadway. Back then, there was also an open-air market selling various pets, from snakes to hamsters. The animal market, artists, and fake designer product vendors all happily coexisted.

In recent years, due to an industry catering to brand whore tourists and guide books, the local artist have been pushed out by the vendors selling fake Prada, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Dior, and YSL bags and accessories. The aggressive vendors who hang out on the corner of Canal and Broadway with their plastic wrapped cards displaying their offerings of the day/week yell and stare, even if you only walk past them and say nothing. Even for a local, this has become rather intimidating.

The Problem
Locals are overwhelmed by greedy brand whore tourists and pissed off vendors who can’t sell their fakes fast enough. At one point, I heard a vendor of fakes yell at a customer, telling her that she was “a cunt” for buying the same bag from another vendor. What?!?
Wow, this just shows you how desperate they are, as well as the fact that they have no integrity or grace. But, of course, how can they? They are selling knockoffs! However, the bigger issue is how rude these vendors have become–to the point where I’m afraid to walk past them, as I think they might snap at any minute and physically attack me. I think they’re smoking something…

The Fix
Crate an indoor fake destination market that is easy for the brand whore tourists to find, and get Prada, Louis Vuitton, etc. to sponsor it (but naturally, the vendors who sign up for it won’t know this). That way, the real shit (pardon me) gets a cut of the fake sales.

A few years back, a friend and I went on a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay to see friends, get a taste of culture, and sample the cuisine. We mostly hung out in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires, in restaurants that locals only visit, sipping fine wines, nibbling on amazing food, and wandering from boutique to boutique finding interesting designer stores, jewelry ateliers, art galleries, and furniture stores. After a 3-day stay in BA, we took the high-speed ferry to Montevideo and spent some time with a friend who showed us around the city. Again, we discovered amazing wine, food, and architecture.

What an amazing trip! Unfortunately, it was tainted by our on-board American Airlines experience. It started with the greeting when we walked to our seats. First, we were “greeted” by elderly air hosts and hostesses who “looked unhealthy and not in the best physical shape.
There were no smiles or welcomes. It felt like walking into an old bar that smelled of urine, puke, and mothballs. Walking to my seat, I looked down and noticed that the floor covering was held together with duct tape! I considered turning around and getting off, but then just closed my eyes and sat. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared — especially knowing I’d be sitting in this flying weasel for 12 hours!

After takeoff, the flight attendant insisted on keeping the seat belt sign on for over 2 hours and didn’t offer us anything to drink — not even water! When dinner finally came, it was basically thrown in our laps without any drinks. When I asked the grumpy attendant if we could have a glass of red wine and a glass of water, she said, “We are out of both.” I asked if she had any white wine, and guess what? They were out of white wine, too! I really had to bite my tongue not to say anything nasty. But when the gentleman seated behind us asked for a glass of red wine, she paused, said, “I’ll be right back,” walked to the kitchen, and returned with a glass of red wine. I rang the bell and asked a different hostess if we could each have a glass of water and a glass of red wine. She went huffing and puffing to the galley and brought us one glass each!

What?!? On a 12 hour flight, you don’t stock the plane with water and drinks? Do you want your passengers to suffer from dehydration at 35,000 feet?! This happened not only on the way to Buenos Aires but also on the trip back to JFK. When we landed in JFK, my friend and I agreed: NO MORE AMERICAN AIRLINES! Sure enough, we haven’t flown this grumpy airline in over 5 years and we never will!!

The Fix: Clean your planes properly and stock them according to flight length. Get rid of any grumpy, old, overweight staff members who have no desire to help anyone on board. Make it mandatory that your staff stay fit so they can help passengers in emergency situations (some of these airline hostesses wouldn’t have fit through the emergency exits by the wing!). Train your staff to be attentive and to regularly walk up and down the aisle to make sure all passengers are comfortable (no matter what class they are seated in). Most of the flight crew sat in the galley, chatting and reading magazines (which I only know because I kept going back there for more water — which magically, suddenly, became available!).