Tag Archives: personal experience

Interview Question: Do you have any questions for me?

It’s probably pretty reasonable to say that the vast majority, (I’d suggest 99.9%) of candidates know that they are going to be asked at some point in an interview if they have any questions for the interviewer.  And yet candidates often fumble their words and struggle to present themselves in a positive way.

The questions that you ask provide the interviewer with a great insight in to you, and so asking the right sorts of questions can catapult you to the top of the “to be employed” list!  Whilst poorly thought out questions and questions made up on the spot can very quickly highlight some of your deficiencies and push your application down in to the quagmire of mediocrity…….or worse.

Some of the best questions that you can ask tend to be those that have been very carefully planned and learned, but then evolve through information that comes to light during the interview.  What I mean by this is – there is no substitute for doing the research and preparation, but don’t be afraid to “tweak” one or two (or more) of the questions that you have prepared to include facts and information that you have gathered throughout the interview as it shows that you have been listening.  Often, your question can remain exactly the same, it will just be the lead-in that changes.  For example:

(Planned Question):  “What is the organisational structure of the Food & Beverage department? (and maybe something about FT vs Part Time…)“, might become:

(Tweaked Question):  “You mentioned that there are 120 staff in the F&B department.  What is the organisational structure of the department and what sort of breakdown is there between Full Time, Part Time and Casual employees?”

Oh!  And if it helps, don’t be afraid to take a notepad and pen or an iPad/Tablet in to the interview so that you can jot down notes (like the number of staff in the F&B department) as you go.  As a side-note, it is polite to ask the interviewer(s) if they mind if you take some notes during the course of the interview and sometimes, the jotting down of notes can actually buy you that valuable 4 or 5 seconds to contemplate an answer before you open your mouth (as you jot things down, generally people will wait politely for you to answer)…

For questions to really work, it comes down to RESEARCH!  And with the internet at your fingertips, there are no excuses for not being able to gather enough information to ask intelligent and pertinent questions.  To help you with the process, I have listed below a range of the sorts of questions that you could ask in an interview and with a little bit of thought and some manipulation of the details, they’ll provide you with a good foundation for the next time you are sitting across the table from an interviewer:

Ask specific questions about the venue/organisation and what your role would be there:
– What’s their vision for your position?
– In your opinion, what would make me a success in this role?
– Will the role evolve over time?
– What are the top 2 or 3 priorities that you believe would need to be addressed first?  (Let them tell you and finish telling you, then you might like to sum up briefly your ability to address those priorities)
NOTE:  In my experience, candidates often jump the gun in this circumstance.  They do the right thing and ask a good question like this, but rather than stop and wait for the WHOLE answer, they let their nerves get the better of them and jump on in with the “HOW” they can solve the problem or how they have the experience to do the job.  This means that they a) assume the remainder of the answer (it’s never good to assume), b) miss gathering further information (could be useful later on in the interview) and c) don’t show how they can listen (this can send completely the wrong message, when in fact, it’s just because they’re nervous)!
– If legislation has recently affected the industry or if there’s something pertinent in the news, try to tie this knowledge in to a question as it will show that you have done your homework!

What systems do they have in place?
– Are they adequate?  Or do they need updating?
– If they are inadequate, would it be your job to change or develop them?

Who was in this job before?
– Why did they leave?
– Will I be doing the same job as them, or has the role changed/evolved?

What is the company’s management style?

How do you measure performance and how often is it reviewed?

Do you provide any sort of professional development or training?

What is your target market?
– Is this something that you would like to expand?  If so, what are you plans for doing so?

What is the company’s policy on corporate social responsibility?

In what ways is your company involved in the local community?  (In our industry, there is generally plenty of information about this, so you might want to tailor this with something like:  “I see from your Facebook Page that you are connected with the <so-and-so charity>.  It what other ways are you involved in the local community?”).

It’s worth remembering, that to be amazing at an interview, you actually have to GET an interview and this begins with your application!  Make sure you develop a fantastic resume and that you get it in promptly via the means that they request.  And keep in mind that your research should start before you even send your resume in so that you can tailor your resume to the advert, the organisation and the role.  You should then pick up your research once again when you progress to the next stage and expand it so that it is fresh in your memory for when you get to the interview.  Oh.  And if you don’t get offered an interview, try calling to find out why (again, PLAN your questions) and see if you can gather any advice on how to improve your resume for the next time!  (Don’t forget to read my previous blog “To Call or Not To Call, That is the Question”, & if you haven’t already done so – you can click here.

When you do get offered the opportunity to attend an interview, think about the importance of making a GREAT first impression!  The interview starts the moment you step foot through the door in to the organisation and ramps up the moment you walk in to the interview room.  Dress.  Grooming.  Body Language.  Preparation.  Don’t underestimate the value of caring enough to make an effort – it goes an awfully LONG way!

Something that is all too often forgotten or done with no real thought other than because you’d heard it was the right thing to do is to follow up after an interview with a “thank you”.  There are lots of ways that you can do this with modern forms of communication – choosing the right one is the tough part.  In some (rare?) circumstances, an SMS to the interviewer is appropriate, but choose when and what you’re going to say and think carefully about whether an SMS really is the best way to go!  For example, if you know they are about to walk straight in to another interview, wait until later to send your SMS and try to choose a time when you know/think they’ll be able to receive it without the embarrassment of their phone beeping/vibrating in another interview!  Note:  I would only use SMS if the interviewer has been communicating with you via SMS, if they haven’t, then an email, phone call or even a well chosen ‘thank you’ card might be the better option.  Long story-short, don’t let your interview be the last time they hear from you!  Follow up to assist them to remember who you are and try to remind them of one of the positive aspects/events that occurred in the interview.

Similarly to  following up if you don’t get an interview, don’t forget to follow up if you don’t get offered the job and find out why so that you can use this information for your next interview.

And most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Sometimes, you can do everything right and still not be offered the job – so stay positive and upbeat as it’ll show the next time you speak to someone about a job.  And always remember – there is a great job waiting for you out ‘there’!  So keep honing your interview skills (which can be learned & improved) and stay focused.

To Call, Or Not To Call – That Is The Question

Here at White Now! we receive LOTS of calls from candidates about roles that we have advertised and it got me to thinking…

“…Which calls do I remember?”.

The answer was simple.  Not too many!  I’d be the first to admit that my memory isn’t what it used to be, but I’m not quite ready to be shipped off to “a home” quite yet, so it got me to thinking about why I only remember a very select few calls and what is is about those calls that stick out.

Here’s a list of things in no particular order that come to mind about the calls that are worth remembering and those that fade in to the background.

1. The call has purpose and is not just being made for the sake of being made.
– “Hi, I just called to make sure that you received my application” needs to lead somewhere other than “oh and what’s the salary?”.  We all recognise that as much as the message that the world would like us all to hear is “it’s not about the money”, Jerry Maguire had it right when he said, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!”, only that’s probably not quite the message that you want an employer or recruiter to walk away with.  So, rather than making a call to check whether cyberspace has decided to randomly pick your electronic application to be THE one that doesn’t make it through, PLAN your conversation prior to making it and have a number of points that you want to discuss that happens to include (at the right moment), a question about the remuneration.
– Asking the “$$$ question” is always a difficult one, but it’s one that you need to get used to asking.  Try to tie it in to your planned conversation and be prepared for the question to get turned back on to you – “I’m going to turn that question back on to you, what do you feel the role is worth in your opinion and I’ll let you know if you’re in the right ball park”.  Be ready for this as it’s a great way for the person at the other end of the phone to establish if you have any idea at all about the size and importance of the role and where it fits in to the hierarchy of the organisation, not to mention if you are appropriate.  This sounds a bit harsh, but if you’re looking for a job that pays $200,000+ and you’re applying for a middle management role that is paying in the $65-70,000 range, there is a MASSIVE mismatch before we even get to the point of interviewing…

2. Do some research PRIOR to making a call and map out what it is that you want to tell the person on the other end.  Ideally they are going to want to know:
– Your name (state it clearly and if you’ve got an unusual/confusing name, maybe even spell it for them)
– The state of your application:  “I have just applied” / “I applied yesterday/last week” / “I’m about to apply”
– Which role you’re applying for and ideally include a reference number if there is one
– A VERY BRIEF overview of your relevant experience & why you’ve applied for the role.  This is actually a LOT tougher than it sounds, because standing out from the crowd is tough when all you’re doing is reciting your job roles.  Try to make it interesting and more of a conversation than a presentation!  And try to include words and phrases that aren’t cliched, but that show how articulate and capable you are.
– Use intonation as there is nothing worse than a monotone voice at the other end of a phone conversation.  And speak from the heart as passion and drive will shine through over facts and figures during a verbal meeting.

3.  PLAN two or three main points that you want to get across that you want the employer/recruiter to take away with them and if you can subtly recap them towards the end of your conversation, then do so.  But try not to make it sound like it’s ‘revision’.

4.  Ask well thought out questions that show that you have done some research and that you have thought about what you really want to know.  Good questions will tell the employer / recruiter a lot about you – so put your best foot forward by phrasing questions that show that you’ve done some research.
– Some adverts contain a LOT of information and others don’t!  So remember, we live in the age of high-speed internet and ‘Google is your best friend’.  Type in some queries and see what you can find – there might be financials, YouTube videos, news articles, media releases and goodness knows what else out there.  So let your fingers do the typing and start doing some research EARLY as it will all come in useful if and when you get through to the next stage.

5.  Know when to STOP!  Sometime less, is more!  We’ve all heard it said, but often when we’re nervous or don’t have a plan in our heads, we end up prattling on and on and on, only to discover that we’ve lost our way and the whole point of the conversation.  Make your point, move on to the next or shut up!  It really is as simple as that.

6.  Finishing up:  make sure you thank the person for their time and try to finish up with something along the lines of, “Thank you for sharing your thoughts and providing me with all of that information.  This sounds like a great role and one that I am ideally suited for, so you will see an application from me, <Your Name>, in your inbox by close of business today”.

7.  When you send your application through, don’t forget to address the cover letter to whomever it is that you have been told to address it to in the advert (and if you haven’t been given a contact, jump on to the company’s website and find out the name of the President/HR Manager/General Manager/most appropriate person and address it to them) and then address the email to whomever it is that you spoke to.  What I mean by this is that if you addressed your cover letter to John Doe, General Manager of ABC Leagues Club, but you spoke to Sarah Sitizen (intentional type) at the Recruitment Company, then address the EMAIL to her and thank her for her time on the phone earlier today / yesterday / last week and mention that ‘as per your conversation, you are forwarding your application’.

To wrap things up, there’s a time and a place to make a phone call and when done correctly, it can make your application stick out before it has even arrived – you then just need to back up how well you presented over the phone with a solid written application, one that is FULL of achievements and is NOT a long list of tasks…..but I’m now getting on to the subject of another blog, so I’ll leave you with this:  if you’re going to make a phone call about a job, plan it and make it work for you!

GOOD LUCK…

It’s How We Lose That Shows Who We Are!

Recruiting is a funny business!

Whether being done for a small family business, a large multinational or as a Recruitment Consultant – the “recruitment process” provides an insight in to the human psyche.  And let me just tell you, it’s not always a pretty sight!

As a “glass half-full” kind-a-guy, I’d prefer not to err on the negative, unless there is something to be gained from this insight and so in this blog I thought that there would be significant value in sharing a couple of stories, thoughts and observations about what “we” see as recruiters in a niche market.

First and foremost, let me state from the outset that for the vast majority of roles that are recruited, there is only ever going to be the ONE position available.  Obvious right?  Stick with me here, because whilst this should be obvious, it would seem that there are candidates out there that forget this fact and the other closely associated fact that if there is only ONE position available and say 100 people apply, chances are that NINETY NINE of them are going to be disappointed.  It’s basic maths and yet it doesn’t stop candidates from being rude and at times, even abusive about the fact that they didn’t get the job even though (in their not-so-humble opinion), they were the best person for the job.

This leads me on to my next comment:  how can you know if you are the ‘best person for the job’ when you don’t even know who else has applied OR what the employer is actually looking for?  You’re well within your rights to believe that you’re a strong candidate because you have the necessary skills, experience and traits BUT the point is that  – YOU will NEVER know EXACTLY what an employer is looking for.  So rather than “assume” that you’re the best person for the role,  invest the time in your application to make sure that you have the best possible opportunity of getting the chance for a face-to-face interview.  Then, blow them out of the water at that interview and you might just convince them that you’re what they are looking for !

I mentioned above the competition (other candidates) and this is another point that unsuccessful candidates so often miss.  Faith and confidence in yourself is a much needed trait to be successful in the job market, but a misguided belief that your “Sh#t don’t stink” is likely to leave an impression of arrogance and prima donna tendencies.  Neither of which are an attractive proposition for a potential employer.  Remember, you may well be a great candidate, but there is always someone out there that is “better” than you.  Not a better person or even a better employee, but possibly just a better FIT.  Whilst I’m on the subject of “fit”, just quickly – always remember that a good fit goes both ways.  It has to be right for the employer AND the employee, so sometimes you’re better off missing out on a job if the fit isn’t right – it might just be a blessing in disguise!  To put the concept of competition in perspective, I recently recruited for a senior business leader role that attracted almost 70 applications.  Of the 70, there were 25 that could have done the job (admittedly to varying degrees, but they could still have “done” the job).  That’s over ONE THIRD of the candidates that applied, that by rights, could/should have been in consideration for the role!

This is where process comes in to play.  As a Recruitment Consultant, I am adamant about the fact that it is not my job to decide WHO a business chooses to employ.  Ultimately, my client is the one that will have to work with the successful candidate and not me, so later decisions are completely up to the employer (or their nominated representative(s)).  My (our) job is to make sure that we work closely with the employer (our client) and have open lines of communication (for more info on the importance of the employer-recruiter relationship see previous blog: http://blog.whitenow.com.au/2015/05/01/how-to-recruit-a-recruiter/) so that we are able to clearly identify all aspects of the ideal candidate-type in the hope that we can present our client with a range of candidates for consideration that match their requirements as closely as possible.  Obviously a lot of this is dependent on their ability to articulate what it is that they are looking for and our skills at drawing out this information and sometimes the tough conversations need to be had so that there aren’t any “elephants in the room”.  To achieve this, we run a tried and tested methodology that is linked to years of experience and because it is not an exact science, we then sprinkle all this with the tiniest pinch of fairy dust in the hope that it will bring us that magical candidate that fits in to our client’s organisation like a hand in to an old glove.  Coming back to my point specifically in relation to the role where 70 applied and 25 could do the job – as one of those 70 candidates, “YOU” would have NO IDEA what the level of competition is like both from a ‘cold-hard-facts’ perspective (the other candidates’ credentials) nor the ‘intangibles’ perspective (the competition’s alignment to the spoken [and sometimes unspoken] criteria as set out by the employer).  Surely then it is overly presumptuous to expect that you will automatically be on the short list and probably the preferred candidate for the role.

So, now that we are all a little more aware of some of the obvious, but often unconsidered facts of recruitment, why did I title this blog “It’s How We Lose That Shows Who We Are!”?  Simple:  the candidates that stick in my mind for all of the right reasons are those that are humble in defeat.  Those that thank me for my time and effort and make comment of their understanding of how tough the market it is and how difficult the decision must have been.  Then there are those that remain in my mind for all of the wrong reasons and rather than list some of the negative comments, behaviours and language here, I will simply say that their responses perhaps show their true colours when they’ve been knocked down.

Why?

Well because in business, particularly at a senior management level, it is unlikely that things are always going to be rosie!  There are going to be challenges and adversity and so if it comes to my integrity versus the integrity of someone that cannot be gracious in defeat and I am asked “can you recommend this person”, I am left with the easy decision to tell my client “No.  No I can’t recommend this person because I don’t believe that they would be good for your business or your culture”.

 

“ANYONE CAN BE A GRACIOUS WINNER BUT BEING GRACIOUS AFTER LOSING SHOWS STRENGTH OF CHARACTER” – Donald Lynn Frost

Service with a Smile

In the hectic lead up to Christmas, we missed getting our hands on one of the Aldi “Three Bird Roasts” and so in a mad panic, I called Jenny and asked her if she had any bright ideas.  Her response in an understandably matter-of-fact style was along the lines of “DERRRR, have you called Tanya and Paul at RPT Promotions?”.IMG_0155

“Ummm…..  No”, I replied somewhat flatly as my brain clicked in to gear and asked itself ‘now why didn’t I think of that in the first place, EJIT?’, (followed by a couple of expletives).

Anyhow, a call was placed to Tanya and was met with Tanya’s message bank, where I explained my predicament and went back to work.  Not even 15 minutes later, the lovely Tanya was calling me back with Season’s Greetings and instructions for how to get a hold of Paul.  Two minutes later I was dialing Paul’s number which was answered with Paul’s always happy & bubbly English accent.   Once again I explained my stupidity and with a wry laugh and an eagerness you had to hear to believe, Paul was making arrangements for one of his Turduckens to be delivered to Gladesville RSL (in close proximity to my home) for me to collect.

I thanked Paul profusely and he promised to call me back to confirm when the delivery would occur and off he went.  24 hours later he was back on the phone, as promised, to let me know that the Turducken was en-route to the RSL Club as planned.  He couldn’t have been any more obliging if he had tried.  What I didn’t realise at the time was that Paul and Tanya were in the middle of one of their BIGGEST Christmas’ ever!  They had orders stacked up to the rafters and were right in the thick of the logistical-challenge of getting everything delivered to the right place at the right time before Christmas Day!

The reason that I didn’t know just how crazy things were for P&T was because Paul made me feel like I was the only customer that he had, even though I was only after one item and it was probably (if I’m totally honest) a bit of an inconvenience.  But Paul went out of his way to ensure that I would get my Turducken with a short lead-time, so that my family could enjoy their Christmas Dinner and BOY, OH BOY did we ENJOY IT!!!…

The pictures speak for themselves, so let me just add that we all thoroughly enjoyed the Turducken, so much so that we will be placing our order with Paul and Tanya EARLY next year for Christmas 2015!

IMG_0154 IMG_0156 And let me also add that we are all extremely grateful to them both for being such a pleasure to deal with and for making our Christmas Dinner so very special this year.  Thank you both so, so much…

Job Application, Resume and Interview Tips

Helpful TipsThere are plenty of ‘What To Do’ and ‘What Not To Do’ tips for job applications, resume writing and interview skills out there if you care to look and most will say much the same thing including us at White Now:

  • Be active in your job search and keep a record
  • Network
  • Write a cover letter for EACH job application you make
  • Address the selection criteria in the advertisement
  • Have more than one Resume tailored to each job/industry you are applying for
  • Keep your Resume professional and only include information relevant to your ability to do the job not your date of birth, religious beliefs or hobbies
  • Include achievements on your Resume for each role
  • USE SPELL CHECK!
  • Dress professionally for job interviews
  • Practice your interview responses – BE PREPARED
  • Plan your travel to your interview

Amongst others…..

Most of these are probably ‘common sense’ to most people, but then ‘common sense’ isn’t necessarily ‘common’ to every one!

Some tips will also be quite subjective, whether or not to include your photo on your Resume, for example. Personally, I am not a fan of this, but some will recommend it – personal choice I guess. Please, do make sure it is an appropriate photo that presents you in a professional light and suitable for the job you are applying for.  A photo of you skiing may not be the best representation of you as a professional, committed manager.

So the advice you do get can be conflicting. The thing that is important to remember is that your application letter and resume is likely to be the first impression the recruiter will gain of you and like it or not, FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT! Especially if the recruiter has received 100+ applications and they are looking for a reason to exclude, rather than include an application.

Therefore: make sure you create a great first impression, use spell check, get a trusted person to review your application/resume honestly, check details of the contact person, company and position you are applying to and make sure the documents are presented professionally and that they are easy to read.

Your resume is a marketing tool for YOU, so think about how you want to market yourself to potential employers.

You can get daily tips on ‘What NOT To Do’ from Wiz Whitenow on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/wizwhitenow – there is a new Wiz’s WOT NOT every day to get you thinking and maybe even make you smile! Check it out!

If you would like to chat for some advice please call the White Now Team in the office or check us out on the website at www.whitenow.com.au for lots more information and positions vacant!

What to do When Attacked by ‘Aliens from Planet Hack!’

As many of you may know, www.whitenow.com.au was recently attacked, YES, attacked! – by ‘Aliens from Planet Hack.’  What this means, is the company that hosts our website and emails was externally and deliberately attacked and this effected our website and emails (along with lots of others) for about 6 days.  Not good for a web-based business!

Anyway, we are now back, the Aliens DID NOT win!

As with most experiences some good things did come out of it.  As an employee of White Now, I was really impressed with the response of those managing the company and our IT resources (Jenny White, Toby Kennett and Andrew Bassett-Smith).  There was no time wasted on ‘wringing hands’, feeling sorry for ourselves or laying blame.  Our management team was straight into ‘solution- finding’ mode and minimising the inconvenience for our clients and website users.  As soon as the problem was discovered, they were onto letting people know as best they could (via Facebook,LinkedIn and twitter initially) and setting up a temporary site so at least our current positions vacant could be seen.

It is really refreshing and inspiring to work for a company like White Now that concentrates on being positive, focused and professional and getting the ‘crisis’ resolved.

This is also a management team that regularly acknowledges the work of staff both publicly and privately – we always know we are appreciated, which makes a BIG difference!  So now its my turn to acknowledge them and say ‘you guys ROCK’ and are great to work for!

There is a definite lesson for ‘What to do When attacked by Aliens from Planet Hack’ or any other ‘crisis’ that befalls your business (or life for that matter), stay positive, focused and look for solutions.  That way you retain your power over the situation and leave the blame laying alone,  get on with the job.

Listening to Customers

listening

I recently purchased the NEW Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste that has been advertised widely.  Having sensitive teeth, the ad totally hooked me and the next time I was looking for toothpaste I decided to give it a go!

When I first went to use the product I was unable to open the ‘tamper-proof’ cap, so went to my husband for help.  In the end, we had to take to it with a knife and cut the secure cap off!  Rather extreme for toothpaste!

I thought that this was so dangerous and ridiculous that I decided to contact Colgate and let them know.  If we had this much trouble, how would someone like my 84 year old mother in law, with arthritic hands and living on her own, ever get the cap off?!  I went onto their website and found the ‘contact us’ section and sent them a polite email describing the problems I experienced.  I quickly received back an equally polite email that essentially ‘fobbed’ me off. Oh well, I thought, I won’t be buying that product again, regardless how good the toothpaste maybe, it’s just too hard to get to.

I forgot all about it and returned to another brand of toothpaste with any easy-access cap.  This week I received a parcel in the post from Colgate.  Seems I must not have been the only one to comment on the cap and they have redesigned it and sent me a tube to trial plus a questionnaire to answer.

Well today I tried the new cap which is still ‘tamper-proof’ but I am pleased to say VERY easy to open and access the toothpaste inside!

All of this really impressed on me how important it is to listen AND respond to customers.  I felt great that my comments had been heard and acted on and my further opinion was then sought.  I am sure I was one of many people who made comments about the cap, but if no one had said anything and had just never bought the product again, Colgate would have been left wondering what the problem was – the toothpaste?  the taste? packaging – WHAT?!  By receiving and acting on the feedback they have been able to make a small change and thererfore, hopefully retain customers and gain new customers, when they spread the word.

So, the moral of the story is to firstly let companies/organisations know if you find a problem with their product or service so they can take action – its then up to them.  Secondly, if you are that company/organisation receiving that comment, WELCOME it with open arms and see at as the opportunity that it is to make your service or product even better!  I will now continue to buy Sensitive Pro-Relief Colgate!

Car Stickers!

  

Side View of One of the Social Media-machines!

Just recently we had all of the company cars decked out with our company branding!  The White Now-mobiles got a purple and yellow wizard, whilst the Social Media-machines received the purple and turquoise Social Wizs, along with web addresses etc, etc! 

I personally live in a busy street in the Inner West of Sydney, one that people wander up and down each morning and evening, to/from Victoria Road, to/from bus.  The day after my car had been done, it was parked in the driveway as I diligently worked from home (at least that what I told the MD I was doing) and yet it managed to earn the business some money!  

You see, a lady wandering past my driveway on her way to her part time job in the city noticed my car and something about the little bare-bottomed Wizard (oh, I forgot to mention – Social Wiz and Wiz have dropped their cloaks in the name of promotion) drew her attention to the message plastered ALL OVER my car!  She then proceeded to look us up on the web once she got to work and made contact with us through our “enquiries” email.  The rest, as they say, is history……….she has signed up as a client and we are working hard on designing, developing and delivering a social media strategy and presence for her business. 

I have always been an advocate for NOT plastering a car with stickers (more from an obsessive-compulsive stand point when it comes to my cars), but since Social Wiz and I have started ‘driving around’ town together, he and I have started to gain quite a lot of attention and not due to my poor driving, I might add.  

So, if you happen to see one of the White Now-mobiles or Social Media-machines out and about, give us a wave or let us know where you saw us.  And if you are ever thinking about getting your car covered in naked bottoms or just stickers in general……..I can tell you from experience that it works!!!

Time(warp) with the Grandkids!

Like any doting grandparents, we love spending time with “our boys”, aged four-and-a-bit and sixteen months, but as they live in Sydney and we live in Adelaide it’s usually a few months between visits.  I suppose I shouldn’t be, but I’m always surprised at how they’ve grown up since I last saw them.  This time I just couldn’t believe the grasp that the four-year-old has on technology.

Now, I come from a generation that grew up without much technology.  We didn’t even have television when I was my grandson’s present age.  And even by the time I finished my education and went to work only big companies could afford computers which needed a climate-controlled room with access restricted to authorised technicians wearing white coats.  There was no such thing as a personal computer, let alone a laptop or notebook.  I always had a secretary to do my typing and I would have been well into my forties before I learned, reluctantly initially, to use a computer.  While I was working I kept myself reasonably up-to-date but since I retired five years ago, I’ve got rather left behind.

Kids today of course, like my grandsons, start using technology almost from the day they’re born and there are so many products that just weren’t around even a few years ago.  I’m thinking of things like iPhones, iPods, iPads, XBOXs, Wii, Wi-fi and so on, most of which I don’t have a clue about.  Let’s face it, I even have trouble turning on the television!

But it’s all second nature to my grandson.  He couldn’t wait to show me how to use his Dad’s iPad . He was able to demonstrate all the features like how to view photographs, play music and so on.  He also knows full well how to order and download applications – fortunately, he also understands that he’s not allowed to and that he needs a password which has been withheld from him.

When it comes to games, he’s in his element and has hand-eye coordination that I envy.  He keeps asking me to play with him but he’s so much better than me that I bore him.  So far, I’ve destroyed the Batmobile in Lego Batman, lost Indiana Jone’s treasure and broken both Kung Fu Panda’s legs.  I’ve now been banned before I do any more damage!

Friends of our age sometimes ask what we think of kids and computers.  Well, I’m all in favour.  Properly used with appropriate parental guidance the computer is a marvellous educational tool, while the ability to keep up with and use technology is an absolutely essential skill today.  Goodness knows what the future will bring; the likely advances are beyond my imagination but the kids will have to cope and the best time to start is now.

Guest Blog by Bevis “PA” Kennett

Busy! Busy !! Busy !!!

One of the questions we often get asked is, “how are things going in the land of White Now?”  (or words to that effect), and our response is usually along the lines of:

  • Flat Out
  • Flat Chat
  • Busy, Busy, Busy!
  • Don’t Know if We’re Arthur or Martha
  • Etc, Etc, Etc

What I’ve noticed though is that each and every time the above is clarified with something like:

  • But I’m not complaining, or
  • Which is FANTASTIC, or
  • I’d rather be flat out as at least we know we can pay ourselves this week, or
  • We never take our good fortune for granted

It got me to thinking just how “lucky” we are!  And when I say “lucky” it is not because of a fluke or being in the right place at the right time.  It comes down to a lot of BLOODY HARD WORK!!!  But the bottom line is that we all genuinely enjoy it and on a personal level, I am not sure what I would do with myself if I was sitting around twiddling my thumbs!

The past fortnight has seen a significant part of the team away on annual leave and whilst some in our office might suggest that the people in question do very little ‘real’ work, the fact of the matter is that they (well, at least one of them) do/does contribute to the overall productivity of the team!!! :)  ……office humour!

What never ceases to amaze, please, excite and drive me personally is the continual influx of business and the fantastic range of services that we get asked if we can provide or assist with.  Not a week goes by without the phone ringing or an email pinging that asks us to step outside our core business/services and look at opportunity from a different angle.

I was wondering why this might be the case.  And I think the answer is our………………INTEGRITY.  I firmly believe that the business is founded on such strong principles and that each of the team live up to those values on a daily basis so that our customers form a trusted bond with us which means that they are comfortable asking us for things that might not be on our ‘list’ of what we do.

So, in summary I would like to say that I believe we are so incredibly fortunate to wake up each day and be surrounded by opportunity, questions, ideas, laughter, integrity, honesty, support, open communication, etc, etc and that I pinch myself regularly and do a stop…….check…… every couple of days to make sure I recognise the reality of that fortune and never, ever take it for granted.

To everyone that supports “us” in the myriad of ways that we are so fortunate……….THANK YOU!!!  You are our reason for continual improvement and integral to our overall success.