Beware of www.Cancellations.com : Customer Service WANTED

You may remember my old blog, "Help Wanted, Help Found" where I chronicled good and bad customer service experiences.  The posts were from my own adventures and also from submissions.  I tried to be constructive for the most part and used my customer service trainer history to *ahem* educate the folks in question.  
I thought you all might enjoy this snappy reply (color and font change mine) from www.cancellations.com  when I asked why we had to share a driver's license to open an account.  I found it odd that one employee had to share their personal information...or else.  
I'm underwhelmed by their reply, uncomfortable with their desire for personal ID (doesn't everyone else have other validation options?) and just wondered what others thought.
So...what do you guys think of this?

Kevin (Cancellations.com) via zendesk.com 

10:07 AM (6 hours ago)
to me
##- Please type your reply above this line -##
Your request (#201539) has been solved. To reopen this request, reply to this email or click the link below:
http://getwireless.zendesk.com/requests/201539

Kevin (Getwireless.net) 
Feb 13, 11:07 
Hello, 
Thanks for using Cancellations.com. We require a legible, valid, government issued photo ID, so that we can verify you are who you says you are, and also so that we can confirm that you are authorized to make postings for the organization that you have registered. If you are not comfortable providing this information, you do not have to utilize our service. Thanks. 
Getwireless.net Support Team
support@getwireless.net
(814) 867-2100

Heather Novak
Feb 13, 10:16 
Our church is trying to register for cancellations.com but as we register a driver’s license is required. Why is this? None of us want to put our personal information our like that for our church to be able to post. 
Thank you for answering. 
Heather Novak 

Plant Therapy Can Save You Money: Where I Buy Essential Oils

I've used essential oils for ten years.  I learned about them from my best friend Jenny who would drop peppermint essential oil in the shower or give a back rub with it for her sick kids.  Then I met Val Lang of "A Natural Hi" in Niles, Michigan at the seasonal French Farmers Market.  I bought a small kit of eight oils from her and started playing with them, mostly in a tea light burner or topically.  A coworker Leah used essential oils all the time too so I borrowed books from her and she gifted me my first oil burner/diffuser.


As the years progressed I found my favorite essential oil 'bibles' and  continued to add oils to my collection.  I'd buy them anywhere.  Aura Cacia, NOW, whatever I found.   Lately I see lots of people are discovering the health benefits of essential oils and I am thrilled.  This is thanks to the largely marketed doTERRA and Young Living essential oil companies.  But I do not buy essential oils from them.  No way.


I've bought oils for years.  They work.  It is a pleasure to use essential oils no matter the reason.  And they are AFFORDABLE.  But you cannot build a gagillion dollar business when something is affordable...so instead lmajor essential oil companies are trying to make essential oils DESIRABLE and SPECIAL and charge more for them.  (Since people are already used to paying too much for things, lets keep that going.)

*ahem*  I am derailed.

OK.  So I am used to paying around $8 for a bottle  of  essential oil.  A few more bucks for rarer or harder to distill oils and a lot more for the rarest... Frankincense, Myrrh, they were gifts for a king for a reason.  I want higher quality essential oils now, but I just cannot fall for paying three times what I am accustomed to paying.  I try.  It would be easier, but...um no.



A friend who used to buy doTERRA turned me onto Plant Therapy.  She said they were great quality essential oils at 1/3 the price of her other brand.  I thought at first it was a company I could share and sell through, but it isn't.  You just buy from them and that is it.  Which really is ok.  I started with a Germ Destroyer blend for the kids and a Digest Aid blend for me.  The thing I learned from the essential oil classes I attended is I do want higher quality oil than I may have used before, but I also need a strong value for my dollar.  I think I have found that with Plant Therapy.


I offered to do a review for Plant Therapy and they sent me Nighty Night Kidsafe Blend free for my kids.  The girls have been getting up a lot at night and going down at night rough.  Lots of fussing and up and down and a general lack of fun for us parents.  We have been using Nighty Night  most nights for a few weeks now.  It was the first Essential Oil I couldn't just drop on their pillow or pjs...it is a bright blue color I have never seen before in essential oils...I am guessing that is the Blue Tansy?   It is pretty but I do worry it would stain.



The directions suggest you dilute it, so I rub it into olive oil and massage the kids briefly with it.  They LOVE the Nighty Night essential oil and they ask for it if I forget.  Even my husband and the girl's Grandpa have had to learn about it so they can give it to the girls when I am not doing bedtime.  I think it has helped limit the going to bed drama immensely, but it hasn't helped the little one sleep through the night any better because she has been sick with a cough.  I think in general we have noticed a benefit from using Nighty Night.  For a bit under ten dollars, it is a tool I will use regularly to avoid bedtime battles.


Using the kid safe line from Plant Therapy, 
I don't have to guess what to use or 
what is safest for my little kids. 

Although essential oils aren't a miracle cure for us, I think they help my kids feel better and may spare us some ugly bouts of illness.  (This is funny to type because just now we are in the middle of our worst bout of cold and flu, but it is not our normal. )  I keep adding oils to my Plant Therapy wish list so I know what I am running out of and plan to buy next.  I bought my friend a Christmas present from them too.  I think Plant Therapy offers strong essential oils at reasonable prices and in may cases you can select the organic version of an oil if you prefer that.  I also like their KIDSAFE line.  One thing I learned this past year is that a lot of oils I have used on my kids aren't great for them, even if I have felt they worked well.  Using the kid safe line from Plant Therapy, I don't have to guess what to use or what is safest for my little kids.  I also like the options of a diluted roller ball or straight up essential oil blend that they offer.

I don't get any kickbacks from Plant Therapy if you click a link or buy through this post, but I sure would appreciate it if you would drop my name when you order essential oils or essential oil blends from Plant Therapy.  And let me know what you think about essential oils and your experience with them.

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Super Bowl Ads Trend Lower Than Heather Novak: Back to your regularly scheduled blogging

Man!  Give me a job and GOODBYE BLOGGING!  Lookit how fast that happened.  Ok.

Apparently Christmas Happened.


And then New Year's.  And now it is almost Valentines' day and I am back!  Blog posts have been percolating in my brain all week and I am finally giving in.  The kids may want my attention and have been going to further lengths to get it, but...

First I have a mostly written Plant Therapy essential oil review I'm about  a month overdue in posting.   

Then I got an advance copy (BLOGGER PERK!) of  the FABULOUS FOOD BABE Vani Hari's "The Food Babe Way" book to review.  

And maybe my eldest is a real bonafide GIRL SCOUT and was SELLING GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!  It is my HEAVEN on EARTH to have my own personal supply of cookies.  #parentingbenefits 

Then maybe my kids sat in the kitchen sink to peel shrimp 

and 

I painted my canvas Chuck Taylors and let's just say:  

Even a working mom's gotta blog!

I thought about my blog even as I was not blogging, wondered how serious I could be now that I am working,  considered putting it on hiatus and I just couldn't.  I love you all reading. Your comments are GOLD to me.  And of course I love the writing. 

BESIDES. Somebody's gotta bring a special kind of crazy into the world with F words: Fragile Faith, Frenzied Family, Fairly Healthy Food, Failed Fashion and Feisty Friendships. 







Christmas Party Poem for Mamas

I wrote this too early in the morning two Christmases ago, and it should not be missed any longer.  

Twas The Night Before Spin Class

Twas the Night Before Spin Class and I was in bed,
my down comforter snuggled all the way up to my head.
My dreams were disturbed far too early I fear,
as I knew the time for an exercise class was near.

From my cozy warm bed I arose with a clatter;
some horrible sound and tinny talk patter!
I rubbed sleep from my eyes and stretched my stiff back
looking groggily at my clock alarm from Radio Shack

The lights were all on and the announcer was prattling
when I realized the alarm was going off, my sleepiness shattering
I spied the pile of gym clothes folded and neat
and I realized last night I'd attempted a feat

Attend the Mothers and More Holiday Party
with other Mamas so pretty
never got my chocolotini by the way, kind of...uncool.
We were all gussied up and made up in our best
our children by sitters and fathers and family put to rest
so we could enjoy being more than mothers and WOW were we HOT!

So my foolish feat of this day became clear
I was meant to go to spin class, Oh. My. Dear.
Five a.m. was quite early in the best circumstances but
thoughts of rich food and cocktails through my head...
that craziness prances!

My terrible friend Lindsay and my wretched pal Liz
both agreed we could make the class just as we is.

But we didn't.  NO WAY!




Bah HUMBUG! (& Merry Christmas)

Mama Goes Back to Work. A Little Bit.

Sometimes God sticks me in the most interesting of places.  A perfect job came up for me last week: a friend I admire and volunteer with at church was leaving her position and asked if I was interested in it.  I said yes, BUT I'd be interested in about two more years when both girls were in school full time.  That is my timing.  'Ol Padnah's timing, well it is a bit different.  So conversations were had and meetings happened and everything aligned so that I could accept a part time Interim position at my church for three months.  I went from afraid to thrilled, tentative to delirious with joy.  I believe when a person gives themselves over to seek God's will amazing things can happen.  



I will be the Interim Director of Connections at First United Methodist Church.  My job is First Impressions which means connecting people to each other and to God...can you IMAGINE?  Could I be better suited to any other job?  All of my faith and church experiences have honed me for this job.  My work life of fixing troubled teams and properties for The Sterling Group has prepared me for this job.  Learning to lead a ministry with Modern Moms has prepared me for this job.  Growing closer to God over the past eleven years has stretched me towards this job.  I feel prepared by God for this job the same way I was prepared for my husband John.  I can, in retrospect, see how all the pieces fit together to make me uniquely qualified to serve the FUMC congregation well.  

But.

There are weaknesses in me too.  There is vanity and frivolity and overzealous passion for what I think is right.  These worry me.  A schedule, deadlines, and responsibilities deeper than folding socks scare me.  I need your help.  Will you pray for me?  Will you think of me as you may any mama heading back to work after a period of raising their babies?  Pray I am guarded from b.s (yes, that CAN be a healthy prayer) Pray that I am wise and never forget I am working FOR the people, not myself...that I am ultimately always working for God.  'ol Padnah.  Abba. Phil. (Ask Anne Lamott!) And please pray for my husband John, he will be a little busier with me working more.

I want above all things to honor God with my life by encouraging others.  I fail so often at this, and so I am a constant work in progress...and I covet your prayers.  

I will continue to do speaking engagements, lead Modern Moms and write the Live Your Love Out Loud blog. I will be working mostly when Portia is in school and Libby is in preschool.  The day Libby comes to work with me she gets to bring her lunch and she is over the moon about that.  I would love for this to become a long term job for me as it uses my gifts, pays well and has flexible hours that allow me to truly be present for my family.  We shall see how the next three months go, and what God will do next. I cannot wait!

p.s.  If you are local, even if you do not go to church or if you attend your own church I would love to get your candid feedback if you can VISIT our First United Methodist Church at 103 Franklin Street, Valparaiso, Indiana.  I'll be responsible for the volunteer teams that greet and usher and for the atmosphere for new guests so I would be fascinated to hear your take on things if you can spare an hour on Sunday.  8am, 9:15am and 11am Services.  

p.p.s. We have donuts.

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