What I learned from being ill 

I don’t get ill often. But last Saturday I picked up a stomach bug and spent the night throwing up until I had nothing left inside me. As it’s a new experience for me I spent a bit of time thinking about what I’ve learned from it.

I couldn’t drink Diet Coke

I used to drink a lot of Diet Coke, eight or ten cans some days. But since being ill I can barely manage one can a day. It tastes wrong and it upsets my stomach a bit. It took me a few days to realise that the sudden reduction in Diet Coke was also a sudden reduction in my caffeine intake and was contributing to my tiredness. On the upside I drink a lot more water now.

I went to work

Without even thinking about whether I should have called in sick, I went to work. I don’t know if it made me feel worse but it certainly didn’t speed up my recovery. I don’t think I’ve ever called in sick, but it’s certainly something I’ll consider next time I’m ill.

I expected to feel better sooner than I did

I thought that once I’d finished throwing up I’d be back to normal. But actually it wiped me out for nearly a week. I didn’t eat or sleep properly for a few days, which made me even weaker, and not having the caffeine from the Diet Coke affected me too.

It took me a while to understand that all of the consequences of being ill were having a compounded negative effect on me because my assumption about myself was that I could handle being ill and just bounce back. I must be getting old.

Week Notes #18

What happened this week…

  • Updated our Backlog
  • Presented at the Ecommerce Working Group
  • Reviewed the RMSP Draft Requirements Document
  • Added to the Ecommerce Knowledgebase
  • Worked on a framework for Ecommerce Operations
  • Got a new Credit card (which means can carry on selling on Amazon)
  • Got shortlisted for the Northern Digital Awards Best Ecommerce Website of the year 

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Welcoming our new Ecommerce Executive to the BHF
  • Ecommerce Immersion Session
  • Meeting with our logistics company

Interesting stat of the week…

  • Comparing the first week of December this year to last year, the number of visitors using desktops stayed about the same, as did visitors using tablets, but the number of visitors using mobile devices increased by 43%.

In the not too distant future….

  • Customer surveys, testing propositions and validating strategy

Week Notes #17

What happened this week…

  • Updated the Ecommerce Projects Roadmap
  • Demonstrated Magento to the Community Fundraising Team
  • Started building a Weekly Sales and Margin Reporting Dashboard
  • Agreed the final Ecommerce As-Is Processes for RMSP
  • Prepared the presentation for the Ecommerce Working Group

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Cost Analysis for November
  • Planning for improvements to our Customer Services
  • Presenting to the Ecommerce Working Group
  • Requirements for Community Fundraising Ecommerce Site
  • Working on Rebecca’s Induction Plan
  • A final push on Christmas Cards marketing

Interesting stat of the week…

  • Comparing this November to last November, Pageviews are up 28%, Pages per Session is up 51%, Average Session Duration is up 36%, Conversion Rate is up 52%, Bounce Rate is down 16% and Abandonment Rate is down 11%

In the not too distant future….

  • Experience Mapping and Personalisation on the main website to bring more visitors to the Online Shop.

Did I make the right decision?

Today my journey home took longer than usual. I had to get a different train to a different station because trains weren’t running on the line I would usually use. The trains weren’t running because someone committed suicide.

On any other day that would have seemed tragic to me and I would have thought for a bit about that person, what they must have been going through, and what their family will have to go through. But today it feels like it hits me even harder, because today I turned down a job with the Samaritans.

It was a really difficult decision to make. Leaving the BHF would feel like a waste of all the effort I’ve put in over the last two years, but not going to the Samaritans feels like a waste of an opportunity. Both charities do fantastic work saving people’s lives. Both roles are awesome and the work inspiring, both will achieve something amazing.

Being wanted is supposed to make you feel good, instead I feel torn and that whatever I do I’m letting someone down and failing at something I chose to set it motion. I wish I could do both jobs.

If I was superstitious and believed in signs I might think that the events of today were meant to be a message for me. But of course I’m far too rational to believe in signs and my locus of control is far too internal to think that events that are absolutely nothing to do with me should have some bearing on my decisions.

But I wonder… did I make the right decision.

Week Notes #16

What happened this week…

  • Continuing to send Trustpilot reviews.
  • Dealing with order enquiries from customers.
  • Investigating how the various strands of Finance work together.
  • Met with the Retail Customer Services Manager to talk about a new Customer Services system.
  • Revised and streamlined the RMSP Ecommerce Process Maps.
  • Ecommerce Monthly Management Meeting to discuss Customer Services and Finance barriers.
  • Reviewed the Logistics Process Maps and identified some opportunities for improvements.
  • Fixed an issue with stock level updates.

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Sending more Trustpilot reviews.
  • Designing transactional emails for order dispatched, return received and refund sent.
  • Demo-ing Magento for Community Fundraising.
  • Planning Christmas cards sales marketing report.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • The average order value for Christmas cards is £14.95, and the average number of cards in an order is 5.27.

In the not too distant future….

  • Lots of induction meetings for Rebecca.

Week Notes #15

What happened this week…

  • Sent more Trustpilot review requests (1672 sent and 157 received, giving a response rate of 9.39%)
  • Induction planning for our new Ecommerce Executive
  • Refined some requirements for upcoming work on Magento
  • Began moving the Online Shop to cloud hosting
  • RMSP Process Mapping
  • Dealt with lots of customer enquiries

Read this week…

Doing next week…

    null
  • Discussing the Customer Services Improvements Project with the Retail Customer Services Manager
  • Ecommerce Monthly Management Meeting
  • More planning for the next pieces of work in Magento
  • Investigating how Ecommerce Finance Reporting works
  • Preparing for the Ecommerce Working Group

Interesting stat of the week…

  • The best selling Christmas card has sold the same amount as the thirty-three worst selling cards, the best selling twenty cards (out of 96) account for half the volume of cards sold, which totals 15,527 packs.

In the not too distant future….

  • Focusing and prioritising of projects for the next few months.

Why amber is the most important traffic light

The red traffic light is important because it tells drivers when to stop. The green traffic traffic light is important because it tells drivers to go. But the amber traffic light is far the most important traffic light. The amber light warns drivers that they are going to have to stop soon, or go soon, but even more importantly than what the amber light tells drivers is that it allows for flexibility, it allows for human nature, for people who are going to go when they should be stopping and not go when they should be.

All systems should be built with human nature rather than against it.