About me

I have been writing poetry and stories since I was a child, and a love of reading was instilled in me from an early age. I am passionate about writing, and hope you enjoy the books I have written. Whilst most of you sleep soundly in your beds, like many Parkinson’s patients, insomnia dictates, so during those hours that sleep eludes me, the house is tranquil and quiet, an atmosphere perfect to immerse myself in writing. My life has been a series of strange events, which have without doubt contributed to my creativity. To publish anything is to bear one’s soul to the world. It is to stand naked and let everyone see who you really are. I have poured my heart and soul out on paper and I hope to share this journey, immersing you in a story, capturing your attention and firing the imagination. Through my writing and public speaking I hope to bring greater awareness to the general public about living with chronic disease.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Aggressive Sales Techniques

I was in a large pharmacy the other day, walking slowly, doing "the Parkinson's shuffle". It's not hard to be caught by an over zealous female sales assistant, who works on commission. I find it sometimes difficult to escape their aggressive hard sale techniques without buying something I really didn't need. All I wanted was a simple face cream for daytime. The lady began talking with great enthusiasm, telling me she was good at her job and knew exactly what I needed. Barely pausing for breath she prattled on trying to sell me an expensive product, claiming it would remove lines and wrinkles, rejuvenate and hydrate a mature woman's face, protect the skin from harmful UV rays, fading sun spots and blemishes and take years off making me look younger with a special anti-aging ingredient.

I politely let her finish the well rehearsed sales pitch, but with little patience left and standing there in pain, I told her I wasn't particularly bothered about looking younger. I was more interested in getting through each day, and asked if the face cream that appeared to do everything, also cured Parkinson's, because if it did, I would take two please. Now be rest assured, a line like that will bring any conversation abruptly to an end!

Finally I had rendered her speechless, and for a few awkward seconds, silence reigned between us. She looked me in the eyes, then glancing at the fancy packaged glass jar in her hands, she quickly put it back on the shelf. Taking hold of my arm she gently led me to the next aisle where all the less expensive familiar named products filled the shelves. With a distinct change of tone in her voice, showing genuine concern, making commission clearly no longer an issue, a caring and empathetic woman emerged before me. Handing me a simple tube of face cream, she told me the ingredients were more or less the same and the cream would do nicely, costing a fraction of the price. She wished me well and told me I was too young to have Parkinson's. "Your 50 years old, right?" she said eyeing me closely hazarding a guess. Astonished she had guessed correctly I replied "How did you know that?" Smiling warmly and with great confidence she said "I told you I'm good at my job!".

Being aware and knowing about issues that concern you is one thing, but sometimes without realising, as educated as we'd like to believe we are, natural biases and assumptions regarding areas we are not familiar with come into play. Finding oneself in a strange situation, life has a way of making some pretty cruel jokes at our expense. I found myself in an odd position recently which led me to write this week's article in The Huffington Post. I wish you all a very good weekend and if you happen to go to a pharmacy, beware any eager sales ladies!

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