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How I Survived Culture Shock in England

I still remember how I struggled with Culture Shock in England when I relocated several years ago. It was tough for the first few months, but then I got over it. I had to anyway. Prior to my moving to England finally, I had been visiting on a yearly basis so I was familiar with the country and its culture to a certain extent. But visiting a country regularly and relocating fully are 2 very different things, as I came to understand. Culture shock affects everyone in different ways. It does not matter whether they don’t travel often or they are regular travellers.

 

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I relocated finally to England in 2008. There was a master degree I had interest in at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol, and so I enrolled. Which is how I got here. Bristol is an amazing city. I had a lovely time studying there, and I really do miss the city. This year marks my tenth anniversary as a UK resident, which is why I felt the need to write this post.

Culture shock was a module I studied in Bristol Business School. Many people are unaware of how different cultures are, and how tricky it can be to embrace a different culture. If you have ever had to relocate, then you would know all about how hard it can be to try to make a life in a different country, as you most likely would have experienced it first-hand.

 

How to Survive Culture Shock in England

Here are a few ways I survived the culture shock in England.

 

Have a good sense of humour

Luckily, I was born with a sense of humour so I didn’t struggle too much with this. I know how to have a good laugh at myself and situations. This trait helped me get over issues quickly and helped me pursue my interests. Taking yourself too seriously in a country like England may not be a wise thing.

 

Embrace the web

One regret I would always have is not starting my blog earlier. I could have started this blog easily in 2008 when I relocated. There was a reliable internet connection. I had no social life and very few friends. And I was bored to death half the time in my student house. I spent most of my free time online doing nothing meaningful. My evenings were usually spent with me on my laptop, checking out cheapest online shopping sitesStarting Fashion and Style Police then would have been a smart way to utilise my time.

 

 

UK Blogger Image

 

Fall in love with Tea

I was not a big tea drinker prior to my move to the UK. Coming from a much warmer climate meant it was more chilled drinks for me. But first thing  I noticed about the Brits is how much they love their tea. I am still not a big tea drinker. I prefer a good cup of coffee/cappuccino. But I have fallen in love with tea a bit more since my relocation.

 

Embrace the unpredictable weather

Embracing the unpredictable British weather is one of the first things I struggled with. In the early days, I never knew what to wear. One minute it is warm and sunny, and the next minute it is wet and cold. It is pretty still the same, but I now know not to expect anything from the weather in England.

 

Be wise with your cash

I have always be relatively good with money. But relocation to England made me even better with money. I quickly learnt how to save every extra penny I made, and how not to spend crazily, in order to pay my bills and survive. It taught me to be more responsible and manage my money properly. In my early days in Bristol, I made use of many money transfer companies, as that was the fastest way of receiving and sending money. As an international student, I was only allowed to work 20 hours a week, so money was usually tight. But I remember making the most of those 20 hours allowance.

It is good to know there are now more money transfer companies around. This makes it a lot easier to send more home to loved ones if and when needed. I have friends who send money to Romania regularly thanks to companies like Transfer Rapid. So it is great to know services like this are available for people who are living abroad, away from their family and friends.

 

Have you ever relocated to a different country? How did you handle the culture shock?

 

*Collaborative post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I Left My Customer Service Job

Before I became self-employed, I did various customer service jobs. It was over the phone, so it was ok for me at that time, as I prefer dealing with customer over the phone than  face to face confrontation customer service. I was a customer service agent for well over 4 years, and it was hard. But it paid my bills and kept me busy, so it was all good.

Back then, I always knew I wanted more. The customer service job  was not mentally stimulating enough. It became a chore. The pay wasn’t great and the hours were very long. I even hard to work on some weekends, which I didn’t like much. Plus, I hated it when I had difficult customers or cases to deal with, and that was on a daily basis, making my life even harder.

I have been on both sides of the fence; as a customer service agent and customer. So I know the frustrations of working in a noisy call centre, with complicated systems and absent supervisors. Which is why I try to be extra patient and tolerant when dealing with customer service agents.

I recently came across an infographic done by the guys at CCSN which I found quite interesting. Here is the infographic below.

 

Customer service image

 

I agree with all the information on this infographic. For me, excellent customer service means –

 

I am not kept waiting

I called my phone company the other day and I was on the queue waiting to be answered for almost an hour. That to me is just madness. I like it when my call is answered immediately or within a few minutes. That is my definition of excellent customer service. Keeping customers waiting for hours is totally unacceptable.

 

There are other contact options

I like handling my business online so calling a call centre is usually my last resort. I rather send an email or do what I have to do online. Good customer service would provide other contact options for their customers to make use of. As a full-time blogger, I spend majority of my waking hours online, so I rather so out my utilities and anything else that needs sorting online too.

 

My query is dealt with quickly

The whole small talk thingy confuses me. Why would I want to talk about the weather when dealing with a dodgy broadband service?

I hated small talk as a customer service agent and I hate it as a customer too. It makes no sense to me. I just don’t have the time or the desire to engaged in meaningless chitchat when I call a company. Excellent customer service to me means my query is dealt with quickly and properly.

 

I am not passed around

Being passed from department to department pisses me off. Most times I end up ending the call in frustration. This usually happens when I am unlucky enough to speak with clueless customer service agents.

 

To be frank, good customer service isn’t rocket service. It simply means putting the customer first in all decisions. If companies put their customers first, they will have happy customers and employees.

 

What is your definition of excellent customer service? Please sound off in the comments section.

 

*Collaborative post

 

What Hyperpigmentation Did to my Skin

I never knew a skincare issue like Hyperpigmentation existed until I became pregnant with my kids. I knew about the condition because I noticed the skin changes on pregnant women but I didn’t research it or give much thought to it. Hyperpigmentation descended upon me whilst pregnant about 5 years ago, and then I started to experience it real life.

At first, I thought it would all disappear after delivery, but then it didn’t. Then I thought it surely go away within a few months, once I was done with breast-feeding, but it didn’t. It reduced months after delivery but it did not completely go away until my twins were around 3 years old. So it literally took me over 3 years to get my skin tone back. Can you imagine that?

For those who have never experienced Hyperpigmentation, this skincare issue occurs when melanin is overproduced in certain spots on the skin. So for me, that was on my entire face and my neck. It occurs as a result of hormonal influences, and 90% of pregnant women experience it. Women with darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation.

So you have a clear picture of what I am on about, here are some pictures for you to compare.

 

Before Pregnancy

Fashion and Style Police image

Beauty Blogger Image

Hyperpigmentation Skin Issue Image

 

 

During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Picture

Pregnancy Picture

 

 

After Pregnancy

Fashion Blogger picture

Blogger Image

 

As you can see in the before, during and after pictures, my skin experienced significant changes during and after pregnancy. I must confess, I found the changes hard to deal with. I expected my skin to bounce back weeks after childbirth but it didn’t and I didn’t like the way I looked.

At first, I tried to ignore it and carry on as normal, thinking it was one of those hormonal imbalances that would just correct itself but it didn’t. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

 

How I Dealt with my Hyperpigmentation
Suncream

I started paying more attention to my skincare. I made sure I applied as much sunscreen as required, and stayed out of the sun.

 

Exfoliate

Exfoliating once a week with the right products helped. Getting rid of the dead skin helped to brightened up my facial skin.

 

 Skincare Products

I explored various skincare products and fell in love with quite a couple.  I recently reviewed this Vitamin C Ultra Brightening Serum by The Hero Project, and it is really good. I apply it every morning and it does the trick. Another great serum is the KOSE Sekkisei Emulsion. It also contains Vitamin C, and other amazing ingredients.

 

Food Supplements

Food supplements have also helped my skin greatly. I am a huge fan of Well Woman and BioCare Supplements. Nutrient deficiencies can contribute to poor skin health. Food Supplements that may help improve skin health and appearance include:

  • Antioxidants, including vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E
  • Vitamins B3 and B5
  • Evening Primose Oil
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Zinc

 

 

Beauty Blog Image

 

My skin is still not back to what it was 100% but it is getting there. If you suspect that you are dealing with hyper pigmentation, I would recommend you see a dermatologist for professional advise. Don’t be like me and leave it to go on for years.

Have you ever struggled with hyperpigmentation? How did you deal with it?

 

 

 

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