February 2008


This month has seemed to d-r-a-g on forever.  I don’t feel like going out.  I don’t want to do my homework.  I don’t want to go to work.  I just want to do nothing.  I’ve got no motivation to do anything, ever.  I try to stay upbeat, positive and energized, but I just can’t shake the slump I’m in.

At first I thought it was just me who had somehow turned into a lazy bum, but apparently, and thankfully, I’m not the only one.  It seems that everyone I talk to feels the same way.  I ask how they are doing and the response I always get is, ‘BLAH.’ 

So, I’ve decided to look further and see what the heck is going on with everyone – and this is what I have found out:

SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as winter depression is related to the shortage of light we encounter in the winter months.  This shortage of light causes a lack of energy to carry out daily activities.  To treat SAD, there are various light therapies you can undertake, however, are time consuming and expensive.

There is an actual medical condition for what we are all going through.  Who knew the amount of light you get can affect your mood so greatly?  Remind me never to move to the Arctic!

If light therapy isn’t your thing, here are a few helpful tips on fighting the winter blues:

  • Learn something new.  It should help take your mind off the blues.
  • Curl up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book.
  • Get together with friends and have a night at home – veg out and have fun doing it (board games are always great).
  • Catch up on renting all those movies you’ve always wanted to see
  • Pamper yourself with a day at the spa – a massage is a must
  • Go shopping!  All stores are clearing out their winter stock and the deals are a steal!
  • Get outside and enjoy the snow – have a snowball fight with friends or go skiing – it’s a winter wonderland out there!
    1. Or you can take a page out of the bear book and hibernate for the winter, but

      somehow, in the city, I don’t think that will work out so well!

    Our latest assignment in presentation skills was to write and present a three-minute speech about our greatest achievement.  Topics ranged anywhere from excelling in sports to performing in front of a large crowd.  The speeches were great, yet my peers and I all said the same thing about the assignment – writing speeches about yourself is EXTREMELY difficult. 

    You would think that being in the business of PR, writing and talking is something that comes naturally to us.  For the most part, it does, but somehow, writing and talking about yourself is one of the hardest things to do.

    I think it has a lot to do with the voice – how can you best articulate yourself without sounding arrogant or incompetent?  What about the audience – do you find it harder when you are presenting to peers or to strangers? 

    What do you think it is that holds you back?  Why is talking about yourself so hard to do?

    A few weeks ago, I dined at the newly renovated Moxie’s Restaurant at Fairview Mall.  I won’t go through the entire ordeal but will tell you that it was such an experience that it drove me to writing my FIRST letter of complaint and to tell everyone that I knew about the horrible service.  I was basically starting a movement to boycott the Moxie’s at Fairview Mall (talk about bad PR). 

    bad service

    In my letter, I outlined the entire night from start to finish and sent it off to the manager of the restaurant.  I really didn’t know what kind of response to expect as it was my first letter of this kind.  The next day I received an email that not only addressed my concerns, but offered a form of reimbursement as well.

    I have yet to return back to use my certificate and give the restaurant another shot at satisfying and impressing me (and I will be sure to fill you in on the details when I do return), but what I was impressed with is the level of service the manager gave with his letter and his offering.  More importantly, looking at it from a PR point of view, the way in which he communicated his key messages as well as Moxie’s key messages.

    The very purpose of our company is to give our guests an experience that leaves them feeling better when they leave our restaurant than they felt when they first arrived.  We clearly missed the mark by a large degree last Friday evening.  We will apply the tough lessons from this series of inappropriate events to ensure we provide an excellent dining experience for all of our guests in the future.

    The letter was obviously longer than this bit I have provided, but this section was what got my attention. As a PR student, I am impressed as he has successfully reiterated key messages, but as a customer, the inclusion of the Moxie’s corporate speak irked me a tad. By wearing both hats, I see both the pros and cons to this, but as a budding PR professional, it makes me worry that what we do will irk when it is supposed to reassure.

    Perhaps I am crazy, or perhaps there are others who share the same feelings?