Magazine Maven

I’m proud to call myself a successful business owner, and even more so to be doing what I love every day of the week. What is that, you ask? Here’s the elevator pitch: I source and supply curated selections of magazines for waiting areas. Doctors, physiotherapists, hairdressers – whoever you are, I’ll customise a magazine package tailored to your reception zone, and which your customers, clients or patients are guaranteed to love. 

Just this week I completed a job for a podiatrist near Cheltenham. They were seeking to replace their worn-out collection, composed mostly of titles such as Paralegals Monthly, Mechanical Specialist and Hello Finance. These are all fine publications, but the moment I saw them I was dubious about their relevance to the general public. In the context of thumbing through a magazine to pass the time while waiting for a toenail fungus treatment, people don’t generally want to read detailed articles about professions that are not theirs. 

I was on the case immediately, carrying out surveys in the waiting room across three full days. Some people claimed they were happy with back issues of Hello Finance because it had a comic strip at the back that’s surprisingly entertaining, but most felt the selection was below average. One woman, who was there to be fitted for arch support insoles, spoke up plainly about how the magazine offerings made her feel. “What do I care about legal jargon or financial in-jokes?” she said. An elderly man attending the foot ulcer clinic chimed in that the font was too small in most of these mags. 

I used this wealth of research to design an on-target magazine collection tailored to the needs of the clinic’s clientele. I started with a base of Dog & Garden Summer Specials (2016 through to present), as these are a hit in just about any setting. Then I added flavour with popular titles like General People, HappyFace and On The Streams. I topped it off with a couple of recent Fancy Footwork editions for topical interest. 

They don’t call me the Magazine Maven for nothing!

Read More

War on foot problems

Being on this job is killing me faster than my diabetes. And that’s…y’know. Saying something. I’ve been a soldier for most of adult life and the strain the job takes on the body is starting to catch up on me. This is especially true of my feet. Back in the day, we had some of the best health professionals in the world tending to our various injuries straight after we received them. Back here in what I call ‘real life’..yeah, not so much. People go for days, weeks even, without reporting ailments. We just carry on, because we’re not in a war zone and a bit of an ache in your feet isn’t going to get you killed.

So now that I do actually have some serious foot problems, I can blame a reversal of fates. Should’ve expected this after how much time I spend doing all sorts on my feet. There’s a good podiatrist in Cheltenham, which an army buddy recommended. Still, the fact that I might have to stay off my feet for a while just seems strange. If my commanding officer were here, he’d make do push-ups on my knuckles for letting things get this far.

Come to think of it, I haven’t actually visited a foot specialist since I got back from my last tour of duty. I had so much healthy eating and exercise mentality drummed into my skull that I didn’t actually stop to consider the fact that, yeah, I might actually become ill at some point. Even healthy living and working an outdoor job won’t help all that much.

So now my feet feel like they’re on fire when I’m not standing on them. Great. From what I can remember, looks like some custom orthotics are the way to go. Too bad I have so many different pairs of work boots, not counting my casual ones. Hopefully it’s a one-size-fits-all deal.

Read More