Category: Roots

Category: About Pages, Roots

Clowning Around

When my eldest son, Matt, was about three years old, my wife was working evening and night shifts as a nurse on the dementia and palliative care wards in a nursing home.

Many mornings Matt and I had hit the road — him for daycare and me to work — before she got home from an all-nighter. Continue reading

Illustration of a make believe castle on a blue night sky
Category: About Pages, Roots

Make. Believe. Copywriter.

I never believed I’d end up being a copywriter for twenty-plus years on three continents, run two and a half marathons, learn to teach yoga in India, Canada, Austria and the Czech Republic — and actually teach it in Australia (Good idea Wendy!), Canada and Malta. They all just seemed like good ideas at the time.

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Tim Hortons Timbit® glazed donut holes
Category: Roots

A Timbits Epiphany

As strange as this is is going to sound, back in 1998, my wife of the day, finding me home from the office early, delirious with excitement about my soon-to-be (as in, 0900 the following morning) new career as one of the world’s greatest copywriters, Continue reading

Original Zendesk lotus blossom logo
Category: Roots

Tatooine Customer Service

Back in the days when Zendesk’s logo featured a stylized lotus blossom and was accompanied more often than not, by a Buddha-like character who looked disturbingly similar to Jabba the Hutt, I was the newly-anointed Group Marketing Counsel for three water- and beverage-focused companies in Bermuda.

Jabba the Hutt photo thanks to Looper

Those were heady days for me: I’d networked my way from life as a small-town Canadian, freelance copywriter and marketing manager, to a jet-setting-monthly-to-an-island-paradise counsel of I barely knew what.

Those were also the islands’ peak economic heydays: if you were a Bermudian with any kind of a pulse, or an expat who’d wrangled any kind of a work permit, you probably had a job with a salary beyond your wildest dreams and a customer service philosophy not unlike the aforementioned, drooling, alien crime boss of Star Wars’ Tatooine (the real Tataouine is in Tunisia, about 300 miles, as the Blue Rock Thrush [il-Merrill in Maltese] flies, south-west of Malta, the three-island archipelago in the Mediterranean.

I didn’t know much about what I’d been hired to sell more of, but I knew for certain that even laid-back Bermudians would only put up with so much laissez-faire service, so I signed us up for a free trial of a revolutionary (at the time) new online, customer service SaaS tool.

Michael Hansen, Zendesk’s Evangelist in Chief, who was circling the globe at the time on his own dime, e-mailed me to ask if it would be okay if he mentioned us (their first account in Bermuda) on their website, and included his personal mobile number — I kid you not.

My Zendesk-in-Bermuda experiment was about as productive as pumping gasoline into a the tank of a diesel vehicle, but my passion for great customer service; a penchant (and some talent) for copywriting and creative direction; something more than a modicum and less than a full stack knowledge of WordPress, WooCommerce, themes, plug-ins and DNS; and no small measure of serendipity, have allowed me to work, mostly remotely, for definitely dozens of, and probably creeping up on a hundred, SMEs, NGOs and NPOs, in Canada, Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Denmark, Australia, and in the Mediterranean.

Stuart Mackay's Dalmatian BFF, Buddy, at Queensland Beach, Nova Scotia
Category: About Pages, Roots

Queensland Beach, Nova Scotia

Queensland Beach is located on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, about a half an hour’s drive west of Halifax. It’s arguably the most popular of St. Margaret’s Bay’s ten beaches, in large part, because you have to pay to access its nearest neighbour, Hubbards Beach, Continue reading