Hi all from sunny (smoggy) Beijing! Who’d have thought people live like this?! See some of the pics below – to be fair only one day has been this bad though. I still wear my smog mask most days – even in the one hour car journey to and from the hotel – and being an industrial one it’s helping.
I’m also having lots of firsts for my TiFFT club* – including role playing an Ambassador’s wife! (see diary below) Have to say however, that working at QVC China (called CNRmall, and the logo has a big Q round it) is a really enlightening experience and whilst in some ways they are clearly younger than QVC UK, in others there are some interesting innovations I may be able to take back home when the three-weeks is up.
At time of writing I’ve been here five nights. Another 16 to go! Here’s the first instalment of my China Diary. Below that a selection of my usual blog features, which will resume when I get back.
Arrived all safe, good quality air today in Beijing – no smog! View from Oakwood apartment room. QVC/CNR tomorrow! Here we go! x
Fabulous breakfast = happy Debbie! They do stir fry and steamed veggies as well as all the usual! Courgettes it is! Then I was off to CNR Mall (QVC China) for my first day! Ridiculous driving – they wander in between lanes willy nilly, whizzing past litter-collectors in the fast lane by the verge and even on a good day like today, the smog means air quality described as ‘good’ is like being behind a London Bus or two. When it’s bad you can’t even see the buildings!
I was then welcomed by fab team including translator Yee (on right in pic), Mabel from HR and Presenter Trainer Mr Lee for the studio tour – this is the welcome board showing the ex-pats incl two from US and me – biog and all for all to see. The studio is similar to QVC but TX/on-air monitor is on top instead of to left.
Also the studio gallery is similar – they call producer ‘line producer’ but no phone call graph, just a pie chart on display of percentage active calls. Had a nice lunch with Craig Adler the VP, and arranged to do something tomorrow that I’ve never done before and never thought I would do during this trip!
It’s going fast! Today I was asked to stand in a role play. Dont panic, it was just for a walk through of when the US Ambassador and his wife visit CNRmall studios next Monday. I played the wife of Mr Ambassador. Natch. And it was definitely a first! Even down to doing the mock chat in studio, mock presentation in board room and mock photo opportunity with big brands! And no, no sign of Ferrero Rocher either (or anyone who knew what I was alluding to! Loll) Then did my ‘Who is Debbie Flint who’ presentation to most of the broadcasting dept. I ended the day going to supper with one of the marketing team to ask me about the script for the big visit. Tomorrow I have my first training session! x
Smog hits home!
OMG what an awful view – the smog finally settled in after a few days of less pollution, and what a shocker – this is what it’s like from the inside out, here in Beijing, (see pic of traffic and buildings). Pals may have laughed but never am I more grateful to have brought those industrial masks with me. I wear them on the hour cab journey (passenger seat is on right remember,) there and back. But even so, the back of my nose is still dry as a bone and getting awful congestion in my nasal passageways (to put it politely) if I leave the mask off outside. And this is only moderately polluted! It would be 25 degrees if no smog – can’t see the sun through it all.
Feels like being in a sci-fi film, truly, a vision of the future where they live like this. But its not the future its current day Beijing. When at it’s worst, outdoor events are cancelled and kids are kept inside during recess.
First Training session
Had my first group for the introduction to ‘selly telly’ session. Role play went down the best. What a lovely team. (see pic of me and team) One to one’s after (well, one to four) with Mr Li, Terry, Monnaca and Show Ai and my fab translator Yee. We extolled the virtues of lateral thinking with some super olive oil soaps and Nina Leonard design! It was strange seeing Cate our QVC UK guest being translated during their live shows. She does really well bless her!
Anyway it’s very hard and challenging – the language barrier meaning I’m using a different part of my brain all day long! Very enjoyable tho. First of many…
Had another little take away from the convenience store on the corner of the block but went home and had rest of home-made veggie dinner and remaining salmon from last night. Not very hungry today. Smog probably! Nearly over the jet lag but going to bed again early. Had a fitful night last night, room too hot, but very comfortable apartment. Have a look at ‘Oakwood suites, Beijing’ on google. I’m on 5th floor. Watched another ‘House of Cards’ DVD – Kevin Spacey is a genius.
My Try it for the First Time Club is really expanding with new experiences this week – even walking a couple of streets through Beijing traffic feels like a rocky ride – crazy drivers! Today I did three one to ones with other CNRmall/QVC China show hosts and had the most lovely time giving feedback and helping discuss the ‘benefit of the benefit,’ lifestyling and hot buttons – ooer! lol. Learning a few Chinese pronunciations for things and tweaking what I’m advising as I go along.
Like – of course most families only have one child, so you don’t ever talk about brothers and sisters…
– They can’t sip wine on air, if they’re selling a case of six bottles, it’s not allowed…
– Watching a Dyson animal cordless vac (yes the same product) done in Chinese…
– Seeing Cate from Nina Leonard on a couple of VT’s during the one to one sessions, seeing how they get the message across using a translator – lots of fun.
– Had lunch again with Craig the VP today too – was nice to just chat without needing translation. When i come back it’ll be weird to just talk!
Tomorrow night it’s end of week and am going out in the evening with the newly arrived Italian line producer, Marina, and Abi from the US who’s here for a year doing a buying role, then something fab planned for the weekend! I get the use of a car or one of the weekend days so we are deciding where to go/sight-see! Any suggestions? PS – this was one of the lovely girls – her English name is Morocco, doing a lapis TSV. So many parallels, so many differences. Learning a lot – love it!
Other News –
Back to You blog is here – including more Bodyblade magic from Bruce’s Monday Q&A, plus a webchat with Red Carpet Manicure’s Linda Bignell, aka my sis! We also have some wonderful testimonials being posted from people losing weight using Bodyblade and my Till the Fat Lady Slims method. Read a fab one on the blog too!
Read it Write it Sell it
Another fab review for my book – see below, plus Titanic – one hundred years ago, plus Book of the Week – Outlander 7 and a beginners’ guide to self publishing. More on my weekly RiWiSi blog !
House of Cards – what a brilliant series! I brought the whole first two series with me on DVD to watch out here as internet access for streaming is erratic. Am thoroughly enjoying Kevin Spacey as the conniving, machiavellian member of congress intent on behind the scenes wrangling – love it. Love him too – one of my favourite actors. Have always rated him and am so glad I have another 6 of 8 DVD’s to watch! Here’s Kevin Spacey talking about the show being interviewed on David Letterman Show – he’s fab – click here.
Facebook Viral – this is the logic question that’s been foxing many people online lately – can you get it? If not, answer is at bottom of page!
Oh oh! Catherine’s been at it again! Did you catch this last Friday when the lovely Renee was on?
Shhh – Saturday and Sunday at 11pm, put in your diary if you’re a Lola Rose or Ultrasun fan – some brilliant one show only type bargains coming up! Also in the next ten days or so – watch out for your favourite shows later on on Beauty Day!
Quacker fans – Patrick Hoy is not only our webchat guest on Back to You QVC facebook group having a banter Monday 20th 8-9pm, he’s also here Wed-Fri, 22-14th incl at 5pm each night with a mini series featuring your favourite embellished quirky clothes.
Bio-Chef Today’s Special Value – Wednesday
If you’re into your juicing, veggie juicing especially don’t miss the upcoming device – it looks interesting, if it’s anything like this one from QVC Italia.
As you’ll have seen on Facebook, QVC around the world has announced the tragic news that Lenny our former guest from the Nina Leonard fashion brand died on Easter Sunday. We send commiserations to his friends and family and wish his memory peace. There is no other info for me to give other than that. Very sad and he will be missed.
Week two from Debbie’s China Diary – join me then. And in the meantime, go to my Facebook page if you can’t wait for my updates – when I can access the internet, (which is not all the time, as China rules are strict about website access) I am posting updates.
Have a great week – I am!
Ps as promised, here is answer to the logic viral above!
PS – *TiFFT – Try it For the First Time Club!
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