October 27, 2006

My Soul Just Opened Up!

Those who know me know I'm skittish about death. Not death per se but, about seeing or being anywhere close to the shell of a person after they've gone to glory. But on the flip side I have a fascination with cemeteries. Names, dates, who they are. I get certain feelings and inspiration about people and what lives they lived. Sometimes I can hear their voices speaking to me from the dust. It's like a moth to the flame really because sometimes I have trouble sleeping if its been a particularly spiritual experience where the veil has become so thin I can hear their voice.
Wednesday Elle and I took a trip up to Preston, Idaho to visit the resting place of a friend of ours that passed away 2001. Usually ever President's day weekend we go and pay our respect to him and then we go to Logan to visit a baby girl whose parent's have moved to California and are friends' of Elle. I had mentioned to Elle that I wanted to get to a cemetery in Harriman but could never find it. She said she'd show me if it weren't to dark when we got back.
Well it was dark when we got back but she showed me how to get there so I could at least know where it was next time I wanted to go. It was way out and very dark. Sorta creepy, but it was OK, I had prepared myself to be in cemeteries for our road trip
Yesterday morning (Thursday) I got up, did the morning ritual took Ali-bop to school. Before I knew it I was in my car headed for Harriman. I was cranky and not in the best of moods. I was tired from the day before. Cold from the day before. I'm not sure why the cranky mood. I get the cemetery and was pretty fascinated by it. It was rather small, not office or anything to go into and inquire of anything. There was a Pioneer Memorial and a Veteran Memorial that captured my attention. I read the memorials of the people who settled the area and Veteran's that died so that we might live freely in this country. And then I walked around and found some of the resting places of these people. In my walking around I came across a very bare site. Just a cement slab, none of the garnishing and decorations that so many of the other stones had.
It simply said: "Native American, No Name, No Date."
I was mesmerized. I kept reading it over and over. I walked away with that burned into my Memory. I took a couple of steps to the left passed another head stone, can't remember the names or dated. Took another couple of steps and came across another cement slab.
This one said:
"Afro-American Woman, No Name, No Date."
I physically could not take a step for about 2 minutes. My mind could hear people calling, the name wasn't clear but it was as if they were searching for someone.was she scared? Was she lost? Was she cold, neglected?

A rush of different feelings came over me and then I felt nauseous. I grabbed my Camera and took a couple of pictures of the head stone. I began to walk away. And then I saw "Native American, No name, No Date" etched in my head as if saying...."what about me?" I went back and took a picture of that headstone. I soon left after that. My mind was focused on the images of "No Name, NO Date."
How sad. How Alone. No more! I called my sister on the way home and told her what I just experienced.
She said... "wait.. there's no birth date?"
I said "no."
She said... "no death date?"
I said "no"
I heard myself say.. "We're adopting them!" Can I tell you how cool my family is?
She said... "OK!"
She will "name" the Black Woman. I'm letting my daughter name the Native American. We don't even know the Gender of the Native American.
I also told Elle that we're adopting them. She too, said.. "OK"
I have just adopted 2 new family members. I don't know who they are, where they came from or even if they led good lives or not. But my heart has found all this love for something about them. I have to honor that. We will be going to visit them very soon.

October 24, 2006

Wyoming Cowboys Get the Boot!

For the first time in 3 years the Wyoming cowboys gave Colorado state the boot while getting the boot in return. In the 98th battle of The Border War long time rivalry against the two states. Wyoming shut out Colorado 23-0

*if you come across any pics of college football rivalry trophies please contact me. I'm trying to get a collection of as many pics and I can.

It's a great time to be from Michigan! Even though Im not there now I have the same excitement I know my homies do. University of Michigan holds true to their 8-0 football streak, although I must admit the Iowa Hawkeye's had me worried for a bit. The Spartain came back from a 31 point deficit to win over Northwestern. I must has I have a hard time feeling badley for a team that blows a 31 point lead. Even it if is generic trojans. The Detroit Tigers are in the World Serious. Tell ya truth I lost track ot the Tigers years ago. Is Mark "the bird" Fidritch still talking to baseballs on the mound? Even Western Michigan Football team in Kalamazoo (yes there is a placed called Kalamazoo) made ESPN. Couple that with the beautiful fall colors I know are blasting all over the place and the bite in the air at the high school football teams getting ready for homecomings and Halloween. It's all comes back to me, that sites, the smells, the goosebumps from the humid cold. Michigan always had Perfect football weather. I remember a few years ago sleeping on the futon in my daddy's basement up in Layton, Utah. It was the Michigan- Lucky Charm game (notre dam). It was slightly chilly so I had a blanket wrapped around me. I turned on the big screen TV. It was one of those the side of a wall in your basement. And the basement had surround sound and the sound was Clear as a bell. I turned on the game. I remembering closing my eyes, lying back and hearing the roar of the opening kick off. IT WAS JUST LIKE BEING IN THE BIG HOUSE! It was such an exciting rush! I'll never forget that day and what pride I felt being from the state of Maize and Blue Wolverines. Detroit Tigers. Michigan Wolverines. Great Lakes. Snap Crackle and Pop, Tucan Sam and Tony Tiger. Oh yeah, it's like that!

October 22, 2006

The Customer is ALWAYS Right..... and other such nonsence

"That's a buncha Crap!" I told my customer. She was stunned and I was of such myths. She asked.."What did you say to me?" So i repeated very slowly "That's.... a... BUNCHA... Crap! I recognize that you are my customer and you are upset at yourself that you made this terrible mistake and would like me to correct it a the cost of the company. But you accusing me of making the mistake, does not make you automatically right, just as me calling you a tree doesnt automatically make you a tree. The customer is NOT always right, however, I feel that as a customer you should aways feel satisfied, do I will split the cost of reshipping the items you meant to order."

A moment of silence for my job... and from her.

Then she said.... "you're right. I will agee with what you've said and I accept the offer for spliting the cost of shipping that is more than fair and very generous."

Hell, i thought so. Since we have a recording of her placing her order and telling us the incorrect thing she DID in fact purchase.

See, this is how I work.. Im more apt accept human error truth than an arrogant made up accusation that's come at me in defense. I have more respect for those customers that call and say... "Hey, I messed up, can ya help me out." then those who pull something like... "Well yes I gave the wrong item number but my records show I've never ordered this, I've always ordered the other one and you should have known." First of all.... We're only psychic on Tuesday and this is friday. Second of all... when you call your past history of purchasing with us doesnt appear before my eyes, if you dont know what you want, I REALLY don't know what you want.

Being a customer care person is not something that just anyone can do. If you work an inbound 800 line each call is like a time bomb... some go off and some never do. Thank goodness for those who never do. Some people make the same mistakes month after month after month and have the nerve to get upset when we have to put an end to it and say "no" or I'm sorry we just arent able to extend yet ANOTHER exception to you.
Some people are just not honest. I figure, well if you wanna go to hell for lying, cheating or stealing, what do I care? They blame Customer Service for their mistakes and errors and then make it seem as if they're entitled to be rewarded for them.
And you try to educate them so they can avoid making or teaching the mistake to others and they get sooo soo soooo defensive. My favorite line in an Educating moment..
"well HOW and I supposed to know this stuff?"
"well Ma'am it's in the policies and proceedures guidelines book."
"I'm busy I didn't read it."
"well, ok it's also published on the website and in the monthly and bimonthly magazines you recieved"
"oh you think i have time to sit and read all this stuff?"
slightly irritated by now..."well, ma;am. you simply asked me how you were supposed to know this stuff. I am simply providing you with where you can find it. I understand you are busy and might not have time to read all the literature. However, as a company we do provide the answering to your questions and make it easily available. We cannot call you and our other 158,000 distributors personally and tell you these things."
"I run a business and it is impossible for me to close my store just to read your literature."
Very irritated by now: "Ok Ma'am. Part of taking on the responsibility of owning a business is keeping yourself updated and educated on changes within the company."
Oh, and don't ever pull this... on me... "you get paid to deal with this."
"I do not get paid to be belittled, and disrespected and will disconnect the line without a second thought. We can deal with each other like civil adults Or i can hang up, you can call back, wait another 8 minutes and get a different Rep who will take it, cuz I'm not the one!"

I really do have to give my bosses props for knowing our personalities and allowing them to have them. I've gotten a couple of low marks on evalutations when I have to have those conversations. But to me they are worth it because it allows me to not be a doormat. I will not take unfair personal remarks, I will no allow you to belittle my coworkers, or myself and i don't care who you are on the other end of my phone.

GRRRRRRRRR! I hate people like that and yet, I LOVE people like that.
We call them "job security!"

Some people are angels. We have a few customers that everyone loves to get on the other end of the phone. They are so nice, even if we do make a mistake. We're as human as they are and they realize it! Some members we know by voice, have their account numbers memorized and will give them ANY AND EVERYTHING they want and more, simply because they treat us with respect and kindness even in our errors. I know that's alot to ask for customers who are upset. But it happens and we love it when it does.
Some of our customer we know. They send us nice little trinkets of thanks. Man that totally makes you want to do a great job for them and others. It's not expected but it's a bonus.

For the most part I love my job. On person can mess up your whole day, if you let them. One person can make your whole day, if you let them.
Naw... you pretty much decide by attitude what kind of day you're going to have. Some days you have it in ya to brush it all off. Some days you don't, but it's always a choice.

Ok... now a couple more myths.....

Give a man a fish, he can eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he can eat for a lifetime. yeah i know there's a point to that... but here's my point...

What if he don't like, or is allergic to fish? People are tooo satisfied of doing the bare minimum of things.
Here's a conversation I find myself in all too often:

I'll ask someone in authority a question such as...
" are there special materials we need to cover or bring to the training siminar tomorrow"
" I don't know" (end of discussion for them.)

" well, are you going to find so we can properly be prepared?"
"oh, sure, I guess you may need to know that info." (nooo crapola!)

What is THAT about? I encounter that at work, at church....with friends.

Maybe I'm a micro manager? I dont think so, it's possible. I do believe in giving people as much info about things as possible so they are prepared for whatever they're trying to achieve.
Should I just stick with generalities and be ok with them?

Whatever happened to follow through or seeing something done to completion?

Teach a man to fish, and he's stuck with fish all his life. Yeah, it's better than nothing, unless he's allergic to seafood. But why not teach a man to fish and plant and hunt so he can really be educated. Know what I mean?

And if life give me lemons, I'm not just gonna add some sugar and make lemonade. Lemonade is just Sweet covered Sour. If life give me lemons, I'm going to go out and find the making for lemon bars, or lemon cream pie. Sometimes when life give you lemons, you need to take those lemons as motivation to go out and get what you really want out of life. Use it for motivation to achieve something better, dont just "Pour some sugar on me...." and call it good cuz in most cases it won't solve the issue, just cover it up until it comes back again. AND it does come back again.

*Got any age old "wisdom" that just doesn't seem like wisdom anymore?