Jan 282015
Time Flies

Once upon a time this was not a customer service blog.  I don’t think I am a lot pickier than the average person but I do suffer from a personality quirk that makes me schedule multiple customer service episodes in a group, often on the same day.  I guess it’s sort of like holding your nose and chugging the medicine rather than trying to disguise the taste: if I’m to spend a day full of interruptions, cancellations and frustration might as well go big, eh? Besides, it creates a bit of a ‘busman’s holiday’ for a person who’s intrigued by all types of communication.  (Do I sound desperate?)

Do you remember Elizabeth Pantley’s wonderful parenting book Hidden Messages? She talks about the disconnects that can exist between the message we intend to send and the one received. The example that most often comes to my mind is the helpful, hovering parent who waits on a child hand and foot.  Her intention is for her child to feel unconditionally loved and supported so she is crushed to learn that all that “doing for” is sometimes interpreted as “she thinks I’m incompetent.”

So what does this have to do with customer service? I don’t think big companies intend to send the messages conveyed by so many of their practices.  For example, I’m having an internet problem and, as a result, am dealing with my cable company.  The women in the local office provide amazing, old school customer service — the kind of support that makes you glad to go in to their office.

In fact, they do such a good job I alway manage to forget about the company’s nationwide automated contact system: you know, the one that calls 5 or 6 times to remind, confirm and otherwise nag about the fact that the company is sending a technician?

Time FliesI appreciate a reminder — especially when I made the appointment several months earlier.  I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. A reminder. One. Uno.  But beyond that?  Grrr. No mas.

As hard as I try, I do not find the cable company’s unrelenting auto-dials kind or helpful. I think I’m responding to a hidden message. Unfortunately, I think the message the message they are delivering is this:

Our time is more valuable than yours.  Not only do you need to stay home and wait for us, you had better respond to each and  every phone call we make — instantly — or we will make you repeat the process.  And you will go even longer without the service you’re paying for.

And somehow I don’t think that’s a message any company wants to send. Besides, the most important thing…

Oops.  Hold on.   Shoot.  What was I going to tell you?  Maybe I’ll remember before reminder call number three comes along.   Sigh.


 January 28, 2015  Posted by  Observations, Training 5 Responses »
Jan 112015

Have you ever noticed what happens to your body when your Inner Critic comes out to play? For most of us there tiny physical ‘warning signs’ that let us know we’re starting to stress.


If you’ve grappled with an Inner Critic you already know it can be impatient and demanding.  Most of the time it wants you to pay attention to the problem it perceives as a  threat  –  and it wants ALL of your attention —  RIGHT NOW!

The fully conscious, rational part of your brain may think its’ worries are silly. You’ve probably got a pretty good idea of when your Inner Critic is overreacting. Unfortunately, no matter how smart you are, there’s a big part of your brain that just doesn’t connect with — or buy into — your ability to reason.  It “was there” long before you could reason and now it’s stuck in overdrive, dumping STRESS HORMONES INTO YOUR BODY… urging you to RUN!!! Run for your life!

So check your neck…  and the butterflies you may have in your stomach.  Tend to those first.

Remember, it is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting.

 January 11, 2015  Posted by  Inner Critic, Self care, Thinking 2 Responses »
Jan 062015

Whether it’s friends and family or the bully that lives in your brain, not everyone supports your desire to change.  Sometimes people get comfortable with us and our bad habits or predictable roles… sometimes that takes place inside our heads.

Your stated intention to change is often met with fear.  A pushback of sorts.

Do you want it enough to push back against the pushback?



 January 6, 2015  Posted by  Happiness No Responses »
Jan 032015

Do you have an end of year ritual?  Do you take the time to take stock and plan for the year ahead?

Lots of people focus on where they need to change, bad habits that need to be broken or new ones that could be developed.  But how do you assess your strengths?


Seeing our problems and weaknesses can be demoralizing but, in many cases, the very flaw being addressed contains the seeds of a talent or strength of which you’re not fully aware.

Many of us compare our “behind the scenes” with others’ “highlight reels.” A more constructive approach might be to measure ourselves against both our ‘past self’ and the ‘future self.’  For example, while I may not be exercising as much as I would like to, am I doing more than I did when I started?

 January 3, 2015  Posted by  Happiness No Responses »