Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
2. I can't live without coffee. I'm hopelessly addicted - close friends and family ask me how many cups I've had in the morning before they get into anything remotely serious with me.
3. During a show several years ago at a rural country bar in NC, the owner brought (snuck) a horse from backstage on to the stage in front of the drummer (who kept playing) in the middle of the third set. When our bass player (Mary) realized a very large horse was behind her, she jumped off stage into the people dancing with her bass in hand, at which point she was no longer singing, and it took me a moment to stop singing the harmonies and realize that we had been 'up-staged'.
4. I have learned how important being able to let go of what I can't control is for my general well-being, I thought I knew that, but I didn't... and I'm sure I'll say that AGAIN in the future.
5. When I was a girl and thought about marriage, one of my prevelant thoughts was that I wanted to fall in love with and marry someone whose last name didn't end with 'son' or 'sen' as so many do in Minnesota. I got married, and went from from peterson to hanson, and it's been one of the very best decisions I've ever made.
6. I got caught and into big, big trouble when I was 5 years old for charging the boys in my neighborhood a quarter each to see what 'it' looked like. I think I made seventy five cents, and then had to give it back.... I'm still an entrepenuer, but a bit more refined now.
7. I absolutely love New York City, specifically, Manhattan and would like to live there for at least a portion of my life.
8. I was saved from certain death by our white water rafting guide on the Upper Gaulley river on the first Class V rapids I had ever been on in 2006. When we stopped for lunch a few hours and 4 more Class V rapids later that morning, I wouldn't even take my life jacket off while we ate. Then I had to get BACK into the raft to finish! ps - I am still teased for not taking it off while on shore!
9. As I and my marriage mature, I am more and more in love with and in awe of the man I married.
10. When a group of childhood friends met in Los Angeles several years ago for a girl's weekend and attended an art festival in Malibu, I was mortified when Vicki (nee Berg) approached Dick VanDyke, who was minding his own business, and casually said, "Hi Dick."
11. My husband doesn't like flying in planes. He gets annoyed and cranky easily in that situation. He got ticked at me on a layover in Cincinatti a few years ago and left me (he had the tickets). I managed to find him when he was in the boarding line. It took the entire flight for him to make up to me.
12. I am a songwriter and a member of two songwriter's guilds, and a song of mine will be included on a spring 2009 compilation cd release of east coast acoustic artists.
13. My kids (two) make me a better person over and over - after I make a fool of myself - over and over.
14. I have remained in a close knit group of friends since the mid nineteen seventies. I'm amazed by them, and amazingly blessed with them, as well as all of those who've become so important to me through the years we've lived in North Carolina.
15. The quiet of the morning, with my coffee, journal and thoughts is among my most favorite times.
16. I once got 'locked' in the camp grounds in Carolina Beach State Park overnight with no tent searching for the rest of my family who left home earlier than I did for the beach. I had to sleep in my sexy ford festiva :):) ...turns out, the campground was full and they got a hotel room for the night... it was long before we had cell phones.
17. I got to see my son open for Jojo a couple of years ago, and had to hear hundreds of girls screaming his name... weird.
18. I've lived in the south over twenty years now, and still don't understand some of the idioms, accents, and meaning of phrases. Once a co-worker was talking about being upset with new slacks she bought, because, 'girl, when I put them in the dryer, they drew up!!!"
19. I miss the quiet joy of our family's cabin on Otter Lake in Wisconsin.
20. I was a junior in high school, singing at The National Cathedral in Washington DC with my high school choir when John Hinckley Jr. tried to assassinate President Reagan.
21. I am a big fan of national public radio, and listen to "A Prairie Home Companion" with wonderfully funny stories of 'lake woebegon' as often as I can.
22. Among my favorite-all-time books is Eat, Pray, Love, and anything by Diana Galbadon.
23. As I've grown older, I've tried more and more to stay true to my heart with love, compassion and creativity in more than one form. My spirituality and faith is ever-evolving, and though constant, it changes colors and reflects differently as I grow. If I have any lasting regret as a parent, it's that because I'm still seeking and searching, my example (to my children) was probably more confusing than anything else.
24. I am learning macro-photography, and I love it!
25. My social network is amazing, and I'm ever grateful for each you taking the time to read my indulgent random facts :)
And in case CSI is a new vocabulary acromyn for you - CSI: Customer Satisfaction Index is an internal measurement of how a company is doing the eyes of their customers.
I've read and participated in an etsy forum thread this morning in which a seller who is a customer of a jewelry supply company was upset about an experience she's had. She complained in a forum - publicly - and named the company, and before she knew it, she was contacted by phone by the company to try and fix her problem. To her credit, at the time I'm writing this, she's made comments that she acted out of emotion rather than intellect and has learned a valuable lesson about the speed and reach of the internet - but the central issue remains; are we that far away from receiving good to great customer service that when we do it feels out of place and like an intrusion? Is it an intrusion?
My reaction is that the customer got additional attention from the company she was unhappy with in good faith - however, she never complained to them directly - they became aware of her complaint and posting more than likely from checking their own web statistics and/or googling themselves. They called her on her home phone, which by the way, is also her business phone being that she works from home. They tried to make it right.
I'll add the link to this morning's forum if you're interested, but for now, I find myself re-examining my own core values in relationship to my business(es). One of them is online, two are not, and one is 50/50 on and offline. I do a lot more face-to-face and telephone business contacting than I think this particular seller did, and I expect to use my client's words, facial expressions, body language, etc. to help to guide me through a successful transaction... in other words - I go much more by personal interaction than just by online communications. In the online world, which is a business world, have we gotten away from wanting any personal contact? Are we going to be satisfied with emails, and be upset when the phone rings?
In the case of my etsy shop, it's more difficult to gauge my 'csi' except for positive feedback. I think if I had (luckily I haven't) received negative feedback, my first reaction would be to do whatever I could to remedy the problem and leave my customer with a good feeling about my business unless the customer was one of the very small minorty that is utterly unreasonable. On the other hand, I may well have unsatisfied customers that I am not aware of. What would I do if I found that they were? What do they expect from me? Interesting topic if your customer is a user name, address and email, without a face and some voice inflection.
In the online business model I find myself re-examining my core values in light of the lively and varied opinions on the conversation in that forum. The bottom line is that it doesn't matter to me in that case who was wrong or right; moreover, how would I handle a situation in which I was made aware of a customer's dissatisfaction in a round about way? It's an interesting and provocative thought. My first inclination would be the most direct communication possible as far as what information I had on that customer - but it leaves unanswered the question of why the customer didn't contact me for satisfaction.
I find in daily interactions that there is personality type that likes to complain to hear themselves talk rather than to find a solution to a problem, there are also those that would rather just forget about it rather than have to act in an assertive or even potentially confrontational way. These are the passive complainers - and forget that we're not as private as we think we are, in the den or the home office conducting business largely by a keyboard and mouse. I would be eager to fix a problem, but it needs to be brought to my attention in order that I can do something about it. I am also eager to have problems resolved, and happy when they are - I'm not sure how I would react to unsolicited service; I hope that I would feel pleasantly surprised.
I think that the American Consumer, and I'm talking about all of us - has become so conditioned to mediocre to rude attention to a consumer problem that it's the norm. Good customer relations, and exceptional customer relations are far less prevelant in today's business world. We are surprised (and in this case, offended) at more attention and hands-on problem solving to the point that it can feel like an intrusion rather than a good faith effort at making right what was wrong.
I would love to have your feedback on this topic - let's get the comment section going!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I moonlight as a bartender a few nights a week, and tonight was one of them, so I'm home (and up) late. As I ate a late dinner, my dog, Pete cried. For purposes of the humor value of this story, he is not allowed to be near the table, nor is he allowed to beg when eating is taking place. So, his persistence was at the least annoying; moreso, it was perplexing.
I couldn't figure out what he was trying to tell me and he wouldn't let it go. I checked his water dish and rinsed and filled it - it wasn't what he wanted. He just looked at me very intently, as dogs seem to do when they want whatever it is that you can't seem to give them. I asked if he needed to go outside, and he RAN to the shelves, to the basket that holds leashes and stood on his hind legs with his nose almost touching the basket. I walked over there and realized that about 6 inches of one of his leashes was hanging over the edge of the basket, and he could see it. I don't know how long that 6 inches of leash tormented him...
Pete wanted to go for a walk AT THREE FORTY FIVE AM. I giggled, then laughed - loudly - all-by-myself-in-the-middle-of-night. Then proceeded to tuck the end of the leash back into the basket.
I did take him outside just now, but we did not go for a walk.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
there'll be a new inspirational theme posted tomorrow, and it's a short time frame (5 days) to create based on the inspiration - then it's all shared the following thursday on her blog - so neat!!!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
We had measurable snow last night into today... it's been 4 or 5 years since that's happened... so beautiful! Mat (my husband) got some great shots.
Our town is pretty much shut down... it's a snowday for everyone, and strange after growing up in Minnesota that a few inches of snow here forces everyone to slow down and enjoy it!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Today, though, I was listening to the entire speech that Dr. Martin Luther King gave in 1963, his "I Have a Dream" speech for the first time as an adult. It's different now then it was when I had to learn about it as a teenager, and radically different in the present, against the backdrop of Mr. Obama becoming President Obama tomorrow.
I Had Goosebumps. My entire body shivered with emotion and my eyes began to well up with tears at 50 mph. I had to pull into a parking lot because my vision was blurred, and more importantly because I really had to listen. His voice, even in a recording some 40 years old, resounds with courage, conviction, hope, optimism and the knowledge that a day like tomorrow would come. I was compelled to be there, in that moment this afternoon with all of my being. I wish that he was alive to be a part of this, can you imagine?
so today, I really listened - not just listened like I did in a social studies/history setting so many years ago.... I mean that today I listened with my whole entire body, mind, soul and spirit - and I am better, brighter, deeper, more luminous, more expansive and lighter because I really listened.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Instead of that, I will share with you that the time that I spent with family over the past couple of weeks was absolutely priceless. We connected, shared, laughed, cried and felt the joy that was present in our gathering to celebrate. Random comment: if you have not played "Partini" - it's a board game - you really should rush out to purchase it, and then invite your family and/or friends over for a blast! It's a great game, and winning almost takes a second seat to the fun it is to play. So, back to my earlier thoughts - each year we all go through things that we don't expect to, we learn things that we don't necessarily want to, and gain experiences that we couldn't foresee...
There were a couple of kind of big things that affected all of us - a family member with a diagnosis of a brain disorder, and a marraige that came apart... Each of us has worried, prayed, rejoiced and cried... alone. The gathering of all of us provided healing, comfort, and the easing of anxiety when you see for yourself that one you love and worry about is in fact, doing well in spite of the burdens they've beared.
So, hallelujiah for love and family. Hooray for hugs and laughter. Here's to whatever tomorrow has in store with a strength and a smile.
- ► February (7)