It’s important to give your attention to what you’re doing at the time you’re doing it. You know, keep your eye on the ball. It’s pretty much the same no matter the subject… in business it could mean giving your attention to your customer… in relationships, your significant other… etc. But what happens if you don’t follow that wise advice?
Every single time I design or create something I get ‘performance anxiety.’ I’m talking about that uncomfortable time from the moment I share my creativity (no matter if it’s a website or a photo or a publication or just an idea or thought) to the time I receive feedback. I don’t get anxious because I’m not confident in my abilities or feel “my stuff isn’t as good as XYZ’s stuff” — it’s because everyone thinks differently and likes different things. I’m lucky though! I can go right back to the drawing board if the outcome isn’t 100% what I want it to be. Others aren’t so lucky. Maybe you’re one of those “OTHERS.”
If you don’t get a standing O at the end of a speech you don’t get a do-over. If you’ve designed a casket spray the family doesn’t like you can’t say, “I’ll make some tweaks and we’ll connect again next week.” And if you’re a professional photographer you can’t request a wedding repeat or ask your client to please fly in for another shoot because they aren’t thrilled with what you captured the first time.
So my favorite brother was recently photographed by Paul Mobley. If you’ve not heard of him, check out his work — it’s all impressive. Scott was out of the country when the proofs were provided to him so he didn’t respond a few days. Paul then sent an email asking if Scott had seen the photos. If I were in Paul’s shoes, that email would’ve been sent because of performance anxiety. So I wonder if that’s also what sparked his follow-up even though he’s obviously talented and confident. Or… was he simply wanting to know how to proceed and I’m just too much like my Dad — a ‘people pleaser’ to the umpteenth degree?
That’s one really cool thing about whatifitdid — since I don’t charge for ads or sell/market ONE THING here, I can post whatever I want and only need to please ME. Let me show you how it works…
See? No anxiety whatsoever.
What about you? Do you experience performance anxiety? Or do you just kick-back and roll with the flow?
I woke yesterday morning to a message in my Facebook inbox that wished me a happy birthday and told me that FB said I was older than what I already am. Not like good ole’ FB wasn’t already on my bad side, but seriously? I made a status post explaining that it wasn’t my birthday but I appreciated the well wishes (of course, this is AFTER I checked to make sure it wasn’t some sort of revenge plan by Perry).
Funny dialog followed until my brother commented, “This isn’t your birthday — but, it is the anniversary of when the police brought you to our house and dropped you off.” He failed to explain the inside joke that he used to tease me… tell me I was adopted and the police brought me (insert Bill Cosby, To My Brother Russell Whom I Slept With). So then, I started getting private messages asking what I was arrested for. Oh my!
To get my mind off of turning another year more ancient and 1k “friends” believing I’ve spent time in the “big house,” I began creating a new design layout for said brother’s Twitter page. Left of the red line in the image below is the final design (check it out and follow that Scott McKain guy — @scottmckain), but to the right of that red line is what I initially considered:
I probably would’ve uploaded it if not for the fact that I enjoy working 20 hours a day. And because our ‘casual Friday’ meetings are REALLY casual and may include 2 dogs, a 3 year-old, and a dollhouse.
Spring forward and fall back. AND it’s Monday. Not a fan of daylight savings time, I figure it’s all about perception. Like making everyone THINK you’re enjoying working on a Monday starting an hour earlier…
When the REAL way you feel about it more closely resembles this…
Happy first Monday of daylight savings time, you guys.
They say that eyesight is the first to go as you age. I would agree. I have glasses with bifocals that work just fine except when I’m working at the computer (you just try tilting your head back for hours); therefore, I also have glasses I wear at the computer but I can’t use them to read. Matter of fact, I have so many pairs of glasses that even Gracie has taken to wearing them just because she’s a fashionista.
My current computer glasses, purchased from the Dollar Store for a couple bucks, are showing their age so I thought I’d splurge and order something decent. After all, the glasses I choose to wear while working basically live on my face. I head on over to Eye Bobs and pick a funky pair I like. I order them online at 3:22 PM EST. At 4:05 PM EST I get an email letting me know my order has been fulfilled and shipped! Seriously? That’s amazing…
But when I opened the email, I got a treat! It read:
Great news – your eyebobs order has shipped! It’s okay if you want to do a little happy dance, we’ll wait…
Your eyebobs will be there before you can say “flexible spring hinges” (In other words, 2-5 days for US orders, 7 -14 days for international). If you find yourself with any questions, concerns, comments, or tasty casserole recipes for us, please reply to this message. We’re ready and waiting to knock your socks off with our service.
Irreverent & slightly jaded,
Bob (state-of-the-art eyebob wearing email robot)
Maybe it’s because I live an breathe distinction (thanks so much, Scott McKain), or maybe it’s just because I like that personalized touch — but this makes me want to do business with Eye Bobs again. I get excited when I think that any company that is happy to take my money is also ready and waiting to knock my socks off with their service! Probably because that never really happens. Ever.
Please note — it doesn’t matter how cool or jaded their robot is if their product isn’t the quality I expect for the money. I’ll let you know how I feel about that quicker than you can say, “Gracie, you are one sexy fasionista!”
I received my morning IBJ news in my inbox and glanced through the articles before hitting delete. I keep meaning to unsubscribe but haven’t gotten around to it — I don’t plan to pay for their “premium” content, and most everything included links to the same. One thing grabbed my attention though! It read, “The state tourism department’s new tag line is so folksy that some wonder whether there’s a disconnect between what it says about the state and how the city of Indianapolis is trying to distinguish itself.” (It’s ALL about differentiation, you guys!) I know how media can inflate things… especially the IBJ, in my opinion. So I’m thinking it’s probably some journalist wanting to stir up crap to get subscriptions.
So then, I navigate to Indiana’s official travel planning source, VisitIndiana.com. That’s where I saw the tag line, “Honest to Goodness Indiana.” To me, the website looks like I just walked into Cracker Barrel. No quickly visible Indy 500 or Brickyard info, no Mass Ave front page stuff, nothing about the Pacers or Colts, nothing about the fabulous breweries or museums. Oh my. It’s sure a stark contrast to the official tourism site of Indianapolis, VisitIndy.com.
I know that Indiana isn’t just Indianapolis, but if you’re trying to attract visitors to stay in the state’s hotels to pay your salaries — I would think the “sows, plows and cows” thing might be mentioned but not highlighted. If these offerings were restaurants, Visit Indy makes me think St Elmo’s, while Visit Indiana makes me think of Cracker Barrel.
Honest to goodness, I do believe there really IS a disconnect, fer real. What do you think?
Today I have yet again changed up the layout here. This one’s for Ardell… Not until Ardell
slapped me on the wrist commented about the last design did I play around with its navigation. That’s when I figured out that it took 3 clicks (!!!) to get to the newest post. I’m hanging my head in shame because a big part of the business philosophy here at MPG South (providing what clients REALLY want) should’ve made me realize that I was designing for parallax scrolling (what I want) rather than what readers would prefer. Who needs a mystery shopper when you have friends?
While I still plan to change up a few more things, I’m pretty sure it’s easier to get around here now. You’ll know in a second when you visit the main page if you’ve already read a post by the photo preview right there in yo’ face. Thangyavedymuch, Ardell.
One thing I left in because I like it (ME ME ME!) is the “top posts” section at the bottom of every page on the left. I’m always amazed at what old posts get enough hits to make that cut, and stay curious insofar as who, how, and why they were found in the first place.
And today’s photo is for Perry…
I’ve known Perry for almost 10 years now and I know he is allergic to mushrooms. When eating mushrooms, Perry becomes sick to his stomach, his heart races, and other nameless bodily functions occur almost immediately upon swallowing. Still, when I decided to serve pizza to the clan last night I ordered a LG supreme. Poor Perry tried to pick those pesky morsels off but evidently missed a sliver or two. I’ve heard him mumbling something about me trying to “off” him. OooOoops!
I got an email today from our host company that serves as a pretty good example of spreading good karma. The email basically said that because there are winter storm warnings for many regions in the US (including areas where their data centers reside) they want to ensure me (their customer) that they are prepared and are watching weather patterns. (Cool right?) They also let me know they have multiple fuel vendors on standby to provide refueling services for power generators in the event of any extended utility power interruption. (I feel better already!)
And then the clincher… They said, “Your business is important to us and we understand the challenges these situations present.”
Now our server may take a dump the second the first flurry flies. If it does, my perception will remain that they did everything they could before the fact to take good care of me. They even took ownership of the crappy weather, you guys! By proactively advising me of the potential situation, and by being transparent insofar as to their intended actions, the end result is that I feel more confident in their service than ever before. And that’s good business karma.
So to do my part, I too will spread some good, cozy karma…
… to help offset the negative aspects of what we already have and what we’re gonna get more of…
If you’re looking for rabbits in the above photo you’re not going to find any. You should instead see a proverb that is all about focus — learning that we can’t do everything and should concentrate instead on doing the most important thing. (Oh, and you should also notice the snow flurries.)
“The man chasing two rabbits catches none.”
Professionally, the one thing that occupies the most hours of my day (the fastest bunny) is email management. Sorting through the mounds of SPAM to find the 6 email messages from the same person asking a different question in each correspondence is a huge time sink (bunnies multiply really, really fast).
But here’s the problem — there isn’t a proverb that tells us we have to feed and water said rabbit we’ve caught… and that we must nurture it… make certain it gets exercise and is content. While taking care of the rabbits you’ve already got may challenge your focus insofar as chasing/catching the next rabbit, what happens if you don’t? I guess tomorrow I should talk about time management and dog ownership…
What’s the biggest challenge you face that works to destroy YOUR focus?
1. steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
There is a tree I see while driving back and forth from the Ville to the 80’s House that inspires the same thought in my head every single time. Of course, I see a LOT of trees. But this one stands out, you guys! I have no clue what caused its oddity — it could have been trimmed at a particular height and made a spectacular adjustment… or it could’ve been hit by lightning or fell victim to some other act of nature — one can only guess. What I DO know is this ugly tree screams at me every time I lay eyes on it. “PERSEVERANCE!”
I’m not a BLACK FRIDAY shopper. I don’t brave lines or fight traffic anymore (I did it ONE TIME — never again). But I do shop online. Today, I had two totally different customer experiences and didn’t even leave my house…
- I ordered a front door and side panels, as well as a skylight from a local company. The gentleman who helped me (by phone) was extremely kind and helpful. After conversing with my contractor, my order was placed. So at 8:30 AM EST (!!!) on the Friday after Thanksgiving (today), I get a call. They want my credit card number for payment. No problem (other than he woke me up), I already offered the card number to him about a week ago pre-order. I authorized the charge. At about 11:30 AM, he calls back and tells me: “I ran your card and the payment was denied. I ran it again for half the amount and that went through. Then I ran it for the other half and that was denied. So I ran it for 1/2 of the 1/2 and then 1/4 and then I called you.”
If you remember, I explained that I was a victim of the Adobe hack. When my card was replaced, it had the default daily limit — not enough to cover my purchase. A simple call to my bank and that was fixed. Dude ran the card again while I waited on the phone and all was just fine. But then, I started thinking about why he would frantically run a bajillion transactions instead of just calling me. It’s a LOCAL BUSINESS, you guys. Were they that afraid they weren’t going to get paid? Heck, they haven’t even delivered the items yet.
- On Wednesday I made a Christmas purchase online. Today, I get a call from that company — Sweetwater. The gentleman said he was calling about the order I placed for a Christmas gift and just wanted to let me know my business was appreciated, and inform me that the item I purchased Wednesday went on sale today. He reduced my total purchase by almost $100. Sweet, Sweetwater!! And then, I get an email that said: “It was good talking to you today. I am looking forward to future business with you. If there is anything I can help you with, or if you have any questions, feel free to give me a call. I Graduated from Musicians Institute for recording and live sound, and have done much of both since graduating. I am also a guitarist in an active band where I do most of the writing and producing. If there is anything you need I am confident I can help.”
Personal. Engaging. Obviously, either the employee or the employer GETS IT (or maybe both!).
While I will absolutely do business again with Sweetwater, I’m not so sure about the local company in example 1. In the words of Scott McKain, “The purpose of any business is to profitably create experiences so compelling to your customers that loyalty becomes assured.”
My contractor sent the following by text message — measuring for countertops today!! Yay!
I am one of the many victims of Adobe’s recent security breach. Attackers wanted to know me better! I first received an email alert but it’s official now that I’ve received notification through the USPS. Sadly, my notification came WEEKS after my bank was notified, called me, cancelled that card and issued me a new one. Why did it take Adobe so long? (My letter is dated 11/8/13, postmarked 11/19/13 and from what I’ve read, the hack happened on 10/3/13.)
I’ve owned Adobe products since I purchased my first computer — and that’s been a very long time ago, you guys. Their products are EXPENSIVE and they’ve always been so protective of THEIR STUFF (I don’t know how many times I’ve had to dig a box out of the closet or frantically look for a confirmation email to obtain that 500 character long code and re-enter it), it ticks me off to find that they weren’t quite so aggressive in protecting MY STUFF. Of course, this hack has also put their products out there to be pirated (and worse!!), as well.
[box color=”red” icon=”thumb_down”]The Huffington Post reported that, “It all started when Adobe reported the breach of more than 3 million customers’ information (including password-identifying information), then upped the number to 38 million. Last week it got a whole lot worse when an outside company found the data of some 152 million Adobe customers on a site frequented by cybercriminals. That could mean that the Adobe hack is the largest in history.”[/box]
Sure, Adobe says they “deeply regret this incident occurred” and have offered me one year of “ProtectMyID Alert” membership for free — but starting Saturday night, the corporate email account I use ONLY for purchasing business items began receiving approximately 20 messages PER MINUTE!! Now this email account has never before received SPAM and I’ve had it for at least 8 years. Coincidence? Maybe… what do you think? (If you think this is a result of yet ANOTHER large corporation being hacked, please don’t tell me.)
Several years ago I had an MSN account that I had paid to upgrade. Somehow (the Indianapolis Cybercrime Division thought my info had been stolen from my own mailbox), my credit card and MSN account info was used to pay for dating sites — LOTS AND LOTS of dating sites. The info was mine, the face used was of another Crothersville person. When I called to cancel my MSN account, it was impossible. Why? Because the thief had changed my password! It was incredibly difficult to stop being a victim.
I don’t know how much has changed between then and now (if anything), but I remember being really disappointed that more help wasn’t available. At the time, I was told cyber crimes were on the rise at such an active pace my home state didn’t have the manpower to do much to perpetrators (no time to track down the bajillion cyber criminals) — and I would imagine other states were in the same boat. No repercussions… no accountability… it’s my guess hacks have just kept escalating throughout the years. Why not?
Apple products are dear to my heart — but you knew that already. Cats, on the other hand, not so much. I am of the opinion that all cats belong outside — domesticated ones in a barn eating mice — not in my house and NOT near my cars. Apple’s choice to get away from cat names (cheetah, puma, jaguar, panther, tiger, leopard, snow leopard, lion, mountain lion) for their newest operating system and move forward to much more sophisticated dog naming — Mavericks (Mavericks is a surfing location in Northern California discovered in 1961 by three surfers and their dog… a white-haired German Shepherd named Maverick) — makes me pretty happy. Others? Not so much. Hashtags like, “#notcooltimcook #notcoolatall #steveiswatching” are being used by cat lovers everywhere. Heh.
Unlike one nameless, Apple loving friend ::cough:: Curt ::cough:: who is probably still running OS 7.6, I love upgrades. I’m digging how it’s so easy to have everything I want on every single product I own synced up and accessible.
See that photo to the left? That’s what Perry currently sees when he opens his contact listing for Ben. His Windows phone automatically updates his contacts with their most recent FB status. Curious what his phone says about me, I find that it’s something about an unconscious soldier saluting. (Need to fix that.)
The newest Apple operating system update, OSX Mavericks, is receiving rave reviews around here… and from dogs everywhere!
We love the Colts around here… and while we are fans of Andrew Luck, we are of the opinion that Reggie Wayne is ‘da man. Tonight’s loss was disappointing and happened even though Coco blew kisses to her beloved Reggie Wayne and yelled, “GO FOOTBALL!”
Sometimes you lose. And sometimes you lose out because you’re too busy focusing on the next big thing (for the Colts… most likely NEXT WEEK’S GAME). Here’s to starting this new week with focus and the desire to WIN!
I got a call today right after lunch. A soft spoken female told me she was with Company “X” — “X” being the name of our server for websites and email. In a hushed tone she said, “your check failed.” I was at a loss for words (which doesn’t happen very often) because my brain was so mixed up that it was stuck in neutral. Just like a good Twilight Zone episode, I was having a conversation with a service provider but it felt like it was taking place with a Secret Service Special Agent reference “Bohomohoblah Blah”, the double-secret critical spy plot. My initial thought was that I don’t even HAVE checks (I’m a debit girl). The conversation continued…
Me: What do you mean my check failed?
Her: Ummmm… (barely in a whisper) it failed. The check.
Me: What check?
Her: The one we did.
Me: The one you did?
Me: What check did you do?
Her: The automatic one.
Me: What automatic check did you do? And, what does it mean?
Her: I don’t know.
Me: THEN WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME?
Her. Because that’s my job.
And that, kids, is exactly why everything costs so much these days and the government is shut down and there’s NO FLIPPING PANDA CAM! People are idiots and companies waste money on providing what they THINK is great “customer service.”
If I was going to find out anything of value about this hush-hush, double-secret crisis, it was evident I would need to bypass the breathy-voiced information provider…
Me: Who told you to call me?
Her: My boss.
Me: Who is your boss?
Her: The one who tells me what to do.
Me: I give up.
Her: Thank you, and have a nice day.
It’s interesting (to say the least!) when your boss is your brother. Who reads your blog. And comments privately in email messages. So in the spirit of fun and to see how often he visits here, I couldn’t help but share the following youtube video. It made me laugh.
I guess I could figure out SOMETHING that would cause him to fire me… but it would have to be really, really bad. Like if I had to serve a long prison sentence or was in a coma for the next 30 years. On the other hand, I can’t quit this start-early, stay-late job either. It’s a good thing I truly ❤ what I do.
When everything looks the same: Work day… work thoughts…
We have an event coming up in a couple weeks where our client requested books be shipped to the venue. My job as the Distinction Engineer (how’s that for a new hat?) must ensure that these books arrive on a specific date at a specific time, otherwise they will be refused. So I connect with the publisher to request shipment from the warehouse to the venue. I am told the cost of shipment for 13 boxes will be $801.56. OUCH! Why so much? “The only way to ensure they deliver on that exact day in the exact time window will be to expedite the shipment via UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.”
Now the publisher’s warehouse is home to books from a ton of authors and shipment requests are a specialty. So why exactly didn’t the expert suggest a courier service? Direct shipping to a local courier for delivery will save us about $600 bucks — I book speeches, consulting & training. Shipping is not my gig. This simple suggestion would’ve cost them nothing and saved their valued client/customer quite a bit of profit. Instead, what they provided was simply a price quote. A price quote I could’ve gotten online myself. Of course, I no longer trust them to provide SERVICE, but know my requests will be PROCESSED.
And that’s why everything looks the same.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Wal-mart cashier or a bank teller or the CEO of ABC Big Company — if your job depends on customers/clients, you should strive to service them in a manner that makes them want to do business with you.
Work looks different for just about everyone. It most likely feels different for just about everyone too. Some days all I do is answer one email after another while holding a phone under my chin. While that might sound like a horrible existence to you, I like it. I mean, I REALLY love what I do insofar as work — and I’m grateful that I can work from home.
Even when I’m stressed and feeling tremendous pressure (and after speaking so very kindly to someone on the phone only to hang up and curse seconds later), I still know how lucky I am to earn a living doing what I enjoy. But my work day never looks anything like my son’s…
A lot of days, it looks more like this…
I save 5 hours per week — and that’s only based on someone that types 10 hours a week!! Oh WOW! Since I spend more than 10 hours per week typing, I should get another day off during the week. At least!! Take the test and see how much time YOU’RE saving per week — and then, take the rest of the day off with pay. Unless you’re Perry. He will be working on Saturdays AND Sundays from now on because he only types 32 wpm.
First things first — here’s proof that I actually do know who it’s all about (I’m not sure how I could look worse — but proof is proof, you guys)…
The best son ever and A/V Editor and Videographer extraordinaire had control of MY camera for most of the day shooting video because his was forgotten in Vegas — but I did manage to steal it back just long enough to take a few quick photos. I wasn’t on my game today, but still ended up with a couple photos I didn’t hate:
And another that I actually liked (although I’m not sure how I’ll use it in any kind of media):
My favorite brother is writing a new book that will be published early next year by publisher McGraw-Hill. (EXCITED!!) The new hair on his face is what he’s calling his “writer’s beard” — and because he’s not finished the manuscript yet, it’s still hanging around. I think I like it. Maybe.
Since my sibling is being creative, I figure I should create something as well. So, I’ll leave you with the following thought…
Everyone knows you can’t go without insurance. Right? I know better than anyone! Mom worked at an insurance agency years ago and upon getting our driver’s licenses, my brother and I knew if we let anyone drive our cars we would be beaten within an inch of our life and wouldn’t be allowed to drive again until we were 21. I passed that mentality along to my own son and even today if something is amiss with my insurance I panic. (Well played, Mom. Well played.)
So last week, I called my local insurance office to pay a bill and it took longer to get through their crazy corporate phone system to give them my money than if I’d have simply gotten in the car and drove there. Evidently insurance agencies don’t have to follow the same rules that other businesses do. If they did — they would focus a whole lot more on the customer. I guess when you provide a service or product that is REQUIRED (as opposed to wanted or needed), you get to operate under a different set of rules than the rest of us.
I want me some of that lackadaisical rule set so I’m pushing out some creative thinking this Friday morning and of course, I’m sharing this brainstorming session with you. The first thing that immediately comes to my mind that we desperately NEED is rain (as you can see in the photo below). Too bad the “rain market” is already wrapped up.
The only other service type business that I can think of that I NEED is a good poop-picker-upper. Just as we know we need insurance, dog owners know you need to properly dispose of animal feces… even in your own yard. My favorite brother told me about a service he had in Indy — the owner/operator was a retired professor dude. You can hire this guy to come into your yard once a week and pick up your dog’s droppings. For $10 bucks. Think about it! You get a nice neighborhood and you can clear a couple hundred bucks rather quickly — and the required tools to do this job are cheap or free (plastic bags from Wal-mart, you guys).
The poop market is wide open!! Even better — just as in the insurance industry, I figure you don’t have to be nice or fast, or put effort into anything other than that one focus… providing insurance or removing turds. Please let me know if this sounds like the perfect job for you because I’ll be your very first non-complaining customer.
If there’s anything I’ve learned so far because of the ‘Escape the 80’s House Project‘ it’s that I’m not an expert at everything. Yes, I knew that all along, but meeting with a contractor yesterday reminded me — primarily because he had so many really good ideas.
The master bathroom skylight has some ugly plastic covering that forms a lighted ceiling effect. Two seconds after talking to the contractor in and about that room, those plastic panels were popped up and he says, “We’ll knock down that texture and paint the inside the color of the walls for a dramatic effect.” Well… duh. I KNOW I should’ve thought of that, but I was too busy focusing on just “fixing” the bigger things needing attention that I ignored possibilities for improvement on little things that weren’t what I considered horrible. That one little suggestion will make a HUGE difference.
There’s also a built-in box thing at the foot of the tub (right now covered in red carpet) that serves as its access panel. In the next two seconds, the contractor popped off the cover and said, “There’s nothing in the box. We can get rid of it and make more room, and put the access panel in a wall right here on the back.” ARGG! Why didn’t I think of that? I’ll tell you why — I was so busy thinking about how to cover it up to make it look decent that I overlooked the obvious.
That’s when I was reminded that business is like that too! If you don’t collaborate with others, if you don’t LISTEN to ideas and learn from people who are experts in their fields — and if you go through every day trying to “fix” the obvious while ignoring the little things that make a HUGE difference — what can you really expect as an outcome?
Several days ago, I saved an image from an article I read that referenced the top 10 projects that will increase your home’s value. Thinking about it today, I open the graphic and notice that I can read the project and ROI (return on investment) for each improvement suggestion, but the site’s link and logo isn’t clear.
[box color=”blue” icon=”lightbulb”]The BUSINESS lesson here is that if you provide valuable information online that might be shared — AND you want the people you share it with to be able to get back to you (so you can potentially sell them a product or service) — you MUST make certain your company information is legible.[/box]
Since we all want to increase the value of where we live (even if we don’t plan to sell), I wanted to share the info — even though I can’t refer to who said it and that obviously makes the list and especially the ROI percentages next to worthless…
Top 10 PROJECTS TO INCREASE YOUR HOME’S MARKET VALUE
- Updating plumbing and electrical — 260%
- Bathroom remodeling — 168%
- Kitchen remodeling — 168%
- Painting — 112%
- Flooring — 102%
- Outdoor maintenance — 83%
- Decking — 78%
- Basement remodel — 75%
- Replace windows and doors — 70%
- Roof replacement — 67%
My limited knowledge on the subject leads me to believe the above list is pretty accurate. And, considering that I’m doing almost every single one of the above at the ‘Escape the 80’s House Project’, I figure it’s going to be worth at least a bajillion dollars when (if ever!!) I’m finished.
Needing a break from normal work and having a ton of stuff to do on the house project, I decided to take last week off. Thing is — I ended up working at least 10 hours every single day. I figure if you work while on vacation you deserve triple pay. I want mine in vacation days. I figure I’m entitled to at least 3 weeks just for last week — and if I work any on the upcoming and deserved 3 weeks of vacation, I should get triple-triple days off! Figuring this out is almost like winning the vacation lottery!
While the street view at the 80’s house project isn’t bad… I’m thinking something a bit more tropical is in order. Especially since I should have a ton of days off upcoming.
There will always be dissident voices…expressing opposition without alternatives, finding faults but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility.”
— from the speech JFK was to present after the motorcade reached its destination in Dallas
I was on the phone when a call came through today and no way could I get disconnected from THAT conversation to answer it. Now a really cool thing we have is a voicemail transcription service so if I’m on a loooong call, I can plan ahead — like who I need to call back if I EVER get to hang up — because the voice message comes to my email inbox.
Just see how helpful that is?
The chances of me understanding the meaning of that message are about the same as a 3 year-old understanding how water can flow UP.
Every single year. Tax day. ::GROAN::
Just like you, I wonder how the heck my government can expect such a large share of my earnings. I just don’t get it.
So it looks like I’ll be eating at home quite a bit more until I recover… I may be Betty Crocker someday after all.
1 (16 ounce) package uncooked rotini pasta
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce
1 (16 ounce) container cottage cheese
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 (3 ounce) packages sliced pepperoni
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13 casserole dish.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until evenly brown, drain grease. Mix in the cooked pasta and pasta sauce. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, olives, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.
Spoon the cheese mixture over the sausage and pasta mixture. Top with pepperoni slices.
Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly browned.
Watching the Jodi Arias trial highlights, I note that there are a lot of “hypothetical” situations provided for the “expert” to analyze. So I want YOU to be the expert in this hypothetical set of circumstances…
Person A and Person B share a business association membership. So Person B sends an email asking to speak with Person A about a service they offer. Person A doesn’t respond immediately so Person B begins calling and leaving voice messages because Person A isn’t available. Person B also sends yet another email for Person A that says, “I left you voice mail earlier today and wanted to see if I could get you via email. Would like to see what time is good for a quick chat about what items are working for you and what are not.
So my dear experts… do you consider this to be…
- a good ‘selling’ tactic
- not cool to be so pushy
- way too desperate
- whatever works
If only we weren’t so busy already…
See that screenshot to the left? The place referenced… “where they come from” — that’s the Ville. It’s also where I come from. The comment is a Facebook response from a business reference an unhappy customer. Yes, seriously.
But it’s not about the cookies, you guys. And it isn’t about the price either, even though Linzy B’s Bakery evidently believes it is!
As I understand it from photos and comments on Facebook, cookies were ordered by Crothersville Elementary School from a business, Linzy B’s Bakery. The cookies didn’t turn out like the customer expected, and after calling the bakery and not receiving a return call, photos of the cookies were posted and a good bit of dialog followed.
I’ve never been to Linzy B’s Bakery and I have no idea who the owner(s) are. And even though I’m not Betty Crocker, I can see how I too would be a disappointed customer if I got the cookies on the right when I was expecting the cookies on the left. So the question was posed on Linzy B’s FB page… “WHY did you not post them on your page like you did everyone else’s cookies?” Valid question although I can only assume the answer is they were not proud of the cookies they prepared for Crothersville Elementary School students.
Lots of negative comments later, I simply asked via a comment what Linzy B’s Bakery had done to “make it right” for the customer — and I said this issue reminded me of ‘United Breaks Guitars‘ (which has almost 13 million views for the 1st version, and that prompted a 2nd and 3rd version and even a response from Taylor Guitars which also got a ton of views). Their deletion of my comment pretty much told me they didn’t intend to “make it right” and didn’t appreciate my opinion. =)
Before social networking, an unhappy customer or client might tell a few people about an unpleasant experience. Now, an unhappy customer has the potential to reach thousands without even trying. Customer power has grown. Word of mouth is powerful.
Can you think of a better example of how NOT to respond to a customer complaint?
Really cool when logging on Facebook makes me feel good (as opposed to instead making me smirk, laugh out loud, or groan). Traveling friends shared photos of Create Distinction, (my favorite brother’s latest book) on the shelves of airport bookstores. So very proud!