Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I now have a degree in Being Nice.

Last week I took a customer service training seminar for work. We basically spent eight hours learning how to be nice.

One of the more enlightening discussions we had was when we went around the room and each person shared past memorable customer service experiences ... good and bad.

I kept a tally of what people said. Without further ado, here is the list.

Places to avoid:

Bed, Bath & Beyond
Apparently it is a big hassle to return wedding gifts. Which is funny because, as I have observed from the one bazillion wedding showers I have attended, BB&B is, hands down, the most common place to register.

This was mine. Nine stinking years of faithful patronage and not one good customer service experience! The only one to blame for my extended history of bad Sprint experiences is myself. I'm loyal to a fault, it seems.

Their TV ads claim you can call them any time, day or night, and they'll bend over backwards to help. According to my co-worker Mark's last vacation report, this is not the truth.

Not that you have a lot of options when it comes to insect extermination or rodent control, but this seems like something you might want to get right the first time.

Oh, so many places I could go with this. Suffice it to say, I'll just add "crappy customer service" as reason #3,763 I refuse to shop there.

Places to visit:

Pottery Barn
Again, according to my recently married friend, Pottery Barn is wonderful in going the extra mile to make sure you spread the word to all your engaged friends.

They might sell [R]eally [E]xpensive [I]tems, but they'll treat you nicely as they do it!

I finally left Sprint and switched to T-Mobile. They strive to be one of the top five companies known for their good customer service in the nation, among all businesses ... not just cell phone companies. So far, so good!

In my single-female-visiting-a-home-improvement-store experience, Lowe's beats Home Depot any day of the week.

Firedog (Circuit City)
If you need any electronic equipment installed in your home, apparently Firedog is the company to call.

and my personal favorite ...

Two words: "My pleasure!"

Any places you suggest I visit/avoid?

Thanks, Taco Hell!

Based on my last experience with this eating establishment ... Taco Bell is giving away FREE food poisoning!

Today between 2pm and 5pm. Be sure to pick you up some!

P.S. That not-so-fun chalupa meal was six years ago. I haven't eaten there since.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tim and Melissa

My co-worker Melissa recently got engaged. This past weekend I took some pictures of her and her fiance Tim. Here are a few of my favorites ...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vote for Denver!

For those of you that like reality TV ... or enjoy good big band music ... or want to support some brothers in Christ who have a chance to make a big impact ... I have some exciting news!

Check out The Next Great American Band, a new show from the creators and producers of American Idol. The show airs Friday nights at 7pm/8pm Central on Fox. Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, a big band whose members are spokespeople for Compassion, is one of the twelve bands chosen to compete on the show!

Viewer voting each week will determine which bands get to move on to the next round and the winner will receive a recording contract with a major mainstream label.

The first live performance is this Friday. Make sure you watch from the VERY BEGINNING if you want to catch Denver and his band this week. These are great guys and musicians that are completely on board with Compassion and it will be exciting to see what this show does for their ministry and for Compassion!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

That's Life

Yesterday I walked into a public restroom, entered a stall and sat down.

The seat was warm.

Apparently the previous occupant had spent a significant amount of time in there in the not so distant past.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mmmmm ... coffee.

I love coffee.

I grew up with parents who don't ever drink coffee. In fact, I didn't even have my first drink of coffee until I was 20 years old. But when I lived in Europe in college, I acquired the taste. It's hard not to, actually. People drink it like they breathe oxygen over there.

My daily coffee ritual has become a cherished part of my morning routine.

Over the 10 years of coffee consumption, although I hate to admit it, I've become a bit of a coffee snob. (This is in no small part thanks to my sister-in-law, Valeen.) I used to be fine drinking Folgers or any other generic, cheap, store-brand coffee. I would buy a big tub of ground coffee for under $10 that would last me several months. However, the more I drank expensive, brandname coffee, the more I could taste the difference between the The Best Part of Waking Up and the $10-per-half-pound kind. Slowly, my coffee purchasing habit changed from buying cheap to expensive coffee. I now regularly spend $10 on a half pound of coffee beans that last me for about two weeks.

Recently, I became aware of an organization called 963 Missions. This organization is helping people to understand the true meaning of missions. How it's more than just a trip ... it's a lifestyle. This sentiment is one that I agree with whole-heartedly, and is the reason I take issue with the whole idea of short term missions. (But that's a blog post for another time.)

Getting back to the subject at hand ... 963 Missions has a program called Monthly Obsession. The idea behind this movement is to give people the opportunity to help coffee farmers to get out of poverty by paying them a fair wage for their beans. When you sign up for the Monthly Obsession you get a bag of fresh roasted coffee delivered to your door every month. It's just $15 a month, or $10 for any additional bags you buy. According to their web site:

963 Coffee is freshly-roasted specialty coffee unlike the majority of coffee that sits on shelves for almost a year. This means you're getting an amazing cup of organic Arabica coffee every time you brew a pot.

We also believe our coffee should provide a fair wage for the farmers who work hard to harvest it. Because of your choice to purchase 963 Coffee, farmers can put their kids in school, put food on the table for their families, and afford health care. Every bag - every cup - of 963 Coffee is making a lasting impact with coffee farming families around the world.

Do you drink coffee regularly? Where do you buy it? Would you consider switching to a company that sells fair trade coffee?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another reason to cheer for the Rockies ...

They are men of good character.

"When I heard about what the players did, I almost cried," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said. "This was the players' idea. I think it's remarkable."

My New Hero

I have a new hero. His name is Nick Vujicic.

I got an email forwarded to me today with his testimony. It is absolutely unbelievable.

I don't think I've ever seen a clearer example of someone who lives out James 1:2. Nick has found God's purpose in a disability that most would see as a reason to hate God. I don't think I've ever found a more inspiring story.

According to Dictionary.com, the definition of the word hero is:
"a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities"
Nick is my hero.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

An Unbelievable Gift

Here's your Wednesday morning inspiration.
Watch the full story. I promise you, it's worth it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What? I went to Palmer High School.

Uh, oh. MSNBC just posted part of the U.S. Naturalization test online. This is slightly embarrasing to admit, but apparently I'm only 64% qualified to be a U.S. Citizen!

How qualified are you?

Finally I can wear purple with pride!

I never thought I'd see the day. The Rockies are in the playoffs!
Controversial play aside, this is an exciting time for us Colorado residents.


Monday, October 1, 2007

I think my dog's a genius.

Big news ... Havana passed her Basic Training test yesterday. 197 out of 200! So she moves on to Advanced Training now.

(I promise, Suzanne, I'm not making this up.)