Sunday, March 22, 2009

If You Fail to See the Problem, Which I Find hard to Believe

Mark 12:31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

So for those of ya'll who haven't talked to me in a while. I work at Hobby Lobby. I am currently majoring in Marketing and Management at Arkansas Tech.

Today I worked at the Hot Springs Hobby Lobby. In a world where customer service is laughed at, or known as some calling center in India, I pride myself, and my managers in offering some of the best customer service around.

Now here I am, talking about customer service, and quoting a verse about loving your neighbor. If you don't see how these parallel, then I am here to show you.

There are two sides to customer service, the customer, and the service. (amazing right?)

These two people though they are in two completely different roles, are nearly the same.

There is both a good way, to go about being a customer, and a bad way.
There is also a good way, to go about being the "service" and a bad way.

The role as the customer: To find the item they are seeking, and purchase it.
The role as the "service" provider: To aide in finding said item, in order for the customer to purchase.

Simple right? Not quite, but you also have to key in several other factors, known to me as, "nonverbal communication" This would include, posture, facial expressions, and voice inflections.

So if a customer asks, with genuine sincerity, how to find something, then I am going to respond in the best way possible, going out of my way to help them get what they need.

If a customer asks, and sounds like they want to kill me cause they can't find something, or they're scowling at me when they ask, then I'm really not looking forward to helping them, because chances are things aren't going to end up too well.

But the key to my reaction is, I need to "Love them, like I love myself" Or in a round-about way, treat others, the way I want to be treated. If I am not responding with true customer service, doing everything in my realm of knowledge and expertise to help them out, then what will they want to do back to me?

Why is it that there is so negativity towards the thought of customer service today? It is because the service people, don't treat the customers the way they would want to be treated if they were in their shoes.

I needed to return something to Wal*Mart without a receipt a few weeks back. Now this item was an item that is stolen alot. It was over $100 and due to the fact that it is stolen alot, they could not return it for me. I understood completely. Just like if someone wanted to return sterling silver, furniture, or a custom frame to hobby lobby without a receipt, unless we knew the person on a first name basis, we couldn't do anything to help them.

I believe though, if Americans would get over their lazy selves, and began to treat their customers, like the way they would want to be treated if they were customers, we would see better customer service across the board. Then we wouldn't need to have all these call centers in other countries, because it would pay to have have the best customer service people here in America.

But instead, service people respond to the scowling, grumpy people, with a scowl and a grumpy reply and the circle continues.

Why not go out and have some real customer service today? Do you really want employees of the stores you shop at to scowl and grumpily answer your questions? I hope not!

(Title from Leaf by mewithoutYou)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Remember That The Fire Is On The Inside

This is a Paper I am turning in tomorrow for Comp 2 (my intext citations are still in it)

The poem “The Paradoxical Commandments” has a very good message behind it, not only in words, but in the history that follows it. Believed by many to be a poem written by Mother Teresa entitled “The Final Analysis” it was actually just found hanging on her wall (Keith Anyway). The true author was Dr. Kent M. Keith, a Christian motivational writer and speaker, Harvard graduate and former Rhodes Scholar (Keith Do it, Anyway).

This poem gained most of its world fame by being posted on the wall in Mother Teresa’s first home for abandoned children in Calcutta. This version, known as “The Final Analysis” contained only eight of the ten original Paradoxical Commandments. These eight were reworded into a poem form for the children. Mother Teresa believed that these lines were key points to live by in our everyday lives. That is why she had them posted in the school for all to see (

The first Paradoxical Commandment is “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” This line speaks about how people constantly live for themselves. People in general, don’t take time to think about others, they are mainly focused on what benefits them, and how they can be the best in the world. Even though people may be living in their own shell, focused on themselves, people who are Christians (which is who this is written for) are commanded to love people unconditionally. Jesus stated this in Mark 12:31, to “love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus said this was second only to loving Him. Loving someone like we love ourselves may be more than we want to do in some situations, but even liking them is going to be better than hating them.

The second Paradoxical Commandment: “If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. (Keith Paradoxical)” In times past, doing good deeds for people was an everyday occurrence. Today hearing of people helping others is practically unheard of. When a person commits a good deed today, people automatically perceive that they are doing it for personal gain. A person should never feel like they shouldn’t do a good deed because of the way their motives will be judged. They should feel open to doing good deeds whenever they feel like it.

Paradoxical Commandment number three says, “If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” When a person becomes successful they tend to gain friends who are only along for the ride. These people will latch on to a successful person, in hopes that their success will propel them on to greater things. No matter the types of people that follow a successful person, they should be driven to succeed anyway.

The fourth Paradoxical Commandment states: “The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” When a person does a good deed it may be noticed, but it won’t always be remembered. The drive to do good within a person should never die, regardless of whether their actions will be remembered, they should do good deeds.

The fifth Paradoxical Commandment says: “Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” People who are open and honest in many situations tend to get their ideas obliterated by the more conservative individuals in a group. Many people’s fear of rejection keeps them from being honest and truthful. One of the Ten Commandments is “Thou Shall Not Lie.” If a person is being untruthful then they are sinning, according to the New Testament “The wages of sin is death,” people don’t want to die, so any person, Christian or non-Christian should want to tell the truth. Regardless of how people respond to the truth, it is better to be truthful than to keep something hidden in hopes to avoid confrontation.

Paradoxical Commandment number six states: “The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” Big ideas come to people every day, but there are people who are continually there to find a reason to not implement the idea. People shouldn’t let others bring them down, they should have enough confidence in themselves to do what they think should be done.

The seventh Paradoxical Commandment is: “People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” There are always people in life who are ready to pledge support for the underdogs, but when it comes time to fully commit to the underdogs cause, they back out and stick with the known leader. There are days when the underdogs win; people should have enough faith to fight for a few of those underdogs.

The eighth Paradoxical Commandment states: “What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” There is always uncertainty in life, nothing is guaranteed, people shouldn’t be fearful. People should be willing to take risks and do things, even though there is a possibility for failure.

Paradoxical Commandment number nine says: “People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” This can be related back to people drowning. When a lifeguard comes to save a person, they tend to fight against the lifeguard and try to pull them down with them. The lifeguard is still there to rescue them from peril; people should be willing to do the same thing.

The final Paradoxical Commandment is: “Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” This final Commandment alludes to the fight that it takes to get to the top. When someone is trying their hardest, giving their best, trying to make their way to the top, they get kicked around. A person should continue trying their best in everything, regardless of how the world treats them.

The resounding message throughout the poem is to give your best, no matter the situation. To continue fighting for what you believe in, no matter the adversity. Things aren’t always perfect, in fact they’ll never be perfect, but there is always hope. People should do what they believe in, regardless of how others react. We aren’t supposed to allow what others do to affect us, we should remember that it was our choice to be the way that we are, and nothing should change that.

(title from The House That Fire Built by Mae)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Put Music to our Troubles and We'll Dance them Away

So last night, I went Swing Dancing at the Arlington in Hot Springs.
Swing dancing, originated during the Great Depression, and began to sweep the nation.
Dancing was viewed a a great cheap form of entertainment. Anyway, so we had just come from the International Food Bazaar, where some students at Henderson, had swung dance. Since they had been on stage, they were clothed in Depression era swing dance clothing, nice black dresses, and black slacks, shirts with ties, ect. Now all of us danced, but there was one song, where just these two couples from Henderson danced, while the Arlington bar, and dining area was packed full of people, listening to the music, talking laughing, and watching the dancing. I was standing there observing and I felt like, just during that song, I was back in the 1920's, watching these two couples dance their hearts out. Unaware of the Depression that the rest of the world was in. These people, dressed so fine, could've been part of Capone's gang, staying across the street. No telling who these classy people were, dancing to the latest, hippest music around. The people in the crowd, though dressed strangely (for they were still in 21st century attire) knew nothing of these gifted dancers, all they cared about were their drinks, and living in that moment. Then the song ended, and I realized, though the building hasn't changed much, and the people were dressed in the attire from that time, that we were in 2009.

Back in 2009, where we are approaching what could be the next biggest depression. This is a time and place, here within the walls of the Arlington, where the world is forgotten. All you are doing is living in a moment suspended in a time, nearly 80 years ago. Where the band plays, and the people dance, and the troubles of the world are left behind.

(Title from The Ghost by mewithoutYou)

I'll become even more Undignified than This

So Friday was spent at the International Bazaar at Henderson. When watching something like this, there are so many things birthed inside of me to talk about. It's amazing the things that we can learn from different cultures, if we could just open up our eyes to see it.

One of the things I noticed, is there are ways in every culture that we use to express ourselves. Dancing, this is used to convey certain emotions and feelings. Dancing is also done in story form.

What is it that makes us want to do this for expression? Even the Bible talks about dancing, to show our joy in Christ.

Psalm 149:2-4 (New International Version)

2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.

3 Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and harp.

4 For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with salvation.

We are to rejoice in our maker with Dancing, and the Lord will take delight.
Now the dancing that I am talking about, from foreign lands, has nothing to do with anything like that, or at least what I saw last night didn't, it was all comprised of either 'story' dances as I mentioned, or this dancing that we would see anywhere else, things that most people would deem "inappropriate." I think this is because, when Christ formed us, we were made to dance, we were made to express ourselves. But in our sinfulness, and life separate of Christ, we have begun to express those things that we get excited about, that are not of Him. What we need to realize is that there is a way to dance that is worthy of being called worshiping Christ. There are no set instructions on "how to dance in worship to Christ" but dancing is mentioned thirteen times in the Bible, twelve in the old testament and once in the new testament. Here is a distinct example of when people danced in their joy of Christ's sovereignty; this is from Exodus:

Exodus 15:19-21 (New International Version)

19 When Pharaoh's horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20 Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.

They danced for they had been delivered from slavery in Egypt. Should we not also dance in rejoicing of Christ's deliverance of us?

Lately I have loved listening to the song "Undignified" sung by David Crowder Band. The bulk of the song goes "I will dance, I will sing, to be mad for my King, nothing Lord is hindering this passion in my soul" Shouldn't we live this way? Free to express our passion for Christ in any way that we want?

I think that by saying, we shouldn't dance at all, because of the way that this world is dancing is wrong.
I think that we should be open to dancing in a way that glorifies God.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's up to you to make the Choice Now

"Don't change the mission to concentrate on the mistakes, Concentrate on the mission and change the mistakes"-John C. Maxwell

This quote comes from the book I'm reading Be a People Person: Effective Leadership Through Effective Relationships. As I've read this book, I've began reading critically. I believe through reading this way, I've gotten more out of this book, than previous books I read.

When I first read this, I was blown away. We are confronted with this everyday, whether people realize it or not. A great way I can relate this statement, is the progress (and lack thereof) that I have had in the Botball competitions that I have been in over the past five years.

In our first year of competition, we were all jumping at the bit, concentrated on the mission and what we could do complete it. FYI Botball seasons are comprised of a given mission for the six weeks, and the same mission carried on to Nationals six months later. So our first year, we were set on the mission, we had no idea what we were doing, but we knew what we wanted to do. In the end, if we hadn't made a crucial mistake between the seeding rounds and head-to-head we would have been in the top three. But this mistake landed us second to last.

Going into our second year, we changed our mission. Instead of being concentrated on the mission, we concentrated on the mistakes we made the previous year. This got us no where, on sheer luck we were able to make it to the top six. Mainly from some good work in an added scoring section of documentation.

Our third year, was our final year as a group. We came to the realization, we needed to stay focused on the mission, we knew what our mistakes were, and fixed them. With this in mind, we stole the show. In our first seeding round, we scored more than all the other ten teams combined scored the entire day. It was one of the most lopsided regional competition in Botball history. We placed first in all three sections of competition. We then decided to go to Nationals, where we placed tenth out of nearly sixty teams. We would have ended higher if it hadn't been for a judge breaking the rules.

In my fourth year, I competed with my school. We started out with fifteen kids. But only four of us were dedicated to the mission. With myself, and one other the only two truly dedicated to building and programming the robots, but we stayed focused on the mission, doing our best we placed third overall.
I continued on by myself with a group of people to Nationals that year. The robots though did not fare the flight well, and being by myself had a hard time getting the robots back in working shape.

In my fifth year I worked with another team. In working with this team, I worked on one robot, while some of the other kids worked on the other robot. I trusted them to finish the robot in time, but it was not completed, in the end I built a robot the day before competition. Without this robot, we would not have been able to place second overall. Placing second overall is something that was extremely hard, with only limited support from one other team member. I had the opportunity to go to Nationals with them, but I abandoned the mission, because carrying a team on your own can be hard. As I had learned from the previous years Nationals.

What I learned through all this, is that if you are conscious of your mistakes, and stay concentrated on the mission, you are apt to go a long way. If you concentrate on the mistakes, you lose sight of the mission and are unable to complete it to your best ability. When you attempt to carry a group mission on your own, you can't do it. If you are on a mission, that is for a team, you need a team. If you cannot gain a team, it is best to abandon the mission, or acquire new members.

(Title from Free to Conquer by Subseven)