Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why does it always feel like good people get screwed?

We have once again had a service tech/maintenance personnel totally lie, bold face to us. This was the second time that we had made an appointment with this guy and he didn't show up. We called and messaged him 15 minutes after the appointment time and heard nothing back for over an hour. By that time Weston and I were already out of the house doing things, like our life. He totally lied to Weston when he eventually did contact us, saying that he was there at 9 and had knocked on the door but no one answered. We were all there in the dinning room next to the door. There were four of us. We would have heard it. He was TOTALLY lying to us. He also told me that he'd had throat surgery the day before which was why he couldn't answer the phone. SERIOUSLY? He called and talked to Weston, but told me that he couldn't talk because of throat surgery. This is the LAMEST excuse I think I've ever heard. And instead of being able to call him on it, we just get screwed. Before you ask why we can't call him on it, it's because we have to work through the management company because he is a private contractor and yelling at him would do nothing. But we both seriously doubt that the manager of the property will do anything. He's proven to be pretty useless.

I just so sick and tired of how people can just lie to us and get away with it. They don't have any problems with screwing us over, making up lies because they aren't/can't be responsible. Be responsible people!!! Because if he had called me and talked to me, he would have gotten a frickin' mouthful!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Body Image

This is a topic that I feel I really needed to talk about today. I have had a really hard time with my own body image for the last few years, but the last few weeks have been particularly hard for me. So I wanted to speak out about it and maybe through my own words, others will find some strength.

I know that I am more then my body. I am more then the weight I gained with my baby. I am more then my diastisis recti. I am more then the number on a scale or the number on my jeans.

I am a mother. I am a wife. I am an opera singer. I am sister and friend.

I am beautiful.

I AM beautiful.


I have worth outside of the physical form I am in. I have something to give to the world, to my family and my community. I am the sum of more then the scale, but of the experiences of my life. I will give, and continue to give of myself to others through service and music.

Even as I write this, I hear the voice in my head fighting against these words. Even as the tears run down my cheeks, I know that the only way to let go of the anger and shame I feel toward my body is to declare otherwise.

I am more then a scale.

I am more then a number.

I am infinitely strong, and only need to be reminded of that.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

To Get Good Customer Service, Be a Good Customer!!

I'm surprised how many people talk about how horrible customer service is in this country and never really offer this very simple solution.

                                                      BE A GOOD CUSTOMER!!!

I just had an experience at my local 7-11, the one where some of the employee's know me and I've been to A LOT this summer, that I wanted to share the knowledge I've gleaned from it. I'll let the stage. . .

It's late, around 9:00pm, and I'm tried after having printed some things at the Fedex across the street. I'm getting a soda because I know I'll be up a little later tonight and I don't want to be totally exhausted. I grab my soda and get in line. The woman in front of me looked normal, late 30's, blond highlights in her dark brown hair, with two little ones in toe. It looked as though she was buying some things for a trip or maybe they just love their junk food at this time of night. To give her a little credit, I don't know what happened in her day and maybe she was totally stressed out. However, what happened next was totally inexcusable.

From the moment she stepped to the check out counter, her attitude and air was one of utter disgust and annoyance. Having learned a thing or two from Weston about body language, I wasn't surprised when her total came up and she started second guessing what had been run in. She insisted that the checker had rung in the slurppy (is that the spelling?) twice. The checker said, No that he hadn't then counted out the items on the counter, showing her that he had rung them all in. Now here was where the customer service could have been better. It would have been better if he had looked through the order and double checked every item before taking the money, and this is where the mistake was made. I don't know if he didn't speak English well, as he did seem a little confused, but he's always been very kind and helpful every time I've gone into the store.

He hands her the receipt and she promptly scour over it. Finding what she was looking for, she tells him in the most condescending and disrespectful tone (she started using 'Sir' all of the sudden. Ever notice how Sir or Ma'am when people are angry?) that he was wrong and in fact he did ring in the slurppy twice. He took the receipt from her and looked it over, counting every item. She starts yelling, pointing at a sign that said the Doritos were 2 for $2 and that he had basically stolen a dollar from her because he was to lazy to check everything in properly. Really stolen a dollar? All of this over a dollar? Yelling and screaming over a frickin' dollar? At this point I wanted to hand her a dollar if that was what this whole thing was about.

The checker then has to void everything out and start a new transaction so that he can give her the blasted dollar she is freaking out about. As he's doing this, she is getting more frustrated because she doesn't understand what he's doing. I do because I've worked in retail, specifically in a gas station, and I know how you have to refund something. She doesn't ask him what he's doing, she doesn't stop to think that maybe he is trying to do what she is asking for. She only see's that he's ringing things in and doesn't understand. She finally throws down the ultimate in dissatisfied customer speech, saying 'Just give me my money back, I don't even want any of this anymore. This is the worst customer service I have ever received.'

That's when I stepped in. It was bad enough that she was totally abusing this guy, but I've been served by him plenty of times and he is a very nice gentleman and does his job well. I leaned over and said 'Ma'am, the problem here is you. His customer service has been fine. If you had started out kind and understand that mistakes are sometimes made, this would have gone a whole lot smoother.' And I knew what to expect next, her raging to turn on me . . . raging dragons and all.  She starts telling me that I have no idea what I'm talking about and that he hasn't even looked at her blah blah blah.  It continues for a minute, where I finally leaned over the counter, said 'I'm sorry, you don't deserve this' to the checker and walked out.

Because I really hate conflict, but I hate people who are bullies and abusive even more, I had felt the need to step into the situation. Was that the right move? Probably not. I didn't make me feel good. It actually made me feel a little sick because of the Adrenalin that was suddenly coursing through my veins. Having worked in his exact same position, I know how it feels to have someone totally verbally abuse you but because you are an employee you can't say something back. I felt like he needed to know that someone saw what she was doing and that it wasn't okay. But as I thought about the incident as I drove home, it really hit me that to have experience good customer service, you have to be a good customer. You have to walk into each conversation/interaction with a customer service employee knowing that they are in fact human and will make mistakes. Most people will try their hardest to rectify those mistakes as quickly as possible if you let them. Some are better then others, and some really suck at it. But surprise surprised, most people who suck at it don't last very long in a customer service position. But if you want to be like this lady tonight, yelling and in the face of the person she's trying to get service from, the person will do what is natural and normal. They will get flustered, angry, frustrated, annoyed and most of the time hate you for a few minutes. You won't get better service by yelling, even if you get what you want. People like that are bullies in every sense of the word.

So next time you have a bad customer service experience, try your hardest to be understanding. And remember that sometimes, the other person might be having a crappy day too.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Problem With Lying

From the time we are little we are taught not to lie. It's a universal truth that we all learn (hopefully). But as I've gotten older, I've found more and more people that haven't really held onto that truth. The problem with lying is that if you lie and someone finds out you've lied, how can they trust anything that you have said before or after. Let me give you an example. This happened to us recently and I was honestly shocked.

We came home from a great family reunion weekend up in mountains to find our internet was out. This is not something we normally freak about because we are able to get a hold of someone to come fix it pretty quick. I called on Tuesday and someone came out to look at it. Over the course of the next few days, the tech would come out at the end of the day, give us a song and dance about not being able to get the internet set up. At first, we had no trouble believing that there were problems. The satellite's were moved so they needed to be adjusted, there was rain, pieces are missing, the ladder was to short . . . and so on. By the end of the week, we were beginning to feel like something fishy was happening.

Our first clue that something wasn't right was Thursday. Weston and I hadn't heard anything from him all day, so Weston texted him to find out the status of the internet. He told Weston that the maintenance guys who worked on the swamp coolers had taken some of the satellite pieces, so he had to go get some new ones. Later that same day, around 4, he told us that his ladder was to short to reach the top of the building so he couldn't fix the internet today. We were a little confused then how he knew there were pieces missing when he didn't have a ladder that didn't reach the roof. This is like the doctor who told me that my throat looked fine, when he in fact had NOT looked at my throat. We kind of overlooked this little inconsistency in his story because he promised us that he would be here the next morning to give us internet.

Well, I'm sure you can guess what happened next.

He didn't contact us at all, all morning. On the way out of the apartment in the afternoon, I asked the maintenance guy if our internet tech contacted him about the ladder like he had said he would. He said yes, that the tech did and that he had told him that the ladder was behind the apartments and he could come get them whenever he needed it. So I knew. I knew that he had called and that the ladder was just sitting there.

We called the tech, at least once an hour from 10 to 1; probably closer to twice an hour to be honest. Weston's job works almost solely over the internet doing video conferences and email for his main communication, so we were very anxious to have the internet up and running.

After Weston had tried and failed to get through to this tech, I called on my phone only minutes after he had tried. The tech answered! I said hey, and asked if he had received any of my husbands messages, and he say's he had been out of cell service all morning. Hmmmm, he had promised us that he would be back that morning to come work on the internet, and somehow was conveniently out of cell service ALL MORNING? He then proceeded to tell me that he would be in at 3 because that's when the ladder would be there. I called him on that by telling him that the maintenance guy told me that the ladder was here and that it was ready for him whenever he wanted it. He acted surprised, like he hadn't known this information.

The end of this story was a few very angry left voice mails to the tech and the company (who had also failed to answer their phone) as 3:00pm came and went. We ended up going to Comcast and getting internet, modem and router set up and installed in less then one hour. I called our now former internet provider to let them know that we have cancelled out internet and that the power supply for the apartment complex was sitting outside on the porch for when they wanted to come get it.

The moral of this story is not about horrible customer service, even though that is what happened, it is that if you lie everything is thrown into question. We started to go over everything he had said and done. Was there really a problem with the satellites? He obviously hadn't been up to the roof, so he didn't really know if parts were missing. What had he been doing this whole time? Literally four days of messing around and I had no concrete proof that he had done anything he said he had. Because of the way he reacted to me when I told him that I had talked to the maintenance guy makes me think this man was not a first time offender either, but a well versed liar. The problem comes when people started to check up on him. He stopped answering phone calls and responding to text's when we started to become suspicious that something wasn't right.

If you have to contently be looking over your shoulder, you will never see the wall that you're about to run into.            

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fantasy-Con 2014 Friday

Friday we decided to join in the fun and get all dressed up. Weston got dressed in a costume that my dad made a few years back for LOTR, Aragorn. I went as a 1950's pin up, and Michael was an Ewok from Star Wars. We had purchase a children's harness for him because we wanted him to be able to walk around on his own without him running away. The harness hung out the back of his costume, so it looked like we were walking our Ewok! Super cute. Everyone stopped us to take pictures of Michael, or just pointed and smiled at his cuteness!

We got to go to a few cool panels, including one of the Hillywood Show on how to do video's on a budget, one of pro cosplayers and also one on how to make your own patterns. Some of the panels were really neat and there were way to many to go to each. Sadly, we missed the costume contest because Michael was done for the day. Hmmmm.

This is what you do at a convention with a baby who naps. Walk the halls until he falls asleep!

Fantasy-Con 2014 Thursday!!

We were so blessed to be given two free tickets to Thursday and Friday of Fantasy-Con in Salt Lake City this weekend. I am a total fantasy lover anyway, but I was so excited to be apart of this inaugural year. Also, I was super excited to get to see the actors of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Almost all of the dwarves from Hobbit were there and Sean, Billy and John Rhys-Davies were there. It was so cool to get to watch them sign autographs and do photos. We were very blessed that my mother was available to watch Michael for us on Thursday, so we got to experience the Con sans baby. 

There were some awesome photo op's that were totally free that we TOTALLY took advantage of!!


Fae Fall's, they also had mermaids!!
This rock monster moved and growled at people passing by!

This dragon was seriously awesome!! It also blew smoke out of it's nostrils at different times.

There were also some really amazing cosplayers there showing off their amazing costumes!!!

This group is awesome because everything they do is for charity. They go an visit sick children at Hospitals like Primary Children's Hospital dressed as superheroes to help bring some cheer. Of course Weston HAD to get a picture with them!

This was my 'power pose' on this really awesome throne!
The beautiful Christopher Judge!

There were two experiences we had that were the highlight of the day. The first was Christopher Judge. For those that don't know him, he's Teal'c from the Syfy tv show called SG-1. He was always my favorite and I was so excited to see him there!! I kind of just hung back and watched him for a while before I was able to walk over and say hello. The first thing I said was "You were my favorite!" And continued to digress from there! I went total fan girl on him! I NEVER do that, like seriously ever. But there he was, sitting before me!!! I told him he was an amazing actor and just beautiful (embarrassing!) He was so sweet, genuine and kind. He had an energy about him that was so comfortable and humble, I could have talked to him for hours. Ahhh, sigh. But I told him I didn't have any money, so I couldn't buy a print or autograph, but he just pointed at them and said pick one. I was totally shocked. He signed it for me and made my whole day!!!! If I hadn't liked him before, I would have then!!! Seriously beautiful man, in and out!!!

The second is a total fan girl moment over a product . . . a corset. For those of you that know me, you know I've been looking for a high quality, low cost corset made locally for a while now. The only corsets I could find were ones that I call 'lingerie corset's', ones that are only meant to be worn for 10 minutes. But there was a vendor there, Damsel in this Dress, that I have officially fallen in love with!! First, the corset's are real. As in steel boned, with fiberglass lace-up boning. The fabric was thick, quality that I could wear for years to come. Everything about them made me so happy!!! Also, the owner was like my long lost twin. She is the type of person that I love, ambitious, kind, loving, adorable, beautiful, outgoing . . . I swear I heterosexual! But her personality, combined with the amazing product she produces, I'm hooked now for life!!! Please check them out if you like corset's like I do. THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Paris Day 2!!

On the schedule for the day:

Tour of the Opera Garnier, the Paris Opera House
Rehearsal in the Notre Dame






The top of the picture above

Music Library in the Opera
Desdemona's dress from Otello
Frika's dress from Die Walkure
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We ended up singing 5 times in the Opera house. We sang twice on the main steps of the opera house and ended up with a huge crowd of people behind us on the stairs and in each window way watching and listening to us. Then we sang in the hall pictured above twice in a large circle, then a tour guide asked us to sing again for their tour group. It was amazing!!! 




Amazing rehearsal at the Notre Dome. We had the chance to go closer to the sanctuary then anyone that was there. We also got to into the cathedral through the special entrance at the side of the cathedral.