Facebook Has Changed Our Lives, For Better or Worse

I wanted to write a blog post this week, but a sprained wrist is making it difficult to type.  So I’m reposting an article from CNN about Facebook which turns 10 this week.

CNN, January 30, 2014 –

Ten years and 1.2 billion users into its existence, there’s no question that Facebook has changed our lives.

Whether it was an inspired vision, deft execution, a bit of dumb luck or a combination of all three, Mark Zuckerberg’s social juggernaut has ingrained itself into the daily lives of digital-age users in a way that forebears like MySpace and contemporaries like Twitter could only imagine.
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Lemon Water Really is THAT Good

I know I talked about this last year, but I’ve been doing the lemon water thing for several months now and I can honestly say I see benefits. I find that it aids in digestion, wakes me up in the morning and somehow encourages me to make healthier choices throughout my day. The proven health benefits are numerous. This is an article by Jim Dillan for Healthy Ambition which spells it all out.

The Many Health Benefits of Lemon Water 11/13/2013

Lemon water is a simple and surprisingly healthy internal cleanser to start your day with. I certainly noticed a difference myself when I first started having the juice of a whole lemon in water first thing in the morning. I really like the way the sharp taste wakes you up and gets you going.

Some resources say that it’s good to have it in warm or even hot water. I suppose in this way you could use it as a healthier replacement for your morning coffee, but I personally prefer it in room temperature filtered water.
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My Take on New Year’s Resolutions

You’re going about it all wrong.

First, I’m not big on the idea of waiting until January 1 to start anything.  You have to be mentally prepared to make changes, and the calendar should not be dictating that.  BUT if you are truly ready and you need a convenient start date, then go for it.

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You Got The Number 7

I’d love to meet the person who comes up with some of these “Facebook Oddities”.  Like Throwback Thursday.  Or “Make your status post the color of your bra”.  The latest seems to be “I’ll send you a number, and you have to list that many things about yourself that other people wouldn’t know about you”. 

I never given into these gimmicks, but I’ve been drawing a blank lately when it comes to blog topics.  And all the marketing websites tell you to write what you’re passionate about.  So I decided to combine the two ideas and see what happens.  What could go wrong? (*cough*)

1. I’ve never seen a Hobbit or Lord of the Rings movie.  Ever.  Couldn’t even tell you what they’re about. 

2.  I like cats more than people.  Not to say I don’t like people.  I do.  Most people.  But cats don’t talk behind your back.  Cats don’t get jealous.  You don’t have to try to “read” a cat; if it’s happy you’ll know it and if it’s unhappy you’ll know that too.  No guess work involved.  Cats don’t have ulterior motives.  Cats either want your attention – all of it – or they want to be left alone.  Cats love you no matter how much you weigh, if you smell bad, if you made a mistake, and they even love you when it seems like no one else in the world does.  Top THAT humans!

3.  It annoys me to no end when I walk into a department store and see a brand of cosmetics on the shelf marketing itself as ‘green’ and ‘natural’ when it’s anything but.  Leaf shaped mascara containers, green packaging, buzz words on labels, but then you read the ingredients and need a degree in biochemistry just to get through it.  I get angry at the deception.  People who don’t know any better may actually believe this stuff is better for them.  How unfair!  But these guys have more money than I’ll ever dream of seeing, so they get the shelf space.  And all I can do is keep fighting.

4.  I’m girlie and I’m not.  I love to try on gorgeous evening gowns, but then I’ll go outside later with my chainsaw and clear the woods of dead trees.  I LOVE makeup but on a summer weekend you’ll find me sweating in my garden with dirt under my nails and looking like something that had been raised in the wild by wolves.  I can’t bear to watch gory or sad things on TV, but I have a license to carry and am a pretty good shot with a 9 mm.  I’ll hang drywall, lay hardwood flooring, repair a toilet and then go get my nails done.  I will not be defined.

5.  I’m not fond of the holidays.  Only because I’m tired of the world telling me what my life should be like that time of year.  I should be wearing an apron and pulling a turkey the size of Kansas out of my oven feeding a perfect loving family of 16.  My house should be spotless and brimming with holiday décor.  There should be a mommy and a daddy and 2.5 children and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and cousins and babies.  And everyone should be happy.  Well guess what main stream media, most of the world isn’t like that!  And the more you try to cram it down my throat, the more I will rebel against it.  It makes me want to live on an island somewhere in the tropics for the months of November and December. 

6.  I believe it is each person’s mission to somehow leave this world a better place.  Whether you’re Einstein and come up with that whole theory of relativity thing, or you’re Mrs. Jones down the street who created a neighborhood garden to help feed her community.  We’ve been given the gift of life.  And I think we owe it to the world to somehow leave it a little bit better because we were here. 

7. I’m a control freak.  I’m a clean freak.  I’ll cry over a cartoon if it’s sad, but I’ll never cry in front of anyone.  I like tomatoes but only if they’re hot (sauce, soup, bruschetta); raw cold tomatoes make me gag.  I’ve never been happy with my body weight, ever.  I would do anything to save or protect an animal.  I don’t kill spiders.  I catch them and release them outside because I think it’s wrong to kill them just because they look kinda creepy.  I’ve never eaten Brussels sprouts.  I am fiercely independent.  I am honest to a fault.  I hate seafood.  My favorite holidays are Valentine’s Day and Halloween.  I believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions, and our lives are the results of the choices we make.  I believe you can have anything you want if you want it badly enough.  I believe everyone has a purpose.  And I don’t think I’ve figured mine out yet.         

BE NICE!!

Many years ago, I took a college course about entrepreneurialism. We studied several companies such as LL Bean, Harley Davidson, Nike and examined what made them successful. One aspect that resonated with me was good customer service. If you keep your customers happy, chances are you’ll have that customer for a long time.

Eighteen years later, here I am, president of my own company. That fact alone still kind of blows me away, but I’ll save that self-examination for another time. I personally deal with customer service on a daily basis. Our office manager Lisa handles most of the calls that come in, but I handle the emails. “Why?” you might ask, “doesn’t the president have more important things to do?” Absolutely not. Sure I’ve got to pay bills and generate sales and create new products, and all those things are very important. But how will I know how people feel about my brand if I don’t talk to them? How will I know what they like and don’t like if I don’t listen to what they have to say? Is it fun to handle customer service? Um, no, not always. And sometimes it’s awesome.

Case in point: Last week, an apparently older gentleman emailed me about some lipstick his wife had purchased from our web site. She had ordered samples, chosen three shades she liked, and then ordered the full sized tubes. But she claimed that the full sized product did not match the samples she had gotten earlier that month. Referring to the three tubes of lipstick, he wrote: “My wife received all 3 and they were not anywhere close to the shades she picked out. The colors were much lighter and are unusable as far as my wife is concerned. She is accustomed to paying far less than the $ 45.00 it cost for your 3 shades of lipsticks but my daughter assured her it would be worth it. My wife is 84 and she takes pride in making herself looking as good as she can. Is there anything you can do to correct this as we live on a fixed income and this is a major purchase as far as we are concerned. Thank you for considering this…” After cracking up at the phrase “she takes pride in making herself look as good as she can”, I proceeded to explain to the gentleman that the shades had to be identical. We use the actual lipstick tubes from the same batch, and cut them into ¼” slices to use as samples. I thought maybe his wife had just looked at the samples and not actually tried them on. Well, my response set him off. He responded, “Of course she tried them that’s why she ordered them but the product although you say it is the same it is not. I can see you have no intention of helping us with this, We will write an appropriate response to others so they wont make the same mistake of ordering from a company that is only interested in selling their products and not satisfying their customers…”

This is where I get frustrated. I want to say there is no way possible the two can be different because they are coming from the SAME place. But I just say that in my head. Maybe other companies walk away at this point. Maybe they don’t want to deal with someone who seems unreasonable. It’s just one customer, right? Wrong. How they feel about my company is a reflection on ME. I wouldn’t want someone feeling negative about me (unless it was warranted). So I patiently wrote back, “I am not writing you off. I am merely trying to understand the scope of the problem. I thought perhaps your wife was going by sight only and not actually trying the product. I am really trying to understand how they could be so different when both products are coming from the same batch. Tell me what kind of color your wife is looking for. Pink? Mauve? You’re saying all the shades you purchased were too light. So she is looking for something with more color?” I really wanted to help this man. I wanted his wife to be happy with the purchase. In the end, they chose another color. AND he apologized to me, “Please accept my apology for overreacting to the way you handled the solution to our problem with the order we made with your company. I do appreciate your patience and generosity in handling this matter. I will recommend your company for it’s fairness and cooperative spirit you have shown. I am sending a copy to my daughter also, who recommended your company and has always been happy with your service.” That made my day.

Are we programed to overreact or strong arm just to get what we want? “I’m going to threaten to leave AT&T if they don’t lower my rate.” “If I threaten to cancel this credit card, I’ll bet they will give me a better interest rate.” Sadly, it seems like this may be our new reality. It shouldn’t be like that! Why can’t we treat each other respectfully and both work together to solve any issues that come up? Why don’t customers approach a problem in a calm manner before freaking out? Why don’t more companies treat their customers like they matter? Maybe that’s why LL Bean has been around for over 100 years. Because you know if the jeans you bought don’t fit, you can return them for another size without incident. Do some people take advantage of ‘nice’ companies? Sadly, they do. But maybe if more companies and customers started treating each other the way they would treat a good friend, more companies would survive, more customers would be happy and the world would be a little bit more pleasant.