I (Andrea) am letting the image you see above you sink in. Go ahead and read it a couple of times if you must. Your brain will fill in the blocked out words, I’m sure.
I received this email about a week ago. Well, to be fair, one of my clients from my other business received it, however I monitor the email box and take care of all questions, concerns, issues, etc. that might come through. So, it’s mine to deal with. The problem is that I can’t deal with it. At least, I can’t deal with it in the way I’d like to. Because if it was an email coming to my business, I would have posted the entire thing here in our blog and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, along with the person’s name and email address.
Why would I have resorted to internet shaming? Because it’s frustrating to have to deal with people like this. It’s angering and hurtful to receive messages like this. And it’s not the only one. I blogged about this several years ago. Customer service people get messages like this all the time.
Providing good customer service is difficult work. When Starbucks changed their Star Rewards program last month (we talked about it here) their Facebook page blew up with thousands of rude comments. But the customer service people that monitor that page did an amazing job responding, and probably went home exhausted, not wanting to return to work the next day.
The truth about customer service is simple. There are thousands and thousands of people out there answering phone calls, responding to emails, Twitter and Facebook posts for companies. They’re hired to do a job that is, at times, thankless, and at times, filled with nasty people that they can’t react to because it’s not their business. It’s just a job they do. They are the frontline infantry in days of old that were lined up and the first to be shot.
I understand that, as a consumer/shopper/client, you may come across problems with a purchase or service or whatever. And you may be angry. But that shouldn’t give you the right to abuse someone on the other end of a phone or email box just because you can’t see them.
I (Frankie), am a list making, goal setting, checking things off, strict routine driven kind of person. I have to have a goal, a list, a reason, and I have to have a routine or I'll never get anything done. Being this way all of my life has taught me something. Sometimes I have to take a few steps back and maybe stand on my head and look at the situation from a different perspective to see results.
Over the years I've packed on a few extra pounds. The last 30 lbs I gained when I stopped smoking. So, when I came out of the black hole of breaking free from an addiction, I started thinking about how I was going to get this weight off. All I wanted was to be skinny again. This thought consumed me. I started counting calories and working out for a couple of hours a day. At the end of a month I finally got up the courage to step on the scales. I had gained 2 pounds! I was devastated.
Oh! Woe is me! I just want to give up. Maybe if I start smoking again I'll lose the weight. Maybe if I only eat fruit and water for a month I'll lose the weight. Maybe if I just don't eat at all for a month I'll lose the weight and be SKINNY again. After about 2 weeks, (and countless bags of chips and cookies), of this kind of thinking I realized how stupid this all was and sat down to really think about my situation.
I started doing some research and found out that I was probably not eating enough for as much as I was working out. This blew my mind. I've always been taught to lose weight we need to restrict calories. Now, I'm being told to eat more. I also realized that I needed to focus more on being healthy and not skinny. Apparently there is a real thing called "skinny fat" where you are skinny, but unhealthy. My whole reason for stopping smoking was to get healthy. I started to understand that I needed to approach losing weight with that same goal in mind. I wanted to get healthy and if I lost weight in the process, then great!
It's been 2 months since I started looking at this whole weight loss thing from this perspective. I've lost 14 lbs. But even more than the weight loss, I FEEL great. I feel HEALTHY. I'm halfway to my goal weight and I haven't even really been trying that hard to lose weight. What I did was refocus and rethink my goal and change my perspective. I started concentrating on trying to get healthy. The weight loss has just come as part of that.
If you're stuck, if the scales aren't moving, if the new product isn't selling, if the blog isn't taking off, if you're not finding any work, if the kid or the dog just won't do what you tell them to, maybe you should stand on your head and look at the situation from a different perspective. Sometimes that can make all the difference.
(A Happy Worker is a Productive Worker)
This past week was overwhelming. I (Andrea) was buried so deeply in work that I couldn’t get out of it with a ladder on a fire truck.
When you work for yourself, you always have a lot of work to do. There is always something that’s due, always something that needs to be completed asap. And most of the time it’s okay. You handle things and all is well with the world. But then there are those times - those weeks - they are horrible. There is no other way to say it.
Now, you can look at it positively. You can think how nice it is that you have lot of work, because work = income. But when you’re so completely overwhelmed you aren’t thinking about income. You’re thinking: I hate this. I hate doing this. Why won’t everyone just leave me alone? This is where I was at. Because I forgot about myself.
I forgot a couple of rules that Frankie and I try very hard to follow. The first rule is this: It’s okay to say no. Sometimes you have to tell people that you can’t do something. Sometimes you have to tell people that their last minute request will be addressed as soon as everything else that came first is completed. When you say no, it doesn’t mean that you’re trying to be rude or lazy. It just means that you don’t want to take on work that you can’t give 100% to at that time.
The second rule to be followed is: Don’t forget about yourself. Don’t forget that you have to walk away from things sometimes to rest and relax and rejuvinate. Don’t forget that you deserve to take a break. You deserve to have some time off. You deserve to have some fun. Because when you’re having fun you’re happy. And when you’re happy, you do a much better job.
I forgot that this week. Frankie didn’t. She went off and had some fun traveling and going to some concerts. She remembered our important rules and I forgot!
Don’t forget to care for yourself. When you’re feeling down, and angry and frustrated, you’re not going to be successful. You’re not going to be your best. Take some time for you!
I hate scams. That's it. I(Frankie) hate scams. I hate promises of money and recognition that amount to nothing more than someone taking your money and running. I hate being taken advantage of by scams and I hate seeing my fellow humans being taken advantage of by them. These scams are on the lowest rung of the totem pole to me. Even beneath those letters in the mail saying you're pre-approved for a $50,000 loan with zero percent interest! They take advantage of people who are trying to make a living and that's not cool. It's my pet peeve and one I'm very passionate about.
When I first started trying to get into working from home it was because I had three kids that I was working really hard to raise and I felt like I needed to be home more with them while also being able to provide what they needed. You know - a roof over their heads, food on the table. Yeah, that stuff. I was ripe for the picking and was taken advantage of lots of times and lost a lot of money before finally catching on. The really bad thing is it turned me off from working from home. It would be another 12 years before I would start working with Andrea and that was just dumb luck, or divine intervention if you believe in that, and I do. :)
The scams that got me were the ones that wanted me to pay money to gain access to a site that had work from home jobs listed. I had no idea that you could find these sites for free and they had legit work from home opportunities. So, I'd pay some money and then I'd get a list in my email of companies that were supposedly hiring work from home workers. They weren't. I'd call the number and it wouldn’t be a working number. I'd send an email to the email address provided and it would come back undelivered. I gave up.
You need to protect yourself from this as well as the many other scams that are floating around out there. Here are three tips you must remember when searching the internet for work at home jobs.
You Do Not Need to Pay for a Job
The biggest mistake people make is thinking that if they pay someone, they’re going to get a job. No. It’s not how it works. If someone tells you that all you need to do is pay them money and they’ll give you access to all kinds of great leads that no one else has, run away fast. In the “real world” of recruiting, the hiring company pays the recruiter to find you. You don’t pay the recruiter to be found.
If it’s Too Good to Be True
C’mon - you know the rest- it probably is. If they’re promising you that you can make $1000 a week sending just a couple of emails, then I have some oceanfront property to sell you in Iowa.
Be Smart. Do Research
If you find an opportunity, dig in and do some research. You’re already on your computer. Search the company. Do they have an address? Search the address. Is it a real business? A PO Box? Someone’s apartment? Check with the Better Business Bureau. Look for reviews. The best way to protect yourself is through knowledge.
There are tons of job sites out there for people looking for work from home opportunities that are totally free and legit. I can't stand to think that someone is going to get sucked into a scam. The thing is, if I almost fell for it, how easy will it be for others to fall for it? Maybe people that haven't dealt with scams like I have will see this on the their homepage, and because that's a pretty legit place to be, they'll fall for it. That's what almost got me.
Watch yourselves. Don't let the scammers get you. And if you find a scam, leave us a comment so we can warn others. We have to stick together.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.