I (Frankie) know all about customer service. I've been a waitress, worked in retail, I am an office manager who answers the phone and schedules appointments, and the co-owner of my own business. I'm always and forever dealing with customers/clients and I know the golden rule; the customer is always right. But, that's not quite true is it?
One of the hardest things about my job is being nice to people who feel that it's okay to be mean to me. I know where their head is. They know that I'm serving them and if I'm rude, no matter if they were rude first, I could, at the very least lose a customer/client or, at the very worst, lose my job. So does that make it okay for them to be rude to me? Absolutely not, but unfortunately, lots of people think it does make it okay.
I get it. Sometimes things happen and we get frustrated. It happens to me all the time. But, nine times out of ten whatever happened to frustrate us or make us flat out angry, has nothing to do with the person taking care of customer service. These people usually aren't who we have the problem with at all, but because they are there and we know they can't say anything back to us, it makes them an easy target. That's not okay.
The next time you get mad or frustrated with a business, just remember where the problem originates from. It's almost never because of the person who you're dealing with at that particular moment. Just because you're angry or frustrated doesn't mean it's "right" for you to be rude.
Whether you work from home or in a brick and mortar business, no matter what side of the counter you're on or which end of the phone line you're on, we're all customers at some point and we're not always right. Be nice.
For me, that question is very easy to answer. I'm never happier than when I'm surrounded by the ones that I love. It's the most amazing feeling in the world to me and I wouldn't trade it for anything. When I'm with my family, nothing else matters. I am at peace.
I also find happiness in my work. I know that sometimes I complain, but I have to admit that I have a pretty amazing work life. I get to work from home with a phenomenal group of counselors at Eddins Counseling Group, and I am co-owner of this kick booty company called Coffee Talk Consulting. I never dreamed that I would be co-owner of anything so this is pretty great for me.
I just want you to understand how very important it is to be happy in all aspects of your life. Enjoy your family and friends. You'll argue, sure, but you'll get over it. Love what you do for a career. Money is important, but it's much more important to be happy with what you do. And always remember while you're pursuing happiness, to take time to just be happy.
I spent a lot of years looking for something to make me happy without ever stopping to actually be happy. I've learned to slow down and just enjoy the happiness that has found me. It took me awhile to get here, but I'm here now and I hope you'll join me.
Leave us a comment and let us know where you've found your happiness.
What's Mule Day you ask? Here is an excerpt directly from the Mule Day Website:
Mule Day is an annual celebration of all things related to mules and is held in Columbia, Tennessee, the “Mule Capital” of the world. Begun in 1840 as “Breeder’s Day”, a meeting for mule breeders, it now attracts over 200,000 people and takes place over seven days. In addition to mules, traditional Appalachian food, music, dancing, and crafts are featured.
Did you see that? Over 200,000 people! What? I (Frankie) had no idea about this when I moved to Columbia, TN in 2010. Columbia isn't a huge town and 200,000 is a whole lot of people. I get road rage on a regular Tuesday around here because I feel like there's too much traffic for such a small town. Can you imagine how I am when over 200,000 new people roll into town for seven days? It isn't pretty.
For a long time I just held my tongue about Mule Day. It's kind of an old tradition, 1840, and I thought maybe it brought some revenue to the town. I'm not so sure that's the case anymore. Maybe through the week some of our small, locally owned businesses do some extra sales, but I found out this year that on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Mule Day week, most of those close. They have to. They can't get to work to open shop even if they wanted to. Most locals actually leave town that weekend. Some make sure to plan their vacations for the whole week so they don't have to deal with the crazy overcrowding of our town.
It's really not fair to those of us that live here year round. I'm sure the influx of people does help with our revenue on some level, but is it worth it? There are a ton of us that walk at our local park every day. The county made a walking trail just for us and we love it. Mule Day is held at the park. There are signs that designate where to park trailers and tell them not to have mules or horses on the walking trail. I went to walk the Thursday of Mule Day this year and I couldn't. Not only could I not find a parking spot, trailers were parked all across our trails and of course the whole walking trail was littered with crap…literally. It was awful. I missed four days walking because of it, and I know I'm not the only one.
You may think I'm just being a crybaby here, but I'm really not. I do have a point. Sometimes we think what we're doing for our work from home or brick and mortar business is a good thing. Maybe we keep doing things the way we've always done it because that's what has worked in the past. Maybe we start doing some new fangled crap because we think we need to get with the times and try some new ideas. All I'm saying is whatever you do; make sure it's actually good for your business and your clients. Adapt and evolve, but don't alienate. You can't make everyone happy all the time, but you can sure give it a try.
And don't bring in 200,000 new clients and expect your old clients to be happy.
Do you think holding onto traditions is a good or bad thing? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Planning for vacation is a wonderful thing. At least it is for me. I get really excited just thinking about those days off that are coming up. I get caught up on work, let clients know I'm going to be off and take care of any other arrangements so I can just sit back and enjoy my time of no work. But, what happens when I'm sick or an emergency comes up and I have to take an unplanned day off? Where does that leave me and my clients?
I (Frankie) hate pretty much anything that isn't planned. I mean, I can be spontaneous sometimes, but mostly I just want a solid plan. So, when I get sick or an emergency comes up and I have to take an unplanned day off work, it really throws me for a loop and when I get to return to work, whether that is the next day or a week later, everything is a mess. I despise a mess. I can't work in a mess. Even though I work from home, everything has a place and everything is in its place. Clutter and disorganization are not my friends.
So, what do you do to keep things running smoothly when you have to take an unplanned day off? You plan for an unplanned day off. Huh? Yeah, let me 'splain. After a couple times getting sick or an emergency coming up and having to take off work unplanned, I learned a few things. I learned that if I don’t do some preemptive planning for these situations, not only will work be a mess when I come back, but so will I. I'll be so anxious about getting things caught up that I won't be able to get anything done! So, I've started doing little things to help me be a little better prepared if I have to take an unplanned day off work.
Do a little extra each day. I know some of us have a hard time getting done what we're supposed to get done every day much less doing extra work. But, let me tell you that a little extra work today will put you in a much better place if you have to take an unexpected day off tomorrow.
If you blog, keep a few ahead. This one is big for me. I write a blog for CTC every Thursday. If I keep a few written in advance I don't have to worry if something happens Wednesday night because my blog is already written and scheduled.
Make a plan with your boss and/or clients. Go ahead and talk with your boss/clients about how you will handle unexpected time off. Having a plan in place for situations like this takes the pressure off you and your clients because neither of you are scrambling around wondering what you're going to do. If you have a boss, it's really important to discuss a backup plan with them in case you're unexpectedly off work so they know the most important work will still get done.
Those are just a few things you can do to help plan for an unplanned day off. If you have more suggestions on planning for unplanned days off, let us know in the comments.
I really didn't. I (Frankie) didn't write anything for today's post. I'm kind of sorry, but I'm kind of not. I had to take Tuesday off because I was down with the sickness. When you work from home or for yourself, taking a day off is kind of a big deal. Andrea talked a little about it yesterday in her #tipoftheday and she's going to talk more about it tomorrow, but today I just want to say that when you work from home or for yourself and you have to take an unplanned day off, it really messes things up.
I came "back" to work yesterday and was totally slammed. I didn't have time to think, much less write a post for today. I still didn't feel 100% either so I was moving slower than normal. My house is a mess, laundry needs to be done, I had to work out and fix supper. It was just too much. So, today I'm still behind on work and housework and I have everything that is due today piled on the same plate as yesterday's work. Whew!
I didn't want to shirk my Coffee Talk responsibilities completely though, so I did hop on to write a little something. I also wanted to tell you guys to make sure you read Andrea's post tomorrow on how you take a vacation (or day off) when you work from home.
I know sometimes things are unexpected and you can't plan for them, but maybe she'll put some tips in on how you do things on a daily basis to plan for unplanned days off…or maybe that will be my next blog. Either way, I'll be reading her vacation planning blog tomorrow and taking notes. I hope you do too.
I guess I better get to work now so I can try to catch things up before the weekend.
Drop us a comment to let us know how you plan for unplanned days off.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.