I quit

Not life. Not spirit. Not soul. My job. I quit my job and I have no regrets.

No job is perfect, there are always little things here or there that could change. Sometimes workers might not see the “big” picture that a company does. One particular way is not always the best way and we have to rely on management, trusting they know what is best, for the smoothness of the company operation. It takes a lot of confidence knowing it’s not just you, but your moral character that is employed.

There was a time that a past job I had WAS near perfect. You can ask any former co-worker (not then of course) but NOW, now they will tell you. It was a great place. We had it perfect. Don’t know what you got til it’s gone kinda of thing (or sold in our case).

Regardless of what is or isn’t, what you know or don’t. There is something to be said for being with a company for over eleven years. A loyalty that is bred deep into the bones. It would take a lot to shake that. Maybe it would take promises of a BETTER place. A place more perfect, like the one you had before it was sold. Maybe it would take more money. More promises of freedom vs. conformity like you had at – said perfect job.

What if you were tempted and torn? A single parent. Extra income would sweeten the deal. Possibly even make you give up 26 days of vacation a year (which negates the income but I digress..). Maybe the premise of better job performance, more flexibility, friendlier staff, more rewards, and more recognitions might sway. Trips to Vegas. Diamonds. Cash. Maybe that would be enough to give something up you are completely happy with. And not just a promise for the better, but elite. Best of the best. Top of the line. How impressive and humbling to be recruited by a company like that.

Whatever the case, whatever sales pitch you receive, in the end, it’s YOUR decision to change after eleven years. Maybe you chose WRONG. Maybe the siren promises were just a mirage. Maybe you knew immediately your idea of customer service, the one ingrained from day one of your career, twenty years ago, is not the same as theirs. Maybe you don’t fit in with the elite, and never will. Maybe you start to question your own ability that you had been so confident of your whole working life. You lose your health. You lose your concentration. Your desire. Your will. Your drive. You feel like a worse worker because of your surroundings, and endless inefficiencies pointed out over and over.

Misconceptions. Misleads. The question remains, how could it go so wrong? How could you be so convinced (by others) you were perfect, and then be consistently torn down (by the same people)? It steals your livelihood, and starves the life force. It withers. It doubts. It dies. A desperate, flailing need to make sense of the insensible attacks. A perplex yearning to understand the call of profit over customer satisfaction in a no-matter-what frenzy. What if it questioned your personal integrity? Your life long need to fulfill the duty of responsible business.

The new job platform that supported and showcased your job talents is shaky. Building blocks are constantly moved, shifting around creating rifts, and unsteady ground. Earthquakes, and Tsunamis – implementation and change – invoke natural disasters from poor planning, and poor execution, that most can’t or won’t deal with, regardless if it’s part of service.

A flat-out refusal to adhere to the respect and vision of management. How long would it take to adjust to such major changes and eruptions? How can the pieces ever go together again quite right? How in the world do you stay steady and strong in such a volatile environment? It could take years of balancing, or years of building a new platform to withstand such battering. If someone is willing to take the time and dedication, that is, but most employees won’t. They refuse. They find it easier to sift through the rubble than learn a new craft.

Tell me something? How long did it take you to get skilled, REALLY skilled at a completely new job. One year? Two? I don’t mean you know what to do. I mean you master it and you are taught it and schooled in it. If you are completely saturated in that ONE skill. Maybe a year?

But what if it’s random? What if your training is hit or miss from day-to-day or week to week? Self-taught in stolen snatches. How long then? Two years? What if the main trainer doesn’t WANT you to know it well (or doesn’t know it well themselves). Maybe they do, and they’d rather be the knowledge holder, lest you learn it better, and show them up.

What if you are told that you will NEVER be forgotten for stepping up to the plate, completely out of your comfort zone, for the sake of the company, only for the same incredibly grateful person to forget it a year later? Would the time spent have been worth it? The tremendous effort it took when no one else would. You didn’t have the proper training, proper support, nor the tools, yet you still pursued to perform, driven by customer courtesy. Yet, despite all that, you were told to just walk away and go back to the rubble. Walk away from a service that truly serves the customer.

You can’t imagine the relief in a clients voice when they call and don’t have to be transferred around to the “right” person. ONE person can help them. How much value is that? To satisfy a customer? Is there a NUMBER you could put on that? For me personally, I HATE being transferred several times. When I want help….I want help! What irks me more? Having to be called back. It’s rarely timely, and rarely a time that is timely for me.

The little things make a difference. The right support makes a difference. The right environment, work ethics, and management make a difference. Respect makes a difference. Visions make a company. Worth, and appreciation build. Learning from mistakes grows. Polishing of skills smooths. Astounding support, and encouragement go a long way. I never doubted my skills. I never doubted the fire to satisfy and go above and beyond for an account, even if it took learning a whole new system. I never considered it wrong. And I wouldn’t couldn’t consider it any other way.

Now more than ever I know. I know exactly how NOT to be. I had excellent examples in each case. I am more firm and confident than ever in the merit that I uphold to serve my company and clients in the highest regard possible. Any less is not an option.

So I choose a new place, one more suited to my needs, desires, and character. One that blesses and benefits – justly and fairly. One that believes in team work for a client’s cause. But as I go, I bid you to look at the big picture. To look beyond a number. To find true benefit in actions. To give honorable service that exceeds and succeeds.

And to my old “new” job. It is SO good to be home. Two years is too long. I’m honored and thrilled you would welcome me back with open arms. Just give me a few weeks to recoup, and I’ll return refreshed and renewed with all my heart in servitude.

Names have not been used to protect the sanctity of company identity. This is a personal opinion based on personal experience and observations. It does not reflect, nor refer to any source other than personal thoughts. My perception, not fact, and not to be used as indicators of any factual knowledge.

What happens in a box, stays in a box…..

I’ve been wearing contacts since I was ten years old. Yes, I know! What were my parents thinking? Surely I lost them. Why yes I did, thankyouverymuch, luckily my smart step dad took out insurance.

I had contacts back in the days of using enzyme cleaner in distilled water. Did I just date myself? You had four different solutions. A soaking solution, a rinsing solution, and a cleaning solution. Then the distilled water with enzyme tablets. You had to have a near science degree just to WEAR contacts back then. At least they were soft contacts, those hard ones always looked painful.

Fast forward to today, my gosh, look at all the available contact options. You can get three month wear, six month wear, bi-weekly wear, colored, even bi-focal contacts. Seriously! They have come a long way. I can’t wear the extended wear. I tried and my eyes watered, constantly. It was 3-D blurred vision – I was not happy.

“Why?” asked the doctor your eyes are getting MORE oxygen with these. Um, gee doc, I don’t know. Apparently, I see better with oxygen deprived eyes. Go ahead smother them!

They put me back in the same bi-weekly lenses I had been wearing for many years, until this last visit. This doctor based on medical issues [cough] allergies [cough] recommended daily wear contacts. You wear them ONE day and toss them. A fresh new pair every day for those with dry allergy ridden eyes.

Now, I struggled a bit with the whole waste thing, how much more trash was I creating? Was I killing the planet? How lond did they take to decompose? They are not recyclable, nor environmental friendly. In the end, I tried them for seven days – comfort – blessed comfort – won out.

For the first time in 27 years, my contacts were cozy. My eyes were content. Not just day one or two, but all day even late into the night. To a long time contact wearer (and nightowl), that is incredible. They cost a bit more but I don’t have to buy solution either. The pleasant wearing experience was worth every penny (and more).

I have used 1-800-CONTACTS for a quite a while. They are very convenient, not to mention top notch customer service. I was in such desperate need of contacts after my eye appointment in May, I went online Saturday night to order them. Thing is, I kinda forgot the brand. No worries, there were only TWO daily wear lenses. I picked the one I thought it was. I figured they’d verify with the office and get the right one anyhow (forgetting it was Sunday the next day and the office was closed).

The contacts arrived within the week, oh happy day, I HATE wearing glasses. I can’t see. I never feel awake. I had gotten so irritated that week, I had dug out an OLD, OLD pair of contacts to wear. Yuk! Major eye disturbance.

So here they were, fresh and brand new, I immediately put my lenses in…..and couldn’t SEE a thing! I thought, maybe I got a bad lens. I tried another pair, STILL couldn’t see. Ahhhh!

I was bummed. I went to work wearing glasses and called them. As I’m speaking to a rep, I notice the box is + not – like my prescription. Ooops. Yeah, my bad. I tell them, it’s the wrong prescription, I admit it’s my fault. They tell me according to the doctor’s office it’s the wrong brand too. Wow.

Not only do they fix it and ship it right away, they do not even charge me the extra money for the different brand which was more expensive. AND they didn’t laugh at me for my major flub! (wearing contacts for 27 years? HA)

Three months later, it came time to re-order again. I jump online, no problems. My prescription is there and verified, no chance of getting it wrong. I actually ordered six months worth of contacts, because you know, time flies.

The box came yesterday and I open it right up, CONTACTS! My CONTACTS are here. Here is what I find……

Inside the box.

One of the boxes.

What’s left inside the box after the boxes are removed.

83 contacts

Now either someone had a really bad day in shipping and took it out on a mean ole box of contacts, or the contact boxes had some major issues with each other when the box closed. *You’re in my space. Move over. Get your elbow off me. Stop wheezing! Are you looking at me? You want some of this. Why I outta…*

One box was completely ripped open – all the contacts broken apart and loose. Two other boxes were opened but not spilling contacts, the third box looked a little inflated but was fine, not opened anyway. I would have been okay if they were all there, but no, one box was short seven contacts. I had to call them and let them know. What a trip! (heh, literally!)

Apparently, those seven escaped during shipping or were kicked out of box club for talking about box club. Or maybe the shipping guy had a problem with them. You seven? You’re OUTTA here! What happens in the box stays in the box….no questions, right?

Rogue contacts, only me….

Personalized service makes a comeback

One day after my life story of being a travel agent despite the challenges and what do I read on CNN the next day?

CNN Are Travel agents making a comeback? -CNN.com

You know what is better than that? THAT personalized service is making a come back.
Let’s face it America. These computerized voices and call centers in Bangladesh is just NOT cutting it! We want service. We want a human. We want someone that actually helps in a crisis and speaks our language.

Let’s get old fashioned and get back to going above and beyond for our customers. I can tell you this. Travel Agents never lost that personal touch. The internet steered it away but we have always been here. I have serviced the same clients for 17 years now and they can vouch for that. We are looking out for your best interest and most pleasant travel experience and the best deal.
We are not a machine. We actually do care.

Happy Friday! Be extra nice today and see who notices.
*maybe even CNN*