Do you like serving customers?

It’s amazing to me how many businesses are really going the extra mile when it comes to customer service. Car dealerships are bending over backwards for a good review and google specialists wont stop until the problem is solved. It’s also mind-boggling how so many others aren’t jumping on the band wagon.

We have been hoping around the San Juan Islands for a couple of months now noticing the same trend of poor customer service. So I’ve been asking myself, is the tourist industry killing customer service? Are people flaunting their wealth and social status getting the working class down? I have met a number of sweet young adults from our country and others, and the majority of them are just floating around, trying to pay the bills with no loyalty to their employer what so ever. The really disturbing fact is that even the managerial staff have caught the bug. One of my favorite examples of this “customer service black hole” is when a resort restaurant manager had a progress report with a waitress behind the bar that was 10 ft. from our breakfast table. And lets just say he made it very clear with foul language and all that she had a lot of progress to make.

I’m realizing the importance of those horrible, sexual harassment meetings we all have to endure at our work place because apparently this kind of stuff isn’t common sense! Yikes!!! I mean really people… there’s a time and a place! 

I know that there are many undesirable jobs in this world that have to be done, and they do not allow you to afford the life we all want as the American Dream. But maybe, just maybe we should all stop being depressed or anxious and figure out our own dream and standards of life. It’s sounds pretty harsh when I put it like that but it’s true. Generations have been raised with the vision of living in a beautiful home with a white picket fence where the family of 4 are playing and barbecuing in the yard, and Mom and Dad both drive a nice car to work everyday while the kids excel at school. Wow! That does sound nice! Ha! But it’s really not the world we live in these days.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a revolution happening in our country right now where prejudice thoughts and actions are finally condemning people. So we’re on our way to rebuilding a current American Dream of true freedom to pursue our vision of happiness. And when the people of our nation accept the responsibility of creating their own dream then maybe we can get off our high horse and realize that it takes hard work and dedication to get there and nobody should have to give us a free handout. If this is the case then we can all decide for ourselves how hard we want to work for the lifestyle we want to live.

I started teaching dance at the age of 12 and have continued doing so through out my 35 years. This early education in the real world helped me develop a very strong understanding of customer service because a 30 something mother is not going to be happy when another child is reprimanding her child. So I honed my skills by watching my co workers who happened to be a mother(studio owner) and 2 daughters who loved they’re careers! They were invested in their company and it showed by the way they treated their customers. I knew then that I wanted to stick to my passions and that I loved the challenge of working with people.

Having a vision of what you want in life is the first step in achieving it.

I always like to hear a persons story because it’s fascinating to discover someones vision. Often times they may not even see their own vision but when they light about their hobbies and passions you can see it. We all have a vision, whether you think it’s achievable or not is the question. And I’m hear to tell you it is! My husband and I are 35, debt free, and living on our sailboat in the beautiful San Juan Islands. Our bills are few and we get to spend the majority of our time hiking, playing on the boat, homeschooling and raising our son. If we all walk through life with the desire to do and be our best and leave things better than we found them (because nobodies vision includes littler and junk in the streets) then we’ll enjoy ourselves so much more no matter what we’re doing. Waiting on the tourists or being waited on as a tourist, both have their place and if done so with a smile a love of life/vision then the world will be a happier and customer service oriented place!

Quotes that support my theory:

  • Better to loved and lost then to never have loved at all                                                         -Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
     -Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”
    ― John Lennon

To sum it all up, customer service is really a way of life that can be taught and has been adopted by so many other names. It’s people loving on people. Treating others the way you want to be treated and having a desire to better yourself by serving others. It can sound demeaning at times but you should try it! Selflessly caring for another’s needs can be one of the most self-fulfilling feelings in the world! When a child’s face lights up because they know a teacher really cares, or you get jobs because of your friendly reputation you’ll know that you’re doing something right in this world. This feeling is also very helpful for those moments when you’re on the receiving end of a customer servant got off the deep! Remember… it never hurts to gently remind people that they should look for a job that they enjoy.

Marriage Insurance

Isn’t marriage such a wonderful thing? You find your soul mate and become one, under God, to live happily ever after in the suburbs. Ha! Ha! Ya right! Marriage is a wonderful thing, when tended to like a newborn baby!

Devoting your life to someone is a lot of work! Of course you must have a strong interest in this someone and want their life long company. And trust me… though you will both grow and change, the original person you either did or did not fall madly in love with will always be there. Don’t expect to wake up with a prince if you took home a donkey!

We all work really hard when it comes to dating.

person holding a wine glasses
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Think about it, we had to make sure we were always looking and smelling our best with good conversation and fun atmosphere. We were conscious of setting up those romantic moments that lead to a deeper relationship. Never rushing into anything, taking it slow and letting it sizzle! Wow! Sorry… got a little spicy there! But that’s what was so exciting about those early days… they were spicy!

So what changed? Now that your married and together all the time your spending that creative brainstorming on other priorities. Which is saddening at times but totally normal. Major life changes always come along…

  • New house Mortgage/Rent
  • Raising a family
  • Work

SAD!

Well don’t fear! I’ve got a solution to those marry-time blues.. Dancing! 

Please don’t try to drag your partner out to your favorite Zumba class, I’m talking about good old-fashioned Ballroom dancing. Though it’s not old-fashioned at all, Ballroom dancing is straight up marriage insurance. Just in case something catastrophic happens, you’ve got a safety net. Something keeping you together . This type of dancing is not always an easy thing to learn but that’s why there are hundreds of organizations to help.

  • Arthur Murray Dance Studio – It’s expensive, but 100% worth it! They take very good care to teach you the right way.
  • Fred Astaire Dance Studio– Also expensive with similar results when you follow their system of learning.
  • Private School– This link is to a fantastic studio in North Seattle that has great prices and amazing personal instruction. There are studios like this everywhere!

 

You may be thinking ya right, my partner wont have anything to do with this, but you are most likely wrong.

person wearing traditional mask dancing
Photo by Lam Penjor on Pexels.com

Dancing is primal, and in all of us. All animals have their mating ritual which is often a series of movements or… DANCE. And who’s the one doing the majority of the moovin’ & groovin’??? The Male! In ballroom you have a leader and a follower, and these roles are very dependent on one another. If the leader is not confident in his movement, the follower loses trust and stops dancing. This is exactly the same general idea of what happens in a marriage pre-divorce.

So this is where the dance lessons come in. Learning to dance is a bit awkward at first but that’s part of the fun too. Being vulnerable is a way to create intimacy. Learning something new together is also a way to break out of the normal old routine and learn something new about each other. I do highly recommend taking lessons from a trained professional versus trying to teach yourselves off YouTube.

When it comes to a new language or dance, imagine you speak Chinese and your partner speaks Romanian. You wont be able to understand each other without an interpreter… a.k.a. your dance instructor.

So how to get your partner to participate. It’s actually really easy… Just paint them a picture! Explain to them that learning to dance means having their hands all over you while your bodies cuddle up close on a dance floor listening to their favorite music. That’s right… you can learn a dance to any kind of music so don’t be shy on telling your teacher your likes and dislikes. And don’t shy away from a little liquid courage either. It takes the edge off and helps most of us loosen up.

I have personally had my life changed through this wonderful pastime and I hope you too can benefit from the experience of dancing with your significant other.

Here’s a quick reference of what music goes with what dance/style:

  • Classic Rock – swing, west coast swing/fun and sexy
  • Slow music – rumba, waltz/sexy and classic
  • Pop – cha-cha, swing/ sexy and fun
  • Latin – salsa, cha-cha
  • Smooth jazz – Foxtrot/super cool

Now you have no excuse! Give it a try. I bet you wont regret it!

active dance dancer dancing
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

*Also stay tuned for my instructional videos.

Tiny kitchen Must have’s

Are you thinking of embracing the wave of the future, and daring the thought of tiny living? Maybe you’ve already made the leap and are enjoying the freedoms of lower mortgage and utility payments, as well as having less to furnish and therefore less to clean. Either way, there are some hardships when it comes to cramming a normal size life into a small space, especially in the kitchen.

The galley on our boat is an “L” shape that’s about 6 foot long by 4 foot wide. There is an ice-box (refrigerator) and two burner propane stove with a tiny oven on the long side, and a storage compartment and sink on the short. I’ve got two cabinets and a shelf for storage as well as five drawers.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a very tiny space by anyone’s standards to house all of the things needed to sustain a financially and physically healthy diet. But it’s not as hard as you think!

I eat restaurant quality food everyday!

Here’s how…

Pressure cooker-

      • I use my

Fagor

    • 4 quart pressure cooker every day! Not only does it help me not steam up my entire home, it cooks quickly and efficiently every time! It’s also really easy to find recipes and how to’s online!

       

Hanging nets or baskets-

    • You don’t want to clutter your valuable counter space with fancy bowls of fruit or platters of artesian bread, but those things are very tasty so why not hang them in the sky! Utilizing your vertical space is a must! So get some drywall anchors and hooks and start hanging your favorite snacks! You can also hang a basket on the wall for recycling or mail.

Everything’s better in a hammock!

Teapot-

    • Using a teapot is about a lot more than your favorite cup of chai, it’s a way of life. I buy certain ingredients like minute rice, rice noodles, or quick oats knowing that all I have to do is add hot water. When you only have a 2 burner stove, you have to get creative

 

  • Coffee strainer-
      This amazing little plastic cone of goodness and a paper filter is all you need! Your coffee is fresh every time and it saves so much space.

Imagine how much money we could save by just making our own coffee!  

 

  • Dish drying mat-
      When you have the privilege of being the washer of your own dishes… You must have a handy-dandy dish drying mat! I personally prefer a micro fiber type of mat I can hang to dry and roll up for easy storage.

  • 4 cup Measuring cup with a lid- This versatile bowl can be used for measuring, storing any tasty leftovers, baking, and huge late night bowls of cereal! It’s the best thing ever to have a handle on your mixing bowl!

 

  • Cast iron deep skillet with lid- The number one Reason to have a cast-iron skillet is for the flavor! But this skillet is so nice because you can move it from the stove top to the oven, even to the barbecue with a couple pot holders. You can cook anything from pizza to chocolate chip cookies to soups and sauces.

 

  • The most important thing to have in a tiny kitchen is common sense!               You know you’re not having a dinner party for 12 in your little house so don’t keep all of the stuff to do so. I have eight medium size plates, eight bowls, and enough silverware for the lot because we can entertain about 6 people comfortably. So when we have a nice sit down dinner with the table set for 6 I still have 2 plates and bowls left for serving. This way of life is not hard by any means. It just takes a little planning and organizational skills to keep it running smoothly. It always feels great to do more with less so with these simple tools you can have a fresh and healthy diet and outlook on life.
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