It happens to me, too… with a twist!

Recently I had to deal with a situation that many of my clients have me deal with for them. My iPhone said “No Service” on the screen. The bill was paid. My husband’s phone (on the same plan) was acting normally. I could connect over my wireless network. I did a reset. I had to see clients, so I figured that it would come back on during the day and went off to save the world, one Apple product at a time.

But the iPhone still said “No Service” at 4:30 pm that day.

I then called Customer Service. Yes *I* called Customer Service.

A very nice-sounding young lady walked me through all the normal trouble-shooting items (in case I had missed one), then looked it up on her system and told me that apparently AT&T’s servers had sent out a code that was not fully loaded on my phone. She would put in a special request that they attempt again, and have a technical rep call by 10:00 am the next morning to confirm that everything was working correctly. This was important, as I had to take pictures of my chorus the next afternoon and send them out quickly – from that iPhone!

The tech rep never called.

So, when I got back with an iPhone full of pictures, I sync’d it to my Mac, then again called Customer Service, fully expecting another round of frustration. I had now been without service for over 30 hours! (Yes, dear clients, I too can “feel your pain.”)

Imagine my surprise (and amusement) when a perky-sounding rep named Joe guaranteed me that he could fix my problems and do everything in his power to make me a happy customer! And over the next three hours, he proceeded to do just that! It involved me having to go to the local AT&T Store to get a replacement SIM card, and many troubleshooting steps on both our parts, but three hours and a hefty credit on my account later, I am a happy customer!

Joe could have taken any number of other approaches, but he chose to take it on as his responsibility to button up every last detail of the failed service. He used the tools at his disposal to work through the service issue: the total lack of service,  then the lack of internet access and visual voice mail, the hours that my phone was out of commission – all the while maintaining a friendly and tech-to-tech conversation through the entire duration.

This, in my opinion, is what I call “Delivering WOW,” thanks to the fact that I just finished reading a book called “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh, where he tells of the core values at, and how they developed over time. I recommended the book to Joe, because he needs to read how his personal choice made a big difference to me, and I recommend it to you.

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The DWIM Switch

A long time ago in a land far away (okay, so it was about 28 years ago and only 80 miles or so from where I sit right now), there lived a graphic artist/typographer living in an exciting and changing time. The pica ruler, Exacto™ knife, ruling pen, wax roller, blue board and burnishing tools were soon to be as extinct as dinosaurs, and she knew it. All the years and effort she had put into learning the locations and uses of the myriad tools and vast array of function-keys on a wide range of different proprietors’ typesetting machines was about to become distilled into something that, if one believed the hype of the time, would be “so easy that anyone with a computer and software could easily do in far less time.”

We all need to learn how to use new tools as technology changes and improves, just as I had to learn how to lay out a page using every tool that has come down the pike since then, and put the ideas into whatever medium it was intended for.

Some of what I’ve learned is that, whether you are using a pencil with an eraser, or an iPad and Pages, there is no magic switch that does what you mean it to do. You have to learn HOW to tell each tool, with your hand’s motions or using keys, buttons or menus, what your intention is.

Translating what is in your “mind’s eye” into the finished product you want is a matter of learning how to manipulate the tools you have to work with.

Sorry to say, and true then as it is now, there simply is no DWIM* switch.
*Do What I Mean

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“Shrug,” “What?” or “So What?”

In a phone call the other day with a long-time friend, I wrote down a note about a television program that she mentioned. Not much, but something to look up when I had a chance and I might enjoy it as much as she did.

She was right! I had a moment today, so I Google’d the title, went to the network’s page for the show, found it interesting, then went back and Google’d the name of the business to follow up. Apparently, I was not the only person to find the program of interest, and the website was struggling with the overload of requests for information and I had a hard time getting to their newsletter request page. I sent an email to the address listed there, and THAT bounced back to me as “undeliverable.” So I did what any truly interested (cross-generational) person would do and picked up the telephone. A lovely lady directed me to an alternate email address and I sent off a missive with congratulations and a request for their newsletter. I then put a note in my computer’s calendar for the air-date/time for the program.

So, there are (among others) three main reactions to this short story:

  • Shake of the head/shrug of the shoulders (duh!)
  • What? (How would *I* do that?)
  • So what? (I don’t need this)

Those of you who are completely comfortable with my actions fall in the first group. “Naturally,” you say. To you, I say “Congratulations! You have integrated this “technology” stuff and find nothing remarkable about using it. But you *might* know someone who falls into the next group.

To those inquiring minds who wouldn’t think to follow my progression, you probably fall into the “What?” category. You might hear of something and say “Interesting!” and either try to remember to look for the show, or write it down (and maybe misplace the note), but it might not occur to you to do anything else. Or you might see an ad for a product or service on TV or in a magazine, but think that using computer technology is outside of your comfort level. If you fall into that group, YOU are the person I’ve developed my seminars for! Granted, not everyone will get past their self-imposed limitations in two hours, but wouldn’t it be great to understand (even a little bit) the new and exciting things around you?

I just finished reading a great article about a couple of women who have integrated these tools into their lives, to THEIR comfort level. They are 87 and 90 years of age. You can find it here: <>

I found the article to be inspirational!

To the “So what” crowd, well, know that when you find yourself interested in understanding  a bit more, I’m just a click and email away to ask for the assistance!

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On Heroes

What would the world be like if we had no one to look up to, to try to emulate in one way or another?

One might think it strange that I start this web-log (blog) by talking about heroes, but I firmly believe that very little happens in my life without the base of gratitude for all those who have nurtured, trained, inspired and even annoyed me to take action.

My father always said, “If you can read, you can do anything,” and “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” He was right – on both counts. My mother’s quote, that rings in my ears to this day, was “Behave yourself and act like a lady.” For the most part, I’ve tried to follow her edict.

There are so many heroes in my life to whom I am grateful, too many to name right now, but I must call attention to my clients, who are a constant source of inspiration. I think of them as my personal “board of directors.” They let me know when I am doing a good job or when I need to give more. I can not express my appreciation enough.

My best friend, though, has talked me off emotional ledges, held my hand when things got scary, beamed at me when I needed praise, listened to my logically thought -out explanations as well as my rants, laughed at (almost) every one of my corny jokes and done his best to understand through many years, projects, episodes and phases.

How can I not start this blog without being grateful to my heroes?
Thank you.

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