Currently, I am working with my parents in the service industry and providing dry cleaning for others. I strive to deliver the best customer service I can, but in this industry, it always feels somewhat limited. Dry cleaning is not the prettiest of industries and often when others hear that I’m working at a dry cleaner, I receive that look. It’s not always intentional and many probably do it on a subconscious level; however, it’s that you are beneath me type of reaction/look.
But I digress. I have always been a people-pleaser. I enjoy making sure with whomever I speak with or help, receives the best possible customer experience and service that I can. I hope it doesn’t brush off as arrogance, but I believe it is one of my best qualities. It’s in my nature and invariably in my blood to ensure a good experience. I want to mollify those with issues. But it’s not always easy and not always possible.
There are still limitations to the industry; whether they come from the lack of development in the tools that we currently are armed with or with the lack of skill that we have, even after years of experience, we are not able to remove every blemish or stain that we come across. Some customers will soil their clothes by wearing it numerous times, allowing soils, foods, greases, etc. aggregate and set into the clothes. And they do this knowingly, most likely as an effort to save money or even out of sheer laziness. But when they come in, they expect brand new clothes. Sorry. We can’t deliver you brand new clothes.
So how is it possible to service these customers and deliver a genuinely good experience for them when they have impossible expectations? We offer to re-do and re-clean clothes. Sure, we are human so we do make mistakes. But when something doesn’t come out because you, the customer, did not properly handle your clothes and treat them with respect, we should not be to blame.
This reflection came out a bit more rant-like than I had hoped for. My intention was to write and verbalize it so I could brainstorm methods to handle these types of customers and situations better. In any case, I can see why this industry gets a bad wrap. And I want to be able to revolutionize it. I want to make everyone happy.
Over little a year ago, I went through a pretty rough break-up. I fell into a nasty depressed and demotivated state. Pain. Sadness. Anger. Everyone who has experienced a break up in a committed relationship has surely felt these emotions. It’s a rapid and brutal downward spiral that precipitates downward. Pain begets sadness and anger, and as a result the sadness fuels more pain, more sadness, and more anger. It’s a vicious cycle that requires very delicate treatment.
Which is why I’m so blessed to have amazing friends. They understood the pain I was feeling – maybe not the exact emotions nor the scale of how much I was hurting, but they had a rough idea of what I was going through and they wanted to be there for me. And they were there for me, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. They invited to spend some time with me. At first, I declined. In fact, I declined many times. Each time felt like an annoyance and a disregard to what I was going through. But then they finally broke down my wall. They were at the bottom of the spiral staircase and grabbed me, breaking my fall, extending a hand to pick me up. In the last 6 months, I’ve picked myself back up and gradually started walking back up. But my friendship, my brotherhood gave me the change in momentum I needed.
The common maxim says that, “hindsight is 20/20.” I could say I wish I saw what I was going through and chosen better action. But I’m not completely sure I would agree with the sentiment. I need these experiences in life. I need to feel raw emotions of pain, sadness, and anger. I need frustration. I need depression. That’s not to say I want to experience any extreme measures of pain such from loss of life or something of similar nature. No, this is not what I’m referring to; but in a general manner of speaking, I need to know what emotional pain is and I need to learn how to cope with it.
Every since I’ve quit my job, I’ve had a lot of time to spend with my family. I love my friends and I enjoy my time with them, but in the end, blood is one of the strongest forces (if not the strongest) that hold you.
My parents unconditionally sacrifice for me. And they’ve always sacrificed for me. They live their lives vicariously through me.
When my brothers and I were younger in our teenage years, we hated to spend time with our parents. I think most teenagers go through this phase. It was only until college that you realize how much of a blessing it is to have such loving parents that always care for you. Who accept you for your flaws. Who understand your mistakes. Who love you regardless of how much hurt you can inflict on them.
I’m lucky to have such a splendid family. While my time in Korea, I had the opportunity to spend time with our extended family. My cousins (one, twice, three times removed) are all like brothers and sisters to me.
I hope that I continue to be blessed with these amazing family members and teach my future children the importance of family values.
In the book, Egonomics by David Marcum and Steve Smith, there are personality traits that we need to keep in check. Ego should always be kept in balance or you risk brushing off the wrong way.
- If you’re assertive, you risk coming off pushy.
- If you’re analytical, you can be interpreted as pessimistic.
- If you’re flexible, you can seem like a pushover.
- If you’re charismatic, you risk being manipulative.
- If you’re committed, you may be overbearing.
- If you’re decisive, you can be seen as hasty.
- If you’re dedicated, you may come off as stubborn.
- If you’re directive, you risk the interpretation of dictatorial.
- If you’re passionate, you can be overzealous.
- If you’re dependable, you may be rigid.
- If you’re optimistic, you can be interpreted as unrealistic.
- If you’re open-minded, you may be indiscriminate.
- If you’re discerning, you can be judgmental.
- If you’re loyal, you may be interpreted as blind.
- If you’re trusting, you can often be seen as naive.
- If you’re strong-willed, you may be seen as inflexible.
- If you’re pragmatic, you might be uninspired.
- If you’re self-confident, you can be self-absorbed.
- If you’re straightforward, you often can be considered inconsiderate.
- If you’re alert, you may be anxious.
- If you’re diplomatic, you risk being politcal.
- If you’re determined, you may come off as stubborn.
- If you’re courageous, you risk being reckless.
- If you’re innovative, you may seem impractical.
- If you’re disciplined, you can be restrictive.
- If you’re smart, you may come off as a know-it-all.
- If you’re independent, you may come off as detached.
Each positive quality can quickly be transformed into a negative.
Whenever my friends begin to contemplate decisions, whether they are small or life-changing, they don’t research, assess, analyze, or extrapolate the effects of their choices.
Of course, minuscule decisions like what kind of gum you should chew have very little effect on the course of your life, but sometimes something like a major surgery or a business project can make a huge impact on your life.
They don’t look into the various recourse options. We live in a day where information is readily available to everyone. And we’re lucky. We can search who are the best doctors. We can find reviews on what businesses have the best practices.
Immerse yourself in whatever you’re trying to do.
Let’s say you’re applying for a job. Instead of randomly sending a million resumes to every company known to man, why don’t you try researching specific companies that you’d like to work for, find their flaws, find their strengths, and determine how YOU can make an impact on their company. Write that in your cover letter. This is way more effective than the typical “job searching” pattern that people have come to think of.
Let’s say you’re about to have a kid. Find parents, read online over what the best practices, common mistakes, and methods to become the best parents are. Why would you be so arrogant to think you’re going to be the best person on your first try?
When you learn a new sport or start a new hobby, you usually have someone teach you. When we go to school, teachers require you to READ and LEARN and THINK about the subject. The point of school isn’t to teach you useless information, it’s to learn the method in which life should be lived. Apply it to your decisions, small or large.