Monthly Archives: May 2012

Why Won’t You Let Me Give You Money?

I’ve been working with an organization though my workplace. We (my company) have been trying to find a way to offer some sort of sponsorship or partnership, and since the budget was tight, I’ve been exploring it on my own before presenting it to those who sign the checks.

My first message went to a friend over social media. I prefaced the statement with: “We don’t have a lot of money to spend, but we’re looking for creative ways to offer up a partnership.” The response I got was a form letter and WAY out of our price range. So, I appraised my supervisors and backed off of it since this event really doesn’t benefit our company in any way. It’s just industry related, and therefore, something we would have liked to be involved in.

Fountains of change venetian hotel las vegas

Then, I mentioned my beleaguered attempts to a friend of mine, who was closer to this organization than I was, who must have relayed the message to someone in their organization because they reached out to me via email, We set a conference call time that was mutually agreeable and I planned my day’s schedule around it. Then, I sat at my desk at the prescribed time and waited… and waited… and waited until the end of my workday. Nothing, no email, no call, no tweet… So I wrote it off.

I got an email response the next day apologizing for the day getting away from them and no attempt to reschedule. Until now that the event is getting closer.

I’ve spoken with my managers and we’ve all agreed on the same thing, we shouldn’t have to badger a company to give them money. We wanted to do something, instead, we’re going to stay on the sidelines, save our money and put it to better uses other places that really benefit our customers.

This was a great moment to gain exposure and while it doesn’t really benefit us in the short or long term, it’s industry and something we were happy to make a big deal out of, now we’re not.

Empty hallway

Do you or your company make it really hard for your customers or partners to give you money? Phone trees that add 6 or 7 layers just to get to someone who wants to take your credit card over the phone is extremely cost prohibitive. Making it harder for customers to give you their money makes them realize, every time, how much they don’t want to give you their money and they just might go somewhere else with their money. Think about that.

The Birth of a “Schnikism”

My Friend Wendi Eiland, who is totally awesome by the way (And a totally stellar insurance agent!), made this for me. It truly shows the evolution of how I write. It’s like she was on my shoulder…

How A Schnikism is Born

No.

It’s so hard to say “no.”

I’m a social creature by nature, contrary to as much as I bemoan them, I really do love the company of others. I like being in the thick of things and one of the hardest things for me to say when asked about attending events is: “No.”

But, I find myself having to do it more and more often. With my blistering work/school/home schedule the more I say “Yes,” the more I neglect something else. It’s hard to find balance. Take today, for example, I’m having a really tough time grasping some subjects in my math class and I haven’t been dedicating enough time to studying it or researching it so I really have been beating myself up about not understanding it, (that’s another personality/psychology trait we’ll probably talk about later) and I find myself wanting to do anything but chain myself to my desk to learn it. So, I forced myself to sit down and study the topic. This took 8 full hours today. It’s been extremely painful.

Sunset, Ocean, Reflection, Beach

The sun is shining, I have friends in town that I never get to see and yet, I have to say no. I have to stay home and knuckle down, pull out my hair, and maybe even sob a little as I try to understand what the hell I’m learning in school and the things I’m learning in life.

I know that “No” is a fairly powerful word and should be used often and appropriately. But, sometimes it’s easier and more fun to say yes and go play.

Instead I sit here, inside, reading about equations, fractions and negative exponents. All things I’d much rather forget.

How do you motivate yourself to do something you have absolutely no desire to do when there are more fun alternatives?

What do you say…

…When it is clear that no one wants to hear it?

I’ve never been shy about sharing my opinion. That may be an understatement…

In my career, I’ve worked for employers who encouraged all opinions, complimentary or contradictory; they felt it was good to see all sides of a situation to get a full perspective. In that vein, I’ve been able to express my opinions, suggestions, and outlooks creatively, yet effectively, and I’ve been able to assist in the process to ensure the greatest presentations to my customers.

So, what happens when that changes? When the perspective is one of nuisance, obstinate, or downright ignorance. How do you effect change when you’re no longer a trusted/valued member of the team? When the perspective is your opinion isn’t worthy of consideration. Even when you have the experience to support it.

TemStock - Glass House
Used under creative commons, thanks Temari!

I think it does boil down to value, at the molecular level. Value is one of those things, in an enterprise, that is most-favored, most-valued by employees, and customers. We all want to feel valued, like we’re heard, understood, and appreciated. It’s the most basic of needs in Customer Service, both externally and internally. The internal customer is one most often abandoned, it’s only a matter of time until that same mechanism forgets the external customer, too.

How do you make your voice heard when you’re surrounded by naysayers and white noise?

Any person of any philosophic persuasion who sits on a hot stove will verify without any intellectual argument whatsoever that he is in an undeniably low-quality situation: that the value of his predicament is negative. – Robert M. Pirsig