Lovin’ Life

Just lovin’ my life with Jesse

Customer Service October 7, 2007

Filed under: random — Lois Sparks @ 12:05 am

It’s been twice that I flew from Hawaii to US mainland, be it California or Utah (duh, those are the only places I’ve been to…) Last year’s customer service at Honolulu airport was awesome. They took time to teach me and my friends on how to use their Kiosks since it was our first time. They taught us quite fast though so I wasn’t really able to get a good grasp of what they did. I can also remember a Chinese lady being so rude to some people. Good thing she didn’t do it to us.

Last night was the worst I have ever seen. I hate flying… especially if I am flying all by myself. It’s been almost 10 months since I last flew to the mainland (that was my first time and I had thought it would be the last). I couldn’t remember how to use the Kiosks and it was really crowded. I politely asked this guy (he looked Chinese but he seemed to have been brought up in Hawaii) to help me out because I was totally clueless. He looked at me and said “what?” I tried to explain myself again politely. He turned around as if he heard nothing and he never looked at me anymore. He was just standing there, a few feet away from me, but he ignored me again when I attempted for the second time to ask him for a little assistance. I was getting upset but I kept my cool. A guy standing next to him saw us but did nothing. Feeling helpless, I asked the man standing next to me if he knew how to use it. He was on the same boat as I was and he said, “these two guys had been ignoring me for the past 2 mins. I’ve been asking them though… I wish I could help you.” I stood there trying to figure out what to do next. Alas! The second guy recognized my existence. He looked at me and I looked at him as I raised my hand to indicate I needed help but before I could say anything, he walked to the next counter and yelled out the name that was printed on the sticker that he was holding up. Was I wearing Harry Potter’s cloak for them not to see me? I’m sure I wasn’t that small because I made an eye-to-eye contact with both of ’em. I was so upset so I finally asked out loud for help, as if almost everybody standing next to me could hear me. I hate doing that! A customer should never have to do that.

He helped me but it was obvious that he was mad. I understand that it was crowded and that there’s a lot of people but all that they were doing before was taking out the stickers that sticks to the luggages and calling out the customer’s names. But that shouldn’t be an excuse to be rude to a customer. Back in the Philippines, while training for a fastfood chain restaurant (Jollibee), we were taught the motto, “customers are always right.” I hated that motto because it wasn’t always the case. I came to hate that motto more when I worked in the Luau… but having that in my mind helped me a lot to do my best to give our customers the service that they are expecting from us.
Here’s a few points that I learned:

1) No matter how pressured you are or how much stressful your job is, it should never ever be the reason for you to give the customer a frown when they ask for help… even if you’ve encountered that kind of “asking” too many times in that whole day.

2) Learn how to smile. Whether you are the one who’s having a bad day or your guests, smiling will oftentimes (if not always) help make the day better.

3) Remember that because of your guests/customers, you have a paycheck. You are offering them a service and they are buying it from you. It isn’t a fair trade when they buy it from you and you don’t give them what they paid for (literally and figuratively).

4) As much as you want your guests to stand in your shoes, you can’t make them. Some might, but not all. Some would care less about your day. They’re just there as a customer, as a buyer of your service. So to better understand them, stand in their shoes instead. All of us are customers in some ways… so what would you expect in return for the service you paid for? Whatever that is, do the same thing to your customers… and even exceed it if you can. (That’s PCC’s 2nd TWIGS [Three Wildly Important Goals]. It says, “exceed customer expectations.”)


pAcHeBeL… CaNoN iN D October 2, 2007

Filed under: random — Lois Sparks @ 9:32 am
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(image by octavesolutions.co.uk) The sweet melody of this music brings back memories to me. This music was playing as I laid still in my bed, so still as if I was dead. I closed my eyes and I saw everything clearly… and even felt how I felt back then. The music serenaded my soul to the deepest emotion it can ever make. Tears run down my cheeks for a moment as I saw everything passed before my eyes and my mind… the fun times, silly times, sweet times… memories that should be kept forever. This music sang those memories to me and dug my heart to its very core. Its sweet melodies gave me an emotion so undescribable it could only make me cry….


TwO cHoiCeS… October 1, 2007

Filed under: life in general,random,reflection — Lois Sparks @ 6:43 pm
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“So, what’s it gonna be today? GOOD MOOD or BAD MOOD? (pick one)”
Just so you know, I have that quote taped (posted) on my cabinet. I got that line from a story one of the Relief Society teachers shared 2 years ago. Every morning, each time I wake up, that thought always comes in my mind…either I could start my day in a good mood no matter what the circumstances are or in a bad mood. I can tell you that it works having that thought and choosing the good mood. I also have the choice either I can end the day in a good mood or in a bad mood. This thing helped me a lot to deal with everything I encounter everyday. I may say it’s not that easy to remain in a good mood when everything is goin’ wrong, but hey! You got two choices on how you will deal with things: either in a positive way or in a negative way, either you can look at the bright side of things or remain in the things you just see…either you try to look at the bigger picture or just keep lookin’ on the smaller picture…it’s basically just RIGHT or LEFT choices.

“FaCe yOuR FeaRs, LiVe YouR dReAmS”

Filed under: life in general,random — Lois Sparks @ 1:36 am

Ever since I was a little girl, I always tried to take all the courage I can take just to be able to do the things that people wanted me to do even though I was so scared. When I was 11 years old, I went for a vacation in my grandma’s place (my mom’s side) in a province. I went there before when I was really young (probably 5 y.o.) so I can barely remember how the place looked like.

I can still remember going for a hike in that place with my eldest brother, my aunt, my uncle (who was just about my eldest brother’s age), my cousin, and my younger brother. Inside the mountain we hiked, there was a little river that ended up in a little lake. From there, my uncle, my aunt, and my eldest brother always climbed the highest rock and dived into the deep water. In the middle of that lake, there was a giant rock (as how my eldest brother [Kuya Jojo] described it). What we (my cousin, my younger brother, and I) had for floaters were empty bottles of milk with a tight-wrapped cap and straps of ropes for us to cling on.

I was always afraid to swim in the deep. I know how to swim… but I get tired so easily that I don’t last a minute of it. Kuya Jojo stood in that giant rock and told me to cross the lake, from where I was, to him. The gap in between of us was really deep… I know coz I’ve seen him jump from a very high rock, plus the water was really dark. I was scared… but he assured me he’ll save me if I started to get tired and/or drown. So even if I was scared, I took off my floaters (coz they distract me), held all the breath I could hold … and with the short span of my legs and arms I paddled through the water with my eyes closed, one hand stretched forward to know if I was going to bump on something. After a while (it was a long swim, by the way) I felt my brother grabbed my hand and settled me down on the giant rock (the water was just by his hips but it’s about by my neck). I couldn’t believe I was able to swim across that deep water. I felt proud about myself that day (though I almost drowned on my way back… and there was another close call that day that I’m glad didn’t happen cuz I had my younger brother with me).

Yesterday, I felt the exact same thing I felt 11 years ago. My friend surfs. I am afraid of big waves… like my knees start to shake just by the sight of it. I suggested that we go to Pounder’s beach because I thought the waves there were bigger than in Hukilau (well, they are.. but they’re too close to the shore). He didn’t like the waves so we went for a swim for a while… all I could think of was, “I’m going to eat this wave really bad and I’m never gonna see the surface again without a sand in my face…” Everytime I see a big wave coming, that’s all I could think of. My heart was beating so fast and my hands were shaking so hard I could almost die that instant. My ears started to hurt so I rode a big wave to the shore with the thought that I’m gonna tumble up and down inside it while we reach the shore – good thing I didn’t!

We then moved to Hukilau beach with hopes that the waves would be better… but they weren’t. So Jesse suggested (again) that we go to Goat Island… but we’d have to cross the waves and the reefs. I heard people say that the water level is really low early in the morning and then it gets high in the afternoon. Well, it was in the afternoon when we were there! I was scared to death as I stood on the shore, staring at the island and the waves that we’re supposed to cross. I’M AFRAID OF WAVES!!! It’s a phobia I’ve been trying to overcome but still can’t. He still kept on walking though and so I followed… then he laid his surfboard carefully in the water and held it firmly as he let me lie on it so he can push me through it as we cross the beach. Too bad I’m not a good swimmer even… but then he was having a hard time so I switched places with him since he can paddle better on the surfboard than I can. It was exhausting for me… and for him more! We reached the island… and he got to surf. I got to see seaturtles at least.

On our way back, I saw the waves coming from opposite directions then smashing at each other. I was scared again. I always joked around about it but deep inside, the fear is killing me. I didn’t want to get in his surfboard anymore coz I felt terrible for him for having me as a burden. I’d rather go through the waves with him in the exact way he’s experiencing it… even though I was really scared. As long as I know I’ll be safe with someone, I can take all the courage I should take just to face my fear. At that moment, I knew I would be safe with Jesse. Funny thing is that I even made an analogy of that experience. Even though I was scared to death (oh the reefs really hurt), I was able to crack a joke… “aaaw two of us facing these hard things together? how sweet…” Hehehe.. it was weird it came out the wrong way.

When we were able to cross back to Hukilau and as I looked back to where we came from (and the waves we crossed), I felt what I felt again 11 years ago… Though the waves weren’t as bad as they had looked from the shore, I was happy I overcame my fear. I was happy someone was with me to keep me safe. I was happy I was able to face my fears and that I lived my dream… to be able to go to Goat island. I’ve been here for 3 years and I never crossed that beach… because I didn’t trust in myself and there was no one who really encouraged me and made me trust myself… and them.