Monday, October 17, 2011

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar!

The following story is often credited to Harvey Mackay. He has an interesting blog that is sales oriented, and I find him to be insightful in some of his views.

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

No one can make you serve customers well.....that's because great service is a choice. Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey ..

He handed my friend a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement.'

Taken aback, Harvey read the card.. It said: Wally's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment...

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.' My friend said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.' Wally smiled and said, 'No problem I have a cooler
up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice..' Almost stuttering, Harvey said, 'I'll take a Diet Coke.'

Handing him his drink, Wally said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.'

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'

And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

'Tell me, Wally,' my amazed friend asked the driver, 'have you always served customers like this?'

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. 'No, not always.. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.

He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd..'

'That hit me right between the eyes,' said Wally. 'Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their
drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'

'I take it that has paid off for you,' Harvey said.

'It sure has,' Wally replied. 'My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.'

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting..

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about us?  Smile, and the whole world smiles with you... The ball is in our hands! A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up... let us do good to all people.

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar.

Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans. SORROW looks back, WORRY looks around, and FAITH looks UP... "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." And while in the storm, give it to God and let him handle it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Someone you know depressed?

The best way out of a depression is through the front door! What does that mean? It means GET UP! Go for a walk, run, bike ride, go to the gym, do something to get your endorphin's going! If you sit around, watching TV, napping, eating, etc, you are just going further and further down a slippery slope.

On a personal note, I was out of a regular job for about two and a half years. It almost destroyed me and my marriage. Not because I was out of work, but because men need to work, and without it we feel like we are just floating by, not in control, slipping further away from reality. It's in our nature to be self sufficient and provide for our families. If we are not working, we start getting depressed and that happens really, REALLY FAST! Usually within only a few weeks and it often happens so fast you don't even realize it until its too late. 

Now what if you are already slipping and sliding in your depression, and have gone to the shrink to get meds? Well anti-depressants won't cure you. They just numb you up so you have a harder time recovering. So get off the drugs, get off your ass, and suck it up buttercup. Life is hard, but we all have hard times. Chances are you are not going through the worst time in your life, it just feels that way right now. 

Another thing you need to do is find someone who you can talk to about how your feeling, what you are going through. Your spouse should be the first person you talk to so they know whats going on. Then find a friend to talk to regularly. Don't hide in your depression, you won't be able to climb out!

Have you talked to God recently? Probably not... get God. He can help... A LOT! Pray to God like you are talking to a good friend. He listens to everything you say. Just talk to Him. If you have a bible, start reading it...just start at the beginning, you may not find the key to your depression, but it will certainly give you enough to think about to keep your brain moving.

Out of a job, and having trouble finding one? 
  • Go volunteer doing something you can get into.
  • Apply for ANYTHING, even if its not what you really want to do
  • Doing anything is better than doing nothing.
Sitting on the couch, watching TV, playing video games, napping?
  • Get up! 
  • Go for a run, jog, bike ride, take the dog for a walk
OK, now to conclude, if you are at your computer reading this, get off your ass and go do something! I am going to heed my own advice...time to take the wife & son to the gym, then off to breakfast! 


Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Book Negotiation

About two years ago, when my son was in sixth grade, his teachers were constantly telling me that he was not completing his book reports. I was absolutely blown away. I knew he could read, and he always read well. He was in the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program and scored very high on his tests. But for some reason, he was totally just ignoring the book reports, which happened to be a large chunk of his grades.

I took it upon my self to try to figure out why my smart little kid would not pick up a book and read, especially since I have always been such a voracious reader. As it turns out, the problem was not his ability to read, but it was a lack of interest in the books that were available!

I tried some comic books, Zane Grey novels, S.E. Hinton, Stephen Lawhead, etc. No interest at all. I figured I needed to try a different approach. Instead of trying to get him to read what I had already read over the years, I took a trip to the local Barnes and Noble and asked one of the staff members for a bit of help on books for teens.

The young lady at B&N recommended James Patterson's series Maximum Ride. So I checked it out. It turns out to be an interesting series about genetically modified kids on the lam from a bunch of whack job scientists. I wondered if my 11 year old could handle it. I figured the wort thing that could happen was I'd be out a few bucks for the book, so off to the check out I went.

When I got home, I spent some time working on my son to try to get him engaged in the book. As he started reading each chapter, he kept coming and talking to me about the book. Unfortunately, I had not read it, so I had no idea what he was talking about. I decided I needed to be ahead of the game so I could not look like an idiot when he came to talk to me about the book.

I sent my son to bed for the night, grabbed the book, and read the entire thing in a single sitting. It was a very fast read and was done about the time I planned to go to bed.

The next night, I found myself in an interesting position... When my son came to talk to me about the book, I realized that he had only read a few pages before coming out to talk about it. He was scamming me, thinking that since I had no knowledge of the book the day before, he could tall me any thing about it and I would have to believe what he said. Let me tell you, the look on his face when I told him "Just wait till xxx learns about her mother in the next chapter..." was priceless! I then told him he needed to keep reading, and gave him a deadline to finish the book.

I couldn't believe it... he read like a maniac. And each night, we talked about it a little bit. And this was the beginning... I know had a bargaining chip. I promised to read every book he did. Now he has accumulated quite a library of teen novels that we are continually adding to. His reading level is grade 11, and he is only in 7th grade. Definitely worth my time to invest in his reading.

I'll post the different series we have been reading in another post. Maybe this will help you and your children with their reading adventures!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Speedy Joe's Mexican Restaurant

Not speedy, but very good Mexican food. Great prices. It's a hole in the wall type restaurant, but clean. Try the Albondigas Soup.