Love with out Action – is what?

To love someone is more than just having emotional feelings or saying that you love them, it is action. Love with out action is void and empty. How can I say I love you but never help you, take care of you, support you, or walk with you through something. Love requires a tangible action or it simply is not love.

“For God So loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe that in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). In this scripture we see God’s love expressed in a tangible action – He gave His only begotten Son. What was the reason He gave His only Son? So that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God loves us so much that He gave something, something extremely special and invaluable- His Son. This is probably one of the fundamental scriptures for believers. However, it should be more than our foundation for faith, it should be the foundation for how we Love others. As Christians we should be God’s example to the world and the best way to do this is to LOVE.

It is easy to say – I love everyone, I love people because they are God’s creation, or I am called to love you because I am a Christian. This is not love at all or at least not the type of love God showed us. His love had action, His example is true love. The good news is we can love like God, we can love others with action. I can say all day how I love children, but when my church needs volunteers for nursery or help teaching Children’s church and I constantly make excuses to why I can’t help am I loving?

I was taking my boys to school and my oldest was rushing me because he wanted to get out of the car quickly. I kept trying to get him to hold off, but that is when he said “she needs my help”. I looked over and a staff member was getting out of her van and going to her wheelchair in the back. I told him he could go and he ran to help her. He stood by her and got her belongings out of the van, walked beside her, and then held the door open for her. I was so touched watching him help someone when all the other children ran past them. He never cared about what others thought. He was in the moment showing “ACTION.”

Last Sunday we were driving to church and my seven year old saw a homeless man with a sign that said “anything welcomed”. We were running a little behind and it was the night my oldest was getting baptized, so I was trying to go through my mental list to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. When my son said “can we help him?” My husband asked “How would you help him buddy?” He said “Give him money”, my husband said “Wouldn’t it be better if we gave him some food?” This whole time we continuing driving towards church. I look at my husband and said turn around. I said we need to let him do this. We turned around and went to McDonald’s and let him pick out a meal to give this man. My son was able to give this man a warm meal, small Bible, and a letter. These moments help foster God’s teaching in our children.

I want my kids to truly love others and not just say “Oh I feel bad for them”, but to put God’s love in action – do what you can to help. This could be volunteering (homeless shelter, food pantry, church, schools, hospitals, or counseling centers – to name a few), praying regularly for those around you, and most importantly loving others you interact with on a daily basis at work, church, children’s schools, or events. Get to know others and be there for them, walk with them during good and difficult times, support them, and live this “love is action” life everyday in front of them.

Love others with action!

-J

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Choose to love the one you’re with.

Do you want to know what can really get me on my soap box? When people say “Oh, we just fell out of love.” I’m sorry – okay, not that sorry – but that is total BS.

“We fell out of love.”

“They stopped taking me out.”

“They stopped telling me I’m beautiful.”

Okay, but what about taking personal responsibility for what YOU are doing or not doing anymore? When was the last time YOU suggested you go out for dinner? Or when was the last time you told THEM that THEY were beautiful/handsome/fine/*insert compliment of choice*? If you have been 100% open and honest with your feelings and what you are searching for and they still refuse to give this to you, sure. You might have a few issues that need to be worked out. However, I can guarantee you most of the time a simple change in your own lifestyle and communication can make a huge difference.

I’ve always dated with intent. For as long as I can remember I was running “boys” off with trying to be too “serious.” I would get upset when they cheated. I would get upset when they lied. They always left me feeling foolish because I was “too young to settle down.” However, I don’t see the point in wasting my time & wasting my youth on a relationship that I know isn’t going to result in a future. If you lie and cheat on me now, you’ll lie and cheat on me later in life & I’m just not about to let that happen.

The first night I hung out with my, now husband, we laid it all out there on the line. He said “this is what I’m looking for… this is what I want…. I’m looking for a wife… this is my past & this is my reputation.” As weird as this may sound, it was exactly what I wanted to hear. I had wasted too many years on things that would never last. I was looking for a future and this man was it.

Now I’m not going to say we are perfect. But I would say we are as close as you can get. I’m very proud of what we have. Sure, we have our differences. & Yes – there are things that sometimes get on my nerves. But you know the difference in our marriage and others out there? We’re too stubborn to give up. We are going to work through the challenges. We are going to communicate and continue to put each other’s happiness before our own. & you know what? THAT is going to last.

No one “falls out of love.” Love goes through cycles. You have to learn to grow together, not apart. You have to CHOOSE to love each other every day. Even when they haven’t taken you out in a while, even if their compliments have been lacking lately. Be intentional. Tell them what you want. Tell them what makes you happy. When they choose your happiness above their own, and you do the same, there is no reason why anyone should be unhappy.

Marriage is for life. Marriage is NOT “until I no longer feel like working for it.” If you are willing to break one of the most sacred vows there is in existence, what else are you willing to do?

Keep it classy,

K.

Top 10 Reasons (not) to Date a Married Man

1.) You enjoy being lonely.

Dating a married man means you get second best. You’re always going to be penciled in when it is most convenient for HIM. Looking forward to spending Friday night with your boo? Nah girl, he’s with his family. But he’ll get back to you on Tuesday.

2.) You like showing up for the holidays alone.

Man! Nothing like Grandma asking “So when are you going to bring a man home to meet us?” for the 5th year in a row. You’re thinking to yourself, sure! I’d love to. But guess what, again, he’s with his family. But I’m sure he’ll buy you a nice bracelet on December 27th to make up for it.

3.) You don’t like commitment.

You’d rather be lonely – dreaming of a life with him. He may always complain about his “real life.” He may always talk to you about a dream life committed to you some day. But how long has he been saying that? Right. Move on, chick. As shallow as he may be, he’s not going to leave #1. Shame on you for trying to break up a family.

4.) You’re interested in weak men.

Yes, why have a strong man with honest values when you can have a weak one that runs from his problems. 🙂 If he’s willing to cheat on her, he will cheat on you too. Clearly he cannot handle when things get tough at home and would rather run off to cheat. Some day if things get rocky with you, he’ll run away from you too.

5.) You like having the LEAST of both worlds.

While your married man is living it up, having his cake and eating it too, you’re hiding & alone. Nooo, you’ll never resent him for having it all while you have nothing.

6.) You’ve dreamed of being a home-wrecker.

Eventually you’re going to lose his respect. As shallow as he is, he’s going to start to resent you for settling with such a broken and flawed relationship. Can’t you do any better than that? & while he’s living it up at home with everything he needs, you’re left lonely known as the one who did or almost wrecked a home. This happens when you have no respect or care for children growing up without their daddy.

7.) You hate other women and want to see them fail.

Forget all this women equality and women empowerment we are all into these days. You’d rather see them BURN! You’re thinking, if I can’t have him – NO ONE CAN! You have no respect for other women. You want every woman to have trust issues and you want every man of their future to be punished for that.

8.) You enjoy watching time pass you by.

Ever notice how time goes much quicker the older you get? Did you notice his words tend to speak louder than his actions? But that’s what you’re into, right? The thought of him telling you how beautiful you are on February 15th rather than the 14th. Sure honey. He’ll leave his wife next month and you can fly away to Hawaii like you both have been talking about for… wow… it’s been 5 years already?

9.) You like to listen rather than share.

You’re out to dinner with your best gal pal and she cannot stop talking about her husband and their new child! You want so badly to share in the excitement and tell her the new shiny gift you got from your boo, but wait… you have to live in secret.

10.) You like to question yourself and your worth.

Nothing like spending another Saturday night alone. Man, you’d really like to be out on a date tonight but darn – he’s with the family again. You start to wonder “Why am I doing this?” “Who am I?” But at least you get a couple hours squeezed in next week, right?

Disclaimer: this is satirical in nature. Complete sarcasm. In no way shape or form am I telling you to date married men. However, this is not a joke. These are true & very real problems in which families are being destroyed.

Keep it crazy,

K.

Raising Children When is it Complete?

When you are raising your children you hope you are doing a good job, at least you are trying your best. There are times you think your making it and other times you know the “Mother Of The Year” award will never have your name on it. Being a mother has been one of the hardest things I have ever done and the most rewarding. It has been an emotional journey that’s not over by a long shot. I hate when I hear mothers/parents say “I can’t wait until they are 18” like your job as a mother/parent magically stops on that day. The role of a mother, and father, is one that is a life journey. In many ways we raise our children until we take our last breath. Now, the word ‘raise’ takes on a distinct meaning as we enter the different stages of life. Raising can be taking care of the very important essentials like: feeding, bathing, doctor visits, and providing all the necessities for survival. Raising for us also means teaching them about God and His love for them. This is done through going to church, reading the Bible, and teaching the boys about praying and having a relationship with God. Another way we raise our children is by helping them understand social norms, how to interact with others, how to balance relationships & priorities, how to treat others, and to learn the basic skills so they can be productive adults. All of these things are also modeled by you, the parent. You set the stage as the example, please understand how important this is. It’s putting action to all the words you have been saying.

Children are not a distraction from more important work, They are the most important work.”

C.S. Lewis

Because the time we get with our children to lay these essential foundations is so incredibly short, we have to be engaged. Engagement with them everyday is very important. I know many parents that spend way too much time on their own hobbies, interest, and social life that they are completely missing the little lives in front of them. Just in everyday conversations with my boys I can hear from their own words what has gone on throughout their day. You can see what is important to them, what upsets them, and hear about their passions. These conversations also come with jokes I rarely understand, but they would never know that. I love to talk with them and hear stories about their friends and what all they did that day. Now my boys love to talk, but only when they initiate the conversation or don’t have “more important” things to do. Even when they don’t want to talk I still make them because I want them to understand that what is going on in their lives is something I put as a priority. I want them to know that I will always be here to listen and truly care about even the smallest details in their lives.

Another way my husband and I keep our children as our priority is by putting our relationship as a top priority. If we do not put our relationship over our children then our children will not have the environment that they need to grow and thrive. By putting our relationship at the top of this hierarchy they find security and comfort. Parenting is not just raising our children, but keeping our family strong. The foundation of our family is built on God and the walls are our marriage.

When our children are older and out of the house the word raising will look a lot different, but we will still play a part. They won’t need us to take them to the doctor, feed them, or provide the necessities – at least we hope not. We will, however, encourage them, listen to them, and give advise when asked. We won’t try to control them, but rather give then the space they need to thrive as productive adults. You have already placed the foundation during the early years, so the hope is when you get to this point you can watch the bird fly from the nest in complete confidence that they will soar.

-J

“30 Day” Challenge- Part one

OK, so first let me explain my intense adverse feelings for working out. I absolutely hate it and when I’m done my body reacts like I have been hit by a Mack truck. I desperately want to like working out and I really want to see results, they just never come in my timing ..aka after 3 nights. I think I would stick with my workout schedule if I could ever see results. I know it is completely a mental issue and I just need to come to grips with the process; then I may be able to stick with it long enough to make it a habit and/or see any actual results. All I ever get from working out is feeling like I’m going to puke and over the next couple of days it’s like my muscles hate me.

I always see the work out challenges on Pintrest and want to have the same results as the model in the photos, but I can never get passed the first 3 nights. I don’t need to loose weight, but I desperately need to tone my body. Not only does my complete adverse feelings for working out pressure me in to quitting, but also fitting it into my busy schedule. There isn’t enough time in a day for everything I already have to do, how can I add something else? Well, I have decided to give this another try and write about my journey. I promise I will keep my updates short and filled with complete honesty.

I’m not sure if anyone of you have watched the show “King of Queens,”my husband and I have the entire series and can relate most everyday experiences to this show. Doug, one of the main characters, is the overweight husband that has very little ambition and is completely satisfied with his life as it is. In this particular episode Doug is wanting to try being a “Big Brother” but everyone from his wife Carrie to his best friend Decon keep trying to get him to see that this is a commitment, not just another “hobby” he’ll be tired of in 5 minutes. Throughout the episode they keep reminding him being a Big Brother is not like the time he decided he wanted washboard abs and got an Ab Roller. Every time they would bring this up Doug would scream “I GOT THE FLU!” This has to be one of the funniest episodes. At the very end of the show you see Doug once again try to fulfill his commitment to get washboard abs. The scene starts with him standing in his room. He turns on his music, stretches, and then get the famous Ab Roller out of the closet. He puts it on the floor to start working out and all of a sudden develops a cough. Doug gets up feels his forehead then turns the music off and gets into bed. Doug wraps up in the covers and yells for his wife – “Carrie , I’m sick”. With that his second attempt is done.

I am hoping for a better outcome than Doug, however, we’ll have to see how it goes – fingers crossed!

Well here I go, I will start this challenge and keep you all updated throughout the 30, or so, days.





-J

Make sure you’re happy – in REAL LIFE.

Let me tell you about something I’m coming to realize more and more:

The back story:

This past weekend I was finally able to escape the everyday stress of work, bills, school, and chores to escape to one of my favorite places. My husband and I used to love motorcycle rides to Red River Gorge to spend our days hiking, kayaking, eating, and loving nature.

However – planning a wedding, buying a house, going to school, and working full-time pretty much had our finances locked & our “free-time” was non-existent.

We had been talking with good friends about a day trip to the Gorge for months but we never initiated the trip. We always allowed ourselves to be consumed by our “busyness.” Until one day we finally said, enough is enough. We invited our friends to ride along with us and found a weekend we would all set aside a day to just turn off & enjoy nature together. A couple weeks passed and we could not be more excited! We hopped on the motorcycle, drove an hour and a half to one of the most beautiful places around, hiked a short trail, took a long & beautiful drive, and stopped at a local favorite pizza joint for dinner.

It was one of the best days my husband and I had in a long time! You know why? Because we put down our phones, didn’t worry about notifications, turned off the internet and had a genuine good time with REAL LIFE people.

While we were driving back home that evening, that typical automatic thought popped into my head:

“Crap! I forgot to take pictures of my food!”

Really? …. I was so consumed with enjoying myself & having good conversations with great friends – that I actually forgot to take out my phone and take pictures. What a shame!

I instantly felt so guilty for even thinking about something like that. I was willing to give up all the fun times, all the laughter, all the smiles just because I forgot to take a photo worth putting on Instagram.

The point:

Listen – I don’t have to repeat what we’ve all read and heard over and over again. Social media, the internet, etc. is a beautiful thing but also a very dangerous one. Studies time and time again will tell you how dangerous and unhealthy it is for your mental health & your social skills. We live in a world where we would rather enjoy the view from a phone screen than enjoy it with our own eyes. That Saturday, I enjoyed it with my eyes & let me tell you – it was the happiest I’d been in a while. You’re not going to find genuine, quality time like that on the couch, on your phone.

Sometimes I will just stop & watch people. Right now, as I type this, I can see 6 people. Every. Single. One. of them have their heads down, eyes permanently glued to their phones. What a world they are missing around them! Potential friendships, good stories, and fun times are begging for their attention but they’re letting it pass them by. That is just so sad.

This society would rather try to convince you with edited photos and exaggerated stories that their life is better than yours & they have never been happier than to actually go out and live a life worth telling.

The challenge:

Do more things that make you forget to check your phone.

Don’t live for the gram – live for the moment.

Keep it classy,

-K

Goodbye My Friend – I Love You and Miss You

I know I have written about first impressions and we all know how important those and first encounters are. The way I met Ashley wasn’t the usual way to meet your soon to be best friend. It was freshman year in high school and her boyfriend was causing some issues in English class. I called him out in front of everyone for picking on someone, and lets just say the craziness started. This was not something that was typical for me, as I was shy and timid, but was necessary at that moment. Through this event I met Ashley. Once we got to know each other we were inseparable. We made sure to have as many classes together as possible. I remember one of our Science teachers begging us to listen and stop talking, we would just sit and giggle. We were always staying over at each other’s house and if we weren’t together we were on the phone talking.

Ashley was a sweet and kind person, beautiful on the outside as much as she was on the inside. She was very soft spoken and the only major downfall she had was a terrible taste in boys. I always had nicknames for them. The worst one of them all I would call “Fish Face”. We would still laugh about that years later. Ashley was raised completely different than me and her mom was relaxed and a little on the wild side, to say the least. I went with them on a couple of trips and those memories were ones we would talk about 10 years later.

It came down to our Senior year and I was planning on moving to Nashville for college, but that would mean saying goodbye to her. I remember that evening when she came over to my house to say goodbye. We cried and talked and then cried some more. To that point, that was one of the hardest goodbyes I had ever said. She was my best friend and like a sister we did everything together and now I was leaving her behind. I felt so guilty for leaving. I was also so scared to do something this big without her. I went away to college and tried to stay in touch as much as possible. Her and her boyfriend came to visit a few times, but I started realizing something that I never wanted to admit; we were drifting apart. She was living her life here and I was making a new one there. Over the next four and a half years the miles between us became not just literal but figurative for our friendship. We both got married a few years later and were in each other’s wedding, we wouldn’t have had it any other way. My husband and I moved back to my home town and we stayed in touch at first. With the busyness of life, work, and then I had two small kids staying in touch became less and less.

Over the years it became very obvious that the multiple tragedies and horrific events that she had gone through were surfacing and became this mountain she could not climb. Her depression became a black hole she could not escape. We would each reach out to the other from time to time. Those calls seemed to always come when we needed it the most; like we were still connected. I loved talking with her and trying to give her hope and reassure her that she could make it through all of this. She had dreams and plans for what she wanted her life to look like, but it seemed at every turn something or someone would knock her back down. Her struggles were overtaking her and to be honest I only knew a small portion of the demons that she faced. This was very hard for me to come to grips with, how could I have not know it was this bad, I was her best friend.

To be honest, and this is something that was really hard for me to admit as well, we weren’t best friends anymore. We had drifted so far away due to life and other issues. But just because we weren’t as close anymore doesn’t mean that she wasn’t a special person in my life. All the memories and growing together is something I can cherish as being a major part of my life. Being able to reflect on our friendship made me notice that I saw so many red flags, and there was so much more I could have done but I never wanted to upset her. We called each other best friends, but honesty was never apart of it. Honesty should have been apart of it and maybe that would of helped her out of her black hole. When you love someone you should always be open with them even when the truth hurts, it may end up saving them.

It will be three years this April that my friend left us. I still have such a hard time thinking about her being gone. I always wonder if I could have done more, and I could have to be honest – everyone could have. Ashley was a wonderful and beautiful person whose simile would light up any room. She had such a compassionate heart for others. It was a beautiful life gone way to soon. I thought the night I left for college was the worst goodbye I would ever say to her, but at her funeral I wrote her my last letter. The final goodbye.

Goodbye my friend – I love you and miss you

-J

How to value being alone.

“How are you?”
“Busy.”

Have you ever noticed how much we glorify productivity rather than mental health and our own purpose? Do you even know what your purpose is?

I’ve noticed that we avoid our own minds. We find every possible thing we can to keep us busy and distracted. Why? Because the very second that the chores stop, the music goes silent, the anxiety kicks in. We start to allow ourselves to head straight to the negativity of “I’m not enough,” “I could have done that better,” “What is my significant other up to?” “I haven’t heard from my mom in 2 days,” “Ew, what is that on my face?” “These pants don’t fit like they used to.”

Have you ever thought about ALLOWING the anxiety to set in? Before you ask me, “Why on Earth would I want that?” Stop and listen. How do you become stronger? Overcoming pain. By overcoming a hardship, a challenge, or an obstacle right? If that negativity and the anxiety is painful, OVERCOME IT. Face it head on. Stop and listen. What is there? Is it REALLY as bad as you think it is? Is whatever you’re worrying about really that bad? Start telling yourself the truth instead.

“I’m not enough.” —- “I have so many people who love who I am!”

“I could have done that better.” —- “I did such a good job at ______ today.”

“What is my significant other up to?” —- “My significant other loves me because ______”

“I haven’t heard from my mom in 2 days.” —- “My mom is such an inspirational and amazing woman. I’m going to call her.”

“Ew, what is that on my face?” —- “BEAUTY! Girl, shut up. Wait, that might be a little ranch. Oops, let me get that.”

“These pants don’t fit like they used to.” —- “I am a wonderful mother of amazing humans. I created the miracle of life within my body. I am loved.”

Any negative comment you make about yourself, instead of wasting away within these toxic thoughts, re-wire them. Tell yourself the truth. The more you choose to do this, the happier and more relieved you’ll be. When you get caught up in all the bad, your brain will literally spiral downward and soon enough you won’t be able to focus on anything else.

Before you know it, you’ll enjoy the silence and the alone time.

Focus of today:

Find out who you are by realizing who you don’t want to be.

Who are you?

Keep it crazy,

K.

RESPECT

I was watching TV and a commercial came on from a local TV station. It showed two males discussing their new talk show that would air this fall. The two were dressed in casual jeans, a tee shirt, and a suit coat. Suddenly, their female co-host entered in a very casual short skirt and tight shirt. So why is she not dressed like her male counter parts? I am not a huge feminist, but at some point we all need to ask ourselves WHY? Is her position less than theirs and/or are they just using her to sell ratings. I have a hard time understanding why this female is asked to wear less than professional attire while the men are wearing suit coats. I hate thinking like this, but this isn’t the first commercial like this from this local TV station. As a professional working woman I want to be valued for my work and my dedication to my department. What would I do if my leadership team asked me to wear a tight skirt and shirt to work during high volume times while they wore suits- let’s just say that this conversation would not go as they would expect, but I don’t work for employers that would ever ask this.

I was sitting at home one night and a commercial came on; it was from a fast food company. The young lady was half naked sitting on top of a car eating a sandwich in a provocative manner. I was so frustrated that I called the company’s home office to complain. I quickly noticed I was not the only one that had the same frustration as the home office set up a line just for complaints about the commercial. In my complaint I said ” I will never eat at your establishment due to your lack of confidence you obviously have in your own product. If you know you have a great product you could stand behind it and would never need to use sex to sell it, it would sell itself”. Well, a few years later they have stopped using this style of commercial to sell their product. I would love to know if removing these adds helped or hurt their sales.

All of this should not just be offensive to the onlooker, it should be to the individual. We women want to complain about the differences in professional settings between men and women from pay, authority, acknowledgement, and respect. However unfortunate, the sad truth is that we are allowing this behavior. If women would take a stand against this type of objectivity it would eventually stop, but it takes us all doing our part. And this can not just be in the lives of everyday women, those in positions to be seen and heard should also should take a stand. This has to be a broad change. We are never going to be taken seriously unless those in respectable, and public settings set a precedence for what is acceptable. I wish those in the public eye would realize what they are communicating to us all about what is acceptable and respectable. We can’t fuss about inadequate pay or higher positions if we are not demanding basic respect. I would like to see how the three staff members from the local TV station are being paid, is it equal? From outside looking in it appears that they do not value the female as much as the men and do not take her as serious, just something cute to look at. I hate this and hope this is not true because this young lady has worked hard and should have the same respect from her employer as the other two. If she is being paid the same she still isn’t being given the same level of respect. Perhaps the commercial was meant to be funny and light hearted, but this is not the first thing that comes to my mind when watching it.

This should not only bother women, but males as well. I am trying to raise two young boys and teach them to respect women. How on earth can I do this effectively when everything coming at them says the exact opposite? The message of the TV station and the message from the young lady says this type of behavior is acceptable. I know this may upset some to read, and I hope it does, it should. We should be upset that women continue to let themselves be used to sell ratings and products and all of this is supposed to be professional….. WHAT? This has always been so frustrating to me. If you want to be respected you first have to respect yourself! Demand respect and carry yourself in a way that shows this.

I love reading books regarding coaching, staff development, professionalism, managing, and productivity. One of the books I am currently reading goes into depth about the do’s and don’ts of women in professional settings. It talks about not to be emotional, the difference in communication styles between women and men, and body language. All of this information is to help women navigate the male dominate work force. Now, this book was written a long time ago and I believe the work force has improved greatly, but it’s bad to think that women seeking professional, higher level jobs have to worry about all these things on top of making sure they are excelling at normal tasks. I wish there was more information/coaching for women in regards to respect for one’s self and how to demand it from others, especially in the professional setting.

Does this frustrate you too?

-J

Customer Service – not a job task, it’s a mindset!

I was running late trying to rush to the mall to purchase a couple of pairs of jeans for my boys. I hate going to the mall when I don’t have a lot of time to shop and look around. It’s also never a good idea when I have two very hungry and tired little boys with me. Needless to say I was already working at a disadvantage before I even walked in. Now, I don’t go to this store often (won’t say any names) because their product is amazing, wears well, or even because I feel valued as a customer. I only go to this store because I like the way this one style of jeans fits my boys. I have NEVER had a good experience in this store and the jeans do not hold up to the rough and tough tumbles little boys can put them through, so I only get them for church or casual events.

As I was walking in the store I noticed a HUGH sign out side the store door that reads ” ALL BASIC DENIM JEANS $7.99.” I had gone online the night before and the discount there would have made them $6.99 each, but due to time constraints I needed to go into the store (lucky me!). I walk in, right to the wall shelf, and picked up only one of the pairs of jeans. I would have gotten more, but they only had one size I needed. I walked up to the counter and quickly noticed I am interrupting a very important conversation between the two employees about last nights drama. One of the employees greeted me, and please know I am the only customer in the store at this time, and said “Yeah?” I asked her if she had anymore size 7 jeans in this style in the back. She said “Ughhonknow”, please hear this as a one syllable word. Eventually she left after a very awkward staring contest and returned with a pair of size 7 jeans. It’s my lucky day again! She rang up my order and that is when I noticed that one pair of jeans were ringing up for $12.99. I stopped her and asked about the price and the very large sign where it clearly states that ALL BASIC DENIM was on sale for $7.99. She said not this pair, that’s for the other sizes. Really? I said will you honor your sign due to it not being a style issue, basic denim, just a size issue? She said no and I asked why and I was given the exact same one syllable word “Ughhonknow”, which still included the annoying head roll. I said “Is the Ughhnoknow” because you can’t honor the sign or that you don’t know if the store will allow you to honor the price?” She said it was due to not knowing if the store would allow her to honor the price. Well to stop the suspense – I didn’t get the jeans for the $7.99 as advertised, which is exactly what I expected due to past experience with customer service from this store.

I hate shopping in that store, and even more, spending my hard earned money there. If I didn’t feel like I needed the product that they produce I would definitely go somewhere else, and that is where they get me. I don’t really need this product, but I want it. In my professional career I manage an area that is built on quality customer service. As a manager, the expectation is that you will provide great customer service at all times. This is not a job task, but rather a mindset. Think like a customer, which is super easy to do as we are all customers and have many experiences to cultivate this mindset.

Customer service is vital to every organization even ones that don’t really categorize themselves as front-line customer service. The way you treat your customer communicates how you value them, their time , and their money. When teaching my staff about the importance of providing great customer service we also talk about the importance of being a great customer. I have my staff talk about positive and negative experiences they have had as a customer and employee. The first thing I realize is that the negative experiences are numerous and positive experiences are few. I’m not sure if that was due the lack of positive experiences, which I strongly hope not, or that negative experiences have more of a lasting impression. Customer service is not just providing a great product, it’s being knowledgeable, having good communication skills, being honest, and being present while at work.

I think one major question we need to ask ourselves is: Why wouldn’t we give great customer service? Is it too time consuming, too draining, are you tired of dealing with people, maybe you don’t know how, or is it that great customer service comes with unrealistic expectations from the customer? All of these are valid feelings, at times. However, if we go back to the fact that we are all customers and we know what our expectations are, then this should be what drives us when providing great customer service to others. It is a Mindset!

Love to hear about some of your customer service experiences!

-J