Monthly Archives: September 2015

What I know about Whoopi

Every now and then, we occasionally get an order and customer service call from a recognizable name. This summer we had a few orders from Caryn Johnson aka Whoopi G.

Here is what I can tell you I learned about Whoopi from these orders:

She makes her own phone calls when there is an issue (there are those in my own household that don’t even do that let alone be a celebrity)

She speaks fluent Spanish.

She is apologetic if she feels she needs to.

She is generous.

She is busy.

She is funny.  (I know, who knew?)

Here is how I know.

She had a minor issue on her first order of not being able to locate a necessary component. She was getting frustrated with our young gal as she kept relaying where it should be and WG was saying that it was not. Our gal transferred the phone to me but by then Whoopi had given the phone to one of her assistants who is multilingual. We had problems communicating what I was referring to in technical terms so I passed the assistant back to our young gal who also can communicate in several languages with instructions on what I wanted her to relay. We got it straightened out without further delay.

The next day. We came into work and the gal that listens to and distributes all of the general voicemails says we need to listen to one. It was from Whoopi and she said she would just like to apologize to the young customer service rep that she had gotten frustrated with the day prior. She said it was not how she normally handles herself and wanted to apologize.

Apologize when you should

We were all stunned as we have folks go into a rant or get overtly frustrated every single day and almost never do we hear someone say that they were having a particularly stressful day and they didn’t mean to come off so harsh. (and as I heard it, she wasn’t nearly as upset as many we deal with are)

On another order she placed, she phoned because she was having delivery issues.  I happened to be helping out on the general line and was the one to take her call.

As I was searching for the order as some were under her given name and some were under her famous name, we established a rapport.  We fed into each others humor that day and had some good laughs.  She said she was very glad to have gotten me on the phone that day as not only was I taking care of her issues, I had changed her mood.  Such a nice compliment from a comedian.

Her issues were with the delivery people which required several calls from me to them and back to her with a conference call between all to complete.  Each time I would phone her, she was busy but took the call herself.  If she was busy on another line, she would still answer my call and finish the other quickly to get to me.  Some of those must have been with loved ones as she would end that conversation with an “I love you”. I enjoyed hearing her openly convey love to those in her life.

Once, when she had someone in her vicinity that I could hear her communicating fluently in Spanish.

I can’t say that I knew much about her prior to the calls we had, but I can say that I loved hearing her generosity of spirit over the phone – be it my overheard conversations on her end – and with me directly.

I phoned back a few days later to make sure everything we had previously arranged had taken place as planned.  She conveyed that it had gone well and asked if I had gotten what she sent.  I didn’t know if she had meant to send an email or what but I said “No, was I suppose to get something?”  She relayed that I would.

I looked through my emails and in junk as well, but nothing, so I let it go.

A few days later, I returned from lunch and there was a decent size box on my desk. It was well wrapped and had a bow around the inner box.

Cookies from WhoopiInside were 18 individually wrapped cookies of different varieties overnighted from the Indulgent Baker in New York

And of coarse a thank you note.

I shared the cookies with the rest of the team and then took the last few home to share with the family. Very rich and delicious.

I sent a thank you message letting her know the cookies were well received and expressed my gratitude for her generous spirit.

She even replied to the thank you with more kindness.

Its pretty cool to see some insight into a famous person’s life and realize that they might just be better in their daily life than they are in the lime light.

That was fun.

Love Sally



Working in Customer Service


csr our priority

For those who don’t know, I am a customer service escalation manager.  That means I generally don’t speak to the customer until they are so screaming mad that words are barely recognizable.


funny when angryMost aren’t really too bad as sometimes they just need a second person to tell their troubles to again.

Many have such bigger issues elsewhere in their lives and the issue with their order feels as though it is the one thing that has gone bad that they can maybe exert control over.  A good listener and understanding heart is all that customer really needs.

just need someone to listenSome need to listen to their own questions before calling someone else to complain about the issue.  Example: Customer: “Yes, I would like to complain that no one told me I would need outlets in my room”  Me: “Sir, you ordered POWER recliners, where exactly did you think the power was coming from?”

no stupit questionSometimes we have to request photos, because it just doesn’t add up.

plugged inFor me, it is generally rewarding to be able to help people with the issues they are experiencing with their order.  I find that when they know you have actually heard their frustration and are addressing that – and the frustration is not always the same as the called about issue – then the complaining person becomes the thankful person and the outcome is manageable on both ends.

There are those who would bleed your soul to make themselves feel better for a perceived wrong they felt or did endure and those are the hard ones for me.  The ones that feel if they inflict enough pain, theirs will go away.

how is your day

Mostly, I can enjoy my job.  I work with a good team and do get to hear a great story from my customers from time to time.  And I love a good story.

Love Sally




A Night of Viewing

Last night was incredible.

Framily sharing life together

We have dinner most Sunday nights with our friends. We alternate houses every week and this was their week.

We had spoken about the need to incorporate the Full Blood Moon, the eclipse, the Bronco game and the show we are watching together.

I said we could have it at our house if the moon wasn’t going to be viewable at the time of the eclipse.  Depending on what side of which hill you are on in the mountains make a huge difference and I couldn’t remember where the moon would come up in relation to their house and deck.  I was assured we would be fine at their abode.

We viewed part of the Bronco game while eating and started the viewing of the moon as it was rising.

They had set up their telescope and the eclipse began

#2 son was the only one that was successful in getting photos on his phone through the telescope.

The moon was amazing.

We watched our show.

The moon turned red.

The Broncos won!

We left to go home and I received a text from #1 son who had his own viewing.

We didn’t see anything when we got home, but I was shown where the footprints were today.

Quite the night.

Love Sally

A Stand In for the Hike

My weekly hiking partner has taken the weekend off to tour the Colorado Mountains and view the changing of the aspen trees with her hubby.

Colorado Aspens

She thinks this might be an added camping spot for the group of us that like to camp together.

new CO camp spot

And this is just proof of another gorgeous day in Colorado.

gorgeous coloradoWhile she was viewing the rest of Colorado, Woody was still wanting his hike here in Evergreen, so I enlisted #2 son to join the pup and I.

Unicycling the dog

To my amazement, he made the entire loop on the Unicycle.  I’ve seen two wheeled bikers struggle in some of the areas that he maneuvered flawlessly.

Unicycle trails riding

And of course, we weren’t lacking for beauty either.

Three sisters parkWelcome Fall.

Love Sally


Skinny Mirrors


Until July, I had been blessed with having a boss who was also a good friend.

When I started working at my current job, there was a new warehouse manager.  He sat across from me in a room and as we both stayed late often to get extra work done, we got to know one another pretty well.

Then a few months later, my boss(CMF) was hired.  It wasn’t long until we would all go out after work and blow off some steam every now and then.  Others would go, but it was the three of us that forged a bond.  We shared our dreams, visions, failures and beliefs.  There was nothing we couldn’t or wouldn’t talk about.

It got to a point where someone else could come into the room and remark about something and we each knew what the other was thinking.

Almost two years ago, the warehouse manager quit to find a new job.  We still managed to get together – the three of us – and have epic evenings of food, beverages and discussion. We saw each other for the persons we could be – in a pure level without our mess ups and egos and histories.

Then a year ago CMF had a friend (JR) move out and got him a job in our department.  We then had four for merriment.

Me and the guys

We learned sometime this past spring that CMF and JR were moving back east as CMF’s wife and daughter had already gone back and they are to start a new business venture back there.

The timeline to leave was end of July.  I didn’t care for the thought of working without them but I was ill prepared when things got so bad that neither one returned to work after the July 4th Holiday.

I knew there would be an adjustment period for work but I had no idea it would create the kind of emotional storm that it did.

We had created between us these windows where we could each see not the person who is making mistakes, but the person who we each strive to be at the center of it all. I think because we kept council for such a time without bringing in others that it allowed a focus that we don’t often get when the lens is on panorama.

I found that the mere presence of them became my security blanket. Insulating me from the cold realities of our job.

With them gone, suddenly  I was a bit lost. My buffer and friends who held the lights up during those 8-10 hours each day were no longer there.

I took on more responsibility at work and gained authority there, but I somewhere lost the portion of me that could share as openly as I had been.

So, I didn’t blog and I cried. I will admit that change is hard for me and I don’t like losing people even more.  I know I haven’t lost anyone for good, but I did lose the daily contact that I must have taken for granted since the absence was now so stark.

We all got together several times during July and they even all came up to the house to be with the rest of my family and me over night a few times.  Great times were had, and then they were gone.

The office moved around and the new warehouse manager took CMF’s desk who was next to me and the claims guy took JR’s who was directly in front of me.  I’m glad that it wasn’t others who ended up in those desks, but its not the same.

I’ve come to realize that having those guys at work whether we spoke or not,  were my skinny mirrors on the wall.  You know, the mirrors they put up in the dressing rooms of the expensive clothes stores so that you look thinner in all of their garb and so you buy it to feel better.  They were my daily affirmations of a better side of me that I would see reflected from them and without it I questioned what others reflected or projected in some cases.

The great thing about the skinny mirror for those of us with a few extra pounds, is the reflection is better than you know the reality to be, but it gives rise to the hope of what you can be one day.  They just did that for my soul, not my figure.

I hadn’t realized just how much positive energy they sent my way everyday until it was gone.

just by yourself

I’ve managed to get through the change and even realize that my candle doesn’t glow any less because they aren’t there to reflect it.  I do miss those mirrors though.

candle lifeLove Sally

Comfort Zone


Here is how my mind worked this morning.

Back up. Let me say that now that I have decided to jump back into this adventure of blogging, I’m often thinking about how many stories I’ve passed up over the summer.  Not the hard ones, but the seemingly easy ones that should go down without thought.

Problem is, they are not flowing as easily as they should, or I can’t seem to get a feel on the order they should be presented and it is causing the funnel to clog.   See, the truth of it is, I want to be witty and glib and the ones that gnaw on me to come out are not of that emotion.

So this morning, in a bit of prayerful meditation, I ask if I might be directed in what I can convey today.

I take a shower and before putting on my jeans, I find that there is well washed folded up paper in the back pocket.  Wanting to check it out to see if I can even tell what it once was prior to a wash or five, I just grab the paper, my jeans, socks and shoes and walk out to the kitchen to start the coffee.

washed paper

It isn’t until I walk into the lights of the kitchen not fully clothed, that I remember that we have company spending the night.  Well, wouldn’t that be special for my hubby’s high school buddy to walk in and see! NOT.

I quickly get into my jeans (I was going to write “slip into my jeans” but seriously, that isn’t how it happens), and think about how I am in my comfort zone of my own home but I need to remember when others might be about.  I don’t worry about my family, they are never up when I leave for work.

Then it clicks in my brain that my current problem with the blogging is that I want to keep it in my comfort zone and that is not where the special things happen.

comfort vs magic

I started this all by stepping way outside of my comfort zone in the first place, so I need to let go of my restraints and allow the stories that hit me to come out as sometimes those stories might be more for a reader than for me anyway.

So bear with me as I try to establish a groove, get you caught up on the little tales of the summer and other anecdotes that cause me discomfort as well.

move out of your comfort zone

It’s funny how life gives you little reminders.


I was thinking during the morning at work that I should finish or change the blog at lunch today while I have some free time. During this time, a friend sends me the photo above  from her walk.  I smiled as I took it as an affirmation that even the turtle has to come out of his comfort zone of his shell to move forward.

Love Sally

Building a home in the Dominican Republic


Dominican houseAt the end of July, Devin went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic to build a home for a family there. Above is the home completed.

Dominican mission trip

He was one of 18 or so participants. In four days they cleared the ground, poured a footer, built the walls, installed roof, siding, windows and minor electric.

One short week of their life changed another family’s life for years to come.

dominican Dev eating

Four days. It amazes me that in four short days so much happens.  While walls of support go up on a structure, walls of separation come down on cultural differences.

Devin’s response to me when I first got to speak with him after he returned? “Mom, I did not want to come home, I would have stayed another year and continued to build houses.”

Having had an epic trip to Ecuador two years ago with many sites seen in different towns every day that trip, I would have thought that this would have been a close second. This one it turns out though was his favorite trip.

It seems that staying in one place and making connections with the same people every day out weighed seeing different daily locales.

dominican beach photo I’m so very happy that he got the chance to go and see this beautiful country and not just the tourist locations. And also to feel the impact we can all have (on ourselves and others) when we open our hearts.

Below is a video one of the adults on the trip made if you wish to see more.   It’s about 25 minutes long.

Love Sally

Monday Night Yoga

Mondays are starting to be Yoga night for me.  My friend that I walk with in the park each week had suggested I come and try it last year but I never made it.  I’m not sure what got me there this year except for her persistence.

When someone who knows you and encourages you to try something that your clueless about, sometimes you just have to trust them and give it a try.

always say yes

I had no real idea what yoga entailed.  Every pose I had ever seen was one that was comical in the very idea of me attempting it.

I was pretty sure that cameras were installed when middle aged women with no prior experience showed up for the first time.  Tapes were given to Allen Funt and “Boom” you were on Candid Camera.

My friend assured me that this was a class that anyone could do and it wasn’t about perfection, it was about trying and doing your best.

yoga trying not to fart

To my delight, there was no jogging or the dreaded burpees.

The instructor weaves stories into the sessions which is always a plus.

I’ve realized just how inflexible I am at this point and it makes me want to keep at it to gain back some of that lost flexibility.

I’ve probably only been to about five classes so far, but I’ve noticed that sleep is much better and without interruption on yoga nights. Another plus so I’ll continue to wrap my body into positions that discomforts my mind.

I may just start going on Wednesdays too!

Namaste. As they say.

Love Sally


Sept. 20, 2015

birthday cake

So, today is my birthday as many of you already know. Thank you for the many wishes.

That is not my cake above as if you know me, you know that I prefer a Birthday Pie.  Elderberry when in Ohio where they can be pulled out of some relative’s freezer.  Otherwise, any pie will do.

birthday pie

That is the Pie I get today.  The photo was texted to me last night as a teaser for what I can expect today when our group of Mom’s get together for an afternoon of fun today.

I’ll let you know  the rest of my birthday weekend later but thought I would share this:  I’ve decided that my present to myself is to get back to blogging.  I’ve missed it and what it provides for me – mainly an outlet and connection with folks I love and don’t get enough time with.

There were a couple of events over the summer that got me clogged up in my inability to convey and so my other summer stories just got jammed up as well.

I wasn’t writing anything down, so it didn’t take long for feelings to also stack and soon got to the point of “there are so many little stories to tell, I can’t begin to know where to start”. So I didn’t.

Since birthdays are one of those markers of time where we can stop and think of the past year and be hopeful of the next, it seems a good place for me to jump back in.

So, good, bad or indifferent, get ready to see the musings of my days or weeks. I hope you’ll follow along and add a comment or two along the way..