Monday, May 25, 2009

The Little Black Dress!

OK, so I'm at this fantastic wedding last night at Carnivale Restaurant, which is THE most colorful place as you can imagine with that name. I look around at the 200 plus guests and every woman is in the "little black dress". What's up with that? There I am in my kelly green dress, shoes and earrings (yes, they all have to match, it's a religion:-) Is everyone just afraid of the boldness of color, am I out of style (but then again, I'm never in style) just prefer to do my own thing. It always makes me wonder when people say to me, "I wish I could have a red kitchen, I wish I could wear a green dress, I wish I could wear big earrings..." why don't they?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

So, I was debating on whether to get hair extensions or not. Now you might be wondering why me, of oh so much hair, would want more? Just because I love trying new and different things...a little fuller (scary,huh?), a little longer (more youthful?), a little overall overall (sexier?) Anyway, this is no cheap or easy process, so for now, we'll all have to contend with WYSIWYG...what you see is what you get!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

College Boys in Cabo...and me

I've been blessed by many unique experiences in my speaking career and this one rates at the top. I was giving a speech to a Vistage group in Chicago and a member, Greg Wittistock, owner of Aquascapes, invited me to speak at the American Leadership Academy in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Greg was a fraternity brother of Phi Kappa Psi and Jerry Nelson, the founder of Ticketmaster was also in that fraternity. Jerry believes that alot of his success in life was due to what he learned during his fraternity years, the life skills that they don't teach in the classroom.He built a magnificent compound on the beach in Cabo with a hotel for the boys and spectacular homes for the invited guest teachers. He invites 700 boys each year from colleges all over the country that belong to his fraternity to spend a week during spring breaks from February-April.

I had never spoken to college boys who would obviously be sleepy, hungover and not totally present in the morning when they were required to show up for classes or be sent home. This expense paid hotel and food requirement is attendance at all the classes offered. Classes such as "dress for success" (no, I didn't teach that one:-), "how to go on an interview" and my signature speech on quality of life, a Balancing Act: Walking the Tightrope of Life".

I bought a special "hip" outfit at Guess, I went to the music store (remember those?) grabbed a young looking sales clerk, dragged him to "his music" section and I stood there glazing at groups I never heard of. I told him to pick one, he did and I was armed and dangerous to face my toughest audience ever.

I had a glorious week in Cabo with the most unbelievable house on the beach, I had dinner every night with all the boys even ventured into Cabo one night to party with them. I was very fortunate to meet and hang out with someone who had been part of the experience before, Kurt Harrington who gave me the wildest midnite dune buggy ride on the beach and we have remained friends ever since. His company Something Fishy is in RI.

My speech was a hit and the boys responded better than expected. They started out as a challenge and wound up being one of the best audiences and the most rewarding that I ever had. Jerry Nelson is making a difference in all these boys lives and I had the privilege of being part of that difference. Isn't that what it's all about?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Too Many Cogs...

I've been in Florida at my "snowbird" home for the past week, enhancing their economy by turbo shopping to decorate my condo in one fell swoop (what is a "fell swoop" anyway?)As someone who speaks and trains on customer service, let me tell you that I got enough material to last a lifetime. I experienced customer service? YES, that was meant to be a ?...the good, the bad and the ugly. Too many "cogs"s in the company wheel, not enough empowerment..., Nordstorm, please train the world on how easy it is to please the customer. This is not brain surgery but when the salesgirl at Panera Bread (a place I really love... or loved) tells me after I ask for less ice in my iced tea, and she utters "but I have to use the scoop...) OMG, I know, I know, they want us to drink less tea but talk about a cog'. Or when calling to speak to an executive at Z Gallerie (another store I love..., or loved) and the phone attendant says, " My job is to direct you to customer service, the CEO doesn't speak to anyone" is the incredulous reply I received....OMG, another cog!! What ever happened to the "customer is always right and if the customer is wrong, go back and read rule #1 (thank you, Stew Leonard)