“Please, Thank You, I’m Sorry”

Recently I was talking with my coworker because she was feeling down and out about how she goes above and beyond for people and hardly ever receive a simple thank you or even credit for the hard work she’s put in. It mostly stemmed from the fact that, as I mentioned in a previous post, my boss was in a car accident and has needed a ton of help these days. As much as we are willing to do whatever she needs for us to do to make her life easier, it hasn’t escaped our notice that we aren’t acknowledged for a job well done or for going above and beyond our pay grade to make sure her life is easier. Instead, it has become more demanding.

When I was younger, the first words that got drilled into my head were “please, thank you, and I’m sorry”. Whenever you want or need something, it should always start or end with please. “I need a favor. Do you think you can help me please?”, “When you get a chance, can you please….” are just a few examples. Automatically following the response you receive, even if it’s negative, should be a thank you. “Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.” “That’s okay. Thanks anyway.” When people don’t use either of these it comes out more of a demand instead of a polite question. In the case of asking for a favor, if you ask for a favor and this favor is granted, you should give credit where credit is due. Say you couldn’t figure out how to formulate an Excel sheet at work and you got help for it before presenting it to your boss. Just thanking your coworker is not enough. You should let your boss know that you at least had help and couldn’t have perfected the worksheet without so and so’s help.

Lastly, the universal, “I’m sorry“. It’s not only used in sad situations. Loss and grieving people appreciate hearing “I’m so sorry for your loss.” However, and I’ve had to do this, I pitched an idea that was not my own to my boss once and I gave the credit to my coworker because it wasn’t my idea. Only problem was, she wanted to pitch it herself and didn’t appreciate that I offered it up before she could even though I did give the correct credit. I apologized for that and remembered that for the future. Another example is when someone thinks they’re 100% right and makes it a point to almost rub it in your face. When it’s all said and done and it comes out that they were wrong, the first thing out of their mouth should be “I’m sorry” but most often it’s still a case of someone trying to prove in some form that they were still right even if it wasn’t 100%.

Simple accolades such as these would honestly make for a nicer world. Yet, these phrases are so foreign to some that it’s just so sad. This has been on my mind for a while and I just continually think of how more and more individuals are becoming immune to the fact that they aren’t receiving the accolades they deserve even if it’s something as simple as leaving a book review or sharing someone else’s post. I know I’m guilty of it because I’m terrible at Twitter but I try to acknowledge when I notice even if it’s late. I also make it a point to respond to all comments left on my blog or ones that were responded to that I left on someone else’s blog. I just hope this immunity doesn’t continue because it just makes us all much more cold as human beings and we don’t want to turn into emotionless robots now do we?

What do you think about accolades given or received? Were these phrases taught and ingrained into at a young age like they were for me? Do you have any experiences similar to mine you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

Customer Reps

Ever have to call a place to get answers and it takes about 8 times talking to multiple reps to finally get an answer?

I swear I’ve gotten the run around so many times just in the past few days. For example, I received a “final notice” in the mail about a payment for an OB visit threatening to send me to collections essentially if I didn’t pay it. Funny thing is, I paid it 2 months ago. Have a receipt to prove it and even faxed my receipt proof over to the hospital, again, 2 months ago. So the woman goes to look, checks, sees that I did that, and goes, oh well there’s a new balance on your account. Do you want to pay that now?

Um… why would I pay the next bill when they can’t even get the past bill sorted out?? I don’t know if it’s just hospitals in America but if you overpay on a hospital bill or like a student loan bill, they’ll keep your money. They won’t say oopsie, you paid too much, no. They’ll just keep the difference.

Speaking of student loans, that’s another one I recently called about. Called looking to get my monthly payment lowered cause bills are kicking my butt and I want to get caught up. So I call and a woman tells me exactly what to do in order to get my payments lowered to as little as $0 a month for a year. I do that and my April autopay payment went away. I’m thinking, yay! this is great! I have a break to spend money where I want to right? Wrong. They only postponed them for 2 months and then they resume. So I call the woman back and tell her, listen, either I get a lower payment or I don’t pay. They’re student loans. I don’t care about them. Well the last thing they want you to do is stop paying so she tries to get me to go all these other options and I had to keep reiterate what the other rep told me.

Well this pretty much led to her being nasty because I wouldn’t do what she said and she was telling me stuff that was frankly untrue. So I had to get off the phone with her ASAP before I said some things she wouldn’t like. I let that stew for about an hour and then called back and got a helpful woman who apologized for the viscious one.

I don’t get why customer service reps feel the need to get nasty with you. I get their job is to take your money most of the time but do you honestly think I’m going to want to give you my money when you give me attitude over the phone especially considering I didn’t raise my tone of voice or anything and struggled to be as polite as possible throughout my frustration? I love when reps also feel the need to spout how long they’ve been with the company and they know everything when they’re still wrong. It’s truly okay to admit when you’re wrong and put me on hold to get the right answer.

I worked customer service for many years; face to face at that! I don’t think people realize how hard it is to do everything possible almost to the point of getting on your knees and licking the customer’s boots in order to make sure they get off the phone or leave your store happy. It’s a struggle. But to be the customer and get the attitude just for pointing out that someone is feeding you misinformation?? That’s just rude and it’s sad you have to go through about 10 people to find that 1.

But at the end of the day, thank goodness for that 1.

Have you ever had bad customer rep issues? How do you normally handle it? Are you like me and keep calling back to you get the competent one? Let me know in the comments below!

Own It

I was talking to my amazing, magnificent friend over the weekend as we usually do and we got on the subject of honesty. We discussed it in the form of book reviews but, like I usually do, I went off on a slight tangent about this particular subject and one of the first lessons I plan to teach my child in the future.

When you achieve something great or are rewarded for a job well done, how do you normally feel? You feel amazing; on top of the world. Then you want to tell everyone you know so they can feel wonderful with you. You are owning your greatness in that moment. You earned it, it was well deserved and you want to flaunt it. That’s a natural reaction to a positive experience right?

So why is it that when a person does something wrong, instead of owning their mistake, they blame everything else under the sun? Or, even worse, flip the tables to make it seem like the other party was delusional in their assessment of the situation because there is just no way you could be wrong even though you KNOW (because trust me, you know) that you were part of the wrong or even fully responsible for it?

Speaking from experience, I understand how easily it is to tell a little white lie when you don’t want to feel the wrath of another person. I truly get it, I do. But I learned over time that that literally makes things 1000 times worse because something so small that I could have owned up to in the beginning ends up getting blown out of proportion and multiple parties end up hurt. Then instead of just one person you have to apologize to, there are many and from there, people’s trust meter of you has faltered a bit.

Losing someone’s trust or even confidence in your own ability to take and receive information is one of the worst feelings. I personally own up to everything I say. If someone asks me for an honest opinion about something, they better be prepared to hear an honest answer. I’m not one for sugarcoating especially when I made the mistake. It’s quite easy to say “That was totally my fault, I’m sorry” or “My bad, I messed up or misinterpreted what you said” to avoid a total explosion of unnecessary drama. Now if I didn’t do it or say it, I definitely won’t take the blame.

When I worked as a manager in retail, this concept was something I pretty much drilled into my staff. If you messed up, seriously, it’s okay. Just tell me so we can fix it together and then you’ll know how better to handle the situation the next time. If you lie to me, I will find out so let’s not waste time. Now, is there times when things should be tactfully said? Sure. But that is one reason why I always lead in with something like “I mean no disrespect but…” and then lay it all out. That way the receiver is already prepared for what I’m about to drop on them but I also hope it makes them feel comfortable enough to do the same for me in return because who doesn’t want 100% honesty all the time?

At the end of the day, I know I can’t make people change. Some people are so good at lying or being two faced that that is their natural instinct. It just sucks for the rest of us who have to figure that out further along in a friendship or relationship instead of right up front. The world would truly be a better place if people owned up to all of their judgments instead of just some of them and not only that, be able to take information, even if it’s information they don’t like, gracefully. That’s the very definition of being an adult wouldn’t you say?

I’m quite interested in what you all think on this topic. Let me know in the comments below and feel free to share experiences of your own if you feel comfortable. 🙂

So you want to be an author

Good morning! Well at least here on the east coast of the US.

In my previous post, I discussed part of my weekend at RAGT (Reader Author Get Together). I will get to part two of my weekend but I wanted to talk about the things I learned from an author I spontaneously met who let me pick her brain for two hours while we were waiting in line to see J.R. Ward. It started out as normal conversation because I had no idea she was an established author. When she told me, I was like woah! and thinking of all you lovely writers out there, I proceeded to ask her a million and one questions about how she got to where she is now. I want to share her journey with you all in the hopes that if you ever decide to write a book or already have a book and want to know what she considered was the best approach to putting yourself out there.


Step One: Write. 

She, like many, didn’t think she could write a book at first. Her friends encouraged her a lot because they thought she had some stellar ideas. One day she decided to sit down and start writing. The key is to keep writing no matter what. Some days you may not feel like writing but push through and do it anyway.

Step Two: Beta readers and assistants.

Once you have a written product, you want to get some feedback. You want to start to build a relationship with people who will be your first book point of contact. Those people will read your stories, judge them, point out any errors they find, critique your ideas and just be the brutally honest people that you are going to need. They also help you to find the events that you need to put yourself on the map. They are usually are your closest friends (who will work for free because they love you and want you to succeed).The more help you have, the more time you can spend on writing.

Step Three: Networking, networking and more networking.

Book conventions, expos, cons, workshops; the list goes on. She went to a few expos and ingratiated herself with authors that are already established. She constantly shared her story ideas while learning the book trends. Romance is HOT right now. Urban Fantasy is super HOT right now. Author Lora Leigh saw something in her and took her under her wing which, alone, changed the course of her career. She gave her tips, told her tricks and introduced her to other authors and editors.

Step Four: Find a proofreader and an editor.

Finding an editor is the first thing you need to do before you find an agent or a publisher. Why? Because your work needs to be spotless. She said enough grammatical errors in your work won’t even get a decent look. And then it goes back to networking. These editors know what they’re doing. It’s highly likely they have ties to agents and publishers and can open the door for you.

Step Five: Independent publishing vs. Traditional publishing

Once you’ve built your literary team, it’s time to decide how you want to proceed. There is nothing wrong with independent publishing. In fact, a lot of authors are migrating towards it because they can set their own rules. Traditional publishing is great but it can take time to be offered a contract. In the meantime, you could be indie publishing. Amazon is the number one hot spot to make that happen. You can start to gain royalties for the product you already have which allows you more time to focus on improving your writing skills or another book while playing the waiting game with traditional publishers. This author put it this way, “If a publisher knocked on my door and offered me a $200,000 contract, I wouldn’t say no but until then I’m living my dream job.”

Step Six: Do not stress over your first bad review. It won’t be your last.

In this age of the internet, it’s hard to tell who’s a true reviewer and who’s a troll. You can read them and stress yourself out or you can be like this author who leaves it to her beta readers and assistant to read them for her and give her quality feedback.


I’m not an expert and I’m sure everyone has their own ways of doing things. However whatever route you decide to take, I hope I’ve shared some useful information I received from this wonderful lady. It’s a long, slow process but in the end it can offer great rewards and if you have enough confidence in yourself and your work, you can, one day, live the dream.

Edit: Patty made me realized I never actually said the author’s name. Her name is Melanie Jayne. She writes contemporary romance with characters age 35 and up. Quite a niche area. She also plans to write urban fantasy under a pen name next. Check out her site here.