Customer Service Q&A: I sprung this one on my father

While sitting in the local Nepalese restaurant with my dad, we were enjoying our butter chicken curry and our spicy tandoori when I sprung a quick interview about customer service on him. Conversations like this don’t happen very often, so I wanted to take this opportunity to find out a bit more about my dad and what he thought about the values of the company I am currently aspiring to work at. He was born in Wisconsin and came to Japan in his early 30’s. He has five daughters and loves to write. The interview was simple, and I had a lot of fun asking him the questions.

When you were younger, did you do anything related to customer service?


Not at all? Not even a bar or something?

Oh yeah, I did that when I was younger.

How was that?

I hated it.


People are jerks, and it stunk like smoke all the time. There were a lot of rude people.

Was this in Wisconsin? There weren’t any other customer service jobs?

I worked at a flouring company as well. I was the manager of a warehouse.

Did you learn anything interesting while you were there?

Yeah, that if I keep doing this I will have a sore back. The stuff was heavy.

What are the customer service difference between American and Japan?

I think in Japan its more formal and ceremonial.

The Buffer Values and my dad’s take on them:

  1. Choose Positivity 

Do what you like. Try to make every situation positive. Try to learn something.

  1. Default to Transparency

Yeah, thats a good idea. They should tell everybody about what’s going on. Don’t keep any secrets.

  1. Focus on Self-Improvment

You got to always try harder I guess.

  1. Be a no-ego doer

We all have an ego.

  1. Listen first, then listen more

You should do more listening than talking.

  1. Communicate with Clarity

To be clear. I’d like to have everything clear, otherwise how do you know what’s happening? You don’t want to be in a fog. You will have accidents if you are in a fog.

  1. Make time to reflect

See how things went in the past and see wants going on. How things are working. Ask yourself, did this work for me? Thats what memories are for. Other things can be to watch your reflection in the mirror, stretching, et cetera.

  1. Live Smarter, Not Harder

Yeah, I agree wight hat one 100%, thats my motto. I’m going to tattoo that on my forehead. Why would you want to do everything the harder way?

  1. Show gratitude

Simple stuff. Compliments. Say something nice. Depends who you are talking to but saying thank you is the easiest.

  1. Do the right thing

Do the right thing! Good idea. What would the right thing be? The right thing would be to do things that you love, but don’t hurt other people.


The Train Stories: Dreadlock Man


The guy with the dreads has it all figured out.

He doesn’t stress out about what people think

of him or the radiation that he is getting from his phone.

 He had insecurities but kicked them to the curb.

He put fear into his pocket and never let it come out again.

Now he is not afraid to ask. Not afraid to try.

Not afraid to work hard- because life is just

 more fun that way.

Good going Dreadlock Man

A poem that makes no sense




I was rummaging through my old papers and I discovered a poem that I had written when I was about fourteen. I used to write “poetry” all the time, but even then I had my dry spells and had nothing to write about. I quickly discovered that you can enjoy those dry spells, and wrote a poem about nothing to combat my frustration. I remember the process being very fun. I hope you enjoy the poem as well.


A Poem That Makes No Sense


A jewel in the middle of your eye

Surrounded by the crystal water

Of the tears you cry


Words of a river flowing

Wishing to fly well away

Into the peppermint wind blowing


You can’t stop your imagination

Soaring to the milky way

Or catch colors at Hanauma Bay


They measure the years of your life

By the colors of grey

That keep holding your light


Growing on the waves

Till you reach finally ground

To rest in your grave


To do good take your blood

Recycle to find your veins

Believing what you should let bud

The reason for my hiatus

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I have enjoyed baking since I was young. However, after I started working the hobby seemed to make its way out as new responsibilities came into my life. With a need for artistic outlet, baking found me again. With some inspiration that I got from the website I will plug on the bottom, I decided to try cake photography. I found it adorable and I also wanted to create cute images like the ones she had posted. You can check them out here:

After making a couple of images and talking with my sister, I realized that there were so many people doing food photography. I admired what they were doing, but I wanted to do something different. My sister suggested taking the photos outside. One thing led to the other and my first photo was taken at a train station in our area. I was sick as a dog but I didn’t want that to stop me. Since that first image, I took three other shots. One in a convenience store, one on the cable car tracks, and the most recent being in Kyoto with a good friend of mine. Each one comes with its own emotions and experiences.

The newest one in Kyoto was great fun for me and hopefully for the model as well (I didn’t realize I had made him hold a cake in one hand for a straight fifteen minutes). One thing that I was struck by was all of the positive feedback from the by-passers on the street. Everyone that walked by smiled and/or commented. It was great to give them something a bit unique to go home to and tell their families about. A cake is a very simple thing, but frosting it in the middle of a street in Kyoto made it all that more interesting.

Whims and Hot Chocolate

On the way to Nagoya:

I have small dreams. Dreams that come to me in an instant. It is the feeling of wanting to do something and going out and doing it. I felt the same in Bali. I feel free when I travel on a whim.

I did not have a reservation for the train and I was put in Car 5. The smoking car. As I was walking from the front of the train to the back, smells from the passenger’s food entered my nose. Nikuman, Obento, Dry Squid. I had one thought as I made my way to my seat: This is Japan.

If there is anything that I do not like, it is smoking. As soon as I take my seat, the man in front of me puffs a large cloud of smoke into my face. I could not stay there. Why would they still make smoking allowed on trains?

I felt at home at the space between the train cars, but I started to get restless after half an hour. I wanted time to go faster. I started reading the only book I brought with me: Danny Gregory’s, “A Kiss Before You Go”. It is a depressing yet uplifting narrative. I wondered how I would react to a situation like his.

After an hour I got tired of standing and decided to sit on a machine that was in front of me. I didn’t think it was allowed to be a chair, but my feet were screaming mercy. I was lucky to get a nice train man checking the tickets. He was quite the jolly looking fellow with the physique of Santa. He looked up and found me elevated. He had a mischievous look in his eye and grinned at me. I passed my ticket to him with a smile. We made a silent agreement that we would keep my conduct hush hush.

Two trains and two hours later, I made it to my friends house. The night ended with me meeting my great friends and getting back to hot chocolate with a mountain of cream on the top.

Phoney words.

Is it bad to use “phoney words” in your vocabulary?

“They’re grand people.” “Yes, they are. They’re very nice.” Grand. There’s a word I really hate. It’s a phony. I could puke every time I heard it”.

This dialog I read from “The Catcher in the Rye” this morning. We throw words around so easily these days. We twist meanings and overuse them. Before you know it, all of the meaning and life gets sucked out and we are left with people with lips that only speak empty words.

When I was fifteen, I realized I did this myself. I was friends with the harmonica player of the bar band and he was complaining how the young generation overused the word “awesome”.

“The party was so awesome. My gosh this is such an awesome drink. It kind of depresses me. I’ll teach you what is awesome. The Grand Canyon is awesome…. A sunrise is awesome. It had so much more power and now you use it to fill silence. I try to only use it when I mean it.”

I suppose that was his own little way to contribute to the preservation of the English language.

I did not instantly start choosing my words carefully. Slang is slang and it becomes such a habit. Changing from such comfortable usage to carefully choosing your words can be challenging for most.

It shows how you think and what kind of person you are. They say speech is where the body and soul meet. Which is why you must always be careful with what you say because it effects every aspect of your life. Your words become thoughts- your thoughts shape your reality.

So! As of soon, I would like to remove “phoney” words from my vocabulary if I do not mean them.

My list would probably look like:

  • Awesome
  • Great
  • Busy
  • Fun
  • Exciting
  • Amazing
  • Good
  • Epic
  • Cool
  • Neat
  • Crazy
  • Okay
  • Whatever
  • Forever

What are your phoney words?