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?

No.

Not at all? Not even a bar or something?

Oh yeah, I did that when I was younger.

How was that?

I hated it.

Why?

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.

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Did time exist for you?

photo-80I took this two weeks ago in the woods of Nagano. The toys that interest us as we age is contrasted in this photo and it brings me back to memories of when I was young. I was not interested in the things that I am interested in now. The things that I found entertaining back then did not worry me and I loved it for what it was. Though as I got older, I trained myself to think and worry about the future because everyone else was doing it.

I would like to know what it feels like again— to have fun with something so simple, yet be amused by it for hours on end. Time didn’t exist for us because it didn’t need to. When it showed up, it presented itself as a practical necessity; something all need to survive in this world. I have come to know that being aware of the ticking clock is a curse that you can never undo. All we can do is wish for our lives to be simple and uncomplicated. For if we were to meet that child that was once ourselves, it can look at us and see a kindred spirit— a soul not cluttered with thoughts of work or pleasing others, but only interested in helping out in the sandbox.

Shake the box

On the way home from swimming at a lake, a tired girl had an Itouch rant:

I told my sister on our way home yesterday that I was feeling like I was void of emotion. At my core, I have always been more of a listener and not a talker. With guesswork, I can bet my two cents that the homeschooling background and the fact that we were born and raised in Japan made me more sensitive yet indifferent to issues that required serious thought.

I feel extremely blessed to have been brought up in the way that I was, but at the at the same time, something is off. Something is missing. I don’t know if it is just some pathetic plea for attention, but I am hoping that the void can be filled somehow.

I brushed off negative emotions because I thought they made me weak. It is difficult to listen to myself and easy to dismiss pessimistic feelings. There are times when I force myself to be happy because I believed that that is what would make me feel accepted. My default is happy, but there are times when I do want to be alone. 

Amongst all of the mixed feelings, there is a lot of gratefulness. I am grateful for friends I can be genuine with. I am grateful for hobbies that I feel like I don’t have to stress out doing. I grateful that I have God always watching over me even though I have been neglecting Him so much. I am grateful for the happiness I get just before I take a bite out of something delicious.

It is late, so that is probably why my emotions are on a high now, but it is organic and I am glad for that.

At the end of a blogpost, I usually wrap it up with a simple conclusion and we are all on our way; in real life, there is never a conclusion. We want things packaged up all nice and presented to us in a way that is easy to understand. But it is the question marks in life that are interesting. It is the unanswered questions make us want to shake that box.

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:

http://call-me-cupcake.blogspot.se

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.