Thursday, November 3, 2011

Storage for my Girls' Kikay Stuff

Having three girls/toddlers also means having more than two hands full of clips, headbands, ponytail holders and whatever thing that can hold, curl, tie, hold back and style their hair. And we're not yet talking about sunnies, earrings, bracelets, etc., yet! I posted in my groups of newlyweds and moms, asking for suggestions on how to store these things, especially headbands. I'm so glad I got a few ideas here and there, and thought how it would work best with how I organize things.

There was the idea to stack headbands by looking for a cylindrical container, jazz it up and have the bands be on top of the other. I liked that but I feared that it would still be messy if it were standing up. Plus the cylindrical containers I thought of were oatmeal and Planters--oatmeal is good but I'd need at least two or three of them and thats a lot of oatmeal. Having that much Planters too would mean too much junk food!

Then the husby and I went to Greenbelt yesterday and I just had to go to the Japanese Home Center where everything was either PhP88, 66 or 99. I saw some baskets that I knew could hold headbands. What I didn't expect was that they were a little too big. Anyway, I didn't want to waste the baskets, so I thought of tying a ribbon (thats all I had at home) taut, to make sure that if I hang the hairbands, it will not droop.

Since I was already in the mood to fix things, I decided to fix the clips as well. I had existing baskets with bigger divisions and bought a few more from Japan Home. Gathering the ideas I got, I had this gift/decor ribbon, an extra from the ribbons I used for our wedding game almost seven years ago. Most of the ideas from the net used grossgrain and although I love grossgrain ribbon, I just decided to use this purple-wired ribbon. I just clipped all the clips, organized them into clips, small clamps and even smaller clips.

The inspiration I got from was that the clipped ribbons were to be bounded on a canvass board then hung. I preferred everything in boxes so I just rolled them and put inside one of the dividers in the baskets.

All (actually not all as I still have to search for others as I'm sure there are a lot more lying around the house!) the clips, clamps and other headbands in baskets....

They're stack-able too!Not perfect but it can do in small spaces :)

All together.. I need at least one more of the headband basket as the one on the extreme right is just a shoebox that I used for now...

Next up - all the toys! Wish me luck - that I dont get tempted to just throw everything away out of frustration! Hehehe :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Excellent Customer Service, please!

I’m guessing that our stars are not aligned this week as Adrian and I have had to face several customer service issues. I do not know if people have just become passive and dismissive when it comes to doing their job well, if there is an increase in the “bahala na” attitude and for that, it really pisses us off.

My first case – dealing with UPS. They are supposed to be a global company with a worldwide reach. So asking them to pick up items from Sioux Falls, SD, USA should not be a problem, right? Our request for a rush pick up was not even acted upon as 29 days from our request, our items were still in SD when I thought that they were already in the middle of the Pacific Ocean! To think that this was going to be our first transaction with them!

Adrian’s case – He brought our car to the service to have the bumper repainted (due to a bumper change), a second time. Upon checking, the colour matching was still wrong, and worse, it wasn’t finished well. It looked like it was rushed and the “bahala na; baka hindi naman mapansin” attitude seemed to prevail from the service technicians. To think that the car has been there for two weeks already, not counting the first time we had it fixed.

Then I don’t want to elaborate on the lawyer that had a defeating attitude on our air-tight case... And the bank’s new policy on deposits that signatories have to sign/endorse each and every check for deposit (what if we had collections nationwide? We have to send the check to Manila to be signed/endorsed??)… And another bank’s customer service hotline that doesn’t seemed to be literally “hot” as we were passed several times, just for someone to understand our problem! All these happened in less than a week!

I have been in the service industry for many years and have “retired” to help the family businesses which are still service-oriented, albeit offering a different product altogether. I have always made sure that my clients are happy, informed (on anything! Whether there may be delays or advances) and satisfied. I keep on wondering why these customer service issues happen to ME – am I supposed to “understand” these things? Is it an opportunity to correct the person who made the error? Am I supposed to practice extreme patience and hope that it will correct itself?

Anyone who knows me and has worked with me knows very well that I do not take these things lightly. Susugod ako kung kailangang sumogod. If I need to send a compliant email to the Head of customer relations, copy furnish the President, I will. Several times I have raised my voice and I always thought it to be justified. If you were a friend or a colleague that I had raised my voice to, you’ll know its just temporary and I’ll be sugary sweet and toasting the next glass of wine to your name the next time we meet.

Customer service’s basic tenant is to be able to do your job right and that is to make sure that your clients’ expectations are set and the products are delivered. I believe that all relationships are service/client oriented and this is not limited to the service industries. It applies to basic, everyday, interchangeable, relationships.

For example, employee and employer – employee is the “client” of the employer when the employer makes sure that the employee gets his wages on time and has a comfortable workplace. The employer is the client when the employee makes sure that he works well and gives revenues to the employer.

Parent and child: The child is the “client” when the parent makes sure that his needs are met, his is put into excellent schools; Parent is the “client” when the child makes sure that he is obedient and studies well, to please his parents.

My point is, service and excellent service should be ingrained in each and every one of us. I suppose it should come down to one’s respect for others. If one had respect for the well being of our ”customers” on a day-to-day, on all relationships, then there will be less complaints. Its just sad and disappointing that most people nowadays, do not even think of others. Have we been too self-centered? Or am I just grown up to see more self-centered persons in the world?

I just hope that we start being more of a “man for others” (pardon me from quoting from “Ateneo”) and striving to do one’s work well. Growing up, it was ingrained in me that one had to offer one’s work, deeds, words and actions to God and that means doing it in the best possible way. You don’t offer something half-baked or done half-heartedly. It becomes your “prayer” to God. This is not written to be a religious piece, rather it also tells the practicality of the advice – if you do you work well, there will be less mistakes, less complaints, and all will live harmoniously.

I just hope that it’s that easy. But it’s something nice to impart to our children. Then hope that they all learn from it.