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Wonderfully Irate
posted by Michelle J. on 6/17/2010 11:15:22 PM

I had two nice surprises this week: unhappy customers.  What???  Actually, one was pleasantly unhappy and the other was refreshingly honest.  Let me explain…

Pleasantly Unhappy wanted to return an item that, for health reasons, we can’t accept.  Unfortunately for Pleasantly Unhappy, due to health reasons she couldn’t use it.  So we’re stuck in this quandary… what to do?  What to do?  As I spoke with this woman on the phone, we brainstormed and tried to come up with solutions.  The bad news was, we couldn’t take her item back because it was used and so she was out the cost of the item, plus stuck with it.  The fantastic news??  She was ok with the bad news.  I loved her attitude!!  I was preparing myself for an irate person (which would have been justified) on the other end of the line and instead, I got this wonderfully understanding woman, who was actually a pleasure to speak with.  Wow.

Customer #2 ordered from us over a year ago and somehow was shipped double his order.  Two for the price of one, right?  Huh-uh!  He wanted to send us the extra one back, said life had gotten busy and time sped by, but it was weighing on his conscience to have an extra item he didn’t pay for and was still sitting unopened in his closet.  Amazing! 

While I may still be a cynic at heart, my faith in humanity has just bumped up a notch.  If either of these two people is reading this, thank you.    


Tags: Faith in Humanity, customer service
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The Lost Art
posted by Michelle J. on 6/9/2010 5:43:30 PM

We’ve all had bad customer service experiences… so many it would fill a thousand blogs.  What is, sadly, the rare occurrence is good customer service or dare I say it? Exceptional service. (gasp!) I have tried my best in all incarnations of jobs I’ve held to be the exception to the rule, and I’d like to think that most people try to provide the best service they can.  But here’s where it gets deep… we shouldn’t just try to be nice because it’s our job and we’re getting paid to be nice.  Wouldn’t it be nicer if we all lived by the Golden Rule?  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I say this because my wonderful neighbor brought over his lawnmower for me to cut the grass.  He always gets the yard in between our houses and has even come into my backyard and cut it for me, “since I’m out doing it anyway.”  Every time I offer to pay for gas or bake them something, he always shrugs it off, saying this was the way he was raised.  If he can help someone who can’t do for themselves, that’s what he’s going to do.  As I walked down the street today, I got to thinking about how taken aback I was by his generous nature and thought how sad it was that I felt that way.   That’s how I was raised, too, so why was it unbelievable to think that someone else would do something nice just for the sake of doing it?  This is what society has become- one in which we are always thinking of ‘what can I get?’ for doing what should come naturally.  What a sad state of being. 

So now because my neighbor paid it forward, so to speak, I’m going to do the same.  See where this ripple effect takes me.  I challenge everyone to do the same.  It doesn’t have to be a big grand gesture – maybe you decide to mow the entire yard between your house and your neighbor’s next time you’re out.  Will that extra couple of swipes down and back really cost you that much?  Nah…


Tags: customer service, golden rule, nice
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Ponderous, man…really ponderous.
posted by Michelle J. on 5/29/2010 8:16:45 PM

Do we make our own destiny or is our path already laid out for us?  Are we really “free” to make our own choices… to shape our lives… to change course?  I have come to a point in my life that I can honestly say I don’t regret my choices, for the experiences that came from those choices have shaped me into the person I am today.  I’m trying more and more to not live with the if-only and shoulda wished I hadda.  That’s not to say that I’m completely happy with where I am on my journey, but wasting time and energy on things I no longer control is not something I’m willing to do anymore.  So that takes me back to my original pondering… is this what Fate has planned for me and I’m just along for the ride?  Or do I have the power to kick those boulders out of my way?  People say all the time (and I’m one of them) that everything happens for a reason, there are no accidents.  I’m making things happen right now to make my life better, and there are days I feel in control of where I’m going.  But are those things already predetermined and the feeling of control is just an illusion?  What is meant to be will be?  I don’t know that I can let go enough to just allow Fate to guide me blindly down the path.  And do I really believe in all that Fate crap?


Tags: fate, destiny, life
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Sticks and Bones
posted by Michelle J. on 5/26/2010 7:03:59 PM

Alright, this may be a familiar beef across the fashion board, but yoga clothing designers… I have a bone to pick with you!  Yoga clothing is supposed to be so comfy you don’t even realize you’re wearing them.  They move with you, allow you to breathe, and don’t ride up…anywhere.   However, they all seem to be designed for pre-adolescent bodies.  Now I am a smaller than average woman, but according to one site’s measurements, I’m an XL because my hips are bigger than 20” and my waist isn’t 15”.  Actually, I’m bigger than an XL, since those were the measurements for their XL pants.  I can’t remember the last time I had a 15” waist, but I’m pretty sure it was before I hit puberty.  I received a pair of yoga shorts as a gift of sorts and felt more exposed in those than I do in my bathing suit.  There is no way I would attempt half of the yoga course wearing those.  What happened to our comfort zone?

If anyone knows of a yoga clothing line that has “real person” sizes, please send an email to customerservice@everythingyoga.com.   I know our Kavio Capri pants I would wear while running errands, or paired with a nicer top I would wear to a friend’s house for dinner.  While there are some great lines out there that are very trendy and meant to be worn outside the yoga studio, we need more options, people!  There is a great advertisement on the back of June’s Yoga Journal: a woman in Camel Pose with the setting sun behind her.  The tag line: Say No To Camel Toe. 

Pretty much sums it up.


Tags: clothes, comfort
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Mental Health Moment
posted by Michelle J. on 5/23/2010 10:12:45 PM

Today we went to the beach armed with sand toys, buckets and our SPF 50. There is something about the water that centers me. Even with all the kids running around and the guys throwing footballs and Frisbees, I found myself sitting in the gentle surf and feeling a peaceful calm wash over me. It was a gorgeous sunny day with just enough of a breeze to keep cool and the waves small enough that we didn’t get knocked over. The blue-green water was crystal clear, which made diving for sea shells a lot easier and we came back with a bucketful! It was that kind of afternoon where I got lost in the moment – the joy of hearing my son laugh as he got splashed, his excitement at finding cool shells, making sand angels – and I lost all track of time. There was no stress over the laundry that was waiting for me when I got home or knowing how busy work is going to be tomorrow. Now I’m getting ready for bed, because I am utterly exhausted and that feeling of peace is still with me. =)


Tags: peace
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Stretching from… Toe to Toe?
posted by Michelle J. on 5/19/2010 9:32:14 PM

As part of my immersion into everything yoga, I decided to see what the deal was with Toe Stretchers.  For anyone who hasn’t seen them, they look like the toe separators at a nail salon only with a complete loop instead of being open at the top.  In my research, I’ve found that Toe Stretchers do more than just stretch your toes apart.  They are touted as “passive exercise” for the toes to help with varicose veins due to poor circulation; hammer toes; plantar fascia; sciatica… whoa!  Wait, wearing these will help with my sciatica??  My interest was piqued and I kept reading.  I’m a runner and often suffer from intense pain in the ball of my feet – darn those flat feet! – but wearing these for 30 minutes or so before bed can help alleviate that pain.  Best of all, they help to strengthen your feet so that you never get that pain again.  Wow.  Suddenly these little things don’t look so weird.  I’m kinda wanting to give these bad boys a try. =)


Tags: toe stretchers, pain relief, sciatica, running
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Fitness in Advertising
posted by Michelle J. on 5/17/2010 5:51:36 PM

At EY, we are always on the lookout for new products to introduce to our customers.  New eco-friendly mats, great sandals, even yoga gifts such as our great figurines – these and other items to help inspire and motivate you.  We do our research… TONS of research… to make sure these aren’t some passing fad and come from a reputable manufacturer.  As is the case with just about everyone nowadays, Google is our first and best friend. 

Our food for thought for today was this:  Why are the models all posed in overly sexy stances, or wearing pants that are so ill-fitting?  When was the last time you put your yoga gear on with 4-inch stilettos and went grocery shopping?  I’m all for comfy clothing and most yoga clothes are designed to move with you, not bind or ride up where they shouldn’t.  That being said, you should always order your size so your clothes don’t get in your way.  I can just imagine the half naked model, wearing pants that he’s stepping on, slipping and falling on his face as he goes from Sun Salutations to Downward Dog.  I guess as long as he has our Yogitoes Skidless Mat Towel under him, he won’t have to worry!


Tags: yoga, clothes, advertising
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California Dreamin'
posted by Michelle J. on 5/14/2010 4:53:17 PM

Today was a bittersweet day at EY… Anna is leaving us and heading to sunny California tomorrow to pursue her dream career.  I’ve only gotten to know her for a few weeks, and I really wish I met her earlier.  Not only is she on top of things at the office, she’s a pretty cool chick who has made me laugh more in the last week than I have the previous month, and even though I’ll be doing her job starting Monday, there is no way I can take her place.  This girl could recall messages and order issues from months ago, know immediately whether FedEx would be less expensive than USPS, and quote random lines from great 80s movies without missing a beat.  So Anna, we wish you all the best in CA and we will miss you!  This one’s for you… (cue Tom Jones, “How to Treat Her Right”…fade to black)


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Find Your Happy Place
posted by Michelle J. on 5/12/2010 7:54:28 PM

If there was ever a time I felt I needed yoga, it’s after my 4 year old’s Category 3 meltdown.  So I grabbed the latest issue of Yoga Journal and flip to this month’s Home Practice.  This series of moves is centered on hip opening moves, and for those of you who are new to yoga, focusing on this area helps relieve stress in a way I never realized.  As the author, Stephanie Snyder, points out, “The pelvis is like the body’s junk drawer.  Whenever you don’t know what to do with a feeling or experience, you put it there.”

As I moved from low lunge to high lunge and focused on my breathing, I could already feel the tension start to ease.  My Warrior Pose needs a little finesse… I felt more like a tight rope walker trying to keep my balance, but I know that will come with practice.  Some of the poses I already have in my “stretching repertoire” that I do after running (who knew I was doing yoga all this time?) and as I rounded into the eighth pose, Bound Angle, the stress and angst from the tantrum was all but gone. 

I could really get to like this yoga stuff.


Tags: stress, relief
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Mindful Monday
posted by Michelle J. on 5/12/2010 4:17:24 PM

(I am the newest member of the EverythingYoga.com team and a yoga neophyte.  While I'm conditioning myself into all things yoga, I'll be contributing to the blog for Stephanie.  This will be a fun learning experience for all!)

I’ll be the first to admit that I need my coffee in the morning before talking to anyone.  Really truly.  Anyone who knows me will also attest to the truth in that statement.  I’m not so much “with the words” without coffee.  Handling customer calls before the first cup is done… not a good idea.  Luckily, since I’m a new addition to the team, they’re not letting me take calls yet.  (Maybe they know about the coffee thing already!)  Here’s just a head-shaking sample of what I heard this morning while I blissfully sipped my java:

“I bought this mat bag 3 yrs ago and would like to exchange it for another one.  This one’s worn out.”  Not, “I’d like to buy a new one,” she wanted us to send her a new one in exchange for her used one. 

“I want a full refund for this towel.”  That’s been used as a dog blanket. 

“If I don’t like it, do I have to pay return shipping?”  This one’s not as much of a head shaker, as I’ve heard of some places that will pay the return shipping… but I’ve never personally seen them.  It’s like the Big Foot of retail - you hear the stories, but no one’s actually proven them. 

Now, my teammates don’t drink coffee and I admire and respect them for being able to function as human beings without it.  There were a lot of deep breaths and sighs and plenty of laughs to keep us going though.  And I will definitely remember to get that first cup a little earlier next Monday!


Tags: coffee, yoga
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More on Self Awareness
posted by Stephanie Ritchie on 11/23/2008 10:31:46 AM

Someone visiting my house recently asked me if I had any margarine. My nose curled up and I said, No! I do NOT have any maaaaaargarine! I have BUTTER. Don't you know I'm a food snob?"

This single event had a ripple-like effect on my self awareness.

My New Years resolution is to accept exactly who I am. I have a quick wit, a harsh tone, an incredible sense of generosity, terrible facial expressions when I don't even know it, a good singing voice, pretty good sense of humor, and I am a self taught snob from a 'holler' in Kentucky.

I am human. With human inconsistencies. Everyone else can like it or lump it. I'm 39 years old and I'm too busy living to spend a bunch of energy trying to change everything about me that doesn't please other people. It is not my goal to please other people. It is my goal to have integrity, to be creative, to be present, to love honestly, to explore my own understanding of Spirit, to do more yoga, more dance, and so on.

I accept exactly who I am. No one else has to.


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Self Awareness
posted by Stephanie Ritchie on 11/19/2008 8:49:51 PM

Isn't it funny how defensive you can get when someone else makes critical assessment of some atribute you have (or don't have)? You know you have it, everybody who knows you knows you have it, and you go along living with it just fine until someone gets in your face and tells you what they think about it.

I have very pale skin. I'd probably think nothing of it; probably be just fine with my pale skin if kids at every age level growing up hadn't made fun of me and my pale skin. Now I am 39. I do not wear shorts, let alone bathing suits. Why? Am I a fat cow? Do I have leprosy? No, I am pale.

What's worse than having this happen over some physical thing? Having this happen over some emotional thing.


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Previous Posts

Recent Posts

Wonderfully Irate

The Lost Art

Ponderous, man…really ponderous.

Sticks and Bones

Mental Health Moment

Stretching from… Toe to Toe?

Fitness in Advertising

California Dreamin'

Find Your Happy Place

Mindful Monday

More on Self Awareness

Self Awareness

 
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