Monday, February 21, 2005

I was away for the weekend (with no computer)

So I have been tardy in my posting :-) But I come back refreshed and full of ideas (or something)

We spent the weekend in a cabin in a very small logging/fishing community (so small in fact that there was no grocery store to be found, just a general store which incidentally sold mostly chips and alcohol.) Our cabin had an ocean view, and the trip was almost completely relaxing. It would have been totally relaxing except for one small detail: The open floorplan of the cabin meant that every sound travelled. My snoring cabin mates unknowingly interrupted my nightly sleep; meaning I am perhaps not quite as refreshed as I may have been otherwise. It's times such as those (lying awake at 3am) that one begins to ponder just how much our actions (intentional or otherwise) really affect others. This occurs in little things (ie keeping others awake in the cabin) and much bigger things (buying sneakers made by underpaid workers in the third world). In fact, with the true global community, a butterfly flapping it's wings in the western world really can cause a tornado around the globe, at least metaphorically speaking. I think it is difficult for any person to fully understand the ripple effect that occurs when we, for example, buy a bottle of coke at safeway. It is part of our body's own self-preservation system to not be fully awake to the consequesnces of such small actions. I think if we did fully understand the potential negative impact of modern living, we would become paralyzed - unable to get out of bed in the morning because how do we live without potentially hurting ourselves or others?

Ok big and heavy, I know - but very important if you work with people. Everybody is processing information about the state of the world in their brains on a daily basis (even if they are not conciously thinking about it at any given time.) We get images and messages about this stuff from everywhere, TV, newspapers, internet, bloggers like me (sorry guys :). With all of this scary stuff going around and around our heads, it's no wonder we are irritable, depressed and stressed out. The challenge in customer service, then is to remind people that there is hope. Remind us that we are basically good, and show us how little actions not only can make a negative difference in the world, but also a very positive one. Remember the Hughtrain - "the market for something to believe in is infinite"


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