Anything less is inconvenient

I am blessed with a traveling life and I meet a lot of employees in airports and on airplanes. As I get off the plane in Regina and I make that walk down the hall I am always excited to see if Tyler is working. Tyler is the Commissioner who greets you as you head down the escalator to get your luggage. I am excited to see him because no matter what time of day you see him, he is always positive.

I say ,“Hi Tyler, how are you today?”  With enthusiasm, his response is ALWAYS, “Great because anything less is inconvenient.”

How are you? Great

How are you? Great

I could not agree more.

If people could rise from the dead.

I was invited to a speak in a city close to an incredible “world class” resort. Darren and I decided that we would take an extra day and make the trip a family holiday.

It was a beautiful sunny day as we made our way down the tree-lined highway. The fresh smell of pine blowing in our windows and the wildlife running alongside the road. As we turned down into a lush valley, there nestled on the side of a hill sat the sprawling hotel. It was breathtaking. We could hardly wait to explore the area and see our room that promised a “picturesque view.”

Relax at resort - staff not necessary

Relax at resort -just a dream

We all bounced out of the van and walked down the rustic path from the parking lot to the huge log doors. The lobby featured beautifully selected furniture and a warm fire burning in the large brick fireplace. It was clear that every detail had been considered and a great deal of money spent on the building.

We arrived at the front counter, eager to check in. I was sure that the owners who had taken such care in creating this amazing property also would have insisted on employing exceptional people.

Well, let’s just say,  we were quickly disappointed. We waited while the person behind the counter finished his conversation with another other staff member. Darren finally had to say, “Excuse me,” even though we were clearly visible in front of him.

He slowly rose from his chair, put down his coffee and replied, without an ounce of enthusiasm, “Can I help you?” No smile, nothing. We had obviously interrupted him by checking in. Without making any conversation with us, he handed us our key, picked up his coffee, and sat back down. The rest of the weekend was a let down, too. Everything seemed to be an effort for the staff.

At the end of our stay, we packed up our luggage, we were disappointed and ready to leave. Though the resort, the view, the food, and the trails were amazing, the staff had taken away something away from all of it. How different the experience could have been if they had understood that we were the reason they were there.

As we struggled out the door with arms loaded and no one in sight to help us, we passed the staff room. The door was open, and the room was full of visiting staff members. We noticed a big poster on the wall that read, “If you don’t believe that people can rise from the dead, you should be here at quitting time!”

How fitting, we laughed. Too bad the irony seemed lost on them.

Stop going through the motions!

I was hired by a large manufacturing plant. The staff had a grueling job on the assembly line and worked in a very dirty noisy environment. My job was to train the management team on how they could be more genuine to their staff. I suggested that we should never ask anyone, “How are you?”, unless we genuinely cared about their response and had time to time to truly hear it.

One of the managers shared with me that he makes it a point to go up and down the assembly line every morning and say, “Hi. How are you?” to his small group on the line. He thinks if he makes an appearance they will know he cares.  But he admitted that he doesn’t actually listen to a single word they say.

Do you really care how I am?

Do you really care how I am?

If we are only going to go through the motions of trying to show staff we care, I think we are creating an even greater disconnect with our staff. Why ask anyone how they are if we do not have time to listen to their response? Haven’t we all worked for someone who went to a seminar on how to care and came back and pretended they did?

Now this same manager goes up and down the assembly line every morning but he only talks to a couple of people on his team. He looks them in the eye, calls them by name and asks a genuine “How are you?” so he can learn more about his staff. He truly listens to their response and now he is genuine.

Don’t put your company logo on your van.

I was rushing to a presentation there is van directly beside me with traffic lined up behind him so I signal in advance so that he knows I need to move a lane over. I continue to signal for about two blocks as I sped up, so does he. As I slow down, so does he. There is no possible way for me to get over unless he slows down and lets me in.

Finally, it is too late and I have to park. I put the pedal to the medal in my speedy minivan, zoom way ahead of him, cut across and parked in the spot I needed to be in. Now let me just say, normally I would never do this. I have a great deal of patience when I am driving. But I am out of time and I have tried for three blocks to ask for his co-operation.

Don't advertise this way

Don’t advertise on your vehicle if…


As I park he slows his van up beside mine and looks over at me. I give him the “I am sorry” look ( because I was definitely in the wrong) and with one swift gesture with of his finger; he abruptly gave me something else.

As he was driving away I realized that his company logo was on the side of his van. I have been a customer of this company many times. As he drove down the street I wondered if he understood the impression he has left on me. I was reminded of this story today as I saw that van again in traffic. We have to remember everywhere we go, every action we take,  leaves an impression of who we are to those around us.

You don’t have to thank her.

I believe in being nice to everyone. I grew up with many great people who taught me that everyone deserves respect. I think the people who do the hardest work in most companies deserve the most respect.

An audience member I met has a daughter who is a flight attendant. While serving a family their drinks and snacks one of the children in the family said “thank you” to the flight attendant as she handed them their snack. The mother of the child looked at her child and said “You don’t have to thank her, it’s her job to serve you”.

That child will now grow up in a house believing that those who serve you do not deserve respect.

I grew up with my Dad running a Volkswagen repair shop in the back yard of our home. I would watch customers come into my Dad’s shop and be rude to my Dad. I remember at a young age thinking, “You don’t even know how to change your own oil, and you’re being rude to my Dad who does know how?”

Running my own tuxedo store, I met men who grew up at dinner tables believing that retail employees do not deserve respect. Now as a speaker I meet those who are “entitled to give their opinion”. I often remind them, their opinion ripples to someone else.

Be respectful of EVERYONE. Those who serve you snacks, change your oil and rent you your tuxedo

7 ideas on how to make sure you stay married

Don’t criticize everything he does.

It is so easy to pick at our partners. It is so easy to focus on the 10% in them but we need to remember we are not perfect either. Accept him. Nothing worse than watching a woman pick at her husband in the airport. The more I make sure I am happy, the less I find fault in him. I stopped remaking the bed and refolding the towels.

How to stay married

How to stay married

Be interesting.

Darren created what we he calls “couple cards” so that when we think of something interesting to share with each other we write it on the cards. That way when we are on one of our beloved walks we can share some really cool things with each other. That way we do not always slip into talking about work or the day to day activities.

Thank him for everything he does

I learned very early in my marriage that if I thanked Darren for what he did for me, he would feel encouraged to do more. The dishwasher unloaded, gas in my car and shoveled sidewalks all get a thank you. There is always more to do, but if I focus on what “isn’t done” then Darren feels like it is never good enough. I also thank him for the wonderful father he is to our children too.

Laugh with him.

We don’t laugh enough. So we started watching funny shows and sharing funny things that happened in our day at the dinner table. Darren has a great idea he shares in his presentation ( that people should think of the top three funniest things that have happened to them. He shares funny things that have happened to his audience members with our family.

Share only small amounts of interest together

My husband and I do not share every interest together. It is important for us to have some separate activities. Why do we need to spend every second together? I know some men like shopping but the men in my family do not! Why would you drag your husband around shopping? I see them at Walmart. Trust me. Leave him at home.

Make time

Like most couples we are a busy couple. If we do not carve out time on our calendar weeks can go by and we have not made any time for our marriage. So we literally take out our calendars and plug in our dates early in the month. That way it is priority. We call it “check in” to see how we are both feeling. Even if it is a quick lunch, a walk or a couple of drinks we schedule it in. Marriage is work and it deserves our time.

Send little reminders

I love to email or text my husband once in a while to tell him I love him and I am proud to be his wife. He is always wonderful for bringing me home my favorite, flowers. It doesn’t take much to let the other person know you are thinking of them and you love them.

When we hold that basket out and ask for money.

During our recent family holiday, we attended the local Catholic church for a Sunday service. When it was time for us to contribute money to the collection, this friendly man with a basket in one hand made his way up the aisle to take our envelope. I have seen this many times but something was extra special about him.

What was special was that every time someone from the congregation placed their envelope in the basket, Paul would take an extra second, look them right in the eye and he would say, “Thank you.”  He was so genuine and caring.

Collection Basket - Thank You

Collection Basket – Thank You

I reflected on how that the basket was like our own businesses. We hold them out there hoping someone will come by, visit us and drop money into it. And when they do, do we look them in the eye and say … thank you.

Be careful your attitude is showing.

I have a family member who works for a national “big box” store. She drags herself to work everyday, complaining constantly about what she does.

Her day starts by putting on whatever is on her bedroom floor. She makes no attempt to look good. What is the point she would tell you – “it’s just a job”. She complains during breakfast about how she doesn’t want to go there. If you were to visit her at her workplace, she never offers a smile or any degree of customer service.

I asked her one day if she understood that her attitude is always showing. Does she understand that every customer she serves in the day could be an employer of people, an employer of a “better job”? Does she understand that she will never get promoted with such a poor attitude?

The other day I saw her and she has changed! She looks great, outfit ironed, teeth brushed and a smile on her face.

Workplace Attitude

Workplace Attitude

I explain to her how wonderful it is she has decided to change her attitude. She explains to me that the only reason she is doing this is because the “big boss” is coming in today. She goes on to explain that her manager told all of the staff that they needed to look nice, have a smile on their face and be really really nice to customers all day.

I asked her, “Doesn’t your manager tell you that you have to look nice, smile and be nice to the customers EVERYDAY?” She responded with relief in her voice, “ No thank goodness, just today!”


Something good.

We were celebrating a special day at school. Our daughter Jayda and her friend were in a small group to win a speaking contest at school. So we decided to cash in our two for one coupons at our local Bath Goddess store. Jamie made the experience extra fun as we mixed our specially blended bath products.

Thanking Jamie for her great service the sign in their store caught my eye. It reads :

Everyday may not be good but there is something good in everyday.

Agreed Bath Goddess. That is definitely a 90% message to send people.

shower poster