Monday, October 10, 2011

#@*#&*!! - The End of Customer Service?

Greetings Happy People,

As I sit back and watch football tonight, I get a phone call.

I answer the phone to the following automated message:

"Please wait, someone has an important message for you."

After hearing this message for the fourth time, a human being finally responds:

"Are you Hector Guiterrez?" he asked.

"No." I responded.

"Do you know where I could find Hector Guiterrez?" he asked.

"In his skin?" I reply as I hung up on the befuddled individual.

WOW!! That is five minutes of my life I will never have back.

Whatever happened to good customer service? Has it gone the way of the dinosaur, land line phone booth, and corduroy pants? Are people that lazy enough to let an automated machine do their greetings for them instead of using their own voice? And you wonder why the people think negatively when companies resort to this measure.

And that is only the beginning, Happy People!!

This recent experience reminded me of another enlightening moment I had with customer service from another company. A couple months ago, I made a phone call to a company to discuss an issue with my service. With great care, they put me on hold with some lovely elevator music. It was at this moment, I decided to do a little experiment.

I first get into my car - The elevator music is still playing.

I start the car - The elevator music is still playing.

I drive on the street - The elevator music is still playing. (feel free to repeat this section)

I get on U.S. 95 - The elevator music is still playing.

I get off U.S. 95 - The elevator music is still playing.

I turn in to the parking lot - The elevator music is still playing.

I wait in line for 20 minutes - The elevator music is still playing.

I get to the front counter - The elevator music is still playing.

I put the phone to the front desk person's ear - The elevator music is still playing.

Do you get the point? I can only shake my head.

To keep a good business going, a little customer service can go a long way. In the era of businesses and companies losing profits via the bad economy, does it make sense to give customers the high quality service they deserve? I think so!!

Whether one is behind the phone, behind the counter, or behind anything else, customer service still matters!! The success you give can only be measured by what you put out to customers. If you give good service, you get good results. If you give bad service, you business will cease to exist.

I just wish more businesses can apply this simple manner. It will make it much easier for me and Hector Guiterrez.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention - my beloved customers!!


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beware of False Toastmasters

Greetings Happy People,

Throughout all my years in this organizations, I have been through many expeditions, adventures, and anything else in between. I have met many Toastmasters that are good folks. Unfortunately, I also met those people that claim to be Toastmasters only to show their true colors.

I am here to discuss with you the "False Toastmasters" that are out there. When you see the following type of species, please meet at your own risk. Chances are that they may be up to no good.

Species 1 - Buyemus Producticus

If you are not looking carefully at this type of species, chances are that they will try to suck you into purchasing products you don't need. Going beyond the networking social meeting groups, they comes as friendly individuals. However, behind those smiles lies personal agendas. Whether it is for life insurance, dietary supplements, or shoddy video email service, they can only quit Toastmasters if they cannot find a customer in the club that would buy their items. They show people how they can be big in their business by flashing the checks they earned. Unfortunately, none of it will go to renewing their membership dues.

The reason why they can be considered False Toastmasters is due to the fact that they are not into improving their communication and leadership skills, nor helping anyone else out. Instead, they want to make big bucks by convincing real Toastmasters to buy in to their products. Shame on these people.

Species 2 -   Gigantus Knowitallium

There are those False Toastmasters that claim to "know it all." They have tremendous amounts of experience, yet are unable to produce when it comes to crunch time. They also claim to have mountains of paperwork that could make them a Distinguished Toastmaster, yet they neither show the paperwork nor have any desire to help a club become Distinguished by sending the paperwork to World Headquarters.

By the way, the mailing address for Toastmasters International is:

Toastmasters International
P.O. Box 9052
Mission Viejo, California 92690

To make things worse, they become President of clubs by convincing some unknowing person that think they can do the job because they were such a great Toastmaster different cities (which they weren't via words of Toastmasters from their cities). When they become President, they run clubs like prisons and give the ol' "my way or highway" attitude. Unfortunately, members choose the latter because they do not want to deal with this egotistical genius.

Sadly, thanks to the Gigantus Knowitallum, the former members see Toastmasters in a very negative light.

As the membership dwindles and the club dies, the Gigantus Knowitallum is still oblivious to the personality that he or she carries by pointing fingers at other people instead of blaming themselves. Additionally, the word of the Gigantus Knowitallums quickly spread to different clubs which leads to little chances of joining any more Toastmasters club to destroy. This is why we vote members in folks - so species like these can be voted out before they do any damage!!

Species 3 - "Earl"

This species of Toastmaster can be seen as the distant, deadbeat cousin of the Gigantus Knowitallum. Just because I ran out of fancy pig latin words for this type, I will just call this species Earl.

Some Toastmasters can consider Earl to be that fly that buzzes around and you just want to shoo it away or swat it.

Earl is the person that makes new Toastmasters cry by giving them evaluations so harsh that Simon Cowell would say "DANG!!" Yet, Earl gets pretty defensive if someone tries to evaluate him (or her) because Earl is the greatest speaker known to all humankind. If that's the case, I would like to see this species win the World Championship of Public Speaking, twice.

If Earl comes to a Toastmasters club that happens to meet at a restaurant, be prepared to fork over some serious cash. Earls either claim not to have any money nor be hungry at all. Yet when a poor Toastmaster soul offers to buy this species dinner, Earls order the most expensive things on the menu. Even if it is the large Triple Whopper combo at Burger King.

Earl is the type of person that peppers his language with obscenities that makes grammarians blush. No matter if new Toastmasters, guest, nuns, or children are in the room. Earls give plenty of profanity laced discussion that makes attendance drop halfway through the meetings.

And if you think that's bad, Earl is also the type of species that prefers women not be in Toastmasters because they are the weaker sex and say things that make no sense to men. Earl also prefers minorities, non-gentiles, and people that don't have a certain skin tone or right religion not be a part of Toastmasters.

Yes folks, these Earls do exist in our world. And that is why we choose to not vote them in.

These are only three of many False Toastmasters species that are out there. If you ever come across anyone that matches the character traits of a  Buyemus Producticus, Gigatus Knowitallum, or Earl, please be careful in handling these folks for they can do a number to many Toastmaster clubs all over the world.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My New Love

Greetings Happy People,

I have something to tell you today. I have another new love in my life.

This love is more important than my family, fiancee, Toastmasters, karaoke, chess, and even strawberries!!!

Would you like to know what it is?

I'll give you a clue, it is something I am doing right now.

Nope, it is not writing a post on my blog for you Happy People!!'s just living!!!

That is right!! My new love is the appreciation of life. How I'm living it and how I'm appreciating it even more!!

At a time, I never liked my life. I always thought that it was useless, hopeless, and simply going nowhere. People did not care what I do and I never cared in return. At times, I wondered if things really mattered. Little did I know, this view of depreciation has taken me to depths that are lower than any chasm in the world. It led to depression, sadness, and lack of self respect. It also created many voids that I thought could not be filled. 

At a time, I thought that I could never live my life to the best of abilities because I did not have things other people have. I did not have the smarts, the finances, nor the looks. The more I saw this, the further my life went south. I also thought that I could never have control of my own life. People keep telling me what to do, what to wear, and how to think. These are the type of things that always kept me feeling low.

Then something happened....

I took another look at myself and asked why I am living up to other's expectations? That question provided the spark in what led to a huge turnaround. Slowly but surely, I took steps to turn things around. I started hanging with positive people, I set personal goals for myself, and envision more things that I believe I can do. 

Step by step, the cold walls of negativity melted and more horizons started to open up for me.

By the way things are looking right now, my life is turning out to be pretty good. I have some awesome friends and people in my life, I'm doing the things I love, and I have a beautiful woman that's out of this world. Life is a lot interesting once you step away from the walls that once blocked many paths. 

There maybe some more things that need to be done, but I am enjoying my life more than I did before.

Do you have a good passion for your life? If so, then may you continue to appreciate it. If not, just remember that you can still turn things around. All it takes are those first steps in appreciating what you have now. The next thing you know, more good things will come your way. And you will start to have that passion for your life.

If it can work for me, it WILL work for you!!

That is all I have for now. Take care, thank you for your time and attention, and remember to love's the only one you got!!


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why Do People Leave Toastmasters?

Greetings Happy People,

A couple weeks ago, I did a mini poll on why people leave Toastmasters. The challenge is that they had to answer in three words or less. Thanks to my Facebook friends and the people from Linkedin, I got plenty of the following interesting answers:

Busy work schedule

Don't feel needed

Lack of commitment

Power Hungry District-Club officers 

Time and priorities

Bored to tears!

Bad Club Environment

Know it alls

Lack of brevity

High resource commitment

Priorities, focus, value

Rules overrule performance

Need more hand-holding

They get tired

Other priorities

Recession, laid off

Met goals, changed

Club too rigid

Objectives were met

Not mentored properly

No dedicated support

Lonesome time budget

Not taken seriously

Joining: wrong choice

Disgraceful District Politics

Not enough time

Lack of connection

Cheesy, Boring, Lacking

Exciting job promotion

Expanded life opportunities

Too much work

Veni, vidi, vici

No longer matters

No friends here

Forgot to laugh

Growing feels weird

Lack of Payback

Too early

Unaligned expectations

Not for them

Unjustified Dues increase

Because it's time

No growth support

Poor club climate

Protocol, processes, unfollowed

Minimizes importance


Controlling President

No quick results

Son got cancer

Work, Family, Time

They are afraid

Wow!! These are a lot of 3-word answers!!

As you can see, there are many reasons why people leave Toastmasters. There are responses that go beyond one’s control while others can be improved upon.

If you are a Toastmaster, please take a look at these reasons again. They might give you an edge on how to make your clubs, areas, divisions, and districts a little better. Taking on these challenges is the first step in promoting a place where everyone can learn, share, and grow in a decent environment.

Are there any more reasons why people leave Toastmasters? If there are, I am sure that we can all get together and find ways to overcome them and promote an organization where everyone can foster self confidence and personal growth.

After all, this is a place where leaders are made.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Probabilities of a Good Friendship

Greetings Happy People,

Have you ever had a moment where you’d help a friend even if you don’t know what you’re doing?

I had that moment a couple months ago.

I received a phone call from one of my best friends Denise. She mentioned that she needed some help passing a Final Exam for her Statistics class. Never having taken the class a day in my life, I said “Yes.”

Now why in the world would I give that response to Denise? I knew nothing about Statistics!!

While it is true that I did graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, I never took a Statistics class during my studies. I took courses in Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre-calculus, Calculus, and Linear Equations, but I never took a Statistics class. All I can hope is that my strong background in mathematics is good enough to help Denise pass this exam.

When I arrived at Denise’s house, I did not know what to expect. I wanted to tell her that I never took the class, but I did not want to disappoint her. So I kept forth in helping her out. As I cracked open the Statistics book for the very first time, I saw plenty of summations, and equations that I never saw before. Digging deep into my mathematical brain, I found out that some of these equations can be relevant to the probability exercises.

I carefully read the purpose of the probable methods and somehow the ideas snapped into my head. Don’t ask me why, but it did. The next thing I knew is that I was explaining the different processes to Denise – even though I never took the class before!!

Additionally, I demonstrated more examples using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. When all was said and done, she rewarded me with a nice strawberry shortcake dessert. As I left her house, I hope that what I knew was enough to help Denise pass.

One week later, I got a phone call from Denise. She passed the exam!! At first my mind was blown because I helped her pass without taking the class myself!! This was a pretty miraculously awesome experience that made the both of us feel good!!

Another week later, I confessed to Denise. She was surprised and amazed that I would help her out, not even knowing about the class at hand. She was also grateful that I took the time to help her out. We are still good friends to this day!!

Do you know friends that would step in for you even if they don’t know what they are doing? If so, be grateful that you have them. For these friends are the ones that will stick to you in times that are thick or thin. The probabilities of these friendships are greater than one can imagine. Just ask Denise.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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