Customer Satisfaction and Cleanliness are not Disparate

Hello,

I dined at…with my wife last week. As usual we had a wonderful meal. My wife had…and I had…. As always, service was superb and the food cooked to perfection. The meal for me however was diminished by my view of the backs of the two booths.

I know with lighting dim, and shift workers in a rush, cleaning flat surfaces is a low priority. I attached a picture as it says more than words. I was facing the cooking area, so the location should be easy to find.

I wanted to bring this to your attention as I know you may wish to do a super clean before booth cleanliness comes to the attention of other customers.

We have been…customers since the eighties, and…has consistently set the standard for…not only in…, but also the state. No reason why…will not continue to lead.

Thank you,

Is cleanliness a lost art for a non fast food business?

Is cleanliness a lost art for a non fast food business?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took this picture as I was not happy looking at smeared food and thought perhaps I should share my view with the restaurant. After a week or so I decided I paid enough for the meal and should not have to see smeared food.

I checked to see if the company had a website. They do and have an email address for leaving comments. As you read above, I left a comment. Notice in my email, I did not ask for anything. I was not looking for a free appetizer or free meal after they clean up the premises – thinking they did act on my email.

This is a quality oriented business and they take their product very seriously. So what’s the beef? At the least I expected some sort of non committal reply, stating they received my email/comment and would look into the situation.

Better yet would have been some sort of apology for having a customer, me in this case, looking at smeared food on the booth backs. Maybe we have been spoiled by chain fast food establishment cleanliness standards?

If this were a hamburger stand, or a family restaurant I would understand, stuff happens, and kids are creative. However, this is an adult oriented upscale dining establishment which charges accordingly. This was not fresh food on the booth backs.

On the other side. If I had sent an email saying what a great meal it was, how good the beer tasted, and the whiskey chaser for desert really hit the spot, would I have received a reply?

If you own or run a business, and take pride in your business, give your customers an avenue to provide you comments, you owe your customers who leave a comment the benefit of a reply. Lack of a reply is a disservice to the customer, and a detractor to the business. Much like having a employee bulletin board of policy that no one reads.

Knee Jerk Gun Control

Freedom of speech is a constitutional right. Should freedom of speech come with any personal responsibility? Some forms of free speech are a criminal offense. Yelling, “Fire”, in a crowded theater is one of the oft used examples.

What about other forms of speech where meaning and links are not so clear? Do we have the right to claim free speech whenever we wish?

In the picture below for example. On the left side window of the SUV is what looks like a revolutionary war silhouette  bust. Below it are the words, “KEEP CALM, JOIN THE DARKSIDE”. The license plate identification starts with the letters, MAL. So what?

Humor, subtle suggestion, or an order to the insane?

Humor, subtle suggestion, or an order to the insane?

So what if you are driving along, hearing voices because you chose not to take your medication, or you can not afford to? Happens too often to too many people. Voices are telling them to do something violent. They just don’t know what to do. Then they pull up behind this vehicle and start reading whats on the window and the license plate.

The Revolutionary bust image. Why, that could be you. Keep calm, join the Darkside? What a great suggestion! The license plate with the letters MAL? If you live in the Southwest, you probably know one word for ‘bad’ in Spanish is Mal. Hey, is this a personal message for my eyes only?

Even trying to ignore the voices, one has to wonder the intent of the decor on the back of this vehicle represents? Are they trying to be funny, making a point, or offering a violent suggestion in a round about way?

Back to Freedom of Speech. If someone already unstable reads, and reads into the decor on the back of this vehicle, falls in the abyss, gets a weapon and goes on a killing spree, who’s fault is it?

In the moment, we want to blame Guns. Guns are bad, they are evil, they kill. If we didn’t have guns, most murders could be prevented. There is some truth to this train of thought.

However what about the rest of the circumstances surrounding the mentally ill murderer? Why are they out and about in public with an extremely unstable psyche? Why aren’t they monitored better, so they are not out driving, listening to voices telling them to kill? Maybe the doctor is at fault? The family, the person themselves? Kind of hard to blame the person, they were fine before they quit taking their medicine.

How about the owner of this vehicle? If someone stopped behind them at a stop light or traffic jam read this, and it put them over the edge, is the vehicle owner partially responsible?

We are so good at knee jerk reactions. People are in an uproar, how can these mass murders keep happening? I received a letter from my congressman telling me he demands more and better gun control so no measure of extreme violence can be taken again so easily.

No one wants to address the issue that we have people on the streets who should not be there. They are poor, unwanted, and horrible cared for medically. Taking them off the streets and treating their psyche is a fragile process wrought with problems.

Their civil rights may be violated. Their individual freedom may be infringed upon. Lots and lots of legal hassles involved in taking someone off the streets and putting them in a hospital or sanitarium where they may really belong.

If Civil Rights and Personal Freedoms were not an issue, Money is. Money is the deciding factor when it comes to eliminating mass murder by the mentally ill. So is Money the crux when it comes to treating and caring for the mentally ill and unstable.

Who is willing to pay for their care? Who is going to monitor and advocate for people taken off the streets or otherwise removed from their current way of life in the name of public safety? Perhaps a better question is: Who doesn’t share in the wave mass murders we are read about so frequently?

Let’s admit it. If the mass killings of School Children starting with Sandy Hook Elementary School did not open pocket books, and remove dangerous unstable people from the streets, the killing and wounding of several scores of LGBT people matters even less. Money is at stake. Money is the real issue.

Simple hacks for life with Parkinson’s – Mileha Soneji

If you know anyone with Parkinsons Disease this may be the most important TED Video of recent time. The video contains two neat tricks Mileha Soneji found to help a family member manage two simple tasks, drinking coffee or tea, and walking across the room.

Attached is a screen shot from the middle of the video. What you see will be amazing, and priceless for anyone you know with Parkinson Disease. The screen shot makes little sense, but it will once the video you will see Mileha Soneji is brilliant.

 https://www.ted.com/talks/mileha_soneji_simple_hacks_for_life_with_parkinson_s#t-348614


https://www.ted.com/talks/mileha_soneji_simple_hacks_for_life_with_parkinson_s#t-348614

Here is an embedded link to the video.

Filmed February 2015 at TEDxDelft

Mileha Soneji: Simple hacks for life with Parkinson’s

https://www.ted.com/talks/mileha_soneji_simple_hacks_for_life_with_parkinson_s#t-348614

American Hero and Navajo Code Talker

I was honored to meet Mr. Thomas Begay, age 91, former U.S. Marine and Hero this evening at a local buffet. What first caught my eye was his red wind breaker with the big logo on back, “Survivor of Iwo Jima Feb 19, 1945”, and a print of the now famous U.S. Marines raising the American Flag on Mount Suribachi. Then I noticed his hat with the golden Marine Emblem on the side.

At first I thought perhaps this was just another old Vet wanting attention. That is until I walked back from the food line. This old Vet wore the huge silver Presidential Medal President George W. Bush presented to the Navajo Code Talkers in 2001, hanging from his neck. The medal is elegantly mounted in what I believe to be a traditional Navajo setting, a true work of art in itself.

Former Marine and Navajo Code Talker, World War II

Some of Mr. Begay’s family were seated with him. I shook Mr. Begays hand and thanked him, telling him I am honored to meet him. Of course, for me that one comment was not enough. I went back and spoke with the second man at the table. The second man at the table told me he is Mr. Begays son. He told me his dad is, Thomas Begay. A young boy is also present who is Mr. Begay’s Grandson.

Mr. Begay told me he he landed on the island of Iwo Jima as a part of the Fifth Marine Division on February 19, 1945. Mr. Begay’s Daughter-in-Law(?) told me about a video coming out on Veterans Day featuring Mr. Begay. Besides being a Navajo Code Talker on Iwo Jima, Mr. Begay’s Son told me his Dad is also in the group picture of several soldiers at the base of the raised American Flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima island. The group picture was taken later in the day on Feb 23, 1945 after the re-enactment of the flag raising.

I watched the video of Mr. Begay’s commercial, and was shown where Mr. Begay stood in the group picture under the raised flag. Finally, I thought I had taken enough of their time and went back and sat down, and let them enjoy their dinner in peace.

As we left I stopped to talk one more time. I told the family, it made me sad knowing that the most famous living Hero everyone in the building was likely to meet in their lifetime is sitting amongst them, and no one seems to notice. There were three or four other men in veterans hats, Korea, Viet Nam, and Iraq. No one took notice of Mr. Begay.

I felt shamed for all of us and expressed such to the family. Mr. Begay is a true Hero, perhaps the last of the Navajo Code Talkers still able to be out in public, and nobody notices? This hurt me way down deep.

The battle for Iwo Jima in WWII was especially fierce. I read the Japanese lost almost 19,000 men in the horrible fighting with only 216 men taken prisoner. American losses were 6,821 killed and 19,217 wounded. I have to wonder how many lives were saved by Mr. Begay and other Navajo Code Talker’s efforts over the 35 day battle for Iwo Jima?

I could have ignored an old man wearing a marine corp wind breaker, cap and huge silver medal. I could have decided he was a pompous old man looking for attention. I am glad I did not. In my eyes Mr. Begay is an American Hero who helped save thousands of lives during that ferocious battle.

I shook hands with, and thanked a former soldier, a U.S. Marine, who went to battle with a high bounty on his head. A Navajo Code Talker, who if captured would have suffered days of torture with unimaginable pain and suffering before he would be permitted to die.

To many of us, war is something that happens somewhere else, to other people. To Mr. Begay, I am sure war means something different entirely. Something very personal and frightening.

The commercial with Mr. Begay, retired U.S. Marine will be out Veterans Day 2015. I hope everyone watches Mr. Begay in the video. I hope we all learn from what Mr. Begay has to say, and what the other all the other Vets who I haven’t had the honor of meeting and thanking have to say too.

The commercial will be out for Veterans Day 2015. I hope everyone watches Mr. Begay in the video and appreciates his service to our country.

Mr. Begay’s video for usaa.com

usaa youtube channel: Veterans Day 2015 #ThoseWhoDared | An Unbreakable Code

Remember our Veterans this Veterans Day, both those you know, and those you never met. They sacrificed for us.

You Know it is a Bad Day When

You know it is going to be a bad day for someone when you see Federal Government vehicle parked in a Casino parking lot at 6:40 pm on a Friday evening.

Official Use Vehicle

You know its going to be bad day at work tomorrow

Written on the napkin, “I use your money in gas to go to the Casino. Please take a Picture and share in Facebook”

Its going to be a long weekend for someone.

“Welcome back. What did you do with your weekend? Any gambling?”

The Power of Free

People who know I use Craigslist to have unwanted items removed from the curbside are always in awe of how fast items disappear. Items whose real value is to the person who needs or wants them. Today was no exception.

Yesterday I started taking down a Mulberry tree and am about halfway through the process. I enjoyed the tree, but it is a female Mulberry which makes berries. Not just a few berries either.

More like a few hundred pounds of berries. People were walking by and helping themselves, but that did not make much of a dent in the inch or more of berries that covered the ground every year.

Even the birds pitch in eating as much as they can hold. The neighbors are not exactly enthused about purple bird droppings staining everything they fall on. Purple streaks on sides of houses, purple globs of seeds and such on car windows, etc, every day for a month in the late spring.

What the berries on the ground also do is provide a buffet for every roach within a mile of the tree. Well maybe not that bad, and closer than a mile, but there were more roaches in the yard at night eating mulberries than I and the neighbors prefer.

It was getting late (yesterday), and I was tired, so I stopped for the day after stacking what I had cut down. Today was Sunday, so I didn’t want to work. When I came home this afternoon, the wood was still piled up curbside waiting for a new owner. It was time for me to take action.

Power of Free

The easiest way for two strangers to be happy

I posted a curb alert on Craigslist. I posted on Craigslist under the Free section. Being almost spring weather, I was unsure if anyone would want the wood. Especially green and wet. It never hurts to try.

Forty eight minutes after posting, a truck pulls up and starts loading up the wood. I spoke with him as I helped him load. He said the ad had been posted almost an hour, and he was worried he was too late!

The power of Free and Craigslist in action. Today there are two more happy people in the world. In fact the person who took the wood will be back tomorrow for the rest of the tree. He also mentioned I could cut the wood in longer pieces than I did as he has a log splitter that can handle longer pieces. Less work for me!

Lessons from a Fatal Accident

I found myself in a very surreal situation a few weeks ago. I want to share with you, as this could be you some day. Things happen, and they happen suddenly. This was one of those things.

I was at a stoplight on a busy four lane street. It was dusk. I was the third car in line in my lane. When the light turned green, the two cars in front of me took off as fast as they were able. Within seconds the front car hit its brakes and violently swerved to the right.

In an instant the second car did the same. I was looking at the cars wondering why they swerved out of the lane. I thought to myself, someone was hauling something and part of what they were hauling fell off the truck or trailer and was laying in the street.

Accidents happen quickly and without warning

Accidents happen quickly and without warning

I started slowing down looking in my rear view mirror deciding which lane would be safer to turn into. When I looked forward to the road surface, I saw a large something laying in the lane.

As I came closer, I thought to myself, that looks like a human body. I quickly turned into the right lane, and stopped on the side of the road. When I exited my truck, I was sure it looked like a human laying in the street. From here on what happened became very surreal.

My next thought was call 911. I had my work phone with me, but I turn it off after work. As I walked towards the form on the street, a woman was standing with her phone out and one finger over the screen.

I asked her if she knew what happened or knew the person on the street. She said no. I asked her who she was calling, and she said, “I’m calling emergency”. Unfortunately she was frozen in place. I asked to call 911 as I walked towards the body.

It was dark, and the lighting was not good. My first thought was it was sick prank, what else could it be. Someone threw a human looking dummy into the street thinking it would be funny watching vehicles swerve to avoid hitting it.

After some seconds of staring at the body, I knew it was not a dummy, and I also knew he was not alive. I am now standing in the middle of a fifty mile per hour four lane street with a dead body on the ground. No sign of an accident and no reasonable explanation of how it got there.

I think that pretty well describes the situation. As I stood there, I thought to myself, ‘people get killed doing what I am doing’, trying to do the right thing. I could not leave the body alone to get ran over by someone not thinking about their driving, so I stayed in the lane with the body.

I looked over to the woman who was still frozen in place, and this time I commanded her to dial 911. A few more people had gathered and two of them said they would call 911. The woman was likely in shock and probably could not remember the number to 911.

I remembered I had either a tarp or a blanket in the backseat of my truck. When the light turned red, I walked to my truck to get it. The woman was still frozen in place. I found a blanket in the backseat, walked back into the lane, and with the help of a person who stopped and put on their flashers so I would not get hit too, we covered the body with a blanket.

I saw a woman walking up the lane from a distance. there was a car with its flashers on stopped in the lane some distance away. When she was about twenty feet away she broke down, sobbing and crying she hit the man and did not mean too.

One of the bystanders told her to go to the side of road which she did. It sounds harsh, but I did not care if she stayed standing out in the street in front of traffic that probably did not see her. She was not my concern, and her actions did not fit what happened. I realized later, she was probably in shock too.

The police eventually arrived, two officers in two vehicles. One officer started controlling traffic, and the second came to where I was standing next to the body. After surveying the situation and listening to me telling him there was a dead man under the blanket, he lifted the blanket, and confirmed what I said.

The policeman stood, and announced to the five or six of us that were at the scene, that this was about to become a crime scene, and if we were not involved in the accident, or had pertinent information we should leave, unless we wanted to stay there three or four hours. Myself and the others who were not involved left the scene.

There is good learning here even though the situation is horrible.

Things happen which are way out of our comfort zone.

The two drivers of the two cars in front of me at the stoplight will have to live with their decision not to stop and render aid for the rest of their lives every time they are reminded of what they did.

Sometimes even with the best of intentions we are not able to do what we know we should do.

Risk taking is a personal choice. Not everyone should be willing to stand in a lane with a dead body with cars flying by on each side of you.

If people are already stopped and helping, and it looks as if you can not help too, it is probably best to drive on. Too many people could mean a second accident, as driver are sometimes too preoccupied.

The person who was killed deserves some of the responsibility for what happened. Crossing eight lanes at night, not in a vehicle, is an extreme high risk activity. It is horrible what happened, but it can not be undone.

When driving, pay attention to the road in front of you. The driver who killed the man IMHO, was unfortunately distracted somehow. She will have to live with what happened for the rest of her life. I would not want to be her, and I am sure you do not either.

If you are on foot or on a bicycle, skateboard, or something else, weigh the risk of street crossings carefully. The person hit and killed may have crossed this street at this time night thing often over time, and was safe every time, until this time.

Measles, Big Trucks, and Tuberculosis

This measles thing is scary. A few people living in your area decided in the past, the risk of vaccinating their children was too high. They performed a risk verses reward decision matrix. The risk of their children contracting a preventable diseases was lower in their estimation, than the risk of vaccination side effects happening to one of their children.

Where does that leave everyone else? If you drive a vehicle, you pay for insurance in case you have an accident. If you have money in a checking or savings account, you pay something to keep you money as safe as possible. Because you are reading this, you have passwords on your email, and social accounts.

In general people try to minimize the effects of a life changing event in their life. It is better to take a small risk than risk it all. People who have non vaccinated children feel they are in fact taking a small risk. They are really risking it all however.

Their children are not able to contract a little measles, a little polio, or a little other deadly preventable disease. Oddly enough these people are all around you. They are content to inconvenience you, put you at risk, even allow harm to come to you.

This is an all too common picture I took yesterday. An oversize truck in order to park as close to the door as possible, is partially in the handicapped parking spot. This handicapped spot is unusable to a handicapped driver. The truck is in its space on the driver side where the driver exits the truck.

You see these types of people in the fast lines in discount stores. They have an overflowing cart, and they are in the twenty items or less line ahead of you. The cashier is instructed not to turn them away. Money is money after all.

Do you go to the movies? You go early and pay your money to get the seat you want. Someone is sitting by the seat you want, all by themselves. They tell you they are holding the five seats around them and you can’t sit where you want. The held seats are not filled for another fifteen minutes.

Which brings me back to measles. In the early part of the last century tuberculosis killed almost three of every ten people. Tuberculosis was thought to be inherited as little was known of how disease was spread in those times. Some family members contracted tuberculosis while others did not. Tuberculosis was thought to be in the genes.

Tuberculosis was contained by two main methods. First sanitariums were created. Tens of thousands of people with tuberculosis where housed in what were essentially prisons which were kindly called sanitariums.

People with tuberculosis would be taken out of their homes and placed in one of these facilities until they were cured or more likely died. The second method of eradicating tuberculosis was a method of killing tuberculosis was finally discovered, modified, and used.

If only the cure for measles and disease where vaccinations are available were this easy. Separate out the non vaccinated and infected, and place them somewhere where only non vaccinated and infected people live. Then the only people they can harm is people such as themselves. The rest of us are too kind for this however, so we accept people will die because of other peoples indifference.This measles thing is scary. A few people living in your area decided in the past, the risk of vaccinating their children was too high. They performed a risk verses reward decision matrix. The risk of their children contracting a preventable diseases was lower in their estimation, than the risk of vaccination side effects happening to one of their children.

Where does that leave everyone else? If you drive a vehicle, you pay for insurance in case you have an accident. If you have money in a checking or savings account, you pay something to keep you money as safe as possible. Because you are reading this, you have passwords on your email, and social accounts.

In general people try to minimize the effects of a life changing event in their life. It is better to take a small risk than risk it all. People who have not vaccinated their children feel they are in fact taking a small risk. They are really risking it all however.

Their children are not able to contract a little measles, a little polio, or a little other deadly preventable disease. Oddly enough these people are all around you. They are content to inconvenience you, put you at risk, even allow harm to come to you.

This is an all too common picture I took yesterday. An oversize truck in order to park as close to the door as possible, is partially in the handicapped parking spot. This handicapped spot is unusable to a handicapped driver. The truck is in its space on the driver side where the driver exits the truck.

Unconcerned and uncaring. It's all about me.

Unconcerned and uncaring. It’s all about me.

You see these types of people in the fast lines in discount stores. They have an overflowing cart, and they are in the twenty items or less line ahead of you. The cashier is instructed not to turn them away. Money is money after all.

Do you go to the movies? You go early and pay your money to get the seat you want. Someone is sitting by the seat you want, all by themselves. They tell you they are holding the five seats around them and you can’t sit where you want. The held seats are not filled for another fifteen minutes.

Which brings me back to measles. In the early part of the last century tuberculosis killed almost three of every ten people. Tuberculosis was thought to be inherited as little was known of how disease was spread in those times. Some family members contracted tuberculosis while others did not. Tuberculosis was thought to be in the genes.

Tuberculosis was contained by two main methods. First sanitariums were created. Tens of thousands of people with tuberculosis where housed in what were essentially prisons which were kindly called sanitariums.

People with tuberculosis were taken out of their homes and placed in one of these facilities until they were cured or more likely died. The second method of eradicating tuberculosis was a method of killing tuberculosis was finally discovered, modified, and used.

If only the cure for measles and disease where vaccinations are available were this easy. Separate out the non vaccinated and infected people, and place them somewhere where only non vaccinated and infected people live. Then the only people they can harm is people such as themselves. The rest of us are too kind for this however, so we accept people will die because of other peoples indifference.

When is it an attempt to steal?

There is an article over on the Verge, about how person tried to take advantage of Amazon.com, when Amazon made a major price mistake on a product, changing the price from ~ $200.00 to ~ $60.00, and was rewarded with $20.00 for their trouble.

Here is a quote from the article:

“Like any other person who inhales the internet like life-giving oxygen, I saw news of this mistake immediately and took advantage of it within moments, receiving an order confirmation before Amazon made its fix.”

Here is one of the responses, which is fairly typical of all the responses that were not arguing about the legalities of Amazon refusing to make good on their advertised price.

“One time a guy revealed the Ralph Lauren employee discount code and I got quality underwear for less. I felt like a criminal and was so relieved when they honored it.”

Do Morals bottom out?

Do Morals bottom out?

I am not sure where these people keep their morals. Where do they draw the line?

Where does the morals gondola stop? Is it okay we pay extra for people who have no qualms about taking advantage of a situation because a company is faceless? What about doing this to friends or family?

Would you try to take advantage of a company mistake? How about a friends mistake where money is at issue?

What New Years Resolutions

New Years resolutions we have made. So what do we go now as they are starting to slip away? Has anyone resolved there resolutions in a manner that accomplishes long term change? Somewhat typical resolutions may be:

1. Eat less sweets

2. Be more polite

3. Exercise more

We mean well when we make our resolutions. We intend to follow each and every resolution. Weeks one, two, and three go by and we are holding our own. We are keeping up with our resolutions. We are making positive difference in our life.

Then life starts to get in the way. Change happens. Change happens whether we want to change or not. Our New Year resolutions are starting to slip. Little by little different areas of focus are entering our life. Our family, friends, and work are starting to demand we pay attention to them too.

Door Number?

New Years Resolution Blues

We are entering the danger zone of New Years Resolutions. All our good intentions and hopes for the coming year are starting to fade. Are we destined to fail once again as our resolutions slowly move to the back burner of our life.

Lucky for you, it does not have to be that way. You can reactivate your fading resolutions by becoming proactive with them. The problem with resolutions is they are often made with no support net in place. Instead of holding to our resolutions, they start falling into the abyss of things ignored.

Which means it is decision time. Do you want to salvage and hold yourself to your resolutions, or do you want to let them fade away? If you want to revive and keep your resolutions alive, help is at hand.

When we resolve to do something, we are serious in the moment. Moments are pieces of time, and new moments arrive faster than we would like sometime. What is missing from our resolutions is structure. We need structure in our resolutions to be successful.

Think of your number one resolution. This resolution certainly sounded good when we made it. Now it feels a little distant, and we feel a little lost. We need a plan. A resolution without a plan is a hard thing to keep alive. Finding alternative structure and removing temptation are keys to success.

Go through your New Years Resolutions and come up with a real plan for each one. How are you going to let them succeed? How will you keep them active and alive? Make it easy to follow your resolution by not having to remember after the fact. Get proactive. Once you get proactive, you will find it easy to make more changes in your life.