7 Things Roxie Did: It Was The Best of Service

I hadn’t had a phone in a month, and at the time of writing this, I still don’t have a working phone.  And,  yet I hugged the service rep at least four times happily.  How is this possible?  For those of you that can’t live without your phones for a day, you’re probably confused by my response. Companies spend millions on customer service training and yet, every one of us probably has our own list of horrible customer service stories. My worst, up until this recent one with my phone company had been with an American Airlines employee for treating me so horribly (when I was pregnant) prior to a flight.  It was so bad that I’ve avoided that airline for years. The second worst, was with Dell for a problem with my laptop.  But the winner, by a mile, is Verizon Wireless.  I cannot believe their lack of attention to customer service.  From the long wait time on the phone, to the refusal to get back to customers who have been waiting for days for a response when they’ve promised them a resolution, to the insensitivity to the customer’s plight in the Verizon ‘Authorized Dealer’ stores. Have you ever been so frustrated that all you could do was scream or cry???  Well that’s how I’ve felt over the past month because I have not been able to use my cellphone.  To read the gory details, check out my past article, Phone Nightmares: It Was the Worst of Service.


So, you’re probably wondering about the title of this post?  No, it isn’t an error. It just shows how one person can make a difference.  I’d been without my phone for a month and went into the Verizon Wireless Authorized Dealer yesterday to get some service on my phone that I’d pick up one week earlier. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized until I got home, that the phone could not make or receive calls. I had submitted a ticket to Verizon Wireless over the phone  four days prior and they not only hadn’t fixed the issue but they hadn’t even responded with an update. So, I decided to wait a few extra days to go into the store on Sunday to interact with the salesperson, Roxie, who had given me the phone.  She was pleasant as I poured out my problem as I explained how Verizon had promised to take care of my problem, but hadn’t.  She got on the phone and spent an hour trying to resolve my issue and get me a working phone. However time was running out. I had to leave and the process would take an additional two hours to complete and resolve.  To compound the issue, the store would be closing at 5pm, less than an hour away.


This is where the amazing service kicks in.  Roxie really understood my dilemma and owned it with me.  She offered to stay the two hours, past her shift and get my phone working.  NOW HEAR THIS, she then offered to bring my phone to me at my home afterwards. Imagine the scenario; I was distraught as could be but then she offered to do something so kind and generous. Now, I don’t really know her and was wondering for a moment if I should leave the store without any phone at all.  Since she only works  on Sundays, if she doesn’t follow through,  I’d have to go another week without any resolution.  But, I decide to trust her.  Turns out that she is trustworthy. She was honest to her word. She stayed in the store until 7pm, got my old phone to working, and then delivered it to my home.  I’ve never witnessed such customer service like this. She renewed my faith at a time when I had lost all hope of getting a phone.

Now the irony is that when I tried to charge the phone this morning, I realized that the charger doesn’t work and I am still without a phone, but somehow I’m okay.  It was that unexpected act of kindness that changed everything.  Thank you Roxie!  You made my day!  Here are few things she did and did extremely well:

  1. SHE LISTENED! She didn’t cut me off when I was venting.
  2. SHE HEARD ME! She let me be heard. She could hear that the data was important and worked to retrieve it.
  3. SHE SPOKE CALMLY! She explained that she was just a representative and not responsible for the phone service but would do what she could.
  4. SHE EMPATHIZED! She was doubtful at times herself about getting my new phone to work. But she had really heard me when I said that I was even more distraught at losing my video testimonials. So she went into the back of the store, found the old phone, and changed the batteries to see if she could retrieve my data. Turns out, that she could.  That calmed me.
  5. SHE OWNED THE PROBLEM WITH ME! She took her time and didn’t try to rush me out the store with the responses she was hearing from Verizon and her manager.  She kept offering suggestions.  “Can we give her a loaner phone?”  “Can we set up a temporary account?” “Can we switch back to the old phone?
  6. SHE WENT THE EXTRA MILES (Literally)! This is where she excelled. Not only did she stay two additional hours to get me a phone that worked. She even drove the phone to my home.  When it was clear that it would take longer than she’d expected, she called me on my home phone so that I would not worry needlessly.
  7. SHE CARED!  And if that were not enough, she gave me her personal cell number to use if I had any further problems. That told me that not only did she care, but she was invested in my problem and that I was not alone.

I know that this is an anomaly! But, I believe that we also create or attract people and events into our reality.  My next post will explain what I was doing to attract this goodness into my life.  Not only was I consciously praying, I was doing something else I’d just learned about. It amazed me when I heard about it and astounded me when it actually worked! I’ll share in my next post this incredible finding.

Barbara Talley
with Another Message That Matters

Seven Life Lessons from Priming the Pump

hand pump fountainDo you remember the  60’s show, Green Acres with Eddie Albert and Zsa Zsa Gabor?  He wanted the farm life and she wanted the city life. I’ve tried both, and I prefer the suburbs!  I  grew up in the country, pumping water, chopping wood, making fires, and with all sorts of  chores. I’d like to say that, “Those were the good ole days, but they were not.”  Times were hard and we worked even harder. Now of course there are few things I miss. First are the people in life back then that are no longer with me anymore, a mother, father, brothers, friends.  Next was the weeping willow tree that I would lie under and dream. Those days did however teach me to work hard.  They also taught me the value of indoor plumbing and furnace heat. (LOL!) Looking back, it makes me appreciate even more what I have now.

I will also always have the memories of “priming the pump” to remind of the value of saving a little, working hard, having the willingness to sacrifice now for the bigger goal in the future, and to remember to take time out to enjoy what I’ve worked for.  The lessons I learned are:

    1. Always Have Faith and Certitude. Smart people rarely go after a goal that they don’t believe in.  We understand that we can’t (or won’t) run towards a goal that we have no faith that we can reach.  If we do, our steps are tentative and unsure. Luckily, we did not doubt as children.  We were showed how to pump and told to do it, and we did, time after time.  We believed; even though we could not see the water underground, we believed that the water was always there. All we had to do was work for it.  You too must also have complete faith and certitude that you have greatness within you and in the goal you are pursuing.  Faith is the key to starting, persevering, and finishing.
    2. Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Empty. We learned to always save a little water to prime the pump for the next time.  We never used our last bit of water, before re-filling our containers.  This relates to our goals in this way. Take care of yourself. It’s okay to help and serve others, but don’t deplete every ounce of your energy.  When you are worn-out, you are subject to all sorts of mental, physical, and spiritual illnesses. My sister would always say, “Stay prayed up!” You’ve got to protect yourself.  If you allow yourself to get too run down or too sick, or too hopeless, it becomes harder (and in some cases) almost impossible to regain your strength, your faith,  or to reach your goals.
    3. You Have to Put Something In Before You Get Anything Out. All of the lessons are important, but this one is the deal breaker. We knew that we had to sacrifice in advance to get something better later.  We had to sacrifice our water, our time, and our energy before we could expect something in return. There is a lesson in this for you too. You don’t get something for nothing. There is no credit in the well of life, meaning “Give me now and I’ll pay later.”  You must pay the piper first. Now the interesting thing was, sometimes if we hadn’t planned well, we’d have to use our last bit of water.  We’d pour the last bit we had into the pump in order to get more.  We were willing to make that sacrifice. The lesson was simple. If we weren’t willing to give it up our water, we would not be able to tap into the unlimited!
    4. You Must Be Ready; No Procrastination Allowed.  Now imagine this, once you’ve poured your limited (or last) supply of water into the pump, then you have to start pumping vigorously.  If you don’t start pumping (and pumping hard), you not only risk not getting any new water, but you will have just lost what little you had of the old.  Once we made the decision to prime the pump, we had to be ready. No procrastination was allowed. There was no time to do something else, make an excuse, or think about it. You had to see it through.
    5. Don’t Stop Until You Reach Your Goal.  Persevering with the pumping was the most critical stage. It didn’t matter how tired you were, how hot or cold it was outside, how you felt, how people felt about you, or anything at that point. You had to focus on pumping and persevere until you saw the results you sought. Sometimes we were lucky, we’d pump a little and waters would start flowing immediately.  Other times, we would pump and pump and not seem to get any results.  Sometimes we would have to add a little more water, some times we had to pump even harder, and other times you just have to pump longer.  The key is that we do what we had to do.  Excuses and quitting were never options.
    6. Give Back! We also learned to keep a certain jug set aside just for priming and we’d fill it before we would habitually fill the other containers so we wouldn’t forget.  The lesson, always give back and save a little.
    7. Enjoy Your Spoils.  Once the water starts flowing, it’s hard to stop it!  Victory is sweet! You have tapped into an unlimited underground reservoir. The fresh water under the ground was always so cold and refreshing especially on a very hot day.  On the cold days, that’s a whole different story.  It just meant that you got to go inside in the warmth and make some hot cocoa or something. Either way, we’d met our goal and that felt good!

That’s it!  Now go prime your own pump and reap your own rewards.


What I Learned from Priming a Pump

old-fashioned-water-pump-janice-drewWhen I was a little girl, we lived in an old farm-house in upstate New York that did not have running water or indoor plumbing.  “No, I did not live in the early 1900’s on Little House on the Prairie.  And, “Yes”our neighbors did have inside plumbing. We just didn’t. My dad was a migrant worker and we were quite poor. If we wanted water, we had to work for it, just like we did for everything else. Right outside the house, we had a pump which supplied the water we needed to cook, bathe, and do laundry, etc.

The lesson I learned from priming a pump was that you have to put something in if you expect to get something out. On the success train, there is no free lunch, no credit, and no loafers.  You want to ride, you must pay the price.” Barbara Talley

There is a lesson in every experience when you’re open to learning. We also had one of those old-fashioned wringer washing machines and a rub board, but I digress!)  Every day, rain, shine, snow, or sleet, we’d go out to get some fresh water.  But before we could get the fresh water we had to first “prime the pump.”  That meant we had to take some of the water that was left and pour it into the pump and pump vigorously for a few minutes.  Pumping was always the hardest part for if you stopped before the water began to flow, you’d have to start all over. [We did get strong arms though.] So, we’d pump rapidly and rhythmically until water started to flow.  At first there would be no traction and if you didn’t know any better, you’d begin to doubt and perhaps even stop too soon. But if you continued pumping faithfully, eventually the water would begin to flow and you would barely have to pump at all.  At that point, the water would gush out and we could fill our containers as much as we desired.  We had a hard life back then, but there are lessons in everything.  If you listened to my father who walked five miles to school each day, our life was a piece of cake.

For those of you who have never had to prime a pump, be grateful.  You get to benefit from the lessons without the pain.  I’ve learned however, that we all have different lives, different challenges, and different lessons.  Lessons are made for sharing. Make sure to share yours too. That gives them meaning.  Please enjoy my seven lessons from “priming a pump” in my next blog.


You Hit the Creation JackPot!!!

You Could Have Been An Onion.


Before you complain again about anything, appreciate the fact that YOU HIT THE CREATION JACKPOT.  You could have been an onion, slug, a roach, or a piece of sand. Instead you are blessed  to be human beings, to have the potential to mirror the attributes and qualities of God, and to be so valued and trusted as to be given consciousness, free will, and dominion over this world. Just think about the billions of  creations in this magnificent world of ours.  There are untold numbers of fruits, vegetables, plants, insects, birds, fish, organisms, and animals.  And yet, if you are reading this, you hit the creation jackpot because YOU GOT TO BE  A HUMAN.

“Humans have conscious thought and are aware of their consciousness. With this power, we can create or destroy, love or hate, believe or fear, take from others or serve them unselfishly. Circumstances may not be to our liking, but at least we have the capacity to change things and that’s the miracle and blessing of being a human.  Humans can create new reality.  Humans can make new and better choices.  Humans can willingly choose to change their circumstances through decisiveness, commitment, and focused action.”

Barbara Talley is a professional speaker, poet, and author.  Her presentations focus on vision, values, and virtues.  You can find more about her programs at www.ThePoetSpeaks.com

Are You Drowning in A Thimble?

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 10.52.13 AM

Once after a talk, I had just given,  a lady came up to me and said, “I thought I was drowning in a ocean, but after hearing your story, I realize that I am just drowning in a thimble.”  She explained,

“I’ve magnified my problems in my mind to such an extent that I’ve felt like I’m drowning in an ocean and I now realize they aren’t as big as I’ve made them out to be. Thank you for helping me put things into perspective.” 

What she meant was that her problems (from her new perspective) were minuscule or thimble size in comparison to mine. I had an impact on her that day and she in equal measure, had an impact on me.  Just as her problems paled in comparison to mine, so do my problems when compared to others. So let’s put things into perspective.  Some people are dying; others are homeless or refugees; many have mental or physical illness; some are jobless!  Some are losing a loved one, a home, or a marriage today. Others are losing their freedom, their ability to walk, see, or hear.  All of us I suppose tend to make our situations worse than they really are by focusing on the worst outcome.  But, in all cases, our stories (trials, tribulations, or woes)  when compared to others may not be that bad.

It Could Be Better, but It Could Be Worse

I felt like I too was drowning in a thimble after hearing a prison account of a young girl in Iran who was imprisoned because of her faith in God. Imagine this: A young girl was imprisoned for three years simply because she was trying to teach the youth around her about God.   She was only able to get 30 minutes of sunlight a day and lived in isolation, no refrigerator, no mirror, no one to talk to.  And yet her account of the experience was filled with gratitude.

She faced each day prayerfully, reciting “Is their any remover of difficulties save God…” over 1000  times a day!   And, the brief time she was out of prison, she was comforting families of the imprisoned, typing her notes so that she could share her prison accounts,  and getting books so that she could continue to learn.  She was a Baha’i in a Muslim country teaching the youth to love everyone, that there was only One God, One Human Race, and One Unfolding Religion, from time immemorial.  For wanting to promote unity, she had all of her freedoms stripped away from her.All I can say is, “What a jewel.”  I pray that God continues to protect and bless her and keep her strong.

Put Things into Perspective

When I heard her story, I too had had to put things into perspective.  For while I too had felt that I  drowning in a ocean, her story helped me to see that it was only a thimble.   What a wonderful message of faith, patience, radiant acquiescence, and service she taught me by her encouraging words written from that prison. Many of us think we have a reason to complain. And we begin and end our days spreading our pain, gloom and doom.   But when we hear a story of adversity, like the one of this young girl, all of our problems pale by comparison. We can change our perspective IF we choose  to. Now today, you have a choice on how you will choose to view the world.  Will it be from a perspective of gratitude, hope, or power?  We can spend the day parroting bad news or we can focus our thoughts on the good around us.  You can choose to view your circumstances as an ocean and picture yourself powerless, sinking, or  drowning OR view yourself and your God as powerful and put all of what you are going through in perspective.  Ocean as a thimble?  Your choice will impact your joy, happiness, and that of those around you.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.