Tag Archives: service



I believe service is what will separate the wheat from the tares.  Doing a survey for my trade guild I learn that those who say they do not have time to serve complain the most.  Don’t we see the same thing in the church?  Those most critical of church leaders are those who don’t serve.

It is discouraging to see fewer and fewer youth doing service.  A friend told me in his volunteer fire department, an alarm called for 8 volunteers, but only 2 showed up.  That’s a scary thought.  A lack of commitment and service, in this case, could cost lives.

We are seeing the same thing in the Chamber of Commerce.  Members want certain benefits of membership, but unless we have people volunteering to help, it just doesn’t happen.  The benefit comes from serving each other.

Foul Mood

I guess I’m in a foul mood today.  Saturday’s 2 out of 8 people showing up on time, and then 1 considerably late for doing service has me a bit ticked.  Then, to read comments in the survey for my trade guild only makes me more angry.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too in a volunteer organization unless you get out and help.  Granted, the church really isn’t a “volunteer” organization.  Things are done by calling and assignment by those in authority.  Nonetheless, when someone accepts an assignment, they have an obligation to be there.  And, if something comes up, they have an obligation to find someone to fulfill their assignment.

Business Volunteer Organizations

Business volunteer organizations are there to help business owners help each other succeed.  Anyone who thinks they can come along for a free ride is mistaking.  It’s like our network group.  You can’t expect to show up and have referrals handed to you.  You have to work at finding referrals to hand out.  “Givers Gain” is the motto of one such referral group.

In our guild there are some young folks who whine and cry about us not having webinars.  Well, folks, who is going to produce, record and manage those webinars?  Webinars don’t just happen.

Then, they expect this stuff to be ‘free’ or cheaply priced.  Again, you can’t have ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ unless you have people volunteering to help.  Without service, everything comes with a premium price.  It’s supply and demand.  If the workers are few, the cost goes up.

Trouble Tickets

Trouble Tickets

Utility companies have trouble tickets.  Repair personnel are typically rated on how quickly a problem is resolved.  When I worked for a certain telephone company, I complained about such policies.  The reason is, closing a ticket when a problem isn’t resolved may make for great report numbers, but bad customer service.

Such is the case with NYSEG today.

Fallen Tree

Around 1pm, or so, a big dead tree broke and fell in to a house.  On its way it took out a utility pole and wires.  This resulted in my entire block being without power.

After about an hour, I reported the outage.  At the time I reported it, they were unaware of any outage.

Around 6:30pm I checked the NYSEG website and it claimed power was restored at 4:30pm.  Ahhh… someone closed the ticket so the outage duration would be shorter.  (My guess is they have a goal of a 3-4 hour resolution time.)

Wire Watcher

So, they assigned a wire watcher.  This guy’s job is to sit in his parked truck near the downed wires to make sure nobody gets close to them.  During the time he was sitting there, the outage was reported resolved at least 3 times.  Each time I noticed, I reported it not being resolved.


Or, they could have called a customer, like me, and asked, “Mr. Walton, do you have service now?”

Unintended Consequences

This goes back to unintended consequences.  You make a stupid goal like, “4 hour problem resolution”, and so people get their annual raise, the close the ticket at 3 hours 45 minutes.  As a result they know darn well someone will call and complain and a new ticket will be created.

In the end, no single outage last more than 4 hours.  Statistically, it is better to have a lot of 3 hour outages than one 36 hour outage.

At least, that’s how it worked at a certain phone company many years ago.

Reported Up Again

It was reported up again at 9:30pm.  That’s funny.  The only guy out there from 6:30 to 9:30pm was the wire watcher.  He was most likely on Facebook or playing games on his phone.  How else does one stay away when their only job is to sit there and make sure nobody gets near the wires.  Of course, who the heck would be out walking around on a blustery night like tonight?

Cheesecake Factory

Cheesecake Factory

Those who follow me know that I’m big on customer service.  The Cheesecake Factory in Pittsford ranks at the top.  Our waitress provided excellent service.

We first went to Black and Blue and were met with glares as if to negatively say, “Oh, look, they brought children in here.”

We were asked if we had reservations, and were told they are by reservation only.  They said it would be about a 45 minute wait.  (The place was about 2/3rds empty.)  We left and went across the parking lot to Cheesecake Factory.  It was a good move.

My experience has taught me when a restaurant acts like you’re making them go out of their way, chances are the rest of the service is lousy.  I’m sorry to say I will never return to Black and Blue.  That’s just not the way you treat customers coming in from off the street.

The proper way to have handled us would have been to say, “We’re understaffed right now, and there might be a longer wait than normal.”

Museum of Play

Jennifer and Spencer drove up to spend the day.  We went to the Museum of Play, and then out to dinner.  It was fun to spend time with our grandchildren.

Tobreth Arrived

Tobreth Arrived

Tobreth arrived today.  With the impending storm (and the weekend’s storm), her flight was a bit late, but she made it here safely.

We made a few stops on the way home.  One was to have lunch at Sticky Lips BBQ.  The service there was very bad.  Granted, it was lunch time, but they weren’t that full and considering we didn’t order anything that required a long cook time, one hour to get your food is TOO LONG.  (I have second thoughts about returning there again.)

copyright 2016 db walton

Elizabethe and Tobreth

We also stopped at a few shoe stores, and I insisted we stop so I could get some Chinese winter melon candy.  The first Chinese grocery didn’t have any.  The second one did, but they didn’t have coconut.  So, this year it is winter melon only.

We came home and spent the rest of the evening at home.  It’s pretty cold outside and Tobreth is off by 3 hours having come from California.

Christmas Hymns

Christmas Hymns

Being the ward organist it is nice to start singing and playing Christmas Hymns for Sacrament Meeting.  I love the music of Christmas, especially when it centers around the Christ Child.

copyright 2015 db walton

Also, I think most people know the Christmas Hymns and as a result sing them.  Nothing is more disappointing to a church organist or pianist than when people don’t sing.  If you’re going to sing, SING!

The speaker’s talked about service today.  It is a fitting topic for Christmas time… or for any time.  The Vance Family spoke (including all of the children.)

Elizabethe was so tired today she couldn’t stay awake during the meetings and came straight home and went to bed.  I was pretty tired too so I too took a nap.

For the sisters today I made shwarma.  They hadn’t had shwarma before so it was enlightening to them.  For those that don’t know what it is, it is like a burrito, except middle-eastern style.  It is filled with roasted chicken, turkey, lamb or beef, and pickled and fresh vegetables.  To moisten it, they normally put hummus or a dressing made with hummus and yogurt.

copyright 2015 db walton

Mary, Joseph and the Christ Child

For dessert I took those refrigerator croissants, spread some Nutella on them, and rolled them up.  Boy, were they good.

New Relief Society Presidency

New Relief Society Presidency

We have a New relief Society Presidency as of today.  Constancy amidst change is the theme of church callings.  Sister Harris and her presidency were released and Sister Morse was called along with a new presidency.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Relief Society is an organization of women.  The purpose of the Relief Society is:

Relief Society prepares women for the blessings of eternal life by helping them increase their faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need. Relief Society accomplishes these purposes through Sunday gospel instruction, other Relief Society meetings, visiting teaching, and welfare and compassionate service.  (General Handbook 2 – Section 9.1, paragraph 1)

There isn’t a finer organization for helping those in need.  I think Sister Morse is going to do a great job.

Elizabethe and I fed the sisters tonight.  I made some pork stir fry along with rice, Swiss chard and pot stickers.  For dessert I made brownies with leftover halloween candy.  No, I didn’t put any hard candy in it, nor did I put any Skittles or fruit flavored stuff.  Only chocolate based candies (Twix, Milky Way, etc.)  They turned out quite good.  I may do this more often.

Jennifer and family returned from working on their new house.  It’s late, but it will be nice to hear all about the new neighborhood and house in the morning.

Showing Appreciation

Showing Appreciation

I will admit.  I have a hard time with complements — giving them, that is.  I do, however, like showing appreciation in ways that I can.

Yesterday I wrote how someone said, “I appreciate you”, and how it made my day.  I’m still feeling uplifted by those three words.  I wrote back to the person who said it and let them know of my gratitude for what they said.

I think we often get caught up in trying to get our own way, we forget that we are all people.  Manipulation is such a cruel way of trying to get what we want while forgetting about the emotional and psychological impact on the people we are manipulating.  It’s probably why I’m not a very good salesman — I don’t like to manipulate people.

On the other had, I like the scripture that says, “Forget yourself in the service of others.”  This is hard to do sometimes because we get worried about our own needs, which reminds me of the scripture that talks about how God watches over the little sparrows and provides for their needs.

A while back, I saw a video  where people were being asked what the Golden Rule was.  It amazed me how many didn’t know.  It’s quite simple, and instead of quoting Matthew 7:12, I’ll put it in my own words…

Treat others in a manner if the tables were turned, you would want them to treat you.

Show a little appreciation, serve others, and treat others in a way that would make you feel good if things were reversed.  Nah, it’s nothing I came up with.  I’m just reminding myself of what Jesus taught us to do.

Solution Found

Solution Found

A solution found is one of the best feelings when you have a problem to be solved.  The problem was how to organize my battery chargers.  The solution was a bamboo silverware tray at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

After a morning of getting little things out of the way (mostly paper work), a package for my business arrived.  It was product for a client so I thought I should notify them and wait for them to respond.  All of this made me forget about lunch, and when they client came to retrieve their order, it was after 3pm.

Since it was so late, I asked Elizabethe if she’d like to go use our gift card for T.G.I. Friday.  She thought that sounded like a good idea so off we went to Victor.

I’m going to preface this by saying we have always received great service at T.G.I. Friday in Victor, New York.  We’ve walked in, got a seat, got our water and drink orders taken right away, and very soon there after our server came and took our food order.

That wasn’t the case tonight.  We got seated right away, and about 15 minutes later, I commented to Elizabethe that we hadn’t even been brought water or asked if we’d like to order something to drink.  I noted that it seemed odd.

Behind me, several employees were huddled around giggling and laughing.  I was about sixty seconds away from walking out when a young man came up and apologized that our server was delayed.   He took our order for our sodas, and assured us our server would be there soon.

Our orders were taken, and our food arrived hot, but visits to check on our table were sparse.  Yet, all this time at least four or more employees remained in the huddle about 15 feet away having a grand old time.  I also noticed a neighboring table finally got up and took items off an unoccupied table.

“Ah,” I thought to myself, “we’re not alone.”

We finished our meal, paid and went on our way.

We next stopped at Bed, Bath and Beyond and there I found the bamboo tray that I thought would house my charging station project.  After buying it, we headed home.

The tray has enough room for a power strip in each section.  It was like putting together a puzzle.  This here, and that there, and turn this that way, and this the other way.  Before I knew it I think I had a solution.  So, I set the tray aside until tomorrow.

My plan tomorrow is to make some notches and holes and get everything where it should be.  I think this is going to work

Fine Brethren

Fine Brethren

Today I had to hobble out to the sitting room before I was fully dressed because of a few fine brethren.  A knock came on the door and Elizabethe answered it and it was 4 brethren from church here to help.  As I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, I asked them to do a few things that were urgent, and Elizabethe asked them to do a couple of things she would normally ask me to do.  The result of their visit was a clean sidewalk, an emptied dehumidifier and the garden harvested.

I hobbled on out to the studio to copy a few files to a USB drive.  On the way back I felt very wobbly on the crutches.  I really wish I could get a few things around here to make it more safe.  I fear I might fall because I don’t have the right supports for doing certain tasks.  The most difficult tasks are using the toilet and using the shower.  I also get real nervous going up just a couple of steps as well as through self-closing doors.

Feeling like I’m missing out on things is difficult for me.  It was difficult knowing they had been over the Matt’s house to help stack wood and that I was not in a position to help.  Add to that the fact that I’m the one needing help too.

Dear KFC

Dear KFC

Dear KFC, you really need to work with your store at 1210 University in Rochester.  There was once a day when a KFC franchise was well operated, clean and efficient.  You cannot attribute any of those attributes to the store at 1210 University.  I tried contacting your company on your web site’s contact page, but I think it fell in to the proverbial bit-bucket.  There was coleslaw stuck to the seat (it appeared to haven wiped with a very dirty rag and then the slaw dried to the seat.)  The drink area wasn’t very clean or tidy, and the staff seemed to have a dazed look on their face when I asked if they were ready to take my order.

That store is doomed unless they get someone in there to snap it back in to shape.


After my Rochester networking meeting, I headed to the Wayne County Fair.  I started to drive my car and thought, “What in the world are you doing Brent?”

I turned around, put my car in the garage, and walked all the way to the fair grounds with camera bag in tow.  Yup, the entire length of my driveway, about 200′ to Gates Street, and the entire length of Gates Street.  I think I would have walked further had I drove and parked in the parking lot.

Yes, folks.  The county fair can only be about 2/10ths of a mile from my house.

Once there I greeted people from the MPWCC Booth.  I had a few people stop and talk and ask questions about the chamber.  Most of the people were with small children and there wasn’t much we had to offer for little kids.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had a booth in the next building.  I discovered it after I completed my shift in the MPWCC booth.  In that booth I saw Sisters Olson and Curtis.  They had all sorts of things displayed about what members of the church do.  I wish they would have had a few Primary children singing Primary songs.  I think that would have drawn the crowds.

copyright 2014 db walton

Missionaries at the Fair


After the fair it was off to my GRPP meeting.  Our guest speaker talked about getting organized.  Most of what she talked about was general office organization skills.  However, she triggered something in my brain regarding a product that doesn’t exists — anywhere.

Time to look at writing up a patent application.