~ ~ where some see a hopeless end, others see an endless hope ~ ~

Friday, December 16, 2011

YOU COULD HAVE series, #2 CAMOY @ Vista Print

It’s honestly as simple as smiling while you’re talking.  I’m serious.  When you’re on the phone, try it.  Smile while you’re talking to the other person.  I promise they’ll feel the positive energy through the phone.


That’s where the 2nd edition for my YOU COULD HAVE series was inspired.

I dread talking on the phone.  I’m just throwing it out there.  But what I dread the most is having to talk to customer service reps.  I know, I know.  See?  I already have a preconceived judgement as to how my experience will be.  And usually, 9 times out of 10… I’m right.

HOWEVER,  I had to call in for technical help on a print order through Vista Print.  I held my breath as Ms Camoy took over the conversation…. … and I’m so glad she did.

“I tell ya what ma’am, I’m just gonna stay on the phone with you while I help you with this order and walk you through it, is that okay?”

As we continued uploading and editing the pictures needed for this order, she began asking me questions about each picture.  “OH!  He’s so precious, where’s he from????”  “So… Visiting Orphans, that’s your company you work with, what all do you do?”  “OH!!  So, are these some of the children you visit?”

Each question she asked squealed with excitement, and it was like she couldn’t get enough information fast enough.

“So, which country is this little angel from?”
“So, do all these children not have parents?”
“So, when you visit, do you BUILD them the Orphanage, or how does it work?”
“Where do you visit”
“Do you have children?”…..

“No ma’am, I don’t have a child.  I have 163 million of them…”

“Ooooh, honey.  That’s beautiful.  That’s beautiful, I love that.”  Camoy’s interest in Visiting Orphans just played on my passion and we sat and talked about everything we do.  She went as far as going to our website, finding out who I was on our Staff bio’s, read it, asked me some other life questions….  All the while, yes, our pictures were still being uploaded and would throw in an edit question here and there.

Camoy proceeded to tell me she was from Jamaica and that they would LOVE to see a program start up in her country. She knows there are plenty of orphans that could benefit from our organization and it would be so amazing to have us visit her home country.

I smiled when I was able to say, “Well, Camoy… we just might be.”

Our order was processing and we were to the checkout page, when from out of nowhere, she offered to waive all the uploading charges, give us a discount, and faster shipping at the lowest rate.

You see…. Camoy COULD HAVE just went about her job description, helped me get my pictures up and edited, sold the order, and hung up the phone.

Camoy COULD HAVE just been annoyed with the illiterateness of my technical capabilities and been abrasive with her customer service attitude.


Camoy was SUCH a delight to talk to. Very helpful, very happy, and so passionate about what we do.  Which made me RE-passionate about what we do.

Camoy, YOU COULD HAVE completely fell into my stereotype of the ‘typical’ customer service rep, ruined my experience with Vista Print, and led me astray from having any faith in your business and/or character.


Thanks for that.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

don’t rush.

I could NOT pass sharing this to all of you.  Some of you, hopefully Most of you, know me well enough to know that I strongly believe the Arts are an integral part of life, and how I press on and on about the importance of “slowing down, stopping and smelling the roses…”  This story, written and based, in D.C. is absolutely what I’m talking about.

Read on.

And then ask yourself -- Would you stop?

"In Washington DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After about four minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At ten minutes, a three-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At forty-five minutes: The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After one hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made…

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?"

Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myq8upzJDJc
By: Sean The-Rules Goveas

* * *

This is so powerful for me.  Yes, I’m that person that does like to stop and smell the roses.  I like to think I notice the little purple flowers growing randomly out of a concrete sidewalk’s crack.  I like it when my co-workers take my advice, drive a different route to work, just so they too can enjoy the wonder God created with the beautiful autumn colors on the trees.  When the clouds catch the sun just right.  When we see shooting stars.  When we remember a certain memory because of a certain smell.  I like to think those are little pieces of Heaven on Earth.  Gentle reminders of our awesome Creator above.

So when I read this story today, I may have gotten choked up.  I may have gotten frustrated with the people that didn’t pay attention.  I may have thought… "Well, I like to think that I would have stopped." … But in reality--in the fast-paced world we live in...would I?  Would you??

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

You Could Have. #1

drumroll please…..

…. Okay, take it back.  Honestly, I didn’t want to use my first blog of the “You Could Have” series as one that blew your socks off, right off the bat.  ‘Cuz then I’d have to live up to those standards every time I did an entry. …   ;)


This one will blow your socks off.

I can’t limit this first entry to one specific person.  So, this first entry is going to go and be different right out the door.  In my first ever, initial, inaugural post about how people have such an impact on your life, “You Could Have” launches as follows:

THEY Could Havetotally impressed me with their dedicated abilities

It started off as an idea.  Give 2 Go.  It started off as a simple idea to raise awareness for orphans around the world, benefitting Visiting Orphans as a whole.  The concept grew, the design began to liven, and the event elements began to shape.

What started off as one casual, Friday morning brainstorming conversation, ended up as one amazingly, beautiful night of music and testimonies.

But it’s the people that put it together that get this Nod in the ‘ole bloggeroo.  It’s the people that worked day and night to make sure it was a flawless event, from ground up.

It was the Visiting Orphans staff.

When I say that these brothers and sisters pulled together to make things happen, I don’t mean just laying a table linen down and clicking on a lamp.

  • I’m talking, sawing 16 feet 2x4’s and building--literally DRILLING together structures and frames to make an amazing display structure
  • I’m talking, cleaning out your entire house at home to bring in and create the most creative and visually appealing merchandise display known to man
  • I’m talking, using every hidden and nonhidden talent you have to put into designing and creating flyers and marketing materials so our guests could have something to take home at night.
  • I’m talking, originating the most organized, clean, and easy-to-follow ‘systems’ to handle our crazy mission trip giveaway---not only in preparation of the night, but DURING the night, and then for days after
  • I’m talking, when no one’s even around, using your last bit of strength to breakdown, haul and unload the mess that no one else wanted to deal with
  • I’m talking, using every bit of your energy to help post, tape, string, light, lay, build, set up, and RUN an ENTIRE evening’s festivities so our guests could enjoy their time
  • And I’m talking, using your every last bit of patience to work with and deal with a crazy brain like me…

Autumn Kerr, Alicia Jordan, Frank Pass, Casi Mattox, Merrill Durham, James Jonas, Kathleen Carney, Rachel Cook:  You could have stayed within your comfort zones, only helped out to your content, and rightfully told me I was crazy.

But you didn’t.

You all were and ARE so amazing to not only me day in and day out, but to each other--to VISITING ORPHANS.  Every day we get to come to work is such a blessing.  You all bless me every day just because you’re you.  God has given you each such creative talents, each such amazing administrative, and yet not boring, characteristics.  You continue to surprise me with the tasks you’re able to accomplish and the goals you’re able to set and reach.

You are all my inspiration.

THANK YOU VO’ers for SUCH an amazing job well done at our concert on Friday night.  It was such a cool experience to see everyone in their element.  And if you weren’t in your element, you were able to  branch outside for the Cause.

It’s an honor to be a part of such an amazing group.

"YOU COULD HAVE … totally impressed me with your dedicated abilities".


a SNEAK little PEAK at the fabulous work by the VO Staff, pics done by the amazing Rachel Jay