Tuesday, June 29, 2010


A couple of months ago, a consultant and I had arranged to have coffee at our local consultant hangout at 10:00 a.m. Ten fifteen had gone by and he still wasn’t there. Fifteen minutes is my allotted time to wait for a person in case they get caught up in traffic or were the victim on an extra long meeting.

Normally, I write the phone number down with the person’s name. This time I hadn’t so I had no way to get in touch with him. This was before the arrival of my new Droid Incredible so didn’t have access to text or email either one. I finished my coffee and headed home.

Once home, I sent him an email “Missed you at River Maiden” http://www.rivermaidencoffee.com/ Shortly thereafter an email arrived, “Kathy, I am so sorry my Blackberry didn’t synch up to my Outlook and it didn’t get into the calendar”. Yup, technology that is supposed to save us time isn’t always the perfect answer.

He apologized profusely and said “I owe you lunch now.” We both got busy and a month went by when one or the other of us got back in touch. We have known each other casually but had never sat down and really talked. We set the date and he told me where to meet him.

This time it was my mistake. I had it in my head an entirely different restaurant a few minutes away. When I realized my mistake, I called the restaurant, Hudson’s Bar and Grill http://www.hudsonsbarandgrill.com/ at The Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, Washington. They delivered the message to him that I would be there in 10 minutes.

I spied him as I walked into the restaurant sitting in the booth getting caught up on his emails. Once he saw me arriving he greeted me with a big smile and a handshake. We immediately went into a fascinating conversation. Sharing what we were both up to and discovered ways that we could help one another in our endeavors.

True to his word, he picked up the lunch tab making up for his error a couple of months ago when he didn’t show up. As I walked out, I smiled. What a great luncheon. We had learned, we had laughed and this classy man knew how to make me feel special. Needless to say, I am looking forward to doing business with him in the future.

LESSON LEARNED: When you make an error admit it and then think of a classy way to make up for it.

Friday, June 25, 2010


A couple of nights ago I decided to Google http://www.google.com/ my name to see where my articles and comments are showing up with search engines. I had delved back into pages four or five pages in a long time because I figured most people wouldn’t go there anyway. Yet, it was good resource for me to see who was publishing my free articles.

About page five, there was website where I had commented on a well-known networker’s site. She had outlined great steps for networking at an event. However, I commented that she had missed the last step. Thus I stated I felt it was to call the person up and set up a face-to-face meeting, perhaps over a cup of coffee.

Here reply, “Kathy, good observation, however I feel that is a ‘waste of time’ now we use social media for the next step.” It was late at night and I knew I was irritated so decided to let it go. Obviously, I haven’t since I am writing this blog.

For the next two days I was out and about at meetings that I had set up solely for the purpose of networking. At each stop, now keep in mind these were all different age groups, I asked the question, “How important do you think face-to-face first meetings are to build rapport with a person? Can the same thing be accomplished with social media without meeting in person?”

What was fascinating was the look on their faces? Since they knew I taught networking, they looked at me like that was one of the craziest things I have ever asked. The answer, 100 percent, was “No, sitting down with a person is where you really learn about a person.”

My hunch was right in my small survey. Social media is too superficial and you cannot hear the tone of their voice or see their body language. You only have words. Yes, I know video is being used to a great extent in social media, however, as we all know, that can be edited at any given point.

As a professional, I guard my recommendations closely. I need to know if the person is really who they say they are. A recent article in a Wharton School of Business newsletter http://www.tiny.cc/b6nlk illustrates how people are providing untruths in their resumes and social media profiles.

This week, I had two lunches and coffee with people that were set up for the expressed purpose of getting to know the individuals better. Ideas flowed and we figured out ways we can help each other. Interestingly, we have been connected on social media and occasionally write on each other’s LinkedIn wall http://www.linkedin/.com or comment on Face Book http://www.facebook.com/

However, it wasn’t until we sat down in a relaxed atmosphere were we able to share our recent experiences, challenge each other and truly connect. Just for the record, any of these people I met with this week, I would be happy to recommend. I am convinced they love what they do. Their body language was congruent with what they were saying. Nothing better than recommending a person that truly enjoys his/her life’s work.

What is your opinion of in-person versus social media networking? I welcome your comments.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Just had one of the most frustrating afternoons in regard to customer service.

1. Went to a mobile phone store. Had an unopened car charger purchased about four months ago. Wanted to trade it in for a charger for my new Droid Incredible. I was told, we don’t return anything after 30 days. I said, “That’s fine, I just want store credit.”

Reply, sorry we don’t do that. Upon further questioning, it became apparent that the salesperson was in no position to satisfy me and she had no authority to do anything but follow the rules.
I went out of the store muttering to myself.

2. Second stop. A bank kiosk that touts the ease of depositing checks, no envelopes needed. Used my debit card, pressed the appropriate buttons for a deposit. Notice comes up,” This station is unable to accept deposits”.

Yup, you guessed it, no envelopes available either so I could not make a deposit.

3. Next stop office supply store. Returning a $64 set of ink cartridges for a printer. No problem returning except for the fact that I would only get $43 back in cash because the rest of it had been purchased with their own rewards store coupons.

Even stranger is that I had purchased at the same time a cooler for my laptop so one could easily assume the reward coupons could apply to the $35 purchase of the cooler. Nope….coupons had to be divided between the two products.

Then the final insult….three paper coupons of varying prices were handed to me to make up the difference---$21. I asked, “Would you please put this dollar amount on one of your cards so I do not have to carry them around?” The reply was “Sorry, the computer doesn’t allow us to do that.”

Have to say, I just stood there in total amazement. I said “Do you have a customer survey form available?” Two managers showed up, both of them apologizing profusely and said “Sorry, we don’t have one, but here’s the corporate number.”

Yup, I went out of the store muttering again. What an amazing one-hour experience. I decided it was best that I head home.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


While we get hundreds of unsolicited emails that we delete immediately, one caught my eye. http://groupon.com/ Upon opening I learned that Portland, Oregon, immediately across the Columbia River of my hometown Vancouver, Washington was the selected cities that this website focuses.

Each day a special coupon arrives in my email. This particular day the coupon was a two- for-one ticket to seats at the annual Portland Rose Parade. Since these are daily special, I grabbed two of them feeling confident that I could find someone to go on this adventure with me.

Sure enough, my friend, Molly, said “Sure, I’d like to go.” Though she did groan a bit when I told her we had to meet in Vancouver at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to connect in time with the mass transit if we wanted to see the crowning of the Rose Queen. Never had seen the crowning before, even though through the years I have had the opportunity to meet the princesses at my Rotary Club.

Saturday morning, our day went perfectly. Soon we found ourselves seated in nice seats in the Coliseum. With fresh coffee and coco in our hands we settled in and let everything unfold right before us.

The pageantry of the Queen Crowning was special. I noted that Victoria that had spent the last three months being introduced last because of her name, now became first. Kinda special when you think about.

With announcers inside the Coliseum, we had no problem seeing/hearing what was happening. Before we knew it the parade entered from the right. If there was some kind of special performance or song that was going to be performed before the grandstand outside, it was also performed directly in front of us. Then the entries exited through the left.

Interesting to learn, we were advised there would be occasionally a stoppage of parade. That was done in order for the television stations to go to commercial breaks. By doing that, it was assured all entries in the parade made it to television broadcast.

We knew we were going to go downtown Portland after the parade, yet were not sure what we would do. At one point, Molly leans over and said “Kath, let’s go to Portland Saturday Market”. Brilliant idea.

Near the end of the parade we decided to start our journey downtown again on mass transit. We got off and walked about four blocks and found ourselves at Waterfront park and the new location of the market. It was amazing to see the cleanliness and organization of the booths. Since artists and their work happens to be a very special part of my life, I was thrilled to see what was being created by them.

Lunch consisted of a meal of authentic Himalayan cuisine. Hmmm….glad I tried it and now I can say I have and let me leave it at that. Down the walkway we found amazing cupcakes…red velvet and coconut.

After exploring, the market and the temperature finally starting to rise, we headed to downtown and did some shopping and ended up at Departures http:// www.departureportland.com a restaurant with bar with an outstanding view of the City.

Refreshed we headed home. We stopped in Vancouver to meet a couple of friends. As Molly as I said “Good night to each other, we realized we had been together for 12 straight hours” and what a fun 12 hours it was for both

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Looking back, my family truly was the great adventurers. By the time graduation came, I had visited 45 of the states in America. Each year my Dad would announce at the dinner table which area of the country he and Mom had decided to travel for two weeks for our summer vacation.

My Dad worked long hours in a manufacturing plant that made plastic bags. Then after work, he would come home to spray the ten acres of apples to assure a crop free of bugs in the fall. Yet, somehow the money was there for a family of five to travel long distances for two weeks each summer.

When we started our summers, we had a handcrafted trailer that had a pullout side that accommodated a bed for my sister and me. It served us well. Though that may be debated since my sister and I still talk about the time, we ran for the narrow door when we saw black bears in the Yellowstone Campsite.

We progressed to a nice regular 16ft metal trailer. I had earned my Dad’s trust so much helping with the driving, he allowed me to take five women to a lake to celebrate my high school graduation without either him or mom accompanying us.

Apparently, it was during childhood the seeds were planted for me to seek out new adventures. Now I have traveled to all the states except for Alaska. My international map is dotted with colored rhinestones to illustrate to myself where I have actually travelled.

As I drove to Long Beach, Washington last weekend, I marveled at the things I have seen and done. I arrived at my friend Rosie’s beach house and was greeted by Rosie and her friend Stef. Later, as we sat looking out the window at the ocean as the waves attacked the beach in force, we discussed life experiences.

During the discussion, I said, “People often say to me, ‘You do so many interesting things’.” I said, “I just don’t get it, there are things to see and learn everywhere.” To which, Rosie replied, “Well I believe you have to create experiences”.

There was my “aha” for the weekend…..create experiences. Of course, that was it, that was exactly what we had done when we all decided we were going to spend time at the beach. Others were asked and chose not to go for various reasons.

We on the other hand listened to Rosie’s plans for our meals. We gladly accepted our assignment for meals, and special treats we were to bring. Each of us brought “surprise” foods for after all we were on vacation and tossed any semblance of diet to the winds.

The trip to the beach had resulted in a stop at a garage sale. There in the “free box” was 1000 piece puzzle. No way of knowing if all the pieces were there or if either one of the women enjoyed putting puzzles together.

Once settled in, I brought out the puzzle. Both women had a big smile and said, “Let’s do it”. During the next three days, the puzzle proved to become a challenge for us—we were going to get it done before we left to go home.

The last night, the final piece of the puzzle was put into the picture. You would have thought we had run a marathon. There were cheers and high fives all around. We conquered the puzzle.

As I think about it, we watched two excellent movies, we talked, we shared outstanding food and learned about each other. Yup, the three of us created this perfect experience or should I say adventure?