Learning is living, giving, stretching, reaching, teaching, testing, puzzlement, failures, successes– results.
The customer is the person we need, not the person who needs us.
At first glance, this quotation seems paradoxical. In truth, we need each other. But good customer service means forgetting, for the moment, the truth that the customer needs us, and focusing instead on the truth that we need the customer. People sometimes feel embarrassed and powerless when they need something from someone. As an interpreter, I serve customers who need my help to communicate with each other. I find that when I focus on the truth that I need my customers, my attitude improves and so does my customer service. I believe that when customers feel proud and powerful instead of embarrassed and powerless, they are more able to communicate with each other and more inclined to ask for me again.
“What about slang words and acronyms, aren’t they vague language?” Someone asked me this recently, and I wanted to say no right away, but I had to think about why. After thinking on it, I say no, slang words and acronyms are not vague language because they do not have inherently vague meanings; if anything, they are very specific. Vague words have inherently vague meanings– vague language is language you know, but can never be sure of. Take the word noonish– we know it means sometime around noon; we just don’t know exactly when. We also don’t know how late someone might be when they say they’ll meet you at noonish: 12:05? 12:10? What about quarter past– is that noonish anymore, or just plain late? I don’t think a dictionary, slang or otherwise, will ever tie noonish down to the hands of a clock. When people talk with each other in front of you in a language you don’t understand, they’re being cryptic, not vague. Or maybe you’re just being paranoid.
I just woke up this morning, and I started the day with a warm glow. I feel happy, proud, hopeful, and grateful. Today is thanks to all that others have done to keep me alive; today I am proud of all I have accomplished, all that I have done to take care of myself and keep myself alive from one day to the next; today I accept another number after “I am”– a badge of courage, a badge of success, a badge of survival. I’m even proud of my mistakes today; you know why? Because I lived through them, I learned from them, and they helped make me who I am today. This morning I’m awash with a feeling of acceptance about my whole life– all the good times, bad times, successes, failures, finds, losses, smiles, tears… every moment of my life so far has brought me to this point, and look! I’m alive, I’m happy, I’m hopeful, and I’m grateful.
Today is a celebration of my mother’s carriage of me to term — of her decision to have me — and of her successful birth of me. My mother died last October, but if she were still alive, she would once again say, “today is my birth day,” and she would be beaming with pride in me and love for me. Well, mom’s not here this year, but I’m loving myself for her. I’m proud of myself for her. She and my father and God and everything-and-everyone made me. Today is a celebration of me– this unique individual, this creature, this person. There is not, never has been, nor never will be anyone else exactly like me. I’m special, I’m loved, and I love myself. Today is a very good day.
My husband pointed out to me the other day, when he saw me trying out new WordPress themes, that changing my blog’s theme wouldn’t change my life– that if I wanted to change my life I needed to work on applying for teaching jobs. It’s true. I love trying out new designs (in fact, I did get a new theme for this blog), but what I really want is to teach interpreting in a university, and to do that, I have to spend my time on what matters. I did gather my concentration and apply to four different teaching positions. The idea of relocating is both scary and exciting. I’m ready for a change, and while I have some fear of the unknown, I have more hope than fear. Into the unknown might be just where I’m meant to go. And it might be my best location yet.