Showing posts from August, 2010

Sneaky Subscriptions

Quick, check your magazine labels. Or better yet, if you have elderly family members, check their magazine subscription labels. Even though we canceled my Dad’s subscriptions when he passed away five years ago , my Mom recently told me that US News and World Report is still sending their magazine to my Dad. The first thing I did was check the mailing label. My mind spiraled in shock when I read the expiration: “ FEB40 .” My Dad was an extremely smart man, but as he got older, his health declined, and he would get confused. Telemarketers assured him they were saving him money with each renewal. They just never bothered to tell him when his subscriptions expired. Of course, I made an immediate call to US News & World Report . The customer service representative apologized and offered to stop delivery, which I accepted. Then, she proceeded to give me phone numbers for three different telemarketing companies. Three! Each company sold him several renewals. Thirty plus years

The Magic of a Toy Story

Magic lingers within the confines of a movie theatre. Anything can happen. Love is lost and found, families deal with struggles, ridiculous events shape people’s lives, and various structures might explode. It’s incredible! I love movies, if you haven’t figured that point out yet. I love selecting that perfect seat, settling in with a bag of popcorn and a Coke, and allowing the story to absorb me for a few hours. Luckily, for me, my husband enjoys the experience as much as I do. This summer, we’ve checked out several of Hollywood’s contributions to the big screen. I won’t bore you with the details of each movie. I want to talk about my favorite from this summer. I usually don’t expect much from a sequel, and even less if it’s the third in the series, but this summer’s Toy Story 3 challenged that opinion. I recommend this movie to everyone who has not seen it. The idea of toys seeking their childhood friend in college-bound Andy broke my heart. I’ve watched my granddaughter play

A Taste of Success

Writers write because they have to. You may have heard that before, and I can tell you it’s true. Not all writers care whether they are published or not. I do care. This past Sunday, while returning from a movie, I decided to check my email on my phone. An email's subject line, “Greer writer featured,” jumped out at me. I wondered who I knew that had sent out this notice of their achievement. With a small twinge of envy, I opened the email. I was the Greer writer mentioned in the email! Last February, I submitted an essay to an anthology for grandparents, and in March, I learned that it had been accepted. The anthology would be published in September. The email I received on Sunday was the book’s press release featuring me. How cool was that? Open up an email only to discover my own press release? But the excitement didn’t stop there. After I closed out of my email, I got to thinking about the book’s title, Child of My Child . It sounded so familiar. I was almost positive

Trainers Just Want to Have Fun

Sometimes training participants come back from break or lunch a few minutes late. Well, OK, this happens a lot of times. Years ago, I decided to create a fun penalty for tardiness. If you were late, you had to tell a joke, BUT it had to be a clean joke. If you couldn’t think of a clean joke, you had to sing a song … of my choosing: My Bologna Has a First Name or I’m a Little Teacup . My classes embraced this idea, and the number of late arrivals went way down. When students were late, we heard a good joke or had a musical interlude. If the participant sang Teacup , my students insisted that they act it out, too. Who knew? One day, a student screeched through the doorway, just seconds before the deadline. She smiled at me and said, “Someone tried to stop me, but I told them I had Barbara, and they had to tell me a joke to stop.” The person didn’t offer a joke, and she didn’t stop. The class loved it. One note to keep in mind, this tactic does NOT work with sales people. I tried it