The ‘FLUTE’ That Took Me Down

If you have or have ever had kids, you know that they bring home some pretty yucky things. Last week, my kiddo brought home, as he likes to call it, the “flute”, otherwise known as the flu to the rest of the human population. So this past week has been a series of fun symptoms, some days feeling great, others feeling like death. It also included a few days away from work. However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have some fun the past couple weeks though! Enjoy!

Entry under job title: COO/Air Guitarist – yup, someone actually put that on their registration

Entry under Web Address: 1234 Street address – seeing this more often than should be possible

“I don’t have a business card, I tossed them all away” Really? Why would you do that!?

“Wouldn’t the checking account be the same as a letter of intent?” Sure, that’s the same

“She has become unresponsive to my emails. So I’m sending a new email” Yup, that’ll get you a new answer… I gave you the answer 3 times… and you don’t like the answer… but sending a new e-mail, that’s the ticket, I’ve completely changed everything about our policies because you’ve sent a new e-mail

Warning in our own system!


I just might start using “updation” in everyday language!

Yup – This series of e-mails is all from 1 person…

all-from-the-same-personNotice the time… and they’re upset that we didn’t respond after the first 3 e-mails. Come on people, over an hour writing us multiple e-mails in the middle of the night? Go to sleep!


Weekly email fun

“Can I have a 1 M cube cotton ball in my booth?” (Really, they make those!?)

(First communication with us) You people are impossible!

My email: Please send me a .eps or .ai file of your logo. Client: “here is a .jpg, is that all you need?” (No comment)

Our email: “Your registration is pending proof of business ” Client: “Why was my registration denied?” (Seriously,  what part of pending means denied!?)

Inquiry from the registration page which states “all attendees and exhibitors must have a badge”…Client: “Do I have to register or can I just come in?”

And to add in a bit of personal fun… a quote from my son regarding Lady Gaga looking uncomfortable during the half time show “because she doesn’t have on pants!

Happy Sunday!


28 Minutes

Being in customer service, no matter what industry, means being a patient person. It tends to be a prerequisite to doing the job. Smiling even though you are in a bad mood, sitting on the phone with someone as they go through a process that you’re really just listening to them read a website, and generally just being nice, always. Even as the manager, I’m in the trenches. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it means I still get some interesting calls…

28 minutes an (I can only assume) older gentleman had me on the phone the other day. Started out like many other calls, him asking how to log in and pay his bill and order furniture, all the basics. Then things proceeded down a very dark path including:

Caller: it’s been a LONG time since I was able to say it was my “first time” if you know what I mean…

Me: uncomfortable chuckle; no worries, the information is all easily available on our site

Caller: You have the patience of an angel, don’t you?

Me: Well, it’s why I’m good at my job

Caller: Are you married?

Me: (very quickly) YES!

Caller: Do you talk to your husband like this?

Me: (because really, what in the world do you say to THAT!?) ummm, I’m very versed in making sure things go smoothly, is there anything additional I can assist you with today?

In any industry, if you call a customer service line and the person asks if there is anything additional they can assist with… you’ve either actually gotten to the end of their answers… or you’ve crossed a line somewhere (maybe a long time before then).line-in-sand

Disappearing Act

April 7th… yup, sadly, that was the last time I wrote for Keeping My Zen. Reason = I was promoted, yay! So this past year has been full of all sorts of excitement. On top of learning how to effectively lead a team of former co-workers, most of which have now moved on to bigger and better things, I also learned how to assemble a new team, and just recently have been given the opportunity to grow the team even more! Not to mention, we’ve moved offices, taken on countless new shows, and now are owned by a different company. Needless to say, my time was a bit limited, however, now that I’m comfortably settled into my new managerial role, feeling confident in my team’s abilities, I can get back to the fun stuff! Sharing my crazy customer stories with you!

Look for new content coming soon and I’ve invited a few guest writers to share their stories too!


No matter what industry you are in – please make sure the “contact” in your out of office, is also NOT out of the office… Sent an URGENT e-mail this morning for a deadline tomorrow, got an out of office with a new contact, contacted that person, got an out of office with a new contact, contacted that person and got a generic out of office… Oh well, guess they’ll miss the deadline… I tried!

Stupidity at its Finest

Imagine this: So you call into a company, complaining about something and they ask for your information. You provide a very common word, such as Innovate as your company name. The person on the phone types in Innovate (because you didn’t specify anything differently) and cannot find your record. You get very mad at that person and tell the person that they are accusing you of lying and then WALK AWAY FROM THE PHONE cursing. So the person at the company tells your what she can only assume is your wife still on the phone to e-mail the information over so that she can assess further.

When that e-mail arrives the person realizes that you have spelled Innovate as Innov8… Seriously – You didn’t have the intelligence to tell the person on the phone that oh by the way, my company name isn’t spelled like the word!?


Head + Wall

So today is notoriously one of the worse days for my department at work… the day a discount expires! (heaven forbid we change pricing) So… needless to say, it was hectic and crazy busy. As a supervisor, I keep an eye on a myriad of functions from e-mails to phone calls to chats, so I see a good chunk of what happens within the department. Plus I have one of those memories where I can notice patterns and remember when something happens more than once… which leads to today’s most useless question:

“what does this mean?” To the warning that says “This e-mail address has already been used for a registration, please use a unique e-mail address to continue”

OMG people, it means that you already have a registration! People rarely go around registering random e-mail addresses for the fun of it! (notice I didn’t say never, because I wouldn’t put it past someone at this point)

So, if you’re utilizing my blog to learn what NOT to do when participating in a tradeshow, please read and think about what you read before e-mailing, calling or chatting! (Unless, of course, you want to see your stupid question here)

Otherwise – hope you have had an amazing day and Go Broncos!

Is Entitlement the Norm?

Honestly – I love my job! The daily interactions with so many people from all walks of life, from CEOs of major corporations to employees at the local gas station. However, what I don’t appreciate is people who feel that they are entitled to anything and everything they want, regardless of the rules, requests, and without regard to common courtesy.

Today, I was both threatened, that I “better reconsider” someone’s registration because they didn’t want to pay $30, and received the below e-mail.

“If there was a problem with my or anyone registration  how come i did not get an email good or bad we should be getting some thing???????

Do I have to do them ALL AGAIN??????????


I can send you a spread sheet JUST like last year!! this is such a pain whey does not your site work like it is suppose to??????????

I f im having problems so are others, I did not do anything wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

So I pose the question: Specifically, in the workplace setting, is it right to converse with someone for the first time with anything other than utmost respect? Tell me what you think!

I guess I was raised differently, because my mom would have had the wooden spoon out had I spoken to someone like this, regardless of whether I knew them or not, and probably regardless of how old I was!

Website: “Yes”

To truly understand the awesomeness that I’ve been dealing with this week (and yes, it’s only Monday), one must understand that my job entails looking through a lot of information both what is entered into our system and what people put on their websites. It includes understanding that sometimes what is written is not necessarily what is intended. And I’m OK with that.

However, when filling out a form that says Name, Company, E-mail address, and Website… who thinks writing “Yes” under the website field is acceptable? It is a required field, of course, but Yes?! Why not put “Yes” under Name or Company? Because that would be ridiculous, but putting “Yes” under website is A-OK. google-why-do-I-have-a-website

When “Please leave your name, #, and a brief message” is not enough

With 9 years in the tradeshow industry, preceded by 8 years in retail and a couple random job years in between, I’ve learned a few things about basic business communication practices. And it’s amazing how old I sound re-reading that! 

1- Make sure to put your out of office on your voicemail and e-mail messages. I promise I won’t contact you again until a few days after you’re back.

2-If you are leaving a voicemail, make sure you speak slowly during your phone number  Remember, I don’t have your phone number memorized like you do, and I’m not going to waste time looking it up because you couldn’t take more than a second to give your number.

3-Do not leave your life story on a voicemail. If your voicemail is over 1 minute in length, I probably won’t listen to the whole thing before calling you back, and you’re going to have to say it all again, so just don’t.

4-If it’s urgent, leave a message, don’t just hang up and call again 5 seconds later. If I don’t answer once, the chance of me answering 5 seconds later is even less likely than the first time you called!

5-Do not, under any circumstances, call, leave a message, e-mail, then call and leave a message again about the same subject, unless the process to do so was over 1 week in time from first message to last message.

I bring you this very helpful etiquette list because this week and last week have been quite busy, crazy, and probably 10 other words to describe insane! Today I spent a whopping cumulative hour actually getting real work done, the other 7 hours were filled with meetings, interviews, and putting out fires. So, needless to say, I wasn’t sitting at my desk waiting for my phone to ring. Of the 5 voicemail messages I received (8 missed calls) ONE single person provided me the information I needed to assist them. The other 4 were missing very vital information, such as name, company name, what show they are exhibiting at, one didn’t even leave a phone number. Come on people, help me, help you!

My outgoing voicemail message will be changing tomorrow, not that it will help, but maybe it will help just 1 more person give me the info I need to return their call properly.
If only