Archive for October, 2011

Comes In Three's......

October 31st, 2011

After attending the Pray For Drew 52 fundraiser, it was fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones. There were a lot of helping hands to make the event successful and it was much appreciated by everyone who attended in person as well as in spirit.

They say things happen in threes and I'll admit I'm hoping (wishing) the adage is false right now.

At the fundraising event, I found out a very good friend of mine - since we were 13 - dad had passed away. The very eerie part of it was that I just saw her last week at a baby luau and we briefly talked about her dad. He passed away either later that same day or the next.

I was floored.

She wasn't in attendence considering but my heart sank standing there attending a fundraiser for a little boy whose fighting for his life while hearing such tragic news of a passing.

After we got home late and I was jumping out of my truck, my 90 year old neighbor as he usually does every Sunday, calls me over to pah-tay some more. I "reluctantly" oblige and notice a smaller crowd than usual and upon picking up a remark towards me, Aunty pulls me to the side and informs me that her husband was really sorry that he wasn't able to make it to Da Baby's 1st luau which was about a month ago.

I said, no worries and didn't think twice about it untill I noticed he wasn't there.

She then began to say that he had cancer and it spread quickly and while he really wanted to be at Da Baby's luau, he couldn't muster up the strength to attend after treatment. He passed away shortly after. I was taken aback and cried with her as she went through his struggles but it was good for Aunty to share and let it out.

After several hugs, I crossed the street, went upstairs and hugged Da Wife.

Is it selfish to thank God that while my ohana lay safe, dat my ohana outside of relatives are going through such tragic times all around me? Are any of us really safe? Not to be depressing or anything, but how do you cope with other people's tragedy?

I've told each of my friends that whatever they need, I'm there. Will they take me up on that? Probably not. During times where life itself is involved, immediate relatives step in and friends are there for the cushion afterwards. Isn't that a touchy area? Wat if a friend(s) were "showing up" a relative? Or wat if da relatives were passive in helping? How/when do you step in when everyone is sensitive?

I don't want to hear about a third especially with tonight being Halloween so stay safe, check all your blind spots and stay vigilant for keiki crossing the street and lolo's acking lolo.

Go home, have fun, pah-tay up but before anything else, go hug your wife, your husband, your daughter, your son, your aunty, your uncle, your mom, your dad. Give a relative or a friend you've been meaning to call a ring just to say wassup. Let 'em know you love 'em.

Have a spooktacular Halloween and save da gummy candy for me..... remembah, TRICK or treat! 😀

Posted in WWD! | 23 Comments »

Part III...........

October 29th, 2011

HA HA HA! Made you look. 😆 😛 😆

Posted in WWD! | 24 Comments »

"Local" Customer Service - Part II

October 28th, 2011

Part II - Warning: kinda long

So we've kinda hashed out wat being a kama'aina is (should be) all about. We all generally see eye to eye on life on da islands and I wholeheartedly believe it goes into how we were raised. How does it all tie into customer service?

Let me share with you my "opinion" of customer service and all da longtime Kwonics, and everyone in da WWD! Hui of course, will finally realize why I "value" customer service so much. You could say Part I was a prelude to wat goes on in my pupule mind about service.

If you have a job, you're in customer service. The main difference is if you're on the front lines or "administrative" bound. The front lines deal directly with the customer and have personal contact with them while the desk strapped administrator, as you get "promoted", get less and less interactions with the actually customer but in turn the term "customer", turns to employees.

We've all heard the term "customer service" and we all heard it more popularly translated to "service the customer" - that's where I believe it goes all wrong.

Who wants to "service" anybody? Just saying "service" makes people not smile. What if someone told you to service them? No, not da strip bar kine. It just sounds demeaning and has a negative connotation. Try say dat to your significant oddah and see wat happens........ so why would we subject complete strangers to dat?

It really should be a "customer satisfaction rep" or agent or watevah you want to put at da end because what's the numbah one goal for any workah?

To satisfy his/her customer.

Here's where it gets "technical".

To some, you must think that I'm critical of "service" and to a certain extent, I am. I expect a customer satisfaction agent (sounds classy yeah?) to basically do one thing and one thing only - their job and everything that it entails. Nothing more, nothing less.

I am less of an okole of professions I do not know but for da ones I am familiar with, I take particular notice. Take for instance dining in at a restaurant. I expect, yes expect, a smile or at least not an angry face, a greeting of any sort, proper order taking, checking back three times (once after the meal is served to see if anything else is needed, again during the meal for the same reason but also to refill water, lastly, to deliver the check) and a thank you.

That's for the bare minimum of being "satisfied". Why? Cause s/he did their job.... satisfactorily.

Now if our "server" (see how bad dat sounds?) noticed Da Baby and asked if we needed a booster instead of us asking first - that shows a little something. Or maybe even when taking our name down, anticipating our needs by asking if we'd prefer a table or booth (if it's an option) or suggesting an area more suitable for the situation (maybe keiki friendly so away from foot traffic or maybe a cozier table if its a date). How's about refilling bread or salsa or watevah is "complimentary" if it goes out quickly? What about even asking if we wanted all the food out at the same time or salad/app's first then the entree?

Simple things like that is what makes a customer..... more than satisfied. That's going above and beyond the "basics" and as a consumer, we enjoy being thought of instead of waiting for things to happen.

How's about retail satisfaction agents (sounds 007-ish huh)? Sure at minimum they should acknowledge you in the store and most times people deny any help but how's about pointing some things out like a sale rack and what specials are going on instead of just a "Hi, welcome to ______"? Well, actually, I've been seeing a growing trend of an "information person" more often in stores although it appears they designate only one person to be it.

Don't you hate it when you ask if there's any more in stock and they automatically say, "whatever is out on the shelf, that's it." Granted, if they stocked it they would know.... but how do WE know they stocked it? Is it really that cumbersome to just say, "if you have a minute, I can recheck stock for you" and even if you "fake-looked", at least it shows the consumer that you're there to help. But how do you know there wasn't a return? How do know if there was a hold and no one came back to purchase it?

The number one answer to "stock questions" that really gets me is, "YOU can check our other stores, they might have it."

Wassup Wit Dat!

I mean really, do you not want our business? Do you not want to pick up a phone and call another store yourself? Do you not want to check the computer especially if it shows stock from other stores?

It all goes back to "satisfying" the customer because if you left the store at that instant..... did you leave satisfied? Now if you left the store after all the "help"..... would you leave satisfied? Disappointed the item wasn't available but satisfied at the least that resources were checked nonetheless right?

I remember back in the day when retail people would offer to call another store and even have it delivered to the current store so the customer wouldn't have to drive across town to pick it up. I remember when they would actually go into the warehouse and actually look for an item even though there may be a chance there wasn't any. And heaven forbid any suggestions for similar items maybe in a different color or comparable product.

Customer satisfaction is tier-like in the sense that there are some that will think ahead, anticipate the situation and plan or suggest accordingly. There will be those who just offer the "basic plan", those who offer the "gold plan" and those who go out of their way to offer the "premium plan".

Treat others like how you'd want to be treated is always said but not always done and that's another anecdote that while true, is not "serviceable". I think the anecdote should actually be "treat others kindly because it's the right thing to do".

Think about it. If you want to treat someone in a reciprocating fashion, then aren't you just self-satisfying yourself? Those in the customer satisfaction industry should take pride that someone else is satisfied instead of themselves. That's the nature of your JOB. It's not about you, it's about THEM and if you can't get that then I can see why you may not enjoy your job as much.

Sure we need to be satisfied with our jobs as well but that should be the end result of you doing yours. A consumer's job is nothing more than paying money to be satisfied. (Get your heads out of the gutter) And that's why there are people willing to pay more for a higher level of satisfaction (it's still in the gutter).

Now with all that being said, for those who thought I was "upset" about being $2 short a couple blogs back, I hope now you understand that I wasn't upset. I didn't complain about it. I didn't snap at him. I was dissatisfied more than anything. Did I expect him to verify the last receipt by calling Romano's? No. I asked if he could and it would have been nice if he did. Did I ask him to let me slide? No. I explained our situation to him and he wasn't satisfied about it so no deal. Did I expect him to let it slide? No. In fact I was about to leave when I showed him the exchanged receipt. Was the receipts a big deal for the promo? NO. It wasn't photo-copied, it wasn't verified by a manager, it wasn't added up with a calculator tape.... all it was him "seeing" it was $200+ to qualify.

Could he have suggested to me going next door to the Cookie Corner and buying a cookie? Or the ABC Store and buy a water? No, that was the "premium package" which he didn't have membership for.

Customer satisfaction is all about what you can do and da biggest sticking point is if you're willing to do it. When I worked at the ABC Store and a customer wanted a product we were out of, I'd climb the rafters in the storage looking for it and if we didn't have it, I'd call a neighboring store till I found it. I then would run over to the store to pick it up and bring it back for the customer. At times, I'd even deliver it to their hotel.

It was something I could do but more of what I was willing to do.

I could literally write a book about this but it's 2:45am and I have yet to sleep.

Bottom line, what should "customer service" be? Ask yourself, is s/he satisfied and to what degree? Was there more I could do or offer? Am I able and willing to do it? Granted you can't and will not be able to satisfy everyone because of differing standards but at the least.... shouldn't you try?

And of course, I'd like to respond to some comments left earlier that made me ponder:

rayboyjr said,

... I think your presumptions causes your pain ... yeah, you can expect things or people to be a certain way ... but we know things don't always turn out to be what we expected ...

And you're right about that my presumptions causes my own pain. But should I have lower standards than the "basic plan"? While I don't feel like I "expect" much (as noted above) and I get disappointed when I see bad customer service, I was more than willing to let it go cause he was following the "rules" and basically did his job minus the Aloha.

... and the guy didn't cut you slack in meeting the receipt requirements ... maybe he could have or should have given some leeway ... he might have had that discretion, but we really don't know ... you're expecting a level of service he wasn't required to provide ... maybe you could have asked for a supervisor or manager who might have given the ok ... another hard thing to do ...

In truth, I think I was hoping he'd provide a higher level of service but again, was I upset that he didn't? No. Just disappointed. I was dissatisfied with his inter-personal skills though.

And I didn't welcome a Lurkah in the previous blog so E Komo Mai to WWD! pali! He said:

dat kine workers no last too long. dey end up working at one oddah job making da oddah workas miserable because dey miserable to begin wit. ala moana management should step up and train mo bettah. shame dat kine, fo not representin...jus selfish and lazy.

My eyes gravitated to the last three words..... "selfish and lazy". If you have either or both, they are deadly in the customer satisfaction game.

And saving the best for last, changwang said in reference to kama'aina:

i cant describe the "specific" type of local that you ask for. locals come in all shapes and sizes but i am 100% sure they are local. now let me clarify a bit... i'm not saying ALL locals act the way i described earlier but when someone does act that way... more often than not, they are a local....locals have no shame. locals in general play by a different set of rules... they have this "i should be hooked up because i'm local mentality... its like they expect a kama aina discount whereever they go. again, this is not all locals but when someone EXPECTS to be hooked up, its a more thing, its great that you hooked people up and its really admirable but its apples and oranges when you're on the otherside, EXPECT to be hooked up and get salty about it.

I've never witnessed, experienced or heard of any local being so salty about not getting a kama'aina discount. Now when you say "hooked up", are you saying discount or free? In either case, I don't believe most kama'aina would even expect to get a kama'aina discount outside of Waikiki and even so, we ask if there is a kama'aina discount because businesses have made it so. Now if a business does not offer it in "tourist attractions", I cannot even imagine a kama'aina getting salty about it. If there was one, s/he probably isn't right in their head.

I can only speak for myself although I'm confident most will agree, I don't expect any hookups unless offered in the first place and it's usually by friends anyways. Who in their right mind would ask a complete stranger to "hook them up" unless they have a few coconuts loose in their head? I cannot even begin to fathom any kama'aina acting like that and especially getting salty about it... that doesn't sound right.

you dont need to feel sorry for the way i feel, my observations are my personal experiences and the more you try to argue against it instead of accept it as my own, the more i think you're biased and blinded by local pride. a lot of what you mention illustrates this because you seem to think we have a special type of aloha spirit here. i find that amusing because i have seen the same "aloha spirit" you find so rare, all around the world.

If being biased and blinded by local pride means it protects what Hawai'i has to offer.... then I am biased and FULL of local pride. That same "aloha spirit" you find so rare all around the world, I'm sure they too have the same bias and local pride themselves.

in a way, i guess i'm sorry you blogged about an experience that fell into my generlizations about the way locals act in a specific situation, but my experiences are my experiences. i'd love to take your suggestion and change my ways but then i'd have to agree with your dogma in this entry which i dont.

You sorry that I blogged? Ok. Brah, no one is asking you to change or agree with anything here. If you choose to live and see life as you do now, my only hope is that you do find your Aloha somewhere... as you've made it evidently clear you're not going to find it here. Good luck to you.

when frank de lima says chinese are pake people laugh. when changwang says locals try to game the system the sky begins to fall.

Umm, Frank De Lima is a comedian.... you're dead serious about your interpretations hence any repercussions to that effect.

Mahalos to everyone that shared their mana'o and kept it civil. Muchos Mahalos to changwang and rayboyjr for being da stars da past couple blogs and sharing their own experiences as well.

Da WWD! Hui is truly da bestest!

Posted in WWD! | 22 Comments »

"Local" Customer Service? - Part I

October 25th, 2011

A couple blogs ago on "Smile.... You'd Think It Should Come Naturally", a Lurkah ventured out of Lurkahville and became a Lanceformer.

Well not surah if s/he was from The Advertiser dayz but for anyone to come out and post on WWD!, you know dat da door is always open and it's au' good hea.

Aftah rereading everyone's post and rereading da blog itself, I could see how one's interpretation could go a gazillion ways about customer service. changwang and long time Kwonic rayboyjr really hit a nerve wit me both in good and.... off ways.

changwang said,

"i have been in a similar situation where i worked with a diverse group of people and locals are by far the most annoying. They do absolultely anything to avoid the rules and always try to game the system. the worst part is that they enjoy pushing things to the absolute end and have fun testing to see how much they can get away with."

I agree das true.... but das true no mattah wea you go! It could be New Yorkers, Californians, Texans, anybody. Again, I agree dat I've seen my fair share of locals do watevah they can to get watevah they can and knowing how to work it as well but to say dat locals "push things to the absolute end and have fun testing to see how much they can get away with" is straight up ludicrous. Maybe it's da type of business you do or da clientele it attracts but I think (believe) locals got a lot more class than dat. Granted, I have seen a minute few who are total jerks and disrespect wat it is to even be human but even moreso, da extreme you're talking about is da no class mokes, NOT locals.

Yes, there is a difference.

Mokes are da true ainokea locals dat think everything is owed to them one way or anoddah. They'll take it any way they can howevah they can. They have zero respect for you and whoevah is in between them and wat they want. Mokes are selfish to da extreme to say da least and das all putting it nicely.

Locals, with "Hawai'i" in them, are a unique bunch wea we have a chop suey of cultures, traditions and evolution of lifestyles dat make oddahs envious of Hawai'i locals. Da "true local" will care about a complete stranger as such in da last Kokua blog-Pray For Drew, everyone's an Uncle or Aunty and we all have engrained in our coconut shell, Aloha.

changwang goes on to reply to me questioning if him/her if s/he was local,

well for one thing... i'm local. and another... locals have no shame. locals in general play by a different set of rules... they have this "i should be hooked up because i'm local mentality." trust me, locals have no shame in asking the most absurd things like "oh can i take this food home since you're gonna throw it away anyway..." mind you, at a buffet.

And hea we see eye to eye but you six feet seven and I'm five-four (with shoes).

Imho, one thing dat makes Hawai'i locals no ka oi and really separate ourselves from any city in da country is, humility. Wen you act negatively in any way, shape or form or your actions lean towards da selfish side, guarans you always will hea phrases to da effect of "shame".

"You no shame or wat?" "I shame." "Das shame."

And truthfully, humility and aloha mixed together makes an...... wait for it........ an awesome person. You don't need to be rich, you don't have to be educated, you can be watevah you want but if and wen those two traits top your character list - you got it made in my book.

It's only more apparant - depressing is more like it - dat there are more and more mokes out there and locals have evah so slowly stopped being "shame" dat makes da world seem like it's going to he!!.... imho.

We both agree there is a "shame" issue but I say it's more on da mokes part rather than a true local. Just by da shmall kine definition above, doesn't your comments reflect da same opinion but you're just willing to slam all locals? If I saw a moke trying to "game da system" I wouldn't flinch an inch but if I seen an average local trying fo' do dat you know wat's coming............

Wassup Wit Dat!

Why? Cause I expect more out of true locals and in all honesty, I don't believe mokes will evah change but locals dat still have 'shame' always get chance.

Stay tuned for Part II.......................................

Posted in WWD! | 44 Comments »

Kokua Needed - Favor To Ask Da WWD! Hui

October 21st, 2011

The main difference between me in high school and me now, I put on some weig..... muscle.

Actually I'm pretty much the same, muscle excluded, in that I try to care more about others than myself. My friends know that I'm there for them no matter what and even Da Wife sometimes can't figure out why I'd drop whatever I'm doing in a heartbeat when any of them needs anything.

One major difference is when I was younger I knew there was a whole new world waiting to be explored. I dove head first without care and little worry and oblivious to what life really offered all the while enjoying every bit of it knowing there's more. As I got older, nothing changed other than me learning about consequences, becoming much more patient, avoiding knee-jerk reactions and changing to milder peppers in my kim chee temper just to name a few.

It's what we call, experience.

If you've never been exposed to certain things or if you've never had an opportunity to, you just don't know what you've missed out or not. And without experiencing it, you can't imagine how it truly feels or how'd you really react other than thinking how you possibly would.

Before having Da Baby last year, I didn't realize (appreciate) the gift of life. I saw pregnant ladies before. I saw crying babies. I saw parents "taking turns". I saw mother/daughter-father/son time. I saw one share the others enthusiasm. It didn't bother me none. It was something they had/were doing.

I didn't think twice about any of those things until Da Baby came along.

I noticed myself tuning things out around me focusing only on Da Baby whether it be talking "baby" or telling her a'ole for da gazillionth time. I now respect what wahine go through carrying a child and going through labor. I see crying babies and now think maybe the baby needs food or a change and hope the parents take care of it instead of saying "shut the *&%@ up!". I watch as one parent inhales their food while the other occupies the baby all the while just waiting their own turn to eat and I immediately think, "been there, don't forget to chew and breathe" instead of "too bad so sad". I watch mother and daughters (da young ones of course) shop and see the glitter in their eye sharing a moment or two or a father and son throwing a ball and getting coached regardless if the father is clueless about it.

It's a feeling you can't duplicate and it's definitely an experience that everyone may go through differently but it is an experience nonetheless. Not to say that those who don't have keiki don't feel the same but it'll be mighty hard to duplicate. Experiences are just something you can't say you have until you've gone through it. I'm not sure why or how it happened but I get in a zen-like state when I witness even the simplest things like a wintery chill blowing by as I gaze at the Koolau's or people helping people without risk or reward. I take joy in that. Those experiences are worth having.

Then there are others you don't want.

And then sometimes you experience things that are uncontrollable, unforeseeable and out of your hands that you had no choice or chance to accept or deny the experience.

The parents of Drew Iida are personal friends of mine and they need our kokua. With respect to to the parents and ohana, specific details will not be released. There was an article in the October 15th paper and also a not so kind segment on one of the news channels - both which were done without their consent. A short blurb was made on ESPN during the UH/SJSU game which I'm sure many have heard but just flew by since the experience wasn't theirs.

There's a minute few who jump to conclusions and make accusations and I can tell you without doubt or hesitation that they are two of the most caring, thoughtful and considerate parents out there. I've known the mother since we were 13 and she's always been the calm caring type. The father is a big teddy bear with a bigger heart. They provide, care and nurture like any parent would and by no means intentionally put their, or any other person, in harms way. They are good people.

Whether you're moved by what happened or not, it's based on your experience(s). I for one was super concerned once I heard of the injury because it involved people I knew and cared for but even moreso since I had Da Baby it became an issue that hit home.

It could have been my baby.

Something unpredictable. Something out of the blue. It's just one of those things.

Connections by experience is a common thing that brings different people together. It's also one of those things that everybody has but to differing levels and it's called caring. People who don't know each other pitching in, helping out in any way they can, doing whatever they can however they can. It's not about how much help you can give, it's about whether you're genuine about it. It's about doing da right thing at da right time for da right reasons - das da Aloha Spirit!

There will be a fundraiser for Drew Iida (Pray 4 Drew 52) at the Villa at Aloha Tower on October 30th 4pm - 9pm (see flyer below). There will be local entertainment, a silent auction and a fun time to have by sharing a common experience: Kokua.

You can kokua in choke ways. Presale tickets are limited but feel free to show up at the door - all are welcome. If you just want to donate, nothing is too small for the silent auction or monetary donations can be made out to "Pray For Drew Iida" fund. I have verified with a close family member that all proceeds will benefit Drew Iida, and only Drew Iida, to help with his medical cost and care.

No help is too small and any help is appreciated. Don't feel like you have to break the bank to help. While tangible goods can help with immediate needs, the intangible helps just as well.

Let's all Pray for Drew 52 and wish him a speedy and full recovery so that he may experience and pass on what you're passing onto him.

Please respect his parents wishes about the injury and let's focus on what we can control - that's to kokua at his fundraiser.

*** As a small incentive to kokua, if you show up to the fundraiser and find me, you'll get a freebie! Yes, a freebie. No fine print. No $2 short but there is a single requirement,

You have to say three magic words............. "Wassup Wit Dat!".

Just tap me on da shoulder, say it (proudly, sarcastically, funny, watevahs) and you'll get your choice of a personally designed t-shirt or a bottle of kim chee to be delivered later. And even for those who are unable to make it but donate anyways, we'll go on the honor system so just email me saying you did so and I'll hook you up with the prize of your choice.

If we have a confirmed amount of people attending, I'll even try and secure a table for Da WWD! Hui.... so you can see all da lolos dat read WWD!. 😆

Hope to see you there!

Muchos Mahalos!



CLICK HERE TO SEE PRAY 4 DREW BOOSTER ITEMS - I'm unsure how many items are left but if you contact the person on the order form, I am sure they'll have the info

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