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New discoveries and delights abound in this new normal world

Self-administered customer service is especially important right now. Try finding and appreciating people, places and things that give you joy and “customer satisfaction.” They’re all around and plentiful. This is truly an opportunity to explore and expand horizons. Give it a try.

MARK LUSKY

Along with a robust new exercise regimen, expanded personal growth and more reading emphasis identified a week ago, this past few days have produced delightful new ways to appreciate our current circumstances. Here are the highlights:

  • Spending more time looking for and appreciating natural beauty. The other day, I noticed trees already blooming. This seems weeks ahead of schedule. Is it possible that reduced pollution is speeding up the process? Activity reduction across the world appears to be having beneficial effects on the re-emergence of cleaner water, water fowl and other natural wonders.
  • Cooking. This past weekend, I cooked a meatloaf, chicken dish and pork tenderloin to feed myself this week. Since I can’t do small dinner parties for groups (one of my favorite pastimes), I decided to do them for myself. Instead of grazing and grabbing what might be available, I’m actually putting time and effort into these parties of one. And, I’m happy to share some of my meals with friends—leaving food at their doors instead of having them over.
  • Exploring Virtual Happy Hour. This may actually dovetail into the cooking process above. Members of my tribe are trying out Zoom virtual happy hours. Once we get them up and running, we can always add meals to the menu. We’ll pick a time to get together virtually, share our stories along with food and drink—doing what we always do. If you decide to try this on Zoom, just be aware that crowded Internet bandwidth may force audio only to ensure smooth communication. So far, with limited participants, the audio/video option seems to be working for the most part.
  • Finding news silver linings. Amid all the downers, reports are proliferating about new tests that may be available in mass quantities. I also heard that there may be faster-than-expected progress on a COVID-19 antiviral drug. I’ve chosen to balance, as best I can, consumption of news reports offering negative and positive developments. Among the negative headlines I’m most avoiding, however, are the speculative, sensationalized “world is coming to an end” proclamations. I don’t believe we really know at this point if a Great Depression is in the future—but I sure don’t need to get depressed reading about it right now. Let’s get further down the road to see what actually happens. This is largely uncharted territory, and buying into sky-is-falling exclamations is a bit like trying to predict who will win the November elections.
  • Buying and giving whimsical gifts. Last week, I purchased a dozen smiley balloons at Dollar Tree to put smiles on the faces of neighbors and friends. Plus, I shared out photos of them to people I’m not connecting with in-person at this point. By the way, they’re a buck apiece at Dollar Tree.
  • Becoming a better listener. Understanding that we all need grace and added understanding at this time, I’m trying to become a better listener for people needing to vent, emote, explain…whatever. If there ever has been a time to hone listening skills without having to wade in with “fix-it” suggestions unless desired, it’s now.

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Do you have customer service snafus or stellar experiences to share? If so, feel free to comment on this post or email your thoughts to mark@marklusky.com.

Author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage,  Mark (aka The Happy Curmudgeon) is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm.

Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience.

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