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Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com

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What I want you to know about being a military family

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Cindy Battles.

It happened while we were driving back from…I don’t know…somewhere. My son was telling me about a tattoo he wanted to get. To be honest, I was only half listening. He was only 17 so he could change his mind countless times before he was legally allowed to get a tattoo. But something caught my attention.

“Hey, son, I’m all for the tattoo but I feel like that’s a tattoo someone in the military gets.”
“Yea Mom, I’m waiting until after I join the Marines to get it.”

I think I had an out of body experience. Or my heart stopped. Or something. I still count myself lucky I didn’t wreck the car and bring his dreams of military glory to a screeching halt. He had talked about joining the Marines from the time he was four. We come from a military family, my grandfather served in both World War II and Korea. But in the last few years, he hadn’t mentioned it at all. I thought he’d forgotten it. I was wrong.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want my child to serve…it’s just I didn’t want him to be in danger or far away or…okay, maybe I didn’t want him to go. But I never said that. I talked him out of joining as soon as he graduated high school thinking if he attended college he’d be distracted…or if he met a girl…his photography business was taking off…I forgot he is as hard headed as his mother.

He left for bootcamp on Mother’s Day. I wanted to make it easier for him so I was determined not to cry. I choked back tears as he said goodbye to his dog. We took him to the Recruiter’s office and blinked back tears as he hugged me and his sister. The next day we drove to MEPS to watch him take his oath. And then we went home and waited for the phone call that would let us know he’d made it safely to Parris Island. The recruiter had warned us about the phone call so we’d know he’d be reading from a script while a Drill Instructor yelled at him. He wouldn’t be able to talk to us. So, while he read from the script (“I have arrived safely at Parris Island. Please do not send any food or bulky items. I will contact you in 7 to 10 days via postcard with my new mailing address. Thank you for your support. Goodbye for now.”) my daughter and I repeated over and over “We love you. We’ll miss you. You’ve got this.” Into the phone.

Bootcamp is 13 weeks long. And what no one tells you is, it’s the easy part. Sure, it’s difficult. You learn a new vocabulary (including an impossibly long list of acronyms). You learn to shorten ‘qualification’ to ‘quals’ (swim quals, MCMAP quals, firing quals…) and to hold your breath every time one of them show up on the schedule. You learn to never call your Recruit a Marine until they’ve actually made it through the Crucible (see new vocabulary), to never ever call a Marine a soldier (or vice versa), or to call your future Marine’s Drill Instructor a “Drill Sargent”. You learn that no one else but fellow Recruit Parents or Marine Moms that you have met thanks to the internet are going to understand why you rearrange schedules to get to the mailbox and why you are a crazy woman during the three days of the Crucible. But there is a schedule in your hands…you know what your child is going to be doing daily. There is a countdown on your phone that tells you when you will see him again. There are ten glorious days at home to look forward to before he has to report to the next step and somehow those ten days seem so long until you actually get him home and realize how quickly they passed.

My son has been a Marine for almost two years now. We have made it through his first deployment. I’ve learned the value of “no news is good news” and how to initiate the Red Cross when he needed to be informed of a family emergency. I love Skype almost more than anything in the world. I’ve learned “Semper Fidelis” and I’ve also learned “Semper Gumby” (specifically when his leave was cut short the first time he’d been home in seven months). I haven’t learned not to get my feelings hurt when people don’t ask about him. The first Thanksgiving I asked people to send him messages of encouragement because it was his first major holiday away from home. This year I didn’t…and no one single person did it. He was still deployed and he missed chow so he had Subway for Thanksgiving. My heart hurt. There seems to be this idea that “supporting the troops” is a bumper sticker or eating a hotdog on the Fourth of July or raising a ruckus because a football player is using his First Amendment rights. But supporting the troops means a Facebook post to them or their family, a letter or a card…maybe a care package, telling their family that you see their sacrifice and are praying for them.

What I want you to know about being a military family is that it is hard. Your hurt bursts with both the pride and the anxiety of it. It’s also lonely. It doesn’t have to be…people make all the difference. A couple of nights ago, some friends of mine that I’d shared how my kids had collected nutcrackers as they grew up brought me an early Christmas present…it was a nutcracker dressed in woodland camouflage. To be honest, the camouflage resembled Army more than Marines but I wasn’t about to tell them that. It was the most precious thing to me, that they saw that and thought of my son and me. I asked their young daughter where I should put it and she walked straight to my bedroom. She asked what side of the bed I slept on and when I told her, she placed the nutcracker on that bedside table. So it would be the first thing I see when I wake up. And there is where it is. Not because I need reminding of my favorite Marine but because it reminds me that people love us and he isn’t forgotten.

Semper Fi


Source Link: What I want you to know about being a military family


Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com

That’s What SHE Said: Things men confess they’d do if it weren’t considered “feminine”, Ashley Judd’s personal story of online abuse, the cutest story about guys and puppies from 2016 and a whole lot more…..

Here are some things I read this week that made me think.  (These are just snippets – click on the title to read the whole thing.)

“In this op-ed, William Colglazier — an AP US History teacher from California who is teaching his students how to spot fake news — explains how we can do the same.
Asking simple and logical questions can destroy a lunch-time rumor, and it’s exactly what needs to be done when engaging with updates to your newsfeed on Facebook and Twitter. Rumors and lies are not a 21st century invention, and neither is fake news. No, a man did not die in a meth-lab explosion after lighting his farts on fire. And sorry, a woman did not murder her college roommate for sending out too many Candy Crush requests. (Both of these fake news stories went viral in 2016).”

“Plan a trip to stave off the winter blues.

One of my favorite parts of traveling (okay, definitely my favorite part) is the food. Since it’s so important to me, I always make a point of visiting a critically renowned restaurant in any large city I visit. “Critically renowned” usually translates to “really freaking expensive,” but I’ve learned that most high-end restaurants offer lunch reservations at a fraction of the price of their dinner reservations, which is a great way to experience the restaurant and its great food and ambiance, without paying an arm and a leg…Also, if you’re in a foreign country and a restaurant offers menus in English, it probably means they cater to tourists and have tourist prices (read: run away to the nearest dive packed with locals).”

Bachelor Party Turns Into Puppy Rescue Mission by Suein at ABC News

“A Michigan groom’s bachelor party was hijacked in the best way when a dog showed up at the cabin where he and his friends were staying and stole their hearts.

‘We were cooking bacon with the door open. The next thing you know, there’s this dog sitting right at the front door. She wouldn’t come inside, but she sat right there,’ he told ABC News….Then they noticed the dog was protecting a spot in the woods….”

This Family Tree Site Knows A Lot About You And It’s Creepy As Hell by Sarah at Scary Mommy

“A genealogy website that tracks your family connections is getting a lot of attention right now. Not because it’s a great site, but because the website is downright terrifying. It knows a lot about you and allows anyone to access this sensitive information for free….

My past addresses, age and most family members linked to me were accurate. It was unnerving. My reaction was also heightened by a recent incident on Twitter where a troll threatened to publicly out my personal information (a practice known as doxing), including my address and information about my young kids. All because I wrote a blog post he didn’t agree with. Thankfully, law enforcement stepped in and Twitter banned him, but it was obviously scary.”

Ashley Judd: How online abuse of women has spiraled out of control via TED

[WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE]

“Enough with online hate speech, sexual harassment and threats of violence against women and marginalized groups. It’s time to take the global crisis of online abuse seriously. In this searching, powerful talk, Ashley Judd recounts her ongoing experience of being terrorized on social media for her unwavering activism and calls on citizens of the internet, the tech community, law enforcement and legislators to recognize the offline harm of online harassment.”

Obituaries For Teenage Girls If They Actually Died When They Say They’re Dying by Karen at McSweeney’s

“BRENNER, LIANNA, age 15, lived a healthy life until she made the fatal decision of watching a video of a puppy splashing in a puddle. She clung to religion until the very end, crying out to God via the YouTube comment section, typing “omg omg” in interest of time, but it was too late. She was dying, dying, omg, and then proclaimed dead.”

“The conversation was started on a thread asking commenters ‘what thing would you do if it wasn’t so ‘feminine’ or socially ‘unacceptable’?’ And the hundreds of answers were insightful. Who knew that guys were so into sewing? And how they wish they too could smell ‘like a bed of roses’? The men confessed that they’d love to wear sundresses (‘those things look like heaven’), to order ‘fruity drinks’, to cover up dark circles with make-up, and wear skirts. One user says, simply: ‘I’d knit so hard, bro.’”


Source Link: That’s What SHE Said: Things men confess they’d do if it weren’t considered “feminine”, Ashley Judd’s personal story of online abuse, the cutest story about guys and puppies from 2016 and a whole lot more…..


Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com