Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

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Archive for the category “humor”

Great relationships with your kids do take a bit of time and work


Great relationships with your kids do take a bit of time and work 

Just this last week I went to a public event at school and my daughter gave me a big hug. One of the school’s administrators saw this and commented that he would give money for his daughter to do this with him in high school and that this may not happen. Public display of affection is just not all that cool when you are in school – definitely not for high school folks.

I commend my daughter for not caring enough about her peer’s opinions. Yet great relationships with your kids do not come easy and they are not the norm (perhaps they have never been the norm?). Once the teenage years come around hormones set in, parents are no longer cool. It will not take much longer and they are out of the house and they want to spend less and less time with you.

Some of this is totally natural. You need to provide the solid roots for them to have a good footing in life. On the other hand, you also should want to let them grow wings such that they can fly away eventually. Finding yourself in today’s world is tough and I am glad that I do not have to do that again.

You hope that you have a solid relationship with them that they feel they can come back anytime – eventually. They should of course not feel like that they are being shamed into seeing you regularly. Wouldn’t it feel great if they felt compelled to ask you for advice later in life?

You put the odds in your favor by always maintaining a great relationship. There are some really quick and simple ways how to initiate for this to happen.

  1. Start early. Children are like batteries – you charge them up early in life and they will not run out of power for quite some time. Make sure to teach them great habits from the day they are born. Some say it starts as early as when babies are still in the womb. I have seen this so many times that parents imposing rules when children are 3 to 4 years old. Guess what: the train has left the station.

 

  1. See the world through their eyes. Literally and figuratively get down to their level. See the world through their eyes.

 

  1. Spend time not money: The best and most expensive baubles, trinkets, clothes, shows, etc never make for long term sustainable relationships. They get to know whom they can pump for the money and what they need to do or say in order to get it. All it takes is to ask them what they want to do. Be amazed how little it takes for them to be totally happy spending time with you.

 

  1. Instill intrinsic motivation. Punishment and rewards for tasks performed do not work well when they leave the house. I call it the sugar and whip routine. Intrinsic motivation comes from within your child; it cannot be forced from the external world. Your short ones look for your approval, and genuine appreciation. Share with them – often – why you are happy about what they do and who they are.

 

  1. Let them fail. Hover over them all you want, ultimately you will not be around forever. Let them fail, otherwise they will not know what to do when you are not around to save them. Easier said then done, I know. It is heartbreaking to watch too. It is the circle of life. Suck it up, or get used to the idea of the mental picture of you becoming the crutches that hold up your kids.

 

  1. Do not be too critical. Yell often and you will no longer be afforded the truth. Period. If you are berating them for every little bit, then what is the point for telling the truth anyway? They would get yelled at either way. Telling you a half-truth is their way to get yelled at less. Pick your battles wisely.

 

  1. Provide responsibility with With any responsibility there is always also authority. Be prepared to get inundated with the question “what do you want me to do now?, if you only provide rules, but no wiggle room for how your little critters will make it happen.

 

  1. Foster spirituality. Be a role model here. In the evening say a prayer with them appreciating the great things that happened. Reflect on the lessons learned. Pray for people in need. In the event you can coax them out of bed early enough, say a prayer with them in the morning. Appreciate what you have and be thankful for it. When they are ready, ask what God means to them (prepare for shedding tears of laughter and deep emotions).

Life is tricky a friend recently shared with me. She is definitely correct about the relationship part with your kids. Good news is that you have it in your hand as to what kind of a relationship you will have. Choose wisely.

Ralf

United Airlines and how to kill your brand with bad customer service in three easy steps


United Airlines and how to kill your brand with bad customer service in three easy steps 

We supposedly live in the land of customer service. Worry-free shopping of products and services is the mantra. What really happens is most often totally horrific customer service when things do not quite go the “standard” and “normal” way. Last night United Airlines forcibly removed a passenger from a plane on flight UA 3411 trying to make room for United personnel on an overbooked plane. It was a horrific scene recorded by many on their cell phones. Just two weeks ago the same airline barred two teenagers from boarding a plane due to them wearing leggings. Then who has for instance not seen the little video clip of “United Breaks Guitars”? More than 14 million views for this little ditty all because United Airlines was particularly ignorant listening to Dave Carrol’s request for getting his guitar repaired or replaced.

United is doing everything to kill their brand’s reputation. Treat your customer as a second or third class one. Perhaps he will get the message that he is just wasting his time and will thus just go away. Killer move! They appear to have totally lost the focus as to who pays their bills. It’s the customer stupid. Is that the best an airline of this kind of magnitude can do? Top management seems to totally forget that customers choose with their clicks – and they do not need to ask for permission. They will just not show up anymore. Let’s hope they will learn their lesson well.

Ralf

A thorn in my brain: The curse of the alphabet


A thorn in my brain: The curse of the alphabet 

This curse happens especially at school. Your last name starts with a “W” or worse with a “Z” and you will almost never go first. Don’t believe me? Just attend a graduation celebration and you will recognize this pattern right away.

It is really a curse, because no one really wins here. Folks with names that start with letters of the last part of the alphabet usually need to listen to their best ideas as they are being delivered by the folks with the first part of the alphabet. By the time the teacher got to you, all good ideas were surely taken. All you could say would have been something like “exactly what my colleagues said”.

Conversely, People with names that start with A through K typically always have to prepare being called upon at first. That sometimes can occur out of the blue. While going first is great on one hand – you get it out of the way – the other side is that preparing for the surprises teachers have in store for you can really keep you on edge. Also, you end up listening to all sorts of great and refined ideas from folks that come after you. They had a lot of time to think about better answers.

How about the middle of the pack of last name letters? Lucky they are: Neither pestered first, and never going last. Of course, this routine could always be interrupted by a rogue teacher who would of course inadvertently upset this by starting from the backend of the alphabet. The only saving grace is that you know what to expect and that makes the curse at least predictable.

Ralf

10 telltale signs that you are stressed out and a few way to bust stress


10 telltale signs that you are stressed out and a few way to bust stress 

Stress leads to all sorts of health problems and if at all possible we should avoid getting into stressful situations. Sometimes it is a little difficult to distinguish if and how much stress you are experiencing. I have a short list for you to enjoy, which will illustrates situations that were caused by too much stress. At the end of that list you can find a few ways reducing that stress.

You may be under too much stress, if:

  • you sit down at your desk and your colleagues give you a funny look. You were supposed to be off and you went to work anyway.
  • you drive “home” just to realize that you went to the house you used to own.
  • you put your trash out on a Sunday thinking it is Friday – the actual trash day.
  • you are halfway out the driveway on the way to work when you notice that the neighborhood is way too quiet. You find out it is Saturday.
  • you get off the airplane and your luggage does not arrive on the belt. You pay a ground support person $10 to check the aircraft and he appears with the suitcase. You rush out the airport as you need to catch a flight at the next terminal when you realize that you got off the airplane one stop too earlier and you should have gotten back on the same plane.
  • you rush through an airport and make a quick restroom pitstop. You sit down and look to the left and right and notice high heel shoes. You are a man.
  • you attempt punching in a telephone number into your computer’s keyboard and are unsuccessful in making a call.
  • you try making a phone call trying to key in the telephone number into calculator on your desk.
  • you go to the back to school night of your kids and you try remembering the school entrance door key code because you think you are at work and are now stumped that the code does not work.
  • you go back to the airport parking lot and have no idea what level you parked your car.

Funny, huh? Sadly enough these are my own real life examples of occurrences when my stress level was too high. Lesson learned was to keep slowing down and having enough down time once and a while. What really helps is exercising, sleeping long and well enough, hanging out with friends and family, and in general not taking yourself too seriously.

Ralf

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