About a year ago, my car stereo stopped playing and charging my iPhone. I have tried various fixes since then, but this past week, after even the dealer’s mechanic gave up, I decided to go to an electronics store. There I was given the news that my car was not a simple fix. Besides the stereo, three other parts would have to installed as well.
After thinking over the cost, I went back over to do to get it done. I was introduced to the technician who showed me the various systems. I decided what I wanted, and he went to to work on my car.
But my car stereo problems continued. He was soon back, saying that my car needed another part, one they didn’t have. In fact, he had done some research, and apparently only one existed and could only be bought on Ebay. As he was giving me the information, he mentioned that he had taken the time to read the reviews of this seller and felt comfortable that I would get the material in a timely manner and in good shape.
it was then that I decided this guy was going to be my electronics guy from now. Those little things that he didn’t have to do, but did anyway, built a bond between us.
It’s the same with my eye doctor. After I came down with a case of iritis and was told to see a opthamologist, I was at a loss. Most of the time, I just had my eyes checked at the store when I needed new glasses. After several calls, one receptionist told me that I had reached the wrong office (they dealt with serious diseases of the eye) but to call Dr. Cheij. “He’ll find the time to help you.” And he did. Now I go to him for routine check ups and buy my contacts from the office.
Sometimes it’s not even going the extra mile. Sometimes just an extra step for someone can build a relationship. It can be the tutor who hangs around a little longer to make sure the student knows how to attach that file after all. It can be sending the article by email to make sure the student receives it. It can be asking a follow-up question to make sure you get the person to the right place.
Little things can build loyalty.
Jenna Matthews is the Student Life Coordinator at the Southeast Campus.
I Am Malala
Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
I recommend this book because it inspires courage and humbles us to the fact that we are very blessed to be able to freely attend school in the US. Furthermore, Malala paints the picture of her world in vivid detail. Her account of living in the Swat Valley of Pakistan gives the reader insight into the cultural psyche of the impact of political and religious upheaval on her people. This teenager is an amazing peaceful activist for education around the world.
Fall semester started today at our college. The parking lot is full. Students are wandering around looking for their classes. And faculty have butterflies in their stomachs, no matter how many times they’ve done this before.
There’s something sweet about the beginning of the semester:
- Young freshmen hope to leave their high school days behind and start anew.
- Older adults are excited that they finally are going to college.
- Faculty are ready to try new things and see students respond.
- And, here in the library, we want to provide the support students need to be successful.
Of course, some baggage persists. Students may bring some bad study habits with them. Some students have family obligations that will make college a challenge. As hard as they try, faculty will realize that they can’t reach everyone. And, here in the library, we’ll realize that sometimes our support may not be enough.
But those days are not today. For today, let’s enjoy the newness of the semester and the hope we all bring to it. Because without hope, nothing gets changed.
So let’s forge ahead, knowing that at the end of the semester, we won’t be perfect, but we’ll have done our best. And we’re further along the path.
The last day of the term was Friday, grades are due today, and then faculty return on Wednesday for fall semester. The break between summer and fall is so small, you can easily miss it.
But I think it’s important to celebrate endings and prepare for new beginnings. So even if your break is only a day, take a moment to do the following:
- Reflect on what was the best part of your summer.
- What do you wish you had done differently?
- Put away the books and notebooks from the summer.
- What are your plans for the fall?
Then take a break, even if it’s just a hour and let the summer term end:
- Have a cupcake.
- Take a walk.
- Buy yourself a little present.
- Watch a funny movie or television show.
- Buy some new songs from iTunes.
- Go to a museum.
Whatever you do is up to you. There is only one rule: Enjoy yourself.
There is a very old joke about a guy who goes to the doctor. He says, “It hurts when I do this.” The doctor replies, “Then don’t do that.”
Sometimes change doesn’t have to involve a total personality readjustment. It can be simpler than that. Look at what is getting you into trouble, and then don’t do that.
- If you know that popping your gum annoys your colleagues, don’t chew gum at work.
- If correcting you friends’ grammar upsets them, then don’t say anything when they confuse ‘who’ for ‘whom.’
- If you eat an entire pizza when you order in, don’t order in.
- If colleagues visibly tense up when you make comments on their work, then don’t make comments unless asked.
Notice that, with the possible exception of the pizza, none of these things is a fault. You are not a bad person because you chew gum. And you may really have others’ best interests at heart when you correct their grammar or comment on something you see as a problem.
But, face it, if people are getting mad at you, then your message probably isn’t getting across anyway.
I’m not saying change who you are but to simply see if a certain behavior is preventing you from being effective with others. If so, then don’t do that.