The Art of the Up-Sell

For a very brief and slightly dark time in college I waited tables at Bennigan’s. For some reason I had a romantic notice of working there. I think it came from 1980’s Brat Pack movies. I thought it would be uber social, with lots of slow motion laughs around a big Cheer’s-like bar and hot…

Sometimes “Good” Marketing Isn’t a Good Idea

I appreciate good marketing. Duh. Especially when you can tell they were thoughtful about the brand (and its touchpoints), understand the impact of customer service, are consistent in the environment and truly 360. But alas sometimes, as I have learned, good marketing may in fact be a red flag. Case in point… the dentist. Recently I was referred…

Memories Last a Lifetime. Blenders Die.

I was not a traditional bride. I know. Not shocking for anyone who knows me. You probably don’t even have to know me WELL to guess that. Yes, it’s true. The white wedding, church/synagogue ceremony, bachelorette party thing was just never my m.o. I get why so many girls grow up planning and envisioning their…

Gifts from my Father

September is a month of mourning. For our country it represents 9/11 and a time to look back, remember and be thankful. For me… it also represents the month I lost my father. September, 2001 was in fact, the 10 year anniversary of the end of my dad’s valiant battle with Cancer. So now, 10 years…

When Good Service Brands Go Bad

Think of brands known for service and you think of Nordstrom, Enterprise Rent a Car, Ritz, Virgin Airlines, Zappos, Starwood. These are brands known for differentiating themselves by their service DNA. And yet, sometimes even the brands that are known for getting it right, get it wrong. Somehow this is even more devastating then if they…

Email and the Demise of a Civil Society

Have you ever noticed how rude people can be when communicating via email? Especially when the email is to an unknown recipient. It’s as though we’ve all forgotten that there is still a real person on the receiving end of every email. Slipped our minds that our complaint, issue, concern or frustration has to be…

Who Has Hobbies Anymore?

“So, what are your hobbies?” The question completely stumped me. What, you mean like painting, or woodworking, or basket weaving or something?  It was our second date and he was trying to get to know me better.  It was a sweet question to which I had no answer.  Who has hobbies anymore?  I work, I…

My Emotional Food Journey

Food is such a basic need. It’s sustenance for your body, yes. But it’s so much more. Many of us have a love hate relationship with food. I love the way you taste – Tater Tots – but I hate the way you make me feel (especially when I eat half the bag). Food is…

History Repeating

My mom has a long history with Sears Roebuck & Co. She has always shared stories about how exciting it was when the massive catalog arrived at their doorstep with a thud, initiating near fist-fights between her and her brothers over who got to browse its’ pages first. They would dog-ear the pages that contained…

Where to Stay and What to Do in Austin

One of the coolest parts about living in Austin is that we have a steady stream of visitors and guests.  If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked where to stay and what to do? Well… I’d at least have a hundred dollars. 🙂 Every time I am asked though.. I whip…

A Delightful See’s Candies Experience

Yesterday I had a totally unexpected and absolutely charming customer service/brand experience that still makes me smile to think about. I was in the Bay Area on business and noted a See’s Candies store. I have distinct emotional memories of See’s Candies from when I was a little girl – a good friend’s grandparents would…

The Satisfaction of Non-Traditional Tradition

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – hands down. It’s all about family, food and wine. Three of my favorite things. I particularly love the approach my family has taken to the holiday over the years – adding non-traditional and personal touches that has formed our annual gathering into a quirky, fun celebration that is so…