If You Have A Younger Sibling, Please Guide Them

Within my short time on this earth, I have seen a lot of things that have made me enraged and angry inside.  One of the things that I have seen (more and more rapidly) is the misguided youth.  When I talk about youth, in this case, I am talking about young adolescents, teenagers, and young adults.  What do I mean by misguided?  I’m talking about not knowing the basic and simple mannerisms; not obtaining and completing a grade-school education; not caring for anyone else or anything but themselves (selfishness).  These are a few examples of some of the misguided youth.

I’ll provide a specific example from my personal life.  I have a younger brother who I love and care for more than anything in the world.  As my brother became older, I realized the importance of sharing with him my life experiences and becoming a “tutor”.  I’m not doing this to prove myself to anyone, or to win some sort of sympathy.  I do it because I feel that it’s needed.  I feel that this is what an older brother is supposed to do, no matter the situation.  Even with my younger brother not being in the same household as his father, I hope help my brother realize some of the mistakes that I made when I was in school (specifically high school), and to not fall in the same traps.

My brother is set to go to high school in the upcoming fall, but I see things that he has done in middle school that make me wonder if I am actually doing the best that I can.  For example, my brother has missed more than 40 days of school this school year alone.  His constant reasoning?  To play video games online with other people he doesn’t know in real life.  Along with that comes to lying and cover ups to deny any wrongdoing.  So what’s the main point here?  Lack of focus in school = sub-par or poor grades = failing.  And when I mean failing, I don’t mean just an unsatisfactory grade on a report card.  I’m talking about failing at achieving academic success, failing at realizing your potential.  This is something that I will not tolerate, even if I’m only his brother.

I have friends who also have younger siblings.  Seeing some of them grow up and make some of the same destructive decisions of their older counterparts shows a lack of guidance.  It shows that we, as older siblings, are not doing all we can to steer our younger siblings in the positive direction.  It shows how careless when can be to our own family, our own blood.  Don’t give me the excuse that it’s the parents’ sole job to raise them and lead them without help of others.  That is total and complete nonsense. 

I’m not here to place blame on a particular group, or a particular person.  I just want you to understand that we need to show our younger people that there’s a guiding light at the end of the dark tunnel, not the fact that the tunnel is completely dark without a way out.  I want you to be able to actually be apart of your brother’s/sister’s/cousin’s life to be the helping hand, not the cold shoulder.  If you have a younger sibling, please be their positive guide.

Customer Service or Customer Frustration?

Image taken from Techreaders.com

Note: I know this topic has been done probably around a million times, but I just want to add my two cents.

I remember when I was 15 years old and I worked my first “real” job as a part-time waiter.  No, not a restaurant, but at a retirement home.   I will admit that at the time, I was very shy and barely allowed people who I did not know get close to me.  However, as time went by (approximately two and a half years later), I realized that I can make working at my job enjoyable along with providing good customer service to those who I served.  I got the chance to learn about other people’s lives, which made me more comfortable to express my life to them in return.  I now get a rewarding feeling being about to help out other people, whether it is at the job or away from the job.  I want people to feel that their experience was worth it.

I left the retirement home and my job serving retirees a couple of years ago to pursue my career in Information Technology.  As I start going to a lot of different places, I noticed that there is usually one constant thing lacking each and every time: customer service.  What do I mean by this?   I mean the amount of workers who tend to give you funny looks anytime you ask them a question regarding their products.  I mean the amount of workers who take an appalling amount of time to serve you, dragging their feet like they don’t have other customers waiting in line.  I mean the workers who can’t even at least say “thank you” or “have a nice day” as you are able to leave.  I can’t recall all the times where I would say either one of these two things, and I would get tight-lipped expressions in return.

In my personal experiences, without making a generalized statement, I noticed that most of the poor customer service has come from the younger crowd: teenagers and even young adults.  Even as I write this blog, I tend to think to myself:  Why does the quality of customer service seem to differentiate between different age groups?  Is it the lack of face-to-face interaction that younger people seem to suffer from compared to their elders?  Is it the lack of training provided by the employer?  Is it the person in general?  There are many different factors that can be attributed to customer service, or the lack of.

One thing that I will say in defense of customer service is that there are some out-of-line customers who seem to mess it up for the rest of the customers.  One quote that I will always live by is, “Treat people how you want to be treated.”  If you tend to treat the employee like dirt, well expect to get treated like dirt in return.  I was taught that no matter how out of line the customer is, still treat the customer with respect because it’s still the customer.  Even in the case of the belligerent customer, it’s still unprofessional to provide bad service in return.  However, don’t be that customer that sends the employee over their tolerance threshold.

I understand that some employees, no matter the age, gender, or race, do not interact with people well at all.  In response to this, those employees must make one of  two decisions:  either improve their soft skills or find another job where customer service is not salient.  Well, guess what the problem with that is?  Many companies are putting an emphasis on customer service going into 2010.  On a general basis, bad customer service = unhappy customer = loss of company profit and reputation.  With jobs the way they are now, employees with lacking customer skills better improve, or risk losing their own job in the process to someone who can provide positive customer interaction.

The Ultimate Vacation

“You stressing everyday cause the way that you living. See it in your face ain’t no faking the feeling.  We can get awayyyy and be chillin, we can get awayyyy and be chillin”

Listening to this song makes me want to go on that ultimate vacation and just chill.  Get away from the everyday stress and struggle of everyday life.  I went on my first real vacation last year to Miami, Florida.  Going to MIA was one of the most liberating experiences in my life, especially at a time where I was both working and going to school full time.  Just seeing so many different people enjoying themselves under the warm weather made me feel like I was in paradise.  Don’t forget about the women too: they were beautiful. 

Even with the goodness that was Miami, I feel that this was not my ultimate vacation.  My definition of an ultimate vacation is somewhere I can go to enjoy the great weather; a place where I can meet local people and listen to their stories of their everyday life.  My ultimate vacation would be somewhere I can ease my mind and relax without worry.  My ultimate vacation is a place that I can say without a doubt that I would come back time and time again.

I definitely want to go on another vacation sometime soon.  There are so many different places that I want to explore.  The Earth is a phenomenal place, and it’s a shame some people do not realize the good that’s out there. 

My Question(s):  What is your definition of an ultimate vacation?  What places do you plan to visit within your lifetime?

Gym Music

As I go the gym, I now see more and more people with MP3 players, and even CD players (Hey, they’re still relevant). The adrenaline rush that music gives you while lifting those heavy weights or running on that squeaky treadmill offers enough to get your workout done. At times where I would bring my iPod, I would also bring my my Sony headphones (see image below):

I would feel like a doofus everytime when I would work out, and my headphones would come off while trying to do my last couple of sit-ups. Yes, I know that I could use those earbud earphones, but I don’t like they way they feel deep in your ears (that’s a whole different story). After a while, I said screw it and I do not bring my headphones/iPod anymore.

When I brought my music to the gym, I tend to play my custom “Gym Playlist” made for working out. My playlist currently consists of 284 songs (and counting). Here are my top 10 favorite gym songs:

1. Krayzie Bone – World War
2. Jadakiss feat. Styles P – Shoot Outs
3. Nas – Made You Look
4. D12 – Fight Music
5. Juelz Santana – 2nd Coming
6. Trapt – Headstrong
7. Chamillionaire feat. Bun B – I Know Ya Mad
8. Lil Wayne – BM Jr.
9. Creed – Sacrifice
10. Eminem feat. Nate Dogg – ‘Till I Collapse

My question(s): Do you bring a media player with you to the gym? If so, what are your favorite gym workout songs?