Customer disservice

By Ashley Taylor The customer is always right. Right? Not necessarily, but who would know with the way people behave today? American businesses drill their employees with the idea that the customer is always right, even when they are wrong. It’s a concept that makes sense. A business serves the customer, and the happy customer purchases goods or services. The purchases make profit, and it’s a wonderfully complete circle in the business realm. In the pharmacy business, as in many other retail positions, the customer happens to be wrong much of the time. Unfortunately, people suffer from instant gratification syndrome and the entitlement bug. The idea that a person deserves something free of charge and instantaneously has become a national phenomenon. What happens when a controlled substance is being abused, and a third party insurance company steps in? Or when privacy practices are not met because customers feel they are more important than some “imaginary line” that tells them to wait their turn? Studies have been shown that these behaviors could indeed be psychological disorders. An impulse control test, performed in a variety of ways, reveals how some people could be lacking an important emotional intelligence trait. In the tests performed by universities, children are given a gift but must complete a task before receiving it. The children who could not control their impulses were studied later in their childhood and were found to be irritable and sulky. The children who were patient were attentive and competent. So why is it that these monitored, and obviously bad, traits are never addressed? The basic rules parents teach children are thrown out the door. People don’t need to use manners. Anyone can cut in line. There’s no need to pay the cashier any money, let alone a kind word. And curse words are a familiar second language. When customers are told that it is simply impossible to complete their order, or that it could take 15 minutes to complete, they revert back to the childhood tantrums they had in Toys-R-Us screaming, “It’s not fair. I want it now.” The screaming fit only results in managerial action to satisfy the immediate need. The employee performing the duties and abiding by the laws in the pharmaceutical realm is scolded for right doing. Poor behavior and disrespect are rewarded, while a manager drones on, “The customer is always right.” Entitlement should not be encouraged in businesses. Employees should be treated with respect and dignity just like the customer. The business cycle only functions when employees do their jobs. Kind words and patience are key motivations for a job well done, and you’ll find most...

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Festival to welcome poet laureates
Dec09

Festival to welcome poet laureates

The university’s English department will host its annual Writer’s Festival over the Christmas break. The event is scheduled for Jan. 7-10 and is open to students, faculty, staff and the community. This year’s schedule features a variety of events, which will take place in Brindley Auditorium, with a coffee house and an open mic night on Wednesday evening. The festival will include  numerous writers like Alan Berecka, Brady Peterson, and Jeanne Murray Walker, who will speak on different topics. Walker is an award-winning poet, with a diverse number of plays under her belt. For 20 years, she worked as an editor of poetry for Christianity and Literature. She now works for both Shenandoah and Image on the editorial boards. Walker will lead a master poetry workshop during the festival and give the George Nixon Memorial Lecture on Thursday in Brindley Auditorium. Additionally, key speakers will include Texas Poet Laureate, Larry Thomas, and past Texas Poet Laureate, Cleatus Rattan. Thomas has been writing poetry since the ’70s and had his first book published in 2000. He has completed six more since then. Rattan was the poet laureate during 2004 and is a professor of English at UMHB. Still on the Hill, made up of Donna Stjerna and Kelly Mulhollan, will be returning to coach their workshop. Last year, they offered an afternoon workshop and played an evening performance entitled Gathering Paradise, sponsored by the Honors Program. This time around, Still on the Hill will be taking phrases and lines of poetry from those who attend, and will transform them into songs. The duo will also perform a full concert Friday evening after dinner. Art Professor Helen Kwiatkowski will teach an art workshop. Held in the Mabee Student Center, her workshop will train participants how to use visual elements to tell stories. Using a style known as visual narrative, she welcomes anyone, whether or not they have had experience in the field. Kwiatkowski hopes that the festival will instruct readers to think outside the box and break the boundaries of their imagination. The cost to register for the entire festival is $100. This includes all readings, workshops, refreshments and dinner. To come for just one day, the cost is $40, and individual events are $20. The event is free for UMHB students. Some scholarships are available. More information about the festival is available from Dr. Audell Shelburne at ext. 4561 or contact him at...

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Ask a Student: What worries you most about the economy?
Nov18

Ask a Student: What worries you most about the economy?

By Lindsay Shaffer Students speak out about the economy and voice concerns about where the U.S. is...

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Blog: Movie extra
Nov18

Blog: Movie extra

By Laura Beth Gebhardt I absolutely love movies. One could even say that I am addicted to them, so you can imagine how excited I was to be given the opportunity to be in one, especially one that starred Claire Danes, David Strathairn, Catherine O’Hara and Julia Ormond. Yet, being an extra in a film is not for everyone. Most of the time a person will either love it or hate it. I personally loved the experience and would do it again in a heartbeat. This opportunity I had to be a part of the Temple Grandin project was not a normal one, because like most extra work, I wasn’t just seen as a blurb in the background. I was, instead, working on set for four days, and had many scenes where I was right in front of the camera. Being on a legit movie set was unlike anything else I have experienced. It was absolutely amazing to see how much detail and work went into getting a simple scene done. For example, on the first day, we were shooting a scene where all we were doing was playing outside in front of the school. It couldn’t have been more than a 40-second shot, and it took us almost four hours. This is one of the reasons some people are not so fond of extra work. A phrase that describes it well is, “hurry up and wait.” The first hour you get there everyone is in a hurry to get your make up and wardrobe done, and then rush you off to set. Yet, when you get to the set, you wait and wait some more. One day we actually waited 10 hours before we started filming our first scene. But as frustrating as this sitting around was, it ended up bonding everyone who went. Since most everyone who was involved was from UMHB, we all already knew each other, but being stuck in a log cabin together for 10 hours brought us a lot closer. In spite of the long waits and sleep deprivation, the experience was so rewarding. In the film business, it sometimes comes down to whom you know. Being a performance studies major and wanting to someday be involved with movies, networking is extremely important. I believe I got a good start by being a part of this film. The director talked with me one on one several times, and the assistant director knew me by name and always made a point to say hi to me. What a great...

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Pause for Thought: Bucket list before kicking the can

By Joshua Thiering December graduation is quickly approaching. This collegiate exodus of seniors into the land of new opportunities is a source of terror for some, and for others it is like being a dog that is finally let off his chain. But before the fast-approaching big romp in the world, a final run around the UMHB backyard is in order. Here is a bucket list of things to do before your college career kicks the bucket. Attend a Civil War re-enactment Some things in history are best not to recreate, like the Hindenburg blimp explosion. Others like civil wars and Renaissance festivals are just great opportunities to get dressed up in period garb and use antiquated language. Take lots of photos — they make interesting Christmas cards. Experiment with facial hair College is about experimentation. Call it a social experiment. Why buy a turtle neck, when you can grow your own? Why not grow a throat beard like Henry David Thoreau for the Civil War re-enactment. Speaking of Thoreau… Live in a tent beside the pond “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived,” Thoreau wrote in Walden, a great American classic. And so, taking a page from Walden we will go to UMHB pond, because we wish to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of college, and see if we could learn what it had to teach, and not, when we came to graduate, discover that we had not received a real education. I want to suck the sweet nectar from the fruits of the simple life, to jostle the juice around in my mouth and to feel its sticky dribble on my chin. Speaking of simple pleasures…. Go to a drive-in with your honey Kanoodle the night away together. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the simple pleasures in life like a good movie, snuggling and hand-holding. Drive-ins used to be called “passion pits,” but that hardly is demeaning ever since The Passion of the Christ came...

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