What’s Right With You Today?

Woke up in Philly, ate cold pizza from Slice for brunch, met a bunch of new people, learned to get over my phobia after encountering so many brazen roaches on the south Philly streets at night and will be leaving with way more dresses than I came with.

What’s right with YOU today?

True Story

There is a reason I rarely take customer satisfaction surveys, yet for some reason I felt compelled to voice my opinion on two of them last night. One was for American Express and the other was for Xcel Energy (gas/electric company) neither provided any sort of incentive or compensation for my time.

These were not brief surveys either, I might add, they were both 20 minute ordeals that left me shaking my head at the marketing research strategies of today. Near the end of the Amex survey I was asked to explain why I had marked the “cash back” benefit as “critically important” to my selecting the American Express Blue Cash Back credit card as my Amex card option. I paused for a moment and re-read the question just to be sure they were actually asking me that. Then I typed this response*:

“Seriously, you are seriously asking me why I would mark “cash back” as a “critically important” benefit for a card with “cash back” in the name of it? If I actually have to explain to you why it would be important I don’t think you should be in the market research field and perhaps you might want to consider taking a remedial course in common sense, or maybe just psychology. If you really need to tell your boss something, tell them it’s because I’m a Jew and I need it to hoard my Jew Gold.”

There were a couple more boxes to type in answers to other almost equally inane questions and I had some more fun with my answers, I do hope there is a person somewhere who has to read my responses and gets a chuckle out of them.

As for Xcel, I honestly told them what I thought about their service and company image in general. Lots of low scores were marked, repeatedly. I finally finished and submitted my survey informing them that I thought they charged too much, had an annoying automated system, that I didn’t appreciate that I had to pay by phone or mail them a check as my only options since they have ridiculous online payment restrictions, they were slow to deal with power outages in my neighborhood and I felt they hated the environment with a burning passion and wanted only to make money with little regard for the effects of their actions on everyone else. Not one minute after submitting it my power goes off. No storms happening, no power lines down, no repair trucks ever came out. If they were trying to prove a point, all they did was reaffirm my dislike for them and annoy me because I was in the middle of washing a delicate load of laundry.

This is why I shouldn’t take surveys.

What Do You Love Today?

Sea salt GF crackers from Aldi, temps nearing 80, the MK flats I bought that are super comfortable, adding blueberries to my shake, husband cooking for me, a semi-organized garage and fully organized closet, cubicle dancing and finally being able to stop taking allergy meds.

What do YOU love today?

It’s A Cultural Thing

Last week an acquaintance of mine asked if I would help her out with a school assignment about Judaism. I agreed and she sent over several questions for me to answer about how I view myself as a Jew and my thoughts on the religion in general. Those questions really made me take a good look at how I identify with being Jewish and the impact it has had on my life.

For years I have been saying that I don’t practice any religion but I do identify as being a Jew. I realized that what I meant by that is in relation to the dual nature of Judaism. Being Jewish isn’t simply about reading the Torah, going to synagogue and following the religious beliefs of Judaism. For me, I see my being Jewish the same way I see my being part Italian, Finnish and Lithuanian. It is about my cultural heritage. My ancestors were Jews, they have specific physical traits that have been handed down, as well as identifying names. In addition there are traditions and ways of viewing the world that have shaped who I am even if I had never set foot in a synagogue.

I was listening to MPR the other day and they were discussing the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam and I realized that without ever being aware of it I have always followed that philosophy. How often have I written about how we need to DO BETTER and BE BETTER? It isn’t a new view on the world. I was raised to consider how my actions affect others and the planet. I was raised to make as minimal a negative impact on my environment as I could and to try and combat destruction all around me. Perhaps my proclivity towards wanting to help others and make things better is something that has been bred into me as part of my cultural heritage and then reaffirmed by my parents. It makes me wonder exactly how much of who I am has been shaped by my Jewish heritage.

I do know, without a doubt, that I don’t get the same connection with Christianity/Catholicism. To me that particular religion feels very, very insincere and I am not surprised their numbers are dropping steadily. I also wonder what other religions also incorporate culture and heritage into them? Is it even possible to start something like that in today’s world? I am mildly surprised this revelation didn’t occur to me sooner.

How do you view yourself in relation to your religious (or lack thereof) beliefs?



What’s Right With You Today?

My garden is mostly still alive and growing despite cold temps through the week, I sold a couple more images on Getty, I made a favorable impression on several senior leaders at work and I rediscovered the joys of a three hour conversation.

What’s right with YOU today?