FullaBella's Journal, 19 December 2012

For a brief moment this morning I allowed myself a 'wonder if' for the future. I don't usually allow that as I'm focusing on 'one day at a time' rather than looking too far back or too far forward but today was an exception. However, this one yielded an interesting conclusion so I'm sharing.

NOTE: It doesn't really MATTER what you look like. Fat or thin. Grey hair or Natural Color. Glasses or contact lenses. Etc. People WHO MATTER will remember you by WHAT you do. And if they don't - well, THEY aren't worth remembering, period.

Our business has many 'daily' regulars but a lot of 'annual only' customers.

Bit by bit or rather BITE by BITE I had gained then maintained a weight gain of 120lbs for about five years.
Those seeing me regularly probably didn't notice it as I reached 285lbs or were much to kind to comment on it. I guess that's what makes them regulars; they appreciate me for the business not for how I appear.

But SOME customers who only do business with us a couple of times a year or so were confused, even a little, rude.

'Where's that other lady who used to work here?'
'That was me.'
'No, two years ago.'
'Still me.'
'No... it was ... ah ... uh... another woman... a younger woman...'
'Still me, but yes, it's true, I'm older now.'
'No, it wasn't you. She was, ah, uh, ... well, she sat at your desk'
'NO, not YOU. It was someone else.....'

At least they had enough reserve to NOT say 'you know, the thinner woman...' but *I* knew why they were confused and didn't really care.

If my voice, my professionalism, my customer service wasn't enough to convince them I was still the same Gal, well, go ahead and fumble around for all I care. Enjoy chewing on that foot in your mouth while I sit back and watch while eating my cookies.

At first, I'd try to prove it was really still me by displaying what I thought was an incredible gift of memory and customer service.

Before STUPIDLY agreeing to take Cymbalta prescribed by a physician to help me with my 'pain is being caused by depression which in the end is causing your pain' treatment several people affectionately dubbed me 'Rainman'. I had an uncanny ability to remember people, names, faces, dates, the weather, etc.

So I'd say, "Really, (calling customer by Name), it's me. You were last here on (date) and purchased the (thing) with the explanation you were buying it for (reason) and I'm so glad you came back because I had wondered if they liked it for their (reason gift.)'

As cool as that may sound - it actually put people off. They felt like they were talking to some weird psychic psychotic circus side show fat lady.

But thanks to Cymbalta it's all I can do to remember what I had for dinner last night - so no more Rainman. I stopped taking it after about six months, total cold turkey (which was likely really bad considering how sick I was for a while and I think it left a permanent skid mark on my frontal lobe akin to a lobotomy) because I was tired of feeling like I was trying to touch the world through murky glass walls.

Some of my customers now resent that because I can't remember THEM and no amount of confession about the Cymbalta factor seems to appease them.

Quote a frustrated customer last week who would not accept my apology and explanation: "Just how much do I have to spend here before you remember me?"

I wanted to answer 'A heck of a lot more than you have already, obviously' but settled for 'Look at this way, every time we meet it's a whole new day so I never hold a grudge!'

He seemed to like that compromise.

While I am most grateful for all of my customers and business and hoping for another year of decent revenue, as I've already danced with fate a little by referencing my customers in the first place, I shall toss out this last comment and be done with the topic.

I retired from Corporate America to run our business when MH grew too ill to do so. That was nearly four years ago yet at least once a day I get flack from a customer who opens a conversation with 'You're not MH...' or swears they just talked to him 'last week.'

Being a natural born smart alec and a converted cynic it's very hard to bite my tongue some days. But I do. Just not very gracefully.

'You're not MH....'
'Whew... you're one sharp cookie.... no getting anything past You!'
'But I worked with him last time I was here.'
'Well, we're certainly glad you decided to return after a four year absence. It's a whole new decade.'

NO, I never say those things outloud. Or at least, I hope I haven't. I really can't remember!

I have a huge photo of him on the wall ~ sometimes I think about setting it in the dusty chair at his dusty abandoned desk setting there like a creepy memorial. I don't want to rearrange anything while he's still alive for concern he'll feel 'he's done'.

Rambling again.... thank you for reading.

Diet Calendar Entries for 19 December 2012:
1403 kcal Fat: 40.61g | Prot: 114.21g | Carb: 174.39g.   Breakfast: Coffee, Creamer, Muesli, Dannon Light & Fit Greek. Lunch: Chicken California Blend Soup. Dinner: Cheese Omlette, Tomato, Schwans Turkey Sausage, Wheat Bread. Snacks/Other: Newton Fat, Schwans Mixed Berries, Apple, Almonds 100, Weight Watcher String Cheese, Sobe Fuji Apple Pear. more...
3574 kcal Activities & Exercise: Walking (slow) - 2/mph - 1 hour, Resting - 2 hours, Desk Work - 5 hours, Sitting - 5 hours, Standing - 2 hours, Walking (exercise) - 3.5/mph - 1 hour, Sleeping - 8 hours. more...


I just wanted to say thanks for your journaling and that I think you are pretty damn awesome. 
19 Dec 12 by member: jaime30024
Awww Jaime - thank you!  
19 Dec 12 by member: FullaBella
I watched a fascinating show on Discovery Channel one evening that chronicled how poorly people observe and remember. Your attention to detail (on any level) is testimony to your dedication to your business. The fact that people are unwilling to offer the same courtesy is unfortunate. Please celebrate that we think you are unique and supportive, your writing and sharing is stellar, and your dedication to your ill husband is beyond compare! 
19 Dec 12 by member: RiverRes
wow. your 'putting it all out there' in this journal thing is exactly what i do. idk if it helps us or not in the long run, but typing it out makes me feel better. it's weird to think that strangers hundreds or thousands of miles away know more about my thought process than some of my local 'friends'. the blessing of anonymity. 
19 Dec 12 by member: JessWhatINeeded
RiverRes and Jess - thank you both for your kind comments - my heart swelled along with my head. I do feel sharing this even with strangers is helping me recognize and correct thoughts and actions. I have not seen the Discovery episode but I believe you. I think the lack of attention to detail IS so common it's WHY I would make people uncomfortable because I did ( remember details ). All in a Day Right? 
20 Dec 12 by member: FullaBella


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