Customer Service

Posted April 10, 2008 by Funnyinc
Categories: Customer Service

I just had lunch with a friend. He is also a youth pastor, so we consider our time together a “business meeting,” which is why I am writing about it here.

There were two similar stories exchanged during our meal, both dealing with a particularly disturbing trend. The death of good customer service. Companies are spending millions of advertising dollars competing for the image of the best in customer service, yet from the mom and pop, to giant corporation we see it all the time. Bad service.

This friend of mine needs a written document showing that he is in good financial standings, for an adoption. He thought it would make sense for him to visit his bank. Unfortunately, it is the banks policy not to give out the forms he needs. In this case, the “customer care” group specifically stated they could not help in this matter. In order for my friend to get what he needs, he would actually have to take all of his money out of his account, transfer it to another bank, just to get a form. They would give him cash, but not a worthless peice of paper.

Yesterday, I called customer care to schedule a parts replacement for our church bus. The car manufacturer sent us a letter informing us of a parts recall, so I called our local dealership who politely informed me they could not perform this service. They gave me another number to could call.

This led to 6 more phone calls and 2 transfers before I got a hold of a person who said they could do this for me. I was estatic. Unfortunately, when I asked where they were located it was in another state.

Do you have a customer service nightmare?


Book Review – Leading With A Limp

Posted April 8, 2008 by Funnyinc
Categories: christianity, Dan B. Allender, jesus, leadership, leading with a limp

Of all the leadership books I have read, Leading with a Limp is one of the most honest and challenging reads. The premise is that as Christians our leadership should be different than it often is.

For example, as a Christian leader, instead of desiring to gain power and control, I should actually want to run away from the task of being a leader. Dan B. Allender, uses the example of Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. He even illustrates how Jesus although obedient to the cross, asked his father if there was any other way.

Another premise is the idea that as a leader we will struggle between the need for pleasing others to maintain control, and the need to be honest for the sake of growing in character (which might involve losing position or reputation).

So in closing, I have a confession to make: My name is Jeremy, and I am addicted to blogging. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. If not it’s OK, because I know someone who will.

Donde Esta El Bano?

Posted April 6, 2008 by Funnyinc
Categories: bathroom, mexico, mission, restroom, spanglish

I only remember one phrase after taking two years of Spanish. Donde esta el bano? Which means, “where is the restroom?” For some reason, when the teacher went over this phrase and it’s definition, my survival instincts told me, “this is a phrase that could come in handy some day.”

Once, on a mission trip to Mexico our drive time was continually extended by extra stops along the way. Every time we we needed gas people would get get out of the van to buy something to drink, which would then require additional stops later on down the road.

After 15 minutes of driving from one particular stop, a kid in the back row, named Dan, yelled up, “I have to go to the bathroom.”

Everyone groaned. “Are you kidding?”

He wasn’t. Apparently, Dan started chugging his 32 oz. drink as soon as he got back into the vehicle, instead of wisely rationing his liquid intake.

We didn’t stop. Even if we had wanted to, we didn’t have time. All I remember is Dan frantically shouting “quick, get me another bottle!”

As the smell of urine wafted forward, others violently fought for a position near the few windows that actually opened. Needless to say we took the next exit to dispose of our trash.

As we drove into the Mexican village where we were staying, a small child waved to us with one hand, and held his pants down with the other. A stream of yellow liquid arched away from his body towards a puddle on the side of the road.

This young local quickly revealed something to me that I am still quite upset about. The phrase I had been so careful to memorized, would be of little use to me here in Mexico.

Top 10 Reasons to Sit in The Back Pew

Posted April 6, 2008 by Funnyinc
Categories: Back Pew, church, Humor, Top 10

1. To hide your embarrassing bald spot.

2. Gaining the ability to leave effortlessly, without having to awkwardly shimmy past those who congregate in the center isles to talk.

3. It allows you to track who gets up to use the restroom, and tally how many times.

4. To rest your head against the back wall for optimal sleep performance.

5. Provides the opportunity to guesstimate the cash intake of the morning offering.

6. If a terrorist comes in, the chances of him walking past you are much higher, allowing you to become a hero, or quietly slip out the back.

7. If you fart, you can point at someone next to you when everyone turns around.

8. To earn money by challenging your friend to make faces at the pastor, competing to see who can get him to laugh first.

9. You can put notes into a bottle, and roll them down to your friend in the front row.

10. It allows you to join the sound people when they hurry down for communion, and then go again when the ushers dismiss your row.

The Next Top 10 List will be
“Reasons it stinks to be a Pastor’s Kid”

If you have any suggestions please send me a comment. If I use your idea, I will add your link in the post.

Children’s Bibles

Posted April 4, 2008 by Funnyinc
Categories: Children's Bible, church, Humor

As our little one grows up, my wife and I have been looking for a good children’s Bible. In the process of researching which one would be the best, we have made a startling observation.

These children’s Bibles, for lack a better term, have been edited. In my first Children’s Bible there was the Adam and Eve account, with naked people and foliage, hiding all the right parts. This is called editing, and in this regard, I think the choice to keep the pictures from turning pornographic is a good call. Yet, in the endeavor to find a Kid’s Bible like mine, we have been frustrated.

My Old-School Picture Bible had a lot of great stories, like Cain killing his brother, with bloody comic-book type renderings. I dare you to try to find that story in one of these new Bibles. It can’t be done. They simply do not exist.

One of my all-time favorite stories, David and Goliath, had some amazing artwork. From the stone being flung from the sling, to the moment of impact on Goliath’s forehead. With gushing blood, and the Philistine armies panicked reaction. Oh, and let’s not forget about David cutting off Goliath’s head. What child wouldn’t want to read about this? I spent hours pouring over these full color pages.

Unfortunately, today’s children will have to suffer through a kid friendly, no frills story, with a cartoon-like picture of David and Goliath, doing pretty much nothing.

This is a shame. I suspect that for this reason alone we will see a dramatic drop in how many children read the Bible. Apparently, in order for our kids to accurately learn these life changing stories, we will need to act them out in our living room.

So if any of you know where I can purchase a sacrificial lamb (and you are not a PETA representative) please leave me a comment and let me know.

The Roof, The Roof, The Roof is On Fire…

Posted April 3, 2008 by Funnyinc
Categories: acolyte, church, Fire, power

Down through the ages, someone decided it would be a good idea to let children play with fire in church. The position of Acolyte is a coveted one among older children, and we all know why.

It’s the power and responsibility one feels, knowing that with a simple mistake the whole room could go up in flames. Every adult eye is on the wick, hoping and praying it doesn’t go out, and that the candles will cooperate and take flame. You can actually feel people start to breath again when everything is safely lit.

The worst is when you get a kid who obviously doesn’t take the whole candle lighting thing seriously. His wick is always too long with a flame the size of a small camp fire, or its too short and the fire dies prematurely. This kid’s candle never lights on the first try, and requires repeated attempts, before the partner, or nearest adult steps in to save the day.

I wonder if our fire extinguishers are up to code?

2 Cars + Kids = No Room

Posted April 2, 2008 by Funnyinc
Categories: church, Embarrasing, Humor

We had gathered in a parking lot to caravan to a camp with a bunch of middle school kids. Myself, and another leader, Shannon, were organizing transportation.

We had more than enough vehicles to fit the kids in, but it was about a 4 hour drive to camp. So we wanted to figure out how to get all the kids into the least amount of vehicles.

We start counting kids, which is no easy task, because middle school kids on skateboards move rather quickly. After about the seventh or eigth head-count, we finally decided we could fit everyone into two vans. Excitedly we tell all the kids to hop into the vehicles.

Just as we are about to drive away, a spare kid knocks on my window, looking a little panick stricken, he says, “The other van is full! Is there any room in this one?”

There was not. Which goes to show you that…

One additional car + lots of extra leg room later, and we were off to camp.