The Champions of Extreme Customer Service!
search for the Extreme Customer ServiceŽ Champion™ for the third
quarter of 2010 is underway.
you witness or experience an example of Extreme Customer ServiceŽ
document the story and send it our way. They just might join Edith
Mungovan who was the first quarter champion! Five independent judges
will select the winner who will receive $200 in cash and will
automatically be entered into the Championship for 2010.
the person and the company will be recognized for their great work!
shares life lesson
After being denied a college
education 60 years ago, 78-year-old Mary Price Walls received an
honorary degree from the same university that turned her away because
of her race.
PO Box 60523
Worcester, MA 01606
A mother wished to encourage her small girl's interest in the piano
and so took her to a local concert featuring an excellent pianist. In
the entrance foyer the mother met an old friend and the two stopped
to talk. The little girl was keen to see inside the hall and so she
wandered off, unnoticed by her mother. The girl's mother became
concerned when she entered the hall and could see no sign of her
daughter. Staff were notified and an announcement was made asking the
audience to look out for the little lost girl. With the concert due
to start, the little girl had still not been found. In preparation
for the pianist's entrance, the curtains drew aside, to reveal the
little girl sitting at the great piano, focused in concentration,
quietly picking out the notes of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'.
The audience's amusement turned to curiosity when the pianist entered
the stage, walked up to the little girl, and said "Keep
The pianist sat down beside her, listened for a few seconds, and
whispered some more words of encouragement. He then began quietly to
play a bass accompaniment, and then a few bars later reached around
the little girl to add more accompaniments. At the end of the
impromptu performance the audience applauded loudly as the pianist took
the little girl back to her seat to be reunited with her mother. The
experience was inspirational for everyone, not least the small girl.
It takes just a few moments to make somebody's day, to help someone
with their own personal aims and dreams - especially someone who
looks up to you for encouragement and support.
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The Old Mule
Once upon a time a farmer owned an old mule who tripped
and fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule braying
and was unable to figure out how to bring up the old animal. It
grieved him that he could not pull the animal out. He'd been a good worker
around the farm. Although the farmer sympathized with the mule, he
called his neighbors together and told them what had happened. He had
them help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and quietly put
him out of his misery.
At first, the old mule was puzzled, but as the farmer
and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, he
had a thought: he ought to shake off the dirt and step up. And he did
"Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake
it off and step up." Even though he took painful blows of dirt
and fought panic, he just kept right on shaking it off and stepping
It wasn't long before the old mule stepped up and over
the lip of that well. What could have buried him actually blessed
him...all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
was the little girl playing on the piano (from this newsletter)?
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Dear Joseph Clouatre,
turned on the television the other night and as she was surfing
channels, the news on every channel was bad. In fact, it
seemed to get worse every time she switched. So I decided to
publish a newsletter with nothing but good news and great
stories. We can get back to business in the next issue. But before
we start, I have a short story for you (like that is a surprise).
week we were working at our home in Huntersville, NC. I needed some
help with heavy lifting last Thursday morning . Since it was a
work day I asked a friend if they knew anyone that could
help us out. She said she would ask around and before we new it,
Brian called and said that he could help. We agreed to meet at 10am
Thursday. Brian showed up right on time and was ready to go. It
wasn't long before I found out that he works third shift and had
just gotten off work. When I found out that he was a security
officer, it was perfect.
were talking, we mentioned that we were
from Massachusetts and with all the NASCAR
memorabilia, he asked "Are you the people that gave away
the NASCAR tickets in May?' I said yes we were. He then
explained that he received two of the tickets and took his 13 year
old son to the race and had a wonderful time. We could not
believe that we met this way.
Although, we had tickets for both the NASCAR
All-Star Race and the CocaCola 600 race, a friend of ours
(thanks Aaron) gave Terry and I suite tickets for both races, so I
asked a friend if she knew a couple of nice families that would
appreciate our tickets. I guess Brian and his son were two of the
lucky ones. This was an example of when paying it forward
came full circle.
As always, I thank you for your support.
Joseph E. Clouatre
Chief Creativity Officer
Would you like Joe to speak at your next
meeting, workshop or conference?
Contact Joe Here
In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an
idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the
Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world
thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to
forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical.
It had never been done before.
Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this
bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his
heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with
someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to
convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the
bridge in fact could be built.
Working together for the first time, the father and son developed
concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles
could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the
headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew
and began to build their dream bridge.
The project started well, but when it was only a few months
underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John
Roebling. Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of
brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk
or even move.
"We told them so."
"Crazy men and their crazy dreams."
"It`s foolish to chase wild visions."
Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project
should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew
how the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap Washington
was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete
the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever.
He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his
friends, but they were too daunted by the task. As he lay on his
bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the
windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and
he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for
just a moment.
It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly
an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided
to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a
code of communication with his wife.
He touched his wife's arm with that finger, indicating to her that
he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same
method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It
seemed foolish but the project was under way again.
For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger
on his wife's arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today
the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a
tribute to the triumph of one man's indomitable spirit and his
determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a
tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in
a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a
tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13
long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told
the engineers what to do.
Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die
attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves
an impossible goal.
13 Year Old Makes A Difference
Thirteen-year-old Tae Tae Davis is hosting a party. At
this party, there are neither cakes nor candles - just a room full
of art supplies and a dozen kids she's never met. Tae Tae tells the
kids, "You guys are going to be painting a watercolor."
At this painting party the guests have two things in common: they
all love art, and they're all homeless. They're all here because
Tae Tae saw a need - and a way to fill it.
"I wanted to spread the enjoyment of art," Tae Tae said.
"And the homeless kids didn't really have the utilities to
paint or express themselves through art," Tae Tae told CBS
News correspondent Kelly Cobiella.
Tae Tae got the idea last year after her school cut art supplies
from the budget. Tae Tae worried that kids who could not afford their
own supplies would be left out. So she traded the brush for a pen
and started writing letters to big companies asking for help. She
wrote 50 letters in all, and heard back from 45.
Donations flooded in from some of the biggest art and office supply
companies in the country.
"We get mail all the time," said Bob Thacker, Sr. VP of
Marketing at Office Max. "But you know there are a few letters
that stand out, that are so genuine, so heartfelt and so
irresistible, that you cannot refuse them."
Tae Tae collected more than $32,000 in supplies - enough to stock
her school's art program and send her guests home with their own
She's held three parties so far and started her own nonprofit
called "The Traveling
Canvas." Her efforts
were recognized by the White House. Tae Tae received the
President's Volunteer Service Award.
While awards are nice, Tae Tae does it all for a different reason.
"I knew that I needed to stop the worry, and be the change
that I wanted to see," she said.
The way she sees it she's changing the world one canvas at a
Nine Senior Couples Say
"I Do" Once More
For a day, the Isle at Watermere, an assisted-living
facility in Southlake, transformed into a wedding hall. Complete
with a groom's cake and bouquets, the couples renewed their wedding
vows and celebrated marriages that have weathered more than 50
years of challenges and joys.
For a day, the Isle at Watermere, an assisted-living
facility in Southlake, was transformed into a wedding hall.
Complete with a groom's cake and bouquets, the couples renewed
their wedding vows and celebrated marriages that had weathered more
than 50 years of challenges and joys.
About 150 family members, friends and fellow Isle
"I'm with them day in and day out, and I see how
strong their relationships are," said Amy Pearce, community
life director, who was wedding planner for the event. "I know
I'll be crying today."
The Rev. Randy Phillips, who used to work as a bus
driver and is a volunteer at the Isle, officiated.
"They got married when love was not just a
feeling, but a commitment," he said. "It's a great day in
their lives to celebrate."
Among the couples were Dorie and Ed Smith, married 64
years. They met when working at a naval base in Harrisburg, Pa.,
during World War II.
"She was the only girl I wanted," Ed
recalled. "I was going with a lot of girls back then. But I
had the first date with Dorie, and that was it."
The Smiths dressed in matching aqua blue outfits, she
in a pantsuit and he in a sweater vest. Even Dorie's cane was
decorated with ribbon and beads for the occasion.
"I couldn't think of anything better," she
said, after eating cake and raising her glass for a champagne
Alice Howard played the part of the blushing bride,
kissing her husband Gerald not once, but three times after the vows
concluded. The Howards have been married for 53 years.
The couple said that one of the highlights of their
marriage was their honeymoon, a fishing trip in Corpus Christi.
"Alice caught everything in the ocean except a
fish," Gerald said, listing eels, sting rays and other
"weird things" among the mix.
Their first fight was over a bridge game. The two -
Gerald being creative and Alice being more rule-oriented -
struggled to work as a team.
The key to overcoming their differences?