My Life Bloomed Thanks To That Customer Service Job

My Life Bloomed Thanks To That Customer Service Job

Be grateful for those entry-level positions because they will take you somewhere.

I'm sure every college-aged guy or gal knows the feeling of working in customer service. Whether it be in retail, the food industry, or on campus; we have all bit the insides of our cheeks and put on that fake, customer service tone of voice. It pays the bills.

I settled for the food industry long ago, starting as a Sandwich Artist at Subway.

Keep in mind that this Subway was inside a Walmart so I learned how to deal with difficult people fast. I am grateful for those stupid questions and hard-headed grocers, however, because it strengthened my critical thinking in times of stress. It forced me to practice my wit-- think on my feet-- in a professional manner.

This became especially useful when I was offered a position as a hostess at a fancy seafood restaurant. This restaurant is in the "boujee" side of town. The couples who live on the "Streets of Dreams" dine there. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden dines there. I once went out with a man who lived in a gated community inside a gated community, who dined at this restaurant.

And who is more difficult than the boujee?

My personable attitude, quick decision-making skills, and ability to articulate exactly what's going on, to guests, made me the perfect "eyes and ears of the restaurant," as they say. This opportunity taught me etiquette, food and wine knowledge, as well as professional language; which allows me to sound polite whenever I turn it on.

That experience translated over perfectly when I decided to become a server at a vegan restaurant.

I had drunk just enough of the customer service kool-aid to be the ideal server. I am always guest first. So guest first that I will be 100% honest about bad tasting food, problems in the restaurant, or issues within corporate. This gains me the respect of my guests.

This leads to tips.

Tips pay the bills.

Working where I do puts me in close contact with vegan activists and local charity organizations. We host fundraisers like our latest "Cookies For A Cause," which allows our customers to vote for a charity, which we'll donate a portion of the earnings to, each time they purchase a cookie. These charities include Water.Org, Action Against Hunger, and Farm Sanctuary.

Without this server job, it would not be so easy for me to be involved in what I'm passionate about.

Allowing that passion to seep out of me and into my work is what got me my latest opportunity. Eventually, there comes a time when entry-level jobs feel as though they "don't cut it." Whether you want financial freedom, a richer resume, or are just craving a change; most people leave restaurant jobs.

I expressed my need for a change to a regular guest at my restaurant. It just so happens that he works for the #1 Power Broker by Brand Real Estate Office, Keller Williams Realty. This real estate franchise is the happiest company to work for, according to the Forbes 2018 list.

Due to my extensive knowledge in working with people, I was offered a position as an administrative assistant for a real estate group in Portland and am on my way to becoming a licensed real estate agent — all thanks to my training in customer service.

Most jobs that we see as our future careers are really in the relationship business. Nearly everything we do requires interaction with a boss, a buyer, a seller, a client, a coworker, etc. Start training for those relationships now.

Drink the customer service kool-aid. It pays going down.

Cover Image Credit: Devon Bennett

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do Before They Graduate

Why I wish everyone could have shared in my end of school adventure.


The end of freshman year was filled with the abundant stress of final exams, teary-eyed goodbyes, and last looks at my dorm room on South Campus. The academic year was overwhelmingly busy, and I tried my best to soak in every single moment as a first-year college student. But as I'm sure many of you can understand, it's not always possible to make time for the adventures we so desperately desire. I found myself saying "I want to do that!" all year long, and here it was the last week of the year and my bucket list had barely been touched. All those Philadelphia excursions, dreamy coffee shop dates, and campus explorations that I looked forward to never ended up panning out…

… until last Thursday night.

With about half the freshman class moved out of South Campus, everything felt a little strange. There was barely a dinner rush at all in Donahue Dining Hall, and my room looked so empty it almost made me sad. Naturally, I called up a couple of friends. Within minutes, we met in the lounge, and we were off for our adventure.

Every single day on the way to labs in Mendel Hall, I walked past the beloved Falvey Fountain. It had become such a consistent part of my routine that walking past it felt like it was a necessary daily occurrence. But this time, we didn't walk past. In fact, we stopped dead in our tracks and admired its color changing beauty for a brief moment.

And then we dove in!

Yes, we jumped right into the fountain. First the daring adventurer of the group, then his sidekick, then the skeptic, and finally myself. This was definitely not allowed, but no one was around, and more importantly, no one cared. Being knee deep was freezing, but the adrenaline rush was too much to suppress. So we submerged further, dunking each other and splashing the icy water literally everywhere. My wet hair made way for the most epic hair flip of all time, and we all laughed joyously.

All the stress of looming final grades and the completion of projects, the bittersweet goodbyes to our newfound families, and the hassles of packing up for the year were washed away in that fountain, drowned in the euphoria of the moment. We were officially baptized in summer as it dubbed us the kings and queens of adventure.

Afterward, we wrung out our soaking clothes and snapped a quick pic of our drenched selves. Trying to escape the scene hastily, I dropped my bag of M&M;'s. They spilled everywhere, leaving streams of melty chocolate and food coloring running through the aftermath of our fountain dive. The scene looked like a bit of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory had exploded from the fountain and into the night.

I am far from kidding when I say that adventure is a must for everyone, at any stage of life. Whether it's fountain diving at Nova, or sky diving in New Mexico, something about us as human beings needs the unusual, exciting, and even hazardous experiences. This one was particularly cleansing and absolutely unforgettable.

So I implore you: go forth this summer and be adventurous! Explore hidden places, try new eats, shuffle a stranger's playlist, introduce yourself to someone on a whim, or just get in the car and drive with no destination in mind. This summer is for the bold; this summer's for you.

Happy adventuring!


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