Friday, September 2, 2011

Why I Chose Un-medicated Childbirth

This is a guest post, written by my beautiful niece, Doni Imes.  It is a little long for a blog, but after she wrote it, I could not find anything I was OK with taking out.  So, here it is, with just a couple of edits by Aunt Jeanie, but primarily just as written.  

            The day I found out I was pregnant, was a day full of happiness, joy, tears, phone calls, and fear; lots of fear.  I’ve never experienced anything like this before!  I had been telling my friends, family, and co-workers for a while that I believed in natural/un-medicated childbirth.  But now I actually had to do it!  “What have I gotten myself into?!?”  This question crossed my mind many times, especially the first few days.  I had to put my money where my mouth was now. 
            I had never considered natural childbirth as an option until I was 23.  My mother had C-sections with myself and my two brothers, so this was of course what I knew most about, and I was hoping I could ask for a C-section.  C-section babies have these perfectly round heads!  And there were a few other fears I had that I will not go into right now because it is major TMI.  Then, I met my husband and he told me about a family friend who was a midwife.  Ok……what in the world is a midwife???  I honestly cannot remember what his response was or how he told me about it, but I did my own research and asked around to figure it out.  The definition of a midwife is someone who is trained to assist women in childbirth.  Seeing the word “assist” was really powerful to me and such an eye opener.  You mean, I am supposed to be in control of my delivery?  Really?  This was such a new concept to me!  It was frightening until I empowered myself more by becoming more knowledgeable on childbirth.
            The first thing I did, was talk to my husband’s cousin who had three of her four babies at home with the “assistance” of the midwife my husband told me about earlier.  Her words were so beautiful to me.  The way her face lit up when she spoke about her experiences was just profound.  I could feel myself becoming a natural childbirth junkie right then.  My husband has another cousin who is a doula (one who offers support, encouragement, and wisdom through labor and birth), so I picked her brain a lot too.  We spent a lot of time at her house and I loved hearing her birth stories, even though I have to say they still scared the living bah-Jesus out of me.  I still felt like I needed to know more.  The first book I bought was The Birth Book by William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N.  Mrs. Sears has had every kind of birth under the sun.  At a hospital, at home, medicated, un-medicated, water birth, etc.  It was nice hearing someone’s opinion that did not know me and that had experienced it all.  Their book really opened my eyes to my options as a woman.  Why aren’t women talking about these things more often???  I had never heard of most of the things they talked about in this book!  I was a little angry about it too.  I am not really sure why…I just was I guess.  My next step was to go to the movies.  Who doesn’t love a good movie!  I decided to watch “The Business of Being Born”, which is a documentary featuring Ricki Lake that focuses on birth in America and really what is wrong with it.  Literally, it has become a business.  This documentary BLEW-MY-MIND.  I was horrified learning that America has the highest infant/mother fatality rates of all the civilized nations and we also have the highest C-section rates and the lowest home birth rates.  Could there be a correlation?  Maybe so.
            My goal as a mother-to-be completely changed.  It went from “I want to meet my baby!” to “I am doing any and everything I can to keep my baby safe starting right now.”  And for me, that meant no drugs.  Many of my friends and acquaintances called me crazy and told me I’d change my mind, but I knew I wouldn’t.  I knew the side effects of an epidural (from - All medicine has some risks and side effects. With an epidural you may get an infection or have bleeding in the epidural space. The medicine may not completely control your pain. The medicine could numb your muscles so much that you cannot move or walk. The medicine could make your blood pressure drop too low. It may also make you breathe too slowly or not often enough. Your skin may be itchy or you may have trouble urinating. From all medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Pitocin: Nausea; vomiting; more intense or abrupt contractions of the uterus.  Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Pitocin: Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood clotting problems; changes in heart rate; heavy or continued bleeding after childbirth; irregular heartbeat; pooling of blood in the pelvis; ruptured uterus.  Fetus: Bleeding in the eye; irregular heartbeat; seizures; slow heartbeat.
I was not ok with these possibilities.  All of these people would say, “Well my babies were all born fine with no problems.”  And I am so thankful to God for that!  I am one of those babies keep in mind.  But, just because it didn’t happen to their babies, doesn’t mean it can’t happen to mine.  These statistics I had been reading about didn’t just come out of nowhere and it made me frightened.  I became more frightened of the side effects from medical intervention than I was about feeling every contraction. 
            Luckily, I did not have to get through labor all by myself.  I had an amazing support system.  My husband and I chose The Bradley Method of natural childbirth (AKA Husband Coached Childbirth) as our birth class.  In this class, you are taught to completely relax during contractions and to breathe through them with the aid of your spouse/partner.  My husband was there for every contraction and was my back bone, my guide, and truly my partner in delivering our son.  This class also gave us so much information about what my body was going through during pregnancy and also what my body and my baby needed to have a healthy pregnancy.  For example, did you know that a high protein diet during pregnancy can reduce the risks of pre-eclampsia?  So easy!  I also had a doula and a midwife present.  I did all of my prenatal care at Community Midwifery Services in Norman, OK and then transferred care to Dr. Robert Ryan at Saint Anthony’s when my due date came closer.  I think I started seeing Dr. Ryan at 32 weeks.  I didn’t transfer care because of any problems, I just wanted to deliver at a hospital.  But, I’ll probably do a home birth next time.  My doula and midwife went to the hospital with me when I delivered.  They gave me so much support before, during, and after delivery.  They gave me pep talks when they could tell I was scared and filled me with an enormous amount of wisdom and strength.  My wonderful doula, Nicole Imes, was there for all of my crazy questions during pregnancy (“Um, I have a cramp, is that normal?”) and always had an answer and reassurance that my baby was ok.  My midwife, Gail Brown, told me something at one of my last prenatal appointments that stuck with me, “God knows what He created your body to handle, and He will not give you more than that.  Just give the pain to God and you can get through it.”  I’m not sure if she noticed, but I almost cried when she said this.  In my head I was screaming, “YES!”  This was EXACTLY what I had been waiting to hear but didn’t know it!  My fear went away at that moment.  I chanted this over and over silently in my head during every contraction.   
            My labor was very long, but I made it.  My son was born exactly one week after his due date after 93 total hours of labor.  That sounds pretty scary, but the first few days I was still going about my normal activities while barely noticing the contractions.  Because of the knowledge I was given, because of the support system I had, and because of the power I knew I had in myself, I made it through natural/un-medicated childbirth.  I actually enjoyed it too!  Why shouldn’t I?  It’s not like the movies with women screaming profanities at their husbands.  I have never loved my husband more or been more thankful that God gave him to me than the moment I saw him holding our son for the first time.  My contractions were manageable and not excruciating like I was warned by so many people.   I think the reason I was able to handle them so well and with little pain is because of the knowledge I had and the support system around me.  I knew exactly what my body was doing and that this is what it is supposed to be doing.  I believe that every woman should have the birth story she wants.  This was exactly what I wanted.  At the end of the day, I know that I did everything in my power to give my son a fighting chance at a healthy life from before he took his first breath. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Growing up in Chandler OK and Swedish Exchange Student

I grew up in a small town.  Although we didn’t think so at the time, now I believe it was the best way to grow up.  There is nothing better, for me, than getting together with the people I went to high school with.  With these people there’s no sense in trying to pretend I am something I am not.  They all know me too well.  We laugh, tell stories and have a wonderful time. 

I am truly blessed because I have stayed close to many of the people I grew up with.  There were 75 people in our graduating class and we have only lost one in the 35 years since we graduated.  We know that each year we have with each other is precious and that has become more apparent to us in the past couple of years.  We have vowed to get together as often as possible and to stay a part of each others lives.  There are at least 10 of the people I graduated with that I could call anytime, night or day, and they would be there for me with whatever I need.  There are at least a couple dozen more that would do what they could for me in a time of need.  I can’t think of a single one of those other 74 people that I wouldn’t do the same for. 
We grew up in central Oklahoma, but we are scattered all over the country.  There are a few that have stayed in Chandler and other close-by small towns, and a few that have left Chandler but came back to live again.  I also have close friends from my class that live in Tulsa, Las Vegas, Houston, Austin and Washington, DC., among others.  

We were blessed to have a foreign exchange student from Sweden.  He is the primary reason why I am writing this today.  It was very interesting to have a student from Sweden in Chandler, OK for him and us.  It was such a good experience for everyone, however, that he comes back every five years.  We have a very active Alumni Association in Chandler and give out an award for the person who traveled the most distance to be there.  Anders, our foreign exchange student,  has won that award at least three times.  With the award comes a plaque and he donated his plaque this year to the Alumni Museum.  Anders was “honorary salutatorian” of our graduating class, which meant, among other things, that he gave a speech at graduation.  He decided to include that speech in his donation to the museum.  He sent us all a copy and I was so moved by what he had to say, I wanted to share it.  I hope you enjoy it even a fraction as much as I did.

Chandler High School commencement ceremony in the auditorium of the old high-school building on Steele, on Friday, May 21, 1976.

Since I’m not the regular salutatorian, I ask that you let me make not a regular salutatory but a speech about my personal experiences this past year.

I’m the first foreign exchange student there ever was here in Chandler. That has been both a privileged and difficult position. Privileged, because people have been curious and interested, as with anything new; difficult, because people haven’t known what such a person is or understood what sort of a culture he comes from.

The organization that sponsors me calls itself “Youth for Understanding”. Their purpose is to create more understanding between different nations and cultures through letting youths see other nations from the inside, as exchange students. I hope that I have broadened not only my own mind but yours a little bit as well.

People often ask: “Why did you come here? What made you want to become an exchange student?”

I think it all started about five years ago. It was November. It was gray, rainy, and dismal, and I was ill. I lay in my bed, with my lamp on to keep away the twilight, and was bored to death. Then I got this booklet with the mail, about trips abroad for students who wanted to practice a foreign language. They spent a month with a selected family in England, France, or Germany. There were lots of beautiful pictures in color in that booklet. My imagination was carried away. I so much longed to get away from where I was, go to another country, be on my own, speak another language, and make new friends.

A few years later I saw some posters at school, about going to the United States for a year as a foreign exchange student. It sounded exciting. I talked to my parents and discovered that my father had always intended for me to study for a year abroad.

From then on I worked more methodically toward a year in the United States. It was too late to apply for anything that year, so I waited till early in the fall of 1974.

There were three organizations that sent high-school students to America, and I applied to all three. In each case I had to fill out a long application form. Then each of the organizations had an interview with some of their applicants. All this together was so much work and grew so monotonous that it just about turned me off. I stayed with it, though, and then there was nothing to do but wait for their decisions. First I got one negative answer, and on Christmas Eve – really perfect timing! – I got the second. I was very disappointed. As I had gotten closer to my goal, I had gotten more and more anxious to go. I so much wanted to live in another country. It seemed like a gorgeous adventure, and at the same time I wanted to get rid of my family for a while, something I’m sure everyone feels at times. When I got that letter on Christmas Eve, it was like a door had been slammed in my face. I still hadn’t heard anything from YFU, but I really didn’t expect anything but rejection from them either.

Then something I could hardly believe happened. YFU wrote to my parents and said that I was one of the students they had selected. They still didn’t have a host family for me, but I was going! Now there were more forms to fill out, in English this time. I had a medical examination, applied for a passport and a visa, had shots, bought clothes, gathered information about Sweden [to bring with me], etc. etc. There was no end to it.

It wasn’t till ten days before I left that I found out where I was going. I was gone when the letter came, and my parents opened it. As soon as I got home, they told me I was going to Oklahoma. I knew that was the name of a state, but that was about all I knew. I didn’t want to show my ignorance, however, so I said: “Uh – isn’t that somewhere in the middle?” Which happened to be a pretty good guess.

I left my home in the evening of August the 15th. During that day, I was supposed to pack, but I was so fidgety and nervous that nothing got done, and my father had to pack for me.

Well, finally I got all packed, and after an extremely tiring journey, which lasted for nearly 48 hours, I wound up in Oklahoma City and then in Chandler.

Many people in Chandler didn’t know too much about other countries. Strangers were looked upon with certain scepticism. I got a funny illustration of this. Just a few weeks after I got here, we had the Lincoln County Fair. On its last day I went down there on Eric’s bicycle to take some pictures. The bike didn’t have a lock, so I put it in the Republican booth, which was already empty. I walked around down there for a while, got my pictures, and went home again. Not until a month later did I hear that some wild rumors about me had been going around at the fair that day. They said that a spy had come down to the fairgrounds, on a stolen bicycle, and taken pictures!

Anyway, everyone was curious, and before long they started to ask me questions. From then on you never really quit asking, and I’m glad you didn’t. You helped me overcome my shyness, and I helped you understand that the whole world is not the same as the United States. Such a simple thing as language, for instance. A lot of students – younger students mostly – fount it hard to believe that people in Sweden don’t speak English. They just couldn’t understand that we have our very own language, and that we must learn English at school, just like you learn French or Spanish or German.

They guy who really had to learn about a different culture, though, was me. And believe me, it wasn’t always easy. The hardest thing of all was probably the language. I knew English all right; I had had eight years of it at school. But I soon found out that they hadn’t taught me the kind of English they speak in Oklahoma. Besides, the difference between being able to read, speak, and listen to a language well enough to understand what is going on, and really knowing a language with all its idioms and slang expressions, is astronomical. It’s not just a matter of learning new words; it’s a matter of learning a whole new culture. Before there is any point in learning a new word, you must learn what it stands for. People in my country don’t drag Main, mainly because few kids have their own cars. I didn’t know there was such a thing as “dragging Main”. Consequently, before I could learn the term for it, I had to learn what it was. That takes time, and more than once I was exasperated because I just didn’t seem to be able to get your language into my tick head. There is still a whole lot I don’t know, but you have taught me very much.

There were other things, too, I had to get used to. The Oklahoma weather, for example. It never could make up its mind whether it was going to be hot or cold, clear of overcast, rain, snow, hail, or drought. About the only thing you could rely on was that it was going to be windy, although you never knew how windy.

The food was somewhat different, too, but I’ve always loved all kinds of food, and the American food was no exception, luckily.

Well, I got settled down, and before I knew it, I felt at home in Chandler. I made friends, the American language began to sound natural, and I got used enough to school to look forward to weekends. At times, I felt like Chandler was all I had ever known.

During a full school year I led a very eventful life. I have never been so busy before. There was always something going on: band every morning, marching at football games every Friday night for a couple of months, basketball practice after school every day during the following months, basketball games, working at the lumber yard a couple of times, dropping eggs with Science Club, washing cars with French Club, going to speech tournaments and band competitions, going to the show or eating pizza in Shawnee, watching TV, writing letters…  I just never had enough time.

Something I’m glad I got to do is basketball. For several years I had wanted to start practicing some sport and work with my body. The Swedish schools don’t offer the same opportunities in sports as do the American, and I just never had the resolution, or maybe it was courage, to join one of the many sports clubs [outside the school system]. I was not particularly used to hard exercise, and I had played very little basketball before. Really, I had only one obvious asset, and that was my height. Coach Cooper was a good coach. He treated me fair. I learned a lot, and developed, not only physically but mentally. I learned what team spirit is, and pride in a sense new to me. I enjoyed comradeship. I think that maybe Coach Cooper had hoped for even more than I was able to give him. —If I disappointed you, I apologize.

My most rewarding experience at school has been speech. Speech is not taught as a separate class in Sweden, and that’s a shame. It has been the class I’ve enjoyed the most and also the class I’ll have the most use for in the future. I learned how to organize a speech and how to deliver it. I learned to stand in front of a crowd without being quite so nervous as I had been before. And I go to act in four plays, where I had some of my best times ever. Mrs. Jones has been a wonderful teacher, better than what I could ever have hoped for. I owe her a lot. In Speech Department I also made my closest friends. We’ve had a lot of fun together, and I think they would be the first to come to my help whenever I needed it.

The foundations of my life in the United States has been my family, the Whites, who truly accepted me as a member of their family and have shared their lives with me. I even call Mr. and Mrs. White “Mom” and “Dad”. Without them, I could never have become a part of this society but would have remained a stranger, a mere spectator.

But finally, I would never have made it through this year without you all. You always showed interest in me. You were generous. You always gave me rides. One day when I really felt like taking a walk, I walked from Junior High [on Steele] to the post office, then to the Pences’ house [on E. 1st Street], and home [to Marshall Drive]. I was stopped no less than four times by people who asked if I needed a ride somewhere! All year long I’ve been chewing gum other people gave me. You always said “Hi!” when you met me in the hall or in the street. You always showed that you cared. Sometimes I got homesick, but then there was always someone around who showed that he or she liked me.

We’ve had a good time together. As we got to know and understand each other, we learned to respect each other, and like each other. Soon I’ll return to Sweden, and though I’ll come back one of these days, there are many of you, perhaps even most of you, that I won’t ever see again. I will miss you, my friends, I will miss you. Thank you for giving me a year that will stand out in my memory as long as I live.  Thank you!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How To Recognize Problem and/or Substance-Abusing Employees

The following is a sample of a proposal to provide training for supervisors.  This training can be customized for businesses with/without drug testing policies and/or Employee Assistance Programs.

My name is Jeanie Jones and I am here today to present to you why I think I am the best candidate to provide training to your supervisors on the issues of how to recognize substance-abusing employees, how to deal with the issues of substance-abusing employees and what to do once you have made a referral for help for an employee.

I will first present to you a little about myself, my credentials, my experience, including other training that I have provided.  Then I will present to you my ideas about training your supervisors and will give you brief examples of what the training will consist of and what hand-outs I would use.  My style of presentation is casual and will be so today;  I always have goals and objectives for training but follow a loose agenda.  It is not always possible to know in advance what the exact needs of the participants are; therefore it is important to stay flexible while staying on track to reach the established goals.  In keeping with that, I always invite questions at any point in the presentation.

 I have worked in the field of substance abuse and mental health for 27 years.  I have worked as a clinician, supervisor, life skills educator and trainer.  I have been involved with School Team Training, as a facilitator and Crisis Team Training.  These were accomplished using a model that presented information and education on substance abuse or dealing with a crisis and then allowed team members time with their facilitator to use the information presented to tailor a plan to implement when they went back to their school or community. 
 I currently do contract work for Integris Corporate Assistance Program.  In addition to seeing clients for short-term assessment and problem-solving therapy, I provide De-Briefing for Crises, training for many of our agency and corporate contracts.  This includes Suicide Prevention, Preventing Burn-Out, Stress Management and Supervisor Training on How to Recognize Problem Employees.  I have provided training as a part of EAP contracts for Shawnee Public Schools and Shawnee Milling;  this consisted of new employee orientation and supervisor training.  I maintained an on-call assistance after the training to help supervisors deal with problem employees and assist in assessment and/or referral.

I have provided training statewide to substance abuse professionals on correct administration of the Addiction Severity Index.  These usually consisted of approximately 25 participants.
 What we do today in the arena of substance abuse is quite different than it was 20 years ago.  Then we told everybody “You can’t help anyone who doesn’t want help.  You just have to wait until they hit bottom.”   We required everybody who needed help to attend 90 AA meetings in 90 days.  We said things like, “If you drink and it causes you problems and you continue to drink, it’s a problem.”  Everybody who had an alcohol or other drug problem went to 30 days of inpatient treatment.  Total abstinence was the only recommended course for anyone who had any type of alcohol or other drug problem, as defined above. 
Today we know that there are many opportunities to intervene before a person hits bottom.  We also know that a big, formal intervention where all the family members get together for weeks with a counselor and then meet to confront the alcoholic is not the only option for intervention.  There are also many options for treatment; most people who do require alcohol/other drug treatment can be quite successful on an outpatient basis. Many people who experience problems, such as a DUI, can be helped with education or brief intervention.  There are many more options for treatment modalities, as well.  We no longer take a “one size fits all” approach to dealing with the complex issues surrounding alcohol use, abuse, misuse and addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs.   It is imperative that anyone suspected of having an alcohol or other drug abuse problem be referred to a professional who will, initially do a brief screening and, if warranted,  do a thorough evaluation, using standardized tools and base their recommendations for treatment (if any) on the results of those tools. 

Tools:  ASI  (Addiction Severity Index)
ASAM Placement Criteria   (American Society of Addiction Medicine) 
MAST (Michigan Alcohol Screening Test)

Having policies, which address substance abuse and how it affects workers and the workplace, is one such opportunity for intervention.  Because of the complex nature of drug abuse and addiction, it is important for supervisors who will be implementing such policies, to have a working understanding of drug abuse and work through their own issues of “that’s not my business.”  Buy in from supervisors, from the director to those who supervise line workers is essential to the success of any Employee Assistance or Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy and follow-up. 
It would be my suggestion to start the training of supervisors with a frank discussion about the policies; why they are necessary and what each supervisor’s responsibility is.   Pointing out the benefits to all in dealing with substance abuse in the workplace would help accomplish this.   The supervisor’s would need to understand the alcohol and drug policies and know and understand their role in implementation and maintenance.

Handout A

The second thing I would address is what substance abuse is and how it costs us money.  The supervisors need to understand and be able to recognize the effects of substance abuse in the workplace. 


Handout C

It is then important to look at Troubled Employee Cycles and symptoms that could be indicative of substance abuse.  Again, it is important to stress, it is not the supervisor’s job to diagnose or attempt to offer advice for treatment, but rather to gather objective information that will help in the assistance of the employee, or termination if the behavior persists. 

Handout D

Go over all of these with discussions about what they mean and why they are important.

Role Play or give scenarios of how to approach an employee.  It is important that the supervisors know how to observe and document unsatisfactory job performance.
Supervisors also need training on how to document employee performance and behavioral changes and how to confront workers according the Health Department’s procedures. 

It is important that supervisors know how to refer an employee to those who are qualified to make a diagnosis and offer assistance.   The three types of referral are:  Voluntary, at the Supervisor’s Suggestion and Involuntary.

Handout E

Talk about what can happen after an employee goes to treatment.


For more information visit or email


Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Little More Honesty, Please

I have worked as a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counselor for 27 years.  I am not one of those therapists who hammer my clients into being "totally honest" with everybody.  Sometimes, if you are going to be "totally honest" with someone else, only to ease your guilt, it can have a devastating effect on the other person.  In those types of situations, the possible benefit and possible consequences, to both parties, has to be weighed very carefully and the person with the secret has to make a decision.  I hope that decision is always made with the best of intentions for everybody.  However, I am not naive enough to believe this always happens.  I also believe this cannot be an excuse to continue to lie to people.

But what I want to talk about today is day-to-day honesty and how the world would work so much better if we could learn to be honest with others.  Let's start at work.

I have supervised so many people over the years who were afraid to talk to me (their supervisor) because of supervisors in the past who had yelled at them, ridiculed them or played games with them.  I have only yelled at one employee, once.  Though I'm not proud of that moment, I think it's a pretty good record.  What I have always tried to do is be honest and be straight.  "This is what I expect and these are the consequences if I don't get it."  I think a performance review should be just that, a review.  There should not be any surprises.  How many of you have had things show up on a performance review where you said, "Wow, I didn't know that was a problem?"  I certainly have.

When supervisors come to me and ask what to do about a problem employee, the issue has usually already been ignored far too long.  I always suggest that supervisor start keeping their "problem" log from the first sign of trouble.  If months go by with no more problems, you can shred the list.  But, you need to bring up problems as they happen and you need to keep your list if they continue.  Employees need concrete examples of what they are doing wrong so they can correct it.  Be honest with employees; be honest with co-workers so bad feeling don't fester and interfere with your ability to do your job.  If you make a mistake, the best thing is to tell your boss as soon as possible.  The sooner you tell him/her, the sooner they can help you fix it and the more likely you'll be forgiven.  Don't tell them, it gets worse, gets more impossible to fix and they are less likely to keep you around.  Our instinct may be to cover for people, especially if they are friends, but if they are in trouble, this is not helpful.

Personal:  just tell the truth.  Now, as I said, it is not always the best idea to "cleanse your soul" and confess a pile of past misdeeds; this has to be weighed carefully.  But, if someone is about to enter a singing competition and they can't sing, tell them.  Gently and lovingly, but tell them.  We might have a few less laughs during American Idol try-outs, but it may save them some misery.  If you don't want to do something that I ask you to do, say no.  You'll be happier and I'll be happier in the long run, because you want have a resentment festering against me. 

Business:  scams usually don't work.  If you really bought that blender six years ago, don't say it was six weeks ago.  First of all, unless you have a receipt you probably won't get a warranty honored.  Second, the person providing the warranty can tell.  If you really haven't checked with your family members about accepting your package, don't say you did.  When your daughter's signature shows up on tracking, you just look dishonest and you have wasted the company's time tracking down your package.  If you don't like something a salesperson is showing you, say so, she can move on to something else.   So, if you get poor service at a  business, please let them know.  If you got good service at a business, please let them know.  If we were all honest, businesses could get on with the business of providing good service to you, the customer.  If they can spend more time providing that good service, that keeps costs down for you, the customer.

Be nice.  My mother is not a seasoned traveler.  But once, several years ago, she saw an ad for a travel agency and decided to book her own flight to see my sister in California.  After a couple of weeks, her ticket had not been delivered via mail, as promised.  When she called, she got the run around.  So she asked me to intervene on her behalf.  I called the travel agency.  After I spoke with them, they called my mother and told her I had cursed at them over the phone.  I am proud to say, my mother told them with utmost certainty, "No she didn't, my daughter does not talk to people like that."  That was one of my proudest moments; that my mother knew me well enough to know that I would not do that.  I am not a stranger to using foul language, but I never direct it at others and I never use it when I am dealing with business.  So....
  • State the facts
  • Stay calm
  • Be pleasant
  • Tell the other person what you want
  • Tell them the consequences of not getting what you want (without threats of bodily harm)
  • No cursing, yelling, name calling
How do you think the world would be if we were all more honest with each other?  I think we'd all get more done and enjoy life to its fullest.