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SMILO 11/28/16

SMILO 11/28/16

Happy Monday! I’ve made a SMILO for 3 weeks in a row now. You should be very proud of me. I even started a secret blog this past week as well. And I am telling no one – well I mean I just told you all – so let me rephrase – I will tell no one where to find it, but you all know I have one.

The week that passed has been very interesting. My little puppy Thor was neutered. My daughter has a concussion. I hosted Thanksgiving. And I am selling my townhouse. Wednesday I had more people in my townhouse than I had on Thanksgiving doing appraisals, inspections, surveys, and more and the only thing that was scheduled was the appraisal. Which brings me to my SMILO topic: Communication.

Let’s start at the basics… communication by definition is “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else” according to Merriam-Webster.

Communication allows one or more persons (even animals) to be open and expressive. Thor was expressive in his disgust with my puppy altering surgical procedure. It was loud and clear. My daughter expressed her boredom on several occasions since she was not allowed to do anything stimulating until further advisement from the doctor. Try telling a teenager no phone or music or tv. Thanks doc.

Communication from the realtors about who was coming for the townhouse is where it was lacking. The buyers thought their realtor would just miraculously know they selected a home inspector and set it up for the same time as the appraiser. So here I am working from home, watching my teen with a concussion lay on the sofa next to me, and there are a ridiculous amount of people flowing in and out. Honestly, I had no idea who was coming, going, whether an inspector, a parent of the future homeowner, etc. It was rather obnoxious to be honest. And only obnoxious because I wasn’t aware.

With everyone there needs to be clear communication. No underlying hidden mice type. Being a Project Manager, you completely understand this requirement. Communication is not only expressive, but it is also listening, repeating and documenting. You need to listen. Then you need to repeat to make sure what you heard is correct… trust me… more times than not during the repeating process, something has altered. And it is not because you heard incorrectly, it is because the person you are repeating it to just heard what they communicated and they realize there is more to it OR they didn’t say it just right OR they heard it and decided they didn’t like what they communicated themselves.

After the repetitive nature of the communication, clarity is achieved and then documented. And trust me, documentation is key. Your mind has to recall too many details over time to accurately get it right each and every time. For me, I need to write down everything. I have to recall details for too many people and dogs at work and home to be on point all the time. I’m good, but not that good.

If you need an example, let me recall a fabulous little humorous ditty about a graphic designer and a secretary who lost her cat. It shows you how communication is lost if not properly communicated! Check it out here… (Although you may want to just jot this down and read it at home – you know since it is not work related). http://thechive.com/2010/08/03/secretary-loses-her-cat-and-asks-graphic-designer-at-her-work-to-create-a-missing-poster/ The secretary emails the designer and needs a poster for her cat Missy that went Missing. It leads you through multiple rounds of how communications can be misinterpreted and provides a visual to bring it all together. It’s a good read. Truly.

To bring it all in, no matter what you do, how you do it, you need to communicate. It’s just a part of life. Heck, even some people communicate with themselves (at which point this is okay until you start answering in full on conversations – then I recommend you see a shrink – just sayin’ folks!).  Be open, listen to understand and not just hear, ask questions, REPEAT, REPEAT again, and document it!

SMILO 11/21/16

The second SMILO is here! I don’t know what I was thinking by picking a weekly blog let alone on a MONDAY! Goodness me, this wasn’t my most brilliant idea I’ve had to date. Any who, let’s get down to business… Let the SMILO (Sennette’s MonDay in the Life Of – if you already forgot or missed the first one with the explanation) begin!

I’ve worked for TD for over 16 years now. I started as a Customer Service Representative in the Stratford NJ location (at the time – it was Commerce). I’ve held a bunch of roles throughout the years. Each and every one allowed me to learn more about the bank and my love for our culture has never wavered.

I received a call late last week regarding my TD credit card. It can be easily forgotten how much behind the scenes work is conducted to make your personal information safe. I don’t know all the algorithms used or understand the whole technical aspect of how a credit card works, but I do know this… The folks at TSYS & our US Bankcard team are top notch.

I was sitting at my desk in the 12000 building on a conference call and my personal cell rang. Of course I let it go to voicemail – not because I was on a call to be honest, because it was an 855 #. If I don’t know you, I reject you. This only works since it is my personal cell. I obviously would never reject a number at work I didn’t know. (or would I – you shall never know). After my call was over, I dialed my voicemail. It was a TD representative asking for a call back ASAP as there was suspected fraud on my account.

As any person would be leery (so I hope) I Google the 855 #. And a bunch of “this isn’t TD Bank. Do not call the # back” notes appeared. Being the intelligent person I am – I call the # anyway. And as they start asking me a TON of personal questions, I start to panic. And instant message a friend in the US Bankcard group… to ensure I am okay and not opening myself up to more potential fraud. Number confirmed, I am all safe! But let me be a guide to you… just flip your card over and call the # on the back. Less worrisome. Truly.

So I speak with this wonderfully kind woman, whose name at the moment escapes me, and she starts walking through some rather interesting charges. I can’t exactly type them on a work blog – I’ll just put one out there because it just helps the story – Nudity Jeans (really folks!?!). So there we have it, $1000 bucks in erroneous charges in less than two days’ time. And the only reason they were caught was because of the settings TD has that a normal person wouldn’t even know about and probably don’t think much of it. You just swipe and go. Or insert and go now.

I was lucky they caught them. As we were on the phone more charges were coming through (and these aren’t small amounts – the one that was newly coming was $236 for those interesting jeans).

There’s some dispute paper work coming to my home address and a new card. In the meantime I am without a credit card. No Amazon shopping for me at the moment. GASP!

My SMILO is a smiling nod at the US Bankcard team. You really do make TD a better place to bank. I thank you!

And for my blog reading friends – remember to check your statement as often as possible and only call #s on the back of your card for your own well-being.

SMILO 11/14/16

Cheers to all my coworkers this fine brisk & sunny Monday. Today is the kick off to my SMILO’s.

What is a SMILO you ask? Well, it is a DILO but in Sennette style. A DILO for those who haven’t done one before is a “Day in the Life Of”. This will be my “Sennette’s MonDay in the Life Of”.  So here goes, my first SMILO.

For the past several days I have been under the weather. I slept a good portion of the weekend away starting with Friday. I attended my daughter’s 3 cheer competitions in style with a sore nose and droopy eyes. My daughter, being the 14 year old that she is, decided to Snapchat some really precious gem photos of me to her friends. Which brings me to my Monday SMILO, technology and teens.

Just when you think you know more than your kid, you realize they will always one up you on Social Media and technology because that is their life. Gone are the times where you can say “you are grounded from the phone and TV”. You take their phone, they have an iPad. You take the phone and the iPad, they have another iPad from the school. You take all three of them, they have a hidden iPod you totally forgot about. At which point all is synced so they never miss a Snapchat message and they don’t care about TV because YouTube is the new TV.

I can’t possibly keep up. There is literally no way to completely torture your kids these days with removing something they love unless you are putting them in a strait jacket and locking them in the house with nothing but books to read. Which honestly, is not a bad idea. I have thought of this tactic many a times.  

I’ve been removing all electronics from my teen… who is a great kid – but over allocated. She is a High School Varsity Cheerleader, a National Competitive Cheerleader and on an Unlimited Rec Cheer team. Basically since July she’s been going every day with 3-9 hours of practice, football games and competitions. Somewhere in between she does nothing but homework and Snapchats. She doesn’t know downtime. She sees a message and automatically feels compelled to respond. Which would be GREAT if it was me that needed a response. So for a month she had no technology from 9:30pm until she was awake at 5:45am. (she has to be on a bus to school at 6:35am and practice ends at 9pm).

Did you know she felt well rested and actually was happier? She doesn’t think this has anything to do with the electronics being removed from her fingertips, but I know it does. It truly is amazing how taking a break mentally from electronics does your mind and emotions wonders. So take a moment, and step away from everything for 10 minutes. Reset your brain. It is completely necessary to remain happy. You don’t need to be a slave to technology. It’s here to assist, not take over your life. Although seriously, try teaching a teenager that rule of thumb. It’s impossible. Why is it impossible? They are smarter than you. That’s why.

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