On Hiatus

hiatus2copyI am on hiatus from my blog as of June 8, 2015 to complete the rewrites and edits on my current novel “The Rebuilder”. I need to put all my time and focus in this area. Your understanding is appreciated. Update – I am still on hiatus caring for my wife as she recovers from surgery.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
June 8, 2015

Poem: We Never Lived In the Now

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We Never Lived in the Now

Your face shows your age,
though your countenance is still glowing.
Your age says grown-up,
but you’ve never decided where you’re going.

You have grown older.
Yes, I am older too.
The remainder of our lives is before us,
oh, what’ll we do?

What were the dreams
you had so long ago?
What was your vision?
Where did it go?

You traveled your way.
I went mine.
A history so different
yet lives intertwined.

The gray now shows in our locks,
showing how much we cared.
Your grin still lights my life,
my smile brightens yours when shared.

You lived for then.
I lived for when.
We never lived in the moment.
No, we never lived in the now.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
2008

Photosource and license: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/5836253352

Creative Commons License
The photo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Customer Care Tip – Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do: The Next Step

Customer Service Tip – Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do – The Next Step

Let’s face it; we have all had bad customer service experiences. Like me, I bet you can recall the details of every instance of bad service. If you are like most people, you probably told anyone who would listen about your dreadful experience.

The average customer will tell many people of a bad experience. That’s the type of word of mouth advertising we do not want.

One way to avoid painful misunderstandings is to tell the customer what you are going to do. Make sure they understand the next steps in the process.

Here’s a checklist to help:

  1. Recap expectations and follow-up items in a summary form.
  2. Ask the customer if your understanding is correct.
  3. Tell them your name and that you are the person responsible for resolving the issue.
  4. Tell the customer any requirements they have. Examples would be:
    1. What paperwork or documentation do they need to provide?
    2. What format is the paperwork or documentation? Electronic or paper?
    3. When is the paperwork or documentation due?
    4. Contact information if they need help, have questions, or need an extension?
  5. Tell them what to expect from you.
    1. How will you acknowledge receipt of the paperwork or documentation?
    2. How long will it take to process?
    3. What you they expect to receive from you and when?
    4. How is resolution notification handled? The is a great touch point for a courtesy contact of the customer.
    5. Contact information if they have questions or if they feel you are too slow and need a status update.

Having a road map to help the customer understand the next steps is an excellent way to create goodwill. The client has confidence when they have an understanding of the process. Knowing by name a contact person who handles managing their issue is a core ingredient to world-class customer service. You can provide this point of touch even if the follow-up work is someone else’s. The name you give is the one managing the incident or case.

Follow through on all promises. A great plan requires execution. Failure to follow through will lose all the great service and goodwill you work so hard to create.

Customer Service Tip – Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do – The Next Step


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Wadsworth Longfellow Home

Wadsworth-Longfellow_House,_Portland,_MEAdventures filled my life growing up as a military brat. Some of the most memorable were school field trips. A few of these excursions were life changing, opening a new world of ideas and possibilities. Two of the most impactful were trips that occurred as a student at Portsmouth Junior High School in New Hampshire. The first journey took me to the Wadsworth-Longfellow home in Portland, Maine.

The sojourn included a poetry reading. It was my first exposure to real poetry. Seeing the home and the study desk somehow made the poet real to me. Hearing the words read aloud with passion and pacing tugged at my heart and soul.

Longfellow went to Europe for three years following college graduation in 1825. He returned to his alma mater, Bowdoin College, in 1829 and taught there until he accepted a position at Harvard.

I learned field trips could be more than just a fun trip that kept you out of class for a day. A drive to a historical figures home provided experiential learning. Seeing the home and hearing poetry read made learning fresh and adventurous.

In the future, I’ll write about a trip to the Robert Frost farm in New Hampshire. It was the second impactful field trip during my tenure in New Hampshire public schools. Adventures filled the life of this military brat.

The photo  is in the public domain.

Martian Mondays: The Martian Chronicles – Chapter Fifteen: The Musicians

the-martian-chroniclesChapter Fifteen – The Musicians (April 2003/2034)- This story first appeared in The Martian Chronicles. Several boys venture into the ruins of the Martian cities. They go into the houses and play with the debris, imagining that they are on earth, playing with the autumn leaves. Added onto their fun is their chance to play on the “white xylophones”—the ribcages of the Martians. They have a sense of urgency because soon the firemen will take all of their fun away. The firemen are the men who go and clean up the remains of Martians in the ruined cities.

A 1997 edition of the book advances all the dates by 31 years.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Review: 41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush

I received 41 as a Christmas present in 2014. I took the time to read slowly and soak in a wonderful little book. Regardless of your politics, you’ll enjoy 41. It is the first time a President told the story of his father, another President. We get a unique picture through the eyes and words of 43, George W. Bush. Warning, spoilers follow in every paragraph!
It is a unique and intimate biography. The book covers the entire scope of the elder President Bush’s life and career. You get some family background. You start back in school with 41. It includes his service in the Pacific during World War II. You learn of his courtship and marriage to Barbara. You learn of his pioneering work in the Texas oil business.
You’ll cry learning of a daughter’s death to leukemia. You will be surprised to learn of The Robin Bush Child and Adolescent Clinic at M.D. Anderson Hospital. It is named for the young daughter whom President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush lost to leukemia in 1953.
You will see 41s political rise as a Congressman, U.S. Representative to China and the United Nations, CIA Director, Vice President, and President. You see how he excelled at personal diplomacy. The book provides new insight on both the accomplished statesman and the warm, decent man known best by his family.
Also, George W. Bush discusses his father’s influence on him throughout his life. This influence covers from his childhood in West Texas to his early campaign trips with his father and from his decision to go into politics to his own two-term Presidency.
A huge surprise for me was to learn that George W. Bush did not use email during his presidency. It is a wonderful book I highly recommend. It is an easy read that will keep you turning the pages.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Poem: The Dry Creek Bed

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The Dry Creek Bed 

There was once a dry creek bed
Where the water seldom flowed
Where a prickly-pear cactus
With its barbed-spines struggled to grow

I bent over and picked up some rocks
Slowly polished smooth by nature’s rain
And looked in awe at God’s majesty
Spread across the fruited plain

A man needs a guiding compass
With unchanging principles telling just how it should be
Someone to show him the way
To the path straight and free

I rested alongside an outcropping
The fragrance of the cactus blossoms filled the warm, dry air
In the southwest buzzards circled in a cloudless sky
Seeing a dead carcass, waiting their share

A limb, broken, alone
Lie on the ground beside a bare, Desert Willow tree
I cut off its nail like thorns
Making a walking staff for me

A cactus wren sang its pretty song
Above a rattlesnake down on the warm, dry sod
I was the only man who heard the tune
And I thought of Moses and the staff of God

Then my memory turned to a preacher’s sermon
Heard long-ago in my teenaged days
Jesus is the way to life
So the words of the Bible say

So as the day ended
I reflected on where my life is at
On the outside, all seems right
While inside I’m living flat

Now a man needs a guiding compass
With unchanging principles telling just how it should be
Someone to show him the way
To the path straight and free

My soul was once a dry creek bed
Where the Living Water I rarely allowed to flow
Where without His Living Water
I frequently struggled to grow

He bent over and touched His child
My response He wanted to see
Wanting to share God’s loving majesty
Where His love’s waiting for me

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
2012


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.


It is also available in the book

Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
“Invasion
Available on Amazon

Winner Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s Books

Invasion of the Prairie Dogs
by Jimmie A. Kepler
“Invasion
Available on Amazon

The Cup
by Jimmie A. Kepler
“Invasion
Available on Amazon


The Paintings
by Jimmie A. Kepler
“Invasion
Available on Amazon


Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection
by Jimmie A. Kepler
“Invasion
Available on Amazon


Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story
by Jimmie A. Kepler
“Invasion
Available on Amazon

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