Brownness

Encouragement Blog Post

Nothing like a few words of encouragement from strangers and friends to fill one’s soul up and want to keep trying. It’s not often that I ask for anything (atleast no consciously) and then I realize how easy the people around me make my life. But it makes me wonder why I dont ask more often. It’s as if I am afraid to come off as greedy or perhaps as weak or the absolute worst: a whiner.

All of these throughts battle around my words, resulting in the a lot of the blog posts asking a lot of questions but offering very few answers. I cant blame the blog, its done its job of venting. So I can only look to myself and only find more questions. Oh, the questions. I am so sick of asking and not knowing, or wondering and not being sure, of just NOT living and breathing from one day to another.

And when I am drowning in this utterly wasteful life of mine (with a glass of black label and coke sitting along side of me), I hear my friends and family’s thoughts and encouragement for me, and although it doesnt make the night go any faster, it fills me with enough courage to ask for their wisdom.

Ofcourse, in hindsight (especially now), it looks oh so easy, but it takes a special kind of self pity for me to pick up that phone to text out that call for help. Too much time in fact. It is as if I have to feel utterly alone and lost before asking for direction.

Today, I am here, asking for help. Asking for words that make sense of my life, of my world, of my love. Today, I want no need direction, need to be pointed to the right way because right now nothing seems more wrong. I ask for love. I ask for understanding. But mostly, I ask for encouragement, that life isnt so bad, and to stop being such a whiny bitch.

Thank you in advance for your encouragement.

Brownness

Where Did the Day/Love Go?

I asked myself as I finally sit down and puke down some words on here, hoping there is someone around to clean up the mess. I literally didnt leave the house today, and yet still dont feel suffocated. It’s probably because there is a deep pain that I wish I knew how to alleviate, and yet that would mean swallowing my plentiful pride and reaching out to the love of my life. There was a time, calling her was like breathing. It didnt take any thought, it just happened.

But today, I long for a way to learn how to breathe again, to reach and touch my babe again. Make us the way it used to be. But words fail me as usual. Things that used to be easy now just seem like fantasy. It’s as if the time spent together has somehow made us immune to certain emotions. Both of us so intent on being right that we didnt even see how wrong some of our relationship has become.

Instead, we stay at our respective houses, waiting and wondering when the other will give in? But is that it really? I mean, I know I am hurt and so is she, but is it pride that’s not allowing us to love or is it something else? I could ask her and then I realize we are not speaking. And that shuts me up again. Silence has become a great friend of mine, just not sure how good it is for me.

I have no one ask right now. Appropriate, dont ya think?

Myself

Lucky Sanjay

What is it about a night spent with great friends, awesome food, and a 80s style arcade game that can make one feel that life just isnt that bad?  And it isnt.  It really isnt.  Thats the thought I carried when I drove over to the gym, and then for the next 35 minutes, life just suddenly felt doable, no actually just great! 

I dontk know why it took so long for me to get into a rhythm where I just ask myself, what the hell was I so reluctant for?  Why did I wait so long to just be happy with myself?  Why did I resist going to the gym or even really just reaching out?  And for a second there, I was blank (hard to imagine, I know), but then I realized, I was afraid.  Afraid of letting down Preeti because we couldnt go the gym, afraid of admitting to friends that today just wasnt that great of a day. To even admit to myself, that I should a lot happier, I have all the toys and the money in the world.

And yet somehow, it just didnt seem like much or perhaps enough.

It hit me then that I wasnt allowing myself to feel rewarded because somewhere in the back of my mind, there was feeling I should still be paying for my past sins, my ego or a mixture of both. 

I stopped  promising and rewarding myself a long time ago.  Instead, I just wandered through a haze of alcohol, gambling, and fighting, never asking myseldf: why the hell was I doing to myself.

But friendship and love didnt give up on me.  Together, they decided that this Sanjay isnt the one that they know. 

They are right.  Thank you friends.  And ofcourse and always, Preeti.

I love you both deeply.

Brownness

How to Increase Retail Sales

 

Container Store co-founder shares secret shopping encounters

10:58 AM CST on Wednesday, February 17, 2010

If Garrett Boone could, he would ban retail workers from asking, “How are you doing today?” and “Can I help you find anything?”

The 66-year-old co-founder of the Container Store says rote, mindless greetings draw rote, mindless and dismissive responses from customers – even when they need guidance.

Garrett Boone

One way to get on the nerves of Garrett Boone, chairman emeritus of the Container Store, is to ask the rote, ‘How are you doing today, sir?’

He cringes when he overhears employees use such vapid lines. And as a customer, this pseudo-interest drives him crazy.

“I’ll respond, ‘No thank you,’ automatically, even when I desperately need help,” he says. “Then I’ll think, ‘I didn’t really mean that,’ turn around and the person’s gone. They’re no longer in shouting distance.”

To prove his theory, Boone went on a shopping spree.

After four hours shopping at about 30 stores and encountering more than 60 salespeople, Boone came home with two pairs of jeans, a shirt and a half-dozen pairs of socks – spending $250 on a day when he set the sky as the limit.

He shared his mystery shopper experience with employees in a Container Store blog he writes as one of his duties as chairman emeritus.

Also Online

Follow our Deals and Sales newsFacebook | Twitter

More shopping news

Now he’s sharing it with you – just don’t expect him to name names.

For his undercover mission, Boone dressed in a blazer (sans his signature bow tie) and his best Panama hat. “I looked like I had money to spend. If somebody was willing to sell it and I needed it, I was willing to buy.”

He headed to NorthPark Center and the shops along Knox-Henderson. He only went into stores where he might actually buy something. “I spent time looking carefully at items that interested me. I gave them every opportunity to connect.”

The good news was that almost every store had a greeter. But over and over again he heard: “How are you doing today, sir?”

His response – “Great. I’m just looking” – usually elicited a pro forma, “That’s great.”

End of contact.

Several high-end housewares stores had staff attending the register areas. None of those stores had anyone working the floor.

“I walked past them and said hello. They looked at me and smiled. I stopped 10 feet away, looking at stuff with great interest. Not one salesperson left the register to help me.”

He looked at $3,000 designer suits at a specialty retailer. No one approached him. He wound up buying $40 dress socks.

He walked into a “really neat energy store” (since closed) and was looking at a $6,000 computerized-flush toilet. The salesman asked whether he was finding everything OK instead of pointing out the marvels of the commode.

“It was sad because he wanted to help, but he didn’t know how to engage me in a conversation,” Boone says.

Two standouts

Shopping endorphins kicked in only twice.

Once came at a trendy men’s clothing store just as he was about to leave. “Suddenly there was this salesman, 30ish, who, with a big smile and a great deal of energy, said, ‘I love your hat, man! What a great style.’

“It was shameless flattery,” Boone says, “but it was delivered sincerely. It made me stop. I said, ‘Thanks. This is my favorite hat.’

“Until he said that, I didn’t realize how worn down and depressed I was from watching retail being done so poorly. I suddenly felt great, upbeat.”

Boone bought two pairs of jeans, a shirt and more socks.

His second A-plus experience was at an eyeglasses store where he was studying a wall of Polarized optic sunglasses for fly-fishing. “This young man walked up to me and said, ‘Are you going to use your own frames or do you need frames, too?’ He’d watched to see what I was looking at, saw that I was wearing glasses and was trying to take the next step. That got us to talking about the sunglasses.”

Boone wasn’t able to buy because he needs a new prescription. But he’ll go back.

He delights in catching customers off-guard.

In the early ’70s, when Boone was managing the Storehouse in Preston Center East, he asked the first customer of the day to dance.

“Without pausing, she said, ‘Oh, no thanks, I’m just looking.’ She walked past me about 20 feet, stopped, turned around and said, ‘What did you say?’ “

When Boone repeated his invitation, she said sheepishly: “Not right now. But I do need help with a sofa for my apartment.”

She bought a couch, two chairs and accessories.

“She was so programmed to hear a question that I could have said anything and she would have responded, ‘No thanks, I’m just looking.’ “

That’s why he prefers a statement to a question as an opener.

“Before approaching a customer, pay attention to her and then say something that tells her you’re paying attention. Say something flattering about her clothing, purse, jewelry, hat, the person she’s with. But you’ve got to mean it.”

Making an impact

Boone tells about a search for hardware a couple of years ago. He’d been directed to Home Depot only to be told, “Nah, we don’t have anything like that.”

After going from store to store for hours, he went back to Home Depot for a second try.

“I was in the tool section when a guy named Bob came up said, ‘You look lost.’ “

Bob found the hardware and suggested an impact drill for installation.

“I’d always wanted an impact drill,” Boone says. “I wound up buying $300 worth of stuff because this guy knew what he was talking about.

“I told him, ‘I should recruit you for the Container Store. But I need you here.’ “

One of Garrett Boone’s jobs as chairman emeritus of the Container Store is to train employees and help maintain the culture. Here are some of the great customer pickup lines he overheard in his latest round of Container Store visits:

•”I bet your closet looks just like this.”

•”Let me tell you what you are looking at.”

•”You’re looking at the sixth Elfa closet. Let me show you how Elfa can work for you.”

•”You look like somebody who didn’t find what you’re looking for. Let me help you.” (to a customer with an empty basket about to leave)

•”The one in the left hand is definitely the best choice!” (to a customer holding two items)

•”Looks like you’re hung up on hangers.” (to a man staring at the hanger wall)

•”Tape measure to the rescue!” (to a customer puzzling over size)

When Garrett Boone went mystery shopping, he called himself “Inspector MID.” That’s Container Store code for “Man in the Desert” selling.

Here’s how Boone explains MID:

“A man lost in the desert for weeks stumbles across an oasis and is offered a glass of water. But if you stop to think, you probably realize he also needs food, a place to sleep, a phone to call his family, a pair of shoes and a hat and umbrella to screen the sun’s rays.

“When a customer comes looking for shoe storage, most retailers help her find a shoe rack – that glass of water. We know she needs a complete solution for her entire closet.

“Man in the Desert selling teaches our salespeople to become so immersed in the customer’s needs that we complete their solution instinctively.”


Sanjay Sabarwal, Esq.
General Counsel
Ziba Beauty
(562) 402-5131 ext. 258

Myself

A New Post or Past: Read the Blog

I am not sure how to begin.  Not much of a surprise there, considering how much of my day I spend not know how it will end.  If there is no beginning and there is no end, what am I really doing?  So lately, I have taken the aimless days back and began filling them with who I really am.  And I got close in these past two days. I read, I blogged, hell I even worked out.  And life appeared to come into focus, but poof it skittered away as soon the light of confusion hit it. 

I am sick of not k nowing.  I am also sick of knowing then realizing that its false.  But most of all, I am sick of wondering when my life willl be complete.  But then I get a call from my nephew or niece, or a quick lick from my dog, or Preeti smiles her preciousness at me, and I wonder if I need anything more.  Is there a balance between completely helpless to wanting to take over the world?  Or am I just socially bipolar?

My Dog

I sit in this quiet room, itching to turn on the TV, or go read, anything to make this minute go by the point where I am still single, still living alone, still without issue.  I want to squeeze the annoying me out and bitch slap myself some nuts.  And for that utterly small moment, I just want to NOT BE.,,

And the quiet allows me that frustration, and slowly massages back into the unsure but believer Sanjay. 

Life will change.  So will I.  Things will get better.  I will not be alone.  I promise all that.

I hope someone’s listening.