Service of Why

June 27th, 2016

Categories: Communications, Questions, Rail Travel, Telemarketers, Telephone Etiquette, Transportation, Travel

Why

I ask questions in every post and the question word also appears in a few titles. Today I share some unrelated observations and ask WHY:

  • Do you think a mother pushing a stroller gave her young child a tablet to stare at when there was plenty to look at on the street between the traffic, other pedestrians, store windows and dogs passing by?  The child was so little—around one–and the screen so large that he could hardly hold the device that was crammed in between his legs and the stroler. We weren’t near each other for very long but while we were, not a word passed between them.
  • Inside an elevatorDo I go to the right in some elevators and to the left in others to reach the floor control buttons and inevitably, my instinct sends me the wrong way? Why aren’t these buttons installed universally either left or right?
  • TelemarketerDo telemarketers hire people who mumble? I asked one last week—an American—to repeat what he’d said. The phone volume was fine, I clearly heard the end of his intro—“and how are you today?”—yet totally missed who he represented or the reason for his call. He slurred his words while repeating, at 200 mph, what he’d uttered countless times before. When I couldn’t decipher or isolate a single word on the second go-‘round, I hung up.
  • Do companies require their live operators/receptionists to answer the phone with a ridiculously long greeting—and not because the name of the firm is of the “Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith” variety–thus wasting everyone’s time?
  • 511 travel infoDo some general call-in numbers never work? Take 511. I access it to confirm train schedules and to learn if the railroad is running from upstate NY to NYC, and not a substitute bus. [If a bus, passengers must arrive at the station 40 minutes before scheduled departure time. Miss the bus and you wait two hours for the next one. And the website isn’t always accurate.] From upstate, the electronic voice on the phone announces I’ve reached information for the Hudson/Catskill region. So far, so good. After that, whether I respond to prompts with my voice or by punching numbers on the phone, I end up with Long Island bus or NYC subway schedules and for the life of me, I can’t reach an operator or information about the Harlem Line I take.

Do you have answers to any of these or questions you’d like to pose?

Why 2

Service of Authenticity vs. Sincerity: Are You a High or Low Self-Monitor?

June 23rd, 2016

Categories: Authenticity, Extrovert, Introvert, Questions, Sincerity

Authentic Being authentic is in fashion–what many suggest we’re supposed to be. Wharton School management professor Adam Grant disagrees. He wrote “‘Be Yourself’ Is Terrible Advice” in an op-ed piece in The New York Times.

“Authenticity means erasing the gap between what you firmly believe inside and what you reveal to the outside world. As Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, defines it, authenticity is ‘the choice to let our true selves be seen.’”

maskGrant feels that “nobody wants to see your true self.” [I'll go a step farther and say nobody much cares much about you. Have you been asked “How are you?” or "How was vacation?" and before you respond the person is half way across the room.]

Back to Professor Grant. He shared the experience of an author who regretted saying everything that came to mind over a period of weeks. For example, the man told his in-laws they were boring and his kid’s nanny that he’d like to date her if his wife left him. After suffering the fallout from his truth-talk, this author concluded “Deceit makes our world go round.”

About millennials Grant observed that “like all younger generations [they] tend to be less concerned about social approval.” He warned: “Authentic self-expression works beautifully, until employers start to look at social media profiles.”

The professor, also author of “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World,” [Penguin Random House], wrote that people are either high or low self-monitors

  • “If you’re a high self-monitor, you’re constantly scanning your environment for social cues and adjusting accordingly. You hate social awkwardness and desperately want to avoid offending anyone. According to Grant, high self-monitors, concerned about their reputations, advance faster and “are more likely to be promoted into leadership positions,” because they “spend more time finding out what others need and helping them.”
  • “But if you’re a low self-monitor, you’re guided more by your inner states, regardless of your circumstances.” Most women are low self-monitors, encouraged by society to express their feelings he wrote. As a result they can appear unprofessional and weak. Grant shared an example of a woman given a management position at a major corporation. When she admitted to the 5,000+ employees for which she was now responsible that the “job was ‘scary,’” she shook their confidence in her.

    Henry Ford

    Henry Ford

Do you remember the no doubt apocryphal story about Henry Ford who did not  hire a man he was considering for an executive position because he sprinkled salt on his dinner before tasting it? Grant would have called the dinner companion a low self-monitor. Citing a study of people given steak and salt cellars he reported that “high self-monitors tasted it before pouring salt, whereas low self-monitors salted it first.”

Being authentic and a low self-monitor makes for a good marriage, Grant wrote, “but in the rest of our lives, we pay a price for being too authentic.”

While calling it an old fashioned concept, Grant thinks Lionel Trilling [who died in 1975], had the answer when the author/literary critic/teacher suggested sincerity. “Instead of searching for our inner selves and then making a concerted effort to express them, Trilling urged us to start with our outer selves. Pay attention to how we present ourselves to others, and then strive to be the people we claim to be.”

Herminia Ibarra “found that high self-monitors were more likely than their authentic peers to experiment with different leadership styles.” Ibarra, an organizational behavior professor at Insead, a graduate business school in France, studied consultants and investment bankers. Grant wrote: “They watched senior leaders in the organization, borrowed their language and action, and practiced them until these became second nature. They were not authentic, but they were sincere. It made them more effective.”

extrovert introvertDr. Grant described himself as an introvert, yet he “acted out of character,” to force himself to speak in public. “No one wants to hear everything that’s in your head. They just want you to live up to what comes out of your mouth.”

Do you salt your food before tasting it? Do you say whatever comes into your mind, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead? Do you fall into the high or low self-monitor category, or in between? Do you force yourself to act out of character to achieve meaningful goals? Do you think sincerity trumps authenticity and is the wisest approach both at home and at work?

Salting food

Service of Hidden Stories: What Do You Know About Support Workers Where You Work and Live? What Do They Know About You?

June 20th, 2016

Categories: Secrets

What do you know

I hadn’t seen the young woman who cleans the ladies’ room at the office for so long I didn’t think she worked here anymore. But I saw her last week and asked how her classes were coming along. She told me that she got all A’s this semester in such college courses as biology and chemistry. English is not her native tongue. I’m in awe.

Some office building front desk staffers can hardly grunt a good evening in return or look up from their newspapers as late-leaving tenants pass them. Others are more like one night guard who has much to discuss if you give him a chance. Recently he was weighing options his kids had suggested for his father’s day gift. A former night doorman now porter told me how much he loved his cats—more than any girlfriend past or present—describing his menagerie with love and in great detail. His pals call him “the cat man.” This morning he worried about his youngest who, he hopes, suffers only from a hairball.

Those we don’t think are listening or observing know plenty about us. The morning doorman at our apartment has worked there for 30+ years. He told me that he remembers the birthdates of some of the tenants—there are hundreds–and that he also knows which ones don’t want to be reminded.

newspaper on floorThe elderly fellow on our floor whose door is almost directly opposite ours isn’t friendly so I didn’t knock one noon when I dashed home for something and his morning newspaper was still on the carpet outside. I mentioned the unusual behavior to the door person on my way out—a porter subbing for the doorman on his break. The next morning the doorman volunteered that the neighbor was fine, that he checked on him before resuming his door duties and that this neighbor had simply forgotten to get the paper. He thanked me for speaking up and said that over the years he’d rescued a few tenants who had fallen over a weekend and had spent many hours on the floor.

arroganceIn the day there were articles about how to become successful that warned readers not to bother with “the little people,” a Leona Helmsley reference. They weren’t worded this way—you were advised only to deal with people who could enhance your career. Has this changed?

Do you chat with the people who work around you or do you ignore them? Have any of them surprised you with their hobbies, accomplishments and lives beyond their day jobs? Do you think they know anything about you?

who is listening

Service of Expecting the Worst and Getting the Best

June 16th, 2016

Categories: Customer Service, First Impressions, Phones, Technology

Verizon Grand central flipped

Whether you dread a doctor’s appointment, party or visit to a cantankerous vendor, isn’t it miraculous when the doctor says you’re fine; the party is fun and the vendor agreeable and helpful?

I’d visited a Verizon Wireless store on several occasions before Icat takes a leap took the leap into the second decade of the 21st Century—or more accurately was pushed by my nephew who upgraded his iPhone and gave me his.

Long before, I knew I needed to upgrade but was discouraged by early forays to the store. I was off-put by the apathetic responses to my questions about the different phones and billing options. Each time sales associate reactions ranged from disinterested and dismissive to rude. I knew one thing: I didn’t want to buy anything from this crew or to ever return.

I asked around to see if there was another branch with helpful staff. Seems what I experienced was standard. I was anxious about my visit to transfer my mobile number to a different device–that required a visit–and came with reinforcements: My remarkable IT expert.

Blue ribbon for excellenceSo what happened? I won the equivalent of the best sales associate lottery last Wednesday. Tyrell Person was watching from the top of the stairs near the street entrance as I entered the Verizon store at Grand Central Station looking bedraggled with dripping umbrella, sopping shoes and soggy telephone folder. He was smiling. He said, “How may I help you? Please have a seat and you can put your umbrella over here, right near you.”

He quickly made the phone transfer, gave me an estimate of what it would cost to add my husband’s phone to my plan, [I wanted to think about this], answered all my questions and volunteered his contact information and the days he’s at work. He also sent me a text with his email address and phone number.

He was so nice that I returned this week with a few more questions, a favor and an add-on to my monthly invoice.

The favor was to replace a cracked screen protector. I was warned that it’s tricky to lay it just-so on a spotless screen without creating bubbles. Tyrell performed the operation with the expertise of a surgeon.

He also discovered that I was inadvertently doing something that wasted the iPhone battery and shared the remedy as well as a few other shortcuts as he continued to recalculate the bill. He added my husband’s phone to my plan, took the time to call my mobile number with the other phone to make sure the setup worked and to ensure that I have the right number in my phone.

In addition Tyrell remembered, from the week before, an answer I’d given about my previous usage.

In spite of charges for the additional phone, the total bill should be about what I was paying before.

The nicest part: Tyrell was pleasant, patient and kind. As I left the second time, he reminded me that I have his email address and that he checks email daily and assured me that I should come by anytime.

While he was working with me one of his other fans came by and we agreed how lucky we were to be working with him. The man said he’d be back in an hour and joked about being Tyrell’s neediest customer. So the word is out about how customer-crucial he is!

Have you expected the worst and instead enjoyed the best? Isn’t it grand?

 iphone 6 screen

Service of Entertaining: Industry Guru Shares Tops in Table Décor

June 13th, 2016

Categories: Entertaining, Gifts, Tableware

F & P kitchen

 

I love to entertain though time and life get in the way so I don’t do it as often as I once did.  One of the most fun parts is to dress my table. Boy am I off trend!

Allison Zisko, tabletop editor at the business magazine HFN, told International Furnishings and Design Association members and guests how folks are entertaining these days and what products they are using to do it. We met in a perfect spot: The month-old Fisher & Paykel Experience Center [photo above] in the Architect’s and Designer’s Building in NYC. 

The venue set the stage. We were surrounded by sleek, high end induction cooktops, convection wall ovens, refrigerators and DishDrawers in a creatively architected space designed to show off the products and welcome visitors. And there was a bonus: We were greeted by Fisher & Paykel’s Paula Cecere Smith who is more than the showroom’s design and architecture manager; she’s also a pro when it comes to entertaining. Her sidekick, executive chef Tagere Southwell, always surprises with imaginative and scrumptious treats–miniature mouthfuls of perfect size made on the spot. She didn’t disappoint.

Paula Smith, Fisher & Paykel design & architect manager

Paula Smith, Fisher & Paykel design & architect manager

If you’re looking for a hostess or wedding gift or to throw your own party and want to add something new to your table, read on. 

We clearly entertain as we dress–informally.

OUT: cups and saucers and tables set with fine porcelain and silver.

IN

  • Of all categories, beverage and barware sell best i.e. decanters and glasses for specialty drinks. Zisko showed us a whisky glass with a hole to hold a cigar! Cutware, if any, is minimal; glassware is clear and contemporary, dishwasher safe, chip and shatter resistant.
  • Melamine [high end plastic] that sports formal patterns for both in and outdoors: You may grill  or order out but you want to serve a hot dog or pizza on something pretty that’s not paper.
  • As beer styles trend so do different shapes and sizes of glasses to hold ale, stout, larger etc; the same with whiskey.
  • Single bowl meals are big, hence, bowls to house them.
  • Mugs generate huge business.
  • White dishes represent the bulk of sales.
  • Gold finish has outpaced platinum for borders and rim decoration as well as flatware. Copper–warm and rustic–is popular.
  • Gray pops up everywhere in homes including on the table.
  • Farm-to-table influence appears in rustic, artisanal style products.
  • Pieces feature mixed materials such as glass or metal with wood and metal with concrete.
  • Customized tableware—monograms are popular.
  • Manufacturers now pre-mix patterns and sell them in boxes because customers aren’t comfortable doing the coordinating.
  • The number one bridal registry gift is a KitchenAid mixer, as much a status symbol to display on a counter as an appliance for bakers and ice cream makers. Zisko says when not in use the mixer often serves double duty to hold fruit and even mail.

On Zisko’s radar:

  • Products made of cork.
  • Mugs decorated with recipes.
  • Glasses with “Mr.” and “Mrs.” on them.IFDA Fisher Paykel event screen turned

She reported the big news at tabletop market this year was trend-setting 81-year old Michael Fina’s decision to close its 5th Avenue store. There it sold china, glassware, cutlery and jewelry. It is now an online-only retailer partnering with Amazon for distribution.

If you own formal dinnerware, do you use it? Do you like to dress a table or consider it a waste of time? Have you changed the way and place you entertain? Is it easy or difficult these days to find perfect gifts for people who still throw dinners and parties?

 Easter table 2016

Service of Office Temperature

June 9th, 2016

Categories: Office, Temperature, Workplace Disputes

Office thermostat

Sue Shellenbarger’s Wall Street Journal article rang so many bells that I had to toss out all plans for other topics and cover “Let the Office Thermostat Wars Begin: In summer air-conditioning season, nothing is more divisive than where to set the temperature; dummy stats and wading pools.

My office is in a space shared by many businesses, but clashes over heat and cold are just the same because temperatures vary from room to room and by nature, some like it hot and others not. Bet this conversation takes place in many a home or shared dorm room as well.

Some companies install fake thermostats. “Research shows office workers perform best when they have control over their physical environment,” [even if they don't]. And if they work at their ideal temperature, their “work memory” is at its peak.

Freezing in officeDue to their slower metabolic rates, reported Shellenbarger, women generally prefer warmer temperatures, from a 2015 study in Nature Climate Change. The goal of building managers is to hit a temperature between 68 and 74 degrees, she wrote.

“Never mind messy desks, noisy colleagues and smelly office kitchens. No workplace dispute is as divisive as where to set the office thermostat. Some 3 in 5 employees tamper with the thermostat without asking colleagues, according to a 2015 survey of 301 employees by Survey Sampling International for OpenWorks, a Phoenix commercial-cleaning company.”

Tape on office vent turnedSome tape cardboard over air vents, she writes, calling such a step a guerilla tactic. Mine is the coldest office so I have done this [photo at left]. It was necessary. Either I’d be a block of ice or if I lowered the temperature so I could remove a layer, we might very well hear officemates crash to the floor in dead faints from the heat.

Shellenbarger mentioned a seven year old survey of 452 facility mangers who shared the temperature complaints they parry. She wrote “3 in 5 participants use personal fans or heaters or don lap blankets and fingerless gloves. Some employees stay cool by placing a ‘small wading pool under the desk to ‘paddle’ their feet,’ one participant wrote.” I stash a winter sweater in mine.

One company installed a Comfy smartphone app in which employees select to warm or cool their spaces or note that they are “comfy.” If at least two people in a section have the same request within a 10 minute period, they can expect 10 minutes of cool or hot air. Another app, CrowdComfort, lets employees alert the facilities manager immediately so he/she can regulate temperatures, fix broken AC units or do the necessary to restore comfort.

Is the temperature where you work or live to your liking? How do you deal when it’s either too cold or too hot?

 Hot dog with fan

 

 

Service of Heroes

June 6th, 2016

Categories: Bravery, Hero

George Washington Bridge

George Washington Bridge

We can hope that one of these strangers—or others just like them—are around should we need them.

East River Rescue

Early last Wednesday morning, three joggers jumped in the East River on 10th Street to save a suicidal man. David Blauzvern, a 23 year old investment banker and former lifeguard was first, wrote Chelsia Rose Marcus and Thomas Tracy in The Daily News. “Blauzvern was joined by two other joggers, 29-year-old John Green and off-duty NYPD Capt. Gary Messina, of the Midtown South Detective Squad.”

Jogger rescue. Photo: NY Daily News

Jogger rescue. Photo: NY Daily News

According to the reporters, Messina said, “This is my job, this is what I’m trained to do, but these guys did it out of the goodness of their hearts. These two gentlemen that jumped in were the actual real heroes.”

The reporters wrote: “Their actions were a welcome change from those taken by straphangers on a Brooklyn-bound N train on May 20, when no one did anything to help 33-year-old Efrain Guaman after he was stabbed in the gut for his iPhone — something Blauzvern fails to understand.”

Bridge Rescue

A few days before, “Police stop man from jumping off George Washington Bridge,” was the headline for the article Spencer Kent wrote for NJ.com. Three Port authority officers– Vincent Zappulla, Ed Berdeccia and Mark Kopcynski–stopped the 32 year old man who was in the middle of the bridge sitting on a railing on the river side. They successfully struggled with him, pulling him to the walkway.

Subway Rescue

Subway 6 trainAlso in May, NBC NY described a harrowing incident where a fearless 19 year old, Nicholas Buxton, saved the life of a man in his 30s who appeared to be ill and fell onto the subway tracks. It was at 8 pm on the No. 6 train at Canal/Lafayette.

The man was too heavy to lift–Buxton tried several times, urged on by a bystander, Luis Figueroa–so he tucked him under the track, under the platform. Figueroa, seeing the oncoming train, yelled at Buxton, “Dude, you gotta get up, the train’s about to arrive,” according to the NBC report. Figueroa pulled Buxton up just in time. NBC also wrote in its online coverage, “The man on the tracks was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a broken arm, according to the FDNY. It’s not clear why he fell.”

What makes some people disregard their own safety and volunteer, or take jobs, to rescue others in distress while others–such as those on the N train after a man was stabbed–take no steps to help? Have you witnessed or read about similar acts of bravery in everyday life?

NYPD and NYFD

Service of Unexpected Outcomes: Shout-out to Chase Bank & Morton Williams & a Dud

June 2nd, 2016

Categories: Banking, Food, Responsiveness, Restaurant, Retail, Service

Surprise

There’s a surprise associated with an unexpected outcome, mostly happy, but not always.

Juicy

I am grateful when a grocery store cashier gives me the discount Morton Williams logowhen I buy only one in a promotion offering a fantastic price if I buy two. It happened when I bought a giant Tropicana OJ at Morton Williams this week. I didn’t want, nor could I use, two. Her decision put me in a good mood and the store on my “I’ll be back” list.

Check it out

I put a stop-payment on a check when I learned that a hefty May payment never arrived. The USPS let me down. I went nuts. When I arrived at Chase Bank in Pleasant Valley, N.Y. the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, I was rattled. I saw my stellar credit rating going up in smoke.

Chase Bank LogoStacia Zimmerman, bank manager, greeted me pleasantly and was sympathetic. She made a copy of the new check and late notice for my records and gave me an extra copy of the stop-payment confirmation to include with the check. She even gave me an envelope so I could go immediately to the nearby post office to zip the replacement check by Priority Mail! To my astonishment, she waived the $30 stop payment fee as well.

I also noticed that Ms. Zimmerman called almost every person who entered the bank by name. She merged a charming, small town feeling with the benefits of a very big bank.

Dining Disaster

Bad restaurant serviceThen there was the dinner that we’d happily anticipated at a restaurant we’d visited for brunch and lunch, marveling at the food and cheery service. When we arrived the place looked fairly full but not jammed, however there were only two waitresses in view. We were seated  promptly by a pleasant server—the older of the two–and then ignored. We waited and waited. Eventually, after perhaps half an hour, the other waitress took our order. Then we waited again.

An hour after we had arrived, having asked three times for two glasses of white wine, only one arrived half full in a diminutive Champagne glass and the second, 10 minutes later. Meanwhile, staff was handing out beer and wine to those waiting for a table.

Did I mention that the AC wasn’t on and it was 80+ degrees outside? People tend to eat–and order more–when not roasting.

Our main course and one of two appetizers arrived together half an hour after the wine. They tasted fine, but still. We never saw the bread; no spoon came to capture the sauce in one dish. We’d given up by then.

The course we didn’t get remained on the check. My husband had to send it back a second time so the tax reflected the reduced total. He’s a generous man, but he was irritated.

At the next table when food arrived for a graduate and five celebrants, there was nothing for one in that party. She slapped her head in exasperation. Once they’d eaten the grandmother said, “The food was good but the management severely lacking.”

What had happened? The restaurant didn’t realize that it was graduation weekend for a local college, [a waitress admitted], and wasn’t prepared. By not turning away the unexpected  customers to handle only the number they could manage, they ruined the evening for everyone.

Can you share unexpected outcomes, both good and bad? What else might the restaurant have done to salvage its disaster?

Bad restaurant service 2

Service of Not Caring for the Next Guy: Picky, Picky

May 31st, 2016

Categories: Gardening, Picky, Retail, Self-Involvement

Me

Self-centered behavior has been the source of many of my posts. I’ll cover three examples that take the cake.

What surprised me was the reaction that people had when I mentioned the green bean and missing section in the plant flat examples. Respondents of different ages and industries replied: “Some customers are picky.” Maybe so, but I think that in being so, they are also selfish, disregarding what they are leaving for the next person.

Green Bean

At our market green beans are sold loose and you bag as many as you want. It drivesGreen beans me nuts when people pick out one bean at a time. Apart from preventing anyone else from reaching the bin as they stand there for ages, do they think that the rest of us want to buy all the bad ones they reject? Further, in all the years I’ve scooped out random handfuls of these beans, I’ve tossed too few to mention. They were all fresh and in good shape.

Left me Flat

Flower Flat Minus OneI went to Greystone Greenhouses in Sharon, Conn. to buy flats of flowers to enhance our garden, [at least until a wild creature discovers what I’ve planted and plans a dinner party with flowers for dessert].

There are six to eight sections of flowers in each flat and I had a hard time finding a complete one. Someone or several people had taken out one section of many different flats.[I removed a section in the flat featured above to illustrate.] Apart from the inconvenience, this egocentric approach made me think: “Why should you leave the less vigorous plants for someone else?” As in the instance with the beans, the crops at this garden center are great and few if any of the flats this early in the season have flaws. But still.

Some Party

That must have been some gathering in the Katherine Hepburn Garden on East 40th Street last week. All the garbage can tops on the pavement between First and Second Avenues were pulled off and leftover food and containers were tossed around throughout the usually pristine block near the UN [photo below]. If raccoons lived here, I’d understand the mess. Otherwise, it’s another instance of not thinking of the effect of your actions on others.

Can you think of examples of what people do to ruin things for others? Do mine illustrate selfishness, people just being picky, unawareness or something else?

Garbage at Katherine H Park

 

Service of It’s in the Cards

May 26th, 2016

Categories: Greeting Cards, Stationery, Trade Show

Ceiling of new subway station near Javits Center--No. 7 extension

Ceiling of new subway station near Javits Center–No. 7 extension

As I left the National Stationery Show at the Javits Center last week I stopped to speak with a guard to ask him whether he was worried about the thousands of wonderfully designed and illustrated cards for sale at a time in which people are writing less and mailing fewer and fewer greetings. I’d counted well over 300 companies in the program’s greeting card category. Some booths exhibited hundreds of options and others about 30. You do the math. 

“I send cards to my grandmother and mother,” he said. “Don’t worry. Lots of people mail cards.” 

I’m still concerned especially for what seemed to be the majority ofletterpress machine small booths that sell pricey, letterpress printed missives. I’ve noticed, in NYC at least, fewer shops which offer these cards at costs in the $6-$10/range and increasing numbers of greeting cards at lower price points in drug and grocery stores.

As I’ve written in previous posts, I adore paper—the scent and texture—and I also like to send greeting cards and display those people send to me. [Easter cards still decorate a shelf in my apartment.]

 A few of the things I enjoyed at the stationery show:  

  • Three blue birdsThe Swedish dishcloths from Three Blue Birds. I first saw this company’s wares last year at a craft show in New Paltz and gave away many as gifts. I spoke with the designer who said it was his first commercial show and he was pleased with the reception to his cloths that are printed in Connecticut.
  • The quilling on cards sold by Massachusetts-based Quilling Card is done in Viet Nam. A quick look at Wikipedia tells us that the art of rolling, gluing and shaping strips of paper at varying widths has been around since the Renaissance at least.
  • I saw the hip, glittery cards, made in NYC by Verrier [photo right], at theVerrier greeting cards show and also for sale at a kiosk in Grand Central Station.
  • Running water made me look at Rite in the Rain out of Tacoma, Wash. A special coating achieves a moisture shield on the paper so you can, as its name implies, write in the rain!  

Should I worry about the stationery business or do you think that there will always be wonderful cards and stationery products and enough people to send them?  Do you have favorite places to buy cards? Do you no longer send them? 

 

Cursive in Grand Central Station, NYC

Cursive in Grand Central Station, NYC

 

 

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