A gift from Zappos


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, Me | Posted on 04-01-2014

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Recently, my husband wrote to Zappos asking them if it was at all possible for him to return a pair of shoes that, over time, he realized he didn’t like.

See he had ordered many pairs of sneakers, wore them around the house for a few hours before deciding on one pair and sending the rest back. He then brought this pair on our summer vacation to San Francisco and Yosemite…and that’s when it happened. He started to feel a digging in the side of his foot and no longer liked the shoes. After vacation, he didn’t really wear them and returned to Zappos to find another pair. Six months later he wrote to Zappos and asked if he could return them.

They said yes…with a 100% refund!

You think he would be excited…but he wasn’t. His brow was furrowed and you could tell he was deep in thought.

Now my brow furrowed. I asked, “Aren’t you happy?” And he said, “But I wore them, I was maybe thinking of a 50% credit or something. I just don’t understand. How are they making a profit?”

He was basically saying, “This seems unfair” and he’s right. It is.

That’s the thing about gifts. The Oxford Dictionary defines a gift as “(noun) a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present”.

Gifts are given without any benefit to the giver.

But is that how we give gifts?

Think about Christmas. How many of those gifts felt like an obligation versus a desire, a true desire to give something to someone without expecting anything in return?

So is it any wonder that my husband struggles with the concept of accepting an over-the-top refund from Zappos?

And is it any wonder that we struggle to accept God’s gift? And if we cannot accept this gift ourselves, how do we explain it to everyone else?

Downside of Visionary Leadership


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Books, Leadership, quotes | Posted on 07-09-2013

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One of the downsides of visionary leadership is that we can get our sights set on something that is so far out in the future that we miss what’s going on in our life as it exists right now. We are blind to the bush that is burning in our own backyard and the wisdom that is contained within it. We squander the gift of this day just as it is, these people just as they are, the uniqueness and sweetness (even the bittersweetness) of this particular place on the journey just as it is, the voice of God calling to us in our own wilderness places.

~Ruth Haley Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership



Posted by Wendy | Posted in Me | Posted on 05-09-2013

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I would consider myself a generous person and so, most of the time, I tip. The thing is – I think it’s getting out of hand. Last night, I went to one of those self-serve frozen yogurt places and there was a tip jar. What exactly am I tipping you for?

I got the cup. I filled the cup with an excellent swirl of frozen yogurt (I learned from the best). I put on the toppings. I put the cup on the scale. The only thing the worker did was put a spoon in my cup and work the cash register, which in this case required an exchange of cash. They didn’t even do math – the register did!

So when I saw the tip jar as I got my change back, I was outraged! Seriously?! Am I tipping you to watch how awesome I am at making my fro-yo exactly the way I want it? Am I tipping you for putting the spoon in my cup? Or was it how you watched me enter, get what I want, skip the undecided and get out in under ten minutes?

I don’t get it. Like lawsuits, tipping is getting frivolous.

A Day in the Life…


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Me | Posted on 25-03-2013

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I honestly think I’m the funniest person I know…and definitely the most humble. With that being said, I wanted to share a few moments that capture this morning’s interactions with two of my co-workers:

Incident 1
Wendy: “Man, I really want another cup of coffee.”
Co-worker: “No, don’t get coffee. It’s bad for you.”
Wendy: “Wait, why should I listen to you? You don’t eat meat?”

Incident 2
Wendy approaches co-worker who is sitting in a conference room waiting for a meeting to begin. Up to this point, I’ve begrudgingly said good morning in reply to his smiley welcome.
Wendy: “I’m feeling nice today. What coffee do you want?”
Co-worker: <stifled laughter>
Wendy: <stare> but meant to say, what’s so funny? it’s true I feel nice so I want to buy you a coffee. Just tell me what you want already, I’m feeling less nice now.
Co-worker: large coffee with <hand gesture> this much milk
Wendy: <nod>

Nerd quote


Posted by Wendy | Posted in quotes | Posted on 08-03-2013

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Can you believe my husband created this quote? He’s a genius…and a nerd…and I love him!

“Isaac Newton’s work was very derivative, but it was also quite integral.”
~David Hosier

Leaking Boat


Posted by Wendy | Posted in quotes | Posted on 10-01-2013

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“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
~Warren Buffett

Own your mistakes!


Posted by Wendy | Posted in quotes | Posted on 02-12-2012

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“When people make a mistake…own it! And then you work on not doing it again. I’m not perfect. I make a mistake every day of my life but I own it every single time. It irritates the crap out of me (when people don’t own it)!”
~David Tutera, My Fair Wedding



Posted by Wendy | Posted in quotes | Posted on 29-10-2012

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I read this in the July issue of Real Simple.

Jeremy produces big events for big companies and explained that, in the world of event planning, there are basically three qualities: good, fast and cheap. When producing an event, you can guarantee clients that they will get two of those things. But they cannot have all three. And the two that they choose always eliminates the third.

The editor goes on to say that she has decided that this applies to nearly everything she might make or do in her life. Well, I agree! I learned this lesson while being an engineer. I worked to develop new candy for people to enjoy. Of course, the company (i.e. my client) always wanted a high quality product (good) at the highest efficiency possible (fast & cheap). Actually, a veteran engineer explained it as a triangle with quality, price and speed being the three points. The triangle always existed with three points just with different proportions. You could never have an equilateral triangle, it would always be isoceles.

I think that’s true of most things in life. We can never have it all…we will never have it all figured out. The triangle and our limitations exist.



Posted by Wendy | Posted in Books, quotes | Posted on 24-09-2012

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“There’s no benchmark for how life’s ’supposed’ to happen…There is no ideal world for you to wait around for. The world is always just what it is now, and it’s up to you how you respond to it.”
~Perry’s dad, Warm Bodies

Key to Happiness


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-09-2012

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“The key to your happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don’t. If you keep saying your slippers aren’t yours, then you’ll die searching…”

~Ghosh, Cutting for Stone