I Am Turning into My Mother

Written By: Kim - Feb• 27•11

Recent events have made me realize that I am slowly becoming my mother. When exactly do women start to turn into dear old Mom?

For me, it really started when my children were younger. Things like, “Because I said so” started coming out of my mouth. Nagging them to buckle up before I left the driveway. And, no, I have never used my spit to comb my kid’s hair. That’s just too gross. Drilled in to my head were other Momisms like, “Never judge people by what they wear. The richest man in town is a peanut farmer who wears overalls and a straw hat.” “Always have your own credit card when you are married.” “When cooking, you can always add but you can’t subtract.” (Which means, add a little at a time). “The man you are in love with at 18 is not necessarily the man you are in love with at 28.” The list goes on and on.

But morphing into Mom became even more prevalent recently when I started critiquing the way the clerks at a local super store bagged my groceries. Honestly, who puts eggs on the bottom of a bag, even if you are putting the bread on top?

L-R: Emory Wickline (Dad); Carolyn Sheets (cousin); Nellie Wickline) grandma; and Marie Wickline (Mom) after my Dad's re-up in 1981.

I grew up on a military base, Ft. Rucker, Alabama, and the commissary was our main source of groceries. The commissary had grocery baggers who also took your brown paper bag purchases directly to your car. Apparently, this service still exists today in spite of all the self-service forms of purchasing that we have today.

Mom would always look for Mr. Bryant to bag her groceries. It did not matter who was at the end of the check out lane, she waved to him and he always came over. Oh, the dirty looks we received over the years from the baggers who showed up to our lane only to be turned away by my Mom. These guys and gals were working for tips, too. It embarrassed me to no end.

But Mom taught me a valuable lesson: You are the customer and you have a right to expect excellent customer service. Mr. Bryant provided excellent customer service. He knew exactly how to pack a bag of groceries: cold stuff together, heavy stuff on the bottom, don’t make the bags too heavy, and make quick witted conversation to the car. He was a dream.

My Mom had a high school education but could carry on a conversation with the most educated person in the room. She raised five children on a US Army enlisted man’s salary. Mom was never impressed with titles or labels. She could spot a phony a mile away — a trait she passed on to me. She believed in God, country and family. She loved to read and laugh.

I guess turning in to Mom really isnt that bad.

Print Girl Makes a Major Change

Written By: Kim - Feb• 16•11

I cut my publishing teeth before desktop publishing existed. I know how to use a typesetting machine, pica pole, Xacto knife and a wax machine. Anyone not in the publishing business or under 40 can Google those terms. At my college newspaper, Troy State Tropolitan, we had one Mac computer my senior year. It eventually changed the way we did business — for the better.

I have been extremely loyal to the newspapers I read; faithfully renewing my subscriptions and filling my head with the latest news. I resisted the trend of getting all of my news online. I still liked curling up on the couch over the weekend to read the paper.

© Kriss Kzhurlatowski via stock.xchng

Many newspapers offer a free digital subscription with a print subscription. Because I own an iPad, it is extremely convenient (and doesn’t weigh much) for me to simply carry my iPad with me to work, download the newspaper’s app, log in and read the news. It’s a great way for me to use my time while I ride the commuter train. I often find stories I wish to share on Twitter or LinkedIn, which means if I read the hard copy newspaper, I have to log in online to send it along. This week, I decided this was inefficient — basically touching the same news story twice in order — to share the information.

So began my quick emails to The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times. My fourth paper is local and doesn’t require a log in to read it online. Yes, I still maintain a home delivery because I believe in supporting community newspapers.

The only newspaper that responded with the answer I was looking for was The Washington Times who converted my annual subscription over to digital only (which costs less than the printed version). Both the Post and the Journal gave me the standard: “We are sorry that you want to cancel your subscription, blah, blah, blah.”

I never said I wanted to cancel my subscription. I was simply asking to no longer receive the paper version because I wanted to get my news online only. Don’t people read their emails? Why hasn’t your approach to customer service changed with the times?

This is 2011: the laptop, smart phones and now tablets have revolutionized the way we consume content. Why hasn’t your policy/offer/database/customer service approach changed as well? What in the heck are you waiting for?

So after two more emails to both the Post and the Journal, the Post did offer me a digital-only subscription called e-replica. The Journal still will deliver my paper edition unless I want to cancel my subscription.

Good thing I use newspapers in my garden.