In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 18, 2012/ 28 Sivan, 5772

The customer is . . . seldom heard

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The flight attendant smiles. "Something to drink?"

"Water, please," I say.

She asks the next guy over. Then she turns to me again.

"Did you say orange juice?" she asks.

The ticket woman smiles.

"Which movie?"

"'Men in Black,'" I say.

She nods. She goes to press a button.

"Did you say 'The Avengers'?" she asks.

The Starbucks fellow smiles.

"How can I help you?"

"Medium coffee, room for cream."

He fills a cup. He stares at it.

"Do you want room for cream?" he asks.

Is it just me? Or does no one in the service business listen the first time you speak? It seems that any transaction now requires at least one repeat. Sometimes two. Sometimes the person actually walks away, then comes back and says, "Did you say rye toast or sourdough?"

And you say, "Wheat."

"Right. Wheat."

It is not occasional. It is not coincidental. And I know it's not volume, because I have been accused of having a voice that can be heard across a football field. But I still get asked, "Medium or large?"


It's as if people behind the counters are on some kind of auto pilot. Their bodies move, their teeth smile, they recite the right lines.

But they are a thousand miles away.

"What size shoe do you wear?" he asks.

"A nine," I say.

"You want to try those on?"

"Yes, thanks."

"What size?"

"Uh ... nine?"

"Nine it is," he says.

"That comes with salad or coleslaw," she says.

"Coleslaw," I say.

"And to drink?"

"Just water."

She looks at her pad.

"Did you say salad or coleslaw?"

"I need a repair man," I say into the phone.

"OK," says the voice. "We have Tuesday or Thursday."

"Tuesday is better."

"Before noon or after?"

"Before would be better."

"All right. Before noon on Thursday."


"You want Tuesday now?"

I blame TV. I blame video games. I blame the mindless blare that our kids have been weaned on, noise, explosions, blasting music, 100 images a minute. No wonder we can't stay focused long enough to remember soup or salad.

But where is this going? If, as a nation, we cannot stay "on task," what hope do we have?

Once, if you took a service job, you were told on the first day "the customer is always right." I heard this as a fast-food cook, a janitor, a security guard and an ice cream scooper. Didn't matter if they were unreasonable, impatient, rude or snarky. The customers were spending the money. It was your job to make them happy.

Today, the customer is little more than an annoyance on the other side of the glass, or phone, or counter. You only need to spend an hour with your cable company to know that.

"Do you have extension cords?"

"How long do you want?"

"How long are they?"

"Ten feet, 20 feet and 50 feet."

"I'll take the 20 feet."

"OK ... here you go."

"That's the 50 feet."

"Which one did you want?"

"I'm looking for a book. The author's name is Cane."

"OK," she says. "Let me look."

I wait. She types.

"Sorry, we have no books named Cane."

"But he's a well-known author."

"Wait ...Cane is the author?"


"Yes, please."

"Large or small?"




"And how about fries?"

It is maddening. Frightening. And kind of sad. Our job concentration is waning, and our dedication is right behind it. Next time you are in a transaction, count how many times you have to repeat something. The best you can conclude is this: If the devil is in the details, then we have nothing to worry about.

Nobody remembers them.

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