Monday, July 30, 2012


Every time I come back to visit Los Angeles I realize that service is just as bad in the USA as it is in Italy. It really has taken a nose dive.  I mean what has happened to mutual respect, greeting customers, getting an order correctly, giving change correctly, apologizing for making a mistake, etc etc.? The same goes for the customers. Many are impatient, rude, or just downright unpleasant.

As I pondered these issues, I was dealing with starting Star Charts for my children. These Star Charts are where you give your child a star for good behavior. You can also take stars away for bad behavior. The Charts have been successful on the most part.

I thought why can't we give start charts to adults?

Wouldn't it be great if we could take away a star from Mary, the rude flight attendant? Or take away a star from Joe, the bank teller, for messing up my account? Wouldn't it be soothing if I could take away a star from Betty, who keeps calling with a survey during my dinnertime?

Wouldn't it be fantastic if I could give a star to Mrs. Olsen, a teacher, for her big smile every morning as she greets her students? Or wouldn't it be fantastic if I could give a star to the customer who is pleasant, polite and thankful for our help?

The Star Chart would be awesome and everyone would be on his/her best behavior all the time.

Yeah, I know there is Yelp and Trip Advisor and all those websites where you can give reviews. But I need instant gratification and I would want Mr. X to know he has just lost 3 stars for his rude behavior!!  We could extend the Star Chart to our bosses, colleagues, family members and even our mates!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Small Things We Take For Granted!

Visiting Los Angeles after a year in Italy is always an eye-opener for me. I realize how many things are in the USA that just are not readily available in Italy. Sometimes you don't realize how good you have it until you don't have it anymore.

Target, Staples, Costco & convenience stores- Oh how I do miss these stores when I am in Italy. How awesome is it that you can find just about anything at these stores and pay the fraction of what it would cost in Italy, even if you were lucky enough to find the product!  Sometimes I dream of what it would be to have one of these stores near my small town in Tuscany. Too good to be true.

Drive thru anything- How many times I wish I could just get a ready-made anything instead of having to make fresh meals with fresh bread everyday. I long for being able to eat out of a bag and to feed my family American junk food!

Lemonade stands- Everytime we come to LA to visit we bring out the lemonade stand and its success has kept us coming back for more. In the first five minutes my children were featured on the Facebook page of our neighborhood restaurant. You cannot have any kind of business activity in Italy without being ticketed, taxed and harassed. The same goes for garage and yard sales. You just cannot do it.

Salad spinner-Seems like a nothing thing but they are really impossible to find in my small town.

Air conditioning! How I long for air conditioning in stores in Italy. Very few establishments use air conditioning. It is just too expensive.