Good customer service critical to business success

Like most of you, when I go to a restaurant, a store, city hall, clinic, etc., I expect it to be a good experience. I deserve good customer service, and so do you.

I personally prefer to do my business locally. Although online shopping might be convenient, I like having personal interaction with a local employee who needs his or her job. I expect that service to be good; actually, exceptional would be more accurate. I understand some customer service jobs do not pay well, but as a customer, I still expect your best. Take up your wages with your boss but treat your customers with pride and respect.


A little kindness can go a long way

It’s 4 a.m. and I am unable to sleep, so I guess I’ll occupy my time by writing this week’s article. I am attired in a Christmas gift — purple pajamas and a purple robe. I smiled to myself when I opened the gift and saw purple. It made me think of one of my favorite poems.

When I am an Old Woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens

And learn to spit.


Holidays hard for those who have lost loved ones

I enjoy listening to Andy Williams sing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” maybe because I think it is, too.

The children are so adorable in their church and school programs. They “try” to be good as they wait excitedly for Santa. Shoppers are bustling about looking for that special gift. Cookie jars are filled with freshly baked cookies. The trees are trimmed and presents have been wrapped. The spiral ham and Door County Christmas wine have been purchased for Christmas dinner. People are generally in a festive mood, while quietly performing little acts of kindness for others. Yes, a wonderful time of the year!


Carrying reflections into the new year

As another year draws to its close, I like to glance back — and look ahead. It’s a good time to reflect on how we and our organizations have grown, changed and improved over the past 12 months. Several of our 2016 initiatives at ThedaCare allowed me to engage directly with the community — a job I always value.

Exploring our strategic facilities plan and the possibility of a next generation medical center, for example, has given me the opportunity to hear from so many in our community. I love the chance to hear enthusiastic feedback from our team-members and caregivers closest to the project, and to foster conversations in the community that deepen understanding and help people see the potential. It’s all about transparency and engaging with others, and I continue to enjoy the work.


Christmas season filled with traditions

I often bring my laptop into the kitchen to write my weekly article. As I was about to begin writing, I looked out the kitchen window and, to my delight, saw the swans were back! Twelve of them, floating gracefully downstream, sometimes their behinds in the air as they searched for their breakfast.

The view of the swans, geese and ducks renewed my appreciation for Mother Nature and our beautiful Wolf River.

We plan to put up our Christmas tree on Sunday. Earlier this week, I visited Old Glory candy store. I was so happy to find adorable little gingerbread houses to hang on my tree. In addition, I purchased the double cherries on a wire similar to those we put on our tree when I was a child. Actually, it is no longer wire, as it has been determined the wires could be a danger. Doesn’t matter, they are just what I wanted for my old-fashioned tree.


Letter: There are angels in our community

To the editor:

When I read your recent article about how the community came forward to support the American Legion with funds for a new roof, I thought of the song “Angels Among Us.”

We really do have angels among us in our community. All the people who sent checks to the Legion, Flo at SAFPARC, the Fosters at Habitat, Muffy at SAM25 — I could go on and on.

We should all be thankful for the caring people in our community.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and be thankful you live in Shawano.

Marion Nemetz,



Christmas spirit evident throughout city

Shawano is a beautiful city all year, but it is particularly charming during the Christmas season. Driving down our city’s main street lined with lighted Christmas trees, snowflake banners, colorful wreaths and decorated store windows resembles a Rockwell picture.

The lit trees located in the Spirit of Shawano Park on the corner of Main and Green Bay streets add to the ambiance of the downtown. The merchants on Green Bay Street have decorated their stores with lights and trees, too, adding to the festive mood of shoppers.

The other day, my hubby and I stopped to have a hot chocolate at Beans and Books Coffeehouse LLC. We could just feel the joy of the season in the air. As we continued with our shopping, so many friendly employees as well as customers greeted us with a smile and “Merry Christmas.” It was a truly pleasant shopping experience.


What’s the story behind that Christmas tree?

Photo by Lorna Marquardt One tree in Lorna Marquardt’s home year after year is a Raggedy Ann and Andy tree, with traditional candy canes representing the dolls’ legs and a variety of dolls hanging from, around and even on top of the tree.

Christmas trees are placed in many homes, churches and stores around the world. There are numerous interesting stories about the origin of the Christmas tree, and today I will share with you some of that history.

In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and the longest night of the year falls on Dec. 21 or Dec. 22 and is called the winter solstice. Centuries ago people believed the sun was a god and winter came because the sun became sick and weak. Pagans used branches to decorate their homes to keep away evil and as a reminder spring would still come.

The evergreen fir tree has been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.


Letter: Flaws cited in Clintonville school study

To the editor:

As a member of the citizens task force on the Clintonville elementary school issue, I wish to share information and my perspective as one of the few members who was not a teacher, spouse of a teacher or parent.

At the last meeting of the group where a recommendation had to be made to the school board, new information was provided by the elementary school principal and the superintendent.

The principal shared her opinion that she favored the north side site so that students could be assisted by high school students, elementary students could make use of the swimming pool, and teachers who provide services at both schools would not waste time traveling between locations.

The superintendent also said that he favored the “campus” concept.

It was suggested that a survey could go out regarding a north side site. I was the only member who voted for this. By the way, less than half of the task force was present at this final meeting.


Another hunting season brings back memories

Aristotle said, “If some animals are good at hunting and others are suitable for hunting, then the gods must clearly smile on hunting.”

My dad is always in my thoughts during deer-hunting season. It seemed he was “getting ready for the hunt” for weeks. Back in the 1950s and ’60s when he hunted, many of the stay-warm conveniences of today were not available. No electric socks, no sophisticated hand-warmers, no thinsulate.

I remember my mother ordering dad long-johns from the catalog. He had some warm wool socks, gray with a red top. He wore red- and black-checkered wool hunting pants, a hat with ear flaps, and warm gloves. His red hunting jacket (in those days it was red, not blaze orange) was heavy and warm. Hunting boots completed his attire. You would have sworn he was headed to the North Pole; he was a big man and looked a little like Santa without a beard.


Subscribe to RSS - Opinions