Yesterday, I covered: the basic story, some of the story behind the story, my reactions and impressions, some of my favorite quotes from the book, important links and several of the videos that brought this all about.
Today, I'm gonna interview Dave. Yup, that's right. Plus, I'll tell you how his story links to mine, and how this story found me in the first place. I'll even throw in some random tidbits to further wet your whistle.
How did Dave end up with TWO brand spanking new Taylor guitars when United refused to compensate him? Read the book.
Do you think Dave is a country singer? Read the book and find out what his musical roots really are.
How did United end up paying Dave royalties for his songs? Yup, it's in there. Read the book.
See, I don't want Dave to think I've told you too much about his book so that he opens up a can of YouTube on me. Three songs about how Willow scooped his scoop. *shudder* That just won't do.
When I first approached Dave about sending me a gratis copy of the book and letting me interview him, I thought the answer to both questions would be "No." and "I'm much too busy". But both answers were "Yes". Goes to show you that the answer is a certain "No" if you never ask. I was thinking I was all that and a bag of chips until I started formulating potential interview questions and thought "Heck, everybody has already asked everything already!" OK, so I'm winging it. Who knows, I may become the next Oprah Winfrey. I also can't get too fat-headed about my "luck" because in the book I learned that Dave really does his best to say "Yes" whenever he can. Without further adieu, here are those interview questions/answers:
QRe Royalties: In the final analysis, did United end up paying more for the use of your video for their customer service training than they would have paid if they had given you your original request of $1200 or $1200 travel credit towards future United flights? Yes they did. Quite a bit more. I had originally asked for only $1200 in flight vouchers (which would have been free to them assuming any flight I chose had one otherwise empty seat) so the cash they paid for the license to show UBG and improve customer service would have been more costly if it had only been $1. That being said, the license fee wasn't a penalty. It was a fair market fee that shows the value United received by showing the video to their employees. Lots of other companies have paid that fee to improve their own businesses just as United did. I see the incident and the license as two separate issues.QI read somewhere that stock in United plummeted at some point after your viral video and subsequent media frenzy. Is that true? Yes, BBC News and the Economist first reported a $180 million market capitalization drop for United, or about 10%. They recovered from that not long after but many people agree that their share price was affected to some degree by the video.
Admittedly, this is a big far afield...my lame stab at being original. But hey, maybe as a result, Dave will learn about temperament! No? The link is included in my question in case you want to learn more about it. Plus, the last time I tried to psycho-babble an author, she threatened to sue me. Also for the record, lest you think I'm prying into Dave's toileting habits, regularity, as a temperament trait CAN refer to bowel habits, but in general it refers to the degree someone is regular or irregular in all aspects of their life (do they prefer a set and invariable routing, by nature do they tend to do best if they eat at the same time, sleep at the same time, wake at the same time, and yes, even poop at the same time.QYou appear to approach the world with such ease and positivity. What is HARD for you? Being positive is certainly hard at times and I have my share of "bad days" with that. My goal is to reduce the frequency and length of time I spend not being positive and finding the good in bad situations. That can be a real challenge but hopefully I'm getting better at it.QOccupational hazard; I sometimes can't help but psycho-babble people. Regarding your temperament, or traits that you were born with, (nine of them according to temperament research) how would you respond to my "assessment" based on what is portrayed in your book, that you have: A high approach temperament, are highly adaptable, are moderately to highly active, have somewhat low intensity, have a predominately positive mood, are highly persistent and highly emotionally sensitive (I don't have a clue about the remaining traits of "regularity" or "distractability" ). I like to try to understand what makes people tick and what their natural resilience factors are as they face life. Am I close? Is this a long-ass, strange question? Not sure I know how to answer this one without taking a longer look at the traits but I think I fall into a lot of that. Depending on the situation I've been called intense many times but I wouldn't say in a scary way. Mostly I'm easy going and I would say highly sensitive. I am easily distracted though. I eat lots of Fiber so my regularity isn't an issue! :)
QHow does Gripevine.com differ from the Better Business Bureau? Lots of differences here. Gripevine is a social media tool and acts as a customer service resolution platform, with emphasis on "Resolution". The BBB has been around as a service that allows consumers to comment on service either good or bad so that extent I've compared GV to the BBB myself. However GV does much more. We allow people to comment on bad customer service, share what happened in as much detail as needed (including video). They are then asked to state what the resolution to the problem is (what would make them happy). We then take the Gripe and send it to decision makers at company x and notify the company there is a Gripe awaiting their answer. The company can contact them and deal with it offline before it becomes an issue. GV is fully integrated with Facebook and Twitter so if the issue isn't resolved, not only can anyone browsing the site read the comment and learn of the bad service, everyone who reads it can instantly share the Gripe with their networks creating the possibility of LOTS of bad press. The threat of that is a motivator for companies to engage to solve problems. The back end of GV though is an amazing tool for companies that allows them to handle, prioritize and save money in their customer service through our enterprise dashboard. GV is a win win for both consumers and companies.
QSince the book hit the shelves, what's new? What are your current and upcoming projects? My summer will be spent finishing my new solo recording called Raincoat in Vegas, which is almost done! I'll continue to do my best to market the book and support it. I have a few speaking engagements planned in the US, London, Dubai and Austria, and Sons of Maxwell and me (as a solo band) have a few nice gigs lined up. My wife is also due for our second child on July 19 so Most of July is a "no fly zone". I'll be busy this summer.QCan you speak to the idea of negative experiences as positive catalysts? UBG is a perfect example of how your perspective in any situation gives you the power to turn something bad into something better. I've tried it both ways and have found that a positive outlook when dealing with challenges creates unbelievable possibilities. Wallowing in anger or resentment tends to bring more of the same.QWhat would you most like to be remembered for? I would like to be remembered as a songwriter who had a knack for taking the essence of any message and embedding it into music to make people feel something. I also hope that people will see my music as having made the world a better place.QTo come full circle to my original thought as I composed some interview questions; What hasn't been asked? Are their questions you always thought were obvious that tended not to be asked of you in interviews? Not really, but it's a fact that almost every interview has positioned my story as one of confrontation when it's really been about non-confrontation. All of the events since UBG have happened because of the creative non-confrontational approach I took. Very few news sources want to dwell on that because the media gets more attention with negative, confrontational stories than the opposite.
Beat that, Oprah! In your face, Barbara Walters! :-) OK, so maybe I shouldn't quit my day job of cleaning the house and mowing the lawn?
Next, I want to tell you about how I even found this book and this story (or how it found me as is more often the case in the Universe). It is a prime example of the power of social media...a story within a story, if you will. Who knows what the exposure of this book review will do? Who really knows?
I'm active on FaceBook (OK my "friends" might say I don't have much of a life outside of it, but what do they know? They're just cyber-friends). I "like" Louise Hay and Hay House on FB. At one time I even submitted (sadly unsuccessfully) a proposal for a children's book (to help kids who see spirits) to Hay House. I love Louise Hay's book, You Can Heal Your Life and I use it as a reference all the time.
May 16th, Louise Hay posted Dave Carroll's video plugging his new book on her FB page. Here it is: (OK, note, I'm having trouble with this embedded code...so if it doesn't show up here, use this link to view it on YouTube.
This is my FIRST awareness of Dave Carroll. And I gotta say in all honesty, after the first minute or two of watching the video, I almost moved on. It just seemed so corny. But for whatever reason, I stuck with it. And I STILL thought it was uber corny (I think that about the three UBG songs too...but I think he MEANS them to be corny). AND YET...I thought "More power to him for a creative approach." As a result of his "corny video", I became interested in learning more about Dave Carroll, his book and the UBG story. I went to YouTube, I visited his websites and I thought I would try to contact him directly on FB. To my surprise, he responded the same day, agreed to give me a copy of the book to review, and agreed to let me try to interview him for my blog. That's a whole lot of agree ability Dave! That's an example of the power of social media right there!
So how does this relate to me and what I'm doing here? In the last, nearly three years, I've posted over eleven hundred blog posts to this blog. My original goals were to avoid politics and religion (which I've mostly done) in an effort to unite rather than to divide my readers, and to share my authentic self (which I've mostly done). I wanted to learn to share some things about me that I've been afraid of sharing for fear of judgement or rejection (you know, all that business about me seeing ghosts and such). I've tried to avoid what I see as popularity through negativity. I've read a lot of blogs that seem to thrive on creating controversy or starting arguments by hitting hot topic buttons and then their comment sections go wild with name-calling. There are also plenty that use cutting humor to get readership and I'm a cutting humorist in recovery. I usually leave those sites toot-sweet because they make my tummy hurt. I had to make a conscious decision that while I might get "popular" or get more readers through negativity, I didn't want to generate those kinds of ripples in the Universe if I could help it. I've not always been successful, but I've tried really hard. I've tried to amend for any mistakes I've made by editing, removing or apologizing when I've stepped on toes. All the while, I've tried to hold my ground that my voice is important and my views are mine.
I had one woman come after me for using the term "social retard", and I had an author threaten to sue me for psycho-babbling her. That's not TOOOOOO bad for nearly three years of daily posting, but as Dave points out, no "customer" is expendable and stats counting that allows for unhappy people isn't the way to measure reliable service. I've refrained from printing negative reader comments trying to "teach" people that it's OK to disagree with me but it must be done intelligently, and with respect. I realize that we are all connected and it is my hope to inspire, comfort and connect to my readers.
I won't lie, it has also been my goal to make a living at this blogging thing. I would rather make money from advertisers than by selling a product or service direct to you. I love being a stay-at-home person, and I want to find a way to do what I love (writing and connecting and inspiring), AND pay bills.
Dave's a guy who believes in setting goals and writing them down and putting them out into the universe. So in that spirit, I wrote a few of mine that I'll share..in public:
- Get my children's books published and create more opportunities for writing and being published
- Inspire, comfort, entertain with positivity and integrity
- Increase my blog readership, participation and monetization opportunities
- Create opportunities to become a travel blogger with sponsorship from destinations. "Thelma and Louise" on the road series and "Willow and her Sweet Baboo" series. (Revisit the multi-post "Thelma and Louise's Most Excellent L.A. Adventure entries from June 2011 for examples).
- Receive more (free) stuff to review and have sponsored give-aways on the blog to generate interest.
- Earn a good living while staying at home, doing what I love; writing, sharing, social media, reviewing.
- I still want to be on The Ellen Show. I love her positive approach to entertainment. I wanna be on the show, even if it's only to eat Oreos off a glass window wearing a googly eye blinder mask, or falling into a pit of foam for answering the trivia question wrong, or falling into the dunk tank by having somebody throw balls at me, or gathering "Life" tokens from a spinning wheel - ALTHOUGH, I would REALLY RATHER be interviewed about my world famous blog, and my children's books and have her help me get published AND win a car AND ALL of the cool stuff from the Christmas giving shows combined AND meet some super handsome movie stars AND have lunch with Ellen and Portia at their house. You know, if it's not asking too much. AND...could she also pay the taxes on all that goodness for me?
- It's also been a lifelong goal to win the lottery. Hey, somebody has to do it, right? Because I have no desire to be famous...just rich.
Will I save the book forever and ever and read it over and over? Honestly, no. But I will pass it on.
Ya know...if United Breaks Guitars...Delta Cancels Flights. True story. I booked flights for me and my bestie "Thelma" to Cozumel. We're going in August. We booked in March. It was harrowing trying to book our trip, with our schedule, from a rural area, to get a trip that didn't take 25 hours (I'm not kidding), and working with the fact that I'm in Oregon and "Thelma" will be in Montana at that time. It was really hard. But we did it. We did it ourselves through Expedia, and no help from a travel agent, because we want every extra penny we can pinch for toursity do-dads and fun fruity drinks with umbrellas in them in Cozumel.
Then while "Thelma" was on spring vacation, I got an email stating that Delta had cancelled our flights...all of them...and would not be offering flights to Cozumel at that time...and I could apply to them for them to consider a refund. WHAT? They don't automatically and immediately credit your charges when they cancel your flights? OK, I got it resolved, but I wasn't as graceful about it as I would like. It took a month for the refund to be credited to my account. It makes me wonder...if they wait that long to process refunds when it only takes them 5 seconds to take your payment in the first place, are they banking that money and holding it as long as they can so they can make some money from the interest? What gives, Delta? I rebooked with American. I'll let you know how that goes when I write up the Thelma and Louise's Most Excellent Cozumel Adventure in September.
Do you have a story of a customer service nightmare that you resolved with grace and creativity? If so, please share it with me. I don't just wanna hear a bad story, I only wanna hear the stories that also have a creative, non-confrontational solution that is in keeping with United Breaks Guitars. Let's inspire each other by sharing those moments when we sparkled in our goodness while still getting the job done. I might not have any such stories of my own, so I want you to inspire me further. Dave inspired me.
To the first reader who makes it this far in the two-part review, who thinks they would enjoy the book, comment below and let me know...I'll give you my copy. It was free to me, so I'll pay it forward. I've highlighted in it and marked it up so if that bothers you...so-sad-too-bad. All I ask is that when you've finished it, you comment and let us know what you thought of it, AND pay that book forward to someone else. I'll even sign my name in it, and you sign your name in it and so on...A chain book! Too bad Dave didn't sign it first. Oh well.
Here's another one of his music videos. Buy some of his music. Support positivity. Dave, if you're ever in La Grande, Oregon, let's go have a pizza!