Blog Archive

Saying Sorry to the Customer - Sample Formats

Dear Customer,
Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience that has been caused to you due to unexpected delay from our side.
We always prioritize complete satisfaction of our customers and make sure that our services are executed within the specified time limit. Unfortunately in your case certain situations just came up suddenly due to which some of the inter-linked tasks couldn't be completed as per the planned time.
We are extremely apologetic for what you have experienced, and we are making an effort to ensure that such delay should not happen … Fortunately we have managed to expedite…
We deeply appreciate your patience and the relationship that you have with our company

Dear Valued Customer,
It is with great concern that I have to inform you that due to unavoidable circumstances caused by our vendors there has been some delays in terms delivery of our services. Hence, I would like to make an apology on behalf of our team.
We are taking all the necessary steps to make sure that this type of problem does not happen again.

Dear Valued Customer,
This is to acknowledge that there have been some delays recently due to which certain tasks were not completed on time
We regret this delay on our part, the reasons for which were (explanation)
While we recognize that the time for performing has slipped, all kind of concrete efforts are being made to minimize the delays.
Please accept our apology for this inconvenience.
Looking forward for successful delivery of the project.

Sample Phrases:
  • I'm sorry for taking so long to get back to you
  • Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused
  • We regret the inconvenience caused by our vendor.
  • I would like to convey my sincerest apology to you for not providing you the update on the project in the last two days …

Orange Squeezing and Life Squeezing

'If I were to squeeze the orange as hard as I could,
what would come out?' I asked him.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said,
'Juice, of course.'
'Do you think apple juice could come out of it?'
'No' he laughed.
'What about grapefruit juice?' 'No!'
'What would come out of it?'
'Orange juice, of course.'
Why when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out?'
He may have been getting a little exasperated
with me at this point.
'Well, it's an orange and that's what's inside.
"I nodded.
Inline image
'Let's assume that this orange isn't an orange, but it's you.
And someone squeezes you,
puts pressure on you,
says something you don't like,
offends you.
And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear.
The answer, as our young friend has told us,
is because that's what's inside.'
It's one of the great lessons of life.
What comes out when life squeezes you?
When someone hurts or offends you? If anger, pain and fear
come out of you, it's because that's what's inside.
It doesn't matter who does the squeezing:
your mother,
your brother,
your children,
your boss,
the government.
If someone says something about you that you don't like,
what comes out of you is what's inside.
And what's inside is up to you, it's your choice.
When someone puts the pressure on you and out of you comes
anything other than love, it's because that's what you've allowed
to be inside. Once you take away all those negative things you don't
want in your life and replace them with love, you'll find
yourself living a highly functioning life."

10 Energy Saving Tips

​Some more considerations:

1. Fully load your dishwasher before starting. Select the shortest cycle and allow dishes to air dry.

2. Install motion sensors for us with outdoor lighting. They use less energy than lights that say on.

3. Check for hot and cold spots or drafty areas inside your home near windows, doors.

4. If you have a fireplace make sure it has properly fitting damper and remember to close them when fireplace is not in use.

5. Lower electric water heater to 120F. Drain a few gallons from bottom twice a year to remove sediment that slows heating times.

Money :: #4759By Anonymous from USA.                             

Zoom In and Zoom out

On the mobile phone or camera, the zoom in feature is used to take the picture of a specific object. You ignore other objects because your point of focus is this particular object. On the contrary, the zoom out feature is used in order to capture more wider area so as to cover more and more objects. This is a picture taking technique but do you know that we use the same technique with our brain in order to make mental pictures about objects and people? Here are a couple of examples:

  1.  You have been very supportive to this friend in his/her tragic moments in the past so many times however couldn't met his/her expectations at a specific difficult situation and then he/she told you that you are the most irresponsible or disloyal person. At this particular moment your friend has 'Zoomed-in' too much in your personality that he/she is only able to see and judge about your carelessness, incapability or betrayal trait. However, ideally, he should 'Zoom-out' look at your overall personality and remember the things which you have done for him/her in the past. In this case, his Zoom-In attitudes is very much inappropriate and you are not happy about it.
  2.  Your friend told you that tires making company ABC-Tires produce worst tires as he had recently tire burst case within three months of purchase. Based on this you made the perception that this tire company is most awful company. You ignore the fact that this company is selling thousands of tires daily. If their fault rate was this much high, the company should have been banned by the authorities. Also, you ignored that your friend might have driven his car on such an area where some sharp thing (blade, pin, nails etc) has caused the tire burst. So basically you fell under the trap of same Zoom-In thing. By the way, I am not saying to ignore the tire burst thing completely; what I am emphasizing on is that don't make an All-Positive or All-Negative image about someone or something. Give proper weight to all associated factors to conclude things.

Specifically for professionals here are two examples about using the Zoom-in Zoom-out tool.

1-    Use the zoom-in tool when you intend to draw your management's attention to a specific part of the large project which they are ignoring. This is to help them understand the low level details of the project. For example, if the boss asking that your project is over-budgeted then you can elaborate the micro level expenses of the project using Zoom-In.
2-   Use the zoom-out tool to let your field staff understand the big picture of the project so that he can perform their activities with more maturity. This will improve their mental horizon too. Article written by Junaid Tahir

Overall it is highly recommended to use this tool whenever you are going to conclude something whether small or big. Remeber, small mistakes sometimes lead to big disasters. Hence, carefully analyze the situation and see if you are too much zoomed in or too much zoomed out? Make sure your conclusions are based on fair assessment of the situation. Also remember that sometimes you don't even have to zoom-in or zoom-out since you are already at neutral level to judge the situation.

Some recommended articles on Personality Building:

The 6 Hallmarks of a Sociopath People


Do you know any sociopaths?
Chances are, your answer is, "Only on TV." And chances are, you're wrong.

The media's portrayal of the sociopath is actually more a caricature of a psychopath. Tony Soprano, Hannibal Lecter, Dexter Morgan. All appear to enjoy breaking the law, and killing people.
But in reality, there is a different type of sociopath which is far more frightening. This one could be your aunt, your father, or the president of your school's Parent Teacher Organization. They look like us, they act like us, and they walk among us undetected. But actually, they are not like us at all.
There is one basic difference which sets the sociopath apart from all others. That difference is conscience. The sociopath has no guilt.
In 2005, psychologist Martha Stout wrote a groundbreaking book, The Sociopath Next Door, in which she asserted that 1 in every 25 ordinary Americans secretly has no conscience.
Yes, it's a scary thought, especially since conscience is not visible, and it can be faked. To make it even more difficult, sociopaths are excellent actors. Research suggests that sociopaths don't have the basic emotions such as love, warmth, genuine closeness, or responsibility.
But they do know exactly what guilt, care and love look like, and how to portray them. In truth, even mental health professionals have a very difficult time identifying a sociopath. They are often mistaken for narcissistic or borderline personality disorders.
Generally, there is some overlap between those three major personality types. But actually they are all quite different from each other. Especially since people with narcissistic and borderline personalities are capable of feeling guilty.

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So how do you know if you're dealing with a sociopath? Fortunately, there are some major markers to watch for.
Six Signs of a Sociopath
  1. Behaves in harsh and/or hurtful ways, and then expects you to have no reaction; to act like it never happened.
  2. Manipulates others, either from the sidelines or directly.
  3. Treats you very differently at different times or different days, for no apparent reason.
  4. Lies easily when needed to get herself off the hook.
  5. Externalizes blame. The sociopath does not take ownership or blame for his mistakes or misdeeds.
  6. At times, appears to actually enjoy manipulating and/or hurting others.
Whether you know anyone who fits this profile or not, you're probably wondering how to make sure you're not treated this way. So here are some guidelines for taking care of yourself around a person who you suspect might be a sociopath.
Four Steps to Protect Yourself
  1. Be on your guard at all times. Know what you can and cannot expect from the sociopath.
  2. Avoid going to this person for emotional support or advice. Being vulnerable in this way opens you up to being hurt.
  3. Imagine a boundary between yourself and the sociopath. Form a picture of it in your mind. Build a wall that you can see in your imagination that protects you. Everything the sociopath says or that is hurtful bounces off this imaginary wall.
  4. Don't make excuses for the sociopath. Instead, hold him accountable for his actions. The stronger and more direct you are, the less the sociopath will try to take advantage of you.
The Special Case of the Sociopathic Parent
Of all the damage a sociopath can do, I think the worst is to their own children. Children raised by sociopaths grow up feeling, on some level, unlovable. This is a fairly unavoidable result of having a parent who's incapable of feeling genuine parental love. The child has no idea that his parent is incapable, and naturally assumes that his own lack of lovability is the problem. And few things are as deeply painful for a human being as the feeling of being unlovable.
The problems of the child of the sociopath are compounded by the fact that virtually no one wants to believe that his mother or father is a sociopath. This gives the sociopathic parent even more power. Even as adults, the son and daughter will likely feel more comfortable believing that their sociopathic parent means well, is trying her hardest, and actually loves them.
Although this distortion of the truth feels better, it's actually quite harmful. Generally, the less we understand who our parents truly are, the more power they have over us. So the man who distorts his mother's true nature, in order to make himself feel better, is paying a heavy price.
One Extra Step for the Child of a Sociopath:
5.  Always remind yourself that your parent's inability to love you has everything to do with their limitations, and nothing to do with you.
To learn more about how to cope with, and recover from, the effects of growing up with an emotionally absent parent, see

7 Steps to Great Relationships

1. Respect People
Always talk to people with respect; speaking to them like you want to be spoken to. Be kind in your words and actions. Think before you speak, because once the words leave your mouth, they can't ever be taken back. Your words may be forgiven, but they will never be forgotten. When you speak harshly to someone, you put a small crack in that relationship. Too many small cracks and the relationship will crumble.

2. Be Loyal and Trustworthy
Be the kind of person that can always be counted on to do the right thing. Never do anything to betray that trust. Always be honest, and always temper your honesty with kindness. Let them know that they can always lean on you, and even their deepest secrets are safe. If you don't have trust in a relationship, you don't have anything to build on.
"A friend is one who walks in when others walk out" ~~ Walter Winchell

3. Put Others First – Be a Friend
I know it's not easy, but you need to put the needs of others first. By that very act you show how much you care, and how important that relationship is to you. When you enter a relationship with a heart that puts others first, you are blessed by the fruits that are grown from such an act. By showing a genuine interest in others, you show yourself a friend, and gain loyal, lifelong friends to yourself.
As Dale Carnegie said, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
"The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one." ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Don't Try and Be Someone You're not
Always strive to be your best self, but never try and be someone you're not. Relationships built upon lies and distortions will never stand. Real friends are honest and upfront with each other. If you want to have a real friend, then be a real friend. Part of being a real friend is being yourself. If you want to impress someone, impress them with your kindness and friendship.

5. Don't Take People For Granted
I think this act probably causes more hurt, resentment, or weakening of friendships than any other. We go from enjoying someone's company, really appreciating all the things they do for us, and thinking about how great they are for the things they do. Then, let a little time go by, and we stop acknowledging the good things about them. We come to expect certain things that we considered special at one time. Don't do it, it's a relationship breaker. No one wants to be taken for granted.

6. Be Forgiving
What if the one being taken for granted is you? It hurts to feel like you're not appreciated. If we aren't vigilant in caring for our relationships, these things can easily happen. That's why it is important for us to look at others like Christ looks at us, with compassion and forgiveness.
Be sure to talk to the person taking you for granted. Don't let it build inside until the relationship is destroyed and irreparable. If they're a true friend they should apologize and be willing to change that.
Another trick to great relationships is good communications, and not holding grudges. Be forgiving as Christ is forgiving.

7. Be Positive and Encouraging
I love being around people who are positive and encouraging. It brings out the best in me and causes me to want to be positive and encourage to others. Can you think of a better emotional boost than to help put a smile on someone's face?

Dwelling on and being discouraged over problems will do nothing to make them better. We need to acknowledge the problem, tell that problem it's not going to define us, and then get to working finding a solution.

When someone you care about is down and hurting, you getting depressed with them will do nothing to help. What you need to do is show them compassion, be empathetic, and let them know you're there for them.

 Then you need to lift them up. Help them to see some of the wonderful things about themselves and their life. Sometimes people just need to be reminded that they're special, and we believe in them even when they quit believing in themselves.

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The World is Mine

Today, upon a bus, I saw a very handsome man,
And wished I were as beautiful.
When suddenly he rose to leave,
I saw his hobble down the aisle.
He had one leg and wore a crutch.
But as he passed, he passed a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs; the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy,
The lad who sold it had such charm,
I talked with him, he seemed so glad,
If I were late, it'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, "I'm blind."
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes; the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child I knew.
He stood and watched the others play,
but he did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join them dear?"
He looked ahead without a word,
I forgot, he couldn't hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears; the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go,
With eyes to see the sunset's glow,
With ears to hear what I'd know.
With loving family friends to enjoy life
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I've been blessed indeed, the world is mine.


If this poem makes you feel thankful,
Just forward it to your friends.
After all, it's just a simple reminder that
we have so much to be thankful for!
Give the gift of love.
It never comes back empty.

Ensuring Safety for Kids at Home

By Junaid Tahir
Your kids are a great asset for you. You can be more patient for a mishap that happens to you but when it comes to your kids, you are very sensitive and cannot see them in pain, tragedy or chronic sickness. Below are some of the tips through which you can avoid several emergency situations to pop up when your kids are at home:

1-    Don't allow kids to go to washrooms alone till they clearly understand the usage of hot and cold water taps.

2-   Keep medicines away from your kids. Recently a friend of mine had to take his daughter to hospital in emergency as she ate 10+ tablets from the shelf. Although the hospital washed her stomach but did not take any responsibility for any mishap. My friend has to sign the disclaimer which stated that in case of any mishap the whole responsibility would be on the parents.

3-   Don't put chairs or sofas near windows, especially if you are living in flats. We have read so many news about kids death falling from windows.

4-   Consider windows/doors closing brackets. If you have IKEA in your area, buy one from there.

5-   If you have sharp edged dining or lounge tables, consider rubber based edge protectors. (Visit IKEA)

6-   Keep the match or lighter away from the stove.

7-   Keep the knives, scissors and other sharp edge cutlery away from the reach of kids.

8-   Cleaning agents (floor cleaners, crockery cleaners, toilet antiseptics etc) must be out of reach. Be sure to close the bottles tightly. Toddlers have the tendency of putting everything in mouth.

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Story: The Hotel Consultant from Japan

The Taj hotel group had invited Mr. Masai Imai from Japan to hold a workshop for its staff.

The staff were very skeptical - the hotel is doing excellent business, this person from Japan has no exposure to hotel industry - what exactly is he going to teach?

But everybody gathered as planned for the workshop in the conference hall sharp at 9 am.

Mr. Masai was introduced to them - a not so impressive personality, nor the English all that good; spoke as if he was first formulating each sentence in Japanese and then translating it into rather clumsy English.

"Good morning! 

Let's start work.

I am told this is a workshop; but I see neither work nor shop.

So let's proceed where work is happening.

Let's start with the first room on the first floor."

Mr. Masai, followed by the senior management, the participants, the video camera crew trouped out of the conference room and proceeded to the destination.

That happened to be the laundry room of the hotel.

Mr. Masai entered the room and stood at the window, "beautiful view!" he said.

The staff knew it; they need not invite a Japanese consultant to tell them this!

"A room with such a beautiful view is being wasted as a laundry room.

Shift the laundry to the basement and convert this into a guest room."

Aa Haa!

Now nobody had ever thought about that!

The manager said, "Yes, it can be done."

"Then let's do it," Mr. Masai said.

"Yes sir, I will make a note of this and we will include it in the report on the workshop that will be prepared." Manager

"Excuse me, but there is nothing to note down in this.

Let's just do it, just now." Mr. Masai.

"Just now?" Manager

"Yes, decide on a room on the ground floor/basement and shift the stuff out of this room right away.

It should take a couple of hours, right?" asked Mr. Masai.

"Yes." Manager.

"Let's come back here just before lunch.

By then all this stuff will have got shifted out and the room must be ready with the carpets, furniture etc. and from today you can start earning the few thousand that you charge your customers for a night."

"Ok, Sir." The manager had no option.

The next destination was the pantry.

The group entered.

At the entrance were two huge sinks full of plates to be washed.

Mr. Masai removed his jacket and started washing the plates.

"Sir, Please, what are you doing?" the manager didn't know what to say and what to do.

"Why, I am washing the plates", Mr. Masai.

"But sir, there is staff here to do that." Manager Mr. Masai continued washing, "I think sink is for washing plates, there are stands here to keep the plates and the plates should go into the stands."

All the officials wondered - did they require a consultant to tell them this?

After finishing the job, Mr. Masai asked, "How many plates do you have?'

"Plenty, so that there should never be any shortage." answered the Manager.

Mr. Masai said, "We have a word in Japanese -'Muda'.

Muda means delay, Muda means unnecessary spending.

One lesson to be learned in this workshop is to avoid both.

If you have plenty of plates, there will be delay in cleaning them up.

The first step to correct this situation is to remove all the excess plates."

"Yes, we will say this in the report." Manager.

"No, wasting our time in writing the report is again an instance of 'Muda'.

We must pack the extra plates in a box right away and send these to whichever other section of Taj requires these.

Throughout the workshop now we will find out where all we find this 'Muda' hidden."

And then at every spot and session, the staff eagerly awaited to find out Muda and learn how to avoid it.

On the last day, Mr. Masai told a story.

"A Japanese and an American, both fond of hunting, met in a jungle.

They entered deep jungle and suddenly realized that they had run out of bullets.

Just then they heard a lion roaring.

Both started running.

But the Japanese took a short break to put on his sports shoes.

The American said, "What are you doing?

We must first get to the car."

The Japanese responded, "No. I only have to ensure that I remain ahead of you."

All the participants engrossed in listening to the story, realized suddenly that the lion would stop after getting his victim!

"The lesson is:

competition in today's world is so fierce, that it is important to stay ahead of other, even by just a couple of steps.

And you have such a huge and naturally well endowed country.

If you remember to curtail your production expenditure and give the best quality always, you will be miles ahead as compared to so many other countries in the world.", concluded Mr. Ma sai.

It is never late to learn.......

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10 steps to adding a drop-down menu to a PowerPoint presentation

Adding a drop-down menu to a primary or introductory slide is a good way to give viewers a bit of control over a self-running presentation. You can spend a lot of time programming objects, or you can use animation. The latter is easier to implement and doesn't require the skill level that programming does.

The technique is simple really: You combine AutoShapes to build a drop-down menu type group. Then, you add a bit of animation so that the drop-down menu's submenus seem to drop down from a main menu when clicked. The example in this article, which you can build in 10 easy steps, is simple by design, so as not to confuse the technique with the possibilities.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: Design the menu

The first step is to design the menu. If the presentation is complex enough, you might use flowchart software. For most of us, pen and paper will do. The point is to allow users to choose a specific slide or a subset of slides to view instead of forcing them to sit through a linear presentation. That means the menu must clearly represent the direction or subset.

Menu items can have submenus, and those submenus can have submenus, but simple is best. If you truly need submenus, consider creating a main menu slide that links to a choice of submenus, rather than trying to fit them all onto one slide.

2: Add the main menu

You'll need a clean slide for your main menu and in most cases, it'll be the first slide in the presentation. To this slide, add an AutoShape for the main menu by choosing Basic Shapes from the AutoShapes drop-down list, clicking a shape, and then clicking in the slide. Use the handles to size the shape. Then, add the appropriate text, as shown in Figure A. To add text, right-click the shape and choose Add Text. Then, simply type the appropriate label. You can also change the font, size, and weight.

Figure A

This AutoShape represents the drop-down menu's main or top level.

3: Add a submenu

Next, add the first submenu using an appropriate AutoShape. Position it under the main menu AutoShape (Go To, in this case). Add the appropriate text, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Choose a smaller AutoShape for the submenu.

4: Add remaining submenus and format

Repeat step 3 to add the remaining submenus. Add text for each and format as necessary. Figure C shows three submenus. Viewers are free to choose the information they want to view.

Figure C

Submenus direct users to specific slides.

5: Group submenus

To get all of the submenus to drop down together, you must group them. Select them all (don't select Goto) by holding down [Shift] while you click each submenu. Then, right-click the selection, choose Grouping from the resulting context menu, and choose Group, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

Group the submenus so you can animate them as a group.

6: Add animation to the submenu group

Now you're ready to add the animation that will display the submenus when someone clicks the Go To button. Do so as follows:

  1. Choose Custom Animation from the Slide Show menu. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Animations tab. Then, choose Custom Animation from the Animations group.
  2. Select the submenu group.
  3. From the Add Effects drop-down list choose Entrance.
  4. From the resulting submenu, choose Wipe, as shown in Figure E.
  5. From the Direction drop-down list, choose From Top.
  6. Click the Play button (at the bottom of the Custom Animation pane) to preview the effect.

Figure E

Add an Entrance effect to the submenu group.

7: Set the Go To trigger

Right now, clicking anywhere in the slide will display the drop-down submenus. That might be adequate, but more than likely you'll want a click to the Go To button to be the only trigger. To limit the click to the Go To button, do the following:

  1. Choose Timing from the submenu group, as shown in Figure F.
  2. In the resulting Wipe dialog box, click Triggers.
  3. Select Start Effect On Click Of and choose the Goto button from the drop-down list, as shown in Figure G.
  4. Click OK.

Figure F

Choose Timing from the group's drop-down list.

Figure G

Specify the Go To button (which PowerPoint identifies as a rounded rectangle object).

8: Link a submenu

Individual submenus need a hyperlink to their target slides. Add a hyperlink to the first submenu as follows:

  1. Click the top submenu (Instructions), which will select the entire submenu group.
  2. Click one of the submenu's borders and its handles will turn gray, as shown in Figure H.
  3. From the Insert menu, choose Hyperlink.
  4. In the Hyperlink dialog box, click the Place In This Document shortcut (to the left).
  5. Select the target slide, as shown in Figure I.
  6. Click OK.

Figure H

Select just one submenu.

Figure I

Identify the target slide.

Repeat steps 1 through 5 to link all of your submenus to their target slides.

9: Set up the return trip

Most likely, you'll want to let users return to the main menu slide by clicking a hyperlink on the target slides. With a target slide (Instructions, Apply, and Status) current, you can use an Action Button to return home — in this case, that's the first slide in the presentation:

  1. From the AutoShapes menu, choose Action Buttons.
  2. Click the Action Button: Home button, as shown in Figure J.
  3. Click inside the slide. It's best if you position the Home action buttons in the same spot on each slide.
  4. PowerPoint will launch the Action Settings dialog box. In this case, you'll retain the defaults shown in Figure K, so click OK.

Figure J

Use the built-in Home action button.

Figure K

Accept the button's default setting, which links to the first slide in the presentation.

By default, this button creates a hyperlink to the first slide in the presentation. It won't always work that way, but it's good to know that the method used to add a hyperlink in step 8 isn't the only route.

Repeat steps 1 through 4 to add a Home action button to each of the target slides.

10: Test the drop-down main menu

At this point, you have the basic pieces in place, so press [F5] to see how they work together. The first slide displays just the Go To button. Click the button to display the drop-down submenus, as shown in Figure L. Click any one of the three submenus to access its target slide. Then, click the Home button to return to the main menu slide.

Figure L

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals. Full Bio - techrepublic