Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway!!!

The Napkin, the Melon, & the Monkey: How to Be Happy and Successful by Simply Changing Your Mind

I had the opportunity to review Barbara Burke’s book and I have learned two things, (1) customer service isn’t easy, and (2) not to sweat the small stuff. The book is about Olivia who is a customer service representative for her local electric company and even though she has been trained to handle difficult customers, she has found herself losing control and not handling herself in a professional manner. Fearing she will lose her job, Olivia seeks the advice of a long time customer service representative, Isabel, who teaches her how to relate to napkins, melons and monkeys.

Olivia is like you and me. She is a parent, a spouse, and an employee. She has to work to boost her family’s income and dealing with disgruntled customers isn’t easy when your life is already stressful. Olivia finds herself depressed and feeling miserable and there is nothing she can do about it because her family needs the additional income.

With the help of Isabel, Olivia learns to change her attitude about her employment and it also reflects upon her personal relationships. Those changes come from the experiences and wisdom. One of those examples is SODA which is an acronym for STOP, OBSERVE, DECIDE, and ACT. Isabel also tells Olivia about “unplugging” which allows a person to simply take some time to clear their mind of anything and everything even if it is just for a few minutes. Then, there are the Aha!s which are 22 practical ways to look and practice life. Aha! No. 1 is “I will always have problems” and Aha! No. 22 is that “Generous hearts make a difference.”

Barbara’s book is great testament to living life, not just on a professional level either. Her ideas are ones that we can take with us in our personal lives as well. While I was reading, I looked at my own life and experiences. Sometimes I think that my life isn’t easy - being working mother with RA – but I have also realized that life is what we make it. We choose how we respond and some of Barbara’s Aha!s hit home.

Aha! #1 I will always have problems.

Aha! #2 It’s not about me.

Aha! #6 When all else fails, have SODA.

Aha! #10 The less I talk, the more I learn.

Aha! #13 Spreading my wings is the only way to fly.

Aha! #21 Real freedom comes from letting go of the outcome.

So many of us dwell on things we think we cannot control when there is more to life. Changing our perception of life is the only way to be happy and that is the only thing in life we have control of.

To purchase Barbara Burke’s “The Napkin, The Melon & The Monkey, visit the publisher's website. The price of the book is $19.95 and believe me, it is worth the $19.95. You can also purchase at Barbara Burke's website and there is always Amazon.

One lucky reader of this blog will recieve a copy of The Napkin, The Melon & The Monkey and here is all you have to do. TO ENTER, please leave a comment under this post telling me what you do for a living, and whether you would be able and willing to work in customer service. Leave your email address so we have a way of contacting you. Enter by February 8 at 11:59 p.m. Open to U.S. addresses only.



  1. I have been a secondary computer and mathematics teacher for 23 years and am currently on medical leave due to an accident at school. It is my hope that I will be able to return to teaching - my passion and calling in life. At this time I am not able to work in customer service.

  2. I tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/8560250438

    Thank you,


  3. I spent my adult life as a registered nurse. I have been disabled due to work related injuries for past 15 years. I respect what those in customer service deal with every day but no, I don't want to do it.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  4. I'm a teacher and that is customer relations.....sometimes jacksond@nhr3.net

  5. I am a stay at home mom. I used to work in customer service and it is a very tough job...not sure if I'd do it again!!!

    mi3ragamuffins at aol dot com

  6. I am a retired/disabled Special Education Teacher. I have always worked with people. Whether it be as a teacher, or when I worked in a grocery store. I enjoy working with others, so if I were physically able to work, it would most likely be in customer service industry in some manner.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  7. I am an attorney and it is all about getting along with people which is similar to customer service in my opinion. Thanks for the chance, justicecw@hotmail.com

  8. Tweeted at http://twitter.com/justicecw/status/8711539320


Thanks for your comments.

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If you are entering a giveaway, you have to leave your email address so I can contact you.

If you have any issues with the comment box, email me at lanab2005@msn.com. Thanks.