About tipsfromflo

I'm just a woman who wants to share her two cents about EVERYTHING!

Nyenzo’s Natural Hair and Skin Store

Natural, natural, natural. Natural products are being promoted in every imaginable way. There is no doubt that natural products that go in and on our body are better for our health than the commercial stuff with all those chemicals. I have eaten natural food for a while and I love it. I hardly ever got sick (maybe once every few years), I felt energized after I ate instead of sluggish, and the food was absolutely delicious. That’s right, healthy food is delicious! I dare anyone to taste my healthy cooking and say it’s nasty. My inside was straight, and I finally decided to do something about my outside: my hair and my skin.

Let me first say that yes, I am a black woman, but there is a misconception that only black woman should use natural hair care products. The truth is that women of all kinds can benefit from using natural products. So if you are noticing problems with your hair and you can’t figure out what to do, maybe you should switch to natural. I noticed long ago that the commercial products, whether it was cheap or expensive, left my hair feeling dry and stripped down. What I learned is that those products have different types of alcohol and chemicals in them that are a no-no for hair, and that is what made my hair feel this way. I asked a friend of mine who does hair to recommend some good natural products to me and she referred me to a store in Raleigh, NC that only sold natural products for hair and skin. I did a Google search, came up with a place called Nyenzo, and decided to go to their shop. For those unable to make the trip, they also ship products from their online store at http://www.Nyenzo.com. I had such a good time that I came up with the idea to write this review as I was driving home.

Great experience

I had the best experience imaginable in dealing with the cashier. She was very friendly, personable, and had an excellent knowledge of the products. She knew the difference between products that appeared to be identical and gave me her experience using the different products for herself and her kids. It never makes sense to me when I go to a store or restaurant and ask an employee how they like certain products, and they say they never tried it. Why would I try something that the employees themselves won’t try?

You can have the best products in the world (and they do have some great stuff), but it means nothing without good customer service. The one thing that I cannot stand is when people go through so much trouble to start their own small business and then allow it to fail because they did not know the work that was involved. They do all that research and then fill out the endless forms to get permits, loans, licenses, and property; they obtain merchandise, furniture, and the tools that they will need; they advertise their products via the internet, television, radio, flyers, and magazines. And after all of that work, they get lazy after the first day. They allow their friends and family to hang around their establishment just for fun, are uninterested in catering to their customers, and keep jerking their hours of operation around to make sure they don’t miss the latest special on Dr. Phil (okay, I do love Dr. Phil, but you’ll know what I mean).

In addition to the superb customer service, I also like that the store was very well-organized, clean, and there are samples for the customers to try. And yes, they do have a shopper’s rewards program and they send you coupons for your birthday. This store just cannot get any better!

The Verdict

I am a new customer for life of Nyenzo and I recommend everyone to give them a try. Their sample for the coconut crunch body butter felt great on my skin and still has that wonderful aroma even after washing my hands, and the sample for the black castor oil hair food made my hair glisten. I bought both of these products and I already know that I will be back for more. If you can make the trip, their address is 916 Rock Quarry Rd. Suite 115; Raleigh, NC 27610. If not, check out their online store at http://www.Nyenzo.com. If you have any questions at all, give them a call at 919-649-1063 or email them at info@nyenzo.com. After trying their products once, I’m sure that you will be a customer for life, too.

When it comes to living a natural lifestyle, I wouldn’t go back for anything. I just want to thank Nyenzo for helping me to get my outside as natural as my inside. I recommend as many people as possible tojoin me in my campaign of going natural. Do your research and seek help from professionals who can help you to make the transition. Even many medical doctors are prescribing a natural life and natural remedies, and Lord knows that most things that Dr. Oz says about being healthy involves going natural to some degree or another. Come on, jump on the natural bandwagon and you’ll never look back, and that is today’s tip from Flo.

Hitting Reset

As a kid I loved playing video games. We had them all from Atari to Playstation 2. One feature on many of the games was hitting reset, either on the joystick or during gameplay. Hitting reset was usually a good thing. If I was not doing as well as I wanted to on a certain level I would just hit reset and do it over. However, there were times when I would be doing fine and then I would hit reset by accident. It was the most frustrating thing having to start over when I did not want to.

Alas, this article isn’t about hitting reset in video games. It’s about hitting reset in relationships, which can be hundreds of times more frustrating regardless of if we wanted to or not.

The reason why is because of the time involved. All of the time we spent getting to know someone is wasted. Then we need time to heal emotionally and to find someone new. When we finally do find someone new worth their salt,we have to go through the tedium of starting all of our stories over from the beginning and explaining how we feel about things all over again.

It reminds me of the phrase ‘back to the drawing board.’ There are some professions where people spend so much time drawing plans, doing research, and creating prototypes. However, when enough things go wrong with the product, they have to scrap the plans, go back to the drawing board, and start all over again. Whatever they came up with previously was rendered null and void.

On the other hand, as they work on the next plan, they keep in mind any flaws that rendered the previous plans unworkable. Likewise, in relationships, whenever we start over we should keep in mind what worked and what didn’t work with the previous relationship and learn from that when seeking the next one so that we are not constantly picking the wrong person due to our own negligence.

Personally, I am hitting reset after an almost-relationship, not even a full one. The guy, whom we will call John, was everything that I thought I wanted and we had been knowing each other for years, so I went after him and made it known that I was interested. Yet, I had to accept that he was emotionally inept and that I would probably do better elsewhere.

I think the scariest part of hitting reset is time. The last time I hit reset was in 2008 and here I am in 2012 going after the next guy. That’s four years! Will it be another four years before I find the next guy? Who knows.

There is a lot involved in hitting reset. First I have to find a new man and observe him from a distance to make sure he is sane, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally mature, reasonably healthy, and who likes me too. Then we have to really get to know one another. I’m exhausted just typing about it!

I don’t know if it will take another four years or not, but, as I stated previously, I am learning more about myself when it comes to what I do and do not want in a relationship. From the first guy, I learned that mental maturity is important. From John, I learned that I need someone who is in touch with his emotions and not so mysterious about how he is feeling.

In my particular case, there is hardly a man who is sane, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally mature, and reasonably healthy who likes me too where I live. I am now literally having to go way outside of my boundaries in order to find one. In fact, it is so dry where I live that some of my girlfriends are just settling for anyone who is good enough. Settling is something that I refuse to do. The person whom I date and ultimately marry is someone who I want to enjoy being around, not someone who I’m stuck with because I settled. I’m not asking for Mr. Perfect or anything unrealistic like that, but I want “’til death do you part” to feel like a lifetime achievement, not a life sentence. And because of the seriousness I attach to marriage, hitting reset is not an option once I say, ‘I do.’

I have so much more to say about relationships and hitting reset while dating but it would take up all of cyberspace, so I’ll leave you with this: While hitting reset can be frustrating and time-consuming, it is not in vain if you really learned some lesson from the previous relationship that you can keep in mind before starting the next one. I don’t know what is in store for me in the relationships department, but I am trying to remain optimistic and am hoping that there is still something good left for me. If you are reasonably considering hitting reset, try to look at it from a positive viewpoint. No one knows better than me that it is aggravating, but would you rather waste time by starting over, or by continuing in a relationship that is going nowhere? The decision is yours, and that’s today’s tip from Flo.

Modena Keeps the Rock Rolling

Not too long ago I wrote an article all about my love of my favorite rock band Hoobastank. In that article I mentioned a local up and coming band named Modena that I was excited about. I recently obtained their self-titled EP from one of the members of the band and I was so blown away that I just had to write about it.

After watching the Second Time Around video on Youtube, my appetite was whet to hear the actual CD that this band would produce. I am happy to announce that the CD was great, better than many others that I’ve heard.

Here is the track list:
Acquiesence
Second Time Around
Hang It High
Hit & Run
Surrounding You
Blatant Disregard
87
Case Study

It’s hard to pick favorites, but I would have to say that they are Second Time Around, Hang It High, Hit & Run, Surrounding You, Blatant Disregard, and Case Study (l said it was hard).

It’s kinda funny because a friend of mine was just saying how at the turn if the century there was an explosion of awesome hard rock and alternative rock music on the mainstream but it has died down in favor of pop music. I had to agree. However, bands like Modena are trying to keep real rock music alive.

My first impression was that I was gonna listen to this CD again. In fact, I listened to it the times the day I received it. This band reminded me of other great bands, like Hoobastank (the grandest compliment I can give), Default, and Three Doors Down. It didn’t take long at all for my head to start bobbing and it didn’t stop until after listening to the CD the third time.

These four guys belong together musically. James Carlson’s vocals reminded of the lead singer of Saving Abel, and I couldn’t believe the way that Justin Womble played lead guitar. It was like something I’ve never heard before. Add to that a slamming bass guitar and drums by Stewy and Derek Daigle, and you have a wonderful marriage of rock instruments.

So if you, like I, have been craving good rock music like we used to have around the turn of the century, then check this band out. In addition to their video Second Time Around on Youtube, you can also get a taste of their music at their website at www.modenamusic.com

This band is moving in the right direction toward stardom, and are even working with the same producer who worked on Hoobastank’s first CD. I really wish Modena well. They definitely have the talent to take to rock scene by storm!

THE GREATEST ROCK BAND EVER

This entry is dedicated to my favorite rock band. It is a long time in coming, but I was really motivated to write this after the recent release of their new CD on September 11, 2012. I have been following this band since their first release in 2002, Crawling in the Dark. Yes, I am referring to Hoobastank, and they are, in my opinion, the greatest rock band ever! Let me explain why.

Versatility
One thing that I love about Hoobastank is the versatility of their music. They have songs about everything, from people who talk too much about themselves and are conceited to athletes taking in every moment of the Olympics.

Their lyrics are just as versatile as the topics of the songs. Take this line from their latest single This is Gonna Hurt:

” And they say what doesn’t kill you
Well, I’m sure you know the rest
If you’d shut up for a second
I could get this off my chest.”

Their music is chock full of creative stuff like that, and the sound of their music is just as diverse. Yet, they manage to maintain that classic Hoobastank sound that I have come to love. This can be difficult for a band to do. For example, I loved Train’s first three CDs, but after that they changed from a very unique sound that I describe as southern alternative light rock from the bayou, to the same commercial pop sound that everyone has, which I hate. I didn’t even purchase any music by them after the third CD. I am not trying to be critical of Train, but any of their earlier fans have to admit that their was a marked change in their sound.

Hoobastank, on the other hand, can go from their standard hard rock to a lighter alternative sound on the same CD without losing their trademark sound. They are one of the few bands whose CD I can purchase without previewing it because I am confident that it will suit my tastes. After five full-length CDs they have yet to let me down.

Cleanness
One thing that brings me great joy is that Hoobastank’s lyrics are largely without profanity, vulgarity, or scariness. I love, love, love hard rock music, but I hate, hate, hate bad and scary language. I admit that I am the weird one in this area since most fans seem not to care.

When it comes to profanity, I do not curse even when I am very upset. Since I usually sing with whatever is playing I do not listen to music with profanity so that I do not repeat it. Frankly, I wish more artists would clean up their language. For example, I would like some songs by bands like Nickelback if it wasn’t for the occasional bad word.

Additionally, some hard rock artists are too wrapped up in creating a scary atmosphere in their music, not only with their lyrics but also with the music itself. For instance, I love Blurry by Puddle of Mudd, but other songs I have heard by them are scarier than I am comfortable with. The same is true with Breaking Benjamin who, so far, have three songs that I like, but the others I hear are too scary sounding. I just can’t enjoy myself when the artist is singing about devils, demons, and the dead.

I know some are shaking their heads and saying, ‘Flo, you can’t have the best of both worlds. Hard rock must have these things.’ However, there are other bands I follow than tend to have both clean lyrics and unscary sounding music, such as Default, 3 Doors Down, and Daughtry. I even have my eye on a local hard rock band named Modena that I feel is on their way to greatness (check out their song Second Time Around on Youtube).

Not only does Hoobastank excel in this area, but I also appreciate their clean image in the area of tattoos. I know it is more controversial today for a person to denounce tattoos than to encourage them, but I just do not care for them. Calm down, it’s just my opinion. Honestly, to me it either looks like a gross wound, which I guess it is, or like dirt, especially people who have multiple tattoos all over their arms, legs, or neck, and especially full body tattoos. I know that newcomer Jesse clearly has tattoos, but compare this to other bands where every member has multiple tattoos. Clean bands are just more pleasant for me to look at.

As for Doug, Chris, and Dan, I really don’t know if they have tattoos or not, but I’ve never seen them. If they do have them, they must not have too many where it’s just ugly. Hopefully Jesse won’t lead them astray. But the good thing about Jesse is he sure can play some bass. It was hard to see Markku leave some time ago, but Jesse is coming along just fine.

I also have never seen any members of Hoobastank on the news for doing drugs, driving while intoxicated, getting into fights, having wild sexual encounters, biting heads off chickens, or anything like that. It just goes to show that you can be successful on the rock scene without going crazy or being obnoxious. Now I have to be realistic and say that they may be doing some of these things since I don’t know them personally, but at least they keep it under the radar of the paparazzi.

Longevity
Hoobastank has only been around for 18 years since they formed in 1994, but many bands don’t make it that long. I still cannot get over how Savage Garden, who clearly is not a hard rock band, made me fall deeply in love with them, then called it quits after 2 CDs. That frustrates me to no end. Some of the specifics that I love about Hoobastank are the same things I loved about Savage Garden. And who can forget that ridiculously gorgeous singer Darren Hayes? He was absolutely scrumptious, and I know a lot of women, including myself, were heartbroken after…

I digress. The point is that I am so happy that Hoobastank is still around after 18 years, but I recognize that they are not alone. Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls, Foo Fighters, Default, Aerosmith, and 3 Doors Down are just a few other bands that have longevity on their side. Actually, rock bands trends to stay together a lot longer than the average R&B band. Hopefully Hoobastank will not fall into the same pitfalls as some other bands: mistrust over money, drugs, alcohol, influence of women or others trying to convince them they would be better leaving the group and going solo, etc. They must recognize that they are better together than apart and they bring the best out of each other musically.

And Finally…
I know it’s super shallow to like the lead singer, but I absolutely love Doug Robb! Actually, as a side note, the guitarist for Creed is really cute. Anyway, it goes back to 2002 when I first heard Crawling in the Dark and then saw the video on either MTV or The Box (hope I didn’t date myself too much; I was only a senior in high school). Doug had longer hair back then, but he looks really good with long and short hair. His powerful voice just gave me the chills, and it still does. I know it’s childish, but I can’t help but imagine he’s singing those love songs to me. He is just so fine. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not a crazy fan. I’ve never tried to contact them and I don’t go out of my way to read news about them since I am more focused on enjoying their music. Still, I would be lying if I said that Doug’s fineness left me unmoved. I’m not unaffected, to borrow a line from one of their songs. And doesn’t Flo Robb have a nice ring to it? Just kidding!

In Conclusion
I hope I was able to clearly explain why Hoobastank is my favorite band while also putting the spotlight on some of my other favorites. Furthermore, I would like to state that their new CD is slamming. I have listened to it over and over. Their versatility seems most pronounced on this CD. I won’t waste my time listing my favorite songs because I will practically be listing every song on the CD. Just buy it and see for yourself.

I am interested in who your favorite band is. Put them on blast in the comments section. I hope everyone keeps on rocking, and that is today’s tip from Flo.

Waiting In Line

Lines – the true tester of one’s patience. I hate lines so much that I make a point of looking to see if the service I need can be done online. The worse lines are still at the DMV and the bank, but I am thankful that most of those things can be done online or through the mail. However, the one thing I still find myself standing in line for is food, especially when I am at work. This brings me to the reason I decided to write this blog entry.

Two days ago on Monday I had just got my food and paid for it without any problems. I was going to be working until late in the evening, so I decided to get lunch, a few snacks, and another plate for dinner. This meant that my dinner plate would need to be covered with plastic wrap, so I stand behind the person using the wrap, thereby forming a line.

When she is done with her plastic wrap, some guy comes and eases right in front of me, and gets his plastic wrap. He didn’t acknowledge me at all and acted like I wasn’t there. Then he proceeded to take way longer than it should take a person to pull off a piece of plastic and wrap the plate. But wait, he wasn’t done yet. He then pulled another piece of wrap off. I really would not have cared as much if he would have quickly pulled the plastic off and gone about his business, but he took forever in plastic-wrapping time.

I don’t know why I didn’t say anything to him. Last week I had no problem telling a lady that I was next in line when we were checking out. She was trying to put her fruit up to be loaded on the scale next, but I had something that needed to be weighed on the scale so I politely told her to move it. Then she says, “Oh. Were you in front of me,” and I said yes. So I’m not sure what held me back from telling this idiot that I was next in line for the plastic wrap.

I know some of you are thinking, ‘Flo, it’s just plastic wrap. Let it go,’ but it’s not just about the plastic wrap. It truly is the principal of the thing. For one thing, he is a man and I am a woman. What happened to those days when men were concerned about women going first, especially if she is before him in a line? Such a thing would have never happened just a few decades ago. Now, men have lost all respect for women, and that is not restricted to cutting women in lines.

This isn’t the first time a man has cut in front of me in a line. This time I was at my local grocery store. I wasn’t the only one waiting in line in the self-checkout isle, but I was next. Then this guy walked right past all of us and went straight to the next available machine. I didn’t say anything that time either, and neither did the person working there who was supposed to be preventing such things from happening. However, the woman behind me did say in a very audible voice, “So much for chivalry.” I laughed at her bold words and hoped that the man not only heard them, but knew she was talking about him. Indeed, what happened to chivalry?

Then there was another time within the last two months where I was back at the same grocery story waiting at the customer service counter because they charged me about $6 too much for broccoli. Not only was the line long, but it was moving ridiculously slow. It seems like everyone chose that day to to play the lottery scratch off tickets and send or receive a Money Gram. Anyway, not wanting to wait in the line, an old lady went straight to the counter and asked if she could be served. The employee said that she had to wait in line and couldn’t cut. Honestly, I was so happy that the employee said that because Lord knows what everlasting task she was there for.

What is going on here? I really do believe that the woman that tried to go in front of me at the cafeteria truly was mistaken but what excuse is there for two men and old lady who blatantly disregard the rules of a line and headed straight to the front? The plastic wrap man couldn’t say he didn’t see me because I was standing close enough to the woman getting plastic wrap that there is no way he could not have seen me. The man at Kroger couldn’t say he didn’t see the line because there were about four people waiting. As for the old lady, that line was visible from the other side of the store.

I am about to say something very controversial, but I think cutting in lines boils down to a feeling of entitlement. Things are so bad in this system that we get to a point where we can’t take it anymore and we try to come up with an excuse why the rules don’t apply to us, and the rest of the people feel entitled because they truly are used to everything going their way. For example, black people feel entitled because they have been historically downtrodden, white people (especially men) feel entitled because they are used to getting their way, women feel entitled because they have been historically belittled in comparison to men, some old people feel entitled because they are used to people letting them get discounts and otherwise get their way, some old people fee; entitled because they never have anything go their way, children feel entitled because most of them have not had proper childhoods for whatever vile reason, rich people feel entitled because they are used to getting whatever they want on a silver platter, working people feel entitled because they are not able to enjoy the pittance of a check they bring home, poor people feel entitled because they would like to have something go their way for once. All social, religious, racial, national, ethnic, and economic groups have people within them that feel a little more entitled than the rest making them bold enough to cut in line.

If this is a little too complex for you, let’s bring it to the home front and say that the people who feel entitled were not raised right. Even young children can have the makings of being a rude monster in the making. I’ve come across three and four year-olds who will not say hello, goodbye  or even thank you. Those are simple things that kids their age can be trained to say. And what do their parents do? Many times they just laugh the awkward situation off and say he must be sleepy or hungry or have to use the bathroom. The truth of the matter is he must be rude. Parents need to nip such things in the bud. It also not very common to hear older kids thanking their parents for their allowance or for a tasty dinner.

All of this information is what I got out of that dummy cutting in front of me in line on Monday. So if you ever find yourself confronted with a line when you are rushing or just hate standing in lines and want to cut, remember this: Everyone else in the line has things that needs to be done, too. Your time is not more important than ours, just as our time is not more important than yours. In a world where people are unfairly treated throughout the country and the world, let’s show a little civility by respecting the line and exercise a little dignity, grace, and respect for others. That is today’s tip from Flo.

Nutrional Counseling 1: Cheese

You ever get to that point where you need a little help to reach a goal, but you are reluctant to ask for it? That is the story of my battle with my weight. The reason why is because I understand the science behind losing weight: Eat 500 calories less than what you are supposed to consume, drink plenty of water, eat plenty of vegetables and some fruit,  stay away from fast food and sweets, don’t eat bread and meat in the same meal, have a big breakfast, a medium lunch, and a small dinner, exercise makes up for about 15% of weight loss and the remainder is all diet… I even used this information I researched to lose thirty pounds in the past over three months. The only reason why I gained the weight back (and then some) is because something extremely stressful occurred. I knew I was an emotional eater and food would make me feel better so I deliberately drove to Wendy’s, got a large combo, and the weight has been adding up since.

I just couldn’t seem to find that same motivation I had to start eating healthy again. It’s been about four years since I lost those  thirty pounds and I finally decided that I would overcome my pride and see a nutritional counselor to see if she could tell me something else about healthy eating that would encourage me to make changes, and boy did she. I went this past Monday and I am so glad I did. I learned so much during my visit and I have definitely gained my motivation back.

I learned four very important things about nutrition concerning cheese, wheat, MSG, and fast food. There is so much I have to say about each of these four things that I have to break them up into different blog entries. Let’s start with cheese. The nutritionist asked me what I like to eat. “Pizza, nachos, chili, cheese snacks, soup, and Wendy’s,” was my response.

“Do you eat a lot of cheese,” she asked.

I had to think about that. I went over in my mind all of the foods and snacks that I like to eat. Most of them included cheese to one degree or another, but I never noticed it before. I couldn’t eat a salad without sprinkling grated cheese over it. If I had soup, it would be a good flavor soup that I could add grated cheese to. Actually, it would’ve been easier to say which food I didn’t like cheese with – burgers and cheese flavored potato chips. I even had a bag of Cheetos before I came into her office. And my pizza to nachos addiction was legendary; I would make a small personal pizza at home and eat one a day until my craving changed to nachos. Then I would have one or two platefuls of nachos each day until my craving for pizza kicked back in, and so forth and so on. “Yeah. I guess I do.”

“Do you know what a food sensitivity is?”

I wished to goodness that I could have said yes. Besides, I went to school for medical billing and coding which includes an anatomy and physiology class. In addition to that, the ICD diagnosis book was covered thoroughly. I also work for a health insurance company where I look at claims all the time, and not once did I remember seeing a claim or medical record where a member was treated for food sensitivity. Plenty of allergy patients, but no food sensitivity patient. I eased into my ignorance by saying, “I don’t think so.”

She explained that a food sensitivity is not like an allergy that makes a person immediately sick. It is something that our body craves relentlessly but it is actually bad for the body. For example, you know how drinking to excess is bad, yet an alcoholic’s craving is constantly for more alcohol so he can drink it to excess. It’s like that. The property of cheese that does this is mold, which most people don’t handle well. Whenever I give into my cheese craving, it causes inflammation, water weight gain, and will eventually contribute to major problems like depression, migraines, joint pain, and gas, to name a few. These symptoms vary from person to person.

I was shocked. I thought my cravings was for the pizza itself, or nachos itself. I didn’t realize that what I was craving was actually the cheese ingredient, and I certainly didn’t notice that my body had a problem processing cheese.

Cheese is not a food sensitivity for everyone. People can have different food sensitivities. My nutritionist said that her food sensitivity is cheese, peanuts, and chocolate when she eats it three days in a row. When I eat cheese, I feel fatigued, have gas, and feel bloated. I also have problems sleeping which also could’ve been caused in part by my sensitivity to cheese.

So I have a food sensitivity, and it is cheese. I have never been allergic to foods before, so the idea of identifying a food that my body has problems with is foreign to me. But wait, the food sensitivity story isn’t over. She also said that my body will not give up it’s weight until I stop eating cheese. Then my mind traveled back to the time when I lost 30 pounds, and during that time I ate very little cheese. While I was shocked, I was happy to learn more about how my body works.

There is more to this revelation of nutritional information. My next entry will be coming soon about wheat, which is such a huge whammy that I’m still in an emotional stir over it. People, food is killing us and there are some surprising reasons why. I recommend that everyone get started with seeing a nutritional counselor, and that is today’s tip from Flo.

Real Phone Etiquette

It’s Wednesday night. After working another grueling hump day, all you want to do is go home, change clothes, sit in your favorite chair, and watch some mind-numbing TV. You’re getting comfortable and finally found something worth watching when the phone’s ringing interrupts your groove. You take a glance at the caller ID to make sure it’s not bill collectors or telemarketers. Then you notice that it’s Sally. You wouldn’t mind talking to Sally if she wasn’t such a motormouth. You know that if you answer the phone she will easily steal two hours from your much needed lounging which makes you angry every time. You decide not to answer the phone so that you can remain calm and peaceful, but the damage is done because you replay in your mind previous times that Sally has ruined your evening.

This scenario happens every single day, but no one is brave enough to call out annoying callers… that is, until today. If you suspect that you may be an annoying caller, please continue reading. This article is especially for you.

When I think of annoying behaviors that get to me on the phone, three behaviors immediately come to mind: The long-winded caller, the eating caller, and the abrupt caller. The worse for me will always be the long-winded caller. People, we live in a world where jobs need to be worked, kids need to be fed, mates need to be consoled, miscellaneous items need to be purchased, food needs to be cooked and eaten, and vehicles need to be driven, so we don’t have time to waste talking to a long-winded caller.

I have one friend who I do not allow to call me on the phone because she is too long-winded. I have had three hour long conversations with her on the phone. You might be thinking, “Well Flo, surely she was confiding in you about some problem that she has. Those conversations can take a long time.” Wrong! She was talking about nothing. Nothing at all! I can’t even remember what she was talking about the last time we spoke. I think at one point she was saying something about a fish tank. Fish tank conversation equals nothing. I do not like sacrificing my evening for fish tank talk. In addition, she repeats herself over and over again. And she didn’t even stop talking long enough for me to say that I needed to go, ignoring that I was only saying , “Uh-huh. Uh-huh.” She literally ran out of words to use and that was how the call ended (and I think my prayers to get me off of the phone helped too).

If you find that you have this problem, instead of annoying the crap out of your friends, just send a text message. For some reason, long-winded people know how to state only the essential facts in a text message. With this friend, she will send me about three texts at a time and then she’s done, and I am very pleased with that.

You’d think that it would be common knowledge not to eat and talk on the phone, but it evidently is not. I have spoken to people on the phone in both a professional and personal capacity, and both kinds of people eat on the phone. You know how everyone hates to hear people smacking? Many folks don’t get that the smacking sound is magnified over the phone as it goes directly into my ear. But wait, it gets worse. While eating, many people then do the inevitable – they belch. That is also magnified into my ear. Friends and family are probably the worse perpetrators because they are too close to us so their inhibitions are down, but it is not okay from them either.

The solution to this problem is simple. If you need to call someone while you are eating, either wait until you are done or stop eating before you call. Then there is no more smacking and no more belching. Likewise, if someone calls while you are eating, either let the phone ring and call them back when you are finished, answer the phone to tell them you are eating and you’ll call them right back when you are finished, or stop eating and then answer the phone.

Abrupt callers are people who want to get in and get out, and they don’t care how they do it. Here is an example:

“Hello.”

“Hey, Flo. What is Ginger’s phone number?”

“Sorry, but I don’t have it.”

“OK. Bye.”

It sounds pretty harmless, but the caller could’ve taken time to go through the standard formalities of asking, ‘How are you?’ and thanking me when I said I didn’t  have Ginger’s phone number. Also, these callers don’t wait until you say goodbye back. Once they say their goodbye they feel free to hang up. Sometimes it leaves me feeling like, ‘I’m not a bill collector for goodness’ sakes.’ Believe me, I want to get off of the phone as quickly as the next person, but there is a more proper way to do it (unless you’re speaking to a long-winded caller).

While these are the three main annoying callers, an honorable mention is the greeting one uses when they answer my call. Some say, ‘Yellow.’ Others say, ‘What’s up?’ My home girls say, ‘Hey girl,’ but that one is fine with me. If you are not speaking with a close friend, just say ‘Hello.’ If you want to be extra creative you can even use their name after saying hello so that they know that you know who they are and they don’t waste time announcing themselves. Many of these other greetings, especially ‘Yellow’ are really annoying.

Another honorable mention is carrying on a conversation with me and someone else in the background. My mother is notorious for this, and she knows that she isn’t listening to what I’m saying, especially when my brother is over her house. When she starts talking to someone in the background I just end the call because I know I’ll end up having to repeat everything to her later.

So these are the phone problems facing today’s callers. Have social networking, text messages, IMs, and emails deteriorated the art of phone conversation? I don’t know because the people I am referring to don’t really use any of these things. Nevertheless, if you notice that people are answering the phone less and less when you call, the problem may be you. Please take the above tips to heart. Life is too short to needlessly waste time being frustrated by bad phone manners, and that is today’s tip from Flo.