I Dare You! By William H Danforth – A Book Review

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Title and Author: I Dare You! by William H. Danforth

Synopsis of Content:

In this mid 20th Century motivational classic the author, a successful businessman and crusader for youth programs in St. Louis, Missouri, William Danforth dares you and any other reader to do great things and to be great. Originally published in 1953 it has been republished by several sources in recent years.

Although the book is aimed at youth and young adults challenging them to become more than they might first believe possible it has motivational value for all ages. Danforth was a strong believer that we limit ourselves and that by seizing opportunity and believing in our virtually unlimited potential we could exceed all expectations, including our own, and dare to be great.

In addition to providing raw motivational material the book discusses seven primary areas, called “dares” where the author challenges the reader to go deeper and strive further in life. They include adventure, accomplishments, strength, creativity, magnetic personality, character, and the willingness to share what you have. These qualities will be recognized as common to most success books and materials published over the past two centuries. What distinguishes Danforth’s little book is his framing his challenge as a dare.

While the attributes which Danforth promotes are found in works by Marsden, Hill and others the daring approach used by this author is unique. It appealed to the young and youthful, whether it be the high school aged children who attended his summer camps or the young men entering the business world.

Readability/Writing Quality:

The Executive Books edition is only 144 pages. It is easy to read, having been aimed at young people. It may appear somewhat na├»ve and simplistic by today’s standards. However the motivational truths in this work are no less true today than they were over 60 years ago.

Notes on Author:

William Danforth was the founder and long time President of the Ralston Purina Company. He also served as President of the American Youth Foundation and was very active in the YMCA. During his summers he devoted his time to training and helping less fortunate young people at summer camps in Michigan and elsewhere. He died in 1956.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

1. “Wealth, notoriety, place, and power are no measure of success whatever. The only true measure of success is the ration between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the thing we have mad of ourselves on the other”.

2. Each of us has four hidden giants or resources which we must develop constantly to attain greatness. These include the physical, the mental, the social and the spiritual aspects. To attain a balanced and powerful life you must nourish each of these aspects fully.

3. Continuous learning and improvement are essential to achievement. The author recommends a program of reading not less than one book per month. It will pay you back many times.

Publication Information:

I Dare You! by William H. Danforth. Copyright 2009 by Executive Books in the form presented in their publication. Published by Executive Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.

Over-all Rating for Book: Fair

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Paleo Diet: What Is It?

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Ever since this diet was launched, the question “what is the paleo diet” never ceased to be asked. So if someone asked you “what is the paleo diet?” – the answer would be: paleo diet is short for Paleolithic diet which is also known as the caveman diet. A short introduction to the paleo diet is simply that it is a diet that is based on animal nutrition established during the time of the cavemen. It is a diet so appropriate in a biological sense that it is quite astounding.

The paleolithic diet is not merely a diet; it is a lifestyle that gives emphasis to how our cavemen of ancestors lived and ate. In the past, our ancestors ate foods that were easy to hunt or the foods they could find easily in their location. So, the next question would be: what exactly is paleo diet of today?

If you are not getting a clearer, total understanding of this so-called scavenger diet, then this article is perfect for you to read. Basically, it is about eating what you want – any food that you want – with the only restriction that it has to be in the Paleo food list. And what are the foods belonging in this paleo food list any way?

Meat, fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables belong in the paleo foods list, but those that do not belong are legumes, dairy, dairy products and grains. Salt and sugar are also not in this scavenger diet because our ancestors didn’t have the luxury of having seasonings then in their foods. Basically, they just ate whatever animal they could kill and partnered it with leafy greens.

The only liquids that are accepted in the paleolithic diet are water or coconut water. And in this diet, you are only required to drink water when you are thirsty the same way that you can only eat when you are hungry. Organic green tea is also acceptable since it is less processed and there’s less sugar in it. You are not required to eat at a set time because that’s not how our cavemen brothers lived in the past. They didn’t live to eat at all – they ate to live.

The next question to be asked is: who are the followers of this diet?

Those people who are allergic to dairy and athletes are among the many who are avid paleo dieters. And yes, those people who want to avoid “foreign proteins” at all cost. Those who are also trying to avoid cardiovascular diseases, asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes are following the diet.

There are so many books and internet sites that are talking more and more about the paleo diet. When you have the chance to read up, definitely do, do not stop yourself from learning about the many wonderful benefits this diet can bring to you and your life.

The Paleo diet can improve your body and health in a big way — love the men and women who once walked on this earth, follow their diet!

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Hardwood Floor Refinishing – Do It Yourself Tips

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If you’re lucky enough to find hardwood floors hiding under your tired carpeting, you might feel like covering the wood back up. That’s understandable because refinishing the floors yourself seems like an impossible task.Hardwood floors were a common feature in houses until the 1960s. Before that, having wall-to-wall carpet was considered a luxury upgrade. From the 1970s on, most homes had wall-to-wall carpet in nearly every room. However, tastes change, and over the last couple decades, hardwood floors have once again become fashionable and desirable. Oftentimes, when I’m talking with someone about fixing houses, they ask if refinishing hardwood floors is something they can do themselves. Unless the person has a physical reason why they can’t do it, I generally say yes. However, I also remind them that redoing hardwood floors takes a great deal of time, sweat, and elbow grease.

As a general rule, floors of fifty square feet or less can be sanded by hand, but for any floor larger than that, rent or buy a small orbital sander. Everything necessary for doing it yourself will be available at your local hardware store. You can buy a pretty good electric sander nowadays for less than $100, which can be a good investment, especially if you’re planning to work on your home on a regular basis.The first layer to be removed is often a thick wax coating, followed by a coat of either polyurethane or varnish. A heavy duty commercial wax stripper can remove the wax, and then a lacquer thinner or acetone can be wiped on to prepare the wood for the next step. If there are any carpet tacks or pieces of old nails in the wood, remove them first. The remnant of a nail can tear up sandpaper, damage a sanding pad, and do serious damage to the palm of your hand, so check carefully to make sure all remnants of tacks and nails are gone before you begin sanding. Fill all nail holes with a quality wood filler, matching the color as closely as you can, and let it dry. Then you’re ready to begin sanding the floor with 220-grit sandpaper, whether by hand or with a sander. When you’re done sanding, wipe the entire floor with a damp cloth to remove as much sanding dust as possible. Damp cloths work better than vacuum cleaners. Let the floor dry, and then wipe it again with a tack rag, which is a cloth impregnated with resin to pick up fine dust particles. Again, your local hardware store will have what you need.After the floor is as clean as you can get it, apply three coats of polyurethane with a paint pad, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly, lightly sanding with 220-grit paper, and wiping the floor with a damp cloth and a tack rag between coats. If you prefer an old-fashioned finish, you can use a 50/50 mixture of linseed oil and mineral spirits and then wax the floors with beeswax or paste wax. Take caution with the chemical mixture and the rags because they can catch on fire.

You can refinish hardwood floors yourself. It just takes time and effort–and a good set of kneepads wouldn’t hurt, either! Once you finish, you’ll have a gorgeous floor to be proud of and ready for that next “do it yourself” project–perhaps the next room with hardwood floors.

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The New Diablo Blanco Red Leopard Gecko

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There is a new breed of leopards known as the Diablo Blanco which is genetically a pattern-less gecko with a complete red-eye. This new red-eye leopard gecko or the Diablo Blanco may or may not be all completely red, some possess only with one or more eyes being 50% of the solid red and the other one acquires the solid red color in both eyes.

Actually this new morph called the Diablo Blanco has three eye variations and only two body variants. As of now there are only two categories of this kind: the Blanco’s and the Diablo Blanco.

The Blanco is also a genetically pattern-less gecko, only they have the normal colored eyes of an albino. The head, body, and tail color is white. Although some Blanco’s may possess a yellowish color in their body, it may be totally wiped out through selective breeding of the next generation.

The other category is called the Diablo Blanco, this variety possess the complete or partial red-eyed color leopard gecko. Just like the raptor morph, there can also be a snake-eyed Diablo Blanco. That would mean that there could be one or more eyes that will have only half of the solid red color and there could also be a gecko with the two eyes being solid red. The best quality of this morph may possess a complete white skin from head to tail with two vividly solid red eyes.

How did these breed came about?

This is the result of cross breeding of the snowy white Tremper Albino “Blazing Blizzard” females with the best raptor male available as well as breeding those het offspring together. It is definitely not the cross breeding of two Blazing Blizzard’s with a pure Blizzard and miraculously came up with a new variety of a red-eye morph. Never yet in the history has that, two Blazing Blizzard geckos produced an all red-eyed leopards.

The Diablo Blanco variety, act as a recessive trait just like the other albino morph. When mixed together, they will produce the same characteristics, traits, and appearance of that of the parents.

The New Diablo Blanco red-eye leopard gecko is a new variety from trial breeding of hobbyist. With patience and painstaking observation of their pets they have finally produced a beautiful flawless white with the possibility of having two solid red eyes lizards. Producing your own new gecko variety greatly depends on your creativity. Study about these reptiles and try to cross-bred it yourself and be able to produce a unique and beautiful variety that can be called your own.

Find out more about this red-eyed leopard geckos; how to care for them and what to feed them. Are they the same with other leopard geckos?

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Air Swimmers Remote Control Flying Clownfish

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Are you thinking of something   unique  that you and your children can do on your child’s special day? Well, here is something that you will surely enjoy. You heard it right! Children as well as adults will enjoy this one of a kind children’s toy. This is the Air Swimmers remote control flying clownfish. From the word itself, this radio control toy clownfish is a  unique  kind of toy that will sure increase the excitement in your children’s party as well as for teenagers and adults. You can also have this children’s toy as a part of your weekend leisure indoors or a fun day in your backyard.

The remote control flying clownfish is very durable when it comes to the materials used to create this toy. Here are some of the features that this radio control toy clownfish has and the things that you will surely enjoy when you purchased your own Air swimmers’ flying clownfish.

This remote control toy clownfish is made out of nylon which makes it bounce from wall to wall to decrease the chance of it to be broken. This is one of the best feature of this radio control toy clownfish as it will always be a good choice to buy a children’s toy that you are sure to be safe for children.

The Air swimmers remote control flying clownfish can also be inflated several times and you just need to have four triple A size batteries to keep it working. What is good about this radio control toy clownfish is that it can stay inflated for almost two weeks which means double the fun that you will get out of it. As it is also working with batteries, that means that you can save much from electricity unlike other children’s toy that requires electricity; it is also safer for your children.

Another feature of the radio control flying clownfish that will leave you amazed is that of its size. If you have not yet seen one then you might imagine this children’s toy to be about 15 inches wide and maybe 10-15 inches tall but you are wrong. this radio control toy clownfish is 36 inches tall and 57 inches in its width. Are you excited already for this? Can you now imagine how big this flying clownfish is?

This remote control toy clownfish can move 360 degrees up, down, side to side and can be controlled for almost 40 feet away from you. This is a great start of a fun party.

The remote control flying clownfish is not just for children as you can see even teenagers and adults can have fun with this  unique  toy. You can play with it indoors, even in the mall; play pranks with your friends and just have fun with this huge flying clownfish. Be ready for a fun-filled party with this remote control toy clownfish, so what are you waiting for? Get your own Air swimmers remote control flying clownfish now!

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Classic Cars – Keep Original Or Upgrade?

Recently I have been involved in numerous discussions about whether our classics should be kept original or should be updated to be used regularly. As we hire our cars out, our approach may be a little different to that of people that own classics just for their own pleasure. Our customers are buying a 1960s or 1970s classic car experience, so we can’t change things too much or the experience won’t be right.

We make a few sensible upgrades to our cars but confine these to ones that will affect safety and reliability. The most obvious one is that as long as the car has seat belt mountings in the right places we will fit modern inertia reel seat belts. Although brakes are pretty crucial to safety we don’t make too many changes to the braking system. We won’t fit a servo if one wasn’t part of the original specification, but we run all cars on green stuff brake pads and replace the rubber brake pipes with braided ones.

The rest of our upgrades are made to improve reliability and usability as we prefer not to leave our customers stranded in the middle of nowhere, or even worse, a couple of miles from their wedding. The first change is to fit electronic ignition and we have tried both the Lumenition and Magnetronic type that fits completely inside the distributor. Following one instance where our TR4A battery died in Liverpool as it couldn’t cope with headlamps, wipers and heater fan all going at the same time, if we buy a car with a dynamo we replace it with an alternator.

Sorting out our Healey would upset the Positive Earth guys as installing the alternator and electronic ignition meant we had to switch it to negative earth.

Everyone thinks that classic cars look great with chrome wire wheels, as indeed they do. If you own one classic and only take it out on dry days they are easy to keep pristine. But if you own a set of cars that go out in all weathers, then cleaning them three or four times a week isn’t fun. A few years ago, the wire wheels on our TR4A started to look a bit tatty and rather than sort them out we bought a set of Minilites and new tires. Not only did this improve the look of the car but it transformed the ride and handling. I had always thought that the car rattled because it was just old, but as soon as the new wheels went on it, most of the rattles and vibrations disappeared and the handling was much improved. Basically the local tyre company was able to balance the wheels properly which they never seemed to do with wires and the difference was so substantial that we now put period looking alloys on all our cars – Minilites on most and D-Type copies on the E-Types.

The other usability change is more for the comfort of our customers rather than our benefit and that is the other wheel – the steering wheel. Our cars are driven by people of all sizes and shapes and some of the chunkier customers couldn’t get in our E-Type, TR4A or Healey if they were still sporting the original full sized steering wheel. We have replaced them with smaller MotaLita steering wheels which give more room and generally being thicker make it easier to wrestle round corners.

Recently we have made two unexpected upgrades. An increasing number of customers don’t seem to fully grasp the concept of going back to the 60s and 70s and expect their SatNav to work. Bit difficult if there isn’t a cigar lighter to power it, so I am working through the cars finding space on the dashboards to install one.

The other upgrade was prompted as a result of a customer driving our Healey. We advise drivers to be careful, particularly over sleeping policemen as the exhaust is very low, but one guy managed to puncture the sump.. Fortunately while he was parked up he noticed an oil slick forming under the car and didn’t drive it anymore. Had he not parked, all of the oil would have leaked away and as the oil pressure gauge is now obscured by the driver’s left hand on the small steering wheel, he wouldn’t have noticed the pressure drop to zero. The first he would have known about it would have been when the engine seized. Installing a sump guard was much cheaper than risking a 3 litre engine.

All these minor changes clearly haven’t changed the character of any of our cars as virtually all our customers return our cars really appreciating the technology they have installed in their modern cars: power steering; servo-ed brakes, MP3 players, air-con etc – the wimps.

There is one other modification that I fancy doing to one car. Moss now offer superchargers to fit MGs and Triumphs and I rather fancy fitting one to either an MGB or to a US spec TR6 to replace the twin Strombergs. This would have nothing to do with safety, reliability or usability, I just fancy having a play. You know what they say about the difference between men and boys?

It’s the price of their toys.

Dish Network Vs Direct TV

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When it comes to satellite television programming, your choice usually comes down to Dish Network vs Direct TV. By comparing these two satellite television providers, you can find the one that works best for you and your television viewing, so that you make the most of the money that you spend. Where do you begin your comparison of Dish Network vs Direct TV?

You will first want to compare the number of channels and the type of channels that are offered from each satellite provider.

Here is the basic rundown of the offerings of each service. For around $40 per month, Dish Network offers a satellite package of 100 top channels with the local channels. For the same amount, Direct TV offers a package of 140 top channels and includes 50 XM Satellite radio channels as well. This price for the Direct TV includes local channels as well.

By comparing the offerings for each price that fits your budget, you can find the right satellite provider for you and your needs.

Another comparison that you will want to make is the price of the components that are needed to get the satellite programming.

For the most part, these components are offered free if you sign up for service for a particular length of time, but sometimes there is a rental fee that is associated with components, which can cause your monthly fee to be more than the programming cost.

Be sure that you read the fine print of your contract to be sure that you completely understand the terms, so that there will not be any surprises.

Customer service is much the same for both companies. They each offer a 24 hour a day, seven days a week customer service line, which will allow you to get in touch with them any time that you need it.

Dish Network is ranked #1 in customer service for cable and satellite providers, but Direct TV is right behind them at #2. This shows you how much they value their customers and work to keep them happy versus cable providers.

One thing that Direct TV offers you that Dish Network doesn’t is some really cool sports viewing ability. This does cost extra, but the bird’s eye view and extra features that you get from these packages may be well worth the additional cost.

The sports that offer you these amazing views are NASCAR, NBA basketball, major league baseball, NFL football, hockey, and more. If you are a sports fanatic, then you will want to consider Direct TV for this programming.

When comparing Dish Network vs Direct TV, you will want to include those parts of television viewing or features that are important to you. If price is your main consideration, then use this as the main comparison. If sports are your thing, then use sports as your main comparison.

By customizing your comparisons to your viewing and needs, you will find the right satellite programming option for you and your needs.

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Classic Automotive Restoration: A Precise Art

Classic automotive restoration is an art. It requires an eye for detail and a passion and dedication to restore a car to its “original” state. Restoring automobiles is about appreciating a vehicle for what it really is and how it was. It’s like holding and owning a piece of history.

Perhaps restoring an automobile is even harder than customizing one. Although customization would require almost the same skill sets needed in car restoration, it is more flexible as to how the finished product is achieved. And because customization is all about individual preferences, there’s always more than one way of getting the job done. Restoration on the other hand is all about rebuilding the vehicle to how it was exactly. It’s about following the master plan down to a tee. Classic automotive restoration is about precision.

Restoring a vehicle would be easier if all the original parts available. Usually, the parts will need cleaning and repairs but as long as they’re available, that’s one step closer to bringing back a classic. What’s more difficult is to replicate a part from scratch should there be no original available, a task that only specialty shops are capable of doing.

Make no mistake, automotive restoration involves not only the visible components or aesthetic values of a vehicle, but also the less evident parts such as the engine and all ancillary parts like the brakes, cooling and electrical systems. In order for a vehicle to be considered fully restored, all it’s “organs” should also be returned to the exact conditions they were in when the vehicle was first offered for sale.

Papo Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

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Papo Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Papo, the France based manufacturer of figures and replicas have added a Dilophosaurus dinosaur model to their prehistoric animal model range and very good it is too. A member of the coelophysid group of Theropods, this lithe, agile hunter was probably the apex predator in Early Jurassic environments. Scientists have estimated that this carnivore could have reached lengths in excess of six metres. It may have weighed over five hundred kilogrammes, that’s twice as heavy as an African lion (Panthero leo).

Almost a Quadrupedal Pose

Although most definitely a biped, Dilophosaurus did have relatively long arms. The arms were much longer than those of later Theropods. The Papo figure has been balanced on its hind legs but as the body is bent forwards the right hand with its three-fingered claws is also touching the ground. This is a more than acceptable stance for a dinosaur model and it permits the design team to keep the hind feet of their replica in proportion to the rest of the animal whilst still permitting it to balance.

Lots of Detail and Beautiful Painting

Papo have made sure that they include lots of fine detail. Individual scales can be picked out along the flanks and the patterning continues onto the belly, which is not found in cheaper dinosaur models. There is a row of triangular scales running from the top of the head down the slender neck and there is even a tiny, white-painted row of scales running down under the jaw. The famous double head crest of this dinosaur has been painted a vivid crimson colour. Obviously, the artists at Papo believe that this thin crest served no defensive or aggressive role, but that it was probably used for visual communication amongst Dilophosaurs. The rest of the model is painted a dark tan colour with flashes of blue set out in a stripe pattern across the legs, the flank and along the back.

To Scale with Other Replicas

The model measures around 14cm in length, but as the tail curls around the body, it is actually much bigger than that, measuring around 18 to 19 centimetres in length. As Dilophosaurus (D. wetherilli) is estimated to have reached lengths around six and a half metres, we estimate that this figure is in approximately 1:34 scale. Size wise it fits very well alongside two other Papo Jurassic dinosaur figures, the Allosaurus and the plant-eating Stegosaurus.

Details Around the Mouth

Unlike other predatory dinosaur models made by Papo, the jaw is not articulated, it does not open. However, this is more than made up for by the superb details that can be seen around the mouth. The distinctive curve in the premaxilla of this dinosaur is present and individual teeth have been skilfully painted – all credit to the production team.

This is an excellent dinosaur model, one that will prove popular with collectors and young dinosaur fans – highly recommended.

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How to Restore Customer Satisfaction after Customer Service Failure

A customer service failure, simply defined, is customer service performance that fails to meet an individual’s expectations. Typically, when a service failure occurs, a customer will expect to be compensated for the inconvenience in the form of any combination of refunds, credits, discounts or apologies.

The success of such customer service recovery efforts is determined by the individual’s expectations and perceptions of the organization. Two key elements impact any effort to restore customer satisfaction: the strength of customer relationships and the severity of service failure.

Service failure: Service performance that fails to meet expectations

The strength of the customer relationship with the organization prior to a customer service failure has a buffering effect in the event of failure. Research suggests that customers who expect the relationship to continue actually have lower service recovery expectations, and in turn, are more satisfied with customer service performance after recovery.

While this may seem counterintuitive at first glance, consider the expectations of customers with a stronger relationship with the organization. A customer who does not have much commitment to the organization tends to be more transaction-focused and expects immediate service recovery when a particular transaction fails to meet expectations.

Conversely, a customer with strong commitment may demand less immediate compensations with the expectation that strong future interactions may correct the customer service failure over time. Such findings suggest that service providers not only have measures in place to identify the strength of customer relationships but also the ability to react to customer service failures.

The severity of the customer service failure moderates the relationship between customer satisfaction and commitment. Even with strong service recovery, research indicates that customers may still be upset, engage in negative word-of-mouth, and be less likely to develop trust with and commitment to the organization, if the original customer service failure was really bad.

In these cases, managers may need to do more to mend the strength of customer relationships and restore commitment. To identify such cases, service organizations need to track and identify occurrences of customer service failure as well as the severity of each.

The data available at the point of any customer service failure, most notably the information provided by the customer at the time of the complaint, should be viewed as critical marketing research data necessary not only for immediate service recovery but for improvement of future performance.

Remember, a customer service failure is defined as a failure to meet customer expectations and the success of any recovery effort is measured by each individual customer against his/her own expectations. Therefore, managers would be well served to conduct a post-recovery assessment of customer expectations and perceptions of recovery performance against those expectations.

Classic customer service failure: serving cold

The impact of service failure recovery on customer satisfaction can be easily illustrated with a familiar example. Consider the case of a restaurant patron complaining about his meal being served cold. In all likelihood, this is not a severe customer service failure if managed properly.

If the customer’s server fails to offer a sufficient apology and brings back a reheated meal after a 20-minute wait, a first-time customer may be immediately deterred and never return. If this is a long-time customer who has always received excellent service, he may or may not write this failure off, but either way will expect this sub-par service to be countered with excellent service in the future.

While you may expect the customer with a long history of having received excellent service to be more demanding in the case of such a failure, in reality the new customer has the higher expectations. His perceptions of the restaurant are impacted by only this one experience where customer service performance failed to meet his expectations. Without a formal apology from a supervisor, a refund, and perhaps a future credit, this new customer may allow this experience to so alter his expectations of customer service performance at this restaurant as to prevent him from returning.

The long-time customer has his expectations set by a long history of excellent dining experiences and may be easier to satisfy in the immediate wake of a customer service failure.
In either case, the restaurant manager must immediately begin to turn his focus on ensuring future service delivery levels and enhancing the strength of customer relationships with each of these patrons.