Tag Archives: Love

Inside The Actor’s Cubicle: My So-Called “Customer First” Story

By Gary Barton

“I want to speak to a supervisor!”  “Can you give me a call back?” “Hey, I’m driving; can you e-mail me the reference number?” These are just a few requests and questions that employees and I heard from customers almost every day and it’s to the point that these responses would convert me back to my problems of drinking…coffee (that is). In a year where change is as rapid as the government, my job decided to conceive an idea that will forever change the game of my current role, let alone career (which is a health insurance service advocate).

The “Customer First” experience, also known as the “Might As Well Take Me Now, Jesus!” experience, was a challenge to test the employee’s skills…and patience…on how to obtain customer satisfaction from every call. I’ll admit, I wasn’t all gung-ho with this experience once I created my avatar…which was colored blue by the way (Thank you, James Cameron). You see, my job wanted us to create a paper avatar to be like customers on our phone. I thought it was a lucrative idea for my job to put all of us on our heels to not only interact with our avatars (in a non-delusional way), but also have it where we treat them like we would treat customers (go figure).

Coming from a written team to now being back on the phones, I knew I had to hustle my way out of this one. Within every break of calls I would ask myself …what would (Denzel Washington, Rami Malek or Andrew Garfield) do if they were in my shoes? And then it hit me. I looked at my blue avatar (no joke) and it reminded me of a time that I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad experience with my old insurance. They wouldn’t help me on my issues and they didn’t even put any effort into finding a solution.

So when it comes to the age old question:  How are you, in your specific role, helping my job transform the customer experience? I simply reply “Just give out your best Oscar-worthy performance and give it your all to the customer.” But in reality, I used the “fake-it-to-make-it” tactic to first get involved with the experience. Once I did more and more calls, that tactic exuded into a desire where I can’t help but to give out 110%. I vowed that when it comes to bad experiences that I had from calls from my old insurance, I will never have it happen to the customers on my calls. It’s never easy, but I can say that if you can try, you can fly (but please, do it if you have wings or on an airplane).

So yeah, that’s my so-called life at my current position and I hope it motivates others to be the change that they want to be. Who knows, this would take others to places that would never dream of…for the better.


Top 10 Albums of 2017 (Number 6)



The debut album of 27 year-old Solána Imani Rowe a.k.a SZA from Maplewood, NJ.  Claiming that music isn’t her first interest, CTRL sounds like one of K-Dot’s masterpieces and the volumes of love on her debut is poetic as well as effervescent. With 5 Grammys nominations tied to her name, SZA has more to offer in the future with her music and CTRL is her blueprint.

Top 10 Albums of 2016 (Number 1)

1.) The Avalanches – “Wildflower”


16 years later, the Avalanches are back and they are more creative than ever. Focusing more on going to a psychedelic trip with hip hop beats and ranging on R&B and rare samples, the Avalanches’ “Wildflower” is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that shows that they never lost their edge and fun. The main reason why this is the album of 2016 is not only because of their great return, it’s really because they stay true to themselves and embrace absurdity in music in the most cunning and intricate way. Welcome back to music!

Top Tracks – Subways, Frankie Sinatra, Because I’m Me, Harmony, The Wozard of Iz

Top 10 Albums of 2016 (Number 6)

6.) Michael Kiwanuka – “Love & Hate”


It would be 2016’s “What’s Going On”, but it’s more personal within Michael’s musical content. Collecting the sounds of Curtis Mayfield, the soul of Marvin Gaye and then stance of Bill Withers; “Love & Hate” evolved Kiwanuka’s music career by balancing and respecting the past to give the present and future something to stand on. And it’s Michael’s storytelling that will give listeners a heads up of what’s to come if action is not taken place.

Top Tracks – Black Man In A White World, Love & Hate, Cold Little Heart

Come Away With Me

By Norah Jones

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they can’t tempt us
With their lies

I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won’t you try to come

Come away with me and we’ll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I’ll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I’m safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me

Love is…

By Gary Barton

Love is the lifestyle

That keeps our hearts racing

The original resource

Of united bracing


Love is the guideline

That shapes most of us

But for the best moments

It touches all of us


Love has no boundaries

No differences or lines

Who are you to say that

Your love’s better than mine?


Love is the truth

That expresses who we are

No matter where you’re from

Love conquers all


Love is equal

Love is one

Love is forever

Love is…love


(To the 50 victims of the shootings at Pulse in Orlando,FL on 06/12/2016)