Stream of Consciousness Saturdays

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Go Stop!

SoCS badge designed by Doobster of mindfuldigressions.com.

Badge designed by Doobster of mindfuldigressions.com.

I am such a games geek that the minute I read this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “go,” I thought of the Asian card game “Go Stop.”

The game comes from Korea, where it is called “hwatu,” and it’s played with Japanese hanafuda cards.

I love hanafuda cards, which I first learned about while playing a Nintendo game. As I became more and more obsessed with them, I started reading up on their history and the various games that are played with them throughout the world.

From my understanding — I’m still no expert — gameplay of “Go Stop” is similar to “Koi Koi,” the Japanese game I’m used to playing with hanafuda cards. However, I haven’t officially played that version myself. I want to, since some aspects of it are different than what I’m used to with Koi Koi.

My main obstacle is the fact that no one I know is interested in learning these games, or they’re not inclined to play games at all, or we simply never have time to try.

So it remains on my list of technically-unimportant-yet-important-to-me goals. Because playing electronic/online versions isn’t terrible, but after a certain point, I want the full experience!

Why?

First of all, I don’t want to be so reliant on a computer to handle scoring for me. I feel like I’m just clicking cards then and not fully playing. I also don’t feel a computer plays the same as a person would; I often see it make a move that no opponent in their right mind would do. Winning that way just isn’t satisfying!

Plus, like I said, I’m a games geek — in my early zeal, I bought a few versions of a hanafuda deck, to include the Japanese original, the Korean version, and a Hawaiian deck since each one varies slightly and is better for each region’s games.

But what have I done with them so far?

Nothing; they sit here, collecting dust…well, not really, since they’re in a drawer. But you get what I mean!

This has turned out to be a bittersweet SoCS post, huh? Well, I see it as a good reminder to pursue this unofficial goal of mine; perhaps I can investigate making a meetup group event for this, like the ones that exist for everything from Scrabble to chess. As they say, if you see a need for something that doesn’t exist, make it yourself!

Which is actually a very inspiring and motivating way to look at things, big or small.

In fact, I encourage you to think about something you’ve looked for and haven’t been able to find, and consider offering it yourself — and feel free to mention it here for thoughts and feedback!

What Can I Do For You, My Friend?

socs-badge Love is in the blog

As a child, I often visited my dad at the home improvement store he owned and operated. I liked being there, and I learned a lot from it too; in particular it taught me a lot about dealing with customers.

When customers would come in and approach my dad for help with anything from ordering custom-made blinds or scheduling installation for screens, doors and the like, my dad always greeted them with a comfortable smile, saying something along the lines of, “What can I do for you, my friend?”

The first time that happened, I remember asking him and my mother after if we knew that customer. I still remember being surprised when I was told no, that we didn’t.

“But how come he called him a friend?” I remember asking. It just didn’t make sense to me. Especially since the vibe between my dad and the customer seemed genuinely friendly, like you would be with someone you actually were friends with.

I can’t remember exactly what they said to explain this all to me, but whatever they said must have made sense, because from that time I understood—basically, my dad genuinely liked running his own business and dealing with customers, so he truly was happy to see these people and get to know them and build a working relationship with them, hopefully long-term.

The linear, young side of me found this approach amazing. Now, over the years, I’ve seen business owners and employees do something similar, but this first exposure to a dynamic like this will always stand out in my mind.

Plus I’ve also too often seen some who do the exact opposite and treat customers as people they’re doing a favor for, treating them rudely, or being abrupt and unyielding. Even if they were doing someone a favor, there’s no reason to act like that. (This is a pet peeve of mine, actually!) Besides, these customers are paying for whatever service or product they’re there for!

In those moments, I always think about how my dad treated his customers like friends, and try to do the same in my own line of work. While I have yet to actually call the people who come to me my “friend” — somehow it doesn’t come off as naturally as it did with my dad — I do my best to interact with them with a similarly open, friendly approach.

This isn’t to say that there will never be issues with customers or clients, but if you approach them in this way, I’ve personally found that things can be more easily worked out. Plus it makes whatever work you do more pleasant! I encourage you to try it too — and if you have it in you to actually use the word “friend” in this way, I’d love to hear about it!

Note: this post was created as part of Stream of Conciousness Saturday organized this week by LindaGHill, as well as the Bee as part of Love is in Da Blog; the prompt was “friend” and/or “acquaint.” I thought this was a great prompt; although I didn’t know what to write initially, once this memory popped into my head, the choice was made for me. 🙂