Thursday, June 28, 2007

At Random

...and God bless mommy, and daddy, and all the people who work in customer service and thank-you that I'm not one of them. Amen.

I hated working customer service. Sometimes my current job is frustrating, but this morning I was reminded of how awful work used to be. We screwed up some lady's ad...well, we didn't run it and the publication's already gone to press.

Our office manager had to call the lady and inform her that the ad would not run. It turns out that the lady was pretty nice about it since we gave her money back and offered to run the ad for free in a different publication, but that does not negate the initial fear and trepidation that one has to go to when calling. You never know if a customer is going be kind or eat you for dinner.

It's good times in the office right now, because no one else is here. I have the radio cranked up and Avril's admonishing some guy to ditch his girlfriend for her. I thought Avril was married.

Don't those songs get old? I mean, you can never have too many love songs because nearly everyone is in love (or thinks they are) at some point in their life, but how many girls are there who are actively trying to steal someone else's boyfriend?

I do know a lot of girls who like these songs...but they're not usually girls who could be singing about how the other girl is so ugly and stupid. Not without being openly mocked anyway.

I'm visiting the family this weekend, and because my boss is amazing and gives us our birthday's off I get to leave tonight. We had everything planned out, but unexpected things keep happening, so I don't really know what we're doing at all.

My little brother is flying out for Haiti on Friday, it'll be fun to see him off on his first mission trip. We might go to Jungle Jim's after and pick up some goodies. Huzzah for international groceries!

Saturday we were going to go to the creation museum, but I got an invite yesterday to go to a friend's baby-shower, so I'll probably spend Sat. picking up a gift and then mingling with a bunch of people I don't know (we had mutual friends in high school, but almost none of them live in the area anymore, but if Tracie comes with her baby, I will be completely psyched).

Sunday is all the joy of going to my parent's church. In high school I stopped coming to youth group after having been heavily involved in it for the past 5 years...and for three months no one noticed. Awkward.

But I hear the new preacher is good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

American Giving

America raises the bar for gift giving in amount and the percentage of income that they gave to charity. Individual donations made up most of the total $300 billion given and religious organizations were most likely to be on the recieving end of that money.

Interaction Impared

A friend of mine has decided to create a school for the social impaired. The severly socially impaired.

Not so much the person who can’t remember if you introduce the older person to younger person first or vice versa as the person who invites you out to dinner and then talks loudly on their cell to someone else through out the meal.

The school’s motto is: "It’s not you, it’s your personality"

Orginally her idea was to have classes where people could learn how to escape their own bad manners (right next door could be another friend with her seminar for guys on dating: "It’s more of a pursual than a study")

But now my friend has decided that the class could be more taylored the individuals needs if it were set up like "What Not to Wear". Friends and family members of the offending party would get video proof of how awful the person is and would send it in. A program would be set up to meet their individual needs.

If, for example, the person never misuses their cell phone, this would not be touched upon, but more attention could be given to the fact that they’re impossibly rude to their waitresses and/or don’t tip well.

Unfortunately, I can’t really think of a compelling reason for people to go. Rude people seldom know or care that they are rude. Going on "What Not to Wear" gets you $5000 to spend on clothing, but what would you give someone for learning to be considerate?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lost In Darkness

Lost In Darkness
Loneliness seems black.
Like I’m with people physically, but am on my own inside.
I see only shrouding darkness which consumes me.
I hear the laughs of other, but they do not affect me.
I smell only the nothingness of my rotting insides.
I touch the barrier that keeps me inside.
I taste the hope that someday,
someone will come and set me free of this horrific cage,
that is, myself.

by G. Taylor Warren, Grade 5

Robin and I were at the Pro-Life fest briefly on Thursday. For the past couple years Teen Hope Line has had a booth their and we stopped to talk to the interns running it, who gave us a sheet of statistics about teens. The sheet basically told us whatevery one already know...there are a lot of very depressed teens out there.

Stumbling across this akwardly honest poem is a lot harder than glancing over a list of numbers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Service with a smile

There are many types of restaurants and many different levels of service.
At some places you barely expect to get your food cooked as ordered and at others you would complain if the waiter wore a shirt you didn’t like.

A few days ago my friend Katie had a late night craving for Taco Bell. Katie is one of those people that is nice without trying. I have to think about being friendly, Katie has to work very hard to be mean, and even then the most she can pull off is an angry face, which the person she’s mad at never sees. So anyway, friendly Katie orders her food and pulls around. The guy at the window tells her to never mind the money. He said she was the nicest customer they’d had all day, everyone else had been horrible so she deserved her meal for free.

Katie told me that the other people must have been awful beyond description because she’d had a horrible day, was in a bad mood, and does not recall being pleasant at all...but I’m pretty sure that’s just the natural niceness of Katie (I’ve never met a mean person named Katie, they’re all friendly and well liked. My first daughter is going to be named Katie...I’m pretty sure it will garuntee her a good life)

Two nights later Katie and I found ourselves at Steak ‘n’ Shake in great anticipation of the cheese fries to come. Our waitress looked like one of those shrunken heads and when I asked her if it would be possible to split the cost of a large cheese fry on our bill she responded as if I had asked her if she could rig the next presidential election. She was clearly appalled that I would suggest such a thing.

I told her I would just have a small cheese fry then and Katie ordered her sandwich. When she ordered, our waitress said, "That sandwich comes with lettuce, tomatoe, mushrooms, and swiss cheese" in a tone that clearly indicated that this was clearly enough reason for Katie to change her order. Katie boldly ordered the sandwich anyway.

We got our food and our waitress never came back. No checking on the drinks, no asking how the food was (we had to flag down other people to let them know that my cheese fries were distinctly lacking in cheese and that Katie was dying of thirst). Katie and I had just finished a conversation in which we boldly proclaimed that this waitress was not getting anymore than the average 15% (I typcially tip a lot more than that if I’ve only ordered something small, because 15% of almost nothing is a sad number) when the waitress popped back over and said, "I’m not trying to kick you out, but can you go ahead and pay so I can leave? You can stay and talk as long as you want, but I can’t leave until you pay"

People are always commenting on how my eyes get all huge when I’m surprised or upset. I didn’t need anyone to tell me that they were huge then. Huge and cold, not the look of death, but definitely not friendly. We told her we would and she ran off to run our credit cards.

While she was doing that Katie told me a story about how she was once kicked out of a restaurant in the China Town section of New York City when she and her friend had barely put their forks down from their meal. She commented on how there are so many people in NYC that they don’t care if you hate their service and never come back, but here if you said that you would get fired because they have to keep their customers happy.
I think our waitress overheard it because when she came back she was friendlier than she’d been the entire evening.
Next time, I think we’ll go to Taco Bell.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

God Bless Denmark!

I realize that the only people read my blog on anything resembling a regular basis are morning people. But I'm serious, this looks like the most beautiful world I could live in.

Monday, June 11, 2007

To be technical...

I hate it when people who know nothing about computers try to answer technical questions.

Just tell the nice man you have no idea what the difference between the servers is. Just say it!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Health Nuts

I have a love-hate relationship with Health Food stores. On the one hand they have all kinds of nifty things that regular stores don't: sugar-free candy that actually tastes good, food with out hydrogenated oils or preservatives, that kinda thing. On the other hand every health food store employee has their favorite products and their life story to go with them.

Upon entering the health food store you will be pounced on by one of these employees. The employees are trained to sense when a customer has no idea what he or she is looking for. It's probably not very grueling training, most people tend to get a deer-in-headlights look simply from glancing at the array of vitamins and suppliments covering the walls of the establishment.

You think your multi-vitamin includes everything, but you are tragically mistaken. In-fact, scanning the selection to be had you realize that you're not even sure what is in your multi-vitmain. Does it have vitamin B? I think it does. The sales lady even explains to me that vitamin B is for energy and I know for a fact that I bought my multivitamin specifically because it said "All Day Energy" on the bottle. The problem is, that faced with this woman and her life-story of woe and healing, which can apparently be attributed soley to her special blend of vitamins, supplements, and exercise, I am no longer sure what my vitamins are for. I can't even remember why it is I came in the store. Clunk. In go the vitamins. It happens every time. I swear, with a good story they could probably sell me healthier paper bags to hold my lunch in, it's just that overwhelming.

The other thing that makes me nervous about health food stores is that the employees seem to regaurd themselves as volunteer physcians. They are constantly looking at the recommended dosages of things or the warning lables and laughing mockingly. "That's ridiculous!" they shout for the whole store to hear. Everyone laughs, me a little nervously. I'm sure that taking three caplets of a vitamin/supplement a day versus one (or did the lady recommend six?) is not going to kill me, but if three (or six) is right, why did the manufacturers say one?

I had an actual doctor who did this once. He gave me narcotics and then told me that while the instructions and the law say not to drive while taking them, that it was perfectly alright. My hippi-new-age doctor told me that the laws simply haven't caught up with medecine and that narcoutics simply aren't a problem that way anymore. My doctor was on crack. I ran my car into a small hill the first and last time that I drove while taking those.
All this to say, taking anything other than the recommended dosage in the perscribed way, adhering to all restrictions and guidelines, makes me really nervous (unless of course it's ibuprofin, everyone knows those guidelines don't mean anything).

But I can't stop going to health food stores, no matter how frustrating/delusional I find their employees. I don't know of any major retailer that carries Back to Nature Cinnamon Graham sticks. Now those, are life changing.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Is Amber there?

My week is off to a rip roaring good start. I woke up at 8:30 (two hours and 10 minutes later than I usually get up) to the sound of my cell phone. I thought it was work, but it was a wrong number. So I called work, where they were mostly just glad I wasn't dead. So I started to get ready...and nearly vomited all over everything. But not, so here I am at work, making my co-workers wish I was dead.

But the weekend was good. I spent way too much money and spending money is always fun. And I got to hang out with 'Chel, who was visiting from Deleware. And after 'Chel left I hung out with Robin and her friend, Tori, and Tori's daughter, Logan.

It was weird being around someone so young with a child. Most of the parents I know are older and have several children, so they've already figured out how they're doing things. I was really impressed with Tori, but it made me realize how glad I am that I don't have kids right now. I doubt I would be so patient.

Friday, June 1, 2007

I sleep in and I'm a klutz, and it's ruining my wardrobe.

Since I work a good 45 minutes from home I never eat breakfast before work anymore. I just keep a box of Kashi hot cereal and a box of disposable bowls at work.

Sadly, eating while you work means you can't concetrate very hard one of the two activities and work kinda has to win (since I'm obviously not doing work now). I'm not really sure how I manage to spill cereal on my shirt, I don't even notice it at the time and none of my co-workers feel the need to point it out to me. When I finally do notice it I have two options; I can let the stuff stay and dry on to my shirt, making it virually impossible to remove or I can wash it off in the restroom...where the water smells like rotten eggs.

The fact that there is a set of circumstances that makes, "Would you rather wear garbage or smell like garbage?" an actual question...makes me very sad.

In other "news" my co-workers are driving me nuts. My boss is gone and so now I have to be consulted about everything, because I'm the only other person who understands the software we use. And when a question is asked about the software, the nosy one has to come over and offer a sage "Oh, uh-hmmm". Has to. It's a reflex. Like when those sadist doctors whack you on the knees with their hammer.

And, my co-worker's teenage daughter is working here for the summer. I like her a lot. She's a very nice girl. But she has no idea how to do most of the stuff and it isn't like they've trained her, so every five minutes, "Mom, mom, mom, I don't know..."

I need a lunch break. I need it now. And it needs to have ice-cream.

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