Friday, June 25, 2010

"...cup or cone?"

Work is proving to be more entertaining than I thought it would be. Although I should have remembered that when you work in a service industry, particularly one with food, you get some interesting stories.

Now, I enjoy my job, I'm not bashing on it in any way, I'm just merely going to share some stories about some customers who I found funny.

Okay, so when you go into a store, you sometimes have to stand in line. Now, when you stand in that line, you either should know what you want to order when you approach the counter, or you should be thinking about it in the very least. But either way, by the time its your turn to tell me what you want, you should have arrived at a decision. Coming up to me after waiting in line for five minutes and saying "I want a scoop of ice cream" and then staring at me like I'm psychic does not help. I KNOW you want ice cream, I HOPE you want ice cream since you just waited in line, but please be aware that we have 16+ different flavors so being specific would help. I would love to read minds but that is just not one of my skills haha. Especially because after you say you want ice cream, I have to ask you a bunch of different questions such as "what kind of ice cream?" "....cup or cone?" "...sugar cone or cake cone?" It really gets quite tedious. I LOVE the people who come up to me and say, "I would like a single scoop of (insert ice cream flavor here) in/on a (insert cup/sugar cone/cake cone here)" Makes everyones life easier, wouldn't you say?

A lady one day came up to the register about to pay for the two double scoop waffle cones she held in her hands. While I was ringing her up she asked me if I had a bag for her ice cream cones. I looked at her for a minute, sure I had heard her wrong. "What?" I asked.
"A bag, for my ice cream." she says again. Now, please take note that it is well into the high 80s, maybe 90 degrees that weekend, ice cream melts pretty fast upon leaving the establishment so I stared at her again, positive I was going insane or at least needed a hearing aid.
"A bag. For your ice cream CONES??" I half re-stated, half asked again. Wanting to make sure. She nodded and I just was like, uhhhh I don't think we have those kinds of bags. I looked around hoping my boss was around, or at least someone to share this craziness with as I was trying my hardest not to laugh in her face. Luckily my boss had overheard and he comes over and tells her, I'm sorry I don't think we have those kinds of bags. She looks throughly disappointed, saying that oh I suppose thats okay, I just wanted to take them home and put them in my freezer for later.
After she left my boss and I let the laughter escape. I mean, what was she going to do with a bag?? Put her ice cream CONES into the bag? I mean, come on, everyone knows (I hope) that ice cream melts? She would have opened her bag later to find a messy, sticky, disgusting pool of melted ice cream with two soggy waffle cones at the bottom...I don't know what she was gonna do with that or what she was thinking.

I get a lot of questions by people asking if we have any soy based products. Now I can understand if you are lactose intolerant. I used to be too so I feel your pain. And asking for soy based products is okay, because we DO have soy milk for coffee drinks. However, asking me if there is any vegan products will get you a blank look. If you are vegan chances are you are trying to be healthy(?) and stepping foot into a store comprised solely of the most fattening sweets on this earth is NOT helping your diet so please, don't ask me for something healthy. I will point out the fruit on our menu and maybe the ham sandwich with wheat bread but stay away from the ice cream and fudge. So anyways, this lady comes up to me and starts to tell me she doesn't eat a lot of carbs, trys to stay away from fatty foods, etc...goes on this whole schpeel and I'm like, yeah yeah, okay, typical story, what can I make for you though, is what I really care about....and thinking she's going to ask me to make her some fat free, sugar free coffee drink, I am suddenly hit with her order of, get this, large cup of coffee with LOTS of room for half and half. LOTS of room for half n half, thats what she said. I stared at her for a minute, trying my hardest not to laugh and thinking, you DO know that half n half is like the worst thing you can put in your coffee right?? You DO know that your no eating carbs/fat just went out the window for today. Naturally I gave her what she wanted with a smile but I was highly entertained all the same.

Another funny story is we have this ice cream called Merlot Raspberry Truffle and it actually has a taste of red wine to it. Well most people don't know that, they just think its a name and one day this mom and little boy come in and start sampling the ice cream. He points out the Merlot Raspberry and his mom says okay, I'll have one scoop of that please, in a bowl. First I'm thinking, thanks for specifying :) I love you and then I'm thinking, a little kid wants a wine tasting ice cream? Ummm he's like a foot tall...I look at the mom and restate her order just to make sure. She smiles and nods, Yes, he likes raspberry. I smile back and start to scoop it, and after handing it to her I tell her, "You know it actually tastes like wine..." She looks surprised as she looks down at her little son, looking barely old enough to ride a bike let alone know what alcohol tastes like and says really?? I half laugh and grab a sample spoon, giving her a taste and she laughs and says you're right, it does taste like wine. Then eyes her son and says well I hope he doesn't know what he's tasting yet.
Better watch that one mom. I still don't even like the taste of red wine and I'm 21!!

After working in the food industry, I will forever be careful with how I order my food from now on. I am going to pay EXTRA attention to the menu and try and give an order that is not confusing or that requires too many follow up questions. I was telling my "...cup or cone?" story to someone and they mentioned that it's exactly like Subway and how they must get annoyed with customers come up to them and say they want a footlong and then stare are them. They're probably like, on what bread?? I was appalled because I have done that on occasion. Not anymore. I've learned my lesson!

Again, I find work amusing and highly entertaining. The regulars that come in all have their distinct personalities and I love having some familiar faces pop in when I work. Plus, I know what they're gonna order so I don't have to pelt them with millions of questions. My boss is also one of the best bosses I've ever worked for. When my mood turns annoyed because of a difficult customer his humor instantly turns it around. That is definitely a highly valuable trait in a boss. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

E = MC^squared

As my quarter draws to a close, I'm a little disappointed that Children's Lit is over. One, because it was such an easy class, I definitely picked the wrong major when I chose business...I should have chosen Liberal Studies or something ha. Two, my teacher basically gave me all my topics for my blog posts because we rarely talked about children's books, instead he went off on tangents about life which, okay, were kind of annoying because I was there to learn about, well, children's literature but after awhile we all just learned to sit back, roll our eyes and quickly pass the children's books he insisted on passing around the room every class whether we wanted to look at them or not. Still, he was a cool teacher none the less.

I've been thinking about teachers a lot lately. Mostly because its starting to hit me that I only have one more year of college and then I'm done with school if I want to be. It's a little weird to think about because I've been in school for my entire life. In terms of teachers who have taught me, I've had some amazing ones and I've had some awful ones but this quarter I was lucky enough to have one of the best teachers I've ever had while in college, maybe even one of the top teachers I've had ever. I've usually found that college teachers aren't too personal with students, especially when you compare them to the teachers back in high school or earlier. It made me think of all the other amazing teachers I've had over the years and so this is a thank you to them. For teaching me more than just curriculum. :)

Teacher Bev

2nd Grade:
Mrs. Coffelt

3rd Grade:
Mrs. Schmalenberger

5th Grade:
Mrs. Becker

6th Grade:
Ms. Muller

9th - 12th:
Madame Arino
Mr. Kirk
Mr. Hardy
Mrs. Benzel
Mrs. U

Cal Poly:
Mr. Perello
Colette Frayne

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pit Bulls.

I don't get offended easily. In fact its very rare.

But there are a few things that immediately make me defensive and piss me off. One of those topics came up this weekend and again I had lots to say about it. That topic is Pit Bulls. While there are four versions of the breed officially; the Staffordshire Bull Terrior, American Staffordshire Terrier, the Pit Bull and the American Pit Bull Terrior, All are usually referenced as Pit Bulls.

First of all, I own a Pit. So I'm not just saying all of this because I feel sorry for the breed, think people are stupid for discriminating against them, blah, blah, blah, I'm saying this because I have one and know for a fact what they are like as animals. When I mention the fact that I have one, people always look at me funny, ALWAYS. Not only that but it is so ingrained in people to dislike this breed of dog that I have been walking my dog before down the street and have people cross over to the other side of the street entirely in order not to let their kids pass too close to my "killer dog."

I think people often forget that dogs are animals. They are decendants of wolves and used to go around hunting in packs, killing things that were sometimes five times their own size. They used to be wild animals and I think people forget that just because they are now "domesticated" that means that they don't have any wildness left in them and that they are no longer in the habit of turning violent. I don't know about you, but I've never heard a dog speak english, and until that day occurs, dogs will forever be unpredictable animals. Yes, they are mans best friend, yes, I love my dog emmensley and probably more completely then I will ever love a human, but they are still animals.

Now I understand where people are getting all this bias from. Pit Bulls are the most common dog used in the dog fighting industry, there have been various incidences of people getting bitten, that sort of thing. I get it. But what about the other side of things, sure they are used as fighting dogs, but that is not because of their natural inclination for violence. I have never encountered an animal that was violent just for the sake of being violent, there is always a reason for their aggressive behavior. Bears attack people because they feel we threaten their babies or because of territory, sharks attack people because they mistake us for seals, all animals have a reason behind their actions and people forget that sometimes too.

It's the same with pit bulls except its not something natural, fighting is something that is taught to them by humans. WE are the reason that these dogs are vicious. It is not the Pit Bull as a breed. Pit Bulls as a breed just pose the most beneficial characteristics of a fighting dog that make them so easy to teach violence to. It's just like any dog and the quality of training and care they receive from their owners. If a dog is abused, neglected, beaten, etc, it will show those effects in the way it acts, if it is taught to fight other dogs and be violent in nature, it will reflect that teaching. You cannot blame the dog for acting and obeying what it is taught. It IS an animal, not some free thinking human with a knowledge of right and wrong.

Also, look at other breeds of dogs. Any dog can be trained to fight and to be violent. Don't people train dogs to be guard dogs all the time? And what about police dogs? Their handlers train them to attack "criminals" with the use of a word or a hand motion. What's to stop them from attacking at the wrong time? Training. Except policemen and their dogs don't get bad raps because it is professional teaching and those trainers know the right way to train the dog so they don't get mixed results. You can't go around saying that a Pit Bull and a German Shepherd are different when they are both being trained to attack and are both used for violence. One of them just got the better end of the stick unfortunately.

I have a story that I love to tell whenever someone brings up the Pit Bull as being a vicious breed. I like this story because it just goes to show that any breed, at any time can turn violent and people shouldn't automatically stereotype breeds.

My aunt and uncle raised a yellow lab from a puppy and at some point during its adult life, it bit my aunt and had to be put to sleep. The dog had been unnaturally aggressive for most of it's life, totally "uncharacteristic" of yellow labs who are said to be known as loving, family dogs. A yellow lab gone bad. That just proves that it isn't always the breed. Other circumstances can lead to aggressiveness.

I think the reason I get so offended when people automatically voice their disapproval of Pit Bulls is that they don't know the facts or anything about the breed. They only know what a few stupid people have chosen to publicized, heard about the laws against Pits and/or heard the stereotype about them. They have no idea that these dogs are some of the most beautiful and lovable animals out there. They are loyal, courageous and great family pets. It comes down to the owners of the dogs and the influence they choose to impart on the dogs. There will always be good owners and bad owners, it's just a shame the Pit Bulls have such a bad reputation. An undeserving bad reputation. Since they can't speak for themselves, its too bad more people aren't speaking up for them.

I could go on for days about this subject. I could collect articles, facts, numbers, to prove my point. I could talk about populations in cities where dog fighting is most popular and how that affects the number of dog attacks, or what causes dog attacks and how many of them are faults of the owner and not the dog or even how people should learn not to be so quick to judge something they know nothing about...but for now I'm leaving it at what I've already said.

I love my Pit. And in a few years when I'm capable of having a big dog of my own, I'm adopting another one.