Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guessing Game

Once upon a time I worked in a craft store and a woman asked me for "thin cotton strips used for making Xmas ornaments." I guessed: Ribbon? no.

Then I attempted to draw her out: What color? white. Texture? soft. Definitely cotton? yes.

For a moment, I was at a loss. Then I remembered that the advertisement that week featured a project for making angel ornaments out of cheese cloth. Was that it? I don't know, what is cheese cloth. I escorted her to the cheese cloth and she turned up her nose. no that isn't it. Finally she said she was sure we had what she was looking for and would find it herself. After she had checked out, she found me to rub my nose in my ignorance as she shows me a package of polyfil batting. Then she scoffed about how dumb I was for not figuring it out by her description. I reminded her that she had described it as thin strips and made of cotton. She pointed to the product again and said, "yeah, thin cotton, see!" I said, "Polyfil is poly-ester. You might get better service if you improve your descriptions."

I don't mind stupidity at all. But I do mind being accused of stupidity by an idiot!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Savor Your Meal

I'm the skinny girl that everyone hates, but I wanted to share something that my husband's doctor told him that struck a cord with us.

She said that it is important to take 20 minutes to enjoy your food because filling your stomach is only one of many clues that tell your body that you have taken in nourishment. Even if you have to hog the rest of your meal down to finish in the allotted time, you should be focused on the flavor, texture, temperature and all aspects of each bite of food (putting other matters out of your mind, thinking of nothing but the food). This also requires that you chew slowly and pass food over your tongue repeatedly. Interestingly, you can't "savor" fast food, because it tastes very bad if it is in your mouth for very long. Fast food only seems to taste good when you're shoveling it down because you just get the salt and fat flavors. This will signal your brain that you've eaten and you are full. Delaying this signal will cause you to over-eat since you still feel hungry even when your stomach is full. This concept also applies to the flavor content of the foods. The brain needs to receive a LOT of signals regarding the food, so complex flavors are a must.

This was an ah-ha moment for us because my husband eats rather quickly and likes bland food. I eat slowly and like things spicy and very flavorful. He has to have larger portions to be satisfied, but is less picky about what he eats. I only eat food that is delicious, otherwise it holds no interest for me, and I tend to eat small portions.

Great "Green" Find!

butternutsquash is one resourceful Etsy seller! I love the use of cardboard tubes! And the end result is so polished and attractive!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What the--!

Sometimes I can't believe my ears when I watch the local news channels. My husband and I burst out laughing when a piece came on about the Running of the Bulls in Spain and the news anchor said, "Nine people were gored by bulls. Thankfully, no one was hurt." Excuse me, but I think that people who have been gored would say that pain was definitely involved. If my husband hadn't witnessed the same report, I might have thought that I'd heard wrong.

Another report came, "The stabbing victim was rushed to Lakeview Hospital, where he died at the scene." Wait. Did he die at the hospital or did he die at the scene? I am so confused....

I REALLY need to get a job editing copy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Would You Step Over a Body?

My friend Karen is a young, beautiful, well-groomed, dark-skinned Hispanic woman. She went to the local Library last winter and slipped on a patch of ice at the entrance, just as the library was openning. She hit her head so hard, that she actually lost consciousness for a short time. When she came to, people were stepping over her limp body to enter the library. Dozens of people saw what happened and not one person stopped to assist her. Though dazed, she was able to pick herself up off the concrete and go about her day. But I can't imagine why no one would help her? I can't imagine a single person who would literally step over a limp body. Good thing she didn't collapse in the middle of the street! There are very few black people in the city in which I live, and she certainly could pass for black. Do you suppose prejudice had something to do with this? Or was it simply a case of monkey-see, monkey-do? Did the first person who encountered her want a special spot in the library so bad that they left her care to someone behind them and each passerby just followed suite? Either way, I was appalled!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hiring Strategies

There is a lot of advice available on job-hunting, resume building, and interviewing skills. But I theorize that there are as many hiring strategies out there as there are employers.

As a teenager, I worked for a man whose strategy it was to hire the best applicants, knowing they would move on to higher paying jobs, and he would have to replace them. He was willing to invest training into everyone, but was unwilling to give pay increases. For the retail business he was in, it worked well for him.

From there I moved on to a job in a lighting store, with slightly better pay, and a chance to move into a commissioned sales position. My employer took out an advertisement for a $8/hr warehouse worker. We received over 300 applications! From them she chose 3 to interview. I told her that there seemed to be better applicants than the ones whom she’d chosen, but she had no interest in them because their résumés were too good. She reasoned that someone too good would leave for higher wages and she’d just have to train someone new. She reasoned that a mediocre job called for a mediocre employee.

In time, I moved into another job where I would be screening applicants and making hiring recommendations myself. The positions that we needed to fill were basic, unskilled labor. I would look over the applications and indicate which applicants I was most interested in interviewing. The operations manager would reject all applications that were not accompanied by a resume. And any resume that was not professional looking was rejected as well. He liked hiring older women because he felt that they were more dependable than younger ones. The physical demands of the job seemed to me better suited to young women or men. After conducting interviews he and I often disagreed on which candidates to hire, but because of the high turnover, we ended up hiring nearly all of the people we had interviewed. I was very satisfied to find, that long after I had left the company, those that I had handpicked from the applicant pool were still thriving there.

I would love for my readers to weigh in on where they stand. Under what circumstances would you hire someone who was over-qualified? What strategies have you seen implemented? And with what results?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Late Night Waitress

I went to IHOP at 11pm yesterday with a couple of friends. Now, I realize that the busier shifts are assigned to the best wait staff, and so I expect lazy service during late night hours at a restaurant. But I was not prepared for this waitress. The service was lousy, the wait for food was ridiculous, my food was a little overcooked, but I was there for the company of friends, not the food. At the end of the meal, she brings the bill and asks if she can clear a few plates out of the way. We all lean away from the table, pulling arms back, so that she has room to maneuver. She stacks several plates and then instructs me to hand her that drinking straw wrapper, that napkin, that bowl, etc. Instinctively, I began to do as I was told. As I’m gathering up the requested items, I suddenly realize that I she has assumed a relaxed posture, resting her hip against the booth while I do her work! I said very calmly, “How much tip should a person leave, if they have to buss their own table?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Holding Up the Line

My husband prefers to drop our mail into the big blue official post office drop boxes to placing it in the box on our house. So, we drive to the post office intending to use the drive through feature. There is another car in front of us, stopped just in front of the drop boxes. We patiently wait. And wait. And wait some more. Finally, my husband honks the horn ever so slightly just to make the woman aware that someone is behind her, thinking perhaps she is oblivious. So, she moves forward a bit and continues to address her envelopes. Only the arrival of the postman who came to empty the box prompted her to complete her transaction and move along. We must have been in line for 15 minutes. I wanted to ask her for her autograph and add, "because you must think you are the Queen of England!" But my husband restrained me. He is good that way.