Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Miss Me?

So, I missed a few days on my blogging challenge. Thursday was a horrible day, Friday was awesome but crazy, and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were just needed for mental recovery from those two days. At some point I may go back and grab those posts, but for right now I’m just carrying on.

This blogging challenge has made me discover some things about myself. One is that I lack discipline sometimes. This is nothing ground breaking,but I had hoped I was doing better in the self-discipline area. The second discovery was how easily I get discouraged. In my mind, I missed Thursday’s post and almost gave up the whole project. Then I missed Friday and thought “there’s no way I’m ever catching up.” It wasn’t until today that it dawned on my little mind that I could just start fresh. I don’t need to make things up, I just need to finish to the best of my abilities. And so, that’s what I am going to do!

So, let’s go through a recap of the past few days.

Thursday: Let’s focus on the good first. Dad brought me lovely Valentine’s Day flowers, Mum got me a *huge* cookie from our school’s V-day cookie sale, and the brother got me ice cream! Sounds like an awesome day, right? Well, we should also add in the fact that I had a splitting migraine all day, my lovely little car ran completely out of oil and subsequently required $1100 of repairs, the rental car I borrowed was bare bones and made me a little nervous seeing as how I was driving around alone that night, rehearsal for drama ran very long, and despite having a performance the next day we were told that we couldn’t set up our stage before 10 am the next morning. Oh yeah…and after all that, I drove home, ready to sit down with a movie and the playlist for the performances…to discover that I left my garage door opener in the other car and no one was home to let me in.

*sigh*

Friday: This was an awesome day, made even awesomer  (yes, that is now a word) by how horrible the day before was. Because I really want to do a post just on Friday, I won’t go into it right now. But yes, this was a good day. A LONG day, but a good day.

Saturday: Sleep, work, sleep. Enough said!

Sunday: Sleep, church, work, sleep. Welcome to the scintillating pattern of my day-to-day life.

Monday: Monday was another pretty cool day. I was a little on the nervous side because I was up for my one year review as a Shift Supervisor. Unbeknownst to me, my SM also made time to go over my Partner Development Plan (PDP) with me and help me create a new PDP as I wait to start interviewing for my next position. I’ve had a rougher time personally these past six months than I have experienced in the past, so I wasn’t sure how things were going to go. Thankfully, my SM has really noticed all the hard work, time, and dedication I’ve been pouring out and she really commended me on it. It’s always nice to know that someone *is* seeing the good that you are doing.

We also got a chance to have a good, long talk about things going on in the district and with the company. The last thing I want to do is go blindly blundering into a position if I don’t feel like I’ll be able to support the direction that things are heading. While some events looming on the horizon make me very sad, overall I feel like things for the future are bright. All we can do is wait and see, but in the meantime we are working on plans to push our store’s potential to the max! Go team, go!

That’s where I’ve been for the past few days! What have you all been doing?

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Accentuate the Positive

Gentle Readers,

People and situations have been a wee bit…shall we say “trying” of late. It’s only to be expected; anytime you interact with others, tensions are bound to occasionally run high.

At Starbucks, we’ve been talking a lot about “assuming positive intent” when it comes to customer service. This idea has also arisen in other articles and conversations, but Starbucks expresses it best. It is easy to apply this principle at work. One only has to be nice for a few hours before the shift is over or it is time for a break. We can do just about anything, cope with just about anything, if we know it will eventually end soon.

But how does this look in day to day life? I think it means that we shouldn’t take things so personally. For example, maybe a friend is shoving their achievement in your face for the umpteenth million time. You can be completely human and see it as a malicious attempt to make you feel inferiour. Or, you can choose to see it as your friend being so genuinely excited about something good that they need constant affirmation to believe it is real.

Of course, chances lean in the favour of this person being thoughtless and selfish, but what good is dwelling on that mindset going to do you? By assuming positive intent, you empower yourself to smile, encourage, walk away, and forget the whole interaction. What’s the point of letting something eat you up? It doesn’t harm the other person, it just drives you crazy.

That’s today’s challange. Assume positive intent…how does that look in your life? Feel free to share!

Until tomorrow,
Miss W

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That Dreaded List

As many of you know, I don’t make resolutions at the start of a new year. There are many and varied reasons for this, too many to enumerate here. However, those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I made up a joke list, which I shall post here with light edits:

1. Delete Twitter and spend newly free time in transcendental meditation.

2. Start classes for my new bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Applied Physics.

3. Open and become president of a local chapter of the Lady Gaga Fan Club.

4. Give up all caffeine. Decaf or die!

5. Memorize the dialogue from all four Twilight movies.

6. Become a hermit and give up outings to Buffalo Wild Wings.

7. Commit to sobriety. So much joking around is not becoming at my age.

8. Renounce blogging, and begin a MySpace instead.

9. Quit reading, cold turkey.

10. Stop teasing my awesome blog readers with this list, and promise to be a better blogger in 2012.

Well, one out of 10 ain’t bad! (Guess which one I’ll actually do???) Please feel free to leave your resolutions, real or imaginary, in the comments. Have a safe and happy start to 2012!!!

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50000 in 30 (Or How To Be Insane)

Well, it’s November 1st! Do you know what that means? No, I’m not referring to having a sugar hangover from last night. I’m talking about NaNoWriMo!!!! National Novel Writing Month, where all over the world crazy wanna-be writers like me try to discipline themselves to get 50,000 words on paper before the month runs out. Add in the Thanksgiving holiday, and you’ve got a recipe for insanity…I mean fun.

So, I’m giving this a try again. Last year I fell far short of the 50,000 word mark, so my goal is to surpass last year at the least. Stay tuned for progress reports, or feel free to jump on in! It’s never too late.

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Clean Slate

A new year is upon us.

If you listen to the rumours floating around, 2011 may be the last full year that we have left before the world implodes in 2012 because the Mayans couldn’t create a self-sustaining calendar. Or something like that.

I, suffice it to say, don’t believe in silly things like this. However, I think I’m going to issue myself a challenge this year. And if I’m going to try it, I’d love for you all to join me in my quest.

Let’s live 2011 as if it truly was our last year alive.

Let’s savour every moment. Let’s mend bridges with people. Let’s wipe our grudge slates clean and give everyone a fresh start. Let’s give ourselves fresh starts. Let’s take risks. Let’s work hard, but remember to play hard as well. Let’s not let little things blow out of proportion. Let’s acknowledge when we see people acting extraordinary. Let’s purpose to BE extraordinary. Let’s love more. Let’s laugh more. Let’s exist with intention.

Are you with me?

Ready…set…go rock your world!

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NaNoWriMo

So, you may have noticed those cute, colourful little buttons on my sidebar. It’s now time to explain what there are and why there are there!

NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. In November, aspiring writers from all over the world strive to write 50,000 words by the end of the month, resulting in a “complete” novel. The focus is on quantity, not quality. Too often writers get bogged down in the details of their writing, get too involved with the characters and the plot. The result is a shelf full of notebooks half-filled with remnants of stories. The goal with NaNoWriMo is to get out a raw outline, raw situations, and a decent conclusion. Chances are that your novel is going to end up being more than 50,000 words, but it’s a really good start.

Yes, I’m crazy, but I’m giving it a shot.

Wanna join in the literary insanity? You can add me as a writing buddy: MsWoodhouse.

Have fun…

Ready…set…type!!!!!

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What Lies Beneath

Last night at work I went to my sarcastic place.

I’m not proud of that fact. While a sarcastic me is a funny me, and my coworkers appreciate the laughs, it doesn’t leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. However, last night I found myself pushed to the edge of my reserves, and I had two choices:

1. Be as silly, goofy, funny, and witty as I could muster at short notice, or

2. Burst into tears.

I think I speak for all when I say that humour-ish statements were preferable to tears. Besides, I had already been crying earlier in the night. Now, allow me to explain. In the almost two years I’ve worked at Starbucks, I’ve only been brought to the point of tears three times (this is a pretty good record):

1. By a former coworker who would be awful mean to me when we were working alone, but sweet and wonderful if any other coworker was around. *rolls eyes* It got reeeaaallllyyy old.

2. By a customer’s story of the death of their parent. Sad, sad, sweet story.

3. Tonight. Enough said.

Now, I’m a Christian. For some of you, I’m sure you involuntarily shuddered at that statement. Christians often have a stigma attached to them: aloof, condescending, self-righteous, holier-than-thou. I hope that I am not like that. I strive to not be like that.

However, the people that came in tonight were, sadly, acting like that. The thing is, I have a history with these people outside of the store. I’m not just some random barista, they aren’t just some random fellow Christian people. We know each other. I do my best to treat them well; I call them by name, ask about their lives, and am just generally friendly to them. Friendly, even though I know what the outcome is going to be, how they are going to treat me. Not that they are horrible, but they aren’t exactly nice either. Last night it was too much for some reason. It hurt. I ended up in the back room trying to wipe away traces of tears.

Would someone remind me why I wear mascara to work?

So, like I said before, I went to my sarcastic place. I really, really hate that about myself. I hate that their poor behaviour impacted me so much that I felt the need to alter my behaviour. That’s not good, healthy, or right.

Earlier yesterday we held our first meeting for a 40 minute Kay Arthur Bible Study. The topic is “Living Like You Belong to God“, and the key idea of the study is that of “holiness.” My favourite university Bible teacher describes holiness as “being set aside for special use.” It’s not that there’s anything inherently different about something holy from something that isn’t; rather, it’s mainly how this thing is used.

These people tonight decided to not act holy. That’s fine; it’s their decision to make.

I, however, don’t think that I ultimately responded in a holy manner. Not that I was mean to them or anything like that, but I allowed my hurt at their behaviour to turn into biting humour later on.

*sigh*

No one is perfect, right?

So, that’s one of my goals for the summer. I’m going to take what I learn in that study and work on not letting other’s behaviour influence mine. By the end of the summer, I hope to be able to just shrug off customer issues and keep on keeping on. I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes! As my new manager says, “It is what it is.”

Until then, let me leave you with this thought: 6 months until Christmas!

Yeah, coworkers and customers weren’t overly thrilled with this news either. Peace; out….

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Frappyhour

This Tuesday was the official rollout of Starbucks’ new however-you-want-it frappuccino. Many customers have asked us just what is different about the new process, so here we go!

The old recipe used to be 3 steps: dispense based (creme or coffee), add in syrups, add in ice and blend. The only problem was that we were pretty much limited when it came to special dietary needs. We couldn’t use soy or be vegan, for example. So, Starbucks broke it down for us.

If you want coffee, we put that in first- we can even make it decaf! Then, we put in any milk you want: soy, non-fat, 1%, 2%, whole, breve, heavy whipping cream, anything! If you want flavouring we put that in next- any syrup, any add-ins, any combination. The last ingredient we put in is the magic; it’s a thick binding liquid that gives it that great consistency and frappuccino taste.

Okay, now for the fun stuff! Because our normal store artist wasn’t working the night before rollout, yours truly had the opportunity to do the store’s main chalkboard. That’s right- my first promo board! My District Manager even complimented our Store Manager on it.

Here are some of the first pictures- I’m hoping to get some better ones of the updated board. Yes, I tweaked. How could I not?

I’ll post some more pictures soon!

So, now to the explanation of this blog title. Starting yesterday, and running through May 16th, you can come in from 3-5 pm and get any frappuccino in any size for half off! Mum and Dad came in to visit during “happy hour” and Dad called it, “frappy hour.” Now, it stuck (and it’s part of the improvements I made to the board).

As a last note, we have new coffee gear! We love our cute, new, blue aprons (pic of that to come too). However, the wrist bands are a little puzzling. In case you have sane baristas who refuse to wear them, here’s what they look like.


There’s no consensus as to why we have these. They are a health hazard, being so close to so many contaminates. We’ve compiled a list of possible reasons for the wrist bands. Let’s have some fun and try a poll: why do you think that Starbucks gave us these wristbands? Pick your top three, or suggest your own ideas!

Well, that’s all from me for now- I’ll be back with more pictures and stories of this crazy week very soon. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

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Fifty!

When I’m writing, the number 50 is really important to me. In my stories, if I can make it to page 50, then the chances are good that I’ll be able to finish it off. If I can write 50 words in a post or paper without struggling, then I know I have a good topic.

This is my 50th blog post. It’s only been four months, so I feel good about the future of this place. Fifty posts, and I’m still having fun!

In honor of the milestone, here are 50 random facts from this website. The comments in italics are mine. Enjoy!

1. If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on your right side. If you are left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side. (So, if you are ambidextrous, do you chew in the middle of your mouth?)

2. If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. For when a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.

3. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying. (Wearing contacts is much more reliable. So is holding an unlit match between your teeth. Not that I do this or anything…. *looks away*)

4. Your tongue is germ free only if it is pink. If it is white there is a thin film of bacteria on it.

5. The Mercedes-Benz motto is “Das Beste oder Nichts” meaning “the best or nothing”.

6. The Titanic was the first ship to use the SOS signal. (dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot  Not that it did them a ton of good.)

7. The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45 percent when a person looks at something pleasing.

8. The average person who stops smoking requires one hour less sleep a night.

9. Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day. (lol!)

10. The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.

11. Dalmatians are born without spots.

12. Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.

13. The ‘v’ in the name of a court case does not stand for ‘versus’, but for ‘and’ (in civil proceedings) or ‘against’ (in criminal proceedings).

14. Men’s shirts have the buttons on the right, but women’s shirts have the buttons on the left.

15. The owl is the only bird to drop its upper eyelid to wink. All other birds raise their lower eyelids.

16. The reason honey is so easy to digest is that it’s already been digested by a bee. (Um, ewwww!)

17. Roosters cannot crow if they cannot extend their necks.

18. The color blue has a calming effect. It causes the brain to release calming hormones. (The colour red has the opposite effect.)

19. Every time you sneeze some of your brain cells die.

20. Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart.

21. The verb “cleave” is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

22. When you blush, the lining of your stomach also turns red. (How do we know this? Why do we know this?)

23. When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.

24. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle was built in 1903, and used a tomato can for a carburetor.

25. The lion that roars in the MGM logo is named Volney.

26. Google is actually the common name for a number with a million zeros.

27. Switching letters is called spoonerism. For example, saying jag of Flapan, instead of flag of Japan. (So what if I say my Mail Harry’s in the Chatholic Curch?)

28. It cost 7 million dollars to build the Titanic and 200 million to make a film about it. (I’ve not seen the whole thing, but from what bits I caught on TV they could have left out the sad ending and made it more cheaply. Not that I cried or anything.)

29. The attachment of the human skin to muscles is what causes dimples.

30. There are 1,792 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

31. The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.

32. Human hair and fingernails continue to grow after death.

33. It takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body.

34. The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.

35. Most soccer players run 7 miles in a game.

36. The only part of the body that has no blood supply is the cornea in the eye. It takes in oxygen directly from the air. (Thus, we cover it up with a piece of flexible plastic so we can see better. I really hope my contacts do breathe as promised!)

37. Every day 400,000 babies are born, and 140,000 people die.

38. In most watch advertisements the time displayed on the watch is 10:10 because then the arms frame the brand of the watch (and make it look like it
is smiling).

39. Colgate faced big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command “go hang yourself.” (Remind me not to brush my teeth in Mexico.)

40. The only 2 animals that can see behind itself without turning its head are the rabbit and the parrot.

41. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair. (So redheads are more intelligent? I have to think this through.)

42. The average person laughs 13 times a day. (Wait, didn’t we establish that adults laugh at least 15 times a day? Was that previous figure including cyber laughing?)

43. Do you know the names of the three wise monkeys? They are:Mizaru(See no evil), Mikazaru(Hear no evil), and Mazaru(Speak no evil).

44. Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

45. German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog. (I deg to biffer. I should qualify that their biting is mostly in the line of duty. Pitbulls, however, just bite for fun. Big difference.)

46. Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump.

47. Whip makes a cracking sound because its tip moves faster than the speed of sound. (This mostly applies to the bull whip. Just think, those Oregon pioneers were breaking the sound barrier long before we invented flight.)

48. Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death. (…and their name was Legion. Wait, wrong story…)

49. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural cause. (What does it mean if it’s just a statue of a horse? Do the same rules apply to how the horse died?)

50. The human heart creates enough pressure while pumping to squirt blood 30 feet!!

And because my mum raised me to have a song for every occasion, watch this:

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Resolute

Well, it’s that time again- the time of year when millions of people watch crystal balls drop, drink champagne, wear goofy hats, and kiss perfect strangers.

It’s a new year.

A lot has happened in the world this year, but others have presented this information better than I ever could. A lot has happened in my life, but who really wants to read about all that?

Instead, lets talk about this new year. 2010. A new decade in our new millennium.

Normally I avoid making resolutions at this time of year. I always feel like such a failure come February when all my good intentions are out the window- and I mean so far out the window you’d doubt that they ever existed.

But this year is different. Once again I’m going to try and make some resolutions. Instead of just jotting them down and hoping for the best, this year I’m going to try and infuse my list with some resolve and a plan of action.

I may not make it past February, but I’m sure going to do my best. If you like, take a few moments to write down your own resolutions, goals, and ideals. Maybe we can check back with each other around, say, March to see if we are on the right track.

Until then- party hard, drive safely, and welcome this new year properly.

It’s time for a fresh start!

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