Tag Archives: customers

Merry Pop (the sequel)

26 Dec

This story is based on more fact than its predecessor, Pop. The following events actually transpired to, and in the near vicinity of, the author and can be verified by the fire report bearing the name of the author.

Working at a hotel on Christmas day isn’t so bad. Guests are in a happy holiday spirit, and I get to meet (most of) them at their cheeriest moment. The hotel that I work at was pretty slow and empty most of Christmas day. There were two main families who had decided to host their Christmas festivities here at the hotel. Family 1 hosted theirs on the 1st floor, and Family 2 on the 2nd floor. It is to Family 2 that our eyes turn for the crux of this story.

9:00pm. It was hardly three hours into my shift. Coincidentally, it was also only three hours after having discussed with my manager the small handful of times the smoke alarm has ever gone off while I was working. I gave it not one more thought.

Until the alarm went off.

Keeping my head together as well as one can do when an alarm is beeping, I ran to the alarm panel to assess the situation. I then took half a step away from the alarm panel and towards the phone so I could call the guest’s room to assure their safety. Half a step.

Then the house alarm went off.

That means that instead of one room and the alarm panel in the back being the only two beeping items, the entire hotel’s alarm system was involved in a “beep-beep” cycle. A cycle that happened, oh, every second. Until I hit the “alarm silence” button a full two seconds later. I had undone that half step away from the alarm panel, located the button, and pressed it with very little delay.

I finally got a chance to make my way to the phone to call the guest, who happened to be a member of Family 2. I went through my mandatory spiel of “Please do not open your hotel door. Feel free to open a window, but keep your door shut.” It is then that they reveal the cause of the alarm.

“I just put popcorn in the microwave and forgot about it.” — member of Family 2 (Insert unpaid commercial for Brian Regan. He talks about this very scenario on his newest audio release. Finding something in the microwave that you forgot about. It’s hilarious, as always.)

*steps on soapbox* Really? Really?! It takes 3 minutes to pop popcorn, maybe 4, and in that time frame you forgot?! You didn’t smell it burning, but its smokiness managed to set the alarm off for the whole hotel?! That’s a bunch of baloney. Smoked baloney. *steps off soapbox*

By this time, I realized that there is no danger. This situation is so minuscule that even The Great Brian has poked fun at it.

I placed my next phonecall to the dispatch office to let them know that it was a false alarm. The lady was very helpful, but oh, the first responders were already on their way.

They arrived amazingly fast. I was honestly impressed. I feel safe knowing how quickly help can come when I need it. But how embarrassing it is when help comes when you don’t need it. It’s like Banana Man from Patch the Pirate.

I escorted the fire official up to the room of Family 2, so that he could ascertain whether there was any cause for fear or not. As I called the room to alert Family 2 of our arrival, I heard him talk on his radio, telling dispatch that he didn’t know the exact cause and not to stop the other responders from coming.

So they came.

By the time I arrived back at my front desk post, there was a grand total of four first responders with their red lights a-flashing merrily, and one fire truck pulling in with red and white lights a-flashing. Off in the distance, a stop light turned green.

And together, with our red, white, and green lights flashing at will, we celebrated Christmas with a ka-thumping heart.


things I’ll miss

5 Nov

Last night was my last-ever night to work at Dunkin’ Donuts. Despite all the things I’m happy to leave behind, there are actually quite a few things I’ll miss.

– free coffee for personal consumption

– artistically swirling whipped cream and drizzling caramel atop iced lattes

– being the first to find out about and try new flavors of coffee, new kinds of donuts, new sandwiches

– constant humor from coworkers who have yet to master English

(Look at the top of this picture. There is tape. This promotional poster was taped to the glass front door. That’s not a problem, right? Oh, but wait! What are those words all over the poster? “Remove to expose adhesive.” True story.)

– the regular customers whose drinks I make when I see their car pulling in

– the customers I’ve never seen before, to whom I can introduce all the positive things about our most expensive drinks (a good salesperson am I!)

– my coworker, Shoe, and the spicy Indian chip/bread called “papadi” that she makes for me

– getting tips just for having fun and joking around with customers

– coworkers who appreciate me enough to spell my name correctly on a balloon hanging from the ceiling

’tis official (2nd of 2 promised posts)

24 Oct


Let’s see. I believe it all started back on September 30th. Twas a Thursday, and I was at work performing my obligatory coffee and donut duties. One of my regular early-afternoon customers handed me a business card. She said she’d been watching me and thought I would be a good fit for working for her at a hotel. I asked a few questions, she gave a few details, and I said I’d think about it and call her.

That was Thursday. On Friday, I did some sleuthing and found where the hotel was located, what it looked like, what guests had to say about their stay, etc. Then on Sunday I came down with a debilitating cold. Well only debilitating in the sense that when I spoke, it sounded like I was a male llama choking on a thorn, when in fact I wasn’t.

So on Tuesday afternoon, I conjured up enough of my normal voice with which I called the number on the business card. Didn’t get through. Left a message. Went to class.

After class that day, my phone call was returned! We spoke for about 20 minutes, and all seemed promising. Wednesday afternoon I went out to the hotel to meet with the customer/manager. How unusual it was to be on the other side of the counter when I entered the hotel! By the time I left, we had decided on which day I would start training.

Saturday the 16th was my first day wearing a navy blue shirt, standing behind the front desk of the hotel. And I loved it. :-)

I could drone on with more details, but I’ve too much homework to justify that. I officially quit Dunkin’ Donuts on Thursday, October 21. This coming week consists of an incredibly full schedule with classes and homework and work at two jobs. Hopefully the madness will subside.

almost official (theoretical 1st of possibly 2 posts)

21 Oct

I don’t do blog series. I usually just write a really long post when I should probably split it into two or three or seventeen separate posts. But I would like to go to my grave knowing that I did indeed attempt a two-part post. That is to say, a blog series containing two posts. This is big, folks. A absolute first. I just hope I remember to write part two.


Many of you are aware that I work at a fast food establishment that is known as Dunkin’ Donuts. Not Dunking Doughnuts. It’s sad that I have to clarify. Tis not difficult to spell it correctly. Anyway, I have worked there since soon after I graduated from high school in 2008.

I could bore you with the details of my job, and so I will. Because I’ve got two whole posts to fill! I was hired by DD Franchisee J and his brother Manager M. They were both friendly, somewhat-efficient, approachable bosses to work for. How confusing it was indeed when about 6 months after the beginning of my employment, Franchisee M informed me that Franchisee J and Manager M had been *ahem* terminated. For reasons still unknown to me.

In the next 6-8 months, we at DD seriously went through about 8 managers. At least. I cannot remember all of their names. One guy only lasted a little over a week. It was insane. You cannot possibly know the depths of insanity that was manifest to me. You think 8 managers was confusing? We went through literal dozens of employees/coworkers. People from the work release program, high school students who thought the job should revolve around them, people who got off the boat a few weeks previously and had never brandished a broom before, people to whom I had to teach the American currency value of a penny and a nickel and a dime, “No no no! Don’t hand that person a twenty when their change is only ten!” Yep. We had all kinds.

I threatened to quit and seriously considered it at least weekly. But DD did have its benefits. Despite being the youngest employee, I had seniority because I was the only person there who had worked at that location since the very first day it opened. I could use that seniority to get days off. They were pretty good about working around my class schedule and giving me Sundays off for church. And with my full schedule, who has time to be job hunting?

A few times a job came to me. One man handed me his business card on an incredibly busy Saturday morning, and wanted me to be the receptionist at a hearing aid place. I don’t consider myself the most patient of people, but I truly could not wrap my mind around the thought of speaking loudly to every person whom I was to receive at that establishment for to help those with hearing loss. By the time I was desperate enough to call him back, the position had been filled.

Meanwhile, DD got a “temporary” manager. Ms. Temporary Manager was someone whom I had trained and whom I constantly had to help with HOW to make drinks, HOW to use register, etc. Not exactly the cream of the crop. Oh but now she’s manager. So now Ms. TM tells ME what to do. And as a coworker of mine so eloquently put it, “She crazy! She has no nothing in her head!”

Ms. TM has been the manager for over a year at the time of this post. I decided that as soon as I graduated from LCCC with my Associates in Fashion, I would quit Dunkin, with or without another job lined up. And I was serious this time. Ms. TM had found my last nerve and trampled. All. Over. It.

And then one day as I held the proverbial towel and was about to throw it in the face of Ms. TM in a black hole, just plain throw it in, I was handed another business card. More promising than others. This was not diving out of the safe seaworthy boat of a job at DD  into murky waters of a new job. No. This was a rescue from the viciously shark-infested waters of DD by a boat. I would have welcomed any boat at this point. Pirate ship. Nazi sub. Titanic. Plastic bathtub boat. Not even joking.

Boat: to be elaborated on in the next installment of this series.

List versus Novel

21 Jun

For the primary reason of time constraints, list wins. So here goes.

– The radio ads for Netflix make me laugh. They are so random that they make me happy.

– A customer used the word “hence” in his dialogue with me. If I hadn’t already rung him up, I probably would have given him a discount out of pure impressedness.

– The absence of my family has prompted me to turn my house into a center of production, to be interrupted only by the occasional party.

– Speaking of which, I can’t wait for Wednesday.

– And I’m equally excited about Thursday.

– And Friday marks the end of my reign as household queen.

– I tried to access my online bank account and it said that I had to choose another Social Security number (aka customer ID) because mine was already in use. Believe you me when I say that I made good use of their “contact us form.

– My car didn’t pass inspection. Yet. There is still more June left in which to inspect it.

– My brother has a blog now. http://www.bensblackbox.blogspot.com/ I am curious to see how well he keeps it up when he has no African adventures about which to blog. If he’s anything like me, he’ll be horrible.

– Last night I said “boo” and scared a friend of mine so scarily that her “Afro was like whoa.” And I think I quoted her exactly.

– The big yellow one is the sun. –Brian Regan

– I recently decided to begin receiving the Word of the Day via text. Today’s word was “heliolatry,” hence the previous statement. It has no relativity to my life at this moment.

– The new owners of Pizza World are awesome. And their pizza quality is on the way up.

– I have bored my own self with this post, but it was more fun than working. Definitely a plus.

Okay so this became a novel anyways, but at least the chapters were short.

There Are Better Words

26 May

Maybe it was the 10-page paper I edited for my brother that made me want to write a persuasion of my own. Maybe it was the ticked-off customer who let me know what he thought about our lack of Boston cream donuts. Whatever my reasons, I just want to rant. I’m going to be controversial in this post. Feel free to be offended if you find yourself disagreeing with me. But do listen. I have things I must say.

Those who know me know that I love words. Big words. Funny words. Unusual words. Philosophical words.

But there are also words that I despise from the pit of my stomach. Dirty words. Crude words. Curse words. Unnecessary words.

There are better words. The English language alone has over one million words and is ever expanding. Please choose a different word. A better word.

Let me quell one fear of yours before it becomes your sole reason for disagreeing with me. I do not base my stand on this topic from the Bible. *collective gasp* Yes, I’m a Christian. Yes, the Bible has a lot to say on the matter. And if you count yourself as a child of God and find your mouth to be monopolized with filth, an evaluation of your salvation may prove to be essential. But I’m appealing to logic today. Buckle up. Get ready to think for yourself a little.

I know some, if not many, of my readers personally. Recently the unpleasant discovery was made that some in my acquaintance use words that sicken me. And I fear that my silence thus far on the matter had morphed into an aura of condoning it. That’s gonna change right now.

I attend a secular college. A myriad of people become my customers when they walk into my workplace. Maybe I should be used to the fact that I am a little out of the norm. Yet something concerns me. Coworkers, classmates, customers, and even close friends choose to use words that are vulgar. Some have learned that I don’t use such words, and they refrain from talking like that around me. But why stoop so low as to use vulgarities to begin with? I don’t want everyone to talk like me; not every soul on the planet needs to sound like they stepped out of a Jane Austen movie. However, I do believe that if people made a sincere effort to talk cleaner all the time, they’d find that there truly are better words. More colorful words. More pleasant words.

I’ve made an observation about the genre of people who use filthy words. They tend towards the uneducated side of the spectrum of intelligence. That is NOT to say that all are high school dropouts or can’t read and write. Because some are very smart. But the moment that a crude word slips off their lips, they appear to be an uneducated fool who scraped these words off the bottom of his chair at the back of the classroom. You would be better off salvaging the used gum found in such a place than you would be to create a vernacular for yourself based on vulgarity. There is more flavorful gum; there are better words.

After such a stone-casting session, I feel as though I must slap myself too. The dirty words that others around me speak so fluently become so burned into my memory whether I like it or not. And although I hate the admission, I have to confess that sometimes one of those words pops into my mind. Thankfully I’ve never actually uttered them, but such words do exist in my mind. I can only imagine the deep shame and humiliation that would surely ensue if such words were to spew out of my mouth. How could I allow my mind to be so polluted with such putrid words? Mayhap that is one reason that I write so much. For writing ingrains in a person’s mind a more thorough grasp of a vocabulary range than a simple hearing of words can do. It has served to open my mind to the endless possibilities of language itself. I have discovered an incredible amount of better words.

Go buy a thesaurus. Teach yourself some better words. You don’t want Billy’s old gum.


25 Apr

That’s what I wanted to do the man who got mad at me tonight because we had a scant donut supply and I was not capable of snapping my fingers and creating some. However, I do hereby pat myself on my back for refraining. *pat, pat* And a note to you obese donutaholics: if we don’t have as many donuts as you were planning on purchasing, take it as a sign that you should diet. I have said my piece, and shall move on to more pressing matters. 

My finals. Finally over! For this semester at least. I have a bit of a break since I will only be taking one summer class, but I’m sure it won’t feel like much of a break since I tend to overload my plate regardless of……and that train of thought is gone too. Back to my finals.

Painting final: (much awaited, I know. I’d apologize for the abrupt and harsh ending to the last post, but I ain’t sorry. Deal with it, hon.)

painting-finalYay!!! And besides the obvious focus of the picture being the painting, you can exercise your powers of observation and behold the Dove. Ahhh, lovely!

Drawing final:

04-21-09_1548The general idea bottled up behind this final was employing all the skills we learned and developed over the semester and drawing a still life in just under four hours. Which is precisely what I did. Now I had done two practices for this final. The charcoal quickie and the pen and ink longie … but you can’t exactly study or practice for something like this. Ya just gotta have it in you. When I saw the still life set up that the prof had, I wasn’t quite as smitten as I was with the others. I didn’t feel drawn to any one part of the still life. Placed very obscurely under an end table was a pair of dress shoes. So I heaved a big sigh and started in. I used my good ole dependable graphites and my newly-discovered sweetheart – General’s Factis soft black eraser. Almost as amazing as a bodkin. Almost. Bodkins are totally amazinger though because a bodkin can also be a weapon. I would love to have a weaponous bodkin just in case anyone flips out at me over my lack of donutage, I could do something slightly more effective than the whole :-P routine. But I’m over that now, Mr. Fat Man Who Cursed At Me Because I Couldn’t Pull A Donut Out Of My Magic Sleeve. Totally over it. 

Clothing Construction final (aka sewing, for those you still unaccustomed to my usage of big weirds, aka words):

p4232473Okay well that is totally awkward, having a big honkin’ picture of myself having a bad hair day pasted rather largely for all to see. Look at the jacket. Jacket, peoples! Lining is awesomer, and I will make a valiant attempt to have a photo session tomorrow when I wear the jacket to church in order to capture the full awesomeness of the lining. Do you see the lil screaming monkey on my shirt? Ain’t he precious?! He’s a clue to the design on my lining. If I haven’t already told you what my lining is out of pure excitement or if you can’t figure it out (and don’t you dare say “I don’t have a clue what your lining is.” he’s screaming at you! lol), then wait till I can get a picture of it. Patience is a virtue. Be vituous.

I made the skirt too, but that took far less time and stress. Actually it’s the same pattern as the skirt I designed for my patternmaking class. I bought the shoes and tee shirt last year. The tree has been there as long as I can remember. The necklace was a birthday gift. And I think I have given account for all involved objects. If you have any questions, please keep them to yourself. I may do one of these > :-P < or I might come after you with my bodkin. If you have any happy words to share, please do. I need happy words and perky smiles and the rest of my Dove chocolate.