Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
1. pg. 52. "we need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that - sometimes - we're better off that way."
2. pg. 71. "...people are ignorant of the things that affect their actions, yet they rarely feel ignorant. We need to accept our ignorance and say 'I don't know' more often." This one had me thinking for days. So many times I'm afraid to look ignorant or stupid if I say 'I don't know,' yet I think I've probably been most comfortable with myself when I admit ignorance - because then I've opened my brain to learning.
3. pg. 208. "We think of the face as the residue of emotion...[but] the process works in the opposite direction as well. Emotion can also start on the face." What this means is that if we want to change our emotions, we can do so by changing our facial expressions. Wow! This is something to try next time I get frustrated at work - let's see if I can alter my thoughts by changing my expressions. I'll let you know how it goes.
Go get this book. Good stuff.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The first employee I approach (must have been 15 years old), I ask very politely, "Is there anything that can be done about the child who's throwing a fit? It's affecting our enjoyment of our meal." She says "I don't think we can do anything." Silence. Ohh--kayy. I ask to speak to the manager. She gets her supervisor, who was about 18 years old. He says "We can't really ask them to leave." Oh really? I ask, "Don't you have the right to refuse service to anyone?" He shrugs. I say, "So what you're telling me is that even though one person is ruining the restaurant environment for everyone else, there's nothing you can do about it?!" He says, "Yeah." I'm like, ooooooh - UH-UH. Meanwhile the tantrum has still been going on - so it's not like they couldn't hear what I was talking about - for a total of 15 minutes of straight meltdown (I gotta hand it to the kid for sheer endurance - wow). So I ask him if I can speak to his boss. He says, OK. He comes back with a business card, "He must have stepped out for a minute, but you can call him." You betcha.
A few minutes later, after the kid mercifully shuts up (still at no direction from his parents, who we had been observing), the manager starts walking around the restaurant. He's dressed in denim shorts and a T-shirt that says STUD and doesn't even identify the restaurant. He's asking everyone, "how you doin?" Well, fine, I love screaming with my onion rings, thanks...So when he gets to our table, I speak up. (Oh crap - I'm turning into my mother.) I very calmly mention that our lunch was disrupted by the tantrum, and how when I discussed this with his staff, I was told there was nothing to be done. I explained that this whole scenario bothered me on two levels: 1), what if the child were in danger, and making a ruckus? Would the restaurant say "nope, sorry, nothing we can do." And, 2) as a patron, it did not make me feel respected when the staff told me they couldn't help out. I then suggested that the manager (who turns out to be the owner) train the staff on different responses, so they can respond to complaints and disturbances appropriately. He totally blew me off.
He says, "Well ma'am, this is a kid-friendly restaurant, and so we expect there to be a certain amount of noise. If a child is in danger, we're limited by laws but would probably call the police. Otherwise, we can't do anything." I pointed out that the child was quite obviously not having good clean kid-friendly fun. He said, "I only just stepped out for five minutes, and I don't hear anything now. I'm a parent, and my kids have had tantrums in restaurants, you just do the best you can. In the thirty years I've worked in restaurants, I've never asked anyone to leave, and I never will." Wow. This guy's a winner. I reiterated that our meal was ruined, as were many other diners'. I asked him the same question as I asked his lackey - "so, you're going to sacrifice the comfort and experience of the whole restaurant because you don't want to step in to correct one person?" He said that's the way it was, and said he was sorry but there was nothing else he could tell me. No offer to pay for lunch, no apology for the negative experience. No placating, no nuthin'. I was so angry at this point I was shaking, but I managed to say, "I completely disagree with how you've handled this." We got up and left.
Now, I don't need someone to kiss my tushie, but in my opinion, this is how NOT to provide customer service. TH, after having worked in restaurant management himself, was also appalled - and he is tough to ruffle. When did kids' tantrums become normal behavior? When did people stop enforcing appropriate restaurant behavior for the common comfort of their patrons? My god, I feel like I stepped into bizarro world.
ps. Don't go to Fuddrucker's on Sunrise Ave in Citrus Heights. Ever. I'm telling everyone. And I'm toying with calling HQ on his ass.
pps. It occurs to me that I've been ranting a lot on my blog lately, so I will try to bring back some love tomorrow. I've got a great book I want to share with you.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I naturally feel most comfortable with how I was raised, but sometimes I wonder...what would it be like to have very structured ideas about what each gender "does?" Is there comfort in that? Is there confusion when all people can be all things? I guess this issue will keep coming up as long as there are still arenas in which women and men are not equally represented (hello, US Presidency and politics in general).
It's interesting to hear what people say on this topic (hint hint). Also, I think that culture plays a huge role in how gender roles are defined. And generation, and religion, and on and on... So I guess another question is, is it possible to separate the concept of gender role identity from that of culture and generation and family environment, or are these strings of identity eternally intertwined?
Monday, August 20, 2007
Flash forward to the next day, when I try to take said apple butter home. TH and I only packed one bag between us, and it was carry-on. We mosey through security at 5:00 am and get stopped at the x-ray. The TSA guy opens up our bag and starts going through everything. He pulls out the jar of apple butter (sealed, mind you), and says, "You can't take this." I argue that the bottle is obviously unopened, and not really a liquid. Like the fine down-home government employee he is, he doesn't budge. Kindly, he states that it's not allowed. Miffed, I tell him I hope he enjoys my apple butter since I won't be able to. Hmph.
So there you are folks. The friendly skies are safe, once again.
ps. I really don't have a problem with enhanced security, but come on. Apple butter for cryin' out loud!!
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
It's that time of year again...time for school supplies!! I love school supplies - paper, notebooks, pencils, pens, folders, scissors, glue sticks, binders, backpacks. Love them all. Loved getting ready for school, putting binders together, labelling notebooks, loading up my backpack, the whole enchilada. In my life, one of the great tragedies of being a grown-up is that I'm done with school, ergo no more back-to-school shopping trips. I miss school.
Yep, I'm a nerd. Any other nerds out there??
Thursday, August 9, 2007
There's a lot I need to learn from this plant.