Saturday, June 27, 2009


I've been trying to come up with something to put here. Something that doesn't have to do with work. (Oh, and speaking of work...I now have business cards. Real, official ones that my manager ordered for me. Like with the company logo and MY NAME on them! I've never had business cards with my name on them! I look so important now!)

The other day a girl at work (Despite the use of the word "work" this is not a work story. It just happened to take place there. Sorry to all of you who had to go get your reading glasses to even be able to tell that these were actual words and not a faint green line in the middle of a sentence. I just wanted to make sure it was said and since it wasn't an integral part of the story I thought I should change the font to teeninecy. Is teeninecy a word? And if so how is it spelled exactly?) asked me if I was wearing lavender eyeliner. It was a shade of purple so I said yes. She said she liked it. A couple of days later she asked another girl if she was wearing "Shell eyeshadow by Loreal"? The girl answered, "no, it's Pale Moon by Estee Lauder." Now there are two things I find funny about this. First of all I had no idea what the actual shade of my eyeliner was called nor did I know who made it. (Purple Amethyst by Almay...yeah...I looked at it later.) Second, both of these girls could call out shades of eyeshadow and the companies who made them without missing a beat. Wow.

This past week a friend was in the market for a new car. She mentioned that she was looking at Jeep Wranglers. I had to look it up online to be sure what a Jeep Wrangler looked like. I had driven my dad's Jeep Grand Cherokee so I knew what it looked like, but I really don't know that much about cars. If I've owned it I can pick it out, but other than that I'm lost.

I don't recognize many major brands. I try on shoes based on how they look and buy them based on how comfortable they are. It doesn't make a difference to me if they happen to have a fancy name stamped on the inside. I figure most places I go people aren't going to see the name of the maker of my shoes unless I take them off. I never take my shoes off unless I'm at home where my family could care less who makes my shoes. I'm the same way with purses. Does it have what I am looking for? If so I buy it. If not I don't. Period. Later when I discover that I bought some fancy brand I'm surprised. I had no idea.

Are we seeing a pattern here? For someone who usually pays close attention to life I find it interesting that I am fairly clueless about those types of things. I am usually a details type person, but for some reason those details just don't compute.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Are you tired of reading job related blog posts yet?

Has it really been two weeks since I blogged? I can't believe it. I don't think I've gone two weeks without blogging since 2006. Wow! It's the job. I blame the job. And speaking of the job...

Remember that catering position that I was supposed to start training for? Well I didn't get to start training the week I was supposed to. Several people were out so I ended up covering their cashier shifts. The next week I was going to start my training, but again things kept getting in the way. I did get to train with the current caterer for about 2 1/2 days during this time. The manager wanted me to get 1-2 months of training in before I took the position full time in the fall. We had plenty of time. All summer really. Then something big happened. I was called into the manager's office at 2:30 in the afternoon a week and a half ago and told that the catering coordinator was no longer working there. I was up. WHAT? I was nowhere near ready to do that job, but I jumped in with both feet. The managers were really great to help me. They went over the next days' orders with me, and I've been going full force ever since. I've made many mistakes, but thankfully they realize that 2 1/2 days of training doesn't quite equal up to the 1-2 months that would have been ideal.

The same week that I started the catering job Erica started working as a cashier there. It was a little bit of a rough start for her I must say. At first the idea of dealing with a drawer full of money that she was totally responsible for made her nervous. Couple that with needing to learn a full menu and it was stress city. She trained all last week and started up full force this week. She had a mini-meltdown on Monday, but we got her through it. Today she told me that she loved this job. She knows she is really fortunate to have such a great job for her first job. She knows that they wouldn't have ever hired her if I wasn't working there. They don't usually hire 16 year olds. I've seen many applications trashed because of a lack of experience. I love that they are giving her a chance. So far she has really done well. Today when she counted out her drawer at the end of her shift she was one cent over what her ticket said she should have. Doesn't get much better than that. I am so proud of her. And I can't wait to see her face when she gets her first paycheck! She is going to feel so rich!

It's funny. At our store Erica is the youngest employee, and I am the oldest. I love that!

Oh and I have to say that I love that I am able to wear just about anything I want now. Today I dressed up some because I thought I was going to be doing some marketing. We ended up getting 3 lunch orders so I wasn't able to get away. I was wearing heels and slacks while running around prepping these orders. By the end of the day my feet were killing me. Still are. Oh well...at least I looked good.

Ok...enough work stories for now. I'll try not to be such a stranger. And next time I won't blog about work. Probably.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


My grandmother lived in a tiny town in Arkansas my whole life. And when I say tiny I mean 333 people tiny. As a kid it was just a constant in my life. We may have moved every 3 years, but I could always count on my grandmother to be in the same place. One of my favorite things to do when I visited her was to walk to the general store. Steven's store. Also known as Marion Talley's. It was an old-fashioned sort of place. Wood plank floors, barrels and buckets of all sorts of items, work clothes, frozen foods, canned goods, hardware...you name it and they had it. By the time I was born it was a place that the locals went only when they needed something quick. A new Piggly Wiggly had been built in the town a few miles away, and that is where people went for their big grocery trips. I never could understand why people drove to a generic grocery store when Steven's store had everything anyone could ever need! Because I loved that place I made sure to give them some business when I came to town. I always bought one of two items when I went there. If I had enough money I bought a German chocolate cake. It was kept in their freezer and had a see-through lid. I don't remember what brand it was, but I do remember how good it tasted! I would walk back to my grandmother's house as quickly as I could so that I could have a piece before it had completely thawed. Something about a slice of that frozen cake just meant summer at Mamaw's to me. If I was short on funds I purchased a Neapolitan colored coconut bar. One of these. They were hard and chewy which I'm sure was due to the fact that they had been sitting on the shelf for a long time! I haven't had one since I was a kid. I wonder if they taste the same.

Despite my devotion Steven's store closed down around 1990. A few years later it was torn down completely. In 2002 my grandmother moved to another state to live with my aunt and her house was sold. Last April she passed away, and we took one last trip to the town where I spent many a summer vacation. Here's the post I wrote during that trip. I read it again today and those memories came flooding back again.

It's where I came from. It's part of who I am. I like that.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

an explanation

Yes, I got a job. And no, it's not a teaching job despite that degree I have. I wanted something way easier than teaching. I wanted a job that I could leave at the end of the day. I wanted something fun. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do exactly. I wasn't really looking quite yet, but after inquiring about positions at Panera Bread they wanted to hire me on the spot. I figured they saw someone who wasn't a teenager and that was probably pretty rare. I decided I could try it out and see what I thought. I honestly didn't know what to expect. The last real job I had was working at a preschool in 1995. What do I think? I LOVE it. Currently I'm just an associate. All that means is that I work the cash register, help customers in the bakery, and walk the dining room. I do not make sandwiches, salads or any of the other food Panera Bread serves. I am completely customer service. I am good at customer service. I remember names and faces easily. And not to build myself up, but the customers love me. I talk to them. I ask them questions. I remember. Totally right up my personality alley.

A couple of weeks ago my general manager asked me to take a walk with her. I hadn't done anything wrong so I knew I wasn't in trouble. She said she wanted to know if I was interested in the catering coordinator position. It's a management position with benefits. The current catering coordinator is heading to school in the fall so they were looking for someone who could replace her. I told her that it sounded great but that I needed to talk to Brian first. We talked and decided it would be a good thing. On Monday I start training for that position. Basically all the catering our store does would go through me. I will learn food prep for individuals and for a group. I will be the person taking the orders and delivering them. I'm looking forward to it! I will be losing some of my face time with the regular customers, but I will be gaining a whole new set of clientele.

But the best part of all...I don't have to wear a hat or tuck in my shirt. Ah...

Monday, June 01, 2009


Whew...finally. Finally I can tell!

So I mentioned that something made me nostalgic for Turkey in my last blog post. That nostalgia was triggered when we had a surprise guest. Derya! Actually she wasn't a surprise to me. Brian and I knew she was coming to Texas for a couple of weeks before she actually came. We did decide to keep it a secret from the kids though. I teased them with the idea of a surprise guest a few days before she arrived. You should have heard all the guesses. I think they guessed everyone but Derya! When her car pulled up and they saw her through the passenger window there were screams all around! They were so surprised. Derya is our oldest Turkish friend. We met her the first month we lived in Turkey I think. She was someone we had only ever seen in Turkey. She had been in England getting her doctorate and came to the states for a little visit. The kids never expected to see her in America!

Derya brought a special friend with her as well. Virgil. We took them to Pappadeaux's since it was a place we had mentioned...oh...once or twice while we were in Turkey! We enjoyed seeing Derya and getting to know Virgil. Brian had the privilege of playing Dad and asking what his intentions were. He was open and honest and shared that he wanted to marry her. Wow!

As the kids tried to get hints as to who the mystery guest was they asked lots of questions. One of them was, "Has the person ever played Rock Band on the wii?" I told them I didn't think so, but I wasn't exactly sure. Nope...she had never played. We remedied that situation very quickly.

Since Derya is planning to marry an American I'm thinking we might see a lot more of her on this side of the ocean. Yay!