Sunday, October 18, 2009


At the bottom of this screen as I type, it gives me the option to "label" my post with a specific word for organizing purposes. It then says: "e.g. scooters, vacation, fall".

Vacation, sure. Fall? Eh, it's a stretch... I guess if you want your postings listed seasonally too. But scooters? Do people really write multiple postings about scooters? Besides you, Jason Bell.

That's not what this was originally intended to be about. Moving on.

My father is in the hotel business and has been so most of his adult life. And, as his offspring, I was instilled with a natural knack for customer service and courtesy. This skill has come in handy many more times in my life than I can count. It's been a part of ME during MY adult years as long as I can remember. It's something I didn't ever think would go away.

Tonight I'm here to tell you... it's going away.

My job has been extraordinarily busy recently due to some staff changes in my realm. In short, the amount of work that three people usually do full-time for forty hours a week has been shifted to only two people until the other position can be filled.

So as to try and make things as simple as possible, my coworker and I have decided that the majority of my days will be spent doing face-to-face customer service at the volunteer desk, and she will be the one to field all phone calls about volunteering (which have increased dramatically over recent weeks due to the holidays approaching.)

I originally thought that my coworker had gotten the rough end of the deal, because she gets to spend her days saying no to all the people who have waited until the last minute to schedule their groups because our schedule is already full. All I had to do was be nice to people as they came in and get them started on a project. Easy enough.

Yeah. Easy as herding cats. Which I'm used to doing, but for 4 hours a day, not 8. And I'm reaching a breaking point.

A story to illustrate...

Yesterday, a woman came in with her two daughters. She had scheduled in advance, which was great. They immediately started on what I asked them to do, which was wonderful. But after their two hours were up and they came to sign out, that's when our good relationship ended.

Lady: Hi! Would you mind filling this service card out for my daughter? (handing me a small card)
Me: Sure. (I take the card, fill out all the spaces that it asked me for information, and return it.) There you go. Thanks for your help today.
Lady: Great. Oh, would you mind putting the date somewhere?
Me: Uh, sure. There's no line for it, just...
Lady: Yeah. Somewhere. Wherever.
Me: (writing it in the margin and handing it back) There you go. Thanks for your...
Lady: Oh, and print your name somewhere too. Sometimes they can't read the signature.
Me: ...Okay. (I find another space in the margin and hand it back.) Thanks...
Lady: Can you maybe put a telephone number on there somewhere too? I'm sorry, they really need this information on there.
Me: (taking the card back yet again and starting to get impatient, because there were now three additional people peering over the volunteer desk waiting for my attention) You'd think that if it were so critical that they would have added lines and spaces for this information to begin with.
Lady: (her smile fades a bit) Yeah, I don't know why...
Me: Maybe that's some constructive criticism you can give them when you hand the card in.
Lady: (laughs politely like I was making a joke) Thank you. And, do you have a validation form she can have too?
Me: (staring at her, hoping she's now making a joke) Wait... is the card I filled out not proof enough that she was here?
Lady: Well, I think it's wise to have both just in case.
Me: (trying to stifle my withering sigh and quickly filling one out, leaving the name of the girl blank because I didn't know her name and assumed she could write it in) Okay. Here you go. (peering over her shoulder at the next person in line) How can I...
Lady: Wait. Her name isn't on here. Can you write her name?
Me: (finally losing it) Is there a reason that SHE can't write her name? (This was only half of what I wanted to say. The other half was "Because I'm pretty sure evolution has treated her just as well as it's treated me and she has opposable thumbs just like I do.")
Lady: Oh. Yes, I guess she can. Okay. Thanks.

Lucky for her they left before my filter completely failed me.

So, if sometime soon in your blog stalking you stumble upon the blog of a girl who is writing about how she now has the work of THREE people to do because a SECOND co-worker just got fired, you'll know that my days of courtesy had run their course. I'll be sure to blog about exactly how it went down if that does happen, though. I'm sure it'll be a good story.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

a little plug... then a little rambling

First, here's a link to my co-worker's recent bloggy-ode to the strange things we pull out of our food totes as they're being sorted. As you can see, it doesn't take much to amuse us:

Food Drive Item of the Day

Secondly, I've been thinking about pain thresholds. And how mine seems to be a bit higher than some other peoples. Or maybe I just don't get myself into as painful as predicaments as others.

Or maybe you're all just wimps.

And how there are people all around me who have a pretty rough go at life, where the trials they're still enduring are a result of decisions they made years and years ago when they were teenagers and didn't have their heads on straight.

I was a teenager once. I went a good while without my head on straight. But how did I avoid becoming addicted to something or making a really bad choice with long-lasting consequences? How did I just end up reading R.L. Stine books and writing depressing poetry instead?

Luck? Meant for something greater? Spending too much time around really down-and-out people? You decide.

I'm working like a mad woman these days, so I apologize for the lack of postings. I also apologize for the lack of pictures, but my internet connection leaves much to want these days.

But thanks for still checking in on me every now and then.