Sunday, May 13, 2007

Home Sweet Home

That's right, I am now at home. My last final exam was on Wednesday (English - not actually an exam, but a paper) and I left around 3:00. I arrived home with a loaded car at 6:30 (great timing) and have been taking time the last few days to go through my stuff and decide where it should go. Needless to say, I still haven't found a place for everything. But then again, I haven't had too much time to do that.

I have started back at work, and boy does it feel good! I will be working five days a week for seven or eight hours a day, so that will amount to between 32-35 hours a week. I can assure you that the money will come in handy, since not working for so long has made it hard for me to do much of anything lately. I started back on Thursday night, but this pay period I am only working four days. I took yesterday (Saturday) to go out with my friends, and took today (Sunday) off for Mothers Day. Today I will be spending time with my mother and making sure I take care of her every wish and demand!

In other news (Grandpa may find this interesting), we just got back from our local YMCA. It is about eight miles from home, and we have decided to get a family membership there. We have had a family membership there before, but this was many years ago. We took a tour of the facilities, and noted that they have added a lot of new equipment in the last several years. This facility has all the things one would expect to find at a YMCA, including a pool, gym, weight room, classes (aerobic and otherwise), and a cardio room. We are quite excited about this adventure, and can't wait to start using the facilities! We are thinking about even going tomorrow...

By the way, the lady that was running the front desk told us she used to work for the First Coast YMCAs in Florida. Her name was Freda, and she worked at several of the Jacksonville area YMCAs. We had mentioned that my grandfather was an aerobics instructor down there, and mentioned his name. She seems to recall meeting him, and was amazed that a 70-something was teaching the aerobics class. It's a small world after all.......

There's my little update for now. I will try to be better about blogging this summer, since I'm sure I disappointed several of you last year. I will get on here as soon as anything interesting happens, or at least something that's worth writing about. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the warm, sunny weather! And for all those mothers out there, and you know who you are, Happy Mothers Day!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Go, You Chicken Fat, Go!

I was looking around on YouTube the other day and found this. I was first introduced to the song a few summers ago, and Uncle Tim and I made reference to it in one of his previous blogs. It's quite a catchy song, so I thought I'd share it with the rest of you.

This was a song written by Meredith Wilson (know for also writing "The Music Man") as a sort of theme song for President Kennedy's fitness program in the 60's. My aunts and uncles apparently remember hearing this song back in the day, as it was used in physical education classes. Has anyone else ever heard/seen this?

Well, enjoy, and if you're into it, try out the exercise routine!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Respect, or the Lack Thereof

After a typical night in the cafeteria, I began to think about a post my grandfather did a few months ago regarding respect. I found that as a customer of the cafeteria, I am not being respected by the employees. Not only am I not receiving respect, but so are most of the students in general. Here are some of the examples of disrespect you can find on a typical day:

1. employees talking on cell phones during their shifts
2. yelling across the dining hall at other employees
3. having verbal confrontations with other employees in front of student-customers
4. gossiping with other employees while student-customers are in line
5. complaining about long lines when their ignorance and lack of planning caused the lines
6. becoming peeved when a student has a special food request (vegetarian, allergy, or healthier diets)
7. becoming peeved when their conversations are interrupted to serve a student-customer
8. paying more attention to the game or show on TV than to the student-customers

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of disrespect, but a list of "typical" occurrences. Just tonight, I experienced several of the above, and one that I did not mention. In this cafeteria, there are four major areas that serve different hot meals. One section serves pizza only. Another section serves hamburgers, fries, grilled cheese, and a grill special. Another section serves home style meals (frequently soul food, but usually what one would have for dinner at home). The last section serves "just in time" cuisine that is prepared in front of you (pasta, Oriental food, and other quickly cooked entrees).

Normally I choose meals from the "just in time" or the home style sections, but tonight their offerings did not sound appetizing to me. So, I decided to get a hamburger at the grill, and apparently that was a popular decision tonight. When I got there (around 7:25 PM), there was a line of about 6-7 people including myself. The cafeteria locks its doors at 7:30, but stays open to serve the last customer. Well, the guy behind the counter looked at the line and said, "Gee, look at this line! Why do these people wait til the last damn minute to come in here?" (or something similar to that). As he was preparing the food, he was slamming things, tearing things open, throwing food items and trays, and mumbling random phrases to himself and the other man behind the counter. Keep in mind, though, that the other man was quiet through the whole ordeal and just did his job. I eventually got my hamburger about five minutes later, and as soon as the line subsided, the workers began to take everything apart and clean up.

What has happened here? What has happened to the respect that customers deserve? At my place of employment (Ingles), we stay open 24 hours except on Sunday when we close at 10 PM and open again at 7 AM Monday. On Sunday nights, we lock the doors at 10:00 and must stay until all customers have been rung up and escorted out. Sometimes this has taken as much as half an hour, even after making announcements twenty minutes before closing. But inevitably there will be a couple of customers that make the mad dash before we lock the doors and do their last-minute shopping. I could not imagine complaining in front of the customers and becoming irate in front of them; my managers would fire me on the spot if I did that. We stay until the last customer leaves, and we do so with the same courtesy we give all our customers.

Why can't these employees do this at the cafeteria? Sure, we may be students, but we are still customers. We pay a great deal of money to come here and eat here, so we deserve the same respect any employees should give their customers. I know I am not the only person who sees these "injustices" in the cafeteria, as most people I know have seen similar situations. All I ask is to be respected as a customer should be, and maybe have the employees leave their personal feelings at home. The food by itself can be bad enough; can't we at least have a comfortable dining experience?