Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fulfilling Popcorn

3 tblsp vegetable/canola oil
1/4 c. popcorn
1-2 tblsp sugar
Large pot with tight-fitting lid

Put oil in pot, tilting pot so that oil coats the entire bottom. Turn heat on burner to medium. When oil heats a little, add the sugar, sprinkling evenly over the oil. Add the popcorn, sprinkling the kernals evenly as well. Put the lid on and let it heat up. When you hear the popcorn popping, give the pot a shake so that the unpopped kernals fall to the bottom of the pot. Keep shaking until the popping decreases. Remove from heat when the popping sounds are quite spaced apart (30 seconds between contractions). Keep the lid on for about a minute. When pouring popcorn into a bowl be careful as the sugar can burn a hole the size of a crator in your hand (I know this from experience). Sprinkle salt all over the popcorn. No butter needed. Delicious! (Some people call this kettle corn).


Had coffee with a man today who has been doing business with my dad for more than 25 years. He presented an opportunity to me that I have been seeking for a long time (3+ years). Totally stoked. He is a bit older than my dad, and like my dad, has the spirit of someone much younger. We chatted for 2.5 hours at a coffee shop about business and ethics and financial products. At one point, I made a corny joke and he said "Ah, you really are your father's daughter." I replied, "Yes, but my jokes are not as lame as my dad's." His 5 minutes of laughing at me told me they were. Said he misses my father and hasn't seen him in a while and is going to visit him next time he is in Alberta. I miss my dad too. I need a really good joke before I go visit him though; I don't want my jokes to be as lame as his. Heh heh.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Michael Scott Paper Company

I should have been fired. Yesterday and today. Yesterday I signed up a whole family in a group plan. I charged them the incorrect price and my manager had to take $50 off each phone to accomodate my promises.

Today that family came back because there were so many errors in their plan that they couldn't function with the equipment I sold to them. They wanted to cancel everything. It was horrible. They talked to the manager and he retained them as customers, made everything better and apologized. He explained that I was new and was not trained enough. It was embarrassing.

In the meantime, a brand new customer came in and approached me for a sleek peice of equipment, and after going over the potential plan a couple of times, I attempted to sign her up. Guess what? That application came back with an error message after I had determined the plan and entered all her information! Turns out if you leave your application for 3 minutes or longer, it boots you out and you have to start again or call in to the network. Aaargh! I was waiting to get my manager's help with the girl while he was finishing with the family. He turned to me with The Stern Look of Death and shook his head. So that is why I was waiting. He finished with the family and sent them on their way, thanking them. I also thanked them, but the mother gave me The Look of Death. My manager came and fixed the girl's plan by calling in to a network and explaining the details. He thanked her, sent her on her way. On her way out, she came to me and thanked me and said she will be back when she needs us. He walked past me and stood in the doorway of the store looking down, shaking his head and walked off. He didn't tell me where he was going, but I bet he was so frustrated, I thought he was going to punch something.

He came back and asked me to take a walk. I made sure he didn't have a gun first. And no axe, hammer, poison or crossbow. He sat me at a table in the food court and apologized to me for not giving me enough training. My jaw dropped. I thought he was going to fire me for going too fast and not getting help. At that moment, I thought to myself what a great manager to realize and admit his shortcomings.

I He pointed at me and said (in his thick accent), "You! You can sell! But I will NOT have you selling s*%^ and lying to people without knowing it! My life is based on my honest reputation and you are ruining it! We know you can sell, but from now on, you are only going to observe. And once you are trained up properly, I am going to make a lot of money off you." At that moment, I thought to myself, what a greedy little man. Thing is, when I came back, and asked questions, he told me I should know already. I feel like screaming at him and asking how I should know. He looked me in the eye and said that I need to think more accurately about what questions to ask. How frustrating. My heart was in my throat the rest of the day and I didn't really ask a lot of questions, just tried to observe a lot. But I need to work hands on, that is the best way of learning.

The good news is, I can sell. If I get fired, I can get another sales job. And another. And another. I keep thinking of that episode of The Office where Micheal makes his own company and then enter into negotiations with Dunder Mifflin and he tells them he will just start another company. And another. And another. It's inspirational, but I don't want to keep finding another and another job after job. And it won't solve this current problem if I keep hopping. I need more training.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Online Training with 30 Rock

I have been holed up in my apartment for 24 hours working on my training. My assistant manager decided to tell me that in order for me to receive my commissions check, I need to have all my training done. There is 12 hours worth!!! I worked straight through though, taking breaks to watch episodes of 30 Rock for every 1.5 modules completed. There are 16 modules, so I am basically thinking in 30 Rock mode with the thought of cell phones going through my head.

No wonder the new guys at work were standing at the computer all day. I thought they were slacking or were shy with customers. Turns out, they were training at work. Smart guys. I asked my assistant manager if he was hiding this information from me and he said no, he just found out and told all of us at the same time. There was a flurry of activity with the new guys and they seemed really intent on their computer screens. So I asked and they said that they assumed there was online training, but were just told that it is a requirement to get paid. I was pleased to find out that we were told at the same time. They used to work at Future Shop or The Source or places similar that require training to be done. Those places don't require it to be done in order to be paid though.

I am almost done all my training. Just have one last module to complete which will register me for the training trip to Vancouver. Finishing ahead of schedule (deadline is May 31st) so hopefully I will get a good seat. And won't have to train while I am at work. I would rather train at home in my bed where I can watch 30 Rock. Ok, so not the most healthy way of working, but whatev. I kinda like it. And now I have today off. I am going to make a tomato and cheese grilled sandwich and removed the skin of the tomato it doesn't get all shrivelled up. And a nice hot cup of tea. I am becoming a grandmother more and more every day. Just need to get married, raise a child and wait for their kids.

I have a Secret

And I can't tell.

Haiku Thursday

Retail Jobs

Sometimes I don't know
What day today is. Thursday?
Nope. Crave is tonight.


Boundaries in Dating AKA Hey Now, You're an Allstar, Get Your Game On, Go...Play!

Ok, So I have decided that I can definitely hang out with people I used to date. The attraction factor only factors in if you are still interested in them. Even then, the attraction factor has to work both ways. A fellow I dated in the past tried to add me to facebook. Ick. I clicked on "ignore" but he tried again. Now I don't "ignore" or "accept" in order to make it that he is unable to keep inviting me. Kinda of a metaphor for relationships (I like metaphors-I probably overuse them, but it's fun, go with it). If a guy asks you to do something, you can ignore and he won't ask. That is the wussy way out though.

The original question was, can a male and a female be friends, but I think a better question is, should a male and female take their friendship to another level? I sometimes feel like, ok, I like this guy. He likes me. Therefore, we can be married and have kids. What? I jumped to a conclusion, didn't I? I admit, this is a sign of the immaturity of the Disney Princess deep inside me. I think we all have one. I have come to the conclusion that I want to push things to the nth degree, whether it's boys, work, family, whatever. My dad says I fall in love with people's potentials (he also begged me to stop bringing losers home). Thing is, there has to be a friendship there first. For me, anyways.

Here's the scoop on how this all relates: There is this guy who likes me. I like him. We are attracted to each other. Disney Princess mask taken off. I am enjoying friendship. NOT pushing it to the next level. Or maybe the Disney Princess is present and is being a princess and letting the guy do what he should do. K honestly, I don't know how the Disney Princess factors in. There is this app in facebook called "Disney gave me unrealisitc expectations about love" and sometimes it comes to mind. Whatev. I am just me. Made of of layers like an onion, which reminds me of a another Disney character.

Friday, May 15, 2009

When Harry Met Sally: Can a male and female who are around the same age ever be JUST friends?

I am sure most of you have seen this movie. It is classic. A male and a female become friends and debate if two people can remain as just friends. They remain friends over the years and then finally declare their love. Chick Flick, although I know a lot of men who love this movie. I think it's because it is about relationships and how they develop. I highly recommend seeing this movie.

So I pose the question to you: Can men and women be just friends? I am not talking about weird gaps in age, or nothing in common. I am talking about an attractive man and an attractive woman, a couple or few things in common, around the same age. I personally think it's possible and common. But it is said that men think of sex, like, once every 20 seconds, or something like that. Do they think about it with their "friends"? Also, women develop attachments very easily and feel loyal to someone they have formed an attachment with. If that is the case, then do women have a feeling of attachment to all their guy friends, making it difficult for any other woman to get close? A good guy friend of mine says that he is friends with his co-workers and hangs out with the girls all the time. I think this is a healthy thing, although this guy can be a bit feminine and not sure if he is the norm. Also, can ex-bf's and gf's be friends? I like to think that they can. Some people say it depends on their maturity, respect, all that stuff. I am not sure that this is a cut and dried issue, it really depends on each individual person. That being said, I want to know what you all think.

So, I have re-posted the poll ( I actually found out how to extend the voting day). Feel free to vote.

Random Family Memories


One time (in band camp...hahahaha, just kidding), when I was very little, my mother was taking a nap. Everyone was in school or at work and I was supposed to be napping as well. I couldn't sleep so I decided to get up and give my mom a gift by doing some dishes. I put the plug in the sink, squirted lots of dishsoap into the sink and turned the water on. It was taking a while for the sink to fill so I went to watch cartoons completely forgot about the water filling up. The living room was in a completely different part of the house. As I was watching TV, I felt this water on my hand. I looked down and saw this puddle of water creeping towards me, coming to get me! I ran into my mom's room and leaped on the bed from the doorframe and let out a little scream. My mother woke up and told me to go back to sleep, so I climbed under the covers with her and told her I was going to take a nap in her bed. She asked why my feet were wet. I told her the water was coming to get me. She had a concerned look on her face, sat up in bed and saw the puddle of water around the bed. She screamed and asked me what happened. I just shrugged. I couldn't talk, I was scared the water was going to come and get me! She later explained to me what I did. I thought it was funny at the time. Ok, it's still funny. I actually called her and reminded her of this today. She said "Yeah, real funny!" She spent the day using towels to mop up the mess and squeezing them into the tub.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sales Training

I love working with groups of guys in sales because if they compete, it's with sales instead of with looks or status or whatever (they also compete over who's phone is better). When I was working with all women, they would compare weight, clothes, looks, etc. These guys are all about how many phones were sold. Then, they listen to the person that sold the most and actually put their advice into play. It is a very exciting, growing atmosphere. The young guys always try to tell me what to do and tell me I am too nice to customers (I didn't know there was such a thing). They say I should let the customer come to me and not cater so much to them. My manager heard them and tore a strip off them, loudly and in front of all of us. I was embarrassed for me and for them, but they stopped trying to tell me what to do, especially after I made a sale. Then they tried to help me on the computer.

The major thing I learned was the four personality types that they expect us to base our sales approach on:

Amiable, Aggressive, Expressor, and Analytical

It is based on whether someone is more logical or more emotional and whether someone is quick to make to decisions or slow to make decisions. I am the expressor, which means (I am not sure, I will get back to you on that...there is too much crammed in my brain at the moment to recall what that means).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Day 4-Engaging in Delightful Yelling Matches with my Boss (no, this is not sarcastic)

So I was working with the GM today and sold a phone. Yay! I actually sold 4. I was so excited I could hardly process the transactions. They were all iphones, which is a beautiful piece of equipment, I must say. I am pretty much in love with the iphone and stand at the demo playing with it almost my whole shift when I am not with a customer. I know I should do more training, but I just love it. Not too fond of texting on the touchscreen keyboard though and like aspects about the Blackberry one better.

Anyways, back to my boss and I yelling at each other:

We were working alone today and were a little busy. When I got to something I didn't understand, I would ask him. He would roll his eyes and in an exasperated sigh, tell me where I could find something. He has almost no patience and is so rude to me! But I respect him, or something like respect. Admire? No, too strong. In awe of? Not sure, but to watch him work is a beautiful thing. I am completely comfortable around him and like how he cares about his customers and that he is very assertive. He can seem a little controlling. His margin for people to make mistakes is very narrow. High pressure. I don't mind it at all and rise to the occasion. Even as I type this, I know it's probably unhealthy, but I love the atmosphere. So he yells at me that I don't know enough. So I yell back at him that if he wasn't so lazy and would actually train me properly I might be able to do complete the sale. He got a smirk on his face. I tried not to let him see my smirk while I yell at him. Sometimes yelling can be so satisfying. And after my last job, it's great to vocalize my thoughts honestly. He yells back that I need to take initiative and learn myself. So I yell back that I need to know where the tools are so I can train myself and if it's not too hard to tell me since he is already using so many syllables, it could really help the situation. We were standing 3 feet apart and probably didn't need to yell at each other.

The customers were puzzled and a little disturbed (yes, this transpired in front of customers!) I admit, probably not the most professional way to complete the transaction. We both looked at the customer and at the same exact time told them I am new. The customer thought we were crazy and so I just said we are making music. The customer just smiled, nodded and backed away slightly. We both cracked up.

This friend of his came in to purchase a phone and apply for a job. She was speaking a different language and he was replying in english and was in the middle of processing her transaction when I asked him a question about something. She looked at me and I smiled at her, but she did not smile back. He politely (can you believe it?) answered me and then she said something to him in a different language while looking at me. It was one word and I memorized it over and over in my head so I could later this other east indian guy what it meant (I found out later it's not a very nice word, it means rule breaker and silly together, or something like that). When she said that word, my boss was silent and didn't even make eye contact with her and seemed to stiffen up. She said something to him in her language and he didn't answer her. She seemed a little alarmed.
I went around the corner to stock up a shelf. He didn't know that I could hear him, but I heard him say to her in a very quiet voice, almost whispering:

"Here at this job we stick together, we are a team, like a family. Teamwork is the most important thing. That girl that you commented on is one of my top salespeople. I regretfully will not be hiring you any time soon, but I appreciate you applying for the position. I also appreciate your candor to let me see that you are not a team player. I think you would do very well in a sales position where you work alone, possibly owning your own designing company. That is probably the best fit."

Honestly, I was pretty amazed, grateful and humbled. He handled that with grace and professionalism. And also has the insight to see strengths of people. It is amazing how body language can convey so much, even when people are speaking another language. Makes me want to show more respect. But it has to be earned.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ohmigosh I want to stab myself in the eye with a cell phone case

There is so much to learn!

I don't know anything.

I am drowning in cell phones and plans.

At least I can fake it til I make it. Good ol' Mary Kay saying. Mary Kay beauty consultants have all these cute little rhyming motivational phrases like: Work Smarter, not Harder; Fake it Til you Make it; Persistant and Consistent; Believe it and Achieve it. I am using the Fake it Til you Make it one.

There is no more training. Actually that is incorrect. There is tons of training that I can take part in. Thing is, there is no time. Because I am good with customers, I am thrown right onto the floor, which I have no problem with. We are also short staffed. However, I don't know where the charts are kept, or how to find the codes for programming phones, or the price list for phones, or the price list for warranties, or the loaner phones when someone has a damaged phone. And forget about if someone's roller ball in their Blackberry isn't working (rubbing alcohol on a q-tip does the trick I found out), I didn't even know Blackberries had a rollerball! I thought it was some kind of pin thing that you just tilted up. And 3G phones? If you can give me a minute, I will read every single card in the store to tell you which is which. I don't like being the newbie.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Vanilla Nice

Ok, so today was my first day at my new job. Seemed good, kinda hectic, a little chaotic and disorganized. Lots of east indians, they call themselves brown and I am Vanilla. Very nice and supportive. They told me the names of successful female associates who are top performers. There is so much to learn and I am technologically challenged. My trainer is very young, but very motivated and motivating. Dress code is business. Can I just say how nice it is to be surrounded by very good looking men dressed in ties and suits? It is very nice! And these are mostly gentlemen. Also, texting is encouraged. On this job, it's actually a good thing to play with phones. Play games, text people, check emails, whatever, as long as customers are taken care of. They want us to know the phones inside and out. The three things to learn is sales, phones, and plans. So far, so good.