DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

Signal sooner please, mom hangs up on me, secret shopper, and hauntingly beautiful writing...

~Tuesday~  I was up at 6:00 this morning, because I got to bed at a reasonable hour in a rare occurrence. And I was quite productive before heading to work: scanning the cover of a Tour de Friends booklet that contains the AIDS chain that I want to get a tattoo of, scanning the sequence of photos Jen and I took at that Striving for More fundraiser on Friday, and devising and publishing Sunday's blog entry.

I was at the city bus stop at 8:13 and the bus came at 8:27. While I waited, I checked my work e-mail on my BlackBerry, and thankfully did not find anything pressing.

At a stop subsequent to mine, a guy boarded after loading his bicycle on the rack on the front of the bus, and he took the seat two in front of mine. He was wearing a helmet, and he kept it on the entire ride. He was listening to an MP3 player and the cords from his earbuds were threaded through the buckles of the helmet's chin strap.

There was a house ad on the bus entitled, "What does our transit future look like?" I wondered if it would be considered redundant if one took the bus to that meeting.

After a little too short a notice for one stop, the bus driver had a little bout of bitchiness, saying over the loudspeaker, "I would so appreciate it if y'all pulled the signal a little sooner, please. Yes, I'd sure appreciate that. Yes I would."

I had my weekly staff meeting with my boss, which was uneventful.

I did an edit, which I always enjoy doing, for someone today.

I spent about ten minutes with my boss's boss this afternoon, going over the blogging tool we're both going to be using during our Alternative Spring Break trips. As you know, I'm going to NOLA. He's going on the Mexico trip, with his team also doing Habitat for Humanity work.

I called my mother today for her birthday. She's 79. She picked up her cell phone, and our cell-to-cell connection was less than ideal, and when I said, "Is this the birthday girl?" she said, "No, you've got the wrong number." Click.

I called her back and she picked up on the fourth ring even though she must have still had her phone in her hand.

"Mom! It's me!" I said, and she started laughing.

She said, "I just said to Meagan (her granddaughter, my niece, whom she was with at the moment), 'Oh yeah, it is my birthday.' Yeah, I got your card... yesterday, or today."

Okay, I just dropped the card in the mail yesterday, so she'd definitely gotten it today, not yesterday. Bless her heart.

After wishing her a happy birthday, we talked briefly about getting together next month for my dad's 80th birthday. Mercifully, she also mentioned getting their will together by then so I can take a look at it with them. That has been so long coming.

My friend Bob kindly invited me to dinner with him at Bear Rock in the Lake Boone Shopping Center, where we basically were "secret shoppers." In exchange for two free entrées, we had to provide some feedback on our experience.

It made me laugh when Bob said when inviting me, "Yeah, I got that request, and I thought, 'Hmmm. Who do I know that likes to give customer service feedback?'" Hey I resemble that remark!

Bear Rock Cafe
Lake Boon Trail Location
03/01/11, 7PM - 7:45PM

Entering, it's not clear what the traffic flow is supposed to be. I wasn't sure whether to walk on the right side of the railing, walking right up to the registers to order, or if I was supposed to work my way down the counter toward the registers to the left of the railing.

I ended up going to the left, where I did find a menu taped to the counter, and perhaps if there was one standing up I would have seen it from where I originally was, as a cue to go that way. Anyway, finding that menu there made me think I *was* supposed to go up the left side of the railing like I had, but when I got to the registers, there were menus taped on the surface of the counter there, too. So then I thought, "I *could* have just come up the right side directly to the registers." And that made me wonder if the establishment cared at all, and what it would be like if there were a lot of people in there. Would it be chaotic if you could do either? I know in that situation, if I chose one way over another and someone who came in after me chose the other and got to order first, I wouldn't be pleased. ANYWAY, all that is to say, I think a sign like, "Enter here," would be helpful.

On the "Specials of the Week" (I think that's what it was called) board, it said, "Tuesday - Senior Night 20% off," but it didn't say anywhere (obvious that I could find anyway) what makes one a "senior." The definition of a "senior" differs in a very broad range from place to place. Some places it's 50, some places it's 55, and so on.

When I went to get some mayonnaise at the little station that had ketchup, mustard, and mayo packets, as well as the napkins, plastic knives and forks, there were also some little plastic containers with lids on them whose contents I wasn't sure of. At first I thought the dark colored condiment was BBQ sauce, but it turned out to be honey-mustard sauce (I think, or perhaps honey-mustard-BBQ sauce), and the light ones, which in the dim lighting looked like white to me, I thought were mayo, but in the light looked more yellow, so I assumed mustard, even though that was a little confusing because there were packets of mustard. And ALL THAT is to say is that it would help if the condiments not in a marked packet were labeled.

Looking around at the decorations in this restaurant, specifically the ones up high on the wall above the ordering area, those paper cups? 1) I don't understand what they are trying to signify, and 2) Some of them don't even look like they're new/clean cups (that is, they look a little bent or damaged). It just seems like an odd choice for decorations.

And, finally, it wasn't immediately obvious to me where the trash can was. I eventually found the one by the door, but when I got to it there was no swinging door to push to put the trash in. At first I thought maybe the structure had been turned sideways to hide the door, because it was 7:40ish and they were closing at 8:00 and maybe didn't want any "new" trash put in it at this hour. But then I realized there was no opening to it. There was a bucket to the side of the trash can, but again since it was so late it was empty, not giving any visual clue that it was like in coffee shops where you just set your dirty dishes in there. But to further confuse that was that we had paper plates and those are not something you usually put in those plastic tubs. So again ALL THIS IS TO SAY is that it would help if it were clearly labeled what we were supposed to do with our trash. :-)

Thanks, Bart, for the opportunity to enjoy a complimentary entree with my friend, Bob. I hope you find this feedback helpful!

Best regards,
John Martin

I read one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful pieces of writing today that I have ever read. I just couldn't stop thinking about it, and I felt compelled to share it with several people.

It's from a blog I follow, and it's the author's exploration of the impersonal autopsy report on the death of his boyfriend. It's called, "Report of Autopsy Examination."
Tags: affirmations (implicit), bus, customer service, family, friends, gulf coast asb, work, writing

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