I was ecstatic when I walked in to see the same manager on duty again this Thursday, as well as most of the same crew. I bought a cup of coffee and then sat down and worked on my laptop until there was a lull in their business.
When there were no customers, I went up to the cashier area, where the manager was, and I said to him, "Excuse me. I was here last Thursday..." and I could see a look of "Uh-oh, we're going to get fussed out for something..." on his face, and I continued in a loud enough voice that the crew members were also listening now, "And I received such outstanding customer service that it inspired me to go home and create this for you and your team."
I handed them the award certificate I'd made, which unlike the copy here was signed and dated, and I said, "I even had it laminated in case some grease splashes on it," which they got a kick out of.
All of them were thrilled and gathered around to read it, and the manager thanked me profusely. He grabbed a cash register receipt that was laying on the counter and said, "Here, go to the survey on this and fill it out, so you'll at least get $2.00 off your next cup of coffee."
Cup of coffee purchased before presenting the award: $2.11
Faces of appreciated service industry employees: Priceless
A little bit later, while I was still trying to get my laptop to boot up, the manager walked through the lobby and stopped by my table.
"I really appreciate what you did. I'm going to go get it framed and hang it up in the store," he said.
"Well, I really appreciate good customer service, as it's hard to find these days. And I especially appreciate that you lead by example in your management style. I think that's critical."
Well, although things were going well with the Bruegger's staff this morning, that was not the case with my laptop. It would not boot up, and I needed it for the meeting I was attending across the street at 10:30. Definitely getting a new laptop some time this tax-free weekend.
I drove over to my office, where I picked up my work Mac to use to take notes during the meeting.
The meeting was a little bit excruciating this week, as we had a full agenda to cover and we spent almost the entire first hour of the 1.5-hour meeting on the first agenda item. An important issue that had to be resolved, but it was political in nature, which made it tedious.
I drove home for lunch, where I had a killer, killer ham sandwich, with fresh tomatoes on it contributing to at least one of those killers.
Afterward, I grabbed a bag of Snackwell Fudge-Drizzled Popcorn for dessert and in the middle of chewing one mouthful, this sharp pain emanated from my second to the back molar on the upper left side. OMG.
It wasn't a kernel that I bit into or anything, I was just chewing. I finished the bag on the right side of my mouth (of course I did), and waited for the pain to subside.
I checked the whereabouts of the Wolfline buses, and I headed over to the Kaplan and Gorman stop, where I had a very short wait for the next one. During that short wait, a car turned from Kaplan onto Gorman and the lady driving it was fully-covered, had her window down (so no air-conditioning the car, and it's, literally, 100° out), and she was smoking a cigarette. I can't really think of anything else that could scream hot (and not in a good way) than all that.
Also during that short wait, I ripped a yard sale sign off the pole, since it was for last weekend, and the people who posted it obviously were not going to return to remove it.
During the bus ride, that tooth pain became more intense again, so I called my dentist as soon as I got to work to see if they could possibly squeeze me in this afternoon to make sure it was nothing serious.
I didn't think it was, because I couldn't feel any sharp edges, like a tooth had cracked, or any holes, like a filling had come out, but the pain was undeniable, and they don't work on Fridays and I didn't want to chance this pain coming and going all weekend.
My friend Jen was a dear (Thanks, Jen!) and drove me back to my car at Kaplan, and I drove right to the dentist's office, arriving about 25 minutes early. Once there, I realized that I should have brushed my teeth before going, and I asked the receptionist if they perhaps had a disposable toothbrush I could use.
She handed me a toothbrush in a clear plastic sleeve, and said, "It doesn't look like it, but it's got toothpaste on it already. It'll foam up once you wet it and start brushing with it." And it did.
I got called back before 3:00, and the hygienist led me to her cubicle where she had this knickknack on one of her shelves:
I tried to take two pictures, one with the leaves up and the other with the leaves down, as they moved up and down as if trying to help the plant fly, but I couldn't catch it just right, and the video clip I tried to take didn't work.
"What's that supposed to be?" I asked.
"It's solar-powered," she replied as if I'd asked, "How's it work?"
"O-kay," I thought.
The doc did all kinds of prodding and poking of the suspected tooth and the two on either side of it all to no avail. This included these various things to see if I "felt anything": twisting them from side to side with his fingers, knocking them along the outside with a steel utensil, having me bite down onto something he stuck in there—something that felt like if I slipped off it, my teeth could possibly crack, even though he said not to worry about that, and holding ice on each tooth for longer than I ever dreamed I could stand.
That was all to no avail, so he took x-rays "of 13 and 15," he said. "Try to get them both in one shot if you can, but if you can't I'll need one of each."
He showed me the x-rays, in which he saw no cracks or lost fillings.
"That's good," I said to which he replied, "Well, not really. It's worse than that."
He than used the whiz-bang software that was displaying the x-ray to change the colors, and said, "See this dark area here, all round the tooth that's hurting? And there's a little more over here," he pointed out on the tooth just behind that one.
I was waiting to hear gum cancer, even though I had no idea if such a thing even existed. (Turns out it does; it's of the broader category of oral cancer.)
Well, I can't be 100% sure, and I'm going to send you to a specialist who can confirm it, but it looks to me like you have an abscess underneath that tooth. And if that's the case, it's going to mean a root canal on it and then it will have to be crowned, because there's a lot of filling already in that tooth.
Estimate of root canal and crown, if necessary: $2400
News that it's not oral cancer: Priceless
When I got back into my car leaving the dentist, the outside temperature reading was 111°.
I stopped at the K-mart pharmacy on the way home, where I picked up my antibiotics prescription for the abscess.
Two TED Talks were compelling to me today, and that's most likely because I only listened to two of them, as I find most TED Talks compelling!
The first one was called 5 Ways to Listen Better, and this was the take-away:
- Listen to three minutes of silence a day to "reset" your listening.
- In a crowded, noisy room, try to discern how many different channels of sound you're hearing at once.
- Try savoring mundane sounds; there's often a "hidden choir" in them.
- Practice shifting "listening positions"—from active to passive, from reductive to expansive, and from critical to empathic.
- Remember this mnemonic: RASA
- Receive (Pay attention to the person speaking)
- Appreciate (Make noises, "Oh, okay..." as they're speaking)
- Summarize (This lets them know what you heard)
- Ask questions afterwards (Shows that you were interested in what you heard)
The second TED talk: After Your Final Status Update was about the new potential of how you can go on online even after you've passed on from this earth. I found the very end of this extremely compelling.
And, finally, that TED Talk referenced the website: This Can Be My Next Tweet, which predicts what your next tweet would be by analyzing all of your past tweets to date, of which I have 6,133 to analyze.
Here's a projection of what my next one might be, so that it can be generated after I pass:
Although it doesn't really make any sense, and it particularly bugs me that it ends with the word "and," I think it's interesting how it picked up the rhythm of my new blog entry announcement tweets in projecting my next one.