It cannot go without mentioning...

Picture preparing to take a red-eye flight from Salt Lake to DC, arriving in the nation's capital at 8:30am and then going to an interview at 9am. That's cutting it close. Now picture checking in online to see that your red-eye flight has been delayed by an hour and ten minutes. That just makes you mad. Next, picture making a few phone calls, almost getting re-booked to a 6:30am flight the next day, asking a couple of "can I speak to your supervisor?"s, getting lots of much-needed assistance from your very helpful sister and brother-in-law, and then (with your dad driving carefully aggressive) rushing to the airport, pleasantly insisting at the service desk that you need to be transferred to an on-schedule flight, and finally getting on a plane that isn't delayed and actually gets you to DC at 8am instead of the original 8:30am you were scheduled for with ample time to get to the 9am interview.


Choice dessert

As you may know, I love doughnuts. They are delicious. Indeed, there are definitely better doughnuts out there than others. We don't even need to discuss Hostess boxed doughnuts because any doughnut that was made 7 days before eating is a moon pie. Anyhow, all the rage is the Krispy Kreme doughnut. However, I just can't seem to join the band wagon. Everything doughnut they sell is covered with the same glaze. What the? And the doughnuts aren't substantial enough. They are very light (not healthy lite, but fluffy light) and sweet, which I understand a lot of people enjoy. However, to me, they all seem to have the same taste regardless of the flavor you buy. They disappear too fast, meaning, when I'm done with them I feel like I've eaten an hor d'oeurvres not a doughnut. The best doughnut I've ever had was from a place in Salt Lake City, Utah called Banbury Cross. The doughnuts there are substantial, with the right amount of yeast and distinct, separate flavors. I have yet to find a place that even compares! Does this mean I will not eat a doughnut that comes from Krispy Kreme? Certainly not, I'll eat it, enjoy it for 5 seconds, and then wish I was eating a maple bar from Banbury Cross.


Nature Walk

I was just about ready to go outside for my lunchtime walk, when I read this on the company-I-work-for's intranet:

"Our campus is surrounded by not only beautiful landscape but also a variety of wildlife, most notably geese, snakes, and deer. Several coyotes have also recently appeared and may have a den to the rear of the building. The City is aware of the coyotes but cannot take action in the absence of aggressive behaviors. While all of these animals usually keep their distance, some have been known to venture into our sidewalks, parking lots, and garages. Remember to keep an eye out as you walk around the campus. If you encounter an animal that appears threatening or makes you uncomfortable, give it a wide berth and contact Security Services for assistance if needed."

At first I was a little worried, but the other day I saw a man playing the violin right in the area where the coyote den "may" be, so I think I'm still safe to go for my walk.


How can I help you?

This past year I moved across country to DC. Although the moved proved easier said than done, I am finding that the city and the surrounding area are very nice and the people are indeed friendly. However, the customer service here is a bit different…wait, maybe I should rephrase; checking out at a cashier is different here. First, very little eye contact is made, if any. I know, strange to think you can be helped by someone and never make eye contact, especially when you’ve got a ton of groceries that take about 8 minutes to check out. Second, a total price is never told to you. You never hear, “Your total is $25.37,” or “It’s $25.37,” or even “$25.37.” Instead, the cashier just points (if that) to the credit card device (again without making eye contact) and you try to read what it says on that monochrome screen that someone has accidentally signed using a real ball point pen. I’ve tried to say hello to a few cashiers; in fact, I say “hello” or “good evening” to pretty much every cashier that assists me. There are definitely some who perk up and say “hello” back. However, the majority responds with a faint “hello” under their breath as they continue to scan your items one by one. It’s somewhat sad that this occurs so often. What happened to the time when you enjoyed some human interaction when you went out to run some errands? Maybe I’m the exception, maybe this is the way most prefer. Still, it’s hard for me to understand how the automatic, pre-recorded, pleasant voice at the self check out machine is more helpful, informative, and welcoming than the human being behind the checkout stand.