Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Christmas time is Here!

Our first tree! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

How did it know?

Pretty accurate...I don't remember having that look of seduction like the girl in the picture though! :)

Arty Kid

Whether you were a drama freak or an emo poet, you definitely were expressive and unique.

You're probably a little less weird these days - but even more talented!
Who Were You In High School?

Adventures in Retail 2.0

So last night at the store I had an encounter with the MEANEST CUSTOMER EVER. She became upset when the clerk wouldn't accept her check without a phone number on it (not exactly a policy that we can budge on), so I got called to the front to explain to her the situation, that we'd be happy to accept some other method of payment without her phone number, etc. Well, before I even had a chance to speak, she just LAID into me about how that's a bunch of baloney and whatnot. I tried to remain cool & explain the situation, suggesting that if she had a complaint she could contact our corporate office and they would love to hear her complaint, etc, but she would have none of it. At one point I called her "ma'am", and she said "DON't call me ma'am, that's condescending". ?!?! (I was just trying to be polite! :O) . She then said we'd be losing her business and I said "Well, I'm very sorry to hear that", and then she said bitterly "No you're not" ?!?!! It was just a very bizarre situation...we were treating her as nicely and patiently as we could but she just needed to argue, I guess. Finally I tried just ending the scene by saying "I'm sorry to lose your business, this is not a policy I have any leeway with, so I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree here". She started to slowly walk away without saying anything, just looking at me with condescension. So I just turned around and walked away; there was nothing else I could do. Then I went to the back room and cried (I'll admit it)!. I wonder how people can live like that...feeding off of the feeling of power, even in little situations like that (requiring a phone number on a check isn't exactly abnormal among stores...she obviously just wanted to fight). 3 thoughts hit me as I reflected on it. First of all, 1 John says if you don't love your brother, the love of the Father is not in you. Someone can't claim to be a Christian and treat others like that. Secondly, God will hold her accountable for every action, including last night (which was a relief to me until I realized he will hold ME accountable for all my actions...sobering! :)). Thirdly, if you are ever in a store and hear an employee getting ripped apart by a customer (or an employee ripping into a customer, for that matter) step in & say something! There were a few customers last night walking around within earshot of this lady cutting me to pieces, and NOBODY said anything. ANyway, those are my thoughts for today. Goodbye. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Adventures in Retail

So tonight I worked at the bookstore...only 4 wasn't too bad. It was our first Saturday night of the season that we were open (holiday hours kicked in!), so most of the evening was pretty quiet since most people probably thought we were closed! So, after a busy day and a slow evening, closing time (9:00) was fast approaching, and as the supervisor for the night I was anticipating that the registers would be counted and that the 3 of us working would be well on our way home very soon. Typically we are all out of the store by 9:30 at the latest, but on slower nights like tonight we're usually able to start the closing process a bit earlier and get out of there by 9:15 or so. Well, at about 5 minutes to 9 this lady walked in carrying 4 shoeboxes, and plopped them in front of the counter. (Our store is collecting shoeboxes for the "Operation Christmas Child" outreach this weekend.). She explained to the clerk that "they weren't completely assembled yet"...which we soon realized translated "I haven't finished purchasing all of the items for the shoeboxes yet, so I'm going to try to finish putting them together here". (Keep in mind this is a Christian bookstore; not exactly Target!) She asked me if we had any coloring books. "It's already after 9", I thought to myself, "but I'm not about to turn a customer away, especially since she's trying to do something so nice. I'll just help her find what she needs and then I'm sure she'll be off. I don't want to rush closing the store, anyway.". So I helped her find some coloring books, and continued with my closing duties. A few minutes later she approached me again: "I'm SO sorry...but do you have any pencil sharpeners?". Graciously and cheerfully I searched with her for pencil sharpeners, but to no avail. She shrugged her shoulders and went back to her boxes. A few minutes later she approached me again: "I'm SO sorry...but do you have any markers?" We didn't have any markers, but I found her a nice little art set that contained markers. By this time it was 9:15. I was starting to get a little antsy, but "No big deal", I thought, "We're open a little later than normal, but we have a satisfied customer." So I continued with my closing duties in the back of the store. About 20 MINUTES later or so, I went back up front. The lady was STILL there...slowly WRAPPING HER BOX while poor Liz (the clerk) just stood there helplessly, not able to close her one remaining register. Note that I said the lady was wrapping her BOX - there were still 3 more boxes behind her to be wrapped! Liz and Amy had told her she didn't need to wrap them, but she insisted "they just looked so much nicer wrapped". It should also be noted that she wasn't just wrapping the box...she was slowly analyzing the contents of the box, asking Liz if she thought everything was alright. Well, at this point Amy, Liz & I had a choice. I'll admit that a big part of me wanted to say "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but I have some very tired employees here who need to go home, so I'm going to need to ask you to assemble your boxes elsewhere" would have probably left her sad, and her boxes wouldn't have been done, but at least it would have sent us on our way. After looking at eachother, though, we silently and simultaneously decided that maybe a different approach would be better. More Christ like. "Can we help you wrap?" I managed to say. Her eyes lit up. "Thank you!", she exclaimed. So we clocked out, got down on our hands and knees, and got those boxes wrapped. It took a few minutes, as she still was unsure about the contents of the box...and she also needed to run out to her car to get the candy she'd forgotten to put in the boxes. But by 9:50 pm, those boxes were wrapped, we said goodnight to her, we locked the front door, and we had a good chuckle. We laughed because we knew that she had no concept of the fact that we'd stayed there solely for her...but our hearts were light because we knew we'd taken the right road. Funny how little choices like that, though temporarily a burden, can leave you feeling more satisfied than you probably would have felt had it not happened at all.

Who Knew?

You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Batman, the Dark Knight




Neo, the "One"


The Amazing Spider-Man


Indiana Jones


William Wallace


Captain Jack Sparrow


Lara Croft


El Zorro


The Terminator


James Bond, Agent 007


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Friday, November 18, 2005

Quote of the Day...

"Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer." --John Bunyan

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Revolution, Anyone?

Has anyone read the book "Revolution" by George Barna? I will post more on it later, but just curious if anyone has read it and what their thoughts on it are...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Mad About Mad About You

OK, so one fun thing Mark and I have discovered is the joy of "TV Shows on DVDs". Thanks to modern technology (and partly our "instant-everything" culture, I suppose ;)), we now have at our fingertips the ability to watch just about any TV show we darn well please (past or present) - whenever we'd like, however many episodes as we'd like, and completely free of commercial interruptions! Woo-hoo! So far we have completed one whole season of "Freaks and Geeks" and "Little House on the Prairie", and two seasons of "Everybody Loves Raymond". Currently, we're working on season 1 of the '90s hit sitcom "Mad About You" -- You know, the show with Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser playing a married couple, Paul and Jamie Buchman. It's about all the daily joys and trials that they experience in marriage. Mark watched this show fairly often back when it was actually on the air, and I remember watching it occasionally as well. So we picked it up a couple weeks ago thinking that it might be a fun one to watch together as newlyweds. We thought it might pick up on some of the rather humorous aspects of married life, and maybe even (heaven forbid) that we might actually be able to find a little glimmer of truth that we could take out of each episode...a moral on marriage, or something (remember when shows used to have morals? :)). Well...we're several episodes into it already, and although it can be a very funny show, and it has proven to be rather entertaining watching them deal with some of the goofy parts of being married (annoying apartment neighbors, dealing with eachother's qwirks, cleaning habits, etc.), there hasn't been a whole lot happening in the morals department! In fact -- both Mark and I are surprised that the Buchman's marriage lasted 8 seasons (or however long)! It's not that they don't seem like nice people who truly care about eachother or want to be committed to's just that they are just so darn selfish and stubborn! Here's what I'm realizing, though: it's probably a pretty accurate picture of what a marriage that is not rooted and established in Christ looks like. Not to over-spiritualize/analyze a 90's sitcom...but how would the show be different if they're marriage was like that? but perhaps they'd be a bit slower to anger. Quicker to honor their spouse more than themself, to admit their wrongs and apologize, and just to die to themselves. I think the show might still be on the air if they did all that. (Well, if they did all that, and the ratings were still good :)).

Side note, did anyone know that Cosmo Kramer's apartment originally belonged to Paul Buchman?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Happy (BELATED) 11th Bday, Beth!