Monthly Archives: July 2012

Simple Joys

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When I was a very little girl, I had a tiara, until my mom lost it a Chuck-E-Cheese.  So last year for my birthday, I was given a new tiara of my very own! (thanks mom!)  To celebrate the big 4-0, tomorrow I shall wear my tiara all day long!  Happy Birthday to me!

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Cold Calling the Dead

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A recent tweet reminded me of the worst job I ever had.

She said:  Cold calling someone that died a few days ago…. #needabreak

I replied:  I have literally done that.  #worstthingever

But everyone has done that, right?  Everyone has had some job where you had to cold call clients and someone you called was dead, right?  No?  Well then, let me tell you about what you’re missing.

There was a time long ago, when people would look for jobs in the morning paper.  We didn’t have the internet to guide us, to take “perfect job” quizzes and have Facebook distract us from looking for an actual job.  Then there’s me, a poor college student, in between jobs and desperate enough to take anything.

I answered an ad (promising me good money and a chance for advancement) to find a call center in a seedy part of Anaheim, CA.  Rooms filled with long folding tables, phones perched every few feet, and sad looking people making phone call after phone call.  Anybody else would’ve run, very fast and very far away.  I accepted and started the next day.

Have you ever filled out one of those cards in the mall to win a free car?  Or a trip to Hawaii?  Those were the people I got to call.  “You filled out a card to win ABC, well you haven’t won anything, but would you like instead to buy XYZ?”  (I don’t remember what they were trying to sell.)  I don’t think I’ve ever been hung up on so much in my life.

And there were these two skeevy guys, the supervisor’s maybe?  They walked around the room being ‘motivational’.  Yelling things like “just move on to the next one”, “everybody wants what we’re selling”, and my personal favorite “no swimming in the company pool”.  Somehow there were a few really beautiful girls working there, and they wanted to remind everyone that interoffice dating was a no-no.

I was terrible at this awful job.

Then came the day that I called two dead guys, and both had been murdered.

The first call went something like this:

“Hello, may I speak with Mr. X?”

You know when you can sense that someone is upset before they even speak?

“May I ask who’s calling?” Angry, she was angry.

“This is Kathy, I’m calling from ABC company about a postcard he filled out to win a trip to Hawaii.”

“Well, Kathy, would you care to explain how he filled out a card to win a trip when he was murdered two months ago? “ Her voice is rising, “And there’s a police investigation going on?”  She’s yelling, “How could he have filled out a card?”

I’m starting to cry and physically shrinking in my chair, “I don’t know ma’am, I’m so sorry.”

She is yelling and crying too, “Take him off whatever call list he’s on.  If you don’t, I’ll make sure that the police include you in the investigation.”  Then she slammed down the phone.

I sat and cried.  One of the supervisors’ noticed and came over; I told him what had happened.  He took the card, tore it in half and said “It happens, just move on.”

This would be my cue to run, very fast and very far away.  Instead I just kept making phone calls.

A few hours later, the scene repeated itself.

“Hello, my I speak with Mr. Y?”

“May I ask who’s calling?”  She was curious.

“This is Kathy, I’m calling from ABC company about a postcard he filled out to win a trip to Hawaii.”

“Well my dear, it’s not possible for him to have filled out any card.  He was murdered about a year ago.  Would you please make sure his name and this number are removed from your list?”  She was sweet.  There was sadness in her voice, but it sounded like it came with the reminder of her loss.

I am in SHOCK.  Two murder victims in one day?  Where were they getting these names?  Why am I working here?

“Ma’am, I am so sorry for your loss.  I will have his name and your number removed immediately.”

“Thank you dear.”

I tore up the card myself this time.  It happens, just move on.

*******

This stupid job only lasted another week.   The company closed and I had one day to pick up my paycheck.  I moved on to other crazy jobs, but this was the worst of them all.

8th grade me…

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There have been a few times in the last couple months where I have thought, “The 8th grade girl inside of me is freaking out right now.”

Apparently the cute pink ink I used to write in my name wasn’t an archival ink.

Walking around Disneyland with my cute husband.

Skating to 80’s music, while my husband skates backwards, holding my hands.

The 8th grade me was a bit (A WHOLE LOT) boy crazy.  There were multiple boys that had stolen my heart, and I was just waiting for one of them to wake up and realize how totally amazing it would be for me to be their girlfriend.  This did not happen.

I do remember it being a hard year.  My family switched churches that year and I had to break in with a whole new group of kids in the youth group.  I wanted desperately to have a “very best friend” and while I had some good friends that I hung out with, no one reached BFF status.  And then there’s the basic truth that Jr. High is just awful.

Sometimes I just want to go back and tell her:

  • Everything is going to be OK.  This a rough time, and there are more rough times ahead, but life is going to be OK.
  • Your heart will be broken, to the point where you think you can’t make it through.  But you will make it, and there’s an amazing Swedish dreamboat that you get to share your life with.
  • Friends are a precious thing.  Some may only be a part of your life for a season.  Cherish them all, and learn to better yourself with each friendship.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself.
  • Hug your family as much as you can, you won’t always be near them.
  • Keep the flowery Doc Martins – FOR-EV-ER.

I’m so glad not to be 13 anymore, but I’m so thankful for the life that I’ve lived that has brought me to today.

Exploring the Blogosphere

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Maybe the only real way to get rid of fear is to make friends with it.
Sarah Markley – Inviting fear in for a cup of coffee

But when I am mildly obsessed with myself, I have to practice walking like a believer.
Chatting at the Sky – 4 ways to take a walk like a believer

It can upend me through the subtlety of distraction.
Still Forming – Living a Rhythmed Life (Online): Choosing What We Ingest

A Bookworm Belle: Reading: A Photographic Adventure

And on and on and on and on we go. Our thing. Our thing. Our thing. We can’t stop talking about it.
Prodigal Magazine – Sammy Adebiyi – The Listen Project

Moses died today, but I receive this as passing mention, today as I bake a loaf of bread. The death of the shepherd is assigned reading. I breathe it in as ordinary, those thrity days of mourning pass in a moment.
A Deeper Story – Preston Yancey – Moses Died Today

Who doesn’t love an oreo? I’ve made these several times and they’re delish!
My baking addiction – Homemade Oreos

My favorite website for a giggle?  Hey Christian Girl

Random Moments

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You know those weekends when you sleep really late, don’t accomplish much and it’s just the best weekend ever?  I love those weekends, and thankfully, this last weekend was just that.  The husband and I played, ate and relaxed together, it was wonderful.  Oh, and in the midst of all this true weekend relaxing bliss, a couple of random things happened.

We stopped by Lowes on Saturday to pick up a few needed things for the house.  I stopped to look at the plants, needing something small for my office, and husband went looking for weather stripping.  After I had found my plant, I sat down at a patio set display, checking my phone to see what the rest of the world might be up to.  Then Barbara sat down next to me.   We giggled about lost husbands and how they’d find us eventually.  We talked about where we were from, she having grown up here in Nashville, and me in Southern CA.  She asked about what I do, and I confidently answered that I was a writer (Yeah Me!).  After her husband joined in, the conversation moved to church.  We talked about the need for authentic leadership.  We talked about the need for community.  We talked about how many in the church are just there out of habit.  This dear couple had worked for many years in the church and had walked in our shoes.  As the four of us (my husband had showed up half way through the church talk) parted ways, they reminded us that God will meet us in our need and that He had a plan.

God showed up at Lowes and gave us a reminder of His love.

Sunday morning came, and I had another random thing happen.  It made me laugh, and I’m still kicking myself for not saving the text messages to prove this really did happen.

8:30am text message from number I do not know – hey! good morn.

My inner dialog – Do I text back?  It could be someone I know that has a new number.   Or it could be someone weird.  What’s the worst that could happen?

8:34am my text back – hey.  Sorry, but who is this?

number I do not know – this is Chad, must’ve got the number wrong. lol

Me – Yup.  Have a good day.

Chad – And you are?

My inner dialog – Oh heavens.  This poor guy probably met some girl last night and he’s hoping that I can fill in.  I should have just ignored the text.  What do I say to stop this?

Me – An old married lady.

Chad – wow. OK

That was the last of Chad, and now my husband won’t stop calling me “old married lady”.

Hope ya’ll had a great weekend too.

Simple Joys

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My mother in law was with us for a few months after she came to visit and broke her ankle.  During this time I did more cooking that I probably have for my entire adult life, but it was fun and we got to try some great recipes.  One of our favorites was homemade granola.  I found this great post for a granola formula.  My favorite combo so far has been with pecans and dried blueberries.

You wouldn’t know it to look at her…

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Recently, my husband was able to listen in on a ‘jam’ session at the NAMM show.  He was later telling me about one of the musicians and said “You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but he was one incredible guitar player”.  It got me thinking about how often we assume things about people.

A few days later we were in Barnes & Noble looking through books and I picked up, out of my mind by Sharon M. Draper.  The description on the back fell into this thought of how we assume who people are by looking at them:

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory.  Her head is like a video camera that is always recording.  Always.  And there’s no delete button.  She’s the smartest kid in her whole school – but NO ONE knows it.  Most people – her teacher and doctors included – don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently, her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again.  If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows… but she can’t, because Melody can’t talk.  She can’t walk.  She can’t write.  Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind – that is, until she discovers something t hat will allow her to speak for the first time ever.  At last Melody has a voice… but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.

I got home and fell into this beautiful book about Melody.  Being trapped in your own body.  Being a fifth grader with no effective way to communicate with the world around you.  Finally finding her voice and having people shut her down because they’ve assumed who she is for so long.  Melody gripped my heart and had me cheering for her, wanting to fight for her and crying with her until the very end.

This is a book for young readers (10yrs old +), but gives any reader insight into the assumptions we make about those around us.