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Archive for the ‘Career development’ Category

First Class Flying: Is it all that?

Wtad.com /white pages/ 5/18/17

Bobbe White

plane people

Upgrades in my life? About two. It wasn’t horrible. Especially the time when Woody Harrelson sat behind us.  However, first class fare can be quite costly.  Google it sometime. For what, exactly, are they REALLY paying up there?

PRE-BOARDING: that’s nice and all, but they look so unhappy when the rest of us slubs parade down the aisle to economy class. Maybe it’s that I just cracked a guy’s head with my overhead bag. Oopsies! Maybe first classers would be happier boarding last, so they don’t have to look at us. Maybe it’s the…

FREE BOOZE: Personally,  Johnnie Walker scotch doesn’t appeal at 5:55 a.m., which is when I usually depart. The only thing I want straight up, at that hour, is coffee. Besides, the air is bone dry in every section and alcohol just exacerbates dehydration. My skin’s already fossil-like, who needs it?

SEATS/SPACE: there’s more leg room, but if you know how to pick, there are some economy seats offering leg room, too. Reclining is a matter of degrees, unless you’re on a fancy, schmancy international flight where the seats flip into canopy beds.

AMENITIES: blankets, pillows and socks, oh my! I do kind of miss blankies in the back…

LAVATORY: Technically, fewer people = less waiting. Just remember Murphy ’s Law of bathrooms: the worse you have to go, the longer the wait will be.

FOOD: Some say it’s improving, but from any food I’ve ever eaten up there, it’s more institutional, than gourmet. Cinnabun tastes and smells better, by far. That’s why so many carry-on food.

DE-PLANING: Obviously, deplaning is like accounting 101: FIFO (First in, first out), but I ask you, don’t we REALLY get there all at the same time? Exactly.

SAFETY/SECURITY/SURVIVAL: Again, the law of averages would dictate that the fewer the wingnuts in a given area, the less chance of a meltdown. Sorry, that boat doesn’t carry much water for me. As for a crash, they call it, “Nosedive,” for a reason.  ‘Nuf said. We slubs in the waaaaay back might be the last in the big splash.

PEOPLE are people, regardless of class. Some in first class have no class. You know what I’m talking about. Both flight attendants and passengers can be polite, rude, noisy, quiet, helpful, bitchy, loud, smelly or sad. Everyone has a story. My dad always said, “You don’t know what you don’t know. You may never know what you don’t know. And you may not want to know what you don’t know.”  Passengers are a microcosm of the world. As Abercrombie & Fitch advertised once:  “We’re all just passengers flying around and there’s no room for extra baggage.” It’s a lot like life down here, right? People sitting or standing next to you, in every arena, struggle for one reason or another: financially, physically or emotionally.  Sometimes, you can utter three words to make peace with your neighbor, “WHAT A DAY!” It might start a brief –or longer- conversation. Flying at any level in the atmosphere can be trying. Or exhilarating. “WHAT A DAY!”  are three possible words to blurt when you enter your 42D. That’d be my seat number, not my bra size. “WHAT A DAY!” It’s open to interpretation. It can be positive or negative. A door opener. An Ice breaker. Give it a go. Now, go have a nice flight in any cabin of the world or airplane. It’s time for take-off.

airplane food.

HAIR VIGILANTES UNITE!

Bobbe White 

written for wtad.com and trylaughter.com
5/11/17

“If I spent as much time praying as I did plucking, I’d be the Dalai Lama!”
Diane Sawyer

This quote from More magazine is taped it to my mirror. I feel exactly the same way.
There you are, out somewhere. You brush the  jawline accidentally. There is the familiar little solo stubble. OCD bubbles up until you can extract the enemy. One moment the chin is baby smooth; the next, a stubble like our grandmothers emerges. In the short time it takes to cross the street…BAM! A single hair has pokes surfaces.

Each hair reminds us that we have fewer hormones, which used to keep unwanted hairs at bay. Cosmetic drawers contain multiple tweezers and magnifying mirrors of various strengths. I sadly realize that even my dearest friend in the world, or my honest daughter, won’t mention the occasional stray that went wild. It’s nearly an inch long! What’s worse, in my white-haired world, it’s black. Definitely black. I am appalled and curse these witch-like indicators. Aging is now beyond normal maintenance. Patrolling facial hairs requires daily vigilance!

There’s evidence of various tools on the man’s side of the bathroom counter as well. No, Ladies, we are NOT alone in this war! There are E.N.T.s (Not doctors…ear & nose trimmers), magnifying shaving mirrors and a pair of cheater (glasses) to assist in detection.

I have four thoughts about this battle which is clearly endless until, you know, the end. (I hear hair continues to thrive posthumously. Is there no mercy?)

1. I’m thankful hair still grows. This means my system is working.
2. I’m thankful my eyesight is myopic. I can find a stray hair on a gnat’s ass.
3. Call attorney today: “Draw up a B.P.O.A. (Beauty Power of Attorney) A.S.A.P. My sister and I agreed years ago to honor this legal obligation ’til death do us part. We agree to continue the search and tweeze program that remains critical. Long after my vision clouds or my hands shake, stray hairs will not win!

4. Apply to law school to set up a B.P.O.A. Practice. Think: baby boomers + aging = strays. The case load will be heavy. Staffing needs must be adequate. Armored cars will be contracted to carry all the cash payments.

Never before has one affliction -stray hairs- been so universal and prevalent in our society. None of us is exempt. Ahhhh, hair: the great equalizer.

Proud Momma Picks a Peck of Pickled Passion

wtad.com/white pages/3.23.17

Bobbe White

Occasionally, we get to witness a person’s passion wiggle up from below the surface of the ground, sprout and bloom.

Yesterday, my co-workers and I listened to Angie Barnes talk about her business, “Momma Bee’s Garden.” No, she doesn’t have bees, but is expecting two hives shortly. (Not literally, of course.)

This is not an advertisement for her produce, but rather, an endorsement of one woman’s passion. She loves growing things. Don’t even offer her a seedling. This woman wants the seeds.  You won’t find any combines harvesting the crops, but you may see children helping. It’s not child labor. The YMCA Kids are digging it.

A lab Med Tech by day at the Quincy Medical Group, Angie utilizes every other waking moment to tend to her 100 varieties of garlic, tomatoes, radishes and etc. Some of  the funkier veggies are foreign to me. Foodies around the Quincy area know about Angie’s green thumb. Heck, she’s got two green thumbs, eight green fingers and ten green toes.

“Do you ever sleep?” I ask her.

“Not very much.” She doesn’t look tired. She looks excited. When she speaks of the local produce beneifts, I want to order a king-sized salad. When Angie tells her sweet zinnia story, I want to send her some. Unfortunately, I’m not sure when zinnia season is. For now, they’re only at Hobby Lobby. Personally,  I wouldn’t think of sending Momma Bee silk flowers.

Momma Bee makes produce educational as well as tantalizing. Check out Momma Bee’s Garden on Facebook for where’s Waldo (Angie) and when, among other useful gardening information. She also designs whimsical note cards (produce theme, natch.) Her photography skill is excellent. Oh, and the word is, She’s a heck of a baker.” She’s the real deal and now I’m hungry.

Congratulations Momma Bee on your little business sprout!  Now, tell me, “What’s YOUR sprout/passion?” I’d love to know. Message me, please!

 

ONE ROSE, COMING UP!

WTAD.COM/WHITE PAGES 21517

Bobbe White

The red crush of Valentine’s Day is over.We all somehow survived. It’s always interesting around an office, even if you’re not a fan of the holiday. ESPECIALLY if you’re not a fan. Why? Because we performed complicated algorithms on how many floral orders were delivered in direct correlation to total number of possible recipients. For those who can’t remember basic mathematics (who can?), an algorithm is a set of detailed instructions, which results in a predictable end-state from a known beginning. In other words, I have no clue what that means. In other words, the total number of bouquet deliveries I observed was 2.75. Odd number? I think not. Two bouquets were legitimate, obligatory Valentine’s bouquets: one newlywed and one newly engaged. Those are obvious.

The third recipient’s bouquet celebrated not only Valentine’s Day, but also their wedding anniversary, which happens to be Valentine’s Day. She gets a ½ point, since Hubby was double-dipping: ½ Valentine, ½ Anniversary. Still, I’d give him a high five for picking this date.  He’ll never, ever, ever forget.  That leaves ¼ of a bouquet. There, on one desk, was one lovely red, variegated rose. The card read, “And you thought I forgot!” That was my desk, my $4.00 rose and my handwriting. Yes, I bought my own. I did last year and will again next year. Big deal. My husband doesn’t do flowers. So what? I just wanted flowers on my desk. Ladies, if you are feeling glum, because you were flowerless in the public arena, take control, stand tall next year at the floral desk and shout, “ONE ROSE, PLEASE. IT’S FOR ME!” Sometimes we need to complete our own darn selves. Besides that, the algorithm proved that we are in the 90th percentile. So there’s that. The bottom line?

“Teach your children well”.  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

They’ll thank you one day.

Why Do We Live Here?

scrape-windshield

Written by Bobbe White for “The White Pages”  WTAD.COM

Why Do We Live Here?

Frankly on weekends like the last one, I do not know.  It was simply too cold and icy to justify; too treacherous to visit family, stay upright while attempting to walk into work or do anything, really. All of this on the weekend before Christmas! What rotten luck for us procrastinators.

It all started Friday after work. Here we were: coats zipped, gloves on and remote start buttons activated. Unless you’re like me, without remote start. We had a windshield scraping fest instead. But, it was as if Santa’s elves – with and without remote start- had descended upon our parking lot!  Even though it meant the remote starter people would have had to stay late, they did! It was the coolest thing ever. No, actually, it was cold as H-E-Double Hockey Sticks! And hockey players are the only ones who would’ve found our parking lot remotely enjoyable. Anyway, everyone helped everyone else get the icy buildup cracked enough to drive away safely. It was heartwarming and almost great fun. Almost.

Saturday was colder and windier. Ice drizzled on our cars. I chose to use floor mats on the windshield, to minimize scraping after work. It worked well on the left side, but the wind swooped in and took the right side mat, which found me executing a double-twist, triple Salchow* jump on the iced parking lot, to retrieve it.

*Salchow (sal’– kau): a figure skating jump with a takeoff from the back inside edge of one skate followed by one or more full turns in the air and (ideally) landing on the back outside edge of the opposite skate.

I wanted to go home. Customers had been sparse during work and Broadway was ghostly quiet, but while I was out, I went to the cleaners, the liquor store and the mall. Fortunately, I’d dressed warmly in my down-filled parka. I became uber toasty inside the mall. Then the zipper broke. In order to take it off, I struggled to slide it over my hips. Forced is closer. WD-40 anybody?  And I thought the Salchow was difficult!  When it was time to go outside and wiggle back into my coat, it was exhausting. A woman watched me curiously. I made eye contact with her and said-as if I always put my coat on over my hips, “My zipper broke, okay?” She smiled and edged away from me.

Sunday, was more of the same: icy roads, frigid temps, and the addition of a few inches of snow. A winter trifecta! I stayed home. The end.

Wait! I need to answer the first question: why do we live here? We live here because when the temperature rises to 23 degrees, everyone loosens their woolen scarves a bit and remarks, “It’s nice out today?”  And they mean it.

Happy frantic shopping week! Stay warm and safe.

MAKE AMERICA POLITE AGAIN

11/10/16 Can we make America polite again?  PLEASE? Another campaign is underway. Not THAT kind of campaign. (You can thank me later for avoiding that OTHER campaign here. You’re welcome.)  This campaign involves no pollsters, badges, billboards, bumper stickers, debates or bashing.  This one’ been on the DL* (*cool-speak for under the radar). The term, study or project, may be more accurate. The project occurs Monday to Friday at my workplace, grocery; even traveling. I’m referring to “basic greetings”.  It’s just one sliver of our overall manners set, but it’s a biggy. My desk position is key here, seeing as it’s the first desk on the right, when entering State Street Bank’s main lobby. We strive for friendliness. Staff also acknowledges lobby visitors as a security procedure. (I.e. we see you!)

Many humanoids have a tendency to look to the right, my way, upon entering. They used to look left, but that was because she was blonder, younger and prettier than I was. I digress. When people enter, we say certain words. You know these: hello, welcome, good morning, hey, how are you, Hi, Ho, hi-ho, the Derry oh… When people leave, there’s a similar greeting.  You know them:  good-bye, see ya, see you later, thanks for coming in, have a good __________ (afternoon, evening, week-end, and holiday), bye-bye-bye. Honestly, we sound a lot like the Wal-Mart greeters of the banking world…or *NSYNC.

Frankly, I’m amazed at the people who don’t return the greeting. They give me nothing. Not even a grunt.  Oh, they heard it; some even make eye contact. Then…….silence, but not one word. Well, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes I get three words, “Where’s the bathroom.”  Not kidding.  Non-response is awkward and seems to happen more often. Maybe they’re deaf? Could be. Didn’t see me? Doubtful.  Rude? Ding-ding-ding.

At the grocery or airport concourse, I sample data encountered in public spaces.  I even like to smile at people abroad. Not AT broads, abroad, as in Paris. It’s not as acceptable there. As I anticipated visiting my daughter, she cautioned me against smiling. It’s cultural. That was tough, because I realized that even when I squint in the sun, I appear to be smiling. My apologies for looking pleasant. As impolite as the French seem, I find similar behavior from downtown Des Moines to DFW to Midway airports. People won’t smile back. I recently spent some time in the Carolinas. Now, THOSE people smile. And they greet. It’s lovely, really, quite polite.

Back to France, y’all. In spite of the smile deficit, the French have one encouraging custom. Every shopkeeper or market vendor says, “Bonjour!” (Hello) and “Merci, Au Revoir!” (Thank you… goodbye) ALWAYS.  It may not be smiled when said, but it’s guaranteed.

This week, try greetings as you come move about: home, school, work, shopping. And when passing my desk. Please? Thank-you! (More on please/thank-you another time.) If I’m with a customer, in person or by phone, I’ll give a wave, wink or that quick head jerk-nod thing that cool dudes give exchange. All I ask is that you do the same. And in my next life, I’d hope to return as a Southern Belle, y’all. Bye-bye, now!

Who Let the Clown’s Out? Who? Who? Who? Who? Who?

Written for WTAD.COM “The White Pages”

On Halloween, at Charlotte (NC) Douglas International Airport, a few employees wore costumes, hoping to make waiting passengers smile. It didn’t work that well. There were the usual Wizard of Oz guys, Pillsbury Dough boy and two clowns with neon lime green hair. One of the clowns walked through my gate, offering treats from a bag.  He didn’t have too many takers. Sensing a chill in our row, he walked right on by us. Of bad 2016 dress up choices, could any costume be worse than a clown suit? I think not. At least his face wasn’t painted, but seriously, have the airport’s Customer Relations people been living In caves? Nobody likes clowns much this year. Even on Halloween. Maybe two guys were late to work Monday and were told, “Just for being late, you two clowns can have these costumes; thats all we have left.” They should’ve taken a pass and waited to be turkeys or elves in a few weeks. Even before the 2016 creepy clown epidemic, there were many children and adults suffering from Coulrophobia (fear of clowns). Of all the Greek roots, there’s apparently no equivalent Greek word for clown. The closest is Coulro (one who is on stilts). The more familiar version is Clownphobia. The humor version is BOZOPHOBIA, which is right on the button, because whoever let these clowns out and about the terminal is a bozo.

Other than Bozo and friends, there was a witch at the ticket counter, a rabbit at Starbucks and Snow White posing for pictures with some passengers; not overly creative, but employees often have guidelines. One passenger on my Southwest flight wore really odd glasses over her glasses. I think she grabbed them out of the Mardi Gras box instead of the Halloween box. The best costume so far, however, was a Southwest flight attendant. An announcement said, “There will be a very special trash lady making one more pass up and down the aisle, before landing. Please have your trash ready for our special trash lady.” Here she came, in all her glory, wearing a trash bag, stuffed full of newspapers poking out around her neck. On the outside of her bag an empty pretzel package, peanuts bag, gum wrappers and bandage were taped. She wore a coffee cup in her hair. Now THAT’s my kind of Costume! In fact, next year, I may have to copy it for myself. I’ll be called, “White Trash”. I’ve been called worse… Hope you had an enjoyable, safe and chocolately Halloween!

southwest trash.JPG