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Tag: tips

Luggage and other packing type dilemmas

One week and one day from tomorrow we leave for India. Holy moly it’s coming up so fast. I’m so excited but also nervous. The thing I’m nervous about? Packing. I feel totally lost.

First of all I’m going to have to raid some thrift stores for clothing because I’m pretty sure I have next to nothing that’s appropriate to wear there. Either I actually like it and don’t want to risk it getting ruined or it’s not culturally appropriate. I’m hoping I can find some cute-ish, cheap skirts and a couple tops (although not really sure what I’m looking for in the top department) and then I’ll just buy a couple things in country. From what I’ve read stuff is really cheap and easy to find there. So I may be better off only packing an outfit or two and finding the rest there. We’ll see what kind of treasures the thrift stores around here hold.

I also want to look into buying some sandals. From what I understand that’s the footwear of choice there. All I really have are some cute but fairly uncomfortable ones or flip flops. Hiking sandals that I’ve seen around here are kind of pricey so I can’t decide if they’re worth buying or not. Blah.

Then there’s the whole luggage situation. See, I can pack pretty light if I need to. Actually, it’s more I can fit a whole lot into a very small amount of space. I never take anything but my airline issued rollerboard and tote bag. No matter the length of the trip I can fit everything in there.

Except, we’re not really going to be in the same place the whole time. The last thing I want is to be dragging my rollerboard around on dirt roads and on and off buses. Or worse, rickshaws! That would never work.

So the plan is to take backpacks. Joel and I have one that I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to fit his stuff into. Then there’s me. The idea of fitting everything for the trip into one tiny little carry on sized backpack seems impossible. We looked into hiking packs but all of them are technically too big to carry on. The ones that are regulation size seem so itty bitty. I mean seriously, I’m positive I’ve seen people carry on way bigger bags than them. But we measured and I even checked Lufthansa’s website. So now I don’t know if I should just buy a non regulation size and hope I don’t have to check it and if they make me then hope they don’t lose my bag. I hate the idea of checking luggage. Not because it costs money (which I actually think on Lufthansa you can check one bag for free) but because I hate that it could get lost. I like to be in control of my stuff at all times. I may have issues.

Everything else we’re pretty good on. I’m going to look into some dry shampoo since I’d like to take as few toiletries as possible. I’m not sure if it works very well though. Anyone know anything about it? I also have to find some sort of very small travel towel. I’m thinking I can find something like that in some outdoor store.

And…. I think that’s all. Is it crazy to take such a small amount of stuff? I am a chronic over packer and never ever use everything I take. Still, the idea of only taking a small backpack makes me really anxious.

It’s probably because I’ve never actually been anywhere like India really. I don’t know what to expect or how easy it will be to get things I need if I forget/decide not to pack them. If it were Europe it’d be no problem. I know what to expect in places like that.

All of this is part of the adventure though and I know it’s going to be amazing. Not knowing what to expect is part of the excitment. I feel like I’m clicking up the first climb of a giant roller coaster. I have butterflies in my stomach and I almost want to scream at someone to stop the ride.

I know it’s going to be a great ride though and the butterflies are just part of the fun.

A couple little snippets

Today was a long day. I opened the store this morning and I closed the store this evening. Good times. Thankfully I had a six hour break in the middle so I was able to have a nice long lunch with Joel and take a much needed nap. Instead of giving you the run down of my entire day I’ll just give you the moments that stood out.

– We have a tip jar at work. Some people drop the extra change in, some people leave a whole dollar. More often than not people don’t leave anything at all. It’s whatever. I don’t really judge you if you don’t leave a tip. Obviously I like you more if you do but like I said, whatever. Your pennies and nickles don’t make or break my day. We have several regulars though and one of them is a really nice, retired guy that comes in most days and does his crossword while he has his coffee. We’ve had several nice conversations and never have I noticed whether he left a tip or not. Until today.

For some reason, after he paid for his coffee and I handed him his 18 cents he felt the need to explain himself. His words were

I would leave you this as a tip but I have a jar at home that I’m saving my change in. It’s about the size of your tip jar but it’s full of quarters. It probably has $1,000. I’m saving for a vacation.

My outward response was “Oh, how nice.” What I was thinking though was “Um, good for you?” I tweeted as much.

The thing is, like I said, I don’t care that much if you tip me. Whatever, it’s your money. However, if you don’t tip me I’d like to think it’s because you didn’t think it was necessary. Don’t tell me that you specifically considered giving me a tip, thought about it and decided you were better off with your 18 cents than I am. Then you just look greedy.

-Joel and I had lunch together at an amazing Chinese buffet near our apartment. We sat next to a couple tables where what appeared to be a class of high school students were sitting. There were probably 10 students and 2 teachers at the table and they were discussing trying new food and some kind of study questions etc. Things you’d expect to hear from a field trip. I only caught snippets of their conversation and wasn’t paying much attention until I heard the teacher say,

“No, I don’t got a pen.

And then I died a little inside. Oh god, our educational system is so broken even the teachers can’t speak proper English. I visibly cringed. Thank goodness not a moment later I heard her say,

“But I might have a pen.”

She was correcting a students grammar by being snarky. And then all was back to being right with the world. It probably shouldn’t have mattered that much to me, but it did.

And now I’m planning to sleep as long as possible. Even after taking the nap I could have slept hours and hours ago. Hanging out with my coworkers was totally worth it though. It’s such a rare thing to enjoy all the people’s company that you work with as much as I do. I’m a lucky girl and I definitely know it.

Covered in coffee

Today I left work covered in coffee from head to toe.

Seriously.

At least of the many smells I could smell like working in a restaurant type setting coffee is one of the best. Joel definitely seems to appreciate it.

The reason I was covered in coffee was because from the time we opened at 7am we were slammed with business. And my lovely coworker called in sick. On the busiest morning of the week. Which turned into the busiest morning we’ve had. Ever. And me left to handle it basically alone. Awe.some.

I reached the breaking point when I had rung in no less than five espresso orders and still had a line practically out the door. Thank God that was the moment one of the cashiers came over and offered to take over ringing people up which left me free to make lattes and cappuccinos like a mad woman.

Next thing I knew it was noon. I don’t know if people ate outside. I’m not even positive how more brewed coffee got made. That whole block of time is a blur of espresso grounds and steaming milk. There was much splashing and spillage. Hence my being covered in coffee and the whole bar area looking like a Javanese war zone. If the Javanese used coffee as weapons, that is.

Honestly, I’ve never had so much fun at work. I work well under pressure. Just ask Joel about my getting ready last minute skills. I felt like a real barista for the first time. I cranked those drinks out. I’m fairly certain I didn’t even mess any up. Or at least not bad enough for anyone to complain. Every drink even had latte art on it. I’m just that pro.

Or something. Some of the art was more abstract. Or happy accidents like a tulip I made on one drink. The recipient probably thought I was crazy the way I was squeeing over her latte.

Me- “Ooooh! Pretty flower!”

Guest- thinking “That coffee girl has lost it

I just have to figure out how to do it again. Then I’ll go pro.

Actually, did you know they really do have World Barista Championships? I didn’t until I did the training with Intelligentsia and saw the shelf full of trophies. It’s a serious business if you get really into it.

Anyway, all the customers were actually really fantastic and totally understanding. Thank goodness it wasn’t a weekday where they were all on their way to the train. I have a feeling there would have been a lot less smiling and a lot more huffing and yelling. With everyone in a happy mood it helped keep me relaxed and having a good time.

So today was a great day despite (or maybe because) a girl called in sick. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been quite so annoyed with her. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Plus? I didn’t have to share the tips.

How not to be “that” passenger

1. The most important thing you can do is to be nice! You are in our world so treat us well. Seriously, a smile and a few nice words go a really long way. Most of us will practically do back flips for a great customer. On the other hand, if you’re rude, good luck. I’m just saying, when it comes down to it we’re in charge so it’s in your best interest to at least follow the golden rule.

2. I hate when we’re delayed as much as you do. It is just as inconvenient for me as I probably have a layover that’s getting shortened or a connection I have to make as well. Honestly, I want to help out as much as possible but one of the things I can’t do is tell you if you’re going to miss your connection or not. I simply don’t know and there is really no one who can tell me. So, when I say to check the monitors when you get there to see if your flight is gone or not that’s the best I’ve got. Sorry.

3. Try and use the restroom in the concourse and not as soon as you get on the airplane. Airplane lavatories are disgusting in the first place so you’re much better off. More importantly, when there are six people lined up to use the lavatory before take off it makes it very difficult to get essential tasks done and get the plane out on time.

4. If the seatbelt sign is on, seriously don’t get up unless it is an emergency (read: puking, bleeding, etc.). I know you “gotta go” but we truly only have you sit down for your safety. Trust me, telling someone they can’t pee is not something I enjoy doing. However, I’d hate to see you get thrown halfway across the plane. So, just save both of us the frustration and stay seated until that little red light turns off.

5. I’m really bad at reading minds. It’s just not a talent I possess. So, unless you’re my best friend, don’t just say you’d like coffee, tell me how you drink it.

6. Also, when ordering beverages, if you know you only want a few sips of your Coke, tell me and I’ll pour you a glass. It’s very inconvenient when a whole can of liquid is dumped in the trash bag. They aren’t always watertight and nobody likes sticky shoes.

7. While I’m on the subject of trash, just relax about it. There are few things more annoying than someone three aisles down holding up, or throwing trash at me while I’m trying to take care of the person in front of me. Since garbage space on an airplane is limited I usually have a system for how I take trash and not only does random trash being thrown at me mess that up but it also has a tendency to splash on me. Just relax and I’ll get it to it as soon as I get to your row.

8. The galley is the only space I have. I know it’s probably a long flight and it sucks to sit down for hours on end but I don’t have any other place to go. Standing there for a few minutes to stretch your legs is no problem but there are several no-no’s. First of all, absolutely no sitting, lying, or changing diapers on the jump seat. I’m not being possessive it’s actually a FAA regulation and therefore against the law. Secondly, stretching your legs for a minute is fine but having a full out yoga class looks goofy. You can do it but I’m laughing at you on the inside… I’m just saying. Also, don’t stand back there with five of your best buddies and have a party. I want you to have a great time but not in my space. Finally, please don’t bring your screaming baby/toddler back to calm them down. I realize it’s frustrating and I feel for you, I really do, but it’s my only place to go so please try and calm them down from your seat.

9. We are all adults here. Yes, those stupid economy seats are small and it’s a tight fit. No, I will not tell the person in front of you to put their seat back up. They have every right to put it back since they paid for that seat. But if you’re eating or really need some extra space for some reason be a grown up and ask them to sit up yourself.

10. I realize when you’ve been on an airplane for hours your belongings can get a bit spread out. However, use the time before we land to put all your things back where they need to be. The worst possible time to repack everything you own is after everyone has already deplaned. We can’t leave until you do and trust me, we’re just as excited to be off the airplane as anyone. So when the Captain says, “Flight attendants, prepare for landing.” take that as your cue, gather your things, check your seat pockets and zip those bags so we all can get where we need to be.

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