Friday, October 24, 2014

Pink

Pink things I love:
  • Cat noses
  • My Little Pink Blog
  • Strawberry Starburst candies.

Pink things I don't love:
  • Pink stuff that doesn't actually raise money for breast cancer research.
  • Pink workout gear when there is no other color choice, like black.

Pink things I hate, but woke up with this morning:
  • Pink eye.


Blah.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Morning Person

Even though it's Sunday, I was up early this morning (7:00) to run. Actually, 7:00 is sleeping in for me these days. But it's still early for a lot of people, and most of my friends are not out the door at 7:30 to run a 5K around the neighborhood.

What can I say? Runners are weird.

It had been two weeks since my last run (which, you might recall, was a half marathon), so I was anxious to get out there and do something. At first I thought I'd just walk, but as my legs warmed up, and after a few minutes of gentle stretching, I figured I could run-walk a mile. Just take it slow, etc.

But about half a mile in, I felt really good and thought maybe two miles would do it.

Then I ended up thinking, "Ah, what the hell," and running a little more than a 5K. I was even faster than I've been in a long time, by about a minute. Perhaps the rest did some good.

As I ran, the sun was coming up over the Sacramento Valley, and it was very quiet in the neighborhood. I encountered few cars and even fewer pedestrians, leaving me to enjoy the solitude and the rhythm of getting back out there. I've been working out consistently at the gym, so this first post-half run wasn't too difficult. My legs protested here and there, but I am in good enough shape to bounce back from breaks quickly.

It's funny how I can miss running so much when I take a break. This one was needed--to recover physically from the Urban Cow, yes, but also to give myself a mental break. Running is as much a head game with oneself as it is a physical activity. The last few months have been about increasing mileage and learning how to keep myself hydrated and motivated. It's nice to be back to running just for fitness and fun. Though that might not last long--I'm eyeing the Shamrock'n Half in March, and thinking about joining a training group at Fleet Feet.

But in the mean time, my morning runs are back. I'm determined to get out there during the week again, not just on Sunday. It keeps me grounded, focused, and I love my little date with the quiet world in the mornings.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I Got Krispy Kremed, and I'm Not Happy

When I first took on the job at the Large Suburban High School, my kids told me that selling food at Bonfire Night was a great way to make some money for our choir account, and one of the best sellers was Krispy Kreme donuts. So I called the fundraising phone number and put in an order for 15 dozen donuts, and a couple weeks later, stopped by Krispy Kreme to pick them up.

They had no record of my order.

Somewhere between calling the fundraising phone number and the local store, there was a misfire. Actually, not a misfire. A complete lack of communication. Because the manager looked at me with that blank, deer-in-the-headlights look, and as steam started coming out of my ears, scrambled to get his troops boxing fifteen dozen donuts for me. I got a small discount and got out of there in the nick of time for our fundraiser.

This year, I was smart. I called the fundraising number well in advance of Bonfire Night. It was no longer in service, so I got on the company web site and filled out an order form for 25 dozen donuts. I received an email telling me I'd get a confirmation call within two days.

I did not get a call.

So I called the number the email gave me, something like 1-800-KRISPY or 1-800-HUH?-WHAT?! I got a very friendly lady on the line after navigating through a long "press 1 for fundraising, press 3 for an actual human being, press 2 if you are starting to get steam buildup in your ears." Said friendly lady informed me that this was actually not the number to call to confirm my order, even though that is what the email had directed me to do. "Call your local store," she chirped. "Okay, thank you!" I chirped back, thinking, "HOW is it so hard to order donuts?!"

I called my local store (the Roseville branch) and punched more numbers in. I could not find a human being at any of these numbers I punched, so I sighed, hung up, and jotted down on my ever-growing To Do List that I'd need to actually drive to the store and see if a human being would deign to speak to me.

This is how I found myself on the Thursday before Homecoming Week, making a trip to the Roseville Krispy Kreme, which is not convenient to the school or to my home, and waiting around while they served everyone but me for several minutes until finally, I was able to summon a manager. The manager, a woman, was very apologetic that I'd had to wait (she found me sitting at a table, tapping my foot and staring at my phone) and I calmed down enough to ask if my fundraising order had found its way to the store.

It had not.

Of course it hadn't.

She agreed that there's a missing link between corporate and the local branches, apologized profusely, and took my order for twenty-five dozen donuts. Yes, that's 25 dozen. I told her I would need the donuts at 4:30 on Thursday, October 16th. She gave me a big smile, wrote down all the information, and sent me on my way.

"Good," I thought to myself. "No problems this year. I'll have donuts right when I need them. Good thing, too, next week's going to be busy."

I had been asked to judge Homecoming floats, which required me to be at the football field at 5:00. I figured I'd get to Krispy Kreme around 4:15, get my donuts right on time, and have 30 minutes to get back to the school--while it's only about 6 miles, it takes that long because of rush hour traffic and the various traffic lights in between.

Promptly at 4:15, I arrived in the shop, and told the first available employee (they always seem to be busy being not busy when customers arrive), "I'm here to pick up my order for Large Suburban High School Choir."

He looked confused, which didn't bode well, but he was not a manager, so I didn't panic. Meanwhile, two managers were talking with a woman who looked a little agitated, and the kid I had spoken to was off to the back area looking for donuts for the choir lady.

But as minutes started to tick by, I started to get worried. Surely there should be 25 boxes of donuts somewhere back there, labelled with my name and the school's name on them? Maybe they'd need to be put in plastic bags for easy carrying, but that only takes a few minutes. Right?

Right?

Nope.

A manager (this time a guy) finally came forward. They had no record of my order.

I'll repeat: They had no record of my order.

No record.

None.

I'm pretty sure that actual steam started coming out of my ears. It was now creeping too close to 4:30 for my comfort (remember, half hour drive back to school and a 5:00 commitment for float judging).

I could tell the manager was panicking a little. Would this short lady wearing large amounts of green explode? Cause a scene? Burn the building down?

"What was your order? I'm so sorry about this."

"Twenty-five dozen donuts. Ten chocolate, fifteen regular glazed."

"We are getting on that right now. I'm so sorry!"

"I had a 4:30 pick-up time."

"I know, and we will have those donuts boxed and bagged by 4:30, I promise." (It was 4:25. Remember, I had been there ten whole minutes by now, and they were finally paying attention to me.)

"Yes, well, I have a tight schedule, so I really need to leave in five minutes." My speaking voice when I'm truly angry is, perhaps, a little frightening. It was very soft, very calm, very pissed off.

"And you will. Again, I'm so sorry!"

"Yeah, well, there seems to be a big disconnect. I made this order last week in person."

"And this never should have happened. I'm so sorry it did. I'm a new manager here."

"This isn't your fault," I allowed.

"No, but I am still really sorry!!"

"I will not sell donuts at next year's event."

"No, don't say that! I've been here two weeks now and I've noticed this is a problem. You're not the first. That lady I was talking to a few minutes ago was having the same problem! I'm going to fix this."

"That...doesn't help me. I'm on a very tight schedule." (I'll add that at this point, the minions were frantically slapping donuts into boxes, and the manager was taking my debit card.)

"I'll give you a discount! This is unacceptable. So I'll just charge you $5.00 a box." Regular glazed donuts are usually $5.50 a box, so this wasn't all that significant, but the chocolate ones are $6.50 a box, so I guess I saved a little there. Whatever.

I ended up leaving at about 4:40, with twenty-five dozen donuts in my car and $125 missing from my bank account. I started the drive across town to the school, and just made it in time.

Needless to say, I was not pleased with my experience. For this to happen two years in a row, and especially after all the trouble I went to to make sure the store knew I needed the donuts at a specific time, is inexcusable. It is terrible customer service. I don't care who tries to fix what; I sincerely doubt it will be fixed at any point. So the only solution is to make sure people know about it. I already posted on the store's Facebook page (no response), and to the corporate Twitter (no response), so they must not care. I'll certainly not recommend that any fundraising groups do the Krispy Kreme route, with the experience I had.

My Week in Instagram (Week #99)

It was Homecoming Week, so things got very spirited. We had an all-day teacher training on Wednesday, Bonfire Night on Thursday, and the craziness of Friday. I'm exhausted!! (But in a good way.)

Sunday:

Hey, that's where *I* sit!!

Monday:

Dachshund pajama pants for Pajama Day.

I took some fall decorations in to put on my desk. : )

The marching band played at lunchtime. 

Tuesday:

Our school paper is very well-done. The kids cover really
great issues.

So much going on.

I don't usually order race pictures, but this one is too awesome.
That's me, at the finish of the Urban Cow.
Wednesday:

Technology training, using my district-issued iPad mini.


Her breath is awful, but I love her so.

Thursday:

The staff had two teams for spirit week, Team Green and
Team Black. Guess who's a co-captain on Team Green?

I've been struggling a little lately. Being really hard on myself,
etc. I might actually speak to my doctor about it. But in the
meantime, I can leave Post-Its for myself.


One of my piano students is on Student Government, and
she asked me to judge Homecoming Floats. The theme was
Life Is A Highway.

The seniors chose Highway 15, which leads to Las Vegas.

They had working fountains!


The Juniors chose Rainbow Road from the MarioKart game.
The boxes were spinning, and the turtle shell moving.

The sophomores chose Highway 101, highlighting three of its
cooler stops. The trolley moved back and forth, and the bridge
prompted our student government teacher to say, "I might need
to make a height limit next year..."


The freshmen chose the Road to Hana, and put together a cute
float with water in the waterfall. 


Before judging, I had gone to Krispy Kreme (more on THAT
fiasco in another post) to pick up 25 dozen donuts. Yes,
25 dozen.

I was the first customer, before we even left the choir room.

I had some down time to Team Greenify my nails.

And put my feet up.

The marching band put on their show at the Bonfire Rally.

Choir sold donuts again.

The fire department hates this evening, but they gamely
let us do it, and they're on standby with a truck. 
Friday:

The Homecoming Royalty rally. Here's the Varsity team
getting pumped up.

And our Grizzly mascot giving out t-shirts.

The ever-popular gender-bending cheer routine. The guys
who did stunts looked so pleased with themselves.


I spent a few hours after school doing some organizing and
music-filing. My desk looks great. That clipboard is my
music library stuff. I have kids who can finish that. : )

My domain. 

Some new additions to the wall.

My next-door neighbors, a 150-member marching band.

Nice to be mentioned in the program!
Saturday:

Dad and I had a date to the local air show.

It was small, but fun to look at the different planes.





Stunt flier going vertical. 




Model planes.

Helicopter ambulance.



Daddy-Daughter Selfie
Tonight I'm going to see the band compete at a local high school. My alma mater, Folsom, will also be there. The coming week looks a little less crazy, but knowing me, it will be just as busy!