Saturday, March 19, 2011

i'm about to go catch some UFC with my siblings. if i can be honest with you, the thought of watching people fight for hours isn't my favourite way to spend a saturday night. admittedly, it's growing on me, though. i love the energy around me and the cheering that happens after a good hit; i have my favourite fighters, and moves, and i'm deeply intrigued by the support and encouragement that comes from each fighter's corner.

each fight i watch makes me more grateful that i have people in MY corner. usually, i'm the one standing on the sidelines cheering my friends on during the fight; the one that wipes the sweat off their face in between rounds and makes sure they get adequate water; the one who encourages them, and glues their wounds together to prevent bleeding and further damage. but today? today i'm the one who needs the encouragement, and the cheering on. today i am the one who needs someone in MY corner. and i'm okay with that. after all, encouragers need encouragement, too.

i'm really tired of people 'messing with' my life. i'm tired of people spreading rumours about me to cover their own mistakes, not having my back when they know the truth, or lying so that they can get ahead.

i caught someone stealing at second cup. an employee actually. even though there were two other witnesses, this employee [who happens to be a friend of my boss's son] convinced our boss that i was lying, along with the other two employees, causing problems for me at work and forcing me to quit faster than i had planned.

the worst part is, even though they fired her and covered all of her shifts, they hired her back, and even though my other coworker told my boss to "go eff himself" and quit, they guilted him into coming back, too.

but here i am unemployed, and insulted, and left looking like the ... idiot. when in actuality, i wasn't the one who stole, lazed around or told my boss where to go. i was honest and forthright. hard working. dedicated, and, and, and ... the list goes on. funny how that works hey?

a small part of me regrets quitting, but a bigger part of me knows it was time, and for the best. i have been feeling a tug on my heart for the past month or so to pursue something else, but i think that the fact that i was 'needed' there, comfortable with the job, and the fact that i felt a great deal of purpose with the whole 'just a CUPel of words' thing kept me from moving forward.

so here i go ... again. back in the ring and ready for my opponent. i'm focused, my fists are up, and thankfully, the voices coming from MY corner are far louder than the ones coming from the opposing side.

let's do this.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

this is an email i just got from my boss, samir, from head office:

Hi folks:
I received this message from our head office regarding a customer appreciation to our staff initiation, the idea created by our trouble maker Paula.

Congratulations! Samir, your team seems to be doing a great job.

To: Second Cup, Customer Care
Subject: Thank you

Good Morning
I am a frequent customer at the Second Cup at the corner of Lisgar St and Elgin St in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
While all employees there have great customer service skills, there is one who is quite unique. I can get her name if you need it. What this employee does in the quiet times (which is almost never) is write beautiful simple saying on the coffee cups…today's says Believe in yourself…Someone does. Each cup has a different saying

My colleagues and I really enjoy these little messages and always look forward to reading them.
I think this idea should be further explored by Second Cup…this employee is on to something good.
Nathalie Rochefort

Call Solution: Thanked her for here wonderful feedback and told her that I will be sharing it with the franchise partner and the regional manager.


small things count!

[check out previous posts for background]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

can i just be honest with you? [rhetorical question]. writing on every cup that i hand out every day is ... well, exhausting. sometimes i only do it because it's expected or because people ask. and sometimes, just sometimes, i just don't feel like it. [gasp!]

would my customers actually be okay with getting an encouragement-less cup? would i actually be okay without wearing the 'encouraging barista' hat for a day?

truth is, i had no idea that something so small would become so huge and demanding.

truth is, though i would be the first one to tell that you words have power, i didn't know that writing inspirational words on coffee cups had this much power.

and i certainly didn't think that 'just a CUPel of words' had the ability to make someone's day to the point where they would call the store, ask us if we write on the cups personally, and tell us how much the words on their cup impacted them today.

i didn't know that a 'few seconds of my time' could "solve five months of conflict" at a customer's work as a lady pointed out to me today before she walked out of my store feeling like a million bucks.

and i certainly didn't know that this whole cup thing would be the topic of discussion in downtown offices and around board room tables, as i'm reminded of on an almost daily basis by the people on the other side of the counter.

or that a picture of my cup would end up on twitter - or on some random girl's facebook. or that a cup would be found sitting on someone's desk for weeks.

i just. i just didn't know that this whole thing would become part of my identity.

that's the truth, isn't it? that the things we do for others have the ability to turn into a 'hat' we where? a role we play? an expectation others have. and ... get this ... part of our identity?

don't get me wrong, knowing i'm making a difference in the world around me makes a difference in mine, but on days like today, i 'just' want to be ...