The Extra Mile

Story 1

It started out when my co-workers and I went out for lunch. It was an unusual French lunch as we made a quick run to McDonald’s (Macdo), which happens to be attached to a gas-station. Anyway, when we got inside and in line we were surprised when a lady with her two young boys came barging in and cut us. Like any normal person would be, we were a little ticked. Her kids sat at the nearest table and we just looked at each other and rolled our eyes.

Then this lady has the balls to turn around and say “oh were you guys here first?” With a tone of voice that rang out “even if you were I don’t care, I just want you to know I acknowledge the fact I cut you.” Now we were really mad, not only because she being rude but she knew it. She ordered, as did we after her. But of course her kids took the last table in the restaurant. We stood patiently in the corner of the room, waiting for a table to clear up.

The first table to clear up? You guessed it. The one right next to this horribly rude women. We start to walk over with a sigh. What does she do? Takes the chairs from that table moves them to her table and sets her purse and jacket on them.

Ok lady you win!  We didn’t want to sit next to your arrogance anyway, it would have ruined my appetite. We waited 5 more minutes for another table and all was well.

Story 2

As you may know I am in Paris right now but I am leaving for London tonight. I bought a train ticket to London the first week I was here. Paid and taken care of. I ended up losing my credit card a week later to a few bottles of wine and a blurry cab ride.

Tuesday I went to the SNCF boutique to pick up my train ticket. When I got there no one spoke English (which is good I need to practice my French) making a technical situation tougher. Of course I needed the original card for them to print out the ticket and in my broken French I explained to them I don’t have that card anymore it doesn’t exist. They said too bad they couldn’t help me.

Wednesday comes and I call on the help of my best friend here Phil (fluent in french) to help me. He is pleased to help and we go to a different boutique. This time the lady behind the counter says I don’t need the old card, just the card number and expiration date, she can type it in manually and print the ticket. I call my dad (who usually takes a beating when I am in stressful situations, sorry dad, I love you). He explains to me it is the same 12 numbers as the new card with a different last four and he provides the last four of the old on.

I give the teller the number but it doesn’t work. She instructs me to go to the head office at the train station and see if I can get a refund then repurchase the ticket on the new card. Ugh. I make the half hour metro ride to the international train station (Gare du Nord) along, Phil has done his good deed for the day. Navigate my way through crowds of people, wait in line to talk to a new teller and of course I get stuck with one who is already in a terrible mood. I saw her yelling at the person in front of me and I prayed I would not get her as my teller, but i did.

Before I got to the train station I called my chase bank back home in Chicago and asked for the card number and expiration date, my dad was one number off. Bigger Sigh.

I get to the Window and the woman asks “Yes?” I explain to her my situation and she immediately throws her pen and stomps off… OK? This is not going too well. She gets her manager and they explain to me that everything I am requesting is impossible. I try to tell them, well the boutique said you guys could help me. There response? ” Go back to the fucking boutique then.” I choked back tears but walked away with my head held high. I promised myself if I ever worked in public service I would do my very best to be positive everyday.

Overwhelmed, I thought I am never going to get this ticket. I won’t get to go to London. I am going to lose at least 300 euro. But I knew that being an 18 year old in a foreign country alone and not speaking much of the language comes with these territories. No one wants to help me. No one has the patience.

Now that I had the right card number I marched back to the boutique and hoped they wouldn’t be annoyed that I was trying again. They weren’t. They were more then happy to retry with the new number I brought them. It worked!!!! Finally a sigh of relief instead of frustration. I was so thankful and they really appreciated my pure joy. They knew they made my day and even my week. The ticket printed and I almost cried.

Crisis averted.

All of this drama in one day. I was exhausted. I  was thankful but I really wanted to show those people at the boutique how much they helped me. How truly thankful I was for their simple act of kindness. Instead of being like the lady at McDonald’s or the lady at the train station, they did not think about themselves before me. They knew the fix was a little annoying for them, they had to go out of their way but fixing it for me meant a week in London, an experience I would never forget.

 

When I am in London I will make sure to get them something little from the Olympics and bring it to their office with a nice note. Show them my appreciation.
After having a rough day I get to come back to this blog and vent about it, let go of all my frustrations and reread what happened. From there I get to reflect on the situation. How would I have changed things? How would I have acted in their shoes? What can I do next time to avoid the mess?

This blog, as well as most blogs, serves as a mirror. We get the opportunity, if we wish, to relive the good and the bad and take away the lessons we were meant to take away.

Yesterdays lesson: Go the extra mile. Whether that be for strangers I can help, in my relationships, in my work and school. Always go the extra mile.

Advertisements

Pip Pip Cheerio!

It is Wednesday, but for me it is Thursday and I am getting really excited to “hit the road jack.” Tomorrow I leave for London! I have never been before and I get to go during the craziest time. The Olympics. I understand I wont get a true feeling for London since it will be jam packed with tourists, athletes (can I get me one of those?) and locals.

Things I am most excited about.

1. British Food- I love new foods and at this point I am very familiar with French food, so I can’t wait to get some true blue London grub. Fish and Chips anyone?

2. British accents- Ohlala.. French is hard. French gives me a headache by 5pm. French is too fast. Not that I don’t love hearing it and its romantic nature but eventually it turns into background noise. I think the first English conversation I have I might cry.

3. British Humor- Sometimes the French can be a little negative (they will all admit to this). I need some good laughs and some high spirits. It has been raining here in Paris all summer which just makes the French even more irritated. I feel London will fill the gap of strangers feeling like family that I didn’t get here in Paris.

4. Change- Come on people I’m trying to fill the gigantic shoes of a world traveler. If change is our middle name then challenge is our last name.

Bring it on London. Give me your best shot. (Welcome me with open arms?).

Anyone have any advice? Suggestions? Recommendations?

Zen and the Art of Drunk Texting Madness

With websites like Texts from Last Night and College Humor, drunk texting/calling has become all too public. As I bow my head in shame I can regrettably say I have fallen victim to my own drunk-conscious (a mix between subconscious and unconscious). Now-a-days drunk texting is used as a gauge as to how inebriated you truly were last night. You wake up in the morning, roll over and look at that little piece of technology, sitting peacefully on your night stand as if last night it grew legs, jumped out of our pocket into your hands and messed up your life.

Image

How Wasted Were You?

On a scale of 1 – 10

1. Let me pencil you in.

This is a prep text. You send it to a fling or someone you have hooked up with before. It goes out either right when you get to the bar or during the pre-game at your place.  It sounds like this “Hey u goin out tonight?” You want to know if they will be available later when stuff gets real.

2. S.O.S

You are still pretty sober but you have lost your friends at the frat, bar, club whatever. You call them even though you know the music is so loud they wont be able to hear their phone let alone you if they answered. Then you send the text “Where you atttttttt?????”

3. Note to sober self.

You are talking with your best friends and you are a little tipsy, but that tipsy mind of yours comes up with a great topic for your ten page paper due next week or all of a suddenly a fantastic recipe idea shoots into your mind. You grab you phone and send YOURSELF a text so tomorrow sober you can be re-enlightened by your pure stroke of genius.

4. Always failing Auto Correct

Now auto correct messes with you on a daily basis but when you are getting drunker you stop noticing that what you are typing is quickly changing the meaning of your text.

Image

5. Wait Wrong Person

This text goes to the wrong person because their name is either similar to the person you were trying to text ex. Allie and Alex. or you are drunk enough that when you text your best friend about “how awful your date was with Ben” you put Ben in the recipient line and that’s the end of that. This is almost always followed up with “Sorry wrong person!”

6. Last Chance Text.

You send this at closing time. You are hoping the other person is just as drunk as you are but can find their way over to your place. Even though this is sugar coated most of the time both parties know what it really means. Late. Night. Booty. Call. No conversations to be had in the morning.

.ImageImage

7. Family Disaster

Some how you end up texting your father or brother because Dad is really close to David but unlike the “wait wrong person” texts, these are more severe, even emotionally damaging to the receiver. You just sent some really personal information to a family member and there is no going back.

Image

8. What time is it?

You are clearly very drunk at this point and this call/ text happens mostly on the journey home when you come out of the music induced coma the club put on you. You call someone you know is sober just to rant about your problems but what you don’t realize is that it is 5 am and they have work tomorrow. Opps.

9. WTF are you trying to say?

Wasted. and all your texts come out like this…… hldooveeeee erheaiyouo bazbezy youze are lztrqs gert tacao bellllllll. Though these texts are completely ineffective they do add some comic relief in the morning.

Image

10. I Love You Baby

This text is my greatest down fall. I am not proud to say that one drunk metro ride home through Paris a boyfriend back in the states was blessed with 28 calls in a row. ehhhh yikes. These texts are always the worst because they are analyzed too deeply and thought about too long after the initial contact. Whoever was drunk probably meant what they said but if they don’t say it sober then PLEASE for your own sake forget it ever happened.

Now that you know where you fall on the drunk scale, you can properly decide if you need professional help or not.

Chips, Dips and Politics

Why is it so important to understand not only our own government but also the government of neighboring/other countries? I don’t know, but it is important.

Image

For a lot of people in the states they have no idea what is going on with the Mexican elections. I am in France and they do a better job here of organizing and spreading the word then in the states (are we surprised)?

Image

Anyway, there is a lot of unhappy citizens in Mexico which could potentially lead to a civil war but will most likely end up in violent riots, which we do not want.

So what is happening in Mexico right now you might ask. Let me do some splainin’   

Image

The campaigning took place last year and the first half of this year. We have two major players #1. Andres Manuel Lopez (the good guy) #2. Enrique Pena Nieto, president elect and resident evil.

#1Image

#2Image

The problem with the election lies in the voting process. The amount of fraud that took place is ridiculous and the fact that Televista (the largest TV network in Mexico) is a Pena Nieto supporter does not help. Let’s start with the fact that Pena Nieto spent 8.2 million dollars on debit cards to pass out in poverty stricken communities. He promised the people that there was anywhere from 100 pesos or more on the cards allowing them to buy enough food for the week or more for them and their families. When the people took them to the stores there was no more then 5 or 10 pesos on the cards. The gesture on Pena Nieto’s part is nice… if you are not running for president of a country.

Image

Next he sent kids aged 8 to 10 into the voting booths with people who promised to vote for him, to make sure they actually did vote for him. WTF?!? That does not smell like democracy to me.

He won the election by 6 points and that is only because he illegally persuaded uneducated voters. Educated voters are up-in-arms, as they should be. They are rioting in all the major cities but guess what!? Remember how I said Televista supports Pena Nieto, yeah they are broadcasting celebrity weddings instead of the riots. Their main goal is the keep the whole deal quite so other countries don’t step in.

Image

           It reads Pena the TV is yours.Mexico is ours.

It doesn’t end there though, it actually gets a lot more crazy. From what I have heard (What I am about to say has not been proven in the court of law) Pena Nieto was having an affair with a man who was affiliated with his presidential camp. His wife walked in on the two sleeping together and later that exact same night she “died” of a “seizure,” mind you they have three kids together. One month later he marries a movie star and the man he was allegedly sleeping with is exiled to America for safe keeping.

This is pretty crazy stuff right? So there is a group of young adults who started a movement called yo soy 132 (I am 132) and they are fighting to get a reelection and a fair one at that. Check them out.

So why is it so important to know what is going on in other countries? You tell me. Do you think America should do something if it did get out of hand down there, or have we stuck our nose in enough business? Do you think their should be a re-election? Is it right that just because a majority of a country is living in poverty and uneducated that their government can have close to absolute power? Are they talking about this in hte states right now?

Get the facts and educate yourselves because even I am still learning. Here. Here.

Generation Y not change the world?

Thanks to newsofthetimes for a great post and a little inspiration! Since I am proudly heading up the rear of Generation Y, it only makes sense that I did a little internet browsing (that is what we were born to do right?) and found out what really makes us tick. 

Let’s do a little break down as I cook some awesome pasta with mushroom and cream sauce (mmm)

 Image

Y Hello There!

        For research purposes we were born between 1980 and 2000 (I’m repping ’93!). We are 80 plus million strong, are generation is larger then the baby-boomers. We also go by the name Millennials.  

Y So Curious?

Image

That is mine! it is a terrible picture but it says family as they are the most important thing and just like a tattoo they can never be erased from me 🙂 plus it is very easy to cover with a ring

         40 percent of us 18-24 our going to school whether that be a two year or a four year college. Go us! We are expected to be the most well-educated generation yet. Basically because we can’t find jobs out of high school (high school should be one word) we are forced to go to college which is not a bad thing at all. Hopefully we use our knowledge well in the future. 2010 held the highest college application rate to date. But the downfall to that is also we will be the generation with the highest amount of debt right out of school (we need better legislation). 

         60 percent of us do not want to or expect to retire with the companies we start out with. We have this crazy itch to grow and learn and we feel it is impossible to do that in huge corporations. We need constant praise and reenforcement, so we see no need in staying at one company and working our way up the ladder. We jump from job to job to gain experience and better positions. Now a days it is not looked at as a blemish on the resume to have four jobs in one year. We grew up watching mom and dad struggle to earn respect from their companies to later be let go during the “Great Recession” and we refuse to let companies be the boss of us. We are the age of entrepreneurs as we look at starting our own business as a fall back option. 

         Can you say boomerang? Mom’s cooking is just way too good to pass up. 1 in 3 of us come home after college and mom and dad wont kick us out until we are at least 30. Therefore, we save more money and we are known to start saving for retirement before the age of 24. 

         42 percent of our parents were married at our age but only 21 percent of us are married right now. It is kind of hard to be married and living with mommy and daddy. Also, taking a few years off after college to travel used to be looked at as irresponsible and it was a lot harder to get into the work force again. Now-a-days it is a huge resume booster and the most amazing learning experience (thank God the world finally sees the good in travel for young people like me. I absolutely love it!)

Image

         We own the internet and are commonly referred to as “digital natives.” 8 out of ten of us sleep with our cell phones in reach (guilty). 75 percent of us have social networking sites. 20 percent have posted youtube videos of ourselves. Over 50 percent of youtube gurus are under 20. AND AND AND 21-35 year olds make up over half of the worlds bloggers (thats us!)

        Our generation has changed the legal system and the expectations of privacy by huge leaps due to 9/11, the Columbine shooting, Anthrax scares, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Oklahoma City bombing ect. 

      56 percent of college students will not accept a job from a company that bans social media. 60 percent think they have the right to work remotely with a flexibly schedule. We would rather be unemployed then take a job we believe is beneath us. That is why 37 percent of us ARE unemployed. We want a chance to change companies more then a good title or a good salary. We might not show up on time but we are sending emails at 2 am and on weekends.

       We also have the shortest attention spans but the highest ability to multitask, I remember the days when my dad was lost and he would pull the car over turn the radio off just to look at a map. We are very culturally open as well.

Image

So what does all of this mean for the world? Well world you better start adapting to the way we like things because soon enough we will be CEO’s and politician.  Our generation is a lot different then the ones before us. We strive for independence and knowledge, but we can also been very lazy and spoiled. 

Can you relate? How do you think Generation Y will turn out? Know any kids that are exactly like this? Agree or Disagree with what I learned? Let me know! 

Btw i found my research here and here and here

Thanks for reading!