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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

As the stressful seasons begin..

In addition to my barista job, I have taken on a seasonal position at an outdoor retailer (yay!).

Both of my jobs are part-time, so I will be working anywhere from 40-55 hours a week until January, prime holiday season. Which means holiday shoppers...blegh.

Before I go on, allow me to say that I love my jobs.

Okay fine, I enjoy my jobs and get along with my co-workers and don't completely dread going to work. It would be awesome if I was being paid to travel and read and bake and be myself, but not everyone can have that job...does anyone have that job??? (damn you Anthony Bourdain!)

Dream job aside, I like my jobs because I am directly interacting with people all the time. I get to have brief conversations with interesting people from all walks of life, and hopefully brighten their day with a good latte, or by helping them find the perfect water bottle for their camping trip. I would say that 85% of my customers are great.

But the other 15% can make my life a mini hell-on-earth.

I know this is off-topic from health, but for my mental health, read and remember these thoughts below as you delve into Christmas shopping, Hanukkah shopping, grocery shopping, or what have you.

Remember that you are interacting with a human being. Not a machine. Not an animal. A person. Someone who deserves respect. That means that "please" and "thank you" are good words to use.

Exercise patience. Maybe you will wait 5 minutes instead of 4 minutes for your usual espresso drink. Maybe the lines are long. Maybe they were out of something in your size, or the cashier is new and has to ask questions. Breath in. Breath out. Calm down.

Please, get off your cell-phone. Call the person back, set it down for the transaction, send it to voicemail. The cashier does not think you are cool because someone is calling you. Seriously.

Don't sweat the small stuff. This time of year can turn your average laid-back person into a caroling-deal-chasing-zombie...trust me, I've seen it happen. The drive to buybuybuy can suck the fun out of what should be a winter wonderland.

You may not be in charge of everything, but by golly, you can control yourself. You get to decide your level of calm, and how you will live. Focus on the important things (which aren't things, but people, time, and feelings) and let the craziness go.

Remember that it is the thought that counts, and the heart behind that thought that really matters.

And seriously, get off your cell-phone.

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