Posts Tagged With: thoughts
Over the years I’ve worked in quite a few different places within retail. Most days I love being around people. They give me so much food for thought. Even though I’ve had the pleasure to work with electronics (I love me some gadgets) and books (well you know how I feel about those), I have to say that working with glasses has so far been the one that I’ve enjoyed the most. I think the biggest reason for that is that my job is to actually help people that needs it. It’s not about selling a lot of things that people don’t need, It’s about helping them to actually see! I love it!
But this post was not supposed to be a gush of my love for the optical industry. It’s a plea to a few of you customers out there.
For the customer that yells at us when we ask when you’re born. For the ones who fumes and curses when they have to wait a few minutes to get help. For those who slam their fists on the counter when their product didn’t arrive on time. Those who curse and scream and threatens.
I get it! You have certain expectations, so do I. But sometimes it feels like the expectations that are set for serviceminded people in retail can be beyond ridiculous. Want to know a secret? We’re only humans, just like you.
We have our off days. We try our best to not let it show, but sometimes our best just doesn’t do the trick. Sometimes we falter in the areas that we normally succeed in. It’s life after all.
We get sick. So when you have to stand in line because there’s only one person working in the store, don’t forget that the person standing there could’ve already been working hours overtime trying to do the work usually done by two or more.
We are here to help you. Yes, that much I’m guessing you already knew. That however, does not mean that you can bully and boss us around. We genuinely want to help, and to give you the best experience possible, but we also expect to be treated like an equal. We put a lot of work and training into what we do, even though it is “just retail”.
The customer isn’t always right. I’m sorry to burst that bubble, but someone had to.
I’ve had customers screaming in my face when I tried (calmly) to tell them the rules of warranties and tax refunds. Rules that I could point out and show them, and still they yelled at me and told me I needed to learn to do my job better, just because I couldn’t give them the answer they wanted. I’ve had customers that said such cruel things to me (completely unprovoked) that I ended up crying afterwards. I’ve also had customers that felt it was okay to stare at my body instead of making eye contact while I was talking to them. I’ve gotten sexist jokes thrown my way more times than I can count.
Working in retail and with people can be overwhelming at times. And constantly being surrounded by strangers that demand your full attention can be hard.
So when you feel frustrated; Talk to us. Ask us your questions. Listen to the answers you’ll receive. Don’t bully, and don’t be rude.
Please, do not bite our heads off. Most likely, we are just trying to help.
To end this post on a more positive note; I want to mention how grateful I am to have received so many smiles, kind words, baked goods, flowers and hugs from customers over the years. Those are the moments that I choose to hold on to. I’ve learned so much about business, psychology, human behaviour, kindness, gratitude, and heard so many amazing stories from wonderful people. People I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with if it weren’t for my years being out on the floor in the business of retail.
It’s been a very interesting journey, and one that I’m still enjoying very much!
Be nice to one another. I guess that’s the message I’m trying to get through here.
Lots of love,
A few weeks ago I watched Jason Silva talk about “The Rhapsody and Agony of Love” in this Shots of Awe video, and there was something he said that really stuck with me with me.
“What the fuck do we do? I’m still mourning. I’m still grieving for every love that I lost. How the fuck am I supposed to get over that? I didn’t sign up for these terms!”
Those words kept me up for hours after I should’ve gone to sleep. Anyone who knows me well (or read this blog for that matter) will know that I’m a hopeless romantic. I believe in the magic of love, and the power it has to change lives. I’ve loved and lost, and when it comes to being grateful as well as mourning lost love, I wrote a post about that not so long ago. You can find it here.
What I haven’t talked about so often, but something that’s been a growing feeling I’ve had for a while now is that of uncertainty when it comes to relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in love and romance, and I’m pretty sure I will fall in love again someday. But do I believe in happily ever after in relationships? I’m not so sure.
I’ve frequently been joking around with my friends, telling them that I’ve grown so comfortable with being alone that I fear I’ll never end up living together with someone again. I know that sounds pessimistic, but it really isn’t. This is a not a post for me to whine and rant about unavailable love. It’s more about the realisation that the fantasy of the one true love that so many live and breathe, isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing. It’s the idea that we might have to rethink the way we see relationships.. It’s the fact that I’ve been through the ups and downs of the wrong relationships, fallen in love with some amazing people that I’ve had to say goodbye to, I’ve had my heart broken and I’ve broken some along the way. Most of all, it’s the fact that I’m almost thirty years old now, I have a son and don’t want more kids, have no desire to gett married, and I refuse to just settle because “that’s what everyone does”.
I want to be blown away by love, but I’m not looking for perfection. Right now I’m not really looking for anything in particular, but if love should cross my path and swipe me off my feet, then I’m willing to give it a chance. My big heart might be full of cracks and scars, but it’s still open. It’s open for the possibilities of the future. And yet, I’m also slowing coming to terms with the idea that relationships just might not be the thing for me. Who knows. I guess I’ll just have to take it all as it comes and see what happens.
Glasses with regrets
And plates with dreams
They enter in shadows
Darkness and silent screams
I ask them to sit
To enjoy every spoon
In this room lightened
By the hungry moon
They tell me their stories
As I listen and try
To understand their meaning
Without starting to cry
They leave me at sunrise
In an indefinable mood
I had dinner with my demons
And they ate all the food
©Christina de Vries – Geek Heaven
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A while back I had some time to spare between a couple of meetings. What do writers do when they have time to spare? They order coffee and sit down to write of course!
I ordered myself a double soy latte and the barista that served me did not yell “DOUBLE SOY LATTE” when it was done. And he didn’t yell out my name as a Starbucks barista would do. He told me (with the biggest smile) that my coffee was ready, then he really looked me in the eyes and said:
It might not sound like much, but in the instant those words hit me I thought:
‘Yes! I deserve this! I deserve to indulge myself a little extra and I definitely will! THANK YOU for reminding me!’
In this day and age where it too often feels like time stretches too thin, the pressure gets to us all to be better, deliver perfectly, to compete (and win) and find time to everyone and everything, it’s way too easy to forget to slow down , enjoy the moment, to let go and to be mindful.
My life has been changing a lot the past few months, and to say that it’s been hectic would be an understatement for sure. But even though there’s been a lot going on (mostly with work) I’ve learnt a lot from it and really enjoyed every part of it. Getting into new routines, learning new things and facing new challenges. But in the blur of it all, I’ve forgotten to enjoy life as much as I usually do.
I haven’t been as present in those small moments of life that we so easily overlook and see as nothing but life passing by. Boy, how wrong are we to do so?!
Those moments are the ones that are really important to enjoy to the fullest! Those moments put together are what makes up our lives.
So wouldn’t you rather enjoy them than waste them?
So in the moment when I was handwriting this post in my notebook, I was listening to my favourite writing music, sipping on a delicious soy latte, making sure to really taste every flavour of it and doing this! The one thing that no matter how bad my day is or how sad I’m feeling, it completes me. Writing.
It’s the one thing that I enjoy no matter what, and I’m making sure that I enjoy it a little extra these days, just because the wonderful and serviceminded barista that served me, reminded me that I’ve earned the right to do so!
I hope gratitude got through to him, not only in my tip and words, but also through my eyes and smile.
Enjoy the small moments! They are your life!
For some reason I always end up staying up late, immersed in my own thoughts and creativity whenever I go back home to my parents for a visit. Could be the change of scenery or maybe just the comfort of being on home base that brings out something that’s been tucked away for a while.
Some of it probably comes from the deep conversations I have with close family and friends when I come around. They bring a lot of subjects and thoughts to the surface that I rarely touch on with other people in my everyday life. This is something that I’m extremely grateful for and definitely always look forward to when I’m going home, but it also makes for a bit of a bitter sweet experience. Late nights of writing and endless coffee refills (not that I need it. I’m pretty much immune to caffeine at this point!) has become sort of a routine.
Over the past few days I’ve had a mini-vacation back to my hometown just to have some quality time with my family and friends, and to recharge my batteries for the hectic time to come. These last couple of days can definitely be described as interesting. Not that there’s much to tell that would be of any interest to anyone else but me, but the experience in general has just been wonderful. A lot of meaningful conversations, new ideas, reconnected friendships and lots and lots of good coffee. I crave these kind of inputs in my life on a regular basis, to clear my head a bit and to see my life and thoughts from a different perspective. It’s healthy for me, and I think a lot of people could benefit from similar experiences. We all need to step back a little from time to time, to really be able to see where everything is going and to really be able to understand ones needs. We get so caught up in everyday life (nothing wrong with that! We all live it.) that we push away the important thoughts and questions, storing them for a later and “more convenient” time. But the very truth and essence of everyday life is that it is exactly that: YOUR LIFE! It’s not the time that you wait around for life to actually start happening. It’s not the time where everything that goes down is of less significance because the events aren’t huge! It’s the everydays that mounts up to the life that you choose to live.
I don’t knoe about you guys, but sometimes I need a little reminder of exactly that. And that’s what I love so much about coming home to the important people in my life that I don’t have around me as often as I’d like, in my everyday life.
So I take the late nights, the deep thinking, the laughter, the crying, the joy, the pain, the tough questions, the light hearted jokes and all the cups of coffee. I take them all with so much gratefulness. Because in my experience, the only ones who takes you on that ride and asks the tough questions (and really listen to your answers as well) are the ones who truly cares about your well-being. Those are the people that I need to recharge and rethink.
And to you (come on! Don’t pretend you don’t know who you are):
I probably don’t say that enough! Thank you!
There’s a special feeling that comes over me whenever I go back to visit my hometown. It’s where I have most of my family and so many memories. A city that (even with its changes over the years) I can still trace in my mind, eyes closed, a million miles away from it. It’s the place that will always be “home” and I can definitely see myself moving back here someday.
When I got back to my hometown this time around, I took a walk through the streets that I know so well. The paths that holds so many memories and stories. But there’s more to the town. It’s also filled with ghosts. My ghosts. I like to look at my past events as ghosts. They definitely don’t have to be the haunting, scary kind of ghosts, but more the kind that lurks around in the shaddows. And from time to time I can see their eyes looking back at me and it brings back a very special kind of feeling.
I started writing a poem about this today, but it doesn’t feel right just yet. It will be up eventually, but I still wanted to write about it and share my thoughts on the subject.
I think all hometowns, no matter where or what size, is full of past ghosts. The memories, lost dreams and events from everyones past taking some kind of form in the cracks of pavement, the trees that grow and the buildings that changes. In some ways out of sight, out of mind, until you revisit them.
As I walked around I found out that even though I love my hometown, some of my own ghosts kind of scares me. They’re a reminder of some of the most difficult times in my life and having them stare me in the face can be quite hard. Sometimes they visit in no more than a slight shiver, and other times it’s like being smacked in the face with a heavy glove. Some ghosts are the wonderful kind, that embraces you in a careful wind, kisses you and the cheek and keep on walking. Some just likes to watch from far away. There are even some that I have a hard time recognizing for what they really are.
Every hometown ghost is a part of me and the path I went on to become who I am today, and I choose to be grateful for that. But there are times when I fear that my ghosts could turn into demons. And that might be the most terrifying part of coming back. What if my hometown should suddenly morph into something that feels strange and alien to me. What if the traces of streets and memories falls into darkness and gets replaced by something completely different? Would I still feel the same?
We’re already in the middle of December and I’m filled with Christmas spirit, and suddenly I felt the urge to write about Christmas. So here I go!
My parents did an amazing job when I was a little girl, when it came to keeping Christmas magical for as long as possible. I remember the excitement of Christmas Eve. The smell of tree, the filled stockings, the taste of the food and the slight nervousness of Santa not showing up, or that I hadn’t made the nice list that year.
Never once can I remember a Christmas that wasn’t magical and wonderful as a kid. And I count myself extremely lucky to be able to say that and truly mean it. I know there’s a lot of people out there that doesn’t share this experience when it comes to the Christmas holiday and that breaks my heart.
I try my hardest to make December as wonderful for my kid as it was for me. That one month a year that’s filled with a little something more. More joy, more smiles and more magic. A sort og escape from everyday life, for the entirety of a month. To create memories that I hope he’ll treasure as an adult and carry on if he chooses to have kids of his own.
There’s something so special about Christmas for me. I even love the hectic time of working in retail this time of year. The customers (most of them at least) are so giving, joyous and grateful. Qualities that I think we should work harder on keeping up the rest of the year as well.
To remember that joy of giving. The excitement of putting smiles on other people’s faces.
So that’s what I try to do. To keep a little bit of Christmas magic in me every single day of the year.
I wish I could share my love of Christmas with everyone who needs it, but that’s impossible. So instead I try to share it with the ones around me, hoping that a little bit will rub off on them.
If all I get is an extra smile, that’s good enough for me! I’ll take it!
I wish you all a magical Christmas and a wonderful December!!
Last week my son turned eight years old! EIGHT! In danger of sounding like an utter cliché: Where did time go?
I remember it like it was yesterday that he was just a little baby without words to express himself. But now he’s rapidly growing into someone that I get to know a little more everyday.
I catch myself thinking back to when I was eight, trying to remember my biggest worries and joys. Some are easy and others not. As I get older it seems that a lot of my childhood memories get smooshed into one and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly which memories are from what age.
So what did I really know when I was eight?
I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I think I already was one. I made tiny books out of coloured paper and I wrote stories and gave them to people I loved. I still write and I still love it just as much!
I knew that I wanted to be like the grown ups, because everything seemed so easy and accessible to them. I was wrong. Now I find myself wishing I could be that kid again. Knowing how complicated it really is to live a grown up life. To climb those trees and believe fairy tales.
I knew that by the time I would turn twenty-five I would have found Mr. Right, be married and maybe think about starting a family. I was so wrong! Things rarely go according to plan. We all learn that the hard way.
I knew that I loved books! That love has grown and grown and grown into something so big that I find it hard to put it into words.
So I guess I knew some things, but I was obviously clueless and naive about others, but I think that’s sort of the beauty of growing up. Finding those things that expands and take roots inside of us. Those little seeds that are inside of us as children that actually starts to grow and refuses to leave. The branches that guides us to a place that we need to be. On a journey we need to go.
But along that journey, some branches die. Some seeds never sprouts, but maybe there’s a reason for that. It might hurt (like hell) but we learn from the pain as well if we refuse to let it defeat us.
So now I watch my little boy whenever he’s caught up in his own thoughts and I wonder just where he travels. If some of his thoughts and adventures will be the same as mine. If some of my dreams and hopes will be shared with him.
I wonder what he knows. Sometimes I ask him, but I think he likes to keep some of it to himself just like I did.
I hope he dreams big and even bigger than big. I hope he reaches for them. I hope his inner tree of dreams grows so big that it almost doesn’t fit him, and that he climbs it all the way to the top and sees the world differently.
I hope he grabs hold of a good branch whenever another one dies and breaks off. And if he do falls down I hope that he climbs right back up again and sees it as nothing else than a little setback.
I hope that his life is filled with journeys that he will never forget.
But most of all I hope to be a part of it. If not by being there, then I hope he’ll want to share them with me. Tell me the stories of his life. The joys and the sorrows. I will never know all the answers to all of his questions, but I will always try to help. I will tell him about my climb up my tree, not for the purpose of telling him which branch to go to next. He’ll have to make those decisions for himself, but maybe my stories can help him to see the warning signs of a bad branch from time to time.
When thinking about silence one can’t help to think about noise as well.
Wikipedia says this about noise:
Noise is a variety of sound. It means any unwanted sound. Sounds, particularly loud ones, that disturb people or make it difficult to hear wanted sounds, are noise.
Roland Barthes also observes that noise can be perceived either physiologically or psychologically. We perceive noise physiologically when we “hear” it. On the other hand, when we “listen” to a noise we are doing this psychologically.
Yesterday we were taking the subway home from a barbecue and on this particular ride there were mostly party goers on their way out on the town. We’d had a little to drink as well, but not nearly as much as the people around us.
I have very little to no patience when it comes to drunk people if I’m not on the same level as them and the “kids” (yeah, I know that makes me sound old as hell) we shared the subway with yesterday was clearly on a whole other level!
Be young, have fun and explore your lives by all means, but why do you have to be so loud and obnoxious about it?!
There were screaming and breaking of bottles. Beyond loud conversations and burping.
I too kick my speaker volume up a couple of notches when I drink but I do not give everyone around me a headache. These “kids” did!
At one point on that ride I just closed my eyes and wished for silence. I tried to concentrate on it and remember where I enjoy the most of it, but the truth is that there is a whole lot of noise all over the place these days.
From a very young age I found my love for the late night hours and I think that has a lot to do with the silence. Those few hours when most of the lights are out, everyone is sound asleep and I can actually hear my own thoughts.
I’ve dreamt about going away to some secluded island for a week or two just to write and relax all alone. No noise, no fuzz, just me and my own thoughts with no interruptions. This is still a dream that I hope will one day come true.
Because even though I do enjoy that a lot of things are happening around me, I don’t think I take the mental breaks that I definitely should too often. I just stand there in the middle of all the noise and try to find something positive to focus my mind on. But maybe that just isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to remove yourself from it completely. One way I try to escape from it is by reading and that definitely works as long as the noise isn’t overpowering.
But what about when your own thoughts and worries become noise inside your head? I’ve been there. Still struggle with it way too often, but I don’t really have a quick fix for it. I’ve decided to try meditation and mindfulness to see if that might help in moments like that, but the things that work for some might not work for others. Nevertheless I’m willing to try it out.
This post is turning into a ramble without any particular direction so I will soon finish it, but I guess what it is that I’m trying to get across in these rambled words is that in a world filled with noise we must not forget to appreciate and find our own silence.
It’s okay to take a break! It’s okay to log out and turn off! It’s okay to be silent!