Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Customer Service--complaints

There was a training meeting for work this morning. So not only did I have to get up way early (well, compared to when I usually get up) to be there on time, it has now left me feeling guilty and frustrated. But mostly frustrated.

We talked about customer service at the meeting. The store has started this new program thingy they call "secret shoppers". Basically, they hire (I'm actually not sure whether they're paid...) people to shop here and report back on what they thought of the customer service.

Basically, the General Book department has gotten some very bad reviews. No names were named, but they read off some of the comments. Some of them were things of which I was guilty--like focusing on shelving books when there was a customer in the area, telling them I couldn't tell them whether we carried the book they wanted unless they could tell me a title or author... things like that. I felt very bad, because I really should and can do better. And I will.

But the secret shoppers comments are not an extremely accurate representation of the customer service in our department in general, in my opinion. Firstly, usually they're in there just to do the secret shopper thing and so they're not actually looking for any specific book. So instead of saying "I'm looking for A Certain Book by So-And-So" they'll just say, "Do you have any books about Random Subject?" And the problem is, the computer program we use to look up books in our computer doesn't have a subject search. Apparently there were alot of complaints when secret shoppers asked if we had a book on a certain subject and we told them, completely honestly, that they would have to give us a title or author, or even just a word of the title, for us to find anything specific.

But thats when the secret shopper actually gets to the desk with a question, which they don't always. Again, because they're not really looking for anything specific, they'll just hang around in the area, browsing, waiting to see if anyone will ask them if they're looking for something specific--which they're not. The vast majority of the times I've asked a customer if they need help finding something when they're just hanging around in the area, they'll just say, "No, I'm just browsing." I've even had some who seem annoyed with me for asking. I admit I've kind of slacked off on asking them because of this and because I've found that when people are actually looking for something specific they don't just hang around, glancing over the shelves. They will actually go find a desk or someone with a lanyard on and ask them for what they want. (Wow, what a novel idea.)

And lastly, just so I can have three things, these secret shoppers seem to be coming in to look for anything that is bad/wrong. So of course they find it.

End of rant.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Yeah, its another entry for today. What of it? Whats more, this entry has a very small likelyhood of coherency, because, as you may have guessed from the subject line, I am absolutely positively asleep-on-my-feet exhausted.

Then what am I doing writing up a blog entry instead of sleeping? That is a very good question. I'll tell you--I don't know.

I love dancing. And yet, even while I'm dancing I feel bad too, because I feel like such a poor dancer in comparison to all the other regulars at the Swing Club. On the other hand, I've collected enough complements on my following over the last couple weeks that I'm actually starting to believe its true and not merely a nice thing to say as I'm being escorted off the floor. On the other hand, since Saturday Swing Dances are basically the only "hard core" excercise I get each week (well, not even that, because it obviously doesn't happen when I'm at home) and so about halfway through I'm absolutely exhausted and yet I can't say no when asked to dance. This results in sloppiness, and... sporatic following? Because in some ways I follow better, because I'm not trying/thinking too hard about it and just going with the flow, but on the other hand, I'm sometimes make stupid mistakes because I'm not thinking/trying hard enough. (There are alot of hands and other hands and other other hands in this entry. Heh.)

One thing I do wish I could do--well, I guess I really could, but I dont--is go to the malt shop after the dance. This is the thing that many regulars do every week and they usually announce it and invite everybody who wants to come. But I don't for several reasons. First, since I'm exhausted by halfway though the night, I am completely and totally asleep-on-my-feet exhausted by the time the dance is over (which is 10:30-11 ish. It starts at 8 ish.) Second, I have 9 am church, so I need to be up and, well, awake. And I don't bring my purse/wallet to the dances because I don't have to so I wouldn't be able to get a malt anyway. On the other hand (there I go with those hands again) If I DID go I could become better friends with some of the swing people. Since I've been going for a couple months now I, like, know the names (or at least the faces) of several of them, but I don't really know then beyond "Hi, whats your name, whats your major, oh illustration thats cool". (Everyone acts surprised, like they're thinking "Illustration? Thats a Major?")

Anyway. I haven't read over this post to edit for grammar/typos/coherency but I'm not going to. I'm going to fall into bed and sleep like a log. I might even put my pajamas on first.

Tree Cozy. No, I'm serious.

Some people are insane. (I mean that in the best way possible.) Thats all I have to say. This says the rest:


Friday, November 21, 2008

Ten Pages

Well, I've been working on this paper for the religion symposium. The paper is due on December first and must be 10-12 pages long. More Here

So I finally broke ten pages an hour or so ago. Not ten full pages, mind, there are only about eight lines on the tenth page, but its still there. The paper is not finished--far from--but now that I've made it up to the page count (well, kind of) I feel like I've accomplished something. And also like its really going to happen--I'm really going to turn this paper in to be read and reviewed, and if its good enough it might be published! After I actually finish writing the stupid thing, of course.

And, just while I'm on the subject...why on earth did I CHOOSE to put myself through this? I can't remember ever being required to write a paper this long for a teacher, for a grade. And instead of a grade, my reward for doing well on this paper is that I have to stand up in front of a lot of people and talk about it instead. The only paper of comparable length that I've written was for the National MUN conference... also a choice. And I also had to get up and talk about it in front of a lot of people... I should stop thinking about this before I decide I'm an insane, backward, masochistic nerd. Because that is where this train of thought is headed. But the train is crashing NOW. IT REALLY IS. BECAUSE I SAID SO.

I'm guessing that the completed paper will sit at around eleven pages, which I think is a pretty good length. There are a couple 'paragraphs' that are only single sentences right now, to be expounded on later when the rest of the paragraph is more than a vague something in my head. Funny how clearly I could see the paper in my mind, what it would outline and what the overall message of it would be, but when it comes down to actually getting it out it simply doesn't want to come at all, like it has to be forced, fighting tooth and nail. (Is it me fighting tooth and nail, or the paper? You know, I'm not entirely sure.) I think I have at least a little more appreciation for the authors of those books that I consume within hours of picking them up--even if they had a clear idea of what the whole story would be, actually forcing it onto paper is not the easy, carefree, inspired process that we might want to think it is.

Another One

Yeah, its just another Hero's-Journey-Related image. I didn't make this one, but I wish I had, because its Very Funny.



Monday, November 17, 2008


Its official. Annilyn is leaving me to some unknown fate with some unknown (well, not known yet) roommate so she can go to Russia (and New Zealand) next semester.

This is not fair.

Jocelyn and I got back from visiting teaching and I was going to go straight in to finish the paper thats due tomorrow morning. (I have one page written. Its supposed to be five pages long.) But just as we were arriving at our apartment door, Annilyn came out. She was wearing her coat and had her purse and seemed a bit hurried.

"Where are you going?" Jocelyn asked.

"I'm going to Moscow next semester! I'm going to Thai Ruby to celebrate. Deidre and Annie are already there."

So instead of going in to co homework, Jocelyn and I joined them at Thai Ruby (which is like our official roommate celebration restaurant, just by the way.) I didn't get a full meal, but I got some absolutely delicious mango dessert (SO GOOD) and we talked and, well, celebrated.

On the way back Jocelyn and Deidre were talking about how they had looked into going to China next year, after Annilyn told them about going to Russia. It costs less than room/tuition here does, and its a full year away... maybe me, Jocelyn and Deidre could all go to China in 2010. Its not like I have many years in this stage of my life to do this sort of thing...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Moon, Paintings

So this evening I went to a lecture thingy on the Japanese Wood Block Print show thats in the MOA right now. And it was seriously incredibly cool.

It ended a little after 8 and I was hurrying home so I could do my homework like a good little BYU-Co-Ed (as dad would say). Then I happened to look up at the moon and it looked SO COOL. It was AWESOME. I stood gaping like an idiot for a few seconds, then made a mad dash for home to get the camera, which I cleverly hadn't brought with me today. I burst into the apartment, all out of breath, and rushed toward my room.

"Where are you going?" said Jocelyn, who I brushed past without a greeting.

I dashed back out of the apartment with the camera and ("Where are you going?" asked Jocelyn, but the door was already shut before I could answer.) The camera wouldn't focus on the moon and clouds. It absolutely refused. Very, very sad news.

moon 002
In this picture, the camera ALMOST caught the awesome RAINBOW aroud the moon. Almost. SO I almost forgive it for being a failure. ALMOST. You get a HINT of the colors that were there, but NO detail of the awesome fluffy clouds. *pout*

Then I had a (not so) brilliant idea. I'd just have to paint it while its awesomeness was still clear in my mind!

Yeah, well, it didn't work out so well.

It actually started out ok. But... well, then it ended up looking strange and ugly. *sigh* I might... might... be able to save it. If not, its still a perfectly good piece of masonite. But since I really didn't use much turp/liquin at all, it'll take FOREVER to dry. Blah. I guess I could like mix in turp and liquin with the paint thats on the board..... hmm.

The painting starts out ok...
moon 007

Still looking ok...
moon 010

moon 013
...PbBbbffFfffdtfdtt. That is the sound of all of the good momentum this painting had going for it blowing out and away and.... gone.

But fixing this painting is a project for another day. Another month. Or maybe year. Yeah, thats about right, because November and December are looking kinda crazy so far, but what else is new...

Oh, and I got both hands covered in blue paint. Isn't THIS fun. I really don't want to have to do the gloves thing...
moon 016

Then I worked on my angel-with-trumpet painting. I think its VERY close to finished. I finally have a background that I LIKE (more or less). From my HEAD. This was/is kind of encouraging, having just completely botched a painting done completely from my head, at least I was able to make up a background from my head that I liked. Like. Mostly. Lets see how I feel about it a week from now.

And the camera really liked throwing a glare where the background is. Because it was wet because I'd just been working on it, yeah, but still.

angel 001

It's SUPPOSED to look all foggy/misty and the sun just barely rising over the hill in the background. But there is a nice glare there, and I was/am too lazy to play with the light and placement and camera settings and stuff to get you a good picture. So you'll just have to wait. Or come see me, I mean it, in person. :D

I tried to get a picture of the texture of the painting, which I really like. Camera and I had an argument about focusing, so this is as good as you get. Of course, canvas is like this except awesomer.

moon 019

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the Parable of the Feast

Today I experienced the consequences of not doing my reading for New Testament class.

Mind you, this isn't a habit. There have only been three or four times I've missed my reading this semsester, I'm usually very good about getting it done.

The reading for today was several parables, most of them less familiar ones. Our class is divided into groups, and today our teacher gave each group a parable and we were assigned to act it out for the class. My group was assigned Luke 14: 16-24 (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/search?search=Luke+14%3A+16-24) the parable of the Great Feast.

The Parable of th Great feast? Those in my group who had their scriptures opened to the right page and started claiming parts.

"I'll be the master."

"I want to be the guy with the oxen."

"We can be the poor people."

"I'll be the land guy."

"You're engaged, so you can be the guy with the wife."

Then they turned to me.

"How about you be the servant?"
"The servant? What does the servant do?"
"Um, here. Just... read it."

In the scrupture not all of the dialogue is written out, but when the parable is acted out, it turns out that the servant has more than half of the lines in the thing. Uh-huh.

I'm going to do better with my reading from now on.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Relay Call

I had a new experience today. Its called a relay call. It didn't actually work extremely well, but that was no fault of mine.

While at work the phone at the children's desk rang and my supervisor wasn't there to answer it. Which means I'm supposed to answer it. The caller ID didn't have a name, but I saw it was from an 800 number. What?

"Childrens Book, this is Sarah."

"Hi Sarah, I'm calling for AT&T's relay service. Are you familiar with how relay calls work?"

"Uh, No..." I was tempted to say, 'I'm sorry, but you've got the wrong number', because the way she said it was so telemarketer, and the words were kinda telemarketerish anyway, but I didn't.

"Well, in a relay call I have a customer here on the computer. What they type I say to you, and then what you say I type to them."

"Oh, ok." So is this for a deaf person, or someone with some other kind of disability? I didn't ask.

"Alright. Their question is, 'Do you have any Obama books'?"

"Obama books? Can they give me a specific title or author?"

I heard the sound of typing on a keyboard. I waited. After a short while I went to the computer and looked up 'Obama'. Books he wrote and books with his name in the title came up. They probably should have called the General Book desk or office instead of Childrens, but for some reason they called the Childrens Book Desk. (I've gotten a couple weird calls at the Childrens desk. One person wanted directions to the administration building. Why did they call the BYU Bookstore Childrens Book desk? Why not call BYU Information? I tried my best to give them directions, and then I looked up the BYU information desk number and put it in my drawer, to give to people in case something like that happens again. But I digress.)

"There is no respose yet," I heard from the phone.

"Oh, um, thats ok."


"Still no response."


"Uh, could you ask them if they want books by Obama, or books that are about Obama?"

Typing on the other end.

"Still no response."


"Still no response."

My supervisor walked up to the desk, saw me on the phone, smiled briefly, and left again.

"Still no response."


"Still no response. I'm not sure they're still there. I guess theres no point in staying on the line."

"Oh, well thats ok." How does one end a call with some random person they'll probably never speak to again? "You can just call back if they say something." Probably not that. It sounded kinda stupid. Oh well, I'll get over it.

"Yes, I'll do that."

The End.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I found a little nursery rhyme

I was looking up nursery rhymes when I came across this little gem. I think its funny, anyway.

There was a little guinea-pig,
Who, being little, was not big;
He always walked upon his feet,
And never fasted when he eat.

When from a place he run away,
He never at the place did stay;
And while he run, as I am told,
He ne'er stood still for young or old.

He often squeaked, and sometimes violent,
And when he squeaked he ne'er was silent.
Though ne'er instructed by a cat,
He knew a mouse was not a rat.

One day, as I am certified,
He took a whim and fairly died;
And as I am told by men of sense,
He never has been living since.

Classes again

I signed up for classes last night. I got into all of the classes I'd planned out the other day, which is good. I do wish there were other classes I could take, but its just not going to work. I have the same number of classes as this semester, but only 14.5 credits instead of 16.5. I want more credits, as much to move up my priority registration as anything, though I guess as a junior I shouldn't really have any problems getting into the classes I need/want. I just did some poking around and added Pearl of Great Price to my schedule, which brings me up to 16.5 credits. Hoo-rah.

I guess I might as well say when/what my classes are. Because I can.

My schedule:
Mondays-- Illustration 1, D&C, break, work, beginning Social Dance
Tuesdays-- Intermediate Life Drawing, break, PGP, work, Basic Typography
Wednesdays-- Illustration 1, D&C, break, work, public speaking
Thurdsdays-- Intermediate Life Drawing, break, PGP, work, Intermediate Computer Applications
Fridays--just work. Long weekend :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


While I'm here and on the computer (I'm posting plenty today, aren't I?) I decided to label all my blog posts, because I could. It was fun. The most used label is 'life', being used 19 times. I guess I write about my life alot.

life (19)
art (11)
pictures (10)
awesomeness (10)
randomness (10)
college (8)
books (6)
painting (6)
pros and cons (5)
school (5)
classes (4)
job (4)
roommates (4)
seasons (4)
work (3)
cuteness (2)
avatar (2)
snow (1)
snowflakes (1)


Signing up for classes... so time consuming, and frustrating, and... headache inducing. And I haven't even done it yet--I've just been looking at classes, so that when I'm allowed to sign up for them tomorrow night I can just go straight to the ones I want and sign up for them, without wasting time looking at all the classes.

(I had music playing the whole time and I sang along the whole time and now I'm hoarse. Which is just another sign that this is taking much too long.)

Trying to get the classes to fit in a reasonable schedule is HARD. I have my work schedule to work around, which creates a difficulty that my roommates (etc.) don't have, so that complicates it significantly. (And I LIKE my job, I don't want to try and get a new one. My last job was a bit easier to work around, and not a bad one, but still.)

Ideally, I'd want about the same workload as I have this semester, which I think is reasonable-- 16.5 credits, plus work. Enough to keep me busy, but with some free time now and then for painting and reading and hanging out with roommates and dancing Saturday nights and such. (Well, technically I don't quite have time for all those things, when you take into consideration the Homework I Don't Do Because I Can Easily Get Away With Not Doing It.) This semester has been pretty much awesome, while I'm on the subject. (I've been meaning to do a My Life Is Seriously Awesome Right Now post, but I've never gotten around to it. This can be it I guess.) My roommates are awesome, my classes are (mostly) awesome (or, in the cases of Art History and Physical Science, they're not all that bad) my job is awesome, my ward is awesome, my apartment it awesome, and... well, yeah. You get the point.

But signing up for classes? (Back to the original subject...) So not awesome. I've made a list of classes I'm going to try to get (I think it's pretty likely I'll get into most/all of them) and they add up to only 14.5-15.5 credits. All the other classes either conflict with the classes I need/want to take more, my work schedule, are already full, or I just don't want to take them. And I can't find the World of Childrens Book Publishing that my Writing for Children teacher is doing next semester, maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places? And that'd fit my schedule (but overlap the free swing lessons Tuesday nights. Again. Tuesday nights just really fill up. Tuesdays are my busiest days this semester. In case you were wondering.)

One good thing is, with the classes I currently have listed to sign up for, I won't have anything I have to do Fridays but work. I'm all over the longer/earlier weekend thing.

Anyway. I'm not really sure who cares about all this, but I felt the need to vent.

Its white and fluffy and cold...

It looks like snow

it feels like snow

it falls like snow

its cold like snow

It must be... snow! Yes indeed!

You know what this means...

SNOWFLAKE CUTTING SEASON HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED. Thats right. Build up those old scissor callouses (I really have gotten those, by the way) because I'm determined that this apartment is going to thoroughly decorated for winter.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So how about that election? Yeah, thats what I thought. Well, happy next for years to you all, in any case.

Next, though maybe I should have mentioned it first, MWT's next book IS an Attolia book (Yay!) and it's scheduled to come out in 2010. I can wait til then, right? The first Avatar movie is scheduled to come out in 2010 too (I think). Yay for 2010.

Worked a bit on paintings today.

Still playing around with the background on this one, but its otherwise pretty close to finished.

Paintings 003

I really like the sleeve on the left side. Big, thick brushstrokes... doesn't quite match the rest of the painting, but I'm not gonna change int because I like it, and you're not supposed to focus on it anyway. Except I guess you are now because I pointed it out. Sorry. ;-)

Oh, and the other painting.
This is how it looked the other day...
Paintings 001

Paintings 002

...and now this is how it looks
Paintings 004

Paintings 005

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hey, Guess What...

...turns out that the the bookstore was having a costume contest on Friday. I guess I kinda knew that, but I just didn't really think about it, if you follow me... my thoughts didn't go beyond "hey we can all dress up on Halloween and it'll be great fun yay." I never actually considered that I'd, you know, win anything.

But guess what... I got second place! Yeah! Talk about Annilyn's awesome costume-making skills...

(Third place was a friend of mine from Highschool/seminary council. She and her husband dressed up as... wait for it... Thing 1 and Thing 2. Complete with spiky blue wigs and the whole shebang. I didn't recognise the name of the first place winner, I don't know what s/he dressed up as.)