Tag Archives: Starbucks

The fax of life…

Thankfully, I managed to survive my two temping weeks at the law firm (see last blog entry), and Top Dog Solicitor even knew my name by the last day! My new “Tonight Matthew” temping role is that I’m pretending to be… a Data Entry Clerk! It’s just for the week and it’s pretty simple work once you memorise the computer processes needed. My whole day is summed up in this circle of activity;

Print invoices – print checklist – write and print out fax headers – send faxes (around 100 at a time) – staple fax confirmations – enter into computer and repeat!

It’s a bit mind numbing (although I welcome it after the stress fest of the past two weeks!), but it actually makes me appreciate that when I eventually land my dream Copywriter/Web Editor job (wherever that may be!), I will be lucky enough to indulge the creative side of my brain on a daily basis.

And of course the hardest part of working here (get your hankies out folks), is the out-of-town location… The Starbucks staff in town must be wondering what on earth has happened to the one shot skinny latte girl this week!

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The first sign of Christmas…

Starbucks Christmas cup

Starbucks Christmas cup

For some people, it’s the toy adverts in September, for others, it’s the Coca Cola Santa advert but for me, the first real sign that Christmas is on its way is when Starbucks bring out their red cups! I can’t explain why a takeaway cup brings me such Christmas cheer, but there is something about it that looks cosy and warm and makes me want to drink coffee (full marks to the Starbucks brand awareness team!) And while I enjoy my daily lunchtime coffee served in one of these marketing marvels, I have a continued nagging from the ‘save the planet from disposable cups’ part of my brain. Throw in fretting over my exorbitant Starbucks coffee spending now that I’m a flat-renting grown up, it’s a conscience alleviating solution only my wonderful Other Half could solve! To reward me for beautifully decorating our Christmas tree, he bought me a Starbucks reuseable (RED) travel beaker. I was triple chuffed about this pressie as;

  • Starbucks (RED) cup
    Funky Starbucks (RED) cup

    A portion of the selling price goes to the (RED) Aids charity

  • It saves 5 of my takeaway cups going into landfill
  • It’s 25p cheaper to have coffee in your own stylish cup!

I was hoping to find one in my Christmas stocking, but it looks like I have been a good girl this year…

So what is the one thing you see, eat or smell that reminds you Christmas is on the way?

Work is great!

Day 3 and everything is still hunky dory in the workplace. Someone stopped by to check how I was getting on and I said fine. It’s rumoured that I will be sticking around ’til Christmas and might progress to some copy and web work plus a rise in hourly rate, woo hoo! Don’t know why I didn’t join this agency sooner, it’s been a real confidence boost. I know I can do the work but it gets really disheartening when you never get any feedback from online jobs. Still waiting to hear what is happening about my cancelled interview, the poor woman is in hospital and her boss is in another country. Pleased I feel no pressure knowing my temping is a security blanket at the mo. Am feeding my Starbucks addiction everyday as they are at the summit of the hill I climb at lunchtime to get into town. Is it bad to have coffee and sweet stuff as your vices?

grande 1 shot skinny latte x £2.35 x 5 days = £11.75 per week

Hmm, I don’t go out drinking at the weekend and don’t smoke so surely this is practically a money-saving exercise?!? Help me justify the expense, please!

First day work fun…

First day at my new temping post has been great. The American sales
manager is full of jokes and my mouth is starting to ache from all this grinning! My other colleague obviously keeps him grounded when it comes to doing some actual work. You know you have a great workplace when they nip off to wish someone happy birthday and bring you back a piece of cake by 10am, lovely mid-morning snacking!

Spent the day doing data input which was made all the more challenging due to the fact it was copying business cards written in Italian, German and Turkish to name but a few. I’m of the generation where at school, I could drop languages in my options and French was duly deleted from my curriculum. Even guessing if some of these people are male or female has been quite a challenge and don’t even get me started on the addresses!

The morning flew over and I popped into my agency to drop off my P45 (I’m doing it for the love and the money) but I managed to bring the bit I’m supposed to keep, doh! However, my agency lady did pop over to tell me that she had had a phone call this morning saying they really like me and there may be something else bubbling under the surface there. Blimey, no job success for weeks and then suddenly, I am loved. Now I think of it, I was told I would be introduced to the boss tomorrow as my interview lady  wanted him to meet me. And how’s this for a great agent? She told them I was only likely to stick around long-term for much better wages which they agreed, go temping agency go!

Starbucks just happens to be at the top of the hill I have to climb into town so it would be rude not to pay them a visit before lunchtime is over…!

Jobs are like buses…

Turns out job interviews are like buses, you apply for hundreds of online jobs (I am starting to suspect some don’t even exist) without a sniff and then multiple opportunities come hurtling your way. While wondering if I should have turned down five days work at my old company, I get a phone call from the temping agency I joined last week to say a locally based events company want to see  me on Monday. At last, a breakthrough in the jobs market! Am feeling very pleased with myself and buy a one shot skinny latte at Starbucks to celebrate (any excuse, I know!) Then, this afternoon, I get another call from another agency to say I have an interview for an online job next Tuesday. I can’t believe it, I’ve had the employment cold shoulder for the last three months and now two people can see some I’m not totally rubbish!

Confidence is a funny thing, I know I am good at what I do but you do start to doubt yourself as time goes by, with no positive feedback from people with the power to employ you. Three months out of work has had its fun times but I understand why people can feel ground down over time and lose the energy or enthusiasm to keep trying. Time for a cheesey magnet quote, me thinks:

Risk more than others think is safe,

Care more than others think is wise,

Dream more than others think is practical,

Expect more than others think are possible.

I bought this in America because essentially, it’s actually quite inspiring once you get past the ‘eeeeeuuuuuwwwww’ factor. Sometimes you just need a little reminder to keep things in perspective and your goals intact (here ends this pep talk.)

Do you have a saying or a little reminder that perks you up when you are feeling down? Sometimes we just need to think about how lucky we are and something short and sweet can lift can lift your spirits, please share!

The dreaded first post-holiday gym session…

To ease myself back into some sort of fitness routine, I went to water aerobics last Monday and ached enough the next day not to visit the gym for the rest of the week! I got another aqua session under my belt yesterday and today, decided to brave the gym for the first time in five weeks… oh man, it was hard. The gym has recently installed a fancy signing in system that sets up all your programmes automatically on the new machines and I was greeted with a message from my trainer. He gave me a big wow for all the visits I had put in (pre-holiday) and told me to keep going. I felt really proud of myself and wondered if maybe this wouldn’t be as bad as I expected (note to self: always go with your gut instinct!)

After 12 minutes on the bike, I felt dizzy and wondered how on earth you can lose your fitness level so quickly, I was a gymming, swimming machine a month ago and now I can barely do 20 second bike sprints! I wandered over to the converging chest press machine and did a couple of sets, determinedly ignoring the flashing message that told me I wasn’t lifting my pre-holiday weight – I know I have turned into a post holiday weakling, I don’t need machines to keep reminding me! 15 minutes on the elliptical trainer at a paltry level 5 instead of 10, a couple of sets on the lat pulldown and my workout was finished. I logged out and was about to leave when I spotted the scales, was now the right moment to find out how much of a great time I had had on holiday?

Hmm, as I took a step towards them, two weeks of waffle / pancake / pastry breakfasts came flooding back. Another step and the healthy side of me jumped in with “Don’t forget you also had fruit with breakfast everyday!” “Maybe so,” argues holiday side “but you also ate out every night and enjoyed cheesecake that possibly contains your whole days calories in one slice!” Despite not being a big fan of scales, (I’m more about how your clothes feel), curiosity got the better of me and I jumped on. The pointer raced round to the top to reveal I was 12 st, my pre-holiday weight. Joy and relief wash over me because it has taken time for Other Half and I to adapt back to this healthy eating lark. We are back on the cereal and salad but are still celebrating the joys of weekend pizza, Starbucks, fast food and eating out. I know from previous experience that I can only fool my body in the short-term that these extra yummy calories are absolutely vital for my health and wellbeing…!

So, don’t let me sit here all alone feeling like a post holiday lemon, please tell me some of you out there also struggle to get back on track with healthy eating after sampling the joys of an I’ll-eat-whatever-I-fancy holiday. Don’t tell me I should exercise while on holiday or we will fall out big style, just because I think you’re right, doesn’t mean I want to agree!

Can you ever get good aeroplane food?

Starbucks cup

Mmm... Starbucks!

I’m not really a morning person, and so the only time I wake up  at 5.20 am with a smile on my face, is the day I am going on holiday. We had given ourselves a 40-minute deadline before leaving and breakfast was first on the list (note to readers: it’s never to early for me to eat!) The bright lights of Heathrow welcomed us like a long lost friend and in double quick time, we checked in our bags and breezed through security. By 7.45 am we have a Starbucks in one hand and a pastry in the other – well, it had been two hours since our original breakfast!

We have a good couple of hours wander before boarding and taking off right on time. The excitement of being airborne is tinged with the realisation of a 9 1/2 hour flight time to Dallas in our two-part journey to Palm Springs. With this in mind, we both go down the inflight movie route – Other Half chooses ‘Terminator: Salvation’ whereas I opt for the lighter end and pick Jim Carrey’s ‘Yes Man’ based on my love for the original book by one of my favourite comedians Danny Wallace. Half an hour into the films, both our TV screens go on the blink and tell us to “try again later”. There is no need for any words as we both roll our eyes upwards and wish we were flying Virgin (as we did to New York), instead of American Airlines. Logistically, AA can get us directly to Palm Springs and Virgin can’t, so we just have to suck it up.

Aeroplane meal

Lunch!

Lunch arrives at 12 pm and the choices available for my third meal of the day look pretty good – chicken with tarragon or pasta and spinach, bread bun, salad, crackers and cake. After finishing, there is already a feeling we have moved onto American-sized portions. Movie time part two: ‘The Proposal’ for me and ‘Angels and Demons’ for him, we both manage to watch the entire films uninterrupted – yay! Afternoon snacks materialise in the shape of shortbread, cheese biscuits and mini toblerone, pretty sure they come onboard during the British leg of the journey! Some dozing and more film

Aeroplane pizza

Mmm... Pizza!

watching passes the hour to 7 pm teatime (also known as dinner or supper depending where you come from), and a doughy, very cheesy pizza, grapes and biscuits appear on our fold-down trays. My worry about starving on the plane is unfounded and my emergency hand luggage stash of mini cheddars / mentos / oat bars remain intact for the journey home.

For the final half hour of the flight, I stare out of the window, looking at the lush green fields of the Texan countryside below, marveling at how much it looks just like home – a slightly weird thought, as somehow I expect ‘America’ to look totally different than from where I’ve just come from. Ten minutes later and my American expectations reveal themselves in the form of hundreds of houses that almost all have their own swimming pool – immediately I wonder if we might ever move to this country and embrace that same lifestyle. Does my pre-conceived better quality of life equal a great house, own pool and lovely weather, or are we already living that dream being so close to our families? I am wondering a lot these days if a daring adventure in a foreign country would satisfy a recent feeling of wanderlust bubbling inside of me, or would it simply feel empty with our loved ones thousands of miles away..?

So, what do you think of aeroplane food? Is it one of the things you look forward to or do you take your own emergency snacks? Are there any special dietary requests that guarantee you a great meal? If so, please tell me the secrets! 😮