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You Had One Job


Monday evening at Starbucks one of the weirdest things ever happened to me as I was working drive-thru. I was running a guest's Starbucks card through the register and my headset fell off. Somehow the headset hit the card just right (or just wrong?) and broke it in two lengthwise! Below is a picture my shift supervisor took of the card and of me leaning out the window, trying to explain to the poor guest what had happened to his card.

One Job Sbux

She posted the picture on our store's private group on Facebook with the caption, "Rob, you had one job." A fellow partner said in my defense, "Actually, Rob has two jobs." Of course, by this weekend I will be able to say, "I had two jobs, but now I have just one."

The thing about "you had one job" made me think of a few pictures I have of some results of people who had one job, which they did poorly. I will share them today.

It's unseasonably cold here this week, like in most everywhere else in the country. I don't know who put up this display of footwear, but wow!
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Orphaned Blog?


People have been asking why they haven't seen any blog posts from me in a while. It's because life has been crazy busy. However, things will be getting back to normal soon. Let me 'splain....

On June 2 of this year I started working at Starbucks as a barista. There were many reasons that I chose to do that. Here are a few:

1. I had plenty of time on my hands since I was on summer vacation.
2. I love coffee.
3. I love people.
4. As a teacher in a Christian college, I am around people whose worldview is mostly similar to mine. I wanted to connect naturally with people whose worldview might be different from mine, to learn and to engage.
5. I hope to retire from teaching in a few more years (how many, yet undetermined), and I don't want to sit and rust as I wait for Jesus' return or my death, whichever comes first. I want to do something meaningful and enjoyable in my old age, but just not full time.

I have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with people on both sides of the coffee bar. Having started at Starbucks in June and having learned most of what I needed for the job, I thought I would be able to keep both jobs going throughout the school year. After all, I managed just fine working there all summer. Admittedly, the first week or two of the school year were rough as I adjusted to a very full schedule. But then things fell into a fairly comfortable rhythm. As we approach the holidays, though, business at Starbucks, which always seems to be busy, is picking up significantly, and they have needed all of us to work more and more hours. Last week I worked 19 hours, and this week 23 hours! And that, on top of teaching full time!
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Some Funny Signs


Some funny signs have accumulated in my folder, so it's time to post the latest batch. One of the things I like about blogging is having people tell me they get a lift from my blog posts. The first sign below is something ironic I spotted not far from our neighborhood.

Need A Lift

Signs are especially fun when you try to imagine what occasioned their creation. Like this next one — what happened that made this sign necessary?!

Danger Alligators

Or this one....
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Grammar and Spelling


Being a language teacher, I am obviously interested in grammar. I know that the word grammar chills the blood of many people, as they entertain thoughts of struggling with grammar in school. But honestly, vocabulary alone is not enough to allow us to communicate our thoughts so that others can comprehend them. We cannot just string words together with no order. To quote William B. Bradshaw, "Grammar, regardless of the country or the language, is the foundation for communication — the better the grammar, the clearer the message, the more likelihood of understanding the message's intent and meaning. That is what communication is all about."

This is particularly true in writing, where the clarifying impact of vocal intonation is missing. Let me demonstrate....

Lets Eat Grandma

I'm sure that Grandma would prefer clearer communication that would help her avoid being the victim of cannibalism. There would have been no problem when the suggestion of eating was said aloud, but the written form needs to reflect that pause, hence the comma.

This next one on punctuation is a bit more subtle.
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Engineers, take 2


Engineer Tinkering

Not everyone has an engineer in his or her life, but those of us who do must admit that the way engineers look at life is amazing and amusing to the rest of us. Several things in life lately have reminded me of this, and so I thought I would post some engineer humor that has accumulated in my files. Engineers are among the most revered professionals in France, and so it is fitting that the first joke about engineers go way back in French history.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the midst of the French Revolution, the revolting citizens led an physicist, a mathematician, and an engineer to the guillotine where they were sentenced to die. As the physicist is led to the guillotine, he decides that he'd like to observe the blade as it falls, perhaps to verify, and requests to be strapped in face up. The executioner agrees (why not? it all pays the same...), and straps him in as requested. As the blade falls, it sticks about two thirds of the way down. Seeing this, the crowd cheers — the physicist must be innocent! So the executioner unstraps him and sets him free.

The mathematician is next. Being well versed in all matters statistical (perhaps he is an actuary), he quickly asks to be placed face up as well — after all, the odds of its happening again are pretty good, especially if the initial conditions are similar. So the executioner obliges, and once again, the blade sticks about two thirds of the way down. Again the crowd cheers, and the mathematician is also set free.

Finally, the engineer. Not willing to do anything in public that is different from his peers, he also requests to be placed face up. As the executioner is strapping him in, the engineer is looking up at the blade and studying the track in which it slides. As he does so, he notices something. "Do you see that?" he asks. "About one third of the way up? If you fixed that...."

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