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Wednesday, February 28, 2007



My first cup of coffee

They gym I go to has a nursery. You have to make an appointment for your children to go. I would never have joined the gym if I knew this information ahead of time. It drives me crazy!
There is only lady in there so there is a low maximum for how many children can be in there. Their toy selection is LAME! (remember this is the place I had to ask them to turn off Power Rangers movie because I thought is was too old for my children) I think the lady who runs the nursery got her training from someone in the mafia, she kind of scares me.
Language is a big barrier for her and the moms, which just ads to the difficult process. You have to sign like 4 different things to sign your kids in, wrist bands for me for the two kids, a sign in sheet. Oh my I have to plan 5 minutes just to get in. There are never more than 5 kids in there and she sees me everyday, but I continue to sign my name 5 times.
Why I say it feel like the Mafia is because when I call to make an appointment she almost always says she is full but then whispers, "what are the kids names?" I then say "Caroline and Sally Jane" she will then whisper and count to 10 a few times(like she is counting names on the list), pause and then says, "OK bring them in, it's OK"
I always feel like she is kind of shuffling them like the underground railroad with eyes shifting from side to side. It is so funny.
At first I was so frustrated with the process, I found myself not going to the gym, but then that meant the Mafia was winning. We just got a new manager and so at some point I may chat with him about the whole appointment thing... I just think it is so lame and the fact $100 could restock the whole nursery with some awesome toys. But I have tried to go with the system and as my friend Emily G has taught me kill them with kindness.
So, I stay a few extra minutes and chat with the lady and make small talk. Even though honestly I really have no idea what she is saying. With all this being said I have to say my kids LOVE going there. They run in give her big hugs when they come and go. She always kisses them on the forehead. She is so good to them.
Today, I deiced to figure out a few things she likes, snacks or drinks that I could bring in to her sometimes. Like Good Gym Mail. I know that to get prime spots on the schedule I need to stay on her good side, and I am fine with that.
So today I asked her what her favorite drink is. She told me a long story that I think was that her coffee maker broke this morning. So I left and thought I will go buy her a cup of coffee. It is just around the corner from the gym.
I walked into Starbucks and for the first time looked at the menu on the wall. I usually just order Hot Chocolate. I don't drink coffee and have never ordered one for someone. I kind of had a panic mode of what to do. I decided I would order whatever the guy in front of me ordered. But then Caroline threw all the milks on the floor from the cooler display so it was then my turn and I had missed his order. I was stressed. I felt too rushed with a long line behind me to say, "Hi I'm 36 and have never ordered a cup of coffee, what do you suggest?"
So I ordered a Cafe Latte.
I went back and ran it into the gym, put in on her counter, smiled and ran out the door. I am sure tomorrow I will have no problem getting an appointment.
Yes, I admit I give bribes.

34 comments:

Jill said...

I guess you could look at it as a bribe, but I prefer to look at it as good gym mail like you said or just thoughtfulness. People probably aren't nice to her, she has language issues, and she's trapped with other people's kids all day, that's grim.

Good for you!

Hey, I'm first to comment. Woohoo!

sista # 2 said...

I am totally laughing,picturing this whole scene -mafia, whispering, gym good mail, bribes!
So funny! How sweet of you. It's like giving the school teacher a little something just for the heck of it -it keeps 'em going!

We had a grandma b.sitter who was a neighbor -when we were young. I don't even remember, but she brought her own thermos of coffee each time (as we didn't have any).
Lisa tells me she would give us sips of it!hahaha -ciao

Emily said...

I love this. I too would be very stressed about what to order. I can't believe all the options. But I bet you truly made her day, maybe even her week! Way to go and I bet tomorrow you could have any time at the gym you want.

Amy W. said...

Okay, this story has me laughing--for many reasons. I think it was a brilliant move. I must say, however, your gym appointment system would drive me NUTS!

I also have to mention I was in Starbucks last week(ordering MY hot chocolate) and was AMAZED when the five girls in front of me who could not have been older than 11 or 12 rattled off their highly complicated order of coffee like they had been doing it years. I found it little disturbing :)

Stephanie said...

That was hilarious!! I can just picture the whole scene. What an example of kindness you are for all of us. Nobody these days stops and thinks about what she or others are going through. I wouldn't know what to order at Starbucks either. That is pretty funny but so thoughtful of you. You know you made her day :)

Tasha said...

I am surprised she doesn't ask for some password "The grey goose honks at noon" or something...

I think bribery to get the kids well looked after is just fine!

Kelly said...

I loved this story! I'm sure your mafia whispering lady does not get thoughtful gestures very often, so definitely good gym mail! You were cracking me up with your descriptions of her saying she was full, and then whispering "what are the children's names?" Too funny! That's great that your girls love her.

I once ordered coffee for my daughter's preschool teacher who was very obviously having a rough day, and oh my goodness! It's like a foreign language. I can never remember to give the size when I order my hot chocolate, so with all the mocha choco latta talk, my head was spinning.

Anonymous said...

Next time...try a white chocolate mocha. Its so much better than "hot chocolate" and when you order, you'll sound like a pro.

Michelle Alley said...

What a great story kristi! I love the mafia spin on it! It sounds like you are a very open minded person and handled the situation perfectly! Thanks for the sewing tip! Sewing has always been frustrating to me - too impatient; but with age, a little practice, and tips from people like you - I will get better!
Hope your trip to starbucks goes more smoothly! Have a great day!

lelly said...

that's a riot! i am a firm believer in 'killing them with kindness.' just the other night, matty was struggling with a negative person at work. i told him to let it go, because "her personality defect does not need to be yours." this is a lesson that i have had to teach myself over and over. eventually, i hope it sticks!

Jordan said...

I love that you told her your age first!! This is a fabulous story! Wonderful.

Angie said...

Hilarious! Nothing wrong with being kind, thoughtful all the while bribing, so your girls will be taken care of. I would not have knwon what to order either. Even the hot chocolate is confusing. My hubby wants add-ins like caramel or something so it is never just hot chocolate, it's hot chocolate with...whatever happened to just a diet coke?

I disagree with the appointment thingy. That makes it very difficult to WANT to get to the gym.

Price Cream Parlor said...

Your story about the mafia woman was hilarious! How fantastic to think to go to Starbucks for her! I can only imagine how she must have felt to have you drop that off for her while running out the door. I am sure she felt loved by you - for listening to her coffee woas and is forever touched by your kindness!

michelle said...

Killing them with kindness. I love it. Gym good mail is a great idea!

Bevan said...

I don't know about this kindness approach. Kindness never killed anybody. That's what guns are for.

Don't call it a gym mail, call it a bribe. The mafia likes bribes... and guns.

amy m said...

I like what Jill said, it was sure a very thoughtful thing for you to do. Your too cute.

Bridget said...

Bribes are a wonderful thing. I use them all the time. :)

So nice that she adores your kids, and vice versa. That is so important!

Hope you had a nice workout!

Julie P said...

This is a hilarious story - from the daycare to the coffee! I'd have no idea what to order, either. It seems that "coffee. to go." is so unhip. :)

Melinda said...

THat is too funny. I would be totaly stressing about the coffee. I have heard it is like a nazi thing in starbucks. I have never been in one.

I do the same with kill them with kindness. I have a lady here in our new ward and she DOES NOT like me! I don't know why. She and her family will sit infron of us and her husband will turn around and talk and she will not. I can't figure it out. So I try to be so sticky sweet to her. So far no luck.

Melinda said...

THat is too funny. I would be totaly stressing about the coffee. I have heard it is like a nazi thing in starbucks. I have never been in one.

I do the same with kill them with kindness. I have a lady here in our new ward and she DOES NOT like me! I don't know why. She and her family will sit infron of us and her husband will turn around and talk and she will not. I can't figure it out. So I try to be so sticky sweet to her. So far no luck.

Laurie said...

I can see myself saying the same thing to the person at the coffee counter. I think it's great that you are playing the kindness card instead of letting the frustration get the better of you. You're right though - the new manager might benefit from being reminded that $100 could really change the whole experience in there.

Kristy said...

This made me laugh. I see that DC is rubbing off on you....bribes will get you whatever you want! :) just kidding.

Mindy said...

I currently have 3 bribes going on in my life - the rewards.....ice cream, dollar bills, and a better organized home. It's just like you to do something nice like that for someone!

Cara said...

You're so sweet for commenting on my blog. I have been a totaly lurker on yours for awhile and think you are amazing! Jen Vu told me all about you and I have been a fan ever since!

I love that you bribed that woman! I would have done the same thing. Great job!

p.s. are you going to have some sort of party when you get to 100,000 hits?

Jenny said...

Kristi that story is classic really. I had to laugh about the mafia thing.

I am all about bribes--I would be way stressed. There are tons of types of coffees out there (my mom has to explain them to me).

Natasha said...

This is hilarious Kristi! I give my daughter's school bus driver treats all the time, which are really like little mini bribes I guess. You know, keep my baby safe on the bus and I'll keep the little chocolates coming! The things we do for the people who come into contact with our kids!

heather cook said...

Kristi- I was laughing so hard. Of course I feel bad-because I am a coffee-aholic and could probably interpert the menu board blind, but to you (and as it looks) all of your readers it probably does feel like a foreign language! You know you can always call if you get in another starbucks bind and I will rescue you. It is so great that she loves your kids. Rory just started taking ours with him to the gym and I fear they have no idea who belongs to who-you also have to have reservations...

A. Buchanan said...

thats nothin' this guy had me buy him a 6 pack of beer last winter because he built my road bike for me. Talk about awkward, the guy at the counter was yelling at me cuz i didn;t know where there beer was, lisa was in the parking lot with her brother on the phone telling him what was going on. yeah totally weirded out!

Amanda :-) said...

This is a fabby funny story, Kristi, but it reminds me of a time I offered to get a co-worker smthg from the shop at lunchtime as I was going anyway. I'd expected him to say, 'Oh, a sandwich or a drink' but he said, 'Cigaretter' - argh! I'm so anti-smoking! What a dilemma. I wanted to 'help' him so I got them, but I felt really BAD about it. I actually felt a bit sick 'buying' them in the shop. Urgh, thanks for the funny story but it's brought back a terrible memory about buying those cigarettes! Bleurgh! :-O

Liz said...

Funny, funny story! I am laughing at the image of all the milk on the floor, and you not knowing what to order. Good luck next time!

Kelly A. said...

Bribes are the best! You are a smartie. I am always taking home made bread and chocolate to the school teachers.

Well done on the order. I've never even had the guts to get hot chocolate at Starbucks. I bought a CD once!

kacey@doodlebugspaper.com said...

such a cute post! I have honestly never been inside a starbucks.. I am not a coffee drinker either!!

shawnaB. said...

I love this story! So good of you, Kristi.

Syd said...

That's too funny!! I am glad that you are making it work though and finding the time to use the gym!! Good for you!! I would have had no idea on the coffee either...I'm glad they helped you out!! Have you tried the steamed milk at Starbucks? MMMMM. A friend introduced me to it, I like it with almond flavoring. Very tasty!! Have a great week!!