Tuesday, April 7, 2015

College of Lake County

As many of you wonderful readers know, I've been studying at CLC, or the College of Lake County, for almost three years now. I've taken many classes, although I've only been considered 'full time' for one semester. I've made friends, I met my boyfriend, and I've learned so much.

This is why it makes me sad when people criticize CLC for being the 'college of last chance,' or when they say that only failures go there because it's easier than a four year school.

Let me tell you something.
It is not. Easier. Than. A. Four. Year. Institution.
I have professors, such as my English professor, who taught at four year institutions and quit to work at CLC because they found the students to be more driven and focused. I have other professors who are teaching part time after having something like 50 years experience in their fields. Our nursing program is excellent; we have one of the highest rates of people passing their nursing exams and becoming certified. Our fire safety department is extraordinary, there's a two year dental hygienist program, and many people simply go for two years to save something like $35,000 per year on prerequisite classes.

There is nothing easy about our academics.

Also, none of our classes are taught by TA's. All are taught by a professor or instructor who has experience in their field. I've only had two or three professors in three years who have not learned my name, my major, and my learning style. The largest class I've taken was, I believe, either Intro to Humanities or English Comp I. Although I despised my Humanities professor, even he managed to learn my name and still greets me in the hallways, and my English professor has me as one of her research assistants and has been invited to my graduation.

There is nothing sub-par about our professors.

The students are driven. Sure, we have some slackers, but if you look at our chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (of which I am a member), you'd probably be astonished at the amount of students who have created and maintained a 3.5 GPA or higher. We have around 50 clubs and organizations, all of which have regular gatherings, and most of which perform service projects. We have organized study times and groups, There are tutors everywhere, and as someone who only passed physics thanks to the tutoring section, I can tell you that they are excellent AND popular. The writing tutors are usually busy, there's always a librarian around if you need help with something, and if you visit our computer labs you'll probably find all of the computers full with people writing papers or completing research.

CLC isn't for people who just can't make it into a four year institution.

If you visit the atrium of CLC, and if you sit and listen to some of the conversations, you'll realize that most of the students are discussing politics, religion, sexuality, foreign affairs. They discuss their classes, the curriculum, the college-run events, philosophy, and social injustices for fun. They care about each other; if you stop and ask someone where to find a room, they'll always try to point you in the right direction and half of the time someone will volunteer to walk with you and help you find where you're trying to get.

Look. Stop criticizing CLC for simply being a community college. Yes, it's small. It's cheap. We're not the flashiest school. Our walls are mostly cinderblock.
But here's the thing:
Everybody who is at CLC genuinely wants to be there. They want to learn, and they aren't going to let things like cost or distance stand in their way. They aren't there because their mom and dad made them apply, or there to party and waste money. We're there because we care about what we're doing and what we're learning.
We're there to better our lives.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Worst Negative Reviews

Hey there folks.
As you all know, I work at Dunkin Donuts as barista/cashier/maid/cook/etc.
Sadly, we have, at the bottom of our receipts, something called a survey code.
Which means that customers, who are usually poorly informed, can provide their poorly informed opinions on the operations of our restaurant.
This is so that they can get a free donut.
I digress.

Today, while I was slaving away for minimum wage, I saw that my bosses had printed out our most recent survey comments. I flipped through the five or so pages of them, most of them either vague or positive, and a certain number of them stood out to me.
Most of the noticeable ones were negative.
My personal theory is that 99% of negative reviews come from customers who are very, extremely, exceptionally, unintelligent.
I'll let you make up your mind after I list several of the reviews that stood out to me, along with my personal interpretation of said reviews.

"You need to have an English speaking taking orders at the drive through! I could to understand your employee and she she didn't understand me because my order was wrong!!!"
This is an actual and direct quote, including the double "she" in it.

I mean.
I still can't wrap my brain around this complaint.
Did the person understand how dumb they sounded when they typed this?
I mean, even if you accept that they may have had a typo (which would explain the "she she" and even the "could to" part), are you kidding when you say "an English speaking" as a noun?
I can't.
My interpretation of this?
"I'm racist and I don't like Hispanic people. Also I order in a manner that's so confusing that someone who makes their living by taking orders can't understand what I want."

There was not only a line at the drive thru to order, but also a line to receive your order! Even when you go inside there is a wait, even if there isn't a line.

We're a fast food restaurant.
Being busy is the only way we're still in business.
We're not even that busy most of the time.
And also we make your food as you order it so I apologize if your sandwich isn't immediate, but I think you probably want fresh food.
Also please stop complaining to us about having a line. It literally isn't our fault that other people also decided to get their coffee this morning.
My interpretation:
"I am an impatient person who probably didn't like standing in line in elementary school and also probably my parents gave me whatever I wanted when I was a little kid."

Make the coupon expiration dates longer.


"I'm a decent person but I don't actually understand how franchises work."

Take the customers order, take coupons at point of payment, and don't tell the customer they are the reason for any mistakes.

Maybe if you actually ordered properly and gave us your coupons when you pay, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. However, it isn't our job to ask you if you have a coupon. We aren't actually mind readers. Also, I'm glad you know how to do my job better than I do. It's clearly always my fault when something goes wrong; it's never the customer's fault.
Admittedly, no. We shouldn't actually patronize our customers and tell them they're the problem.
(Truth be told though, they usually are the problem.)
So try this, customer: How about you actually show some consideration for the fact that this employee has to talk to a hundred other people just like you and take orders that start sounding the same, and actually treat them like a person? How about you don't freak out if we make a mistake, because it's just as likely as you made a mistake with ordering?

"I've never had a minimum wage job, I think I know better than you, also I'm way more important than anyone else in this entire building. Your job is clearly to be my servant."

To be honest, there were a couple more, but I can't remember them off the top of my head. I'll get some more of them later though, so never fear!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

How to Order Food Like a Jerkwad

It has come to my attention that all the "cool kids" are, in fact, total dicks to minimum wage employees. This includes yours truly.
So, in order to promote general coolness in all customers, I have devised a handy guide for all of you who want to order like total buttholes.
Here goes.

Order Something While Talking on the Phone
You heard correctly. Maybe. With 99.999% of your attention on the fascinating conversation you're having, the minimum wage worker will have to repeat what she said a dozen times before you actually comprehend the words.
And that's a baker's dozen.

Take Forever While Ordering but don't let the Employee Help the Next Person who Already Knows What They Want and are Prepared to Tip
This step takes a certain skill. First of all, you need to take four or five minutes just to look at the menu, while still saying "I'll have.... uh... I'll do a......" while edging around the counter so that we can't get to the customer who has exact change in their hand (along with a tip) and who is getting increasingly irritated.
(Make sure you're still on your phone, too.)

Order Something that isn't Even on the Menu
So after you've taken five minutes of the employee's time (that's a while $0.68 worth of time in Illinois, btw) that they could actually be using to do things like take the drive thru orders, or clean the counter, or brew more coffee, or make the donuts, or sweep the floor, or start thawing more brownies or stocking cups or any number of things that they need to do...
After you've used up this time, now you have to order something that isn't even on the menu. This includes things like "original coolattas" and "chicken egg and cheese on a pepperjack bagel" and "coffee with a scoop of ice cream in it."
This means that the employee has to figure out exactly what you want, as well as trying to figure out how to ring it up. This is going to be trickier since you're still on the phone, right?

Get mad at the Price
Now that you have your insanely complicated and irritating order rung up, you need to get mad because they employee charged you for that ice cream AND the coffee instead of just giving it to you for free. Also get mad because it happens to be $5 for a milkshake.
Because it's totally that individual employee's decision how much something costs.
They're totally doing it just to spite you.

Pay with a $100 Bill
And then get mad when you get your change in $5 bills because we don't actually carry a ton of $20s.

Be impatient while waiting for your food.
This includes interrupting the insanely busy employees with questions like "CAN I HAVE A GLASS OF WATER" and "EXCUSE ME WHEN IS MY FOOD COMING" and "I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS IS"

Yeah neither do we


This includes stomping on your ice cream cones, throwing dirty napkins everywhere, shaving in the public restrooms, leaving your coffee cups on the shelves, and overall just being a total ass about it.

Good job.
You have now ordered like a jerkwad.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Latte Adventures: Hot or Iced?

Since I've been working at the local Dunkin Donuts, one of the most common orders is a latte.
Especially from 3-6 pm.
It may help that we have a 99c latte at that time.
I dunno.

But anyway, we have these lattes. The thing is, though, is that whenever we have a customer, the order usually goes as thus.

Me: Hi, how can I help you?
Customer: I'd like a medium latte, mocha, with skim milk.
Me: Hot or iced?
Customer: Uhhhhhhhhhh
customer: Which one's better?

I work at the stupid shop, like I'm allowed to say anything other than "they're both excellent?" So why are you even asking? And why didn't you think of this before you ordered?

Eventually they'll make up their mind. Usually the hot latte people have no issue, but then there's the iced latte people.
Let me tell you; iced latte people are either really nice or REALLY picky and have no idea what they're even doing.
Like seriously some of these people I don't think should be allowed to go through the drive through.
Actually, scratch that.
I don't think some of these people should be allowed to order a latte.
Or a coffee.
Or anything.

They'll order something ridiculous like "white chocolate mocha heavy on the mocha" and we'll make it. A cup of ice, add the espresso, add the syrups, add the milk, add whipped cream, and then any of the toppings (mocha or caramel syrups on top) and then give it to them.
Wanna know what half of them say?

"Isn't that too small?"
Uh no, you did order a small.
"Why is there whipped cream?"
"But this isn't what I wanted... Isn't a latte just iced coffee?"
You're kidding me.
Just iced coffee?
A latte has espresso and milk.
An iced coffee is, let's see, COFFEE WITH ICE.
Goodness me.
"This has the caramel/mocha/pumpkin/white chocolate/vanilla/whatever, right?"
No I just thought we'd mess up your order on purpose
If we're unsure, we'll ask you at the window what flavor.

I don't even know what half of these people think they're getting. Let me show you the picture that we put on all the menus.

See that?
They. Have. Whipped. Cream.
They. Have. Syrups.
They. Are. NOT. COFFEES.

I just.
I don't even.

And then today, we had this lady go through the drive through. Our conversation, to my recollection, went as thus:

Me: Hi, how can I help you?
Woman: I'd like four of the ninety nine cent lattes.
(author's note: We only do two per customer.)
Me: Uhhhh okay
Woman: Caramel. Four. Hot.
(only, when she said "hot" it definitely sounded like she said "iced" so.)
Me: ...Okay.
(Meanwhile, my coworker is starting the FOUR lattes.)
Woman: *pulls up to window*
Me: Um, by the way, the coupon only works for two per customer.
Woman: Well my friend's in the car. So there's two of us. *glares at me*
Okay okay fine lady
Me: Okay....
*money transactions*
Me: Could you please pull forward to the next window?

She did that, and we finished up the four caramel lattes.
So then I brought it up to the window.

So we had to go back and remake everything which took way too long because to make a hot latte you need to steam the milk

Finally I gave her her stupid lattes and had to pretend I was feeling all sorry I'd messed it all up when in reality I was just glad she was finally leaving.

The only upside to this story is that my coworkers and I then drank the mistake lattes.

Here's my friendly advice to you people:


So we're making the iced lattes, right? And then