Wednesday, January 27, 2010

my heavenly father loves me!

I am aSTouNDeD at the blessings in my life. Really. It boggles my mind how very much I have been given. I'm not trying being facetious; I merely want to acknowledge my infinite debt to my dear Heavenly Father for everything in my life.

The other Sunday I was privileged to teach about Our Heavenly Father in Relief Society. Since then I have consistently had the lyrics from one of my favorite primary songs running through my mind and swelling in my heart. In case it's been a while since your primary days, as it has been for me, here are the sweet lyrics and an accompanying video that beautifully brings them to life.

My Heavenly Father Loves Me

Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by a lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heavenly Father created for me.

He gave me my eyes that I might see
The color of butterfly wings.
He gave me my ears that I might hear
The magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart:
I thank him reverently
For all his creations, of which I'm a part.
Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.

It's hard to feel disgruntled when you realize that everything in this world, everything, was created by a loving Heavenly Father for me. For you. For everyone. The world is magnificent and life is beautiful.

My life is especially beautiful because of my people. How grateful I am for everyone. I like to think I have been blessed with the most amazing, supportive, loving family I could ask for, because I have.

My friends are beyond amazing. Holy hannah, I don't know what I would do without them. They make Provo bearable and these crazy 20's even crazier and memorable.
  • My Chelsea-- she listens to all my tangents and reassures me I'm a good person. She is my soulmate, my "twisted sister", my bestie.
  • My lovely roommates-- how I love coming home to them! So supportive and highly highly entertaining.
  • My girls-- too many to name but I love each of them dearly-- I live for Girl's Night: Grey's, Glee, cherry Brownies, pumpkin magic, chick flicks, mojitos, chatting chatting chatting, Facebook stalking, card games, etc.
  • My BEF-- "best eternal friend"-- Spencer. My longest friend of 17 years. Although he's like my torturing older brother and constantly teases me... he is one great friend who I would not trade for the world.
  • My best friend around the world, Hunter... Only he can begin to comprehend my deep gratitude and the far reaching effects of his friendship in all aspects of my life.
  • Those select families who have enriched my life and morphed into my second family... I am who I am today because of you-- your loving influence and hospitality mean so very much to me.

I love eVeRYoNe in my life! My heart almost doesn't seem big enough to hold my love for everyone, but somehow it has grown to accommodate and still has room! It makes me positively jubilant.

What a bless-ed life I have been given. I humbly acknowledge the little role I play in the Lord's majestic creations. Far from preaching I merely want to share a quote I came across:
Heavenly Father’s top priority is his children. If it’s important to you, it’s important to Him. Whatever concern you have is His concern. Whatever you have a question about the Lord knows the answer. Whatever sadness you are feeling, He knows how you feel and will ease the pain. He knows what it’s like to feel all alone. He will comfort you. -Sharon F. Larson-
Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

elevator encounter

There are moments when taken from a third party perspective my life is definitive of “surreal”.

Today I had one such incidence that resonated as so incredibly bizarre it only seemed rational to appear through my subconscious in a dream… but there I found myself, living in the moment as conscious as ever.

I am a TA. We have bi-monthly TA meetings. We happen to meet on the 10th floor of the Spencer W. Kimball Tower building, referred to more easily as the SWKT. After the conclusion of our short meeting in the tower us TAs migrated towards the elevators.

Outside the 6 busy elevators congregated Dr. Rich, my current Applied Social Psychology professor whom I had seen just hours earlier, and Dr. Yamawaki, my former Psychology of Gender and Social Psychology professor attired casually in a green t-shirt and jeans listening to her ipod in one ear and to Dr. Rich with the other. She excitedly waved to me and I waved back.

The ding of the elevator signaled the contraption had finally traveled from the depths of the dungeon up to the 10th floor to usher us on our way. The lot of us (TA’s + Dr. Rich and Dr. Yamawaki) squeezed in. Just as I was beginning to grasp the oddity of the situation I noticed that Dr. Reber, my former History of Psychology professor and the professor I am currently TA-ing for had snuck in behind me, as well as another professor and 2 girls I did not know. Thinking the situation could really not get anymore strange I saw a well-dressed man ease into the elevator before the metal slid shut. And who else should it be but Dr. Slife, my professor of Psychology of Personality from last semester.

So here I am in what could only constitute a dream:

***Elevator in a giant tower crammed with people
***Company including:
o Dr. Rich – current Applied Social Psych professor
o Dr. Yamawaki – Psych of Gender and Social Psych professor fall semester
o Dr. Reber – History of Psych professor fall semester and current professor whom I am being a TA for
o Dr. Slife –Psych of Personality professor fall semester
o Another random professor
o 7 of my fellow TAs
o 2 random girls

Mind you I was in the back corner and could observe everything. Suddenly the walls of teacher and student were down -- we chuckled at our close proximity, bumping into each another, and pointed out Dr. Reber “defying social norms” by facing us rather than the elevator doors during our decent to ground level. Somehow that moment morphed into 14 people sharing an elevator rather than our distinctive individual role on campus.

We exited the elevator two by two and went our separate directions, detaching from the moment by bustling off to class or heading home after a long day on campus. It was only a moment. And yet that dreamlike trance stayed with me for a moment longer as I processed what had happened and as I formulated my thoughts of how I would explain it in my blog (because, that event transcends merely thinking about it—it must be blogged about). My explanation does not justify the weirdness of the situation or the subtle change of dynamics in the elevator but then again, what explanation ever justifies anything? Some things you just have to experience.

More to come on surreal and not so real events.

Monday, January 4, 2010

living the orange life-- the world of the home depot

I am standing in a GiGaNTiC warehouse with dauntingly long aisles the height of houses stuffed to the ceiling, literally, with things I have never seen before and others I don't even know exist.
I am o v e r w h e l m e d. What have I gotten myself into?

That was me 6 months ago when I began cashiering at The Home Depot.
On that first day about the only thing I knew, other than how to work within the radius of a cash register, was that the bathroom was half way back on the far wall by Tool Rental. Customers would misperceive my sheer terror as confidence and inquire the location of some obscure object which I had not the foggiest inclination of its function, or ask my opinion of which screw would be best to use for a 2 x 4 stud, or where breakers or filters or shelving or plywood or faucets or... Blank. That was what my mind was and what my face probably looked like. Oh those first several days I'm sure I called my dear head cashier a dozen times. As a customer would approach I would pray that they wanted to know where the bathroom was. Or paint! I knew where the paint department was! But no... usually it was something I had absolutely no idea.

A customer once asked how I liked working in a "man's world" aka Home Depot, suggesting the equivalent would be him selling bras at Victoria's Secret. Although I see his point in that I lack testosterone as he lacks breasts, I have evolved into a semi-knowledgeable Home Depot girl and actually love working in a "man's world". Despite the surge of estrogen rather than testosterone and differing anatomy I am proud to declare the factor of my gender does not hinder by ability to work in, and enjoy, a "man's world".


Home Depot itself is a friendly customer oriented company. The environment is laid back and welcoming, inviting the Construction Worker and Super Mom to come partake of the glorious selection of different departments: building materials, lumber, millworks, paint, hardware, plumbing, electrical, lighting, flooring, kitchen and bath, garden... You get my point. People make the environment what it is: enter associates! Part of the reason I love my job is the people I work with.

I have come to feel special at work as my co-workers say hello with a smile, notice when I have been gone for a while, and joke around about past events aka inside jokes. More than just pleasantries on the floor and in the break room I think I have come to make actual friends with my associates, especially my fellow cashiers and head cashiers. Indeed my bestie Chelsea works at Home Depot; it always makes the work day go by faster through interspersed talking and sharing of opinions. Home Depot also offers me protection-- okay, not like the mafia but pretty close. A concerned electrical associate offered me the protective services of his FBI friend if a certain gentleman continued bothering me. They've got my back. and I'm happy to have theirs.


All in all, Home Depot customers are happy. They know what they want, ask for help if they need it, and are on their way. Get in, get out, get on with it. My personal hypothesis is that because people typically don't opt to go to Home Depot to browse until something pops out at them and have an actual purpose to their visit (even if they get side tracked along the way) they are much happier than most retail customers. This is the part that makes my job rock. A new couple is overjoyed to buy paint to make their new house a home, a husband is excited to rip up the deteriorating carpet to surprise his wife with beautiful slate tile or glistening hardwood floors, a dad is buying lumber for his son's eagle scout project, a long-ago broken door handle is finally being fixed, the In N Out construction manager is buying 80 studs for the building's load bearing walls (yes, that really happened)... etc. There's a point to their visit and they're willing and grateful for help.

Of course there are disgruntled people out there who love to give people a hard time and make a good day bad by being a royal pain but... those are thankfully few and far between.

The most common customers at Home Depot are. . . the creepers. Okay, that's an exaggeration. Not most. But it sure seems like an awful lot of creepers. And I'm talking full-on married (or engaged) dirty (literally and figuratively) old (sometimes) men who think its perfectly acceptable to hit on you by saying SuPeR corny or inappropriate things that can only be followed by awkwardness.
Here are some of my favorite personal experiences:

"Did you find everything all right today, Sir?"
"Well... I found YOU so I think that counts as everything"

"How are you doing today?"
"Well my scenery just got a whole lot prettier, so I'd say I'm pretty damn good"

****On Halloween I was Pocahontas
"Are you suppose to be Sacajawea or something?"
"You almost make me want to me an Indian chief" (wink!)
---Shudder! Nervous uncomfortable laughter----

"Are you gonna take me to the hot springs?"
--Confusion on my part---
"Are you gonna wear a bikini for me when you take me to the hot springs?"
"Here's $13.50, Sir."

Then one day, Tweedle D and Tweedle Drunk came in, asking when I got off work and if I'd like to come have a drink with them. I politely declined and informed them I wasn't of the drinking age. These dirty (quite literally) construction workers tried to persuade me to watch them drink then, that I'd be good company.
Ummm.... No thanks.

One guy, who was actually close to my age, came in with what I am assuming was his little brother. He drawled out his voice as he asked,
"So... when do you get off tonight?"
"I close".
"Oh. Well, Becky, do you have plans after work?"
"Yes, I'm studying. I'm a nerd".
"Oh... okay"

I've debated wearing a fake ring to work. But even then the bad creepers will still hit on you.
Despite the Chester molesters and Lyle pedophiles, however, I do love Home Depot. Those are just my extreme examples. Most guys who come in are nice decent respectable wife-loving men.

I've grown quite attached to my orange apron. It holds my pens, sharpie, gloves, exacto knife, store map, calculator, candy, hand sanitizer, and any other odds and ends I may need. It's lovely. Dirty but lovely.

I have come a long way from my first day on the floor. I now know much more than the location of the bathroom and paint department; I am certified in returns and self-check out and know that: breakers are on aisle 5, aisle 7 contains furnace filters, you'll find all the nuts and bolts you need on aisle 10, 14 has most obscure odds and ends as well as signs and door knobs. Studs are used for load-bearing walls. There are different kinds of sheetrock, i.e. regular, fireproof, and mold resistant which come 2 to a pack. Cement is not just cement. There's so much more to it. Also, I can tell the difference between cut and fender washers, 1/2 and 3/8 rebar, and am pretty good at guesstimating the sizes of hex nuts, 2 x 4s, and moulding. The sku for the yellow Morton salt pellets is 208 124 and a soda with tax costs $1.47, a 5 cent increase from 2009.

And that, my dear customer from long ago, is proof enough not only that I can work in a "man's world" but that I rock working in a "man's world". Plus I love it.