Sunday, August 10, 2014

The New Starbucks?

So, yes - from time to time I will indulge in Starbucks when I get an inkling and if there is one near me. Now, granted, I cannot speak the Starbucks language. I just get Mocha Frappuccinos. I know nothing about skinny lattes, grande Oprah drinks or anything like that. Literally, "can I get a tall Mocha Frappuccino" says the lady (me) with a huge smile. The barrister then asks, "whipped?" I answer enthusiastically, "Yes, please". The whipped cream is the best part. I'm just saying. 

A couple of years ago, I finally saw a pastry that I decided to try. It was called the Morning Bun. OMG. It was so good and especially if they toasted or warmed it up. I could literally eat two. 
I used to take it apart, very slowly and savor the taste of light cinnamon, subtle sugar and warm bread. I don't like too much of anything, like frosting or gunk they put in between the cinnabon rolls at Cinnabon. I usually will eat the first (maybe second layer) of a cinnabon roll, because it starts to get icky and too much for me. However, the Morning Bun. Heaven! I, so enjoyed unraveling this delectable pastry. Then I moved to New York and unfortunately, there was no Starbucks near my apartment or job. This was a bummer, but I took this as an opportunity to try other breakfast spots. I tried Dunkin Donuts, and I would get an iced coffee and try their various breakfast sandwiches. They are not my cup of tea, so now I go to the local bodega's and get a good ole' bacon, egg and cheese on a roll. That does the trick!

Back to my, oh so delicious, Morning Bun. Well, somebody at Starbucks got the great idea to buy the company - La Boulange Bakery - which okay - business decision. Everyone has to make them. Now, Starbucks is making the transition to serve La Boulange pastries in all the stores. I am a visual person and when I first encountered the new pastries, they were 1) smaller, 2) looked like they had been smashed and 3) did not look healthy or edible. They literally looked like they held more fat than any other pastries that I've ever seen - even at Cinnabon. I decided that I was going to go against my instinct and buy the imitation Morning Bun. I took one bite, then two just to make sure. DISGUSTING. I was so upset with Starbucks. Now, I see that they will serve these imitation pastries world wide. Where will I ever get the original Morning Bun? It's just not right. To make matters worst, I thought maybe I was being too critical of this new pastry. So, I waited months, before I tried another one. I stood in line for awhile and watched the teller put plastic covered pastries in cute pink bags and almost everyone looked in the bag with a disgusted look, like, "REALLY". That's what I was thinking. Starbucks, y'all know better than that. Plastic, really? It seems too impersonal, so manufactured, and so McDonaldish. The only thought I left with after I bought the imitation morning bun and refused to eat it - I hope the company saves a lot of money going this route, because we as consumers are getting the short end of the stick on this decision. 

I was going to write to the Starbucks corporation and let them know how I feel about this particular injustice, but I couldn't find a place to put my comments, so I wrote a post here. 

The old Morning Bun: 

The new/fake morning bun: 

Click to see a review about the Morning Buns here. Someone feels my pain. 

BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL MORNING BUNS. 
Seriously!

I'm not a big pastry fan, but I found something that was so good and then you snatch it away from my grasps without a care. Come on Starbucks. Let's get on this.

Missing my Morning Bun,

Tammy J

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Thankless Job

I have worked in various schools for about 10 years. If you know me, you know that I am a "go to person" if something needs to be fixed, I'm usually the one that is figuring out how to fix it. Problem solving is my specialty and often times at my own demise. Either, I overextend myself, cannot complete the task or see it through and even delegate it to others, because it will not be done that way I would like. This is relevant, because one day, I had this thought of starting college tours for students who were in the 11th and 12th grades. This is a new project (my sort of thing too) and I love to expose students to other worlds. 

I set up a couple of multi-day tours for students and they absolutely loved them and everyone thought they were great. I then started to incorporate single day tours and they went well too. So as long as everyone was happy, I was happy. People made it home safe, not despite some drama. Including smoke coming from our 15 passenger van and no one had cell reception, a student breaking out in hives, and staying at a Hostel in a dark Philadelphia alley. We made it out alive and my thinking was and still is, these are the stories the students will tell their own kids. 

One tour, in particular, stands out to me. I am not sure if I was not in a good space or it just was a bad tour, but the students were complaining about everything. I became very upset by this. Not the upset to ask what was wrong about the tour, but upset and taking the standpoint, "see if I do another tour". I was done. No, seriously - DONE. I was telling my colleague and friend about my being "done" and instead of her nodding her head and chiming in about how ungrateful the students were and how I took time out of my day and night to plan and accompany the students on the tours, how I... and how I... And when I... She said none of that. What she did say was, "well, why did you start the tours?"  I go into my spiel about, they really needed to be exposed to the college campus, understanding what's out there, parents done have the time ... and she said, "well?" I'm looking at her like, what? She said, "so if that is why you started this, then why are you going to stop this? I knew she was right, but I kept holding on. Telling her my pet peeves and how I cannot stand ungratefulness, blah blah. So, she asked, "do the students still need to be the college tour experience?" I reluctantly said, Yes. She said, "well". 

Needless to say, she was absolutely right. I needed that reminder that this wasn't about all that I did and my getting caught up in that - because that line of thinking was not helpful the future decisions I needed to make. I was frustrated, therefore I was going to pull back. I will not even get into how this affects other areas of my life (clearing throat - relationships). However, as my aunt put it, it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. As an educator we love the moments when students finally get it, when they succeed, when they come up to you after they have graduated or had their first college acceptance and thank you for pushing them academically, socially and give you shout-outs at graduation. We love those moments, but the truth is that they are few and far between. Sometimes for us, they are none existent - especially when you are a background player that handles a lot of the moving parts and nobody really knows all that you do. It's a thankless job, but somebody has to do it.

This post came about, because as a school administrator, we often tend to feel the same way, not just about students, but toward teachers and staff. As a matter of fact, I'll just say any managerial position in any field. We deal with the hard realities that sometimes people will just not appreciate all that you do or even know the magnitude of what you do for them. But that is not the reason for  why we do them, so we should not get caught up in the gratitude. It's helpful, it's motivating for us, but if we do things to get gratitude from others, we are going to be constantly disappointed. The reality check that I was reminded of today, was that nobody might appreciate the value you add to an organization, but does that mean you stop working, stop teaching or stop doing what needs to be done?

I say no - I think it means we need to find other outlets. I think we need to focus on the bigger picture and go back to the beginning of why we got into this work in the first place. This will also require you to be honest with yourself. Really, really ask yourself and be honest - why did I even do this? Was it for the recognition, the money, the fame, the difference I was hoping to make. Am I really cut out for this work? Is that short-term or long term?

Be honest, be thorough and by all means talk to people that will challenge you and not enable poor responses, behaviors and mindsets. 


See you soon!

Tammy J

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Webbing You Now

Hey Everybody,

It's been awhile since I posted, but I think the new to New York thing has worn off. I know, I know.... you are probably thinking I have no more stories. Not really. I have plenty of stories, but the thing is, now, it's a common thing for foolish things to happen. Now my response usually is "that's that New York stuff" or "only in New York" or "really New Yorkers, really". When I first moved here, the first thing I would say is, "I have to put this on the blog or I cannot believe this". The turtle on the leash, the drunk man passed out in the middle of the sidewalk, a man about to do a pole dance in the middle of a packed train in the Bronx. WHEW! The list goes on. For those of you who are just tuning in, check out the prior postings. Long, but crazy. What I want to do is compile this into some sort of mini book series. ... thinking of a title... It Happens: NY Chronicles. Not sure, but I'll keep you posted. 

Anyway, so I'm thinking that the blog should change a bit and can focus not on specifically New York foolishness, but general topics I would talk about anyway. Some of my interest, my musings, my pet peeves... I mean, I am not that interesting for you to care about these things, but I think it's funny. 
For instance: This is my new favorite thing to do. Well, full disclosure, I've always done this, but now, this picture captures it so well. 


My coworkers informed me that I always squint, when encountering this type of thing. It happens more often than it should. I'm just saying! Seriously, it's a running joke at my school now - everyone squints - mostly to be funny and sometimes, just because the words we are hearing does not align with common sense. See, a nice way to put the "S" word. 

The other thing is webbing people. I think the comedy of Kevin Hart is hilarious, not just because he's from Philly, but his act is genuine from what I can tell. So, I now "WEB" people to get them to be quiet or just get a laugh:

Check it out!
To skip to the "WEBBING" story, start at 4:04. The whole thing is funny though!


Alright, see you guys the next time! 

Tammy J - signing out!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Big Bugs/Angry Drivers

Hey Everybody!

I'm back! Well, we'll see how long, but I had to share this with you. 

In my studio apartment, which I'm just saying is very small. Believe me, if you have read this blog from the beginning, this is not a complaint - I thank God everyday! However, I see this bug that had legs all around it in my 'kitchen area'. So, remember this is a studio. That means the kitchen, dining room, living room and bedroom are all in the same area. Which means this bug is too close for comfort. So, I'm like, "Hold on Jabroni",  took a picture of it, because I have never seen anything like it, until I MOVED TO NEW YORK! Just saying! And then I did a WWF move on this bug, one of "The RoCK" moves, because I smelled what he was cooking and I also could not stand to cook in a kitchen with huge bugs in it and roaming somewhere. So, my sandal, my "ROCK" eyebrow arched and I put that thing to sleep. In my Kevin Hart voice, "you want to go night, night, buggy, you about to go night night, buggy!"

To top off this day - a taxi cab driver hits a cyclist right in front of my school. The cyclist is sitting on the ground and a lady is standing behind him. I asked my security guards if they called the cops, so one of them yells to the cyclist and the lady to see if one of them is calling the cops. The lady yells back, that the cyclist who is still sitting on the ground (not necessarily looking injured) is trying to call the cops, but this guy (the taxi cab driver) keeps yelling at him. So, the taxi cab driver looks at her and starts yelling, "SHUT UP, SHUT YOUR MOUTH, THIS ISN'T EVEN YOUR BUSINESS" The lady yells back with the New York accent, "YEAH, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, RUN ME OVER TOO". I was done! I was absolutely no help, because I'm watching the exchange, giving my commentary, like, "Ut oh, Ut Oh, UT OH". ROFL. It was too funny. 
The ambulance finally came and that is when and only when the cyclist got up. ROFL. I had to go back to work, so I couldn't commentate the rest of the yelling! 

Alright peoples! 
Night night
See you soon

Tammy J


Thursday, November 14, 2013

I'm back!!!

Hey Friends and Family,

I'mmmmmm baaaacccckkkk!

Yes, I was on a hiatus, but as you know I found a job and it's been almost three months. That is a long time and I've honestly missed sharing my days and weeks with you. There were so many times when I saw something and thought I cannot wait to share this with everyone. Of course I didn't write it down and of course I don't remember. Hence why having a blog is helpful, since my memory could be a lot better. I'm just saying. 
Anyway, what's new with me.

Nothing much, honestly. I'm working hard and now I'm working on my personal self. Meaning getting back to the blog, podcast, business and books. Yes, people. I'm about to do the dang thang

I watched the movie, 12 Years a Slave, and I left asking myself where do I have that "slave mentality". Thinking I can't do this, dumbing myself down to do that, allowing certain things to go on that shouldn't be. How do I dare to make a difference? So, that made me think, where have I dropped the ball and here we are. 
It was a great movie to see, so I would definitely recommend it, but it also allowed me to see how the same things are still going on now. Not with forcible slavery, but the slavery of the mind. It's tight, but it's right. 
We have to change our thinking. 

So, if you want someone to hold you accountable or want to share stories, struggles and encourage others who have the same goals. Join My Accountability Board. The website is here and be sure to go to Facebook and like the page. http://myaccountabilityboard.com 

This is a new group, but our goal is 250 users and 100 likes. 

I'll be in touch soon.

Tammy J - Feeling blessed and signing off


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saturday in Brooklyn

Today was supposed to be a lazy day. School starts on Monday, so I, with my genius timing decide to drive to Walmart. Ha! It looked like Black Friday. Everybody and their mom was there. The shelves were empty and people were more rude than ever. Ok - not sure how many people tried to cut me off in line,  because I've been in New York now for four months, so I've learned my lesson. Now, I'm like - not today homie. The lines were so long, even in the 20 items or less line, that they allowed the home and garden cashiers to take on all customers. I immediately go back there, but this lady, her mother and son decide to bring their two carts, FILLED to the brim and in the process held up the home and garden line for twenty minutes. I of course am standing behind them. Ugh! 
I finally attempt to leave the Walmart parking lot and again, people are attempting to cut me off because I have a small car. Well, not today - There was this van, the ones that you can sleep in and he thinks he is going cut me off. So when I did not allow him to cut me off - he beeps his horn. Well, it's not a regular horn sound. It was like a clown car horn sound that played a stupid tune. He kept pressing that thing and I just kept laughing - like really! It's playing a clown song with every beep.

I get back home and my apartment is on the 7th floor. I was relaxing and yes, not unpacking. I mean- don't ask me how many boxes I have stacked against the wall. Don't ask me why I won't unpack them. I can eat, shower, and sleep. Those are the necessities at the moment. Anyway, all of a sudden, I hear music coming from below me. Hmm, it's not so bad. The bass wasn't that loud. I can handle it - even though I could hear the words. I keep reading my e-book. Then I hear louder music on top of the music coming from below - but this music is coming from outside. It was so loud. So I decided to use my phone to see if I could Shazzam the song. (Shazzam is an app that will allow you to identify the music that is playing). You usually have to be close to the music, people have to be quiet, and the song will display and allow you several ways to either hear the song, buy the song or share it using some sort of social media outlet. So, tell me why, I'm on the 7th floor, windows closed and I am able to use Shazzam the song that is playing outside on the ground level. Smh. It was Chris Brown and the song was Beautiful People - the club remix. Well, thanks East Flatbush for introducing me to the neighborhood.  Although, the apartment building is pretty quiet and they stopped playing the music around 10pm. I'm not mad at that. 

Good night! 

Tammy J. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Washing clothes?

Today was the day I decided to wash clothes. Well, I go down stairs to the dungeon and find the washers and dryers. I bought the washer and dryer card, because they no longer accept quarters - which I guess is efficient. But the stupid card cost $3 and they don't take ones or $20's. I guess the car idea makes sense, because who in the world carries around rolls of quarters? 
Anyway. 
The washer, all the washers have dirty water in the bottom of them. I think - maybe this is the way it should be and once you get it started the dirty water will go away. Umm, no.
I put my card in all of them and nothing happens. I get the super for the building who is playing his Spanish soap operas loudly in the room next door. This is after he comes into the laundry room to reintroduce himself and let me know that he knows what apartment I'm staying in. That's very observant of you, sir. Now that i need him to do his job, he reluctantly comes to let me know why my card is not working for the washers- he realizes that not just one, two, but all three are not working. He apologizes and says he will call the people and that I can go across the street to wash my clothes. Umm, excuse me? He's waving me over there and says, oh yeah, they have the same system. That's comforting? How about I don't live over there and I don't need security or the super grilling me or escorting me out of the building with dirty clothes. So, I do what any sensible person does - walk across the street and act like I live there. 
They only have one washer working! Makes me feel a whole lot better and their dungeon looks worse than ours. I only washed one load and made my way back to my apt.
I went back to get my clothes - they were still there - thank God. I am leaving the premises with my laundry bag and this guy who is dressed up in maintenance gear is eyeing me suspiciously. I'm like - I'm caught, but at least my clothes are clean. So I hold my head up high and walk across the street - like sir - everybody does it. I've only been here for three days. Lol

Night