The Twenty Seconds of Insane Courage

Most things in life take a little bit of courage – asking your boss for a raise, talking to the cute girl you see at Starbucks every morning, asking your best friend for help on an important decision. Without a little bit of courage, a little extra push from your brain saying “You can do this, just be confident and go for it,” not many of these things would happen. Courage is tough to harvest, but once you have enough, it can make a world of a difference in your confidence level and eventually your success rate.

Recently, I saw the movie We Bought A Zoo. It’s a beautiful movie about a man and his two children going through a rough time and a big change after their mother passes away. If you’ve seen this movie before, kudos to you! If not, check it out. The dialogue is a little spotty at times but the overall message and especially the music (props to Jonsi, the music composer) are both fantastic.

One of the overall messages that this movie attempts to get across to its viewers is that of courage. Specifically, if you’re in a tough spot and want to make a big change, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane, ridiculous courage when talking to someone or doing something. Those 20 seconds are the difference between success and failure sometimes.

So next time you’re in a pickle or you meet a cute person that you can’t stop thinking about, twenty seconds of courage may be all you need to start a conversation, fix a problem, or turn your life around.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week! :)

A Rambling Post about My Life (no, but really)

Wow, it has been quite some time since I’ve written anything… Amazing how that happens, time just escapes you and you forget this all existed. Well, nonetheless, I am back!

It’s been a fun past few weeks. Just to update my life, my internship with Crowne Plaza has ended, and it’s been very bittersweet. I knew I didn’t want to end up there forever (there are countless things that they do at the Crowne that I don’t approve of, and neither do my college textbooks…) but at the same time I’m going to miss the people and the fun of working events. I have since started setting up my next job, working aaaat… (drumroll please) STARBUCKS! I’m super excited to be a barista, and work in a coffee shop, something I’ve wanted to do for a while now! So that will begin in a few weeks then and hopefully will be my job for at least the next year or two.

In other news, I won this online contest provided by a local tennis store and got $100 worth of free Nike tennis clothes. First, turns out that can only really buy you two pairs of shorts and a nice shirt…crazy… But more importantly, I didn’t think I would use the free clothing to its fullest extent, so I took my little brother (a tennis professional (not really, but maybe someday)) and let him pick everything out for himself. I figured he would appreciate it and use the clothes more than I would, so yea!

I realize this is an update on my life that no one really knows about, but I’m honestly just enjoying writing about it. I’ve been needing to talk to one of my best friends (whom I just texted after writing that) about my life and my summer and such. And obviously it would be nice to hear how she is doing too…

LESSON FROM THIS POST: Call your best friend who you haven’t talked to in a while. You won’t regret it :)

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

5 Things Men Will Never Tell You

bluebass2:

Once again, James Michael Sama speaks the truth…glad I’m not alone on this one, but it really does show women a side of men that they probably will never see.

Originally posted on James Michael Sama:

Often times, we tend to hear more vocal dissatisfaction from women regarding the current state of dating, than we do from men. But, many times men are equally frustrated or faced with challenges. The problem is, men think it will emasculate them to voice certain opinions, so I’m going to do it here for us/them.

never1

______________________________________________

You have an effect on our confidence.

I think one of the aspects of dating which is never discussed, but needs to be more, is the fact that when men approach a woman – he is putting his ego (confidence, not arrogance) on the line. Whether it’s at a bar, in a nightclub, or in a bookstore, men are essentially handing over a wrapped package to you and expecting you to decide if you like it or not before even opening it.

If men get rejected or turned down, it makes us wonder if…

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10 Well-Paying But Obscure Jobs That You Never Thought To Look Up

bluebass2:

If you’re thinking of a career change, look no further than these crazy jobs. Boy would it be fun to be a professional snuggler all day…

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

With supply comes demand. And with that comes upkeep. Here are some behind-the-scenes jobs that exist to keep services going for your pleasure.

1. Wrinkle chasers iron wrinkles from shoes using a hand iron or a hot air blower. The minimum requirements are just a high school diploma and an eye for detail (or wrinkles). The average pay ranges from $19,000 to $49,000. That’s not bad for ironing shoes.

2. Furniture testers exist because machines (or robots) simply can’t give feedback about how comfortable these furnitures being tested are. Testers will sit on an armchair and give feedback (or their experience) to the furniture makers. This human touch helps the manufacturers gain insight to what is comfortable, what material they should use, how high/low the seats should be, etc. Furniture testers make — on average — $31,000 a year.

image - Flickr / Dick Thomas Johnson image – Flickr /…

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My Day Shadowing At The Hotel Monaco!!

Yesterday I had the privileged of visiting the Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia, PA (I-76 is a scary road, just a side note). This was my first experience with a TRUE Boutique Hotel (The Rocking Horse Ranch is NOT boutique, no matter how much they insist they are) and I was very excited for what the hotel and its staff had in store for me!

I began my day at noon where I was welcomed by the GM. He was a very friendly man who told me he had some business to see to but would catch up with me later. I was first able to shadow the front desk/ guest services team. This small group of young ladies and gentlemen were eager to help each guest that came their way, something I always look for in the hotels I stay in. The decor of the check in room, which they actually refer to as “The Living Room” was gorgeous! Check out their website if you want a look at what their interior designer has done with the place. The front desk team was just becoming acquainted with a new rewards program for the hotel so it was interesting to see that. A lot of the work they did was similar to the work I did while I interned for the Lake Raystown Resort and Conference Center last summer, just on a much more professional and technological level. The room keys used wireless technology to allow access into the rooms, the guest folios had specific preferences (room location, snack or drink preference, etc.) and as much information on the guest as could possibly be gathered from their previous stays. A lot of the different interfaces were connected together and worked in unison to pass important information across the board to as many different departments as possible. This kind of advance technology is what I LOVE to see in a good hotel, especially when it is being utilized to its maximum potential.

When I spoke to the Front Desk Manager, I asked a lot about the work-life balance, the pros and cons of the job, his history with the company and with hotels in general, and many other topics. The job of a Front Desk Manager seems tough at times with its constant moving and complains from guests, but it does provide the most face-to-face interaction that I saw within the hotel, which I love. The hours are un-ordinary sometimes (3 pm-midnight or 7 am-3 pm are typical) which can be tough when you have a family or even just a partner. But overall, the idea of leading a team like this, going the extra mile for special guests to provide them with the best experience possible seems like a lot of fun to me. I love making people happy, and with the budget that the hotel has, they make that happen every day.

Next I met with the Public Relations/ Social Media person for the hotel. The cool thing about the Hotel Monaco is that they rarely, if at all, pay for advertisements. They rely heavily on word of mouth and reviews in newspapers, magazines, etc. to get their message across. Their website is also very detailed and helpful to get the company’s image across to guests. But the woman I spoke with works with connecting those pieces together. She mainly utilizes social media platforms to keep the hotel looking good and make sure guests are representing the hotel in a positive manner as well. If someone complains on Facebook or something, she does all that she can to help right the wrong. In the way of media coverage, she puts together press releases and other packets to get important writers and celebrities to stay at the hotel and then write about it, hopefully in a good light. The job seems fun in that she is able to interact with guests a little over the web and occasionally in person, and she gets to meet interesting people and sell the Hotel Monaco image to them. There is also a lot of travel involved as well, and a lot of writing.

I then moved on to shadow the head of housekeeping, something I had never done before! I have worked in many different facets of a hotel, but housekeeping is not one of them surprisingly. I was taken around the hotel, shown all the different styles of rooms and the different amenities that are offered to guests. I then helped inspect some of the rooms for cleanliness, helped restock the minibars, and then watched the process of making a bed from scratch. The whole experience was very cool, definitely different from what I had imagined. The one thing that surprised me was the use of technology with housekeeping. The minibars have a sensor that goes off when they are opened, telling housekeeping that they need to be checked for restocking. Also, they use a tablet to keep track of other minibar information and of the status of the rooms sometimes (unfortunately the tablet wasn’t working too well the day I visited…) The job is very intense, always on your feet, running around to different parts of the hotel to do different projects. This is where the most teamwork is really needed between all the employees. Each room must look exactly the same, so the same procedures must be taken every time a room is cleaned. Though it seems like it would be fun for a day or two, I don’t think I belong in housekeeping. There is very little interaction with people (some of the maids do leave notes for their guests though, which is VERY cool, and pretty cute too), and very little satisfaction (in my opinion) from the work that is done. Therefore, housekeeping isn’t for me. But if it is for you, then kudos to you!! :)

When I sat down with the GM at the end of the day of shadowing, I realized just how much I had experienced of the hotel. I loved every second of it! Even though most of the jobs I had performed, I had never done them on a level as high as this. I enjoy luxury and high end hotels and restaurants, and to be behind the working of one would be a incredible. I can safely say that I prefer Boutique over normal hotels because of the atmosphere, the fun, the small (yet personal) number of guests, and how attention to detail is taken.

Speaking with the GM about his job (something I had yet to do) was very cool as well. He described the work he does as “making sure none of the trains get derailed. And if they do, putting out the fires and setting them back on their tracks.” I think this is very cool because he deals with every facet of the hotel, travels a lot, and though he works long and strange hours, he fits a lot into his time at the hotel. He is the highest person in house that can deal with an issue, and though that is a great responsibility, it’s also an amazing challenge that I may want to attempt one day…

Like always, if you have any questions about my experience at the Hotel Monaco, feel free to ask!! :) Hope everyone has a fantastic Wednesday! HUMP DAY!

There Really Are Good People From New Jersey!

I apologize if the title offends anyone, but honestly, New Jersians haven’t really done a very good job of making a good name for themselves with their driving skills and they expensive bridge tolls… But nonetheless, I had the greatest experience ever with a man from NJ the other day.

To start the story from the beginning, my mother and I had a day planned to go to visit our friend in Manhattan who is working for Teach For America (amazing organization if you’ve never heard of it…). On that same day, one of my best friends was performing with a marching band (for those who know ‘em, the Hawthorne Caballeros) in Secaucus, NJ. So the plan was to drop me off in Secaucus in the morning, and I would meet up with her in the afternoon via New Jersey Public Transportation (BAD IDEA).

So after visiting my friend, I found the bus stop that my itinerary (thanks to Google) told me to go to and waiting for the 2:02 bus. 2:02 came and went…and then it was 2:32…and then it was 3:02. Meanwhile, I’m frantically calling the transportation office, speaking to the same lady over and over, who has NO idea what she’s doing, nor where the buses have been for the past hour (you can’t just LOSE a BUS lady…). Meanwhile, the same security vehicle has been doing his rounds for the past hour, and each time I wave to him a little bit less enthusiastically as the time before.

After a while, the man, in his early 70s probably, pulls over and asks me what I’m doing waiting for the bus for this long. So I tell him my story and ask him what I should do. I still can’t believe it now…but the man offered to drive my to the George Washington Bridge, about 5 minutes away from where he lives, after he got off work at 4:00. By then it was 3:45, and I had no other way to get there, so I thanked him profusely and waited until he got off work.

This man, whose name was Danny, was one of the sweetest men I’ve ever met. He told me about his life, how he was in the Marines and worked as a prison security guard and now how he works for the security department at a local community college. We laughed at some of the crazy things he had done in his life, he told me some deeper stories about his past, and in the end he drove me all the way to the bridge. Without a thought as to who I am, or what I was doing in the middle of New Jersey, this man went out of his way to perform an amazing act of kindness.

I know there is only so much I can do for this man now that he is gone from my life most likely forever. But I hope this can serve as a lesson that acts of kindness, no matter how big or small, will always be appreciated. And also that there are some (but not many) good people from New Jersey.

I plan on performing a selfless act of kindness when the opportunity arises, and I will do so with Danny in my mind.

Hope everyone has a great week!! :) Mondays don’t have to be bad just because they’re Mondays, they can be wonderful!!