It's that time of year again! My trusty summer help is heading off to college, which means I have to restaff my beloved coffee shop!
Here's a few things to remember, should YOU want to get a job at your local coffee shop:

1. Don't get baked.
I really, really don't care what you do in your spare time. As long I NEVER KNOW! So if you come in and apply for a job, don't smell like weed. I'm not that old, I know what it smells like, your Old Spice isn't fooling anyone.

2. Don't have your Mom help you.
If you're under 18, come in and pick up your own application. If a parent comes in, I give out a certain application, so that when it comes back, I know. You did not have the initiative or the drive to come and get it yourself.

3. Don't have your STONED Mom come in and help you.
I had a woman come in smelling like weed, dragging her son who was 17 and ALSO smelled like weed, tell me that her son needs to "Get a damn job".
This may be true, but Mom doesn't need to tell me that. This tells me that son does not WANT a job. This tells me that son will never be on time, will call in sick constantly, and really won't give a crap.
Well, that and the smell of weed all over both of them.

4. Pen. Get one.
Something about applications filled out in pencil. I don't like it. Maybe that's just me and I'm neurotic.

5. It's food service, you're going to work weekends.
You're better off asking for Monday/Tuesday off than Saturday/Sunday.

6. If you really hate coffee, than working at a coffee shop is probably not for you.
It may seem weird, but we're passionate about coffee. I've got 1 or 2 employees that are tea drinkers, but they still at least LIKE coffee and drink coffee. Every single day, a customer will ask, "What do you recommend?" when purchasing beans, tea, or just picking a drink off the menu. I like my staff to answer honestly. Be it, "I love a good cup of black coffee, so I do the Rage Against the Bean through a french press" or "I love the sweeter drinks, so I really like the White Chocolate Caramel Mocha". Either way, you should have SOMETHING to say here besides, "I don't like coffee".

7. Spell check. You don't have to be perfect, but if I see lots and lots of spelling errors over and over, it's not going to be on the top of my call back pile.

8. Be honest.
Look, would I prefer to hire someone with coffee experience? Sure! Is it a MUST? Not necessarily. But here's the thing. If you fib on your app, maybe make up an out of state shop that doesn't really exist (saying it closed down) I'm going to know pretty dang quick. Being a barista is a much harder job than everyone assumes it is. If you get on my bar and start pulling 12 second shots and the milk screams bloody murder when you steam it... I'll know something is up, and your job is toast.
Whereas if you just tell me straight up, "I love coffee, I want to learn, but have no experience" I'm likely to give you a shot, and train you properly.

9. Dress up a little
I'm not saying formal business attire, or even business casual! But clean jeans, clean shirt, hair pulled back... it makes a big difference. We're not a khakis and button up shirt kind of establishment, but we do have a dress code! (Don't look like shit, and pull your pants up) If you're violating that dress code while filling out an application, I'll remember!

10. Be brave, fly solo
Don't come in with your friend, your boyfriend, your teacher, your parents, the really nice neighbor next door... come in by yourself. You want me to trust you to run my store? The business that pays my mortgage, puts food on my table, pays my employees, and helps keep a local roaster (and his family) in business? I need to trust you! If you're nervous just picking up an application and need someone to hold your hand, how can I trust you to RUN A SHOP? It's a lot harder!

11. Speak up!
Oh darling emo kid. I think your hair is super cute the way it flops in your face. And I get you're in that shy awkward stage. But if I can't understand you when you ask for an application, all I'm thinking is: How are you going to speak to my customers???? Speak up! Be confident and cheerful! There is no "quiet" or "shy" with my employees. We're loud and happy. We talk and joke with the customers and each other! Observe how we act before you decide you want to work here!

Common sense. Get you some. It's probably not the best idea to walk into your local coffee shop with your Starbucks coffee and ask for an application. The same way you shouldn't carry your Happy Meal into a steakhouse and say you want to be a chef. Leave it in your car.

Under the THINK ABOUT IT thing, be smart. Don't tell me you want to work here because it looks so super easy! Yea you have no experience but "How hard can it be to make coffee?" Seriously? You're insulting the hell out of me and my staff. I *almost* want to hire you and stick you on bar right away to show you just how hard it can be.

13. The weed thing. I mean it.
I have had no less than 3 applicants today just reek of weed. (We won't even talk about the 20something year old who, when asked about availability, told me he "Just needed 4:20 off every day")

Ugh. This is truly my least favorite thing in the world to do. Hire people. Sure it's entertaining, but it gets a bit depressing after a while. A big part of why I work so many hours is because we're a small biz and it's just what you have to do to survive. The smaller part? Because it's so hard to find good help.

EDIT- Technology. I has it. Know that most employers know what facebook is. FYI. Might wanna take some of those pics off your profile...

That's right! After YEARS of hard work, missing out by ONE STINKING POINT last season, this season we have finally made it! Naptown is NUMBER 9 in our region and going to Wisconsin to duke it out with the top ten teams in the North Central Region!

My fellow derby girl Strawberry Jam summed it up best. "Dammit, I know there is no crying in derby, but I am crying right now!!!"

We have worked SO HARD this season. There are no words for how hard we worked. As an individual, I lost 50lbs in the hopes of being a better skater. As a teammate, I listened, I obeyed, and played harder and smarter than I have every other season.

Our girls, and ESPECIALLY our awesome coaches and support staff, put in so much work this year, and this year it finally paid off! Here we come Wisconsin!!!!

And many, many thanks to Mr. Neil Gaiman , The Fabulous Lorraine and Cat from Neverwear for being my good luck charms and not having me locked up in a ward when I started pelting them with Octokitties for good luck. You guys are freaking awesome! More octokitties to come! (I wonder if there are enough to build a fort yet?)
*Also a special thanks to Amanda Palmer for telling Neil to hang with us. She rocks, and you should buy her new album!

So now I am off to run around the room and scream some more, maybe shed another tear or two. Then I will work out, go to practice, work out some more, rinse and repeat until September, when we go skate with some of the best teams the derby world has to offer.

If you would care to help send us on our way and fill our locker room with healthy pre and post bout food, you can do so by chipping in here. Derby travel is not cheap, and we bunk up 2 to a bed. (which actually is not so bad. *nudge nudge*) But our bus driver needs to be paid, and food needs to be bought, etc, etc. Here is a linky if you care to chip in!

To all you fans and friends that have supported us these many long seasons, thank you. You mean the freaking world to us.

Widget PLAYED today! With a toy!

This is really HUGE news. Widget doesn't play. At all. I've bought her every toy under the sun which she poofs in fear at and attacks, but doesn't play with.
I asked for advice from bird people and they all told me the same thing. TEACH her how to play. She didn't have toys until she went to foster, she didn't understand what they were and she needed to learn.

So today, I looked over and realized that she was playing with the toy that hung on her perch. She shredded the calcium bits, jingled the jingly parts, and tapped the shiny things with her beak! She spent about 30 minutes on it before she got sleepy and took a nap.

Happy me, happy bird. This begins a new era of spending too much money on parrot toys for her to destroy like a NORMAL bird!

We had a fail yesterday morning. Dill grabbed the trash out of the cabinet, bagged it... and left it sitting on the kitchen floor.

Needless to say when we came home, we discovered that Sassy and Ernie had spent their day feasting on trash goodness.
Contents of the trash:
Yellow Squash
Egg Shells
Chocolate Cake and White Cake crumbles (from making kitty litter cake)
Rotten Cherries
Green Bean ends

Ernie seemed fine yesterday. He had gotten sick sure, but he was over it by the time we got home. Sassy on the other hand had a bloated belly, her tail was tucked between her legs, and she just looked MISERABLE!

Stupid Dog.

By the end of the night she seemed better, and even ate food. This morning however, right as I clicked my alarm for a quick extra snooze, I heard the icky sounds of a dog dry heaving at the foot of the bed.
Sassy threw up.
As in, I have no idea where it all came from. It was the size of her head. Then she did it again, and again, and again...

We kept her with us for a few hours this morning. She ate some rice a while ago, drank a bunch of water, and seems peachy keen now!

Stupid, stupid dog.

Last weekend we had our annual summer party. It involves renting THIS:

Drinking lots of THESE:

And slowly but surely watching things dissolve into mass chaos.

There were a TON of people in and around my house. Some of them were naked. These things just happen. I can't post the majority of the pictures or video taken, so I'll share some of my twitter feed:

There are boobies, booties, and ass beatings.

My house is madness!

Omg! Someone hired a stripper!

Who the heck hires a male stripper for a bunch of lesbians?

It is dissolving into madness!

I am drunk and on twitter

Topless jousting... knew it would happen.

Right. Drunk fireworks were a GREAT IDEA!!!!

Here come the body shots...

Holy shit is it only 1039??? Uh oh...

Like all derby parties, there becomes a wall sit competition. Becomes? What? You know what imsayin...

From topless jousting to nekkid jousting...

And my tweet from the next morning: "Has anyone seen my shoes"???

We went to bed around 4am. If you ever decide to have your own roller girl jousting madness party, here are my words of advice:

1.Don't let the stripper in the door. Especially if he's orange and smells funny and NOT dressed up like a cop the way he was supposed to be.

2. Leave the guitars out. It's hilarity.

3. Bubble gum vodka is the devil.

4. If you decide to take your clothes off and race cars in the street or run around the house, make sure to carry your clothing with you. Otherwise the other girls will hide them.

5. Tag team jousting is where it's at.

6. There are no rules in jousting. None. No. Rules.

7. Only allow cameras manned by those you trust. You do NOT need to be tagged in some of these pictures and plastered around face book for the world to see. Your friends will take pictures. But your derby girls (and derby photogs) will put them in a private file and not let your reputation become sullied.

8. Green Chartreuse is also the devil. (but sooo yummy)

9. At some point, someone should take your phone away and cut off your twitter access.

10. When your husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/wife can no longer stand, is missing their shoes, and only wearing one sock with no knowledge of where the other one went, put them to bed.

Here are a few of the safer pictures from the night.

The girls decide to feast on Sassy Burrito, but found her lacking in meat.

If more safe pictures from the night surface, I will post them. Unfortunately it was a night full of madness and debauchery. Which is why I only have derby parties a couple of times per year. Only so much madness my calm suburban neighborhood can tolerate!

*all photos by Marc Lebryk

I should have written this long, long ago, but I've been incredibly busy, with many deadlines hanging over my shoulder, so the blog had to take a backseat for a few weeks!

The road trip to Philly for the East Coast Extravaganza started off just right. We got on the bus and found COOKIES! Our lovely driver had left them on the seats for us! Adorable!

I slept for most of the 12 hour trip. I love sleep. I never get enough of it so normally, as long as I don't have a ton of adrenaline going (post bout or post practice) I can curl up like a cat and sleep anytime, anywhere.

We got there pretty early on Friday night, enough time to sit suicide for Windy City Roller Girls vs. Gotham City Roller Girls.
Holy hell. THAT WAS DERBY!!!! Those teams are both amazing, and it was an absolute privilege to get to see them. That bout alone was worth the trip!
My main observations? Suzy Hotrod has the most enviable ass in derby and this girl from Windy City has big boobs.

Oh, and both teams were incredibly fast, GREAT at offensive, and some super skilled footwork on the Gotham City jammers part! (see, I paid attention)!

Saturday we had an early game against Maine, the MRD Port Authorities. It was a good game, with lots of lead changes. We ended up with a come from behind victory in the final jam. Excellent derby! Our fouls were frustrating us. One of us was in the box at all times! Honestly, some were deserved, of course, some just confused me personally. Our last tournament, Spring Roll, we didn't have nearly as many fouls, with almost the same line up. I think it's just traveling, with different refs than we usually see at home, they're going to call things differently. Which is WHY travel is so important for a team! It was a great learning experience for us.

The Maine girls were a really cool team. Didn't get to talk to them much after, but they were all smiles and hi-fives.
I saw one weird NSO call, and if there are any refs or NSO's out there that know the situation to clear this up for me, post it in the comments!
During the Northstar Roller Girls vs. Nashville Roller Girls, the Nashville jammer got sent to the box. She sat for about 15 seconds, then the Northstar jammer got sent to the box. As soon as she saw the Northstar jammer coming, the Nashville jammer got up and skated around the outside to hop back in the pack BEFORE the Northstar jammer sat down in penalty. Saw this happen not once, but TWICE. Confused the heck out of me, since my understanding is that the Nashville jammer couldn't be released from penalty until the Northstar jammer actually sat in penalty.
Anyone out there see this and know what the weirdness was?

Our second and final bout was against DC. They got a good lead on us at the end of the first half, and though we closed the gap at the end, it wasn't enough. Again, foul trouble. There was one weird call in that one, and again, if a ref is reading, chime in!
One of our players got sent to penalty. She sits, gets release, and as the pack is coming around, the ref calls, "No pack"! then "pack is here"! pointing to the front of the pack. A couple blockers and the jammers were straggling well over 20 feet behind. So our player hops out of penalty and gets behind the first section of pack, where the ref had called the pack. Whistle blows, and she's sent back to the box for not entering behind the pack.
Either a ref didn't realize that the first ref had called the front the pack, or I don't fully understand the rule. My understanding, is that since the back half wasn't part of the pack, she could enter in front of them. Refs? Anyone with insight?

After that bout we stripped down and hopped in the pool. Our plan was a quick swim, then back on the bus for the long drive home. One of our girls is a firefighter, another a surgical tech, and BOTH would have been in some deep crap if they didn't report to work Monday morning!

I was bummed we didn't get to talk to DC. They seemed like a really cool team. I said hi to one of them at the pool, but considering I was out of uniform, dripping wet, and lugging my suitcase around I was not surprised that she gave me the wigged out, "Who the hell are you and why are you saying Hi to me look"?

After that it was back on the bus for 12 hours. I shall not blog about what went on during that bus ride. Not a lot of sleeping though. Hmm. Okay I'll blog one thing about the bus trip.

There. That's my one thing.

I am so, so glad that we got to participate in ECE this year! I got to meet several girls that I've only talked to on Ravelry or Twitter. Got heckled by a girl with a southern drawl who shouted, "Alan Moore can kick Neil Gaiman in the ass"!!!!!

I also discovered that almost everyone on my team agrees with me that having a girl crush on Tin Lizzie from Northstar Roller Girls is perfectly acceptable. She was not skating that weekend, and it really bummed me out. But she WAS coaching on the bench, so we all got to oogle. That made up for it.

I could write on and on about my love affair with the weekend. A girl asked me to sign my book, I love Montreal roller derby, made some new friends, hung with some refs and NSO's, swam in the pool even though I had no swimsuit...

I hope that as a league we get more travel in this year. I have been loving these experiences!

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