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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Got a new Keurig coffee maker


 (Picture of the model I got)
You know, I thought I would let you all know that I recently got a new Keurig coffee machine last week.  Remember last week, I had that short lived job at Wet Noses in Monroe where I had to get up at 4:30 am and work from 6:00 am to 2:30 pm and my mother decided to get me one as an "early Christmas present" since it makes coffee to go in the mornings.  It is not quite the same as the ones that I work with in the grocery stores, but can be useful to have.  There are a few differences I have noticed in the Mini Models:

- There is a compartment on top of the machine where you can pour water into.  You have to refill the compartment each time you want to brew coffee.  With the other models I use, there is a pitcher you put water into and it can brew several cups of coffee before you have to refill the chamber again.
- Only one brew button (by the way, how much water you put in the chamber determines how much coffee is brewed).  In the store models I have used, you can brew small cups and large cups, but with the mini kind, the button has a one kind fits all function
- Coffees can overflow (especially if you put too much water in the chamber), so trial an error can happen with the mini models.
- Usually takes a few minutes to brew.  With the store model machines, the coffees brew within a minute or less after the water heats up, but with the mini models, it can take several minutes to brew (nothing will seem to happen at first when you push  the button, but after a few minutes the coffee brews).
- Ideal for small mugs.  Tall mugs will not work with this machine.  If the mugs you have don't fit, you will have to buy smaller ones.

I like the machine I have so far though.  I use starbucks coffee for my k cups by the way.

Coming up this Sunday: Lavazza Coffee Round 2 at QFC near Duvall

I know it is several days away, but for this coming Sunday, I got scheduled to demo Lavazza Coffee once again. I did a similar demo at the Albertsons in Mountlake Terrace where they were I had to give out coupons to shoppers and try and encourage them to buy bags of Lavazza coffee (various varieties) and that day, the coffee beans were literally selling for $.99 per bag (with the coupons I was passing out). Not sure if they are still offering them at $.99 per bag or not. Anyways, I am doing Lavazza Coffees once again this coming Sunday. Unlike in Mountlake Terrace, I will actually be brewing the coffees on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see how this Sunday's demo compares with the one I did at Albertsons. By the way, are you shopping for Lavazza Coffee? You can check them out at:


I am a little nervous about the event though as getting people to sample coffee in evenings can be challenging sometimes.  I did another brand of coffee at Fred Meyer last sunday (using the Keurig coffee maker), and while my stations was busy at first, it got progressively slower as the day progressed (especially after 4pm) as people become less interested in coffee in the evening hours (especially on a Sunday evening).  Anyways, if any of you want to sample Lavazza Coffee, you can visit the QFC near Duvall at:
23475 Ne Novelty Hill Rd, Redmond, WA

Tomorrow's featured demo: Egg Rolls

Who wants egg rolls?  For my demo tomorrow, I am doing Pagoda Egg Rolls
Chicken Egg Rolls with a Sweet n Sour Sauce Recipe - Easy and So Good - Life In The Lofthouse

Event time:
10:15 am to 4:45 pm
Location:
QFC at 10116 NE 8th St, Bellevue, WA 98004 (across the street from Bellevue Square).

Note: I did a similar demo today at the QFC in Factoria.  There are 2 ways you can cook them: using an oven (such as a toaster oven) or you can cook them using a microwave.  One advantage about using a microwave is that it cooks faster.

By the way are you already convinced on egg rolls?  You can buy them on Amazon.com at:


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

So you want to work in a Warehouse? Pros and cons lessons I have learned after working at Wet Noses and Stockpot

(working draft)
Hi Everyone.  I had a very busy and long week last week.  Have any of you ever wanted to work in a Warehouse (or distribution center) setting?  I got a pretty good taste of what it is like to work in a Warehouse last week at a company called Wet Noses in Monroe.  I had to sign a confidentiality agreement when working there so I can't talk too much about what they do, but long story short: they make treats for dogs (sometimes they can look like cookies and cupcakes too).  When I was there, I was working there through Pace Staffing / Allstarz Staffing as a temp worker (with the possibility of getting hired on full time in January), though sadly despite my best efforts, I was "let go" last Thursday night, so I no longer work for them.  When I was there, we were working with these cupcakes on a stick lollipops (not sure what they are called) that were wrapped, and shipped.  I did several different stations, including:

- Putting lollipop sticks in the cupcakes
- wrapping the cup cakes
- working with labels and price tags
- Prep work
- working on a station where you had to put together boxes, put cupcakes in the boxes and prepare them for shipping.

My strongest station was probably the one where you were working with labels and price tags, and my weakest one was probably the one where you had to wrap the cupcakes.  It was one of those types of stations where you had to do it several times to get better, but I think that one is one of the stations that lead to me getting let go (was tricky to get down).  Anyways, if you are looking to work in a Warehouse, here are some pros and cons of working at them (note that this does not mean every warehouse job out there, but these are baseed on my experiences with them):

Pros:
- Team environment
- Can be a good earner if you are good at it.  At my job, I was earning $11.50 per hour and the average shift went from 6:00 am to 2:30 pm (sometimes shifts went to 3:30 too and you get an extra $17 bonus when going the extra hour).  So that is about $109 per day ($92 per day if you don't go over time), which equates up to $545 per week before taxes or about $2000+ per month
- Lots of work to do during days
- You do get regular breaks.  At my job, we got 2 ten minute breaks, plus a 30 minute lunch each day.

Cons:
- Very fast paced environment.  Everything you are given to do has to be done quickly.  Pressure is on to get through tons of products.  I remember on the station I was on where I was putting together boxes under pressure to move very quickly, which can be tricky if you are new at making boxes.  I don't know about you, but speed can be a challenge for me (I have a condition called Aspergers, which is a condition that makes me a bit slower than others).  If you can't move really fast, then warehouse settings are probably not for you.
- Long hours.  I was usually working 8 hours, with the occasional 9 hour shift.  By the way, the shift I was working required me to get up about 4:00 am and working from 6:00 am to 2:30 pm (sometimes 3:30), and most of the time you are standing and working at the different stations your supervisers assigns you.  You do get breaks and lunches though.
- Poor job security.  If you want to work at a warehouse, know that you never know if or when you are going to wind up on the chopping block.  If you are not fast enough, make mistakes, have tasks you can't quite get down, prepare to find another job.  This can be challenging for people with disabilities or not used to working in a warehouse setting as there are many ways you can find yourself getting "let go" or worse, fired.  It might help to have a plan b in mind if the job you want doesn't work out.

Well, that is all for now.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Doing a demo at the new Walmart in Monroe tomorrow (December 7, 2014).

Tomorrow, I have been scheduled for a demo at the new Walmart in Monroe, Washington.  It is the latest of Walmart Stores that have been opening up here in Western Washington.  I have also done the new Walmart in Marysville too.  For tomorrow's demo, I am supposed do the ice cream drumstick bars.
Picture of the New Walmart in Monroe, Washington


Notes about the new Walmart:
- There was controversey about the new Walmart in Monroe.  I remember reading various articles in the Snohomish Tribune about people opposing the new Walmart in Monroe (in part due to traffic concerns as well as impacting nearby businesses).  By the way, here is an article in the Monroe Monitor and Sky Valley News about a court battle between the city and opponents.  http://www.monroemonitor.com/2013/05/21/monroe-wins-again-on-walmart/
- The Walmart is right next to where  the movie theater is.  I actually went to the movie theater this evening (saw Interstellar again) and I noticed that you can now access the Walmart parking lot right from the movie theater.
- There is also a Fred Meyer closeby too, so there is bound to be some fierce competition between the two mega stores (in fact, next Sunday, I am scheduled for a demo at the Fred Meyer in Monroe, and it will be interesting to see how the new Walmart affects store traffic there).  By the way, there is also a Safeway store and an Albertsons store in Monroe too (I've done demos at that store too on various occasions).
-  There is also now a new Walmart in Everett too (near the Everett Mall).
-  I've known some fellow coworkers from Kohl's that got jobs at Wlmart as well.