Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kids are funny

Eva sent me a picture of a note her little nephew wrote to his mom after a heated argument with his older brother. It is classic. So funny!

Here's a link to her blog post about it.
The note

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Job Insecurity

I went up to Seattle this past weekend on a trip for school. We specifically went to visit companies committed to sustainable business practices.

There were 20 MBA students with various interests in Sustainability, Sports and Entrepreneurship in the group. We left Wednesday afternoon and returned today, Saturday. It was an insightful trip as we visited several companies based in Seattle; companies I knew very well and companies that were just emerging, or at least trying to. We visited nine companies in all and while all of them shared the same message of sustainability, all also shared a more grim sentiment.

Over the three days I spent in Seattle, the newspaper headlines followed a theme: unemployment. On Thursday morning the headline was about Boeing and Washington Mutual layoffs. Friday morning, the 5,000 layoffs at Microsoft. And on Saturday morning, the front page headline was about the prospective 1,000 layoffs at Starbucks, of which I found most ironic.

Just the night before, my group of aspiring MBAs were huddled in a conference room at the Starbucks headquarters. We had just heard about all of the surprisingly unknown social and environmental goodwill of the otherwise criticized coffee company, the company's LEEDS Gold certified corporate building, its plans to upgrade all of its stores to LEEDS Silver certification, etc. It was impressive what the company was doing to help the environment.

We were then visited by a couple of Starbucks' human resources representatives. They greeted us with smiles and complimented our endeavors. They spoke highly of the company and what it was achieving in growth and innovation. Then, with the same sort of cheeriness, they told us they would love to have us with the company, but that they are not hiring nor were they taking any interns, but that they would love to have our resumes in their database. It was depressing. Then as we left and walked into the parking lot, I noticed all three news vans from the three news networks in town and automatically I knew, Starbucks was likely to announce layoffs.

Such was the same story at REI. And Weyerheauser. And all of the other companies we visited.

The best part about these visits was that it was suggested by REI that we work the retail sales floor to "get in" and by Starbucks to start out as a barista as a great way to work up the chain. It was insulting and depressing.

I think the state of the economy is finally hitting me. I have always seemed to ignore the world around me and very selfishly fail to realize the circumstances of my surroundings unless directly affected. The largest companies in Seattle are making enormous job cuts for the first time ever and all at the same time. It's happening all around us and I wonder how much worse it will get. It is a scary time. Being in school, I have little to fear in the immediate as I do not have a job to lose and as a student, I am resigned to being poor, but I do worry about the state of employment in a year and a half when I will be out with the masses searching for a job.

How close are we to circumstances like the Depression? I do not worry that we will ever be that destitute, but for the families and individuals now affected, who have lost their jobs and who will only find it more difficult to find work again as companies continue to make cuts, I can only imagine the struggles they face.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not so Normal

"They wanted to get married there because it was the place they liked to be."

I saw this story on the news tonight. A couple in Normal, Illinois got married at their local Taco Bell because they enjoyed being there.

Here's an article with video and some pics: http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2009/01/10/news/doc49681e80735c5391961609.txt

That is just wacked. I don't even like going to the Taco Bell for a cup of water, let alone create a huge memory of it for my wedding!

I suppose that if I HAD to have a wedding at a fast food joint, it would definitely be In-n-Out Burger. Nothing beats animal style hors d'oeuvres.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My coo'ing niece

This is my niece. She is the best newest addition to my life.

And yes, that is her real hair. At just two months she can already wear little hair clips!

She is just a sweetheart. She coos at everything fuzzy. She's just another pea in my pod and I kind of love her a lot.