OWJ Program

“You’re a What.” – Week #6: Association Professional

I'm back in my home state for a little bit, in the city of Austin, Texas! It feels so good to be here. Here's the weekly hour and mileage update: ~769 miles from Denver to Austin by bus.

~5806 miles traveled overall.

~83 hours spent traveling overall.

And here's the trusty weekly map update:

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Haha that map is looking a little messy! This week, I'm working with the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) as an Association Professional! I know you probably don't understand that job title because I had issues of my own before actually working with the company. Let me try to help.

Every job is a part of an industry. Every industry has an association for it. Some examples:

Park Ranger --> National Recreation and Park Association

Teacher --> National Education Association

Facility Manager --> International Facility Management  Association

Some industries have state-based associations, country-based associations, international-based associations, or a combination. If you take time to do more research, you'll quickly find out that there is an association for nearly everything. Associations are a wonderful way to network with other professionals in your industry, to spread awareness about your industry, to be kept abreast of the latest developments in your industry, to improve your industry, etc.

Associations have so much power and potential for personal and communal growth. The funny thing is that if you're not in an association aka not an association professional, you may have HEARD of the word, but you most likely have no idea what associations do, much less how influential they are. TSAE is an important association, because it's the "association of associations" in Texas. In other words, it's "industry" is the association industry, so its main goal is to provide education, awareness, networking and many other things for associations. So, if there is an association for nearly everything, the "association of associations" handles anything that has to do with nearly everything. I hope you're less lost by now. In short, I'm working in the big leagues right now. TSAE ain't no joke. Go me.

When I decided to take on this job for a week, I had very limited reasoning in mind. I say this in retrospect. First, I remembered Sean's experience with this job over two years ago, which he described in his book. Then, I noticed TSAE was on the list of OWJ-Friendly Employers that Sean gave us as we were choosing jobs for the program. There was a note next to the TSAE employer listing that said "would be better than last time" - meaning that the proposed experience would be better than when Sean went to visit.

Of course I had to go after reading that.

It wasn't easy getting to Austin though. I had an altercation with a smug bus driver about my luggage, missed my transfer bus because the smug bus driver put us 45 minutes behind schedule, and had to sit through the hollers and whistles of not-my-type-men during a 90-minute layover in Dallas. The last part wasn't surprising. Not because I'm confident, but because I've had a Greyhound layover in Dallas before. And I've live there for 22 years.

I arrived in Austin 100 minutes late, and was met by Beth Brooks, President and CEO of TSAE. What a calming change. I came off the bus feeling beaten, emotionally and physically. When Beth opened her vehicle trunk for me to place my luggage in it, she pointed at a case of beverages:

"You like green, tea right?"

Tired, I laughed and smiled...but in talking with her on the way to her house, it was clear Beth had really done research on me. She referenced several of my blog posts, which prompted some good conversation. At one point, she indicated that she had an extensive background in swimming and offered to give me lessons. I immediately began to relax because it was nice to know that someone had invested time in me before even meeting me in person, the same way in which I would show interest in someone else. We both like to do our research!

Beth lives with her husband, David, and her 16-year-old son, Matthew. I feel special because she has let me into her home for an entire week. This is the first time that I’ve lived with a family unit and – have I mentioned how calming and relaxing my time in Austin has been? I think it’s because this week is the closest I’ve come to being with my own family again, being so close to Irving, having a family-related routine, and coming to a house of two parents and a younger child after a full day of work. It reminds me of my own family members. I miss them.


When we got to the Brooks' house, David was close to finishing dinner, which is around the same time every night. I've been recording the meals so I can reproduce them later! Good culinary ideas. After a good discussion about travel, food, and diplomacy, we (play the Wii, then) all slept.

The week began strongly. Beth had an important training session to give early Monday morning at 8am. She wanted me to attend, but she let me sleep in first. While I was beginning my sixth one-week job, Matthew was beginning his first day of driver's education! Cute, right? David had to drop him off around 9am, so I rode with them. Dressed in business professional attire, I sat in on the meeting, which lasted until close to noon.

During the meeting, Beth was being a huge help to the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians and Assistants (AAEVT). If I remember accurately, they were in the process of building up their association to full status, and were in need of some guidance. Beth knows her stuff. She has been in the association business for a long time, having been with the Texas Dental Association and Texas Pest Control Association before joining TSAE. The meeting was almost four hours long because it takes a lot of work to run a successful association. Many topics were discussed, such as how to prevent a board of directors from failing, how to dissolve situations of interest conflict, and how to choose and develop an effective organization spokesman. I took a copious amount of notes, and even took note of Beth's speaking technique. Can't go wrong with chunking!

After the meeting, I met Josh, Shirley, and Alaina, some of the TSAE staff. Josh is the Communications and Marketing Manager, which means that he oversees and controls all TSAE content, whether that be through the magazine, the website, emails, social media, PR, and any sort of technology. Shirley is the Business Development Manager, so she oversees membership and sponsorship, implementing tons of recruitment and retention methods. Alaina is the Membership Services Coordinator, so she - in her own words - "makes sure members needs are met." Whatever that requires, Alaina gets it done.

By about 2pm, I had received a rude awakening. I thought I knew about associations, but I had no idea. So much goes on in one day! Josh gave me my first task: writing press releases. TSAE has an annual conference, during which they give out awards. My job was to write the press releases for the award recipients! Josh has a strong background in journalism, so this sort of work is very simple to him. In giving me this task, he hoped to help me improve my writing skills, and understand the communications world more. He gave me a college journalism textbook to take some pointers from as well!

I worked on the press releases until about 4:30pm, and then Beth and I left the office. The family and I had dinner and discussion - this time, about sustainability. The night ended with the Wii and dessert.

My Tuesday started early with Beth - an eye-closing 7:25am. I dressed down-er this day, and went back to work on the press releases. I sat in on the weekly staff meeting around 10:30am. I have to admit that I was dozing off because I had no idea what everyone was talking about, but it was impressive to see how prepared everyone was to talk about their responsibilities. With a staff of seven, I suppose it's hard to get away with slacking off!

BETH BOUGHT US ALL TORCHY'S TACO'S FOR LUNCH. If you ever go to Austin, go to Torchy's. Wonderful tacos. Wonderful chips. Wonderful queso. Several of my friends (including me) have gone to Austin SOLELY for the food, and then driven back. Beautiful. THANK YOU, BETH!!!!

After lunch, I finished one of the three press releases. Josh and I went over his comments, and I went back to work. I finished all of them around 3:30pm, and spent the rest of the day organizing my excessive amount of one-week job notes. I then went home with Beth and ate dinner, played Wii, played guitar (Beth got out her classical!), and watched "America's Got Talent" with the family. I can't stand that program. Well, I suppose I can...because we watched it the next night too.

So What About You?

Do you have any questions about the association world ? Let me know, so I can get the answer for you! You never know, it could hold your dream job...

Until next time...


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Fifth Last Day: No Favorites, Just Fun & Freedom

I've apologized for inconsistent posting before, and here we are. I'm just going to stop with the apologies... I think I may have indicated in the past that I enjoyed working at the pizzeria the most out of all the one-week jobs. We have a “problem” now, because that is no longer the case. I could easily say the same thing about my time with Coda Coffee this past week. That it was my best experience. And though I've told you nothing about the job I'm in right now, I really like it too. I'm conflicted!

I've always been hesitant to identify favorites, and this is why. So, forget what I “had” said. This is not to say that I will not have a favorite in two weeks, just that I'm taking recanting a statement. Simply remember that once upon a time, Michelle was against coffee. Then she did that one-week job thing, and now she drinks coffee.

Change is real, and change can be good. YAY! :)

Recap Time.

My time with Coda was pretty routine, but no less stimulating. Wednesday through Friday, Tim and Jessica would pick me up around 7:45am as usual, and I'd head straight to the warehouse and get to work. I spent the rest of my warehouse hours on one order, Bane's project, that required bagging and packaging approximately 500 16oz bags of coffee beans of different varieties, whole bean and ground. The order took a long while, but I was happy that we finished it before the 2pm deadline on Friday. I seriously appreciate having a big task and a goal that I need to reach.

Embarrassingly, I ate out every day at lunch time. Brittany and Dean, sweet as they were, opened their pantry and refrigerator up to me for whatever I needed, but I always ended up eating the lunch I packed for breakfast. Marciano, Trestin, and I were then able to spend time together every day at noon. Workdays ended at 5pm, after which Tim and Jessica would take me home, and I'd wind down with a George Foreman Grill creation and some Lifetime drama. Last week had to be the most television I've watched since this beginning of all this.

It was on Thursday that I had that cupping experience that I talked about before. The cupping I did is not to be confused with the traditional method of Chinese medicine, and a video of it can be seen here:

This visual will explain it better than any words of mine could.

Friday was significantly slow, and as usual, to remain useful, I found a huge pile of dishes to clean. At the end of my last day, I forced everyone at Coda to take pictures, and I took home some coffee mugs and beans for Brittany and Dean! I was overjoyed at the chance to give back to them since they had helped me out so much.

As I had been staying in watching television, Brittany and Dean had had their own engagements to attend every evening. On my last night, they stayed in and Dean made us dinner :) Chicken fingers, fries, and broccoli - SCRUMPTIOUS. We watched When Harry Met Sally (please don't yell at me), my first time to see the movie, and then we went to bed.

On Saturday, I stayed in couch late and did some work on the computer. I then decided to go to the coffee bar around the corner for a cup and a bagel. I wanted to work on distinguishing tastes and aroma, put my coffee knowledge to work. :) I did some laundry, packed, and got some dinner before going out on the road. Dean packed me a nice little snack bag for the traveling, and I left Denver on the Greyhound, unlike the way I had arrived.

Question Time.

What did you dislike about the job and why?

There was very little I disliked about my time with Coda, except for two things.

  1. There were times where I felt I wasn't needed in the warehouse, when things were slow. While I did find dishes to clean, something I always love doing, I wish I knew enough to be able to help the guys out all the time, even in the tiniest way.
  2. There wasn't much overlap with job duties, and I think that would get to me after some time. When I was bagging beans, a few of the guys would walk by and joke with me: “You getting tired of that yet?” As I've said before regarding situations that most would find severely boring, I was completely fine with what I was doing, but I was only there for a week. I definitely don't want to be in a situation where someone who's been in the business for awhile comes up to me and asks me if I hate what I'm doing yet, because if I don't, I will soon. That's not too encouraging!

What did you like about the job and why?

I didn't like, I loved.

I loved the people. Everyone was relaxed from the beginning, mirroring the exact work atmosphere I had been hoping for and work the best in. Moreover, while everyone was generally calm, they worked hard. That spoke to me. The staff was also very real. When people were feeling hyperactive, they acted hyperactive. When people were feeling angry, they acted angry. And they expressed all those emotions in a sufficient amount of time. No dramatics. No excess. No hiding. That was really cool. Okay, I justttt realized that I worked with males the entire week. I don't want to say that this is a factor in the people-loving / work atmosphere but...your call.

I loved the passion. Tommy and Tim know their coffee, and they get excited about it. When Tim and I did deliveries on Tuesday, it was clear that his customers really respected him and fed off of his energy and dedication to making them happy. There were moments where I saw myself owning a coffee company, though that will most likely never happen. But that's how infectious Tim is! Tim is not only passionate about his profession, but he was also passionate about making sure he was doing all he could to make sure I got the most I could out of Coda Coffee with the Program. I truly believe he did just that.

I loved the family feel. Coda Coffee staff is a small but diverse group. There are a lot of different personalities within it, but the thing that really caught my attention was how comfortable everyone felt being themselves. I found out later it was because the staff is really close. There were many times where someone would bring up how Tommy and Tim treat their staff like adults, and how they take care of them as if they were their blood. About 90% of Coda staff knew not one thing about coffee before they came to the company. Many of them indicated that they fell in love with the industry not just because they needed the knowledge for the job, but also because the work environment made the learning process attractive and easy. Wherever I work, I want my experience to be like this. Hard but easy. You feel me?

What lessons did you learn from work at a wholesale coffee roaster / Week 5?

  1. It's okay to let others take care of you. As you'll find out later, I haven't REALLY learned this lesson. But I am learning it. Brittany and Dean were so so so nice to me. Besides the fact that they let me sleep at their place only a month after they moved in themselves (from Texas, mind you), they let me watch their television for as long as I wanted. They urged me to eat as much of their food as I wanted. They even trusted me to stay in their house alone, and left me a key just in case I wanted to go wherever I wanted. They wouldn't let me do anything to help them, and I didn't understand it. I'm still trying to. But this is the thing. If I were them, I would do the same thing for another if I could. In a heartbeat. So why can't I trust others to love on me? Someone help me answer this.
  2. REALLY try something and immerse yourself in it before you write it off completely. See Post: Dear Coffee: Friends ?
  3. Don't be ashamed. For anything. For anyone. In addition to their big hearts, I was amazed at Brittany and Dean's unashamed and consistent indulgence in unhealthy foods. Sour Patch kids, cupcakes, Hershey's kisses, graham crackers, Pringles, oven fries, chicken fingers. I should add that they work out, look like very fit people, and eat other stuff, but I was still just amazed. I feel as if it's almost customary in this day and age to provide some reasoning to those around us whenever we eat that ice cream late at night for the fourth night in a row. We feel guilty because we want others to know that our likelihood of gaining excessive amounts of weight is low, or if it happens, it won't be due to our poor eating habits. But who cares? Who cares. I'm going to eat more ice cream right now. Thank you, Brittany. Thank you, Dean. You've given me confidence to eat that second chocolate chip cookie for BREAKFAST.

(But yikes! Seriously, after my pizza week and this, I need to get my body rightttttt! Tubby Michelle, is that you?)

Would you do this again, as a more-than-one-week job?

Definitely. Definitely.

To Tommy, to Tim. To Jessica, To Laura. To Brian, To Todd. To Issac, To Seok. To Adam, To Trestin. To Bane, To Marciano. To anyone I missed because it's probable. If I liked favorites, you might have been one of mine. Thanks for being so authentic, informative, chill, and for bringing a new beverage into my life. What a great gift you've given. Thanks again.

Reflection Time.

Do what you do.

Do you.

This would be an example:



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P.S. No, "Teqnique" is not a word.

Week 6 - Helicopter Tour Company

Heyo! Well, here we are...Week 6 already!  At the moment, I am in the town of Squamish, British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada.  I'm spending a week with a Helicopter Tour Company called Britannia Beach Heli Tours !

I'd like to first start out by saying how BEAUTIFUL the Rocky Mountains are!  I will never tire of looking up at them, and love how they make me feel so safe and inspired.

Squamish is about 60km north of Vancouver, and on Sunday I caught a ride with my friends Kim and Robbie.  They were very kind to offer their car as well as their company for the trip up!  Before checking into my hostel, we stopped at The Chief - a huge mountain that sits at the entrance to the town.  It's a popular hike, and we eagerly started climbing the second peak.

It was a great 3 hours clambering over tree roots and granite rock faces.  We even got in a little ladder/chain action up the side of a few steep pathways!!  The view from the top was definitely worth the sweat we drained...and a big thanks to Kimmy and Rob for keeping me entertained with all their falsetto singing ;)

I wish I had my photos downloaded, but I'll have to show you the views in a later post.

However, you CAN check out a Britannia Beach Heli Tours video of aerial views of the Black Tusk - a mountaintop found on the famous Sea to Sky Corridor, along the west coast, Film Credit: © Taylor Loughran

So - on to Heli Tours!  Squamish is known (unofficially) as Canada's Outdoor Recreation Capital - and it's easy to see why!  With hiking, rock-climbing, kite-surfing, sailing, mountain biking, all just outside your door - it's an outdoor lover's dream come true.  Britannia Beach is a 5 minute drive south of Squamish, and is where Britannia Beach Heli Tours has their office and heli-pad set up.  They're a small company that specializes in affordable trips along the Sea to Sky highway - the corridor from Vancouver to Whistler, B.C.  You get mountains, oceans, glaciers, and lakes on-top-of-mountains!  The company started up in 2009, and is quickly growing in popularity in the local adventure tourism industry.

There's a lot to know about flying!  The first, and one of the most important things to consider when flying, is to make sure your chopper is properly maintained.  Lucky me, I get to see the insides of a helicopter!  Haha!  The company is doing some regular maintenance on their machine,  a Robinson R44.

An issue at the moment, however, is the amount of smoke in the air due to forest fires burning in the interior of the province.  Visibility is tricky when there's smoke - so again, safety is key.  It's pretty crazy, actually - my hair even smells like smoke it's so heavy!

To become a helicopter pilot takes hundreds of hours of in-flight training.  Emergency maneuvers are practiced and wind patterns are studied.  Physics is a big part of flying - something I definitely need to learn more about!  The company pilot Stuart Baxter, has been great at answering my questions, and has been kind enough to even let me stay at his house while I'm here.  He actually got into this job because of a heli-ski trip he took a few years ago.  He said that he found himself more curious about the helicopter, than about the fresh powder he had paid so much to ski!  I guess that's all it takes though - a genuine curiosity and who knows where you'll get!

Flying has always been something I've loved - whether in airplanes on vacation, or the one helicopter shoot I did a few years back.  I don't fully understand how it all works yet, but I have always marveled at it.  When I was young, I always had dreams that I was flying; I was convinced that if I jumped a certain way, or from a certain spot on the ground, I would magically take-off and travel wherever I wanted!

This is why I wanted to see what it was like to work in the aviation industry, what kind of trials and tribulations (such as smoke in the air!) they have to deal with, and what it takes to get off the ground.

But, I'm off to check in with the engineer and the pilot - fingers crossed this smoke clears and we can take off!

- Amanda

Job #5: Backpacking Guide

I am a traveling machine! After wrapping up an awesome week at Scott's Bike Shop in Cleveland, TN, I  flew across the U.S. on Sunday to Spokane, Washington. It's hard to contain my excitement for my job this week: backpacking guide! There is a great non-profit based out of Spokane called "Peak 7." Peak 7 is a non-profit that focuses on taking low-income and at-risk youth on outdoor adventures. They offer climbing, rafting, and backpacking trips. Unlike some organizations that cater to mainly affluent youth, I appreciate that Peak 7 does not exist to make money. They exist to make relationships with the kids, teach them about the outdoors, and to ultimately, show them Christ's love throughout the trip. It's so exciting that Spokane youth have the opportunity to explore the outdoors and learn from experienced guides through this organization. I arrived to Spokane Sunday morning after a long day of flights from Tennessee. Austin, the Peak 7 coordinator, met me at the airport and took me to Zip's, an amazing burger place, for lunch.

After a quick bite to eat, we headed over to the Peak 7 Warehouse to unpack gear from the previous week's trips. I put up tents to dry out, cleaned boots, and tried to help get everything organized for this week's trips. It was great to meet the Peak 7 staff, volunteers, and guides. Every person I talked to had a unique story about how they came to Spokane and found out about Peak 7. The organization has only existed for just under five years, but it's incredible how far along they are. The warehouse alone is an achievement since most of the gear has been donated by different companies. There are some causes that I hear about and quickly forget about, but Peak 7 is definitely not one of those for me! I love what they're doing and believe it's a very worthy cause to have trips for at-risk youth. If you're interested in donating, click here for a secure link.

To read more about what Peak 7 is about, check out their website here.

Where will I be this week?

Peak 7 is based in Spokane, but for the backpacking trip, we're driving 5-6 hours to the North Cascade Mountains.

What is my job this week?

I am going on day a five-backpacking trip, which Peak 7 calls an "Ascent Trip." I will be going with Nicole on an all-girls trip with 7-8 youth participants. Since I haven't been to guide school or gone through Wilderness First Responder course, I'm basically a participant that is also job-shadowing. Nevertheless, I plan to get involved by building relationships with the kids, helping filter water, set up gear, and learning as much as I can during the week.

How am I feeling pre-trip?

This week will be unique since I will be gone all week and away from my laptop. I'm ecstatic to take a break from technology though and be fully engaged in the trip. Honestly, I am nervous that I won't be fit enough to backpack for five days. This will definitely be a stretching experience, but I don't want to be a person known for playing it safe and only doing things that are comfortable. I anticipate that this will be a memorable week and will help me see firsthand what it's like to lead teens on wilderness trips.

I will be backpacking for five days so guess what that means! I won't be blogging for five days! I plan to post again this coming Saturday with a detailed blog about the trip, complete with pictures and videos.

Thanks for following me on this journey this far.


Kieley Best

Email me at bestweekjob@gmail.com with job offers, questions, comments, etc...

Dear Coffee: Friends ?

I have something to say. I have decided to keep coffee in my life beyond this week. I vow to research and find a cafe in the area that I'm in. One that I deem "good" using the information I've learned during my time with Coda Coffee Company, of course. I'm doing this because...I want to, and that's always a good enough reason, in my opinion. But let's go over the change in reasoning:

Reasons I Wasn't About Coffee Then:

  1. The need. I figured I would probably develop a dependency on the caffeine, and I didn't want to waste time in my life feeding an addiction. Let's ignore the fact that nearly EVERYTHING has caffeine, including medications, some ice creams, and even decaffeinated coffee! So, in theory, I could get "hooked" on anything if I ingested enough of it. Bummer thought process.
  2. The taste. It's horrible. Either I get my coffee "black," a state I always personally described as "black-nasty," or I get to put a ton of stuff in it (cream, sugar, and/or what have I) to alleviate the bitterness of the "black-nasty." Again with the wasted time and effort. I had one moment where I thought that I should be more open to coffee additions to ease into the drink, maybe go extreme in a sort of bandaid-ripping motion, but as I said, it was only one moment.
  3. The trend. I was a Psychology major in college. I like to know what's up, why people want what they want, why people choose to do what they do. I can't begin to count all the times that I've been with someone in the morning hours and I've heard variations of "I. Need. My. Coffee." or "Can we drop by Starbucks real quick?" or "If I don't get my cup of Joe, [insert name here in third person] is not going to be a happy camper today..." You get the idea. Me being me, I immediately ask what the point of coffee is, and why the person who is in desperate need loves this "coffee" thing so much. I usually get extremely poor and insufficient responses, most of which end with "I guess I don't know. Everyone seems to drink coffee, so I just started drinking it too, and now I can't stop." In my mind, I'm thinking...I think I get it now. You start a busy day (or at some point, any day at all), you drink coffee to get you through it. You end a busy day, you drink alcohol to celebrate getting through it. You wanna meet with friends or make new ones, you go out to eat. Consume, consume, consume. Not me! Also, while at a New York Starbucks, I saw a small child ordering a cup. The barista (thankfully) asked the girl how old she was and if the drink for was for her. The girl said she was eight, and that yes, "duh", the drink was for her. EIGHT! I was too shocked to wonder why her mother wasn't around. But please note that once upon a time, an eight-year-old girl ordered a venti chai tea latte at Starbucks. For herself. Small children drink coffee. Okay, what happened to soda and juice? WATER?
  4. The illness. For some reason, I believed that coffee was riddled with malady-causing agents. Whatever you can think of, coffee had it. Still not sure where I got this idea from...
  5. The upbringing. My family isn't about coffee, so I just never had the desire for the beverage. I suppose this reason alone would've sufficed. Sorry about that.

(Thinking back to periods of close-mindedness is always amusing, isn't it?)

Reasons I'm About Coffee Now:


I could talk about the health benefits of coffee, how the taste of "black" coffee is an acquired taste that I'm already beginning to appreciate thanks to a good "cupping" experience I had this week (and lately the idea of acquiring acquired tastes is a fun challenge to me...maybe I'll try sushi again for lunch?),  and how I feel a connection to the culture of coffee producers, making me appreciate coffee even more.

I could even talk about how it's important to drink other beverages (gatorade, tea) besides water because the variety will make your body stronger, as long as it's in moderation (1 cup of coffee a day would be my personal limit), how the people who have mentored me and been so kind to me through this Program have lives that revolve around coffee, and how I owe it to them to at least try and understand their passion more. I could talk about all of this. In detail. But I won't.

Simplicity should prevail here. I'm "about" coffee now because once more, I've found out that assumptions are life-drainers, and that we should seek to experiment, and experiment fully. More often than not, we may learn that we like way more things than we thought we did. We may learn that there is more richness to be had within something we had previously and so surely written off.

So that's what I'm doing here. I'm opening myself up even more and making a new friend. Coffee, when we first met...well, before we even met, I thought you were trouble. But I see now that I was wrong. You're not so bad. I could see us becoming good friends. Hopefully dogs, swimming, and many others can join us soon. You know how we humans can be. Sometimes it's hard to trust, but we're made to trust. So here I go. Please, forgive me for the pre-judgment. :)

So What About You?

What's so great about coffee? What's not-so-great about coffee? Explain your thoughts!

Gotta pack again...and I think I'll get a bagel and some "black-nasty" too ;) ...Talk Soon!


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Road Ridin' Adventures: Job #4 Recap

Hey! If you're taking time to read this blog, I hope you're having a fantastic day!

I totally enjoyed my week at Scott's Bike Centre in Cleveland, TN!

Being in my hometown has been great since I worked with a local business and I could zip home from work for dinner with my family.

A couple nights ago, I went on the Thursday night road ride. The "road ride" takes place on the road as you might have guessed.

There are four different groups of riders, with the groups being divided by pace and number of miles they ride.

I'm not new to cycling, but I've always ridden on a paved path or on a street with no cars. The thought of riding my bicycle on a busy street was a bit unnerving, but I wasn't about to chicken out.

For my first night of riding, I rode with the "D" group. This group rides 15-20 miles and at a comfortable pace. Don't let "comfortable pace" mislead you though; I was still huffing and puffing at times and I even endured some hills!

My fellow "D-group" riders were so welcoming and helped me figure out the gears on my bike and get used to road riding. I felt so cool to finally be in a cycling group riding through a major intersection. I've always admired cyclists from afar and Thursday night, I was one of them.

Here are some highlights of my week with Scott's Bike Centre:

  • Learning how to build a bike with Scottie and trying to build a bike myself
  • Mountain Biking at Brush Creek
  • Talking business with David Coulter, co-owner of Scott's
  • Meeting Stan, a local shirt printer who made me a custom Boise St. jersey
  • Thursday night road ride on Frontage Road (Cleveland, TN)
  • Doing a tune-up on my friend's mountain bike
  • Wearing spandex
  • Putting clipless pedals on my bike (increases pedal efficiency)
  • Getting some used cycling shoes to use with my new clipless pedals

So, what did I think of working at a bike shop?

I was surprised by how interesting it is to work at a bike shop! There is a lot of variety between helping customers pick out bikes and gear, building and repairing bicycles, and keeping up with the business aspect of it. I liked how I could wear casual clothes everyday and not worry about getting dirty!

Favorite Part of the week?

I definitely enjoyed both the mountain bike ride and the road ride. The group rides are seriously amazing and there is so much comraderie between all the cyclists. I loved meeting new people from my hometown and telling them about the One-Week Job Program.

Least Favorite Part of the week?

It was frustrating at times to watch the mechanics work on bikes and not be able to contribute. Since I was only there for a week, I could only learn so much about repairing bikes.

Good Experience?

This week was phenomenal and I learned a ton! I would definitely consider a job in the cycling industry!

To cap off the week...

I just returned from a 9-mile bike ride with my dad! I was dying to try my new pedals and shoes to see if I could feel the difference. I definitely felt more fast and it was nice to not have my feet flying all over the place. My dad was pedaling HARD and still had trouble keeping up. To clarify, "clipless pedals" are pedals that a rider "clips into." I know the name doesn't make sense, but trust me on this one. Scottie gave me an explanation earlier this week that got lost in the bicycle files in my mind!

The most valuable things I will take away from this week are not material; what I will treasure the most are the friendships I built

with David, Scottie, Stan, Mike, and the other people I met this week. Each person was so hospitable and taught me something I needed to learn.

It's been nice to be home for a week, but now it's time to venture out in a huge way. I'm flying out early Sunday morning to Spokane, Washington for my next job.

Until Next Time,

Kieley Best

Email me here: bestweekjob@gmail.com

OWJ Street Team - Success!

OWJ + 1 OWJ Program Participant + Reframe Marketing + 4 days of planning + 5 Amazing Volunteers = Dozens more people that know about One Week Job!

First off, I want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped make the first OWJ Street Team Event a SUCCESS!

For my week as an Event Planner, I decided to stage a pop-up event to help promote awareness of One Week Job.  We staked out a spot in Robson Square in downtown Vancouver, and started spreading the news!  We set up a table, handed out brochures, approached strangers, and did our best to get the word out there.

Good Things:

  • Table was good as a central location and place to talk to passerby - had a good number of people come up to the booth and ask us about what we were doing
  • The signage helped attract attention, ie: “I am Passionate About…” sign
  • We signed up (approx.) 10 new people to receive One Week Job emails, and win an autographed book/coffee-meeting with Sean!
  • A couple business people approached Sean and exchanged business cards – wanted to talk more about possibly working together
  • We handed out all 100 of our fliers
  • Had 5 volunteers show up to help!!  Amazing!
  • Not everyone is on social media, so it was a good way to share the program face-to-face with those who might not have found it online

Ways to Improve:

  • Been more coordinated with our branding – we wore yellow, but there could always be more yellow!
  • Had an activity/game to attract people
  • More volunteers
  • Hit more street corners, moved around more
  • More time - Started earlier and gone longer
  • More/larger signage, put them up around where we were located, at cross walks, etc.
  • Giveaways – something immediate other than the brochures that we could have given out. ie: candy, OWJ branded toy

In the end, I learned the basics on how to pull an event together, and trust me - it's TOUGH!

I seriously stressed out about this one...of course I wanted to make sure it promoted the OWJ name and didn't sully it in any way.  I'm also not that familiar with Vancouver, so it was tough figuring out where we should position ourselves, and where to get our supplies from.  Obviously, my time frame wasn't that flexible, as I had to get everything planned out in less than 4 days!  I had Monday to Wednesday to get everything in place...NUTS!

There was a lot of discussion with Sean and Ian, as they put in their 2 cents.  They were my "clients" - so I had to please them as best I could!

Karen from Reframe Marketing was great - she contacted media outlets, emailed her business list, and was even there the day of to hand out fliers for me!  I really appreciated her help - she kept reminding me to have fun and stay focused during the planning stage.

In the end, to be completely honest...I'm not sure that I'm cut out for Event Planning at this point in my life.  I've been struggling a lot with my stress-level, not just with this event, but with my life in general.  I found that planning this really freaked out both my physical and mental state; I had trouble sleeping, and I could actually feel my heart rate go up as I worried about how I would ever get everything done that I wanted to.

Of course my time limit didn't help things, but if I was ever put in charge of someone's wedding or a corporate event that actually HAD a budget and higher expectations, I'm not sure how I would cope!  This was a steep learning curve, but I suppose eventually I would learn to be more comfortable in this kind of a role.

It was cool to feel as if I was in charge...Karen totally let me drive it, and Sean kept telling people that I was his boss ;)  I loved the first part of the day, when everyone had showed up on location, and we had a little pow-wow to start things off.  To be in that circle of people, and know that everyone was there to help out and make the day a success, was extremely heart warming.

I know how lucky I am to have so many supportive people in my life - my family, my friends, and all the employers that have so kindly taken me on - it blows me away every time I think about it!

Have a great long weekend Canada!

- Amanda

"We Go Commando Around Here"

"Are you wearing shorts under your bike shorts, Kieley?" "No sir, just underwear."

"Next time, go commando! That's how we do it around here to avoid lines that show through spandex."

This was my introduction to the weekly mountain biking ride with Scott's Bikes Centre on Tuesday night.

"...I Need A Drink." - Week #5: Coffee "Connoisseur"

I'm disgustingly late with this post! I apologize! I meant to update last night, but I fell asleep instead...at 10pm. Scary. I AM IN DENVER, COLORADO! It is beautiful here. Map time again:

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And to keep that travel count going...

~1979 miles from Boston to Denver by airplane.

~5037 miles traveled overall.

~59 hours spent traveling overall.

The last time I was on an airplane was about a decade ago. My employer was so kind to buy me a plane ticket this week! Though I missed "Going Greyhound" (of course this is a joke), I was ready to try a new traveling method. I never mentioned the fact that my driver's license and health insurance card were stolen last Monday. I've been dealing with the consequences of that for over a week now, and it has been very stressful.  Losing these items is probably the worst thing that could happen to me, considering what I'm doing at the moment (especially during the one week I was flying and not Greyhound-ing!). Good thing that the "worst thing" isn't so bad.

In case you were wondering, Flying Without an ID is more than possible! Despite the fact that my afro was heavily untamed, I was wearing destructed jeans, a bright orange T-shirt, and a bright yellow jacket with a picture of a cat on the hood, all in an effort to be comfortable, the Boston TSA let me through the security checkpoint. Arriving three hours before departure and having other proofs of identity helped too.

Boarding the plane, I sat in the middle...something everyone on the plane seemed to be avoiding. The guy in front of me

sat in a row that already had an occupied window seat. He sat in the aisle seat. I made a motion like I was going to sit in his row and kinda waited...for him to move in so I didn't have to climb over his body. He gave me this horrible look. As if I was about to take his freedom away from him or something evil like that. I shrugged, and stepped over him obnoxiously as payback for his facial expression. Rude.


Well, I don't fly often, so I guess I'm not at the point where I can be picky.

As for the flight: takeoff scared me. My ears popped. I chewed gum.  I drank some water, slept, ate some peanuts, and Nabisco crackers. The landing was smooth, and as a result, didn't scare me.

After my baggage took forever and an hour to emerge from the carousel, Tommy Thwaites, owner of Coda Coffee Company, picked me up and put me straight to work. Can't waste the first day of the work week, I suppose! Some Coda coffee carts were in the wrong spot at the Denver Convention Center, so I helped Tommy move them from one space to another. I hadn't been in Denver for 30 minutes, and I was already exercising. I thought lifting my bags from the baggage carousel was going to be the end of it!

Coda Coffee Company is a wholesale coffee roaster. Founded by two brothers, Tim and Tommy Thwaites, Coda prides itself in being environmentally-friendly with all of its processes. I found Coda Coffee through the site pursuethepassion.jobing.com/, whose mission aligns with that of One-Week Job's. I read about the many companies that are featured on the site, and for some reason the name "Coda" stayed with me. Per my nature, I "went with it", contacted Tommy, and here I am in Denver! You can watch Pursue the Passion's video about Tommy and Coda Coffee here to get to know the business better.

With a team of about 13, tasks such as tasting, blending, roasting, bagging, flavoring, grinding, packing, delivering, selling, advertising, etc. come together every day to provide cafes and businesses with high-quality coffee. This week, I'm getting a taste of as many tasks as I can so I can get the full Coda experience. After Tommy and I finished moving the carts, we went straight to the Coda office. I was introduced to Issac, Adam aka Duncan, Marciano, Bane [Bah-nay], Trestin, Seok, Todd, Jessica, Brian, Courtney, Stevan, and Tim, Tommy's brother and Coda co-owner.

Introductions were quickly followed by some time in the flavoring room with Issac. He then gave me a brief overview about the difference between coffee blends and single-origin coffees while teaching me how to weigh and bag the whole beans. Things slowed down a bit after that, so I started up with my life questions with some of the Crew. Around 4pm, Tommy and his wife, Jessica, took me and my luggage home.

This week, I'm staying with friends of friends, newlyweds Brittany and Dean. They've only been married for a month or so, so I'm constantly worried that I'm not giving them enough alone time. They insist that I have nothing to worry about, and their actions convey that entirely. I'm having trouble being treated so well, but I'm slowly accepting it...mostly because my fatigue leaves me choice. After I settled in, they generously took me out to eat. The night ended with a discussion of "old tv shows" while watching current ones. Not even being in Denver for 8 hours, I had already decided that I really loved my job and accommodation for the week.

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time learning about roasting with Todd, the Roast Manager. I learned how to grind coffee for espresso with Bane, after which I went on delivery runs with Tim in Boulder! The mountains were a pretty sight, and it was fun to meet some of Coda's customers who were happy to receive new product. It was also nice to get some good discussion in with Tim as we drove around. Traffic hit us on the way home so we ran out of topics...and ended up talking about politics and religion. Heavy. Just like I like it. :D

Tuesday ended at 4pm as well, and I was truly exhausted in a way that I had never been before. I think it was a combination of drinking two substances that I wasn't used to, mate and an ultra-spicy chai, lifting coffee, and being in the hot warehouse. I did manage to cook some chicken on Brittany and Dean's George Foreman grill. THAT THING IS AMAZING. Someone should have told me about it earlier!  I cooked in an empty house, because my hosts were out at a movie. I wanted to wait until they came back so they wouldn't have to be quiet, but I couldn't make it.

I passed out to Kathy Griffin.

Today, I'll be doing my normal bagging, lifting, and product-pulling, but I'll also be coffee-tasting with Tim...maybe even making some drinks! I forgot to mention one more thing...that I know nothing about coffee. And I don't drink it. I always liked the smell, but that was about it. Half the world drinks coffee, and I never understood why. As a result, one of my goals with this Program was to find out. I'm breaking down some of my false assumptions, and am on my way to stomaching my coffee black, MHM!

There is a mountain (get it?) of information when it comes to coffee. I am not yet in a position where I can explain what I've learned so far. Right now, I'm just trying to read, watch, and remember as much as I can, so the next time I go to a coffee shop, I don't have to ask the barista what a "mocha" is. Small goals can bring big victories. Oh, and did you know that Denver has 300 sunny days a year? Neither did I. I haven't been to one cold city during this journey. I definitely thought the opposite would happen. Darn you, Summer! I don't want it to be freezing, but it'd be nice to not sweat for a whole week.

A woman can dream...


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Week 5 - Event Planner

Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about overwhelmed!!  After my last week as a 'yogi,' getting back into an office environment was more stressful than I anticipated!!

But, to carry on with the yoga-mindset, here are some things I have to be grateful for:

1. I have a place to stay with my friend Krista and her boyfriend Kyle.  They have VERY kindly taken me into their home, and Krista even walked me to work on my first day!

2. I am reallly close to the Event Planning office!  Like, a 20-30 minute walk.  Across a bridge.  Over the ocean.  With a beach underneath, and the Rocky Mountains in the background.  Can it really get any better?!

3. Karen, the event planner/marketer extraordinaire that took me in, is SO patient with me!  She answers all my questions, constantly encourages me to think outside the box, and is the first person to remind me that it's okay to make mistakes - but that the most important thing is to learn and have fun.

So, this week has seen me travel once again!  I'm now on the west coast of Canada, in Vancouver.  In total, I've traveled approximately 5,623km!

View Toronto to Vancouver in a larger map

But - I should start at the beginning of Week 5...

After my flight (short and sweet, just the way I like it), I was greeted by Krista and Kyle.  *A quick note: I actually met Krista in the Australian Outback about a year and a half ago...we were both traveling and she happened to be sleeping on the top bunk of my hostel bed.  After a 20 minute conversation, we were friends!  We met up in a few other cities during our respective Aussie trips, and reunited in Toronto last fall.  I love that about traveling - actually meeting and staying in touch with these people!  In a way, I feel as if Krista is an older sister of sorts...and I always did want a sister...;)

Anyway!  Krista, Kyle and I had a great supper on a rooftop patio, with the sun setting on a bright Vancouver day... *Another quick note: I absolutely LOVE Vancouver - the way the base of the mountains grow out of the Pacific Ocean, and then somehow manage to snuggle a city in between.  The air is fresh, pine-scented, and moist.  People seem healthier here than in other large cities...probably because the ocean wind helps wipe any grime away...(I'm sure that's gotta be a scientific fact).

But, once again, I'm falling away from my actual job experience here so far!

Focus, Amanda - focus.

On Monday I met Karen Milde, the Founder and Senior Marketing Consultant of Reframe Marketing.  Reframe helps companies brand themselves successfully in order to reach their specific target group, and then advises them on how to market themselves more effectively.  Reframe also provides search engine strategies, sales strategies, competitor research, marketing campaigns and business plans.  A lot of ground to cover in just one week!!

When I came in, Karen gave me a lot of choice: I could learn how to write web copy, conduct research for Government grants, assist in internet marketing, and variety of other tasks...or - I could plan and execute an event - all in one week.

I've always been curious as to what it takes to be an event planner, so I automatically was drawn to that task - little did I know what kind of trouble lay before me...!

Planning an event takes TIME.  This is something I obviously have very little of in regards to my One Week Job.  Monday was spent brainstorming - What kind of event should I plan? What was the objective of this event?  Who should we target?  Where would these people be located?

To be honest - I was exhausted.  I was so overwhelmed by choice!  Starting from scratch is exhilarating, but also debilitating...  I was also very well aware of the time-crunch, and that made me nervous.

I'm also realizing that I don't work very well in an office environment - my muscles need to move, and I don't enjoy the way my back gets all cramped up from sitting at a desk for hours at a time.

But - we decided on an project: The One Week Job Street Team.

Sean and Ian (the OWJ filmmaker) both live in Vancouver, so they have very kindly agreed to be great sports and help me out with this!  I'm going to create a 'pop-up event' in downtown Vancouver, where Sean, Ian, and I will take to the streets to create some hype about the One Week Job program, book, and film!  It's definitely still in the planning stages right now - but Vancouverites: consider this your warning!  Thursday, July 29, we'll be shooting interviews downtown with anyone and everyone who has something to say about finding their passion.  You could even WIN an autographed copy of the One-Week Job Project and/or a coffee-date/meeting with Sean!

It's going to be a busy next couple days...so I guess I'd better grab some sleep!

Talk soon, and keep your fingers crossed for me...


Visit Reframe Marketing and Check out Karen's BLOG!

Fourth Last Day: Don't Forget Lonely, Don't Stay Lonely

Tomorrow, we'll be halfway there. Officially. Everything has been crazy fast. I can't think of one moment where the time seemed to drag on. Nope, not when I was staring at a computer for 8 hours a day. Nope, not even when I was stuck on a bus with a blown-out tire for four hours, fifteen minutes away from Job #2.

Well with the bus, the looming possibility of a riot of people who "just can't take it anymore!" was secretly thrilling and hilarious to me. So maybe that situation isn't the best example.

There are seconds where I wish I could fully comprehend the passage of time, but then those seconds fly away because I'm too busy living those seconds, filling those seconds with memories that matter. I suppose the only thing that I can do...that I can keep doing...is stop. And give thanks. In any way possible. I think I can slow the clock this way. Just a little bit. Sufficiently.


Recap Time.

I've had the privilege of being able to stay in Boston for two weekends, because most of my sight-seeing has happened during those times. With another 35-40 hour/week job, I hate to finally admit it...but... *AHEM* I love staying in, as long as I have the option of going out. Of course, every week is different...but the trend is there. I'm a homebody! Marsha really isn't, and I didn't want to cramp her style, so most nights she would go out (though she felt terrible about it), I would stay in...and if I was awake when she returned, we'd talk a bit.

Thursday night was a little different. Marsha and I went to restaurant called Joe's American Bar and Grill. Lately, I've opted for sweet potato fries instead of french fries, and I'm VERY happy with my switch. Our food was scrumptious and the free dessert, a Charles River Pie, was insane:

Our waitress insisted that it was "Marsha's birthday," so we found ourselves in a situation where we felt guilty if we didn't finish the whole thing. So we did. Guh.

Friday brought my last day of work. Since it was my last day, Manager Roberto let me make the sign for the slice of the day. The sign usually consists of the phrase "Slice of the Day," a description of what the slice of the day is, some picture, and some quote.  Most commonly the picture is of a rap group, with a rap-related quote. When Roberto put me on the task, he left me with a google search for "biggie quotes." I tried my hardest to keep with the theme, but no grills, chains, or rap lyrics stuck with me. I wanted to add a little bit of Michelle humor too, so I ended up with this (on the right):

Several people laughed and commented on my artwork, but it only lasted an hour, after which it was quickly replaced by the General Manager. Something about it being inappropriate. Of course I understood. Mistakes, mistakes! :D

At the end of my last day, I took home a specialty pizza:

1/2 Brendan's Buffalo Chicken: "The classic combination of fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, sliced tomatoes and fresh garlic."

1/2 Harvard Street: "White pizza, combines buffalo chicken, blue cheese and mozzarella."

It was raining so heavily as I left the pizzeria for the last time, that my shirt, shorts (both items of which I still hadn't laundered), and purse were drenched when I finally got to Marsha's apartment. The pizza boxes were affected to some extent as well. I had to let some slices go unfortunately. I was so worn out from the week , the rain, and cleaning up from the rain, that I just went to bed early.

Yesterday (Saturday), Marsha and I did some eating and shopping. I broke down and got a suitcase, because the duffel bag I've been carrying for the past four weeks was on the way to doing serious damage to my back. We ended the night at the movie theatre for some film-watching. I would say that the movie we watched is one of the best movies, if not the best movie, of the summer. Refreshingly real. I want so bad for the  movie to hurry up and become old and forgotten, so in the future, when someone asks me what my favorite movie is, I can say "[insert movie title]" and they can say:

"Ooooh...yeahh....GOOOOOOOOD one!"

That's all for my assessment. After the movie, it was YouTubes then sleep.

Today was a simple, lazy day. Sleeping in, laundry, and the beach. The weather was sweltering when we arrived, but it turned pleasant as time went on. Those there for tanning were disappointed. Since that didn't include me, I had a good time (chuckle).


Question Time.

What did you dislike about the job and why?

  1. "The boss is here - look busy!" syndrome. I don't understand forced distress, so watching the staff freak out every time the Upper Crust top-dog walked into restaurant wasn't something I did well with. I worked really hard as an Upper Crust employee because I enjoyed making the customers happy and I enjoyed the job, so I didn't see the point in stressing over looking busy when I already was. It was hard to stay calm when everyone else was on edge, though. Reminded me a little of my job last week...
  2. Having a boss-boss. To branch off point number one, I may have issues with authority. This again brings up the idea of "looking busy." It seemed that the few moments I would stop to look around for what I could be doing, a manager would catch me and get on me personally to do something, implying that I was wasting time thumb twiddling. I've had this happen to me many, many times, and it's one of my peeves. I was eager to receive these comments at the beginning of the week, because I honestly did not know what to do. But when it continued until the end of my stay, it became harder to deal with, and felt somewhat counterproductive.
  3. Low spirits. This point  branches off point number one and two. Wherever I work, I would prefer the place to be mostly relaxed, and full of communication. There were one or two days where the entire staff was in a horrible mood, and it really soured the restaurant atmosphere. Some customers felt comfortable enough to mention to me that they noticed the  mood. I found it astounding that customers could sense what was going on.  This isn't to say that bad moods shouldn't be experienced in the workplace, just that they should be addressed and that employees should feel comfortable enough to express what they are feeling. In addition, those higher up should be observant to notice when their employees aren't 100% themselves. Vibe is everything. Whether the vibe is negative or positive is up to everyone involved, but ultimately to those who have most  control.

What did you like about the job and why?

  1. Hyper-productivity. This was my favorite part about the job. There was always a table that needed to be wiped, a trash can that needed to be emptied, a water jug that needed to be filled, etc. Something or someone always needed help. The days flew by, and I loved every minute of them. At the end of the day, I felt as if there was no doubt I had earned my "wages."
  2. Teamwork and Trust. It is impossible to do this job alone. I really appreciated the fact that I could constantly ask for support and receive it quickly. There was never a time where I felt as if I was overloaded or overlooked. This sort of relationship is  really special.
  3. Customer service. See Post: It Starts With Me
  4. Different cultures. The entire kitchen staff and a good lot of the counter staff are from Brazil, and I found it stimulating to witness the way their conversations took place, even if I didn't know what was being said. I also found it fun to interact with them personally.  A lot of these interactions kept the atmosphere upbeat.
  5. Free Pizza. I've never eaten this much pizza in my life, and that's just fine with me.
  6. One-Week Job Support. The Upper Crust Pizzeria is wonderful because it was the best at taking a special interest in making me a part of their team. I truly felt as if they were supportive of both me and the program. Most of all, my experience felt honest, which should be evident in both the pros and cons of my time with the job. I really cherished the entire time I spent in Boston.

What lessons did you learn from working at a pizzeria / Week 4?

  1. There's power in a stranger. See Post: It Starts With Me
  2. Don't Ask "How Are You?" unless you really mean it. I can't stand when people ask questions solely for formality, or worse they will continue on with the conversation without even waiting for your answer! All day every day, I made it a point to ask every customer how they were doing in a meaningful tone. Sometimes I'd switch it up, as long as it indicated that I was genuinely interested in their state. It led to some good, quick conversations and connections. Several people would make it a point to tell me goodbye when they left, and to let me know that they were leaving a tip because of my hospitality. Being genuine feels good and pays good, friends. ;)
  3. Don't work with someone you're dating. I witnessed it while working, and I can't think of one positive to it...personal opinion, though!
  4. In order to love well, you have to let yourself be loved well. (See Reflection Time.)
  5. Don't doubt other people's charity. (Marsha's words!)
  6. DO NOT feel embarrassed by your mistakes. Apologize when necessary, laugh, and move on. This kept my experience positive, even when other staff members were not in the best moods. There were COUNTLESS times that I messed up, that I met with annoyance at my actions, that I was teased, that I did something inappropriate, that I...did something wrong. I smiled and laughed first, addressed the mistake sufficiently and efficiently, and moved on. It helped tremendously. Stay humble, y'all (this contraction has been getting me in trouble with the Easterners. I don't even use it much! Curse you, Texas)!

Would you do this again, as a more-than-one-week job?

Yes. :) That response is completely instinctive, so know that it's real, despite all the negatives I discussed.

I had an unparalleled time with Job#4. A big thank You to Roberto Rosa and Barry Proctor of The Upper Crust Pizzeria - Newbury Street. You both believed in me before you even spoke to me, and that is the type of risk, the type of FAITH in people that not many businessmen would have employed. Bless You both for the opportunity you gave me. I hope I didn't disappoint!

And to my great friend, Marsha...well, you know how I feel about You. Text me if you don't...


Reflection Time.

This week was both the hardest and best of my time in the Program. I think the emotional aspect of the Program has been sneaking up on me. I've been so busy being thankful, that I totally forgot to be honest with myself emotionally. I think it's easy to fall in this way when you're so busy doing so many things. The perspectives and comments from outsiders, while they can be so very encouraging, can also be blinding too.

So many people have contacted me, telling me how awesome a time I must be having, how lucky I am, how they wish they had done what I am doing. I love getting these words, because they keep me focused and positive, but I let them prevent me from thinking about any not-so-great emotions that can come from moving places week to week, and meeting new people constantly.

What Amanda, Kieley, and I are doing isn't easy. I won't speak for them entirely, because we're all wired differently. I can only speak for the ways in which I should be taking care of me. So let me say that today, I realize that sometimes I have felt lonely on this journey. During week 2, one of the Juice members, Alli, gave me a hug, and it left me feeling a little weird: Wow, I really needed that, I thought. I hadn't had a good hug in awhile, because I hadn't been around anyone I knew that well. It affected me.

I know now that I love meeting new people more than ever, but I sometimes need my own space. I have felt overwhelmed and tired beyond capability of social interaction. There have been times that I have stayed home not only because I was tired from work and didn't want to be tired for work the next morning, but also because I just couldn't meet  new people.

Ironically, it is during this week, while with a very close friend, that I realize all this.  I use the word "ironically", because while having these feelings of loneliness, reclusiveness, and ultimate frustration and confusion, I had trouble communicating them to Marsha. I had a good friend right in front of my face, something that I had been needing, but I was too confused to express my thoughts to her. Guilt was the root of all of this.

Subconsciously, I was feeling guilty for feeling anything but 100% positive and grateful for this experience. Part of me didn't want to disappoint someone I cared about so much, someone who had been rooting for me for so long. Someone who was letting me stay with her for a week, who wanted to have fun with me for a whole week. Because I never took the time to acknowledge what I was feeling, everything came to a head, and tension surfaced between Marsha and I.

So I say this week was the hardest. Not the worst. And it was the hardest not because of my job, but because of...well, everything. I eventually forced myself out of my comfort zone in yet another way, opening up to Marsha about things that I wasn't even sure I could explain well enough. The hardest thing then became the best thing, ,because this week ended up making one of the best friendships I have ever had stronger than ever.  We were fortunate enough to have received the chance to learn more about the other, and more about ourselves. So for all those One-Week Job skeptics out there who say a week isn't enough, it is. It is more than enough, and for more than you might think.

As I told Sean on the phone yesterday, even though I'm struggling a bit emotionally right n ow, leaving the Program early has never crossed my mind. This is how I know the growth is good. That's the difference between emotional harm, and emotional help. I'm simply the wiser at this point, and becoming  more so. From now on, I'll be checking in with my ENTIRE emotional self, just as much as I would check in with any of my friends. I encourage You to do the same, no matter what You are up to. You owe it to You. Please, don't forget what I have said here. Resilience is key.


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2 Dogs, 1 House, and Lots of Teeth

I apologize for getting behind on my blog this week. I didn't mention it in my first blog, but I had 2 jobs this week! All week I've been staying in a huge house and not only house-sitting, but also taking care of 2 little dogs. To add to the madness, I fit in 3 days at the dentist's office!

One thing that has become really obvious is that a job that I can't actually try is not near as much fun! With the coffee roasting job, I got to work with Charlie Mustard, roastmaster for Jittery Joe's Coffee. Last week I didn't have a set job, but I still felt like an active member of the Sierra Trading Post team.

Here's the thing: I've always wondered about dentistry. Even though I couldn't actually work on patients, I still got to watch the procedures. Also, I got to talk to the hygienists and dental assistants personally. I already highlighted the perks of careers in dentistry in my last blog. You can read it here.

So what did I think of job shadowing the dentist, the assistant, and hygienist?

Overall, I enjoyed interacting with the different patients. As the dental assistant put it, "we may be doing the same things day in and day out but we work on different teeth." Most of the patients were nice and easy to deal with, but some of the kids can be challenging since they get scared. It's funny having a conversation with a dental patient since it's one-sided. The person can't talk back with their mouth wide open!

Between the hygeniest (the person who mainly cleans teeth) and the assistant, (helps dentist do fillings, sealants, crowns, root canals, and more) I definitely would prefer to be a dental assistant. Why?

I thrive with a combination of people and variety! Both of the jobs allow lots of people interaction but cleaning teeth all day seems a bit too monotonous.

I really enjoyed hanging out with Cassie, one of Dr. Tedford's dental assistants, to watch various procedures. I got to watch how X-Rays are taken, how molds are made for crowns (a common restoration option for cracked teeth), and even saw a man get tooth implants. According to Dr. Tedford, implants are the deluxe route to take when replacing missing teeth. They have a very high success rate and look and feel natural.

On the bright side, I liked the schedule for the dental jobs. I arrived at 9AM and left in the afternoon. Even though I don't plan on pursuing this field long-term, I'm very grateful I finally learned more about it. It would be a major bummer to always wonder about if I would like being a hygienist or assistant.

It's a great career since it's flexible, requires minimal schooling, and pays well.

I will post tomorrow about my dog sitting gig and then I'm on to JOB #4!

This summer is flying by so crazy fast! I have an exciting job this coming week and can't wait to blog about it! ;)

Feel free to email me here: bestweekjob(at)gmail.com or follow me on twitter here.

Have a great week!

-Kieley B.


Hello! This week has absolutely flown by!  It's been great working at the studio, helping out at the front desk, cleaning, and practicing yoga!  I've met some really great people, and have learned so much - not only about the workings of a yoga studio/instructor, but about my own yoga practice as well.

Since I've gone through the emotional side of the practice, I thought that to end the week, I'd share some of the physical side of it.

Downward-Facing Dog

Goals: Builds strength, flexibility and awareness; stretches the spine and hamstrings; rests the heart.

Posture: Keep your legs about hip-width apart and your arms shoulder-width apart.  Your middle fingers should be parallel, pointing straight ahead and your inner elbows facing forward.  Straighten your legs and push upward with your arms.  The goal is to lengthen the spine while keeping your legs straight and your feet flat on the ground (although this takes a LOT of time to master).  Keep your shoulders down, as they'll most likely try to bunch at the neck.  Weight should be evenly distributed between your hands and feet.

Warrior II

Goals: Strengthens legs and arms; improves balance and concentration.

Posture:  Step your feet 4-5 feet apart. Turn your back foot about 45 degrees in.  Turn your front foot 90 degrees out, so that it's pointed directly in front of you.  Bend the front knee until the thigh is parallel with the floor, but keep the knee either behind or directly over your ankle. Raise your arms over head. Then slowly lower them until your front arm is pointing straight ahead and your back arm is pointing straight back.

Upward-Facing Dog

Goals: Strengthens the arms, wrists and abdomen. Increases the flexibility of the spine.

Posture: Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, with the tops of your feet on the floor. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor beside your waist.  On an inhalation, lift your torso up and your legs a few inches off the floor.  Look straight ahead or tip the head back slightly, but take care not to compress the back of the neck and harden the throat.

A huge thanks to Lisa and Siobhan for allowing me to join the studio this week!  Many thanks also to teachers Monique, Brooke, and Chris (who so kindly posed for these pictures!).  You are all such an inspiration to me, and I hope to continue to grow in my own practice and become increasingly stronger.

Much Love,


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It Starts With Me

For the past four days (including today), I've eaten at least one Cliff Bar for breakfast, and a pizza slice for lunch. I usually take a box of pizza home for dinner, where I eat it happily while I do my thing(s) on my laptop. Today, as I was walking home with two slices of cheese and one "slice of the day" aka a FRESH tomato, FRESH basil, and FRESH mozzarella pizza slice, I passed by a much older, African-American man whom one would assume to be homeless. Let's call him "Cole." I've been trained from a young age to ignore homeless people for reasons which I'm sure you can come up with yourself:

- Homeless people aren't really homeless.

- Homeless people could get a job and a home if they just tried.

- Homeless people just use your money to buy alcohol. Brown bag, anyone?

- ...Homeless people aren't really homeless.

I don't think of these statements as I'm passing by a homeless person; I just pass by without thinking. Yep, I'm guilty of this. It's just easier. So today, I passed by. And as I continued walking past Cole, the sound...of the jingling...of the coins...in the cup...that Cole was holding...randomly caught my attention. I suddenly felt stupid. Not selfish, stupid. Of course!

I walked back to Cole, got down on my knees, pointed to the box as I put it on the ground next to him, and said:

"I hope you like this. It's for you."

He kept nodding his head, cheery, saying over and over: "Thank You, Thank You. Thank You, Thank You." Now remember that there were THREE slices in there, and they are huge...since I hadn't eaten the "slice of the day" yet, I was curious. Before I got up, I tore a little piece of the pizza out for myself:

"Sorry...I just want to taste what you're about to eat!"

He laughed and just kept nodding, smiling, and thanking me. I nodded my head, smiled back, stood up, and walked to Marsha's apartment, partial-pizza in hand. I took a bite. This is the best pizza I've tasted all week. Why the heck did i give this away-

Haha just kidding. I felt good. The pizza I was eating tasted so much better, knowing that Cole was eating it too. Despite my upbringing, I've always wanted to do what I did this afternoon. So many restaurants throw so much food out at the end of the day, and it's sad to think about. Here I am, fortunate enough to not only get a stimulating job in a stimulating city for a week, but to also get free food on top of that. Every day, as much as I want. I had to give.

I had to give.

Sharing with Cole made me think about why I like my job so much this week. It seems that the bulk of my day is spent at the register, taking in-person orders. That puts me at the front of the store, and it enables me to a prominent face of Upper Crust. I naturally take it upon myself to start small conversations with the customers about their days, what they want to order, and how their order tastes. In between taking orders, I sweep, and clear and wipe tables.

It's fun for me to see the surprise/joy in customers' faces whenever I talk to them, or when I rush to clean a table before a customer sits down (or after, haha). They see that I truly care about how they are doing, that I take joy in making the little time they are in the restaurant comfortable. And then there are those customers who basically want you to wash their feet, but that's just amusing to me. I'm finding that I truly love serving by giving people attention, genuine conversation, and a good, clean space to eat tasty food. I get to be responsible for giving people a positive experience with something that is necessary to our living, and that is huge.

There's also the fact that I know how it feels to be a customer, and it seriously makes me hyperactive when I encounter an employee who works hard and really cares if I'm happy. It also makes me angry when I encounter an employee who is rude and selfish. One of my BIGGEST pet peeves. And then there's the part about never having met the customers. I think I have an addiction to strangers. There's something intriguing about the chance to positively influence someone whose story you don't know entirely. You don't know how much your smile has affected them, but you smile anyway. It takes some sort of courage...some sort of humility. You just do good to do good, and you'll never know how far it'll go. That person could be inspired to, at the very least, smile at another stranger, and so on and so on! Good chains - world peace...world LOVE is possible. Believe this.

Now remember that serving doesn't make you a servant. Never let ANYONE treat you as if you are trash, as if you are below them. The Huxtables would probably agree (6:25 mark and on):

Tomorrow is Friday. :(


(The title of this post is yet another reference to a website I adore greatly.)

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Yoga on My Mind

Deep Breath. I've been practicing hot yoga off and on (more off, than on, really) for the last 3 years.  I can still remember the first time I came out of a class...I felt completely peaceful and at ease.  I was relaxed and energized at the same time.  My mind was clear, and my body was elated!

Due to daily commitments and pressures, yoga has come and gone in my life.  But thankfully, the results are always the same - inner peace and outer strength.

As of today, I have completed 3 days straight of my yoga practice.  To some, this probably doesn't sound like much, but that's the most consistency I've ever experience!  I feel so safe in the studio...it probably sounds cheesy, but I know that I'm there for myself and the only person I have to please is me.

Yesterday I met with Lisa Whitford, co-owner, studio director, and teacher of Moksha Yoga Calgary.  When I originally talked to her about spending time with the studio as part of my OWJ program, she was immediately interested.  Lisa has been teaching for about 8 years, and originally got into yoga because of some discomfort she was experiencing with her back.  Talking with Lisa is calming in and of itself.  She has a lot of insight into the whole crazy-yoga-trend, and hasn't let herself forget why she came to practice in the first place.

Personally - I'm kind of enjoying using the term 'practice.'  To me it means that yoga is always a work-in-progress - you're not some 'professional' yogi who never makes a mistake, you're growing and trying new things in order to get better at it.  I've never used the term before, but I love the way it applies.

One of the first points Lisa made about yoga, is that it's not just about the physical state of the postures.  She explained that there's a certain grace needed to physically transition through the postures, and that one of our goals should be to transfer that grace off of our yoga mat, and into our daily lives.

This makes so much sense. It takes concentration and guts to get into (and then hold?!) some of the positions yoga teaches.  If you can perform these postures without giving up, without complaining, and with a sense of determination - all the while being realistic and honest with yourself and your limitations - you have practiced with grace.

"It's not true until it's true for you." - Lisa Whitford, Moksha Yoga Calgary

When Lisa made this point, she was talking about yoga and the different variations and definitions it has grown into: Moksha, Bikram, Ashtanga, Hatha, Anusara, etc., are all different forms of yoga practice.  But no matter what you call it, or what postures you assume, the purpose of these variations remains the same: to unite the body and the mind.

The term 'yoga' roughly translates as 'yoke' or 'union.'  The Yoga Journal notes that the purpose of yoga is to,

"...strengthen the body, to bring flexibility not only to the spine, but to the mind, and to calm the nervous system and quiet the mind enough to connect the practitioner more deeply to his or her spiritual center."

Lisa's original statement, however, really applies to the One Week Job Program: "It's not true until it's true for you."  Have you been forcing yourself into a career that you're not totally sure of?  Do you feel pressure to please others in regards to your job description, as opposed to yourself?  Have you been selling yourself short?  What it really comes down to, is that if you don't believe in what you're doing, why are you doing it?!

I've personally struggled with my own lack of direction, and in the end, you need to do what makes you happy.  It seems like an obvious point to make, but from my conversations with others - it's not always the case.

What's your yoga? What unites your body with your mind?  Is it running? Making music? Writing? Driving a combine?!  Whatever it is, embrace it!

I am absolutely embracing this week of yoga - and am really thinking that if I had the opportunity to do it full time, it would be an amazing experience.  I owe it to my body, and my mind could definitely use some conditioning as well...  Maybe there should be a OWJ devoted especially to learning about yourself through yoga...thoughts?!

Thanks for sharing this experience with me...

Namaste - the light in me, honours the light in you!

- Amanda

"I'm in Food Shock" - Week #4: Pizza Lady

I have a confession to make. I didn't choose my job this week. That was part of the deal as a participant in this Program, but I just got lazy and decided to choose only seven jobs and make someone else choose the eighth.

Just kidding! Well, not about the not choosing. About the laziness. This week, I'm working at one of The Upper Crust Pizzeria locations in Boston, Massachusetts. More traveling, heyyyy:

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The trip on Saturday was my shortest at only four hours, ~217 miles. That means I've traveled ~3,058 miles by bus. So amazing.

I suppose I should explain why I didn't choose my job for this week. A friend of mine, Marsha, is in Boston for a summer internship. After Boston, she'll be off to Europe for the fall semester. Yes, that would be nine whole months of separation! We couldn't have that. We decided that if I got the One-Week job opportunity, I would make a serious effort to come to Boston for one of my weeks.

There was a moment where I had this crazy idea that it would be DOUBLY growing if I were to trust my job to another person. It would've been even more crazy to put my future into the hands of someone I had never met before, but I wasn't about that much risk at the time. I wanted to not only be surprised, but I also wanted to show my love for a dear friend by trusting her enough with something like this.

If you've been reading my blogs, you may have come to the conclusion that I enjoy putting myself in uncomfortable environments. I don't blame you. You're most likely correct. I don't know why I do it; I just like it. And besides, there are many instances where I'm slow to branch out. Remember that I'm a picky eater. And that I don't know how to swim. Oh, I actually don't think I've told you the last part. Ah, that's alright. More about that at a later time.

So anyway, Marsha, per her relentless and ueber-thorough nature, became an OWJ PR Rep for the weeks leading up to the first day of the program. She worked really hard to promote the idea and convince employers to take on someone else, whom they wouldn't even meet until the first day on the job! Great gumption. According to her, she encountered a little bit of the flaky, the apathy, the vague, and the angry during her search. She had her own criteria for job choices, all in an effort to - yes, you've got it now - help me become a better person. I choose my friends well. :)

I had no idea what I was doing on Monday when  I came into Boston Saturday morning. Remember how I decided not to sleep Friday night? Well, it was a bad plan because as soon as I settled into Marsha's apartment, we were off to see my employer 30 minutes later! Job #4 turned out to be at a pizzeria! I didn't really show it, but I was really happy. After all, my first employer who left me hanging was a pizzeria owner. Things worked out well. In choosing my jobs, it was very important for me to work in the food service industry. As one of my friends told me one day: "Food is a basic human need."

Saturday afternoon, Roberto, the manager, put me right to work. He had one of the employees, Courtney, give me an overview of how things worked at The Upper Crust:

Though exhausted, I already felt a part of the Upper Crust family. This was a huge relief, considering the week before. So far, I've learned about different beers and wines, how to take orders in person, how to cut limes/lemons, how to make sangria, how to write management letters, how to clean more efficiently, and much more. I'm hoping to convince Roberto to let me make a pizza soon! I'm done with my second day as a pizza lady (I work every day from 10am to 5pm), and I feel as if I'm really helping the business out. This means so much to me.

I'm a slow learner, but I'm determined to master as much of something as I can. The entire staff, including the guys who actually make the pizza in the kitchen, have been so patient with me. They tease me a lot (including some of the customers, sigh) when I mess up, but it's so obvious how eager they are to share their love for the pizzeria with me. That keeps me going unashamedly.

When looking for a job for me, Marsha said Roberto seemed the most enthusiastic about taking me on. She said he was impressed with the program and was willing to teach me as much as he could for the week. So far, he hasn't disappointed. I'm making so many mistakes, and it's...really really exciting. Oddly exciting. Every time I've done something wrong (and sometimes I repeat my mistakes), I get to learn why, and that helps me to do the right thing the next time.

Oh yeah, another thing. The best benefit to working at Upper Crust is the free pizza. I may be sick of pizza by Friday, but I'm willing to take that risk for the extra money in my pocket. The worst thing about free pizza is swollen feet. The day I arrived in Boston, the weather was so humid that after walking so much and eating pizza (lots of sodium!), my feet, especially around my ankles, swelled up.

When I took off my shoes and saw this, I screamed. It's okay, you can laugh. It was funny and dramatic. Marsha gave me a calm-but-slightly-judgmental look, made me lie down, and put an ice pack around my feet. I was going to show You some pictures of my feet, but I decided that was gross. We went out later that night, and my shoes barely fit when I put them on again. Frightening!

While Boston in the summer is ridiculously hot in comparison to the rest of the year, it's beautiful. Not surprising since  it comes with so much history. Marsha called it a "small town in a big city,"and she's completely right. I really adore it here. So far we've gone to Boston Public Garden, a jazz bar, Harvard University (Can you imagine being in summer school with a bunch of tourists walking in and out of the building? Some of the students gave us angry looks...), Fanueil Hall Marketplace, and the Splash Fountain at Christian Science Plaza, among other places.  Gosh I love the Splash Fountain. Perfect place for cute-little-kid-watching.

We went to most of these places by way of "The T." I think I prefer public transportation. I've never owned a car, so it's really nice to know that most of the people around me either don't have a vehicle or might as well not have one.

And then there's the fact that I won't gain tons of weight because I have to walk everywhere. It takes me 15 minutes to walk to work every morning. Unavoidable exercise. It's a sweet deal.

I smell like dough, which is serious, so I'ma go take care of myself.

Talk Soon!


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Time to De-Stress

Arg!  Why am I always so stressed out?!  I swear, by the time I'm 30 I'm going to have a heart attack... For some reason, I always seem to be the person who thinks about everything too much.  I constantly weight the pros and cons of a situation, trying out every possibility in my head, and then worry about whether it's the right choice or not.  I start my day with a mental list of what it is I have to do, and it's hard for me to relax until I have everything on that list completed.

At the moment, I'm trying to book flights for my next set of One Week Jobs, and I'm kind of getting annoyed with myself... Which flight times out the best? Can I find it cheaper somewhere else?  Will I be able to get everything done in time before I leave?  As I get older, my tendency to worry seems to increase.  I can literally feel my heart rate speed up and my face begin to flush.  I become short tempered and my head aches.

I'm 25!  Are you kidding me?!  I should be responsible, and determined, and comfortable enough with myself to be able to trust my own opinions!

However, something that I've found over the last couple years that helps me de-stress in a way I never imagined possible, is yoga.

I've only ever practice hot yoga, a series of poses done in a heated room - 37C or 98F.  It's hot, it's humid, and you sweat more than you've ever sweat in your life...and I love it.

It clears my body of toxins and it forces my mind to focus on the present.  There's no time to worry when you're balanced on one foot and crouched with one leg twisted over your other knee, both hands reaching towards the ceiling as you try to breathe...At times like that, the only thing you can really concentrate on is your breath!

That's why, this week, I'm working at a hot yoga studio - Moksha Yoga Calgary.

On my first day I was greeted by co-owner, studio director, and yoga teacher, Siobhan McGrenra, and treated to her yoga class.  I perspired alongside 35 other students in Moksha's spacious studio, doing downwards dogs, eagle poses, and opening up my hip-flexers like no one's business!

I emerged feeling refreshed, and ready - in more ways than one - to start my OWJ Week #4.

Siobhan made me feel welcome right off the bat.  She rattled off instructions on how to keep the studio clean, prepare for classes, and how to work the computer sign-in system.  Her energy was bright as she greeted students like they were long-lost friends, and joked around with the regulars.

As I mopped the floor, did laundry, cleaned the changerooms, and greeted students, it wasn't long before I actually felt like one of the crew - and it was only the first day...

I'm looking forward to learning more about the practice of yoga.  How it came to be, and why it's so important to keep our bodies and minds in-tune with each other.

And maybe...just maybe...I can start to unwind and de-stress...


All Up in Some Grills: Dentistry Jobs

This summer is flying by! This past month has seriously been life-changing and amazing. It's been awesome to learn from a coffee roaster, stay at a dude ranch, and to spend a week at Sierra Trading Post. I have been loved on by the people at all the jobs and the hospitality I've experienced is priceless. People really like this One-Week Job Project. I'm thankful for the hot meals, free coffee, excellent host homes, and fun adventures I've had!

This week I'm back home in Tennessee to rest up for my future jobs and travels & work at a Dentist's office for Job #3. I'm working with Dr. Keith Tedford of Tedford Family Dentistry in Ooltewah, Tennessee. It's a three for one deal since I get to job-shadow the dental hygienist, dental assistant, and the dentist himself, Dr. Tedford.

It's a major bummer that I can't get into people's grills myself to do dental work, but that might not be such a good idea. I'm not officially trained as an assistant so I am just watching all week.

When I mention how I ended up at this job this week, most people cringe at the thought of working inside peoples' mouths as a career. I've always been intrigued by medical jobs, but am not a huge fan of blood and guts. The dental field is unique since they typically work 9-5, Monday-Friday. Unlike some medical jobs that require odd hours, inconsistent schedules, and lots of emergency cases, dentistry offers a consistent schedule and very few crazy invasive procedures.

I'm actually shadowing my personal dentist and his team this week. It's interesting to be on the other side of the chair. Here are some of the factors that intrigue me about working in dentristry:

Schedule: Dr. Tedford and his assistants work only week-days and get off around 5PM daily. There are both part-time and full-time positions and the schedules are usually the same for each person each week. For the moms on staff, they can work part-time and still be free to take care of their kiddos during the week.

Variety: Everyday is completely different! Even though the staff performs the same procedures (cleanings, filling, root canals, crowns, etc.) daily, they work on different peoples' mouths. In a sense, the dental industry requires good problem-solving skills since no 2 mouths are the same. Dr. Tedford and his team have to consider a patient's whole dental history when working on their teeth.

People-Oriented: this may be seem like a no-brainer, but I love people. In trying these jobs, I'm learning that I thrive on interacting with people. If I'm forced to sit in a cubicle all day, I'm seriously like a flower that doesn't get watered! As a family dentistry office, the staff get to see both kids and adults on a regular basis.

Overall, I'm enjoying my time here! I definitely feel more compelled to research dental assistant & hygienist programs in my area. The highlight of today was getting to drill a tooth (part of a set of fake teeth) and put in a filling. Dr. Tedford instructed me to drill a cross-shape on the top surface of the

tooth to mimic how he would drill to get any decay out of the tooth. After that, I squirted composite into the cross shape on the tooth. To harden the filling, I used a curing light (shines super bright blue light). I don't know how it works but somehow shining the ultra-bright curing light on the composite creates a hard filling.