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November 26, 2006

Førti, feit og ferdig

Nei, da, jeg er fortsatt tjue, vil ikke akkurat kalle meg feit og føler at jeg aldri kommer til å bli ferdig (i hvert fall ikke med pensumsidene i Midtøstenhistorie), men jeg oppfordrer dere alle til å lese bloggen til Saccarina med samme tittel som denne posten.

Tror aldri jeg har lest noe på bloggen "Førti, feit og ferdig" som jeg ikke har likt. Jeg må jo bare like en blogg som har en egen kategori for posts om "Sportshat", gir husmortips til rotete mennesker og tar et oppgjør med den norske gå-tur-kulturen. Når hun til og med greier å skrive en dyp tolkning av ordene "Tripp, trapp, tresko", må jeg konkludere slik: Les! Les! Les!

Posted by Julie at 7:17 PM | TrackBack

November 22, 2006

Christmas Wish List

What I want:

  1. music (here are suggestions and more suggestions)
  2. a DVD player
  3. DVDs
  4. in general: stuff for my apartment
  5. clothes. Clothes are always good. Except I don't really have room in my closet. But who cares, I have the attic and the basement.
  6. Amazon.com gift certificates. Like clothes, they always work.
  7. believe me, I wouldn't mind "experience" type gifts either, like tickets for things or promises to make me dinner or take me somewhere or whatever. Be creative.
  8. a couple of big cushions that I can put in the attic and use as extra seats when I have more party guests than chairs
  9. more room on my hard disc (or an alternative way of storing music/pictures)
  10. things that you put under hot things to protect the table (there is no word for this in Norwegian, and I can't remember if there is one in English)
  11. coasters
  12. large wine glasses (I just bought six "Sentimento Salina" glasses from Hadeland, so now I don't really need this anymore, unless you want to add more from the same series)
  13. theater tickets

What I don't want:

  1. jewellery. This may sound harsh, and I will probably love any jewellery I actually recieve. So if you have a particular piece of jewellery in mind, and this is a well-thought-out special gift, go for it. But don't go out and buy me jewellery because you can't think of anything else. I have so much of it now I don't have time to wear it all, and I end up wearing the same things over and over.
  2. notebooks. I am particular about what I write in, and no matter how cute the cover is, I won't use if it isn't right. I already have a drawer full of beautiful little notebooks that I will probably never use.
  3. anything for my apartment that isn't returnable. I might already have something similar, and if you read Norwegian, you know how I hate the very idea of interior decorating stuff that can't be returned.
I now realize that I haven't mentioned books and coffee. I guess that just goes without saying.

Posted by Julie at 10:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Customers buying dance shoes do silly things. Here is a list of all the ways they annoy me.

If you happen to actually be one of my customers and feel insulted, plese know that many people make the same mistakes, and that I have nothing against you. I'm sure you're really nice and smart and everything, you just weren't thinking at the time and didn't realize how silly you were being. No offense, really. Because the customer is always right (except when I'm a customer, I guess), so, please, take good care of your reciept and have a nice day!

That disclaimer doesn't count for the people who made the last mistake on the list. I don't want your day to be nice at all.

My unspoken answers are in italics.

Customers who don't trust me: "They don't fit. There is no room to grow."  I know you don't want to be back here in two weeks because your kid's had a growth spurt. But please trust me, if you have any room to grow in dance shoes, they are too big. The shoes should fit like socks, like a second skin. They're made of soft leather, and they really will stretch. I know you think I'm just saying that so that you'll buy them, but if you don't trust me, then why are you asking for my advice in the first place?

Customers who trust me too much: "My doctor said I have this very serious and mysterious foot problem. I'm not entirely sure what kind of shoes I should be wearing, but if I wear the wrong ones, it will get much worse." You know, if I were actually qualified to treat your feet, do you think I would be working Saturdays at a store?

Customers who don't trust their own children: "Honey, why don't we buy these shoes instead?" First of all, your daughter is 14 and has been dancing for ten years, so unless you have the same experience yourself, maybe you should let her take care of this. Secondly, she's doing tap, not jazz, so she should be buying tap shoes. And if you can't tell the difference...

Customers who complain that ballet shoes for children are too expensive: I can understand when a mother walks in with three daughters in hand-me-downs who all want ballet shoes and who are all about to have growth spurts (again). But sometimes I just want to tell people: Look, ballet is a more expensive hobby than reading or drawing, but it's no worse than most sports. You chose to let your children do this, and if you're not going to let them do it right, with actual dance shoes so they can do the steps correctly, than please, don't let them do it all. And to a surprising number of really bad cases: Actually, I have an idea: why don't you sell your Louis Vuitton bag and fur coat on EBay and buy your kids some shoes?

Customers who just don't get it: They walk in and we have the following conversation:

- I need shoes.
- Ok, what kind of shoes?
- Uh... dance shoes.
- Ok, what kind of dance?
- Uh... regular dance.

Don't they realize that this makes as much sense as walking into a grocery store and saying: "I need to find some food."?

Customers who think I know their childrens' shoe sizes: "My daughter needs pink ballet leather ballet shoes. She can't be here to try them on. I don't know her size." You do realize that it will be difficult for me to help you, right?
A variation: "My daughter needs pointe shoes. She's not here, but why don't you just sell me something in a size 38 or maybe 39? Or something." We sell at least 10 different types of pointe shoes, each designed to fit a certain type of foot. They each come in whole and half sizes and there are three different widths per size. So if I sell you what you're asking for, there is a 1/150 chance that the shoes will fit.

Customers who think I know everything: "We live on the other side of the country, and my daughter just started dancing at a tiny ballet school there, with a strict dress code which I can't remember. I have absolutely no idea what she needs to buy, but I'm sure you can help me. Oh, and of course she's not here and we can't return any of this, since we live so far away and can't be bothered to mail stuff." Uh... maybe shoes... maybe a leotard... maybe you need to make a phone call.

Customers who are just so clueless that they are actually quite charming: "Help! I have a niece! I forgot her birthday! I think she's going to be four. Or maybe ten. And she likes pink. Save me!" Thank you! I get to use my brain creatively now for a change. But next year: get a grip.

Rude, stuck-up customers who think they have the right to waste my time: 20 minutes after closing time, when their daughter had tried every jazz shoe in the store and had finally made up her mind, a couple got very angry with me because I asked them if they were ready to pay for the shoes: "Excuuuuuuse me, but you don't have to be so impolite. You're standing behind that counter demonstrating how impatient you are to go home. We're leaving. This is getting uncomfortable. I guess it's extremely important for you to start your weekend right this minute, but I guess you'll learn when you're older." Learn what, exactly? That you're entitled to waste people's time because you have a lot of money and a cranky daughter who can't make up her mind? By the way, standing behind the counter and using the cash register are basic parts of my job; I'm not doing this for you. You had decided to buy the shoes, and now I'm helping you do that, when I should have thrown you out. You should be feeling uncomfortable. Oh, well, good thing I'm young and have plenty of time to learn. It seems you haven't learned much.

Update November 28th 2007: A similar list for people who sell cosmetics.

Update November 10th 2009: A similar list for people who answer customer service phone calls. This one applies to all forms of customer service, I think, including shop assistants.

Posted by Julie at 8:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 13, 2006

Thoughts after my first Security Council session

I wonder if real diplomats come home after maintaining international peace and security and think: "Oh crap, my basil plant died while I was sending an envoy to Iraq and now the only thing eatable in my apartment is a bag of peanuts."

I just came home from a Model United Nations (MUN) in Copenhagen, organized by DANMUN. The Security Council was called into session because of the threat to international peace and security caused by the assassination of the mayor of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. After three days in session, we condemned the PKK  (this is the official site)as a terrorist organization, sent a UN envoy to mediate the situation in Kirkuk, and finished by adding Japan to the axis of evil (just to appease the delegates from Congo after some incident at an unbelievable Chinese restaurant with free beer.)

As a delegate for the Russian Federation, I am amazed at how long I can go without sleep, coffee and food for the sake of world peace. Although real diplomats probably do not stay at hostels or travel internationally by bus, I would like to recommend both Danhostel and Lavprisekpressen. They are both excellent and wonderfully cheap. The Russian delegation shared a room with a delegate from Peru and a delegate from Congo, as well as an ever-changing "new guy" in the sixth bed. Most of these new people kept very different hours from us, mainly because they always slept, and we never did. Seriously. We stumbled in at 5AM and set our alarms for 7.

So what is a MUN? It is a game basically, but it isn't fun unless you take it seriously. The rules are: each member of the UN Security Council is represented by delegates and these delegates hold formal sessions with rules of procedure based on the real sc rules. Both in session, and in the lobby outside the session, delegates work to solve international problems while maintaining their own national interests.

The rules of procedure became habit, until the Russian delegation found ourselves speaking diplomat English to eachother outside session, even though we all speak Norwegian and two of us (not including me) also speak Russian. We were saying things like:

"Motion to eat at this vegetarian buffet restaurant I once went to."
"I rule that out of order, as we cannot find that restaurant. This delegate would also like to point out that she will veto any draft resolutions even suggesting dinner at McDonalds."
"That is very much in order. Motion to suspend search for restaurant in order to buy coffee."
"I second that motion."

I intend to continue, both this post (in order to give more information) and diplomat-speak (in order to annoy Ingvild), but not right now. I miss sleeping and drinking water. 


Posted by Julie at 8:57 PM | TrackBack

November 5, 2006

Tanker på en søndag

Det er irriterende, men evig sant: har man interessante ting å skrive om, har man ikke tid til å skrive. Har man tid til å skrive, har man ikke interessante ting å skrive om, og heller ikke energi til å gjøre noe fornuftig. Likevel vil man jo blogge når man først har mulighet... Derfor finnes meme.

Hva var den første tanken som slo deg da du så deg selv i speilet i morges?
Da hadde jeg nettopp stått opp, klokken var halv åtte eller noe sånt, og jeg tenkte: ”Hvorfor våkner jeg så tidlig nå? Jeg la meg en gang mellom 3 og 4 i natt; jeg MÅ sove mer!” Så gikk jeg og gjorde nettopp det.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> Hvem er den fjerde personen på tapt anrop-listen din?
Cecilie som jeg jobber i butikk sammen med. Hun stod utenfor butikken og hadde ikke nøkkel, men jeg var for opptatt med å sminke meg i et av prøverommene til å åpne. Hun ble behagelig overrasket over at jeg hadde stemplet henne inn da jeg selv gikk inn døren, slik at jeg kunne sminke meg i fred uten at det skulle se ut som om hun kom for sent.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[endif]--> Hva har du som ringelyd?
Den kinesiske dansen i Nøtteknekkeren. I Fantasia spilles denne melodien når soppene danser.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> Hva har du på deg?
En blå ullgenser og en grå joggebukse.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> Setter du deg selv i bås?
Bare for moro skyld.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> Hvilket merke er det på skoene dine?
Akkurat nå har jeg tøfler på. De er fra Land’s End.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[endif]--> Hva er best – lyse eller mørke rom?

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> Hva synes du om den personen du rappet denne meme-tingen fra?
Jeg fant den på en blogg. Kjenner ikke de som la den ut.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> Hvis du er alene i et rom med to senger, hvilken velger du å sove i?
Den peneste.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[endif]--> Hva gjorde du rundt midnatt i går?
Stod på kjøkkenet til Ingvild, Håkon, Ånund og Tobias, drakk rødvin, vann og kaffe og spiste apple crumble og pratet med Per Ivar, Elisabeth, Martin, Camilla, Anastasia, Michael, kjøkkenets beboere og mange andre mennesker.
Hva står det i den siste sms-en i innboksen din?
Takk :-) ha en fin dag! Håper jg ikke vekte deg! (Jeg vil skrive vekket... Han gjorde ikke det.) <!--[endif]-->

Hvilke(t) ord bruker du igjen og igjen?
Alle sammen. Snakker for mye

Hva er den siste hårete tingen du tok på?
Mitt eget hode sannsynligvis.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> Hvilke rusmidler har du inntatt iløpet av de siste tre ukene?
Øl, vin, Galliano med kaffe og selvsagt kaffe i seg selv.

<!--[endif]-->Hvor mange ufremkallede filmruller har du liggende?
Ingen, men jeg har et fullt digitalt kamera liggende, og jeg har ikke plass på pcen til å lagre bildene der.

Din favorittalder i livet så langt?
Jeg vet ikke. Det var gøy å være liten, men det er egentlig bedre å være 20. <!--[endif]-->

Hvem er din verste fiende?
Kristian er ikke lenger bestefienden min, fordi jeg ikke har sett ham på evigheter. Så nå vet jeg ikke hva jeg skal svare på det spørsmålet.

Hva har du som skjermbilde på din personlige computer?
Et koselig frokostbilde av en liten laptop, en avis, en croissant og en stor kopp kaffe.

Hva er det siste du sa til noen i dag?
Jeg har ikke snakket med noen i dag muntlig. Er hjemme alene. Men jeg sendte en sms til noen venner: ”Hei, vil du være med på frokost på Åpent Bakeri mandag morgen kl 8?”

Velg mellom en million kroner og evnen til å fly...
Fly! For en million kroner kan ikke kjøpe evnen til å fly, men jeg kan sikkert tjene en million kroner på å kunne fly.

Posted by Julie at 3:59 PM | TrackBack