On Dealing with Unsolicited Calls at Work

I answer umpteen calls a week at work that are telemarketer/unsolicited calls. Many, thankfully, are pre-recorded messages and I hang up gleefully on them. No feelings to hurt. Sometimes it’s live calls. I try to be as gentle but forthright as I can with them. I try to be as truthful as I can without giving them what they want (to talk to my boss(es) who do not want/have time to talk to them). If they are trying to sell something and I tell them we are not interested and they keep trying to sell, I don’t feel a bit bad about hanging up on them. 🙂

I spoke with a restaurateur a while back. We were talking business (he is our GL insurance auditor and a very nice guy) and he said he told his restaurant manager that if she lets anyone (on an unsolicited sales call) past her and back to his office, she’s fired. I thought that may be a bit harsh but point well made.

Anyhow, here’s how a conversation went the other day ….

Caller: I’m Rob ______ with ____ Financial Investments. Is Stan in?

Me: No he’s not. Can I take a message?

Caller: I have a 2 o’clock appointment with him and am running late. I forgot my cell this morning and don’t have his number. Can you give that to me?

Me (Stan’s in another state. Lol): You have a 2 o’clock appt with Stan?

Caller: Yes.

Me: I don’t think he has a 2 o’clock appt here today.

Caller: Well, he said to give him a call after lunch. Can you give me his cell number?

Me: No, I can’t give out his number. You can leave a message for him and I can pass along to him.

Caller: Will you actually give it to him?

Me (shucks, why not?): Sure, I’ll pass it along to him.

Click, click …. dial tone.

 

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I saw this rather stunning (shocking? maybe it shouldn’t be??) article a few years ago online and I saved a screen shot of it.

Lie Not

 

 

 

I believe there are times it’s possible to tell a partial truth but in a way that you can get others to believe a lie. So are you then lying?? In essence, if that’s your intention.

 

A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.  Proverbs 21:6

 

How Do You Represent?

I just stumbled across an interaction online that left me quite stunned and as speechless as the affable Miss Bates in Emma and I, like her, cannot stop speaking of it.

You hear of people who have been turned off of a company when a representative of a company thinks they’re bigger than they should be and makes disparaging remarks to someone “beneath” them. Or when people are turned off at Jesus Christ because of abuse by those in spiritual authority.

Well, this situation was not spiritual, per se, but considering the topic she was responding to, it may as well have been. She used her position in the company to be as demeaning as possible to this person on his “little” blog as she called it not once, but twice. I have to tell you, any respect I had for this company totally walked out the door. Is it fair to the company? I don’t know. Maybe not. Had someone in a lesser position with the company made the same remarks, I would not have had the same response. She made sure he knew where she belonged before she cut him down.

She could have used her position for the good with a gentle challenge if she wanted to, but she didn’t.

Will I change my mind about said company in the future? Possibly. I know others who work there who are respectful and humble.

When it comes to spiritual representation, we must pursue a heart of humility. Not weak and passive, but a respect for others and staying away self-placement on a pedestal. I like this view: “Don’t put me on a pedestal. I’m afraid of heights!”

It takes more strength to say nothing than to spout off and say the wrong thing. It takes strength to have soft answer rather than an arrogant one. Actually, an arrogant one might be truthful, if your heart is arrogant. Arrogance and humility are on opposites sides of the spectrum. Or globe. Or however we measure such things. 🙂

Believe me, this is a reminder directed to myself! It’s my face in the mirror each time I go looking.

Proverbs has strong words to consider:

Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility. Proverbs 18:12

Sugar Free Lemon Berry Pavlova

Posting a recipe when so many big and heavy things are going on in our world but one must eat despite big and heavy things happening. Maybe this meringue dessert can lighten things up a little. Pun intended. 🙂

I first had pavlova when one of my nieces made it. They “learned it” from their family in Australia. It is so yummy and light! I wanted to make pavlova for a church carry-in and decided to make a sugar free version for those who choose/need to eat that way. There are many different ways you can make pavlova but the base is always a meringue base. I’m not sure if pavlova is the complete dessert or the meringue base. Maybe someone can help me out. 🙂

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You can also make little individual pavlovas. If space wasn’t a constraint, I would go that route because slicing this baby doesn’t leave it looking the prettiest.

Preheat the oven to 250°.

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Choose whatever sugar alternative floats your boat. I had a store brand of sugar replacement baking blend. Beat with egg whites on high speed until it is stiff and shiny.

Add the lemon juice, vanilla and cornstarch. Mix just until blended.

Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. If you want, you can draw a circle with a pen on the parchment paper if you want to stay within a specific size. As you can tell, I didn’t! 🙂

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I spread this one into approx. 10″ across. That made it about 2 inches deep in the center. Create a bit of a well in the center to hold the toppings better.

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It doesn’t have to be spread all smooth. In fact, it is prettier if it is a little peaked.

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Baking basically dries it out good and proper. I was shocked at how light it was. I don’t know why. I’ve had meringue on pies before. It just felt funny to pull it out of the oven when it was cooled and it weighed a couple of ounces.

Make sure to let it cool down in the oven before removing it to avoid cracks.

Pavlova

If you discover, like me, that your local grocery store doesn’t have much sugar-free pudding options, you can do like me and choose a SF cheesecake pudding and add lemon flavoring. Yum!

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If you have access to real whipping cream, by all means go that route. I went for ease this round, I’ll admit. Real cream tastes better and I’m guessing is the better option.

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The fruit is what makes it really pretty. Go bonkers with it!

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Slice and serve immediately or shortly thereafter. 🙂

 

ALTERNATIVE SERVING SIZE:

You can make six 3-inch round meringues if you’d rather. This serves up beautifully. Decrease baking time to 45 minutes.

 

 

Pavlova Recipe

Orchid Care for Dummies

I’m not calling you a dummy, unless you managed to kill an orchid in 2 weeks like I did. Then you can assume dummy status with me. I’m also not an orchid professional. I consider myself more on the novice rung of the orchid-raising ladder. I have managed to keep 2 orchids alive for 2.5 and 1.5 years, plus have them re-bloom! Yes, I consider it quite an feat considering my first experience.

First of all, my experience is only with the Phalaenopsis orchid and there are hundreds of orchids. Secondly, if you don’t have great patience with an occasional blooming flower, orchids may not be for you. My experience has been that the blooms last 3-4 months and then it’s another year before they bloom again.

When I bought my first plant, it was planted in a small pot and not in a plastic pot inside a ceramic pot like the last few I bought. The instructions said that when the surface feels dry, water it. Well for the first thing, the pot it was in didn’t drain like the plastic ones do. Secondly, I knew orchids thrive in humid climates so I didn’t even think of over-watering as being the cause. Bam! Turned yellow and died. Shortly thereafter I was at a festival on Jekyll Island where a vendor had beautiful orchids planted in antique clay pots. While I badly wanted another one, I was feeling rather gun-shy at owning one, much less plunking down $40+ for one in an antique pot. I mentioned to the vendor that I had one and had killed it within 2 weeks. He snorted in surprise? shock? and then asked how often I watered it. Wasn’t hard to figure out that is the problem.

So, I bravely bought another one and searched the www for some tips on keeping them alive. This is what I’ve learned.

  1. Keep your plant in a well lit place out of direct sunshine. Direct sunshine can cause “burn” spots on the leaves. My bathroom window is on the east side of the house and is frosted. It also has a wide sill so that’s where I keep mine because
  2. They like a bit of humidity and a bathroom is the perfect place for that.
  3. Water them every week to 10 days. I don’t do the ice cube method like some people do.
  4. Feed them with an orchid feed once a month when they’re not blooming and twice a month while they bloom.
  5. It seems easier to control their wetness when in a plastic pot. Once I transplanted one of them into a Dixie cup that I had cut hole in for drainage.
  6. After they’re finished blooming, your supposed to cut the stem down to just above the first node down the stem. I haven’t tried this yet but if you cut it when the blooms are just starting to fade, it will send out more blooms.
  7. If you transplant them, do not use standard potting soil. Make sure to buy potting soil for orchids which usually is mostly comprised of bark.
  8. Patience, patience patience. A once-a-year bloom isn’t very often and it seems hardly worth the effort. However, when that new shoot comes up and you see the little bumps appear, you get all excited. They are delicate beautiful flowers and are worth the wait.
  9. The color of the orchid may change. One of the orchids I have was given to me by a friend after surgery a year and a half ago. I don’t remember what color the blooms were but I’m sure they weren’t white. When it started blooming this past winter, they were white with a tiny bit of color in the center. Turns out you can color them.  I’m guessing the one I had had been colored at the store or greenhouse. Maybe not. Maybe my memory is off! 🙂
  10. If you buy one, choose one that is not yet fully blooming. This way you should have more bloom time than the fully blooming ones, which could be near the end of their blooming cycle.

Orchids

Orchids-2 b
The bloom on the left is from the stem that I trimmed back to the top node. The other stalk came up later but bloomed at the same time.

If you have experience with Phaleanopsis orchids, or recommend another type of orchid, I’d love any feedback that you might have.

 

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Here are some other helpful articles on the web:

Getting Orchids to Bloom Again

Phalaenopsis for Beginners

Orchid Care FAQs

The Gift of Valentine’s Day

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This Valentine’s Day week I surrounded myself with orchids. No, I wasn’t feeling sorry my single self or anything. You know, by your own flowers and stuff.

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So no, actually, it was for our 5th Annual Widows’ Banquet. I volunteered rather last minute for the decorating and it was with the understanding that it would have to be kept simple.

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I was tickled to find freshly delivered for Valentine’s Day and fully blooming and in pretty white pots locally. We go all out with china and so it really doesn’t require a lot of decoration.

 

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Ladies from church volunteer to bring china and stemware to fill up a table. After meal is served, the owners are responsible to take care of washing their dishes. We have a small kitchen so this works good plus we don’t have to worry about breaking anything in the kitchen.

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We have 2 menus that we rotate and make tweaks each year or change some things out.

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Each lady had a beautiful corsage, made by other volunteers, to wear.

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Our maneuvering space isn’t all that great so we have to make every bit of space count. Marcus and Sonya have been coordinating everything since we’ve started this and it’s quite organized.

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These young ladies (Nicole and Kristin) provided entertainment of inspirational singing after the meal.

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Each lady was given a gift when they left…. an embroidered hand towel and homemade granola.

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There are many ways to bless those in the community around you. This is one of them that we have chosen to do. The ladies are so grateful and we thoroughly enjoy serving them in this way!

After helping in the kitchen all day I dragged myself home to rest. It makes a person totally forget that it is Valentine’s Day (well, almost, V Day was Sunday, not Saturday) and they are single. 🙂