Monday, April 28, 2014

How to not treat a customer

I try to use my blog for positive stuff, but I felt the need to share this with my local community.

Today, I went to the Exxon at 1318 Annapolis Road in Odenton, Maryland to fill up before I picked up my older son from school. This one is very convenient for me, so I probably frequent it at least 2 times a month. The last 2 times, there has been a sleazy-looking 20-something guy who was selling FW1 Wax. He was there again, today. This open letter is to him.  I hope his "manager," the employees of this Exxon station, and it's owner take note. You will no longer be getting my business because of what happened today. 

Dear FW1 Salesperson working at the Odenton Exxon,

You saw the pollen-covered white minivan and probably thought that I would be an easy target. I'm a busy mom who probably doesn't clean my car as often as I should. You have approached me the last two times I bought gas at this Exxon. Both times, I have told you that I'm not interested. This time, I thought I would save you a walk and told you I wasn't interested from 5 pumps away. You could have said "Okay, have a nice day" and turned around and walked back to your tent. Instead, you decided to continue your walk over to me just for the purpose of harassing me. I told you that you didn't need to come over and I wasn't interested yet again. Still, you continued walking over and claimed it was your job to check the trash cans and sell car wax. I asked you to please leave me alone. You changed your story and said that you were just throwing something in the trash. Sure, you had to pass 5 other trash cans to get to that one. I said that I was going to go lodge a complaint with the manager. You raced into the station to make sure the two clerks wouldn't talk to me or treat me like a human being. I had to unbuckle my preschooler and drag him into the station. Thanks for making both of the clerks not want to treat me like a human or to connect me with the manager or owner of the station. You taught my son that it's okay to treat women like they don't matter and that it's okay to harass them. 

I would like you to know that it's not okay to treat people like this. No mean no. I'm not interested means that you have no reason to continue talking or to act like I want to talk to you about your product. I am not gullible enough to buy a product for my car without research. The fact that you treated me in such a way in front of my child, shows that you have no respect for customers or women. What you did is harassment, plain and simple. You are a bully. I don't want my children to be a bully. I want them to tell the people in charge and to feel acknowledged. Your manager did nothing to help with that. You are a lucky jerk because of it, but it doesn't same much for your manager's attitude, either.

I doubt you will learn a lesson from today. I did speak with the manager of the Exxon station and he said that you would not be welcomed back. I hope this is true, but I doubt it is. I also spoke with FW1. They told me that they don't hire salespeople and have no control over who buys their product wholesale. They do not condone the behavior and gave me a contact number. I will be lodging a complaint with both them and with Exxon. 

We live in a culture that accepts bullying of adults and considers it normal. We accept that there is a "boys' club" that doesn't treat women the same way as men. If it had been my husband, I doubt you would have continued walking after he said he wasn't interested. 

Act like a man, not a boy. Treat women like human beings. No means no. Enough is enough. 

The suburban mom in a white minivan

I'd appreciate anyone who can share this blog. Hopefully, someone will read it and change their attitude as a salesperson. I worked in retail for a year. A simple "No thanks!" usually stopped me from pursuing any further contact. 

Thanks for reading my rant. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

5K for Addy's 5th Birthday!

This is a short one. My niece turns 5 this month. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. March happens to be Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and Cerebral Palsy of Virginia is hosting a 5K. My entire family is running and walking this race, including my 3 and 5 year old sons. Help us raise money for a great cause!

Click here to donate!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Loco for Sunshine Burgers

As you can see on the side of my blog, I'm a Sweat Pink Ambassador. One of the fun perks of this is that occasionally we are asked to work with products. I am excited to get to try a couple of different types of organic Sunshine Burgers. They have a delicious line of organic veggie burger patties which are excellent to promote a healthy life style. This is something I am trying to do with my 3 and 5-year old sons. We do our best to encourage them to eat healthy foods and be active. My 5-year old loves to talk about healthy foods and my 3-year old loves to cook.

Today, I'm going to talk a little about the Loco Chipotle flavor. This spicy flavored patty comes in a two pack of quarter-pound burgers. They contain organic ingredients including black beans, sunflower seeds, sprouted brown rice, carrots, chia seeds, and many spices and seasonings.

My kids like little bites of food, so I made some mini tostada bites. I took a 6-inch flour tortilla, cut it in quarters, and pushed each quarter into a mini muffin tin. I baked these for 6 minutes at 400F to make them more chip-like. You could use corn tortillas, but we keep flour ones in the house for quick wraps and quesadillas.

While it was baking, I chopped up both patties and warmed the burger pieces in a skillet.

I put a couple of rounded teaspoons of the burger mixture into each little cup.

Then I topped them with cheese. You could use a vegan cheese, if you wish.

I popped the muffin tin back in the oven to melt the cheese. I'm a messy cheese sprinkler... sorry ;)

You could serve them just like this.

I like mine with salsa and sour cream. The boys just wanted salsa on theirs. You could also put some fresh avocado or cilantro if you were making these for an appetizer.

My 3-year old is rather picky and my 5-year old will eat just about anything. These were a hit with both.

As you can see, they didn't even miss the meat. Each burger has 12 grams of protein and 9 grams of dietary fiber. The burgers themselves are gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and are verified by the Non-GMO Project

In Maryland, you can find Sunshine Burgers at Safeway, MOMs Organic Market, and David's Natural Foods. To find a store near you, check out this link

The views posted here are my own. I was not compensated for my opinion, but I did receive free product to try.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Running as a Math Geek

I will never deny it. I LOVE math. In particular, I love statistics. A lot of what goes on in the world doesn't make a great deal of sense to me, but analyzing statistics does. I took two extra statistics classes in grad school for fun.

My running buddies make so much fun of me because I analyze all kinds of stats associated with my running and remember them. I can tell you my pace for all of my individual races. I can tell you how many miles are on my shoes, down to a hundredth of a mile. I don't need to convert pace into miles per hour, because I know it already for my speed. I store mental maps in my head. I knew the route for half of the legs for Ragnar DC this past year. My running partners for the Marine Corps Marathon were surprised I didn't have the route memorized. Yesterday, I mentioned someone who we hadn't seen in a while who pushed me through my 7-mile run. I knew exactly when it happened 17 months ago, but mainly because it was my longest run ever to that point.

Do your running partners have something about which they tease you with your running? Are you a stat head and remember dates, times, paces?

I also look for birds when I run, but that's a story for another time.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I suck at blogging... I will work on that

You may have noticed the many month lapse in my blogging. Life just got in the way. 

My last post was right before I ran my second DC Ragnar. That event was affected by the US Federal Government shutdown. Actually, my legs in particular were affected. Instead of staying on a train until the end for my first leg, I had to run WITH traffic on a busy road that had no shoulder in the dark. It was terrifying and sucked. My third leg was basically eliminated and I got to run across the Wilson Bridge with one of my running buddies. That was nice but it was miserably hot and I had a blister on the bottom of my foot from running 8 miles on a gravel road during my second leg. 

Two weeks later, I ran the Komen Race for the Cure with my gym. I got a shiny new 5K PR from that. 

On October 27th, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon as my first marathon. It was an amazing experience and I got to do it with two of my good running buddies that I talked into running the event with me. 

I haven't done much since then. I had a giant blister and some knee pain after the marathon and basically spent half the next 2 months resting. I need to get back into it because I'm doing the Ragnar Trails Appalachian relay in June. My only real fitness goal for the year is that I want to be able to do a chin-up by the end of the year. 

Happy 2014!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

10K Across the Bay

This is the Cheseapeake Bay Bridge connecting Anne Arundel County to Queen Anne's County in Maryland. It is the major route connecting the DC-Baltimore Metro area to the Eastern Shore and the way the most of us take to go to Ocean City, Maryland and the nearby beaches in Delaware. I am absolutely TERRIFIED of this bridge. I have never driven over it and close my eyes whenever anyone else does. I am going to fight this fear on November 9, 2014.

How am I going to do that? I am going to run in the Inaugural 10K Across the Bay. The race will start at Sandy Point State Park, follow the eastbound span across the Chesapeake, and conclude on the other side. The views should be fabulous and the race promises to be lots of fun.

As an ambassador for the race, I can offer you a 10% discount on your race entry. Just follow THIS LINK. Select "Ambassador Referral Program" and use the code BRIDGEREP and use my referral code ABBALYSSAK. That will get you 10% off the race for the month of October.

I hope you can join me for this fun event!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ouchies and new kicks

The Monday after I ran the 14-miler, I went to a class at my gym. A class I normally love, but I came down off the step wrong and hurt my right calf muscle. I continued with my normal training routine on the sore calf. I must have done something to the other ankle. I did the scheduled 15-miler the following weekend and that went fine. Well, the next weekend, my left Achilles' tendon hurt every time I tried to start running. I managed 11 of the 13 miles on my training plan, but I've had a lazy lazy week otherwise. I did the Arc Trainer at my gym on Wednesday and Thursday and ran 2.1 miles with my almost-5-year old on Thursday as well. I decided that maybe the high mileage in the minimalist shoes was causing the problems, so I picked up some new kicks. I still wanted lightweight and a neutral shoe. Here are my new Saucony Catalysts. I'm going to take them for a spin tomorrow.