Saturday, August 30, 2008

Confessions of a Cookie Delivery Girl (or Lady), Part I

After a 15 month, intensive and rigourous certificate program from Phoenix Online University ( I have begun my first official job as a cookie delivery girl (or, as we call it in the biz…a Late Night Snack Delivering Associate). My new part time (physically)/full time (mentally) job began on Thursday night at 9 P.M. I can honestly and modestly say this is the greatest achievement of my life to date. My job not only provides me with a competitive salary (plus benefits) but also a sense of accomplishment and the feeling that I’m truly making a difference in this troubled and tumultuous world. My first night was not only challenging but also intellectually stimulating. My boss had told me when I was first hired that he wanted to just “get my feet wet” on my first night, but he pretty much threw me in the proverbial stream instead. He had me baking new cookies, warming up previously baked cookies, preparing new orders, answering the phone, and even mopping up at the end of the night. On a side note, my boss (a recent graduate of Indiana University) was recently listed on Forbes’ list of Small Business Owners to Watch in 2008, and, based on his management style, I’m not surprised at all. Don’t get me wrong though, there were certainly a few lighthearted moments in the night. Like when I was wrapping balls of raw cookie dough (yeah, we deliver that too) for an order and Dylan was describing to me how to “pack the balls in there so they didn’t flop out over the side of the wax paper” or how to check to make sure if the cookies in the warmer are ready by “lifting them up a little bit to see how limp they are”. It’s the Limp Test. In addition to all of the other demanding tasks I was asked to perform on Night One, I was also able to make a few deliveries. This was made interesting not only by the fact that I’ve lived in Berkeley for less than a week and don’t know my way around but also because everyone I was delivering too was either drunk or stoned, naturally. They were also all college-aged girls, naturally (I don’t really see the middle-aged businessman ordering snickerdoodles at 2 A.M).
I know that I moved up here to deliver cookies but, after a bit of thought, I’ve also decided to enroll in classes in one of the little colleges here and get my Master’s In Public Health. My main focus will be cookies of course (as it should be) but I thought this would be a fun thing to do in my spare time. I started that whole thing this Wednesday and so far it has been truly amazing. My professors are incredible (their brilliance is only outweighed by my earlier stated sense of accomplishment) and my classes all seem very interesting (Principles of Infectious Disease, Epidemiologic Methods, Introduction to Public Health, and Food Borne Diseases). There are only 12 other first year kids in my division (which is Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology) and about 9 awesome Infectious Disease professors. One of whom (or is it who) happens to be the Director of the UC Berkeley/UCSF Joint Medical School Program. This is a somewhat new (and very small) program that allows you to take your first 3 years of med school classes at Berkeley and then finish up your clinical work at UCSF. Being here has certainly renewed my desire to go to med school eventually and this program would basically (and acidically) be a dream come true. So needless to say, I’m going to make it Priority One on my long list of 273 Priorities to become best friends with the previously mentioned but not yet named Dr. Swartzberg. This makes my life complicated because I thought when I first came up here that delivering cookies was going to be Priority One but now it seems that I’m going to have to have a Priority 1A and 1B, which will be A and which will be B is yet to be determined as such.
In further news, the dog (Stella Bumps) has adjusted quite well to her new surroundings and new roommates (Ramsey and Jen) who, incidentally, are both great (their greatness is only surpassed by the fact that they are paying me rent). I’ve also adjusted well so far, despite a few days of an upset stomach (which, not to go into too much detail involved a bout of “loose stools” as my sister likes to call them). I was always confused by that phrase as it invokes for me an image of instrument of sitting that has become wobbly as a result of being overused. Moving in was a bit of a stress considering that the family I’m renting from perhaps thought they were only renting their house out for a few days rather than 12 months and failed to clean the house or remove any of the crap that one wouldn’t really consider to be part of a “furnished house” (e.g. their children’s artwork, old food in the fridge, their 40 year old fax machine, etc.). But now we are a bit more settled in and so Stella and I have been getting a chance to explore the neighborhood a bit more. This also seems to be a great way for me to pick up on the men that live nearby (I’ve already had a few people ask me if I wanted to be their girlfriend, one guy just shouted his phone number at me and told me to call him as soon as I got home, and let’s not forget the guy that works at Extra Space Storage that offered to show me around town and “took the liberty of taking my phone number off my storage unit application” and then proceeded to text and call me a few times a day for about 3 days after the fact).
My neighborhood may or may not be one of the nicer neighborhoods in Berkeley, but it certainly is conveniently located. It takes me less than 15 minutes to bike to school in the morning. This is fantastic but the only issue is that it’s a bit uphill. I try to plan my wardrobe to be less revealing of the sweat running down my back by the time I arrive on campus but this has proved to be a bit of a challenge. The ride back is even faster considering it is downhill but one might argue that this makes it a bit more dangerous. Yesterday on my way home I stopped at Jamba Juice for a refreshing and tasty smoothie. I was blazing down the hill, one hand on a handlebar, the other holding my smoothie. When I approached a rather busy intersection I tried to simultaneously brake with one hand and take a sip of my smoothie with the other. Unfortunately, my brain sent a bit of mixed message and I accidentally slammed on the brakes, went flying over the handlebars, but miraculously landed on both feet with my smoothie still in hand and intact. Everyone at the intersection saw it happen, I think a few people even honked. It seems that any attempt I make to act suave and cool ends in disastrous defeat. It’s like whenever I have one of those uber-confident moments and want to walk with my head held high and shoulders back I end up tripping down a flight of stairs. I had a memorable incident like this during my long ago trip to India on that lovely mountaineering course. I was checking out a book from the tiny library in a little hut at our base camp and successfully flirting with all the cute instructors that happened to be helping with the book distribution (you know, impressing them with my vast knowledge of the three Hindi phrases I learned) and as I was walking out grinning and feeling generally successful in my attempts, I failed to notice how low the door jam was and smacked my head really hard against the top of the door in front of everyone.
Well, I think that I have discussed all of the topics that I set out to cover today. I apologize for the excessive length and will try to keep things shorter next time. Any questions or concerns can be directed to me via email ( Please keep any negative comments to a minimum in light of my fragile self-esteem.

Until next time,

As soon as possible,

Stay focused and you will succeed,

With love and admiration,

Just do it already and get it over with,

That’s what she said,


A Disclaimer, as always

I have finally decided to get on the whole blog bandwagon. About this I feel excited, apprehensive, radiant and a bit gassy and bloated. There are myriad topics that I would like to discuss. Like, for example, why it's proper grammar to just say "myriad" and not "a myriad" which would sound so much better. I would like to stress that, although I have many thoughts on many things, I will make no attempt to write about things that are either truthful, politically correct, or intellectually important. Despite my aforementioned interest in grammar, my sentence structure often leaves something to be desired and I frequently try to use large words that I don't completely understand the meaning of (see above: myriad, aforementioned). I refuse to make any apologizes for myself in this regard. But I'm very sorry that I do that.