Archive for February, 2007

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My vacation/training in Orlando, Florida Pt. 6

February 25, 2007

Its Friday, Feburary 16, 2007. The time now is 6:00 am. I’m downstairs in front of the hotel with the other co-workers packing all of our stuff so we can get ready to return to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Everyone was excited to just return home to their families and friends. But wait! What happened after our day off to the Universal Studios and Downtown Disney?
Well, from Monday to Thursday, the majority of the time was spent on getting use to cooking on the woks. Ben told us that we were learning very fast and ahead of the work schedule that we were suppose to follow. So he decided that we will learn how to use the different size woks and on Wednesday and Thursday we will take turns working day and night shifts. He split us into 2 groups. The first group will work the morning shift on Wednesday (luckly I was in the first group) and the second group will work the night shift. And we will switch on Thursday and do the same.
On Wednesday, we decided to give our General Manager (Billy Wood) a Valentines Day gift to show him we really appreciate what he’s done for us ever since he started working with us last year. So after we got off that Wednesday afternoon, me and one of the co-workers decided to get him a few things. We got a small glass vase and some balloons from the Dollar Tree and we got the candy to put inside the vase from Target. We was going to get some more things from Wal-Mart, but we know it will be packed inside. So after the second group got off the night shift, we all met in my room to make sure all the preparations were ready and we delivered it to Billy. He was surprised and happy that he got a give from all of us. And it all cost us only $23 dollars (he doesn’t need to know all that). On our last day, we gave Ben and his co-workers a farewell card to show our appriciation for all they’ve done for us. We said our goodbyes and left that night from Mancuh Wok, even though we were all happy to leave. Now back to our trip back to Columbia, South Carolina.
Since we left our hotel before 7:00 am, we figured that we will be in Columbia by 1:30 pm or so. So we stopped to get some breakfast from McDonalds, fill the van with gas, and we were back on the interstate. On the way back, we were all reminiscing about what we thought about the Manchu Wok. We all said that it wasn’t very sanitary and had so many roaches down there that it didn’t make any sense. But Billy told us that our job is to learn the proper procedures in Manchu Wok and not about the sanitation that takes place. So we just left it at that. After a couple of hours of listening to my Ipod(and loud snoring from 2 of the co-workers), we finally made it back to Fort Jackson. I knew the other co-workers were happy too and the 2 co-workers that were sleeping “mysteriously” woke up at the same time we appeared at the entrance of gate 2 of Fort Jackson. After I saw the entrance to gate 2 of Fort Jackson, I said to myself “It was great to be back”. Now all we have to do is make preparations to get the Machu Wok on Fort Jackson ready for March. Its gonna be hard, but we must go forward in life to get things done, I guess.

The End (arent’t you glad this is the end?)

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My vacation/training in Orlando, Florida Pt.5

February 25, 2007

Ah, its Sunday, Feburary 11, 2007. The time now is 8:00 am and I’m waiting outside of the hotel for the rest of my co-workers so we can enjoy our one day off. As soon as the rest of the co-workers arrived, we went off to some of the attractions that Orlando, Florida had to offer.
While we was on the interstate, we all discussed where do we want to go. Everyone said that they really don’t care, but me on the other hand…I would suggested that we all go to Universal Studios. Compare to Disney World, Universal Studios was a lot more fun because of the rides and the resturants they had. But that was when I was 11 years old though. So we ended going to Universal Studios and found a good parking space around 10:30. And it was easy to remember because the parking lot that we parked in had a yellow sign that had a number and said “Remember King Kong”, which was pretty unique. All the other levels of the parking lot had other signs that said something like “Remember Jaws” or “Remember Jurassic Park”.
To our surprise, Universal Studios wasn’t open until 11:00 am. Good thing that was got there before the crowd showed up. When Universal Studios finally opened, it looked like all hell had broke loose. There were little kids screaming, the different cartoon characters were hugging them screaming kids, and many tourists (like us) walking around to see what’s there to do.
The question “Does anyone want to go on any rides?” was brought up and most of my co-workers said that they don’t like riding rides. Hmph! What a bunch of wimps! But there were only 2 co-workers out of the 5 that do love going on rides…Me and a Mrs. Joan. But when we saw the prices, we decided not to go on any rides. Hell, do you think I will pay $77 dollars just to ride some rides for one day, you are crazy (if there were any coupons at our rooms like the resemptionist said there were, things might be a little different).
We decided to walk around to see what places are in Universal Studios and at the same time, I was taking pictures of the places we were passing by. The Hard Rock cafe sign, The Universal Studio globe, and anything that might catch my eye. I stopped by 2 souvenir shops while we was walking. The first one I got all my family’s shot glasses from. My mom’s shot glass says “Diva” and my dad’s says “Assume the position PLEASE!!!”. My sister’s shot glass says “Drink until he’s cute” and mines said “Chicks Rule!”. Next, I saw a Universal Studios store to get the rest of the souvenirs. Everyone in my family will get 2 gifts (that way no one will argue who has the best gift). I bought my parents, sister and myself a T-shirt. Mines, in particular, had a picture of spider-man crawling in the shadows (I bought it because it looked so cool). I bought my first 2 cousins their birthday gifts because one of their birthdays is in Feburary while the other is in March. One had a Spider-man plate set and the other had a Dora the Explorer plate set. I bought my sister’s best friend Brandi (now considered family because we see her everyday) a spider-man dog tag with her name on it and a shot glass (from the other store) that has the recipe of a “Sex on the Beach” drink.
It was already noon after I done my shopping and everyone got a little hungry. We decided to go to different resturants according to our desire. Me and Mrs. Joan decided we wanted to go to the Bob Marley resturant. But when we got there, it was closed until 4:00 pm because it was a bar-type of resturant. So I took pictures of the place and walked away (crying inside) to meet with everyone else at a resturant that is Bubba Grump’s Shrimp. I just bust out laughing because it was named after the character in the movie “Forest Gump” and what do know…the resturant was playing the movie as well to entertain the customers. I usually don’t eat seafood because I couldn’t get past the smell that comes with it. But after a tried some shrimp lunch basket, it was pretty good. After our meal, we decided to leave and take a trip to Downtown Disney.
I never thought Downtown Disney would be huge. The only problem is the parking. Ever since the first day we got to Orlando, I notice something…there are some crazy drivers down here! Anyways, since we were staying for an hour and a half (2:00), we decided to explore around by ourselves and come back at the enterance. Knowing me, I took pictures of many stores that I came across. The Disney Quest attraction, Hollywood Stars or something, especially the Virgin Records store. I spend most of my time there because of the music playing. The song that was playing was called “Say it Right” by Nelly Furtado. I found myself dancing to it with some of the workers at the store. Before I realized, it was time to go (awww!).
We got back to our hotel around 2:30. I found myself dancing to “Say it Right” again. I just couldn’t help myself. After all of that (while listening to more music), I took a shower and took a nap.
Hours later, me and the co-workers decided to get together so we can study for the recipes in Manchu Wok. Because when we get back tomorrow, it won’t be easy. So we memorized and revised our notes, referred to our huge recipe book, and studied our butts off. After they let, I put my stuff up, went to sleep, and cried (sarcastically) because I know we had to report to work again the next day.

*To be continued…

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My vacation/training in Orlando, Florida Pt. 4

February 24, 2007

Well, today is Saturday, Feburary 10, 2007. The time now is 4:30 pm. Me and the rest of my co-workers are Tired…once again! Throughout the first week, we been working our butts off. Which is now surprise to me because there is a lot of stuff that we had to learn about. But it didn’t really bother me because there were some cute hispanic women working with us. If only I was living in Florida, I could have flirt with them a little bit…and if only they weren’t married and had kids would have helped too. Not only did we prep vegetables, we also had to learn to prep the meats, the sauces, and most importantly…the rice. “There wouldn’t be a Manchu Wok if there wasn’t any rice” Ben would always say. By hearing all the things that you heard, you think that it will be easy. It is except for one thing…There are over 30 recipes that we had to remember. MAN! THATS A LOT OF RECIPES!!! I’ll just name of few so you know what Mancu Wok has to offer.
First, we must always have our Oriental Grilled Chicken. This helps bring in our customers a lot when we are giving samples to the customers. Sometimes customers will asks us “Do you have Bourben Chicken?”, but we always point to the Oriental Grilled Chicken to make sure that we can get there business. Next, we have the Kung Pao Chicken. This dish is spicy, so if you like spicy foods, I recommend this. It comes with red and green peppers, onions,with a little of sun-dried hot peppers,crushed peppers, and garlic to give it it’s spicy flavor and its covered with fried peanuts (not too fried though). And we have the Orange Chicken. This dish is includes crispy chicken that is cooked in a made-from-scratch orange sauce that is made with orange juice, sliced oranges and peels to really make the chicken taste like oranges (hencing the name) and covered with onions, green peppers and sesame seeds.
Thats just to name the few dishes of Manchu Wok. But as of right now, I just can’t wait to get back to my room. That way I can finish the rest of my homework I got downloaded from one of my instructors the night before. And mostly, tomorrow is our day off and we’ve made plays to go out to Disney World or Orlando Studios. Either way, we our going to have fun tomorrow.

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My vacation/training in Orlando, Florida Pt. 3

February 21, 2007

     The time now is 8:00 am on a Monday.  Got up, took a shower, eat some breakfast and all that jazz and met with the rest of the co-workers in the lobby to leave around 9:30.  We go to Machu Wok a little early, so we sat down until our training instructor showed up (who was chinese).  His name is Ben Lee and the first thing that caught my attention was his TEETH!!!  I have not seen so many gaps in someone’s mouth except a 2  year old with hardly any teeth.  And to make matters worse, he was a smoker.  I bet you when he is smoking, he sits his cigarretes in the gaps in his mouth.

     Anyways, he greeted us with the friendliest smile you could ever see on somebodys face, which looked kind of fake to me because before he approached us, it looked like he had a “I don’t feel like doing this” face.  We sat down with him and he gave each of us a folder about the procedures that we are going to learn for the next 2 weeks.  Each day will be something different from the previous.  As he was talking to us, we would usually add a joke or funny comment and he would laugh so hard (which really wasn’t funny, but I guess you got to follow the code of the “Romans”).

     He took us in the back area where they prep their food and other ingredients that way we could get a feeling of what we’re going to work in.  After the big introduction, Ben had us do some prep of the vegetables, like the onions, cabbage, broccoli and all that jazz.  When we was done, it was a quarter to 5:00 pm and we were tired!!!  After we left Manchu Wok for the day, me and the other co-workers started to talk about every single thing that took place at Manchu Wok.  The fact that they had nothing but hispanic people working in Manchu Wok and didn’t speak a hint of english (only 2 can speak english), they didn’t use any gloves while prepping their meats and sauces (except us), and the place wasn’t very sanatized.  I have never seen so many roaches in my entire life!

     As I entered my room, I immediately took off my uniform, took a shower, and got back in my sleepwear (a.k.a. “comfort mode”).  After eating some dinner that I made, I watched a little tv and I went to bed.  But before I closed my eyes, I was thinking to myself (2 weeks of this?  Its going be a “Fantastic Voyage”).  Sarcasim.  It is a good thing.

 *To be continued…

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My vacation/training in Orlando, Florida Pt. 2

February 21, 2007

     Well, its 7:20 am and we have made 3 stops already. The reasons was because someone thought one of the doors was open and the tire pressure gauge showed up on the dashboard. After we got those things taken care of, we were finally back on track.
     We listen to some gospel music for only 2 reasons: 1)Because it was Sunday (mainly) and 2)There was nothing else to listen to. That lasted about 2 hours because the station we were listening to was increasing with static. We kept turning the channel on the radio to find anything to listen to, but unfortunately, there was nothing. So we decided to reminense among one another. Talking about the general manager’s driving (which was hilarous because of his humor), one of the co-worker’s snoring, and anything else that comes to mind.
     We made our last stop in Fort Stewart, Savannah, Georgia to pick up a few items and eat from the food court as well. After that, we also bought so lottery tickets (but nobody won anything except “sadness”) and was back on the road.
     Finally! We made in to Orlando, Florida around a quarter to 4:00 pm. And it was very cold when we got there. I’m guessing the reason for that was because there was a torando storm that hit Central Florida 2 days prior to us leaving. And most surprisingly…I stand awake the entire drive!! Now usually I might fall asleep if I’m traveling a long distant (when I’m not driving that is). Thats because I was between 2 other co-workers and there was no way in hell I could fall asleep even if I wanted to.
     We got to our hotel called Crestwood Suite. It didn’t look “Sweet” to me. Thats when we realized that it was a different Crestwood Suite that we saw in the picture we had. We all had our seperate rooms (thank god!)and as soon as I got in my room, I started to disinfect every single thing in my room. From the bed to the tiles that were in my shower.
     After a few hours of resting, we decided to look for the Manchu Wok resturant that we will start working in the next day. It was simple enough because it was down the street from our hotel in the Florida Mall. After we saw what the resturant looked like, we went driving around to find any stores we like to go to. Everyone wanted to go to a Super Wal-mart because its our so-called “favorite store”. But we spent almost 4 hours looking for a Super Wal-mart. And to make matters worse…the nearest Super Wal-mart was right down the street from our hotel going the other direction from the Florida Mall (DEE! DEE! DEE!). After our long journey of finding all the places we might want to go, we head back to our rooms and prepared for the training that was ahead of us.

*To be continued…

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My vacation/training in Orlando, Florida Pt.1

February 21, 2007

On the morning of February 4, 2007 (5:00 am), I woke up to get all my luggage ready for this trip.  I also woke up both my parents because they wanted to see me off.  Got there at the meeting point before 6:00 am and realized that no one was there.  I called one of my co-workers to see if I got here on time.  Fortunately, I got there a little bit early (say about an hour or so, an hour I could have used for sleeping).

     Pretty soon, all the other co-workers showed up, did the normal greetings with one another and their families.  When the General Manager showed up, the first thing he said to us was “Are you guys plan on visiting Florida or staying?”.  He said that because each person had at least 2 bags of luggage with them (With my case it was 3 because I needed my laptop for school purposes).  And he only had 1 little bag of clothes with him.  Did he honestly think that little bag of clothes will last for 2 weeks?  We’ll see about that when we get there.  We packed all of our stuff in the van, fill the van with gas, and we were on our way to Orlando, Florida by 7:00 am(actually 7:18 am, but close enough).

-To be continued….

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What’s next after the IPod?

February 20, 2007

     Products go through a cycle:  you got your The Walkman, the Palm Pilot, and now you got the IPod, which is the most popular type of product out there.  But what’s next?  Don’t get too excited because whatever comes out next could be something from Apple or a newer version of the IPod.  Remember when the first IPod came out?  This huge and clunkly device that was probably bigger than the palm of your hand.  Years later, Apple did an update on the IPod by creating the IPod nano and the Video IPod, which seems more sleek and attractive at first glance.  During the Christmas of 2005, everyone wanted a IPod for christmas or anything that might have the same features of an IPod (which I got mines before the holidays came around).  But now a days, there are only so many people who really want or need a portable MP3 player, and that opportunity may have run its course. The next product will likely be something that does more than just music and video.

     To be truly big, the product will need to address the variety of needs and be incredibly good at meeting the most critical. It will need to look cool and be marketed strongly. It will need to be very easy to use and viral (you see it, you want it). And most of all, it will need to be affordable and generally under $500 because anything more won’t hit the volumes required for greatness.  The contenders are the home media center/media hub and the next generation smart phone.

     This product replaces the receiver, the set top box, the DVD player/VCR, and the home music distribution system.  The vendors would have done the same for the computers, but there are some problems that are still being worked with.  In this area, I think that Apple will take over this aspect and steal the market, just like with the MP3 players.

     Then you have Smartphones like the Motorola RAZR leading the field.  The Motorola RAZR is a contender with the same ejoyable features just like the IPod.  However, the phone has to be very easy to use for its primary functions and needs to embrace video, music, games, and communications.

     Basically, there is no telling whats coming out, unless you see it advertising it in a magazine, newspaper, or on television.  Consumers will eventually goe with a product that they are familiar with.  Even though there are a lot of different brand MP3 players out there, the one that I bought was a Apple Video IPod.  Why do you ask?  Because they are well-known for there products, reliable devices with amazing features that you hardly see on other MP3s, and they will continue to surprise us with more products to come.  Just like their new Iphones and IZUNES players.  So when you see a new product from Apple, don’t be surprise.