Friday (but not done for the week)

Here it is on Friday, an all classroom day. First things first, checked the board for the progress quiz #2 scores and found out I aced it, so including the bonus questions I scored 105. We started things off with the third progress quiz, mainly on scheduling. Then we learned some of the manager functions of the Point Of Sale system. We ended early for lunch so after visiting the cafeteria I scooted back to the hotel to get my laundry and take it in. There’s a laundromat near HQ with drop in laundry service by the pound, so I could get all my dirty clothes done for me for $8.90.

In the afternoon we did analysis of the weekly paperwork for ways to look where to spot inefficiencies, scheduling problems, and employee theft. We finished off the day with some tips on compliance issues, and how following the rules is meant to increase your sales. Then I found out I aced this morning’s quiz plus bonus for another 105 points total. I went to go pick up my laundry, got dinner at Pizza Hut and filled up the car before going back to the hotel.

Tomorrow we’ll be doing store training all day.

Weather here is really warming up today.


Thursday was another long day. We started first thing in the morning on a quiz. It covered daily paperwork plus a few bonus questions. I think I aced this one but haven’t found out the scores. Then we had classes on more of the weekly paperwork and also on scheduling efficiently. Then in the afternoon we went back to our store training where we worked until 8pm.

This time we did nothing but customer service. Before this, the most customer interaction we had was running the register, which is a pretty easy part. This time we were actually greeting customers, taking their orders and making their sandwiches. This was the part that I was most nervous about, but it turned out to go pretty smoothly.

It seems like there’s about 500 different sandwiches to remember, but there’s really only a few things to remember and the rest is variations on the theme. After about 1/2 hour of helping us out, the trainer left us alone and went to the back to do support and prep work. After another 1/2 hour we were running things up here pretty smoothly. We didn’t make any really bad mistakes.

While we spent some time in class learning about suggestive selling and upselling, we got an example of downselling during the store training. One customer came in to order a footlong but the bread he wanted only had a 6 inch left. Instead of suggesting a different bread, P.P. said “We only have 6 inch left for that, is that OK?” If a different bread were suggested, the customer probably would have stuck with the larger sale. Overall though, I think we did quite well for a first time.


Wednesday we went to the store training in the morning where we didn’t actually work, just learned the right way to do weekly paperwork and asked a million related and unrelated questions. My teammates J.S. and P.P. got into a bit of a spat after J.S. asked a question of our trainer which P.P. intercepted and answered instead. J.S. was annoyed because he wanted the trainer to answer it, and also thought that P.P. was making him feel stupid for asking the question. Drama.

After that we went back to training for the afternoon where we wrapped up the daily paperwork training then learned some efficiency techniques and watched a funny video on customer service called Give ‘Em The Pickle by the guy that started Farrell’s. After class I went to Outback for dinner since it’s right in front of my hotel. Or at least that’s my excuse.

Today we have our second quiz. This one is on the daily paperwork with a bit about efficiency and customer service. This one is Open Book, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Then we start learning about weekly paperwork and then go back to store training in the evening, so it’s gonna be another long day.


Today we had training in the morning and then in the afternoon we got split up into groups to start our in store training. I got teamed up with two Indian guys to go work in the New Milford store. You’d think this would be close to Milford, but it’s actually about an hour drive away.

If anyone’s curious, it’s the store at 139 Danbury Road and I’ll be working there Wednseday March 8 in the morning, Thursday March 9 evening, most of the day Saturday March 11, most of the day Tuesday March 14, and Wednesday March 15 in the morning.

Today I cut up vegetables and set up bins of vegetables, prepared trays of chicken and steak, mopped the back room floor, and rang up orders at the register. The directions to the store were very clear but the return directions went a different way and we ended up getting completely lost once, and briefly lost a second time.

We had our first quiz this morning. I was surprised by some of the questions, but I guess I guessed right on most of them cause I wound up with a score of 99.

Training Day 1

Finished up the first day of training. There’s a lot of material to cover, but there’s some pretty slow people in the class and they say the pass rate is 95% so I’m not too worried. Tomorrow we have the first quiz, then later in the afternoon we get shipped off in groups of three to work in real stores.

Best part is access to the FREE CAFETERIA. Of course it is all Subway products, but they are setup as a buffet instead of having sandwich artists. This allowed me to get a bit more creative than ordering from a menu. The cafeteria is in the main building across from the training center and for some reason most people drove over. But I asked myself “WWJD?” (What Would Jared Do?) and decided to walk over there instead. I just hope I don’t get tired of the food after two weeks of this.

The highs are still hovering right around freezing, but it still doesn’t feel all that cold to me. The dry air really keeps things a lot more comfortable than the constant dampness in Taipei. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s fairly bright sunshine during the day.


This morning I got up before 4am and left the house at 5am to drive to SFO and catch my flight to JFK. They have self checkin terminals for Delta and I was able to check in in just a couple of minutes including baggage check with no wait in line. Meanwhile there was a LONG line for the regular checkin counters. I wonder what the hell those people are doing that they can’t figure out how to use the self checkin.

Since onboard meals cost $$ on the flight, I picked up a panini sandwich before boarding. The seat next to me on the flight was empty, thanks to my secret seat assignment strategy. The flight had in-flight dish service, but the reception was really bad, so I ended up listening to their mp3 customized playlist service instead.

I realize that JFK is pretty ancient by airport standards, but the signage there is REALLY bad. At the baggage claim area the sign to tell which flight was on which carousel was not on the side closest to the gates but at the opposite end. There were signs to ‘rental cars’ in the gate area but not in the baggage claim area. There was a cardboard standup by the exits saying that the rental cars are accessed by the AirTrain, but you had to actually be standing in front of it to read that.

Then in the AirTrain station there are no indications at all which trains go to which platforms, which direction they go in, or what the routes are. There is a route map on the train, but you have to actually get on it to read it and by that time the train is already leaving. I managed to get where I was going, but I needed to take two different trains and even then took the long way around because I didn’t realize that route went all the way around first. If there were SIGNS and MAPS and ARROWS in the stations then I would have gotten it right the first time. By comparison, the SFO trains are wonderfully designed.

The drive out to Connecticut went well and took a bit more than an hour. Most of the delay was on the parkway from JFK to the freeway which was 3 lanes of jam packed slow moving traffic. The rest of the drive was quick, just 678 north to 95 north and all the way out to exit 41.

Anyways, now I’m all checked into my hotel in Orange, CT. Training starts first thing tomorrow morning. There’s snow on the ground here and the high is just above freezing, but it doesn’t really feel that cold.

Arrived in Santa Clara

Got in tonight in Santa Clara around 8pm. Managed to sleep a bit on the plane.

Some funny language issues stories…

Yesterday I went to lunch at Mos Burger and when I came up to order there was a big commotion while they dug out the English menu, and got the cashier who can speak English out from the back. I stood there waiting for them to sort things out and then ordered in Chinese. For some reason I find this amusing.

On the plane, the guy sitting next to me was Thai but the flight attendants kept trying to talk to him in Chinese. I thought about answering back to them “他是泰國人.他不會說國語.” but this time I kept quiet.