Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Obsessive Wanderlust"

This short film was done beautifully and holds truth- at least my personal truth- as to my thirst for traveling and photographing.

MediaStorm writes:
Combining passages from his up-coming book with photographs, video, and Super-8 film, Evidence of My Existence brings to life a deeply personal account of 17 years spent moving from one new story to the next. Like the book, it is a manic exposition on a life in photojournalism, and on the consequences of obsessive wanderlust.

As the video opens, Lo Scalzo is a blur to his wife, her pathological tolerance long ago worn thin. She is heading to the hospital with her second miscarriage, and he is heading to Baghdad to cover the American invasion of Iraq. He hates himself for this—for not giving her a child, for being consumed by his job, for leaving her again. But how to stop moving? Travel is a compulsive craving. An addiction. Heroin. The buzz is euphoric and the opportunities are infinite, all open to him as a photojournalist.

For Lo Scalzo, as with so many photojournalists, it’s about the going."

Click here:

Monday, October 8, 2007

Three to four hours full of math problems, strategies, and formulas, calls for a break. A little distraction, if you will...

So I've been spending almost everyday in the city...whether it being an adventure with folks I havn't hung out with in months or years, studying at Muddy's, photo events, or just a lone adventure of picture taking and/or reflecting...

I think reflection is vital...Whatever one does from day to day, whether or not u have one crazy schedule, or even if you don't--- reflection is an important element towards growth.

The more time I spend in the city, I fall in love with it more and more.... I can't get enough of it. The people, weather, diversity, memories, events, adventures, all that good stuff... and I think that is why I got all sentimental yesterday. The whole day was thinking of how much imma miss everything when I'm in the Motherland for six months. Don't get me wrong, these nostalgic feelings aren't going to stop me from going, but it definately makes it a bit harder.

Anyway, getting sidetracked.... gotta read... =)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

why i hate starbucks...

I was rummaging through my old documents in my computer, and found the letter I wrote Human Resources after having my San Jose boss from Starbucks cuss me out during his drunken state. Just wanted to share:

June 14, 2006

To whom it may concern:

One of Starbucks Guiding Principles is to “provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity.” The phrase respect and dignity is reiterated throughout the Partner Guide and the Standards of Business Conduct booklet. It is these very words that describe what is expected from every partner, no matter what position they hold at the workplace.

On May 19, 2006 Starbucks partners from the store on the **** and **** in San Jose conducted our store meeting at Gordon Biersch. The meeting started at 4 p.m. and ended at about 5 p.m. The partners also had dinner reservations following the meeting at 7 p.m. While waiting for our scheduled dinner, we socialized for two hours, in which alcohol was involved.
The dinner was meant to be a celebration for two baristas who just turned twenty-one. When we were seated for dinner, our party sat in two large tables. The whole Starbucks ***** team was present, along with their guests, past baristas, and customers from the store. It was with these customers of whom I was conversing with, when out of nowhere my manager, D*** ********, who is sitting at the other side of the table, said, “Diana, fuck you. Fuck you.” He repeatedly cursed at me with two of his middle fingers up in the air. I looked at him in disbelief and said, “D**** are you kidding?” He kept his middle fingers up in the air and continued, “Fuck you Diana. Fuck you.” I looked at my assistant manager, *********, who was sitting two seats away from him, and asked, “******, do you see this?” She replied, “Don’t take him seriously right now Diana. He’s drunk.” And he continued to curse and even put one of his middle fingers in his mouth, pulled it out, and said, “Fuck you.”
Overwhelmed by surprise and anger, I left the table and went outside to get some air. When outside I told three other partners about ******** actions. They replied, “Don’t take it personal. He’s always like this. He just yelled at another barista. He yelled at me before. He pushed me against the wall last time we went out.” I was not only surprised at the fact that ********* had done this before, but also that everyone simply excused him. I replied, “Just because he is drunk and he is known to do these things we are supposed to accept this behavior? Because he is our boss, we are supposed to accept this behavior?”
These partners convinced me to go back inside and eat dinner. I started eating my salad and realized that I could not be there anymore. I wanted to leave. I went to the restroom in which D******** followed me and tried to block my way. He asked, “Where are you going? Where are you going?” I replied that I was going to the restroom. He proceeded to the men’s restroom and I proceeded to the women’s restroom.
While in the restroom, one of the partners asked if I was okay. She was the partner that was sitting right next to D****** when he said those remarks to me. She said, “Do you want me to talk to him? I feel offended myself. That not only makes you feel uncomfortable, that makes me feel uncomfortable.” I told her, “No, no. You shouldn’t talk to him. I will.” I then started to cry. I was treated with disrespect and embarrassed. My own manager cussed me out in front of my partners but also in front of customers. Customers that replied, “Is that who you work for?” I felt as if I had no voice because people seemed to accept this behavior. I felt as if it was my fault for his verbal abuse. I questioned what he thought of me as his employee. I felt belittled and disrespected.
By the time I went back to dinner, D***** left with his wife. Everyone was relieved that he left. I definitely was relieved myself, but I had a heavy feeling still weighing me down.
The following morning I received a phone call from D*******. He apologized for what happened the night before. “I only blacked out once before from drinking, and last night was the second time. I don’t know what I said to you, but I know it was hurtful. I’m sorry. You’re a valuable partner, and I don’t know why I said what I said.”
After thinking about the situation and having the scene play over and over in my head, I decided to tell my district store manager, *******. I told her the whole story and she replied, “First of all, I wanted to apologize on behalf of Starbucks. But since it was off the clock and alcohol was involved, Starbucks isn’t involved… You’ll definitely get a second apology, but what do you want? Do you want to get transferred? Do you want a couple days off?” I told her that since I just transferred to the store, I felt it was pointless to transfer out again and I could not afford to have a couple days off either. Penny then told me to give her a call if I feel uncomfortable at work.
A week passed and although D********* did not do anything more to make me feel more uncomfortable,[sidenote: besides try to kiss my ass] I still felt uneasy. I thought that maybe I could deal with working there. But the truth is, I can’t work with someone that verbally harassed me not knowing where his anger came from and why it was directed to me. So I thought maybe I could transfer to another store, but after talking to the district manager and the San Jose Partner Resources Associate, it seemed as if drunken harassment was an accepted behavior by Starbucks managers. The way the situation was handled made me not want to work for the company at all. If Starbucks stands for treating its employees with respect and dignity, but has this situation pass without any kind of suspension or an AA class, it makes me question Starbucks as a company. What is even more embarrassing is the fact that even other store managers know about this behavior. They even joke about it. It’s embarrassing to work at a store whose manager has such a reputation. It makes me wonder why Starbucks as a company is not embarrassed by such behavior. His own baristas, other store managers, customers, and the district manager know of his disrespectful behavior.
According to the Starbucks Standards of Business Conduct, it states:
“Of course, you may keep your personal activities outside of the workplace confidential. However, you should always keep in mind that you are a representative of Starbucks.”
******** is a store manager. He is supposed to be a leader and he is supposed to treat all his partners with dignity and respect. On May 19, 2006 I was denied that treatment. I feel I was verbally harassed. According to the Starbucks Standards of Business Conduct, “Harassment can take many forms, including unwelcome remarks, gestures or physical contact… verbal abuse, threats, taunting or leering.” I feel his words, “Fuck you Diana” are unwelcomed remarks and his middle fingers in the air, as well as the sucking of his middle finger only to pull back out and repeat the words “Fuck you” was definitely an unwelcome gesture.
The Starbucks Standards of Business Conduct continues to say: “Starbucks works had to train effective, supportive managers and to treat all partners with respect and dignity.” ******'s words and gestures towards me that night were neither supportive nor respectful.
Prior to this event, truthfully, I was already thinking of leaving the company because I wanted to put more time into school. But a part of me still wanted to stay because I thought about the partners I work with, and the benefits and flexibility of the store schedule, especially for students. But after rethinking the situation that happened that night, and after thinking about the hypocrisy of Starbucks Standards of Business Conduct and the Starbucks Guiding Principle regarding respect and dignity, my decision was made. My last day is July 9th.
I did not write this letter in order to get ****** fired. That is probably the last thing I want. But rather, I wrote this letter so that if an event similar to this were to ever happen again, the correct measures will be taken. I wrote this letter for the partners who have already experienced this harassment, but have not come forward for one reason or another. I wrote this letter so no other partner will have to experience the lack of dignity and respect I experienced that Starbucks claims to have for its partners.



By the way, last I heard, he still works for Starbucks...

need a break...

These past two days I have been studying hard for those GRE's.... the math portion at least. And I'm not one to enjoy the terms PEMDAS, FOIL, and all those math terms that have somewhere slipped through the wrinkles of my brain. So I decided I need some form of outlet...or distraction...finally decided to scan some old negatives and my first roll of my HOLGA. lovely, and fun...