Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Favorites (or Things You Learn at the Summer Job)

friday favorite things | finding joy

Interning at this 85-year-old family business, I find myself going away with a little more knowledge than when I came in.

Because, really, I didn’t come in with much.
At all.

See, the hubs and in-laws don’t talk about “the company” much. Every once in a while, I’d hear something, but it was like hearing people speak Chinese—you knew a few of the words from your child’s favorite PBS shows but the rest was complete gibberish.

My first assignment as an intern was to spend my day reading newsletters from the past twenty years.
Nope, not even kidding.
Do you know what it’s like reading twenty years worth of “and this is how the celery’s doing”? Sure, there were other things: radishes, cooling and packaging plants, employee announcements, real estate . . . puppy birth announcements.
Yeah, I’ll never get over that last one.

After that, it was writing articles on farming, auditing employee forms, archiving and summarizing past newsletters, writing company-inspired trivia, and scanning mountains of old company and family photos. Needless to say, after being here for almost two months, I now know more about the company than Chris does . . . and it’s owned by his blood relatives.

I learned . . .
  • Farmer’s like to pose with their crops.
    Sometimes rulers are involved. “This season, Celery is THIS tall! We’re so proud!”
    Sometimes it’s beside competitor’s crops or crops before new growing method and whatnot. For historical records, comparisons, and all that.
    Sometimes, they also like to pretend it’s a candid photo. “Oh yeah, squat down in the celery field and look thoughtful! No one will know you’re posing! So natural!”
    Kiddos, you’re not fooling anyone.
  • Florida farmer haircuts bear a huge resemblance to the male haircuts peppering the Mississippi population surrounding my alma mater (good grief, I can’t believe I just called it that haha). Need an idea? Justin Bieber but with more comb-over-esqu swoosh than styled straightening. Yup.
  • There is SO MUCH paperwork. Good golly. But I guess that’s across the board with any company. 
  •  If you don’t immediately deal with said paperwork, it builds to a monster mound of impossibility. So you give it to the intern to deal with.
  • History matters. A lot. The office building proudly displays old labels, posters, family pictures. Nearly every individual office holds a large portrait of “the three seniors” (the sons of the man who first started farming celery in this area of Florida). Family history is important  . . . but there's a fine line . . . somewhere . . .
  • Any time you’re uber bored, I could recite the family history for you . . . but I won’t . . . not now, anyways.

In my spare time, my time trying to keep my brain a pulsing, living, thinking part of my body, I browsed Google like a madwoman

I learned . . .
  • You can kill and prevent bugs in your home and pets without heavy chemical-based products (natural plant oils, garlic, and diatomaceous earth help A LOT . . . I’ll let you know how that goes)
  • Eating dirt is good for you. Well eating diatomaceous earth is.
     Supposedly, it helps clean your digestive tract, clean plaque out of your veins and arteries, and gives you softer hair, stronger nails, and a cleaner complexion. Oh and it gets rid of intestinal parasites. Not something I’m worried about right now, but, hey, why not?
  • Light colors and vertical stripes make a room look taller and larger
  • If you have a brown roof, use warm colors like yellow . . . which is why we’re painting ours a deep, neutral green. Most likely. We may be too tired to bother.
  • The world’s tiniest insect, a Trichogramma Wasp, lays its eggs inside the eggs of other pests and is excellent pest control. They also cost near $50 via Amazon. Hm, not paying that much for a bug, sorry.
  • I get sick to my stomach even seeing pictures of roaches. YUCK
  • That there are several different kinds of scrapbooking glue
  • It’s difficult to find anything but full-length curtains online. I have little windows, and need little curtains, peeps. Please?
  • People who review products are either really positive or bitter and grumpy.
  • The images from the new 2012 Amazing Spiderman look fabulous. And, I’m sorry, but Andrew Garfield is adorable. *SQUEEZE*
  • I send WAY more emails now than I ever have before. I’m desperate for human contact.
  • Robert Patterson is distantly related to Vlad the Impaler . . . aka Dracula.
    You know, Mr. Patterson, if you weren't you, this would probably make you pretty cool . . . but now, I'm a little creeped out.


  1. I love the way you write! Makes me laugh :)

    I cannot believe the interesting little facts you have picked up, no wonder your brain is fried!

    Have a great weekend Sarah!

  2. Oh, god. I just love company newsletters like that...where you're like, SERIOUSLY?! I just felt like reading everything you've learned was a revelation in and of itself. Yow.

    Happy Weekend, lady!


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