May 072013

On Monday, Constantine and I mainly worked on some new coffee makers he had gotten.  We took the two of them apart, carefully, and I better saw how they heat the water and how the separate hot water spout works. We saw the different timers for the hot water because they are two different models. The one has a physical analog timer for the water heater and the other one has a digital timer. The cool thing is that the makers of the machine used the same maker and simply switched the analog for the digital one. They wired it to existing switches so they managed to effectively upgrade the coffee maker design without really changing it, besides the one timer. I think that’s the way to do it, if at all possible, to utilize the existing design of something instead of designing something completely new. While we were doing that, Katie and Alyse were doing coffee. After that, Katie and Constantine went to stock Seaman’s and Alyse and I jarred some more honey, which is always sweet.

Tuesday, we went to Broadwell again. We couldn’t do as much stuff outside because of the rain but there were other things to be done. I sewed a total of 30 beef bologna bags which was also my first time sewing at all. It was also more fun to do because they have and use an old pedal machine from the early 1900’s and so that was some work getting used to. I went out and helped Kathy a little with her compost stuff between the rain downpours. Right before we had to leave, we helped Constantine with the massive roll of cloth (for the meat bags) and helped him downsize it to be cut. I hadn’t really yet seen the cloth before it was on the meat and now I have and I can say I’ve even sewn some of the bags.

Apr 302013

Yesterday, we first bagged more coffee because we were really low. We finished the coffee about the same time Katie got there. We then had to mix and bag more cashews because we had only one left, which is not very many. There wasn’t enough spice to mix any so Alyse and Katie had to mix some new spice. While they did that, I cut and wrapped cheese for Seaman’s for the first time by myself. I also grated more cheese for the Wednesday and Saturday markets. After those things, Constantine arrived and while he and Alyse talked about some things,  I showed Katie how to do the olives. I think that we did pretty good with both tasks in splitting up the tasks to make it more efficient and also go faster. Once done with all of that, Katie went with Constantine to inventory and stock Seaman’s with all of the things we had just packaged. While they did that, Alyse and I went to the conference room to stamp bags, which is always real fun. While Alyse talked to people ans placed orders, I probably stamped 150 bags, so hopefully we won’t have to stamp anymore anytime soon.

Apr 262013

Today, the three of us went to Broadwell for a work day there. This was my first time back there in maybe 1 1/2 years making it quite fun for me. After saying hi to Kathy and Constantine, the three of us each took a note from a basket Kathy had prepared for us and on the notes were chores that needed to be done at some point. Alyse drew “plant skunk cabbage”. I’d never heard of something called a skunk cabbage before today so that was fun. Katie drew “mowing” and I drew “clean the dome”. She and I switched because she seemed to want to work on the dome and  I mow a lot so that worked out well. The mowing was a bit more in-depth than I had done before because there were more plants to carefully mow around than what I had done before. I had to really learn to look out for more flowers and such than I usually do but it was good experience because the other people I mow for in my time also have plants that they wouldn’t want mowed over. Besides that, it helped me learn that I need to keep more attention at the task at hand and look out for either flowers or something else in whatever task I’m engaged in and therefore not do something I’m not supposed to do. We also did a few other things like Alyse made some orders that needed done, Katie and I both (but mainly Katie) worked a little with the vermicompost and I moved some dirt that is for an area that Kathy is working on. Also at some point in the day, Kathy went over a thing she has for task evaluation called S.M.A.R.T.. The S being Specific: “is the task a specific mission, over maybe more of a broader request?”. M is Measurable. I don’t exactly remember what this one is for but I think it was something like: “does the task have a measurable outcome, i.e., is it worth doing?”. A is Attainable: “is the given task an attainable one, can it be done?”. R is Relate-able or Relevant: “is the task relate-able to the worker? Can the worker relate to the task and therefore fully understand it?”. And lastly, T for Time Sensitive: “is this task time sensitive? Can it be done in a timely manner?”. I think that that is a good way to look at not just those sorts of task, but lots of other things as well. As a result, I am looking forward to the next time I can go back to Broadwell and do some stuff again.

Apr 182013

Wednesday, we primarily tried the Wednesday farmers market again. We had been doing the market awhile ago and so we thought we might try it again. It was nice, consisting of some different shoppers than the regular market on Saturdays. We also have a choice: Constantine would like to either, make the Wednesday market a full setup like Saturdays with cooking and everything or, get to the point where we (Alyse, me and Katie) shall be able to do it without Constantine coming into town at all. I think both are good, but, we can’t really do both. They both have their pluses and minuses, Wednesday being cooking. Alyse thinks that more people will come from work at noon in order to get lunch on Wednesdays, which is probably true. On the other hand, being able to do the market without Constantine would be quite resilient, which is pretty much the whole point of Athens’ Own. Resilient in that while we do the market, he would be free to do whatever he needs to do, whether at home or at ACEnet, therefore a better use of that time. The three of us would also learn how to run the stand the whole time without his help.

On Thursday, we first made and packaged cashews, which was Katie’s first time. After that while waiting for Constantine to get there, we worked on a video presentation for the worker readiness certification with prezi. We still need to work on it obviously because we don’t really know our way around the system yet. I am also sort of tasked with learning it and finding out everything about it I can, mainly because Alyse doesn’t really have the time to, but it should still be fun. Constantine and I also made some bean soup with a pressure cooker, which I hadn’t ever used before so that was cool.

Apr 172013

On Monday, we first bagged even more coffee, and I am therefore more seeing how much of this coffee is distributed into this community.  Not just at the farmers market, but also Seaman’s, and other places. Multiple places also get the coffee in bulk form to serve like Jackie O’s. I knew AO did all that, but I didn’t really see how how many places and people partake of and enjoy this coffee and by that I somewhat mean I didn’t really see how much coffee AO “moved”. I would not be surprised at all if we needed to package more before the market on Saturday in order to have enough. Once we packaged the coffee, we talked more about the worker readiness certification. Once done with that, we split up, Alyse and Katie going to Jackie O’s and Constantine and I went to inventory and stock Seaman’s, and while doing that, I worked on my handwriting. At some point in that day, we opened up the coffee maker at ACEnet and switched the hot water spout seal because it had been leaking some, something else I hadn’t done before.

Tuesday, we talked about doing the Wednesday farmers market, which we haven’t done in a long while, so it should be fun. We also ordered some things: we got some good stainless steal hinges to fix the coolers and got the 25 pin serial cord to usb adapter cord so we can use a laptop with the printer Constantine has. While we got the cord, we also at the same time found and got a nice Jawbone bluetooth for his phone. I did all those orders so those were my 2nd, 3rd and 4th online orders that I have done and I think I’m getting the hang of it. Also, over the phone, I (with his guidance obviously) ordered both a custom fridge gasket for Souvlakis and then ordered some more Frog ranch pickles. After that, I went with Constantine to Jackie O’s and Alyse stayed behind and bagged for cashews. At Jackie O’s, we took apart their coffee grinder because it was not working at all. Once we took it apart, we could see that why it wasn’t working was because it was so jammed full of ground coffee and some beans that it couldn’t work. We cleaned it and I saw how it all works and everything. We put it back together and it now works fine. This also shows again how I think that AO and Constantine are better than the average business: he’ll come and completely take apart and fix something that he provided rather than just let them do it themselves because he cares, even if it takes half the day.

Apr 142013

Friday, the four of us started by talking more about the worker readiness certificate and we worked on a good paragraph to get people interested in the program and this is what we came up with:

From our experience, finding exceptional employees is difficult. It seems that many students are coming out of college, or high school, with a lack of real-world skills. To us, this demonstrates a need for a more complete educational system. One way we can see to address this is to create our own job training for our interns. We are interested in getting community input on this topic. Do you agree or disagree that the educational system can sometimes be lacking? Students, do you feel you are getting shorted in your education? If so, in what ways? Employers, do you find it difficult to find great employees?

I think that this is very true because schools don’t really provide students with those necessary skills. For example, they’ll teach you how to do math, but they won’t teach you how to make change or they”ll teach public speaking but they won’t specifically teach a student how to greet customers. That’s a gap in the education system that really needs to be changed and that’s what this program hopes to do. After that previous paragraph, we also came up with these two that follow it:

People graduate with knowledge, but often that knowledge is not practiced into wisdom. Through the worker readiness certificate, we believe the people will have an opportunity to live the practices they have studied, and to continuously gain new knowledge and skills.

We hope to use the worker readiness certification to help illuminate the diverse Athens’ network of businesses, and connect students to mentors who can teach them deeper understanding of the connected-ness of the community.

Those both too make sense. The first part means that the students must take whatever skills they have and must apply them directly in a job situation. This program will try to take that student with, for example, the public speaking class skill and turn that into skills like being able to interact really well with customers (or anyone for that matter, business or non-business) and will obviously learn new skills, like holistic management, which is what the second part is about. They will learn more about all the various connections that a given business (like Athens’ Own) haves, how to better make good decisions and how to better view their whole life.


Apr 112013

Today we (Alyse, Katie and myself) bagged a little coffee, bagged some cashews and packaged some honey. Once done with those things, we  went to the conference room and talked about the worker readiness certification. The main  reason for this program is because Constantine believes (and rightly so) that both high school and college don’t prepare students enough to just go out and start working. They’ll probably be able to get a job, but their education won’t have prepared them enough to be the best workers and employees that they can be. Constantine’s program then works with the student(s) to do just that: make them the best they can be. We then talked about clarifying some of the requirements and changed the wording on a few. But the main topic was to present this worker readiness certification program to the community, which includes Constantine’s family, the businesses involved with Athens’ Own and the Athens’ Own team, both current and past team members. Since none of us have this certification yet, we are looking at it as if it is an entirely new thing. We are trying to determine how the three of us will best go about getting the certification together, as a group/team. We are going to try to do it as if we were the IDEAL candidates for this program and to sort of set a good timeline in which to do it all. I hope then that we will be able to work together and to get the best out of each other for this certification.

Apr 102013

Monday we did the usual bagging of coffee and cashews. We re-packaged some olives in order to get some onions and garlic better distributed. We also bought two new coolers for the sweet beef bologna which was also my first actual online purchase with a credit card.

Tuesday we did a variety of things. We first inventoried then stocked Seaman’s, for my second time. While there, we also inventoried  the AO meat section, which I hadn’t done before and required a slightly different method. After that, we went to Jackie O’s and gave them a new filter for the coffee pots to prevent them from overflowing. We also delivered chips to them as well. Once done with that, we went back to ACEnet and took the coffee maker from there and went to Bagel Street Deli uptown and swapped their maker for the one we brought. We then swapped that one with the one at Jackie O’s brewery, because that one isn’t working right, so as Constantine said, we did “the coffee machine shuffle.” All in all, a good day with new things to experience.

Apr 082013

We went to the OU mini market for the first time ever on Friday and it was pretty nice. It was certainly smaller than the regular Athens Farmers Market but it still was rather productive. There were less food sellers and more sellers of actual items like jewelry, of which there are none at the Athens Farmers Market. We also made the first ever AO credit card sales via Alyse’s smartphone and therefore got a little better view of how that process works. I feel though that to make that market better, they should move it somewhere with a little more space, maybe even just across the road to the main green allowing then many more people to attend as vendors, increasing overall size and thereby increasing the whole appeal of that market . Other than that, it seems like they’ve got a good thing going. I think the lady running the market said that this one was their 6th one and it was pretty nice and well attended for being that young.

Also, as I have stated before, I think this internship is a great experience. I have been learning so many things about so many things. To begin with, I have learned how to better greet customers at places like the Athens Farmers Market and how to make change for them. I have also learned how to correctly weigh and package various products. I have seen/learned how to inventory, stock and deliver to stores and restaurants. I have also gotten a better view of the community, the business and my life as a whole and so forth through holistic management, of which I hadn’t really any experience before this internship. It’s very much education that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. It’s also real world and pre “real job” experience, which is of course invaluable.

Apr 012013

This log covers both Tuesday (26) and Thursday (28).

Tuesday, Alyse and I first packaged some more marinated olives and sealed jars of honey. After we were done with those two things, we went to Seaman’s to inventory our products, which was good since I hadn’t done that before and so I learned more of where our things are in Seaman’s. We back back to ACEnet and got everything ready to go to stock Seaman’s. We couldn’t yet take stuff because Constantine was not yet at ACEnet and we needed the inventory book which he has in his truck. While we waited, I worked on my HM stuff (whole and goal) while Alyse also did some things on her computer. Once he got there, he sliced some more aged cheese for us to take with us to Seaman’s and then the two of us went there. We then stocked Seaman’s with our newer products to replace the ones that they had sold. I hadn’t yet ever done that before and so that, both the inventorying and the stocking, were fun and learning experiences.

Thursday, we didn’t package anything but we mainly first inventoried the AO cage at ACEnet and replaced cheese boxes milk crates or other boxes because the cheese boxes aren’t holding up under the increasing weight on them. We also placed a few orders to places like Snowville Creamery and we also prepared deliveries to places like 9 Tables and Jackie-O’s. Once we were done with that, the three of us went to the conference there at ACEnet and we did a little resilience chart exercise, using the initial cattle that we get the beef for everything from. Stating at the farm level, we looked at everyone involved in the processes of the AO beef and we got something like this: Farm, (Redbird Ranch) processing, (Dick’s meat processing) ACEnet, (value added, one of which is some aging) retail, (packaged, Seaman’s, Hill’s Market in Columbus) retail, (cooked/served, Farmers Market, 9 Tables) and finally ending in compost which he gets from some of the business which will then circle back to the beginning of the cycle. There were of course other steps and other businesses involved, but I can’t remember them all. Constantine also said on Saturday that a good way to view the products (the meat sticks for one) is to look at them like they are Legos and to look at them like they are a new kind of building blocks and that the building is in fact the community. When you look at how many people/businesses are involved in just one product, I think that analogy of them being Legos is quite right.