Rebekah Renford

Who you've been looking for…

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category


Give ‘em the Pickle

I don’t believe I mentioned this yet, but in November I was laid off from my job. It’s one of those things that you either definitely know is happening, or you just don’t see coming and it hits you like a brick wall at full tilt. For me, unfortunately, it was definitely the latter.

I would have loved to stay in Vancouver however the prospects of finding new employment at the time weren’t looking very good and Employment Insurance just wasn’t going to pay the rent AND allow me to feed myself on anything other than canned soup and peanut butter sandwiches. So in an effort to save money I moved back to my hometown of Chilliwack and picked up my old job at McDonald’s as a Swing Manager while I continue the job search.

I can’t say working at McDonald’s is my favourite thing in the world, however I learned a lot of things about leadership and customer service there and since going back I have been reminded of many of them. I’ve also been reminded of what that kind of work environment is like (like how that hot guy from Chem class totally dumped that chick from English class by text message on her birthday, like OH EM GEE) and how much I appreciate my career.

One of the most important lessons I think I learned from McDonald’s is “Give ‘em the Pickle“. The basic principle is going the extra mile for your customers. It looks different to every business, but the customer feels valued and will continue to return in nearly every situation. At McDonald’s it could be as simple as replacing food for a dissatisfied customer and adding in an additional free meal or dessert to show you actually care about the business they’re bringing to you. Giving the customer the pickle means not arguing. If they say they ordered something and didn’t get it when you are 100% sure you gave it to them already, it doesn’t matter – give them another one.

So folks, for Pete’s sake give ‘em the pickle!!!

Posted under Customer Service, Education, Industry, News

Table Topics Adventure

This week’s Toastmaster’s meeting was quite possibly the funnest one I’ve ever been to. This week I was the Table Topics Master and so I wanted to do something different and get people involved and working together as well as make it humorous. And it worked. Everybody had an amazing night and the meeting went so well.

Today’s table topics session is a lesson in how your body language speaks and to help you see how both speaking effectively and using your body effectively works together to make you an even better public speaker.

The exercise included two people per scenario as one person will only be speaking, and the other will only be doing the actions to go with their partner’s speaking. This helped give a more apparent demonstration of how the body speaks and how both speaking and moving have to work together in order to make a speech truly effective. Extreme hilarity ensued with the following scenarios:

  • 1. You are working on street repair and discover an indecipherable item.
  • 2. You are at a local dance and meet a strange, interesting character. What happens?
  • 3. You are wrestling a bear at the state fair. What is the outcome?
  • 4. You are rock climbing in the middle of a hot day and are suddenly swarmed by a large number of birds.
  • 5. You are demonstrating Tupperware (or some other product of your choice) and describing the strange things it is useful for (not just food).

Needless to say it was difficult for some people to not use their body while speaking (using hand gestures, etc.) and for others it was difficult to not speak or make too many noises. At the end of it all my eyes were watering from laughing so hard. Definitely a great exercise that I would do again some time.

- – Rebekah

P.S. Nam (our Past President, a super cool dude) introduced me as the Table Topics Master and used hockey references to Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby. NICE. I love it. :-) You can put me up there with great achievers any day!

Posted under Education, Toastmasters

I do solemnly swear…

I do solemnly swear that I will truly and faithfully, and to the best of my skill and knowledge, execute the powers and trusts reposed in me as BURRARD TOASTMASTERS CLUB PRESIDENT!!!!

That’s right. Club elections took place, and I will be the new Club President for Burrard Toastmasters. Because that’s just how I roll, and because I’m freakin’ awesome. I actually don’t officially become Club President until July as we go through a transitional period and a training session. The point is I’m progressing in my usual pace again, yay! That’s all I have to say about Toastmasters today.

This week’s handy links:


Posted under Education, Industry, Toastmasters

Running for President

This week Jess let me chair the meeting again at Toastmasters. It’s good practice for sure and I’ve made up my mind that I’m definitely running for president in the club executive elections on May 27th. On my way to Toastmasters I even thought of a good argument for why they should vote for me. I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you (or bring down your website). I’m saving it for the actual election speech. I’m actually really excited about it and I feel myself opening up more and becoming a lot more comfortable with Toastmasters, speaking, and being myself around strangers in general.

I finished the flash book Leigh had ordered for me, and the satisfying part of it is that I knew about 98% of what it taught. My first project is going to be a Netgenetix social photo gallery which Leigh wants me to treat as a real project with a project brief, a timeline, and deliverables. That should be interesting in terms of the timeline/deliverables, only because I’ll be working on it in my free time, not on a daily basis like a client project. Who knows what client work may fill up my time in the coming weeks?

I’ve come across some awesome design/development articles and pages in the past week that I’d like to share. Take a gander, I’m sure you’ll find at least one of them useful or inspiring!

… and you can see more of my cool website discoveries by following me on Delicious.

Posted under Design, Development, Education, Netgenetix, Toastmasters

A little behind…

I guess I’m a little behind on my Toastmasters updates eh? Well, last week I did the Invocation, which is what starts off the mood for the meeting. Usually people talk about things that are really meaningful or generally serious and inspiring. So I decided to do something a bit different and, again, steer in the direction of happiness, which I’ve posted in the comments for this entry.

This week I did the word of the day and the language evaluation. I have to admit when I was trying to think of an uncommonly used word the first one that came to mind was  “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Yes, its in the dictionary! However, that word is a bit silly, and as Justin mentioned, I didn’t want to make people hate me. So instead I chose the word “flabbergasted” cause its a fun word and its not often used. I have to say though, compared to previous meetings, everyone was good at attempting to use the word. Woot. 1 point Bekah.

Also, Jess did a last minute speech which she threw together in something like 20 minutes (or less!) for tonight’s meeting. She talked about interviews and what you can do to have a better shot at getting a job offer after leaving an interview and feeling good about any interviews you have – without feeling like you could have done better after you leave. And, of course, it was nothing short of amazing. I don’t think there will ever be a day when she doesn’t amaze me with her abilities and skills…


As for Netgenetix these days…

The boss is having me learn flash… that’s gonna be awesome. I know the basics and a decent amount of AS3 from school but I never got into it much at that time. So I got a book and have been doing some self-teaching but its a bit slow right now with how busy I’ve been… however I’ll hopefully be starting a class for it in the fall probably. I’m actually pretty excited… I’ve always had super good ideas for things that could happen in flash but obviously don’t have the patience for the design part of it (as usual)… but once I get good at it and I’ve got Justin to design stuff before hand, then that will be pretty sweet.

Also, I’ve been wanting to write a few more new blog entries for Citrus however haven’t had much of a chance lately. If anyone has any good ideas or things for me to write on regarding SEO please share! (Anything you’d like to know?)

Oh! And the NHL Playoffs started today! How exciting! Yay for the Canucks first win against the Blues! This means an overload of support emails on our free hockey pool website, I’ve been helping out with these support emails a lot over the last couple days and I’m not sure what it is about them… but I’m ADDICTED! I dunno what it is, but I’m addicted to replying support emails and doing so as soon as humanly possible! It’s actually pretty exciting, Pickup Hockey is growing so much and it’s freaking awesome… I’m not sure what it is but I love watching the number of registrations and daily visits continue to climb. I’m proud to say I contribute to keeping one of the biggest hockey pool websites on the internet alive and well!!!

Anywho, that’s enough rambling for one night. Later! :)

Posted under Citrus, Education, Industry, Netgenetix, Toastmasters

Week Three Wit

I signed up to do the Wit portion of the meeting this week. I hadn’t planned on how I would start so I ended up stumbling over my words and saying a bunch of ‘ums’ trying to remember a certain word (ARG). However after I got started, I was fine.

Unfortunately due to the fact that all prepared speech spots are filled for the next 2.5 months I had to sign up for my Ice Breaker (the first speech) a lot sooner than I wanted to. A lot sooner. So, as fate would have it, I have my first prepared speech a week from today.

The first speech you do at Toastmasters (aka the Ice Breaker) is about yourself – I guess because its the easiest subject. I’ve got about 3 minutes so far of the 4-6 minutes needed and it sounds way too cheezy for my liking. I’m my own worst critic, I know. I’ve also discovered I need to speak slower in general cause I talk too fast. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll also see if my colleagues decide to randomly show up, I don’t think I’d mind if they did actually… maybe because I’m still so new to it that I can use the very excuse that I’m new to it, haha.

Until next week, later!

Posted under Education, Toastmasters